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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for load data for standard pressure 38 Special loadings, preferably with bullets in the 130gr range using Unique powder. I've found some murmurs online about hot but still standard loads under a 158gr hat that's close to what I want, but I'd prefer the 130gr bullet. Anyone have a line on something like that?
 

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You can start with 125 jacketed data and use
4.0 Unique - 6.0 Unique. With 130 grains you can increase the load maybe .10th of a grain.

For Lead ...Starting load is listed as 4.0 with a maximum of 5.7 grains. This data is from the Lyman Pistol & Revolver Reloading Handbook.
 

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NO. You can use data for heavier bullets, but NOT lighter bullets and you sure can't go UP in charge weight from data for a lighter bullet.
Why 130gn? That is an uncommon weight for any .38 Spl I have seen.
Lead/plated or jacketed?
Hornady shows 140gn jacketed at 4.2-5.2gn (up to 5.8gn for +P) and 140gn lead at 3.9-5.3gn for Unique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NO. You can use data for heavier bullets, but NOT lighter bullets and you sure can't go UP in charge weight from data for a lighter bullet.
Why 130gn? That is an uncommon weight for any .38 Spl I have seen.
Lead/plated or jacketed?
Hornady shows 140gn jacketed at 4.2-5.2gn (up to 5.8gn for +P) and 140gn lead at 3.9-5.3gn for Unique.
130 is the weight I carry.

I don't understand what you're saying. Can you reword?
 

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5.0 of Unique has been pretty much a "standard" load for both lead and jacketed from 158 on down for nearly a century.
That's one if my favorites with a cast 158 grain swc. My Unique is super old in a round metal can that was stored in someone's attic. It's blackpowder dirty but it shoots fine.
 

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>>NO. You can use data for heavier bullets, but NOT lighter bullets and you sure can't go UP in charge weight from data for a lighter bullet.
Why 130gn? That is an uncommon weight for any .38 Spl I have seen.
Lead/plated or jacketed?
Hornady shows 140gn jacketed at 4.2-5.2gn (up to 5.8gn for +P) and 140gn lead at 3.9-5.3gn for Unique.

>I don't understand what you're saying. Can you reword?

First, charge weights that produce max pressure for a 125gn bullet will almost certainly be over-pressure if used for a 130gn bullet. Thus, you use data for heavier bullets, not lighter bullets. Now, you "could" probably use the 125gn starting loads safely, but different lot numbers of powder used in different guns with different mix of components will produce different pressure—thus the range of max loads found in different manuals.
So, you should check multiple sources and use the lowest starting load.
However, for safety, the rule has always been that, if you don't have load data for a particular weight of bullet, you use data for the next heavier bullet.
If you are shooting a 130gn bullet, and you can't find data for a 130gn bullet, you use data for the next heavier bullet—140gn or such.
Then, I gave you data for the next heavier jacketed bullet and the next heavier lead/plated bullet that I could find.
If you are using a jacketed bullet, then you can use Hornady data for 140gn jacketed at 4.2-5.2gn. You start at 4.2gn and work the load up watching for pressure signs. You may even be able to go slightly about 5.2gn, since you are using a lighter bullet.
If you are using lead or plated bullet, then you can use the 140gn lead at 3.9-5.3gn for Unique—same load work-up.
If you are using a frangible or monolithic bullet, then I have no data to offer.
If you want more data for 140gn bullets, you can go to:
http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=38 Special&Weight=All&type=Handgun
 

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NO. You can use data for heavier bullets, but NOT lighter bullets and you sure can't go UP in charge weight from data for a lighter bullet.
Why 130gn? That is an uncommon weight for any .38 Spl I have seen.
Lead/plated or jacketed?
Hornady shows 140gn jacketed at 4.2-5.2gn (up to 5.8gn for +P) and 140gn lead at 3.9-5.3gn for Unique.
130 is the weight I carry.

I don't understand what you're saying. Can you reword?

I think what he's trying to say in laymans terms, is that lighter bullet loads usually use more powder than heavier bullet loads, because heavier bullets always sit deeper in the case, and require less powder to create the same pressure as the lighter bullet load.

So you really have to be careful with experimentation, because loading a lighter bullet's powder charge into a heavier bullet load will spike the pressure, and on the opposite note, loading a heavier bullet's powder charge into a lighter bullet load could decrease the pressure and potentially cause a squib in extreme situations.

That being said, I don't personally think that in your case those 5 grains between 125 and 130 will really make a difference if loaded with 125gr data, other than you might actually be making +P's, but you still need to be really careful.
 

