Author Topic: 38 long colt bullets  (Read 307 times)

Offline Colt Fanning

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38 long colt bullets
« on: June 08, 2021, 08:34:02 AM »
Howdy
I have 3 questions.

1. What is the easiest bullet for shooting at Ncows Pistol targets.  Hollow base or heeled.

2.What is the best bullet for this purpose.

3.Where can this bullet be sourced.

This is for use in an 1892 new army colt.  .375 Barrel bore.

Regards
Colt

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 08:59:08 AM »
The easiest is 148 grain hollow base wadcutters, loaded about 1/4" above case mouth.  Heeled bullets are problematic, as they require a special heeled bullet crimping tool (available from Bernie at Old West Bullet Molds).  That crimp is touchy, as too much crimp, the case mouths tear and and are one use.  If you do not crimp tight enough, though, they have insufficient back pressure and go "pop" instead of "bang!".  It took a lot of time to come up with just the right crimp, but velocities were still slow.  The Wadcutters, on the other hand, obdurated well to give good accuracy and would knock down the plates.

The Navy load for the .38 Colt was a 145 grain heeled bullet in a slightly shorter case, but the Army 1892 load was a longer case with a .357" inside lubed, 150 grain, round nose, hollow base bullet that obdurated into the .375" bore.  No one currently produces this bullet or ammo loaded with it.  I worked on a joint project with Walt Kirst, EMF/Pietta, and Black Hills ammo about re-introducing the Army 150 RNHB load, but it was killed off by the pandemic.

See my thread here:  Lots of info and pictures

https://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php?topic=63237.0
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Offline Reverend P. Babcock Chase

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 08:59:21 AM »
Howdy Colt,

I don't know about the .38 Long Colt, but I have a converted 1851 repro in .38 S&W with a .375 barrel. I stated loading 148 gr. HB wadcutters to .38 special O/A length and used load data for .38 spec. for that bullet. Started low and worked up until the base was getting blown out enough for accuracy. It actually shoots quite well. Now, I'm reducing the load and shortening the length for easier chambering. I won't quote you a charge, so be sure to check a proven handbook for your load.

Good Luck,
Rev. Chase

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2021, 08:59:35 AM »
Are DAs legal in NCOWS? I cast and load heel based bullets for my 1892 revolvers. Your questions are odd. Easiest shooting or best bullet are not normal concerns. The 1892 is an unusual family of revolvers as they are a developmental step between c&b revolvers and true cartridge revolvers. A bit of a learning curve for Colt’s R&D back then as they learned about internally lubed bullets and bore dimensions. These guns are odd ducks and really need heel based ammo to be accurate. You can certainly try some hollow base wadcutters with light loads so you don’t strip the rifling to see if they work for you. I’ve seen heel base bullets for sale somewhere but in todays craziness good luck.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2021, 09:52:22 AM »

 :)  Hey Fanning   ;)

Don't know if this will help.  I shoot several .36 cartridge conversions.  Barrels are .375.  I found 148Gr Hollow Base Wadcutters to be quite accurate.  At least accurate enough for CAS play.

CAVEAT:  I'm strictly shooting BP or SUBS.  Mostly APP.  YMMV

Play Safe Out There

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:27:27 AM »

Offline River City John

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2021, 10:05:36 AM »
Are DAs legal in NCOWS? I cast and load heel based bullets for my 1892 revolvers. Your questions are odd. Easiest shooting or best bullet are not normal concerns. The 1892 is an unusual family of revolvers as they are a developmental step between c&b revolvers and true cartridge revolvers. A bit of a learning curve for Colt’s R&D back then as they learned about internally lubed bullets and bore dimensions. These guns are odd ducks and really need heel based ammo to be accurate. You can certainly try some hollow base wadcutters with light loads so you don’t strip the rifling to see if they work for you. I’ve seen heel base bullets for sale somewhere but in todays craziness good luck.

Double-actions are most assuredly legal in NCOWS. Lots of double-actions used in the time period we try to portray.
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Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2021, 10:16:48 AM »
 That’s great to hear John, too bad there’s no NCOWS on the east coast, I could get involved with you folks. Too bad sass is in denial of double actions prior to 1898. I’ve shot 1892s at my WASA/cas club in the past but the trigger pull on them is not for the faint of heart.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline River City John

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2021, 11:29:20 AM »
That’s great to hear John, too bad there’s no NCOWS on the east coast, I could get involved with you folks. Too bad sass is in denial of double actions prior to 1898. I’ve shot 1892s at my WASA/cas club in the past but the trigger pull on them is not for the faint of heart.

