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Subject Topic: 38-44....I think Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Rex
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Posted: April 24 2017 at 1:15pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Old Ranger has given me a couple of bullet moulds and I had found a load for the 357446 but not the big Keith 358429. Doing some reading it looked to me like 11.5 grains of 2400 in a .38 special case would duplicate the original 38-44 so I loaded some up with the Keith bullet.
This isn't Mr. Keith's load but trying to reproduce something close to the original. I know, they used 158 grain lead bullets but I wanted to use the 173 grainer.
I never set up the chronograph yet but they felt good in the 4" 686 and at 20 yards + 1 or 2 they made a 6x6 1/2" steel swing plate dance and I was amazed at the group, especially with me shooting. It peeled a fairly small patch of paint off of the plate. I need to do a little more work with it but I believe this is a round I'm going to like.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: April 24 2017 at 2:11pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Rex, I do believe you're on if not super close.

In 1953 they were still making hot .38-44 style loads. My old Ideal/Lyman #39 Handbook shows the 160gr Keith HP with 12gr of 2400 at 1228 fps and the 158gr Thompson GC (358156)and plain base (357446 cast with lighter alloys) at 1220 with 13.5gr of 2400. So 11.5 of 2400 with the slightly heavier bullet would be tops for that bullet weight compared to others listed.
Personally I wouldn't load those other old hot loads with today's powder in a .38Spl case, but maybe in a .357Mag case. Maybe. ...

All that stuff above, I guess, is my way of saying is 11.5gr is plenty! But anyway I'm glad ya got a thumper 38 load that hits close and hard! I do think you're at the peak and got it going for ya.

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