Author Topic: Starting 38-40 and need tips  (Read 2617 times)

Offline DeaconKC

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Starting 38-40 and need tips
« on: August 06, 2018, 10:33:17 pm »
Okay, just picked up a .38WCF Colt and am trying to find some good loads for cast bullets, staying under 1,000 fps. I have Unique, Accurate 5 on hand. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Online Abilene

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 11:35:09 pm »
Is this an antique?

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2018, 12:02:52 am »
Mine is an 1898. BP only, thank you.
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Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 11:20:26 am »
1905 Colt Bisley, tight as a drum still! So I'm not going to hot rod it, just looking for a mild load. None of my current manuals have very much in them
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Offline Isom

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 04:19:22 pm »
Deacon,
 I use 5 1/2-6.0 grs. Unique in mine with a 180 gr. bullet, mine's dated 1910. Max is 7.5 grs. But when I shoot it it's mostly B/P. Use real B/P, you'll have more fun and smile more.  :D
Have fun,
Isom

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 08:52:37 pm »
Thanks Isom, with that nickel finish BP is now a possibility. You guys are a bad influence!  ;D
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Offline Isom

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2018, 06:14:33 pm »
HOOOKED !!!  Gotcha' !  :D

Offline Montana Slim

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2018, 09:06:58 am »
BP is a great choice, but if you prefer smokeless you'll find this cartridge also shines with modern propellant  ;)
The thin case mouth and slight bottleneck seals great with lighter charges of smokeless (compared to straight wall cartridges).
My favorite smokeless powder is 700X. Fairly bulky flake powder, clean & economical.

For me, I use BP for my full power loads in pre-1900 guns. Most smokeless loads are for plinking & practice (& for those modern design guns - post 1900).

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Offline R.M. Conversion

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2018, 10:38:06 am »
I've had great success in my Uberti 1873 and Winchester 1894 with WW231 powder and a 180g cast bullet.

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 03:13:38 pm »
Thanks RM!
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Offline R.M. Conversion

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 08:23:23 am »
It was 6.9g of WW231 and the 180g from Lazer-cast.  I made up about 15 test rounds with about six or seven different powders.  This combo was #4 and went into one cloverleaf from my 1892, nice recoil, no pressure signs - was almost perfect.  Shot great in the Cattleman too. I didn't even bother to test the rest of 'em.  One of the easiest load development projects ever.

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 08:31:35 am »
Don't you wish they were all that easy. Anyone used Trail Boss in this yet?
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Offline scrubby2009

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 10:37:44 am »
I've used the TB  with a moly-lubed Bear Creek RNFP in my M1889 Marlin. Wife loves it, not too loud, predictable recoil, no mess, consistent ignition. (Boring) I prefer the 2400, nice "cra-ack" to it, recoil seemed.. manly. Couldn't give you any real bench data, from shooting sticks at about 120 yards, the 2400 can reliably nail a 5 gallon bucket. That's a deer rifle to me. Loading some FFFg up next, we'll see how the old fish gun likes the Holy Black.
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Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 09:53:04 pm »
  Hmmm...I sold a 1905 Bisley 38-40 earlier this year...

  Still have two left; a 1903 4 3/4" Bisley and a 1901 4 3/4" SA, both 38 WCF.

 Here's some data from my logs-

4 3/4" Bisley-

 700-X, 6.7 grs. 189 gr. Big Lube RNFP-                                850 fps
 700-X, 6.0 grs. 192 gr. RNFP (from an RCBS 40-180 mould)-  739 fps

 Clays,  5.5 grs.   "          "            "           "            "      " -   676 fps

 Herco, 8.0 grs.   "          "            "           "            "      " -   921 fps

 Power Pistol, 8.0 grs.     "            "           "            "       " -   849 fps

 4 3/4" Colt SA-

 Herco, 9.0 grs. 192 gr. RNFP (from an RCBS 40-180 mould)-   964 fps

 700-X, 6.0 grs. 192 gr. RNFP (from an RCBS 40-180 mould)-   806 fps

 Clays,  5.5 grs.   "          "            "           "            "      "  -   750 fps

 Herco, 8.0 grs.   "          "            "           "            "      " -    850 fps

 Power Pistol, 8.0 grs.     "            "           "            "       " -   871 fps

 Power Pistol, 8.0 grs.  177 gr. RNFP (Lyman 40143 mould) -   880 fps

 For light loads, in this cartridge as well as my .44 Specials, 44-40 and 45 Colt, 700-X and Red Dot are really hard to beat.

 For heavier loads Unique, Power Pistol and Herco are just about perfect, and honestly can be used almost interchangeably so long as you're not loading maximum loads. . I use them in my ancient 1873 Winchester 38-40's with wonderful accuracy, all the way out to 200 yds.

  Trail Boss, nah...IMHO it is to the powder world what transfer bars are to the single action world.

 CHT



 

 

« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 09:56:09 pm by Cholla Hill Tirador »

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 10:26:37 pm »
Thanks for the help Tirador, I'm not gonna hotrod this gun. I use TB on larger cases so my progressive can't double charge. Just a little paranoid, had a Glock kaboom on me once.
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Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Starting 38-40 and need tips
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2018, 01:36:34 pm »
Thanks for the help Tirador, I'm not gonna hotrod this gun. I use TB on larger cases so my progressive can't double charge. Just a little paranoid, had a Glock kaboom on me once.

 You bet, and FYI all the loads I posted are well below maximum and the velocities well below what one would attain with a case full of black powder.

 CHT