Baltimore Ed,
join up and model NCOWS philosophy regardless of whom you shoot with. If you shoot at a local club, ask if you can get dispensation to shoot a double-action occasionally and just not be scored against the other shooters?
In the long run the only one we compete with is ourselves. No reason you couldn't keep a separate score based on NCOWS scoring for yourself.

And, it only takes a handful to start a posse.

We'd love to have you as a member.
"I was born by the river in a little tent, and just like the river I've been running ever since." - Sam Cooke
"He who will not look backward with reverence, will not look forward with hope." - Edmund Burke
". . .freedom is not everything or the only thing, perhaps we will put that discovery behind us and comprehend, before it's too late, that without freedom all else is nothing."- G. Warren Nutter
NCOWS #L146
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Offline Major 2

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2021, 12:05:54 PM »
Ed

Just down the road from you ( well 4 hours 48 minutes drive by car ) is the South Carolina Old West Shootists.
They are an NCOWS Posse'   I shoot with on occasion ( they are just about 6 hour for me )

http://ncows.com/posses/scows.html

Maybe if you wanted to try them out, We could coordinate, I could come up  :-\  some time
 
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2021, 12:46:43 PM »
Thanks John, thats the beauty of being a WASA club is we shoot dedicated DA matches a couple times a year but have the option to shoot DAs or self loaders at any just about any monthly match. I sometimes shoot a DA and a 1911 at matches that are just a generic cowboy match. This month is a cowboy match so I’m going to carry two Webleys but shoot them single action.

Major deux,  Might be a possibility. A 5 hour drive each way is a long haul for this old butt so I’d want to spend a night there and then shoot. Are Webleys and Marlin pumps NCOWS legal?
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #10 on: Today at 07:27:27 AM »

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2021, 02:27:48 PM »
Here's a link to the Oct 2020 Cowboy Chronicle My article  "The .38 Colt, The most underrated cartridge of the Old West" starts on page 34.  Lots of research went into it.  I have been thinking of selling the 1851 and Kirst Konverter (Cylinder, ejector rod and milled gate) in the article, as I am still a .45 Schofield guy.

https://sassnet.com/Downloads/20eChron/20OctChronGO.pdf
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2021, 04:43:25 PM »

 :)  Hey Lawman  ;)

Have you removed the throats from the Kirst Cylinder ???  If not, and you decide to sell the 7 1/2 inch gun I just might be interested.  Heck, I might be interested in the short barrel one as well. 

Might I have "First Refusal??"

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2021, 04:55:13 PM »
Thanks John, thats the beauty of being a WASA club is we shoot dedicated DA matches a couple times a year but have the option to shoot DAs or self loaders at any just about any monthly match. I sometimes shoot a DA and a 1911 at matches that are just a generic cowboy match. This month is a cowboy match so I’m going to carry two Webleys but shoot them single action.

Major deux,  Might be a possibility. A 5 hour drive each way is a long haul for this old butt so I’d want to spend a night there and then shoot. Are Webleys and Marlin pumps NCOWS legal?

That is my MO as well, I travel up the day before and usually stay a the Country Hearth Inn  Cayce which is close to the range.
It gets about a C rating though , but better accommodations are further and more costly  ::)

Webley revolvers . MK1, MK2, MK4, MK5 are approved ....the MVI  (Mk6) is not 

As to your Marlin ... that is a bit gray area , its not on the Approved list, Nor is it Disapproved
It would be up to the sitting Judge....
However, it has to be of a pre 1898 design and there may lie the problem , SASS has outlawed them as potential dangerous.

I personally shoot Working Cowboy, and don't use a Shotgun, But when I did it was an SXS of either flavor ( Hammered & Hammerless ) mostly Mule eared hammers though....

Sorry for any highjack  ;)



when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: 38 long colt bullets
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2021, 05:06:08 PM »
CM. It is bored .375" straight through for heeled bullets.  I'll PM you.
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
CO. F, 12th Illinois Cavalry  SASS # 6127 Life * Spencer Shooting Society #43 * Motherlode Shootist Society #1 * River City Regulators

 

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