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125 grain Speer soft point or hollow point.
Unique 5.3 grains max std 917 fps fps
+P is Unique 5.9 grains but that is not for standard frame .38s. 997fps
!8,900 cup standard, .38. 22,400 cup +P.
Not much reason for +P loadings.
U can't nique up on velocity much with it.
I'm not that retentive just looking at the book .
Speer Number 10. `1979 .
 

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I'm looking for load data for standard pressure 38 Special loadings, preferably with bullets in the 130gr range using Unique powder. I've found some murmurs online about hot but still standard loads under a 158gr hat that's close to what I want, but I'd prefer the 130gr bullet. Anyone have a line on something like that?
You likely will not find a jacketed bullet in 130g. Winchester makes (used to anyway) a "train & defend" cartridge that had a 130g hollow point but no one seems to sell that particular bullet weight except as a cast lead bullet. You should consider to go with a 125g or 140g jacketed bullet if you want something other than a cast lead bullet. You just practicing? Or you plan to use for defense as well? I like 158g Hornady XTPs myself for both practice and defense, but I sometimes load the 125g XTPs as well for both practice and defense. Sierra makes a defense usable 140g hollow point, and others. Those are all going to be subsonic (under 1050 fps) for .38 Special loads. If you want "hot" you'll need to look at .357 magnum, with 2-3 times the powder load the same bullet in .38 Special though.
 

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By a strange coincidence I've been shooting around a thousand rounds of that load a year since early 2002 in my .357Mag Super Redhawk revolver.

View attachment 248411
NICE. I've been shooting most of mine through a 10-inch adapter inserted in a Springfield M-6 Survival rifle's .410 barrel. The upper rifle barrel is a 22 Hornet and I had some difficulty finding 22 Hornet brass, and .410 ammo over the past couple of years, so the 38s were a handy substitute for me. 38 brass seems to last forever at the pressures I shoot. The insert isn't rated for +P, so I stick with the standard 38 SPL loadings whenever possible. The 10-inch rifled adapter gives very good velocities.
 

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Remington has a .38 Spl 130gr RN FMJ loading.
IIRC, the bullet is a .38 Super. Similar bullets are available plated.

4.0 -5.0 grains of Unique give you an accurate training load. I would not suggest any similar bullet as a defense load.
 

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You likely will not find a jacketed bullet in 130g. Winchester makes (used to anyway) a "train & defend" cartridge that had a 130g hollow point but no one seems to sell that particular bullet weight except as a cast lead bullet. You should consider to go with a 125g or 140g jacketed bullet if you want something other than a cast lead bullet. You just practicing? Or you plan to use for defense as well? I like 158g Hornady XTPs myself for both practice and defense, but I sometimes load the 125g XTPs as well for both practice and defense. Sierra makes a defense usable 140g hollow point, and others. Those are all going to be subsonic (under 1050 fps) for .38 Special loads. If you want "hot" you'll need to look at .357 magnum, with 2-3 times the powder load the same bullet in .38 Special though.
Don't think he hears you. This was 5 years ago. :)
 

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Remington has a .38 Spl 130gr RN FMJ loading.
IIRC, the bullet is a .38 Super. Similar bullets are available plated.

4.0 -5.0 grains of Unique give you an accurate training load. I would not suggest any similar bullet as a defense load.
I agree.
Also not sure why 130g seems to be important. I like subsonic velocities, so the heavier the bullet the better if I'm determined to use subsonic velocities for defense.
 

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Don't think he hears you. This was 5 years ago. :)
yeah. I don't think he hears any of us. I'm just bored. Sorry that I wasn't paying attention to the datse when I resurected this original posting. Maybe someone will get something out of our discussions and posts about it though . . . ? Lots of people just read and never comment.
 

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I've got a Model 29 in nickel, had it for around forty years, and although it's now a worthless [literally] lump of old iron, I just can't bring myself to hand it in for destruction. It's a pre-Bangor-Punta date, with recessed chamber rims, and I could happily shoot it from dawn to dusk...happy days, eh?

Revolver Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel
:cry:
 

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I've got a Model 29 in nickel, had it for around forty years, and although it's now a worthless [literally] lump of old iron, I just can't bring myself to hand it in for destruction. It's a pre-Bangor-Punta date, with recessed chamber rims, and I could happily shoot it from dawn to dusk...happy days, eh?

View attachment 248421 :cry:

Why?

Nothing visible in THAT pic, of being worthless.
 

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Why would you hand anything in for destruction? Why would you hand anything in? Just the thought is repugnant to me. Put it in a shadow box and hang it on the wall, use it as a toothpick holder, anything but "turning it in".
 
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