38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

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38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby Clutch80 » 11 Jan 2020 21

I'm doing some loads to shoot out of a conversion cylinder in my 1851 Navy. The instructions for the cylinder are to use 38 Long Colt or 38 Special wad cutters. I've got a good bit of 38 LC brass and want to load 148 grain hollow base wadcutters to get better obturation/grip on the rifling. I haven't found any 38 LC load data for 148 grain wadcutters, but have the data for 38 special. The question is if it is safe to load the wadcutters in the 38 LC brass using the COL and powder charge listed for the 38 special loads. It seems to me that the space inside the case of the 38 LC with the bullet protruding 1/8 inch out of the case would be the same as in the 38 special case. The pressure listed in the Lee manual for the 38 special wadcutters is actually less than for the 150 grain round nose that I have been loading in the 38 LC brass so I think I'm safe there. I thought I'd bounce my logic off some experts before loading them. These are not hot loads by the way.
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby RBHarter » 12 Jan 2020 10

Sounds good to me , that was kind of how I arrived at a charge for full WC for 9x19 .
As long as the length is 38 Special nose out and you stay with flush data it should be okay .
I dabbled in some 38 Short for a while .
I'm away from home but I have a Lyman #43 and some older books I can look and see if they have Long data if that will help .
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby Clutch80 » 12 Jan 2020 23

RBHarter Thanks. I'm just trying to be sure I'm not missing something in my logic. I would be interested in other data sources. The Lee manual is the only one that I have with 38 LC (and 38 Short) data. Kind of an outdated and not too great cartridge, but still fund for plinking without having to do the full black powder cleanup on the pistol.
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby RBHarter » 13 Jan 2020 09

I looked in my manuals and to my surprise I don't have any 38 long data ......... They all list 38 Short/Colt NP /380 something British sounding/38-200 , 1 cartridge 5 names . I hate it when I'm all sure about something then can't make good on it .
When left to my own devices in such matters I will default to max loads for the lesser cartridge in the same bullet weight as a place to start . In example a 148 WC in the longer case nose out is likely really close to the oal of the Short with a 150 RN so that data is going to be suitable also .
With a chronograph you could start at 3.0 Unique and work up to 700-750 fps and be pretty safe I would think if the powder debris go away STOP . You're over 15,000 psi .

As an alternate thought train regard the 9×17-9×19 data relationship subtracting 25 gr from the named bullet , ie a 147 referenced data used for a 125 gr bullet .........I hope that makes sense . 125 gr data used for a 100 gr loaded bullet . Apply it to the 38s either down from the Special or up from the Short . Ultimately I'd expect the results to be actual data from the Short and special to be an even split in the middle .

I suggest Unique because the data for the 1916 batches and the data for the last Tuesday batch is basically unchanged . That's not wholly true but the 1957 data agrees with the 1986 and 2015 data give or take .1 gr for all of the 35/38/9mm cartridges .
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby Macd » 14 Jan 2020 10

I have one loading. It is from Barnes' "Cartridges of the World" 6th edition. Only information is 3.0 grains of Bullseye for 810 FPS. He remarks that he feels this is the max for older revolvers.

The 38-200 is simply the British designation of the 38 S&W as used in their Enfield and Webley military revolvers.
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby mr surveyor » 15 Jan 2020 08

I believe the Brits got quite a few S&W .38 cal revolvers during WWII and re-chambered them for the 38-200 for service. I had one that I got from a pawn shop and was told it was a plain old .38 spl. It's new purpose was to be a daily, field carry, snake gun, so it would be subjected to a lot of abusive conditions. As soon as I dropped some .38 spl rounds into it, and they rattled around quite a bit, I found out what a 38-200 chambering was. I called S&W for information and, lo and behold, I got to talk to Roy Jinx himself. After telling him what the proposed use was (very limited use of both snake shot and hard ball), he assured me the gun was safe for very limited use.... just don't expect accuracy, and don't expect the brass to come back in any useable condition. Also leading would be a real issue. Like most blued snake gun revolvers I put through the grind over the years, this one also required daily care.

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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby Clutch80 » 17 Jan 2020 21

I appreciate all of the info and education. I've loaded up 50 rounds in the 38LC brass using the data for 38 special in the Lee manual (2.7 gn of Accurate #2). If the weather here in middle TN cooperates tomorrow I'll see how they shoot compared to the same load in 38 special brass.
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby Clutch80 » 28 Jan 2020 21

Just to wrap this up, they shot just fine and grouped as well as I could shoot at 12 yards.
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby oscarflytyer » 29 Jan 2020 12

late to the party, but... found 38 Long Colt on Load Data. They show data from Hodgden/IMR. Bet it is on their web site (I didn't check). If you need a couple sheets, pm me and I can get them to you.
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Re: 38 Long Colt with 38 Special Load?

Postby Clutch80 » 30 Jan 2020 22

They do have the load data on their website. It covers 5 different powders so a good number of options.
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