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 Reloading 38 special question
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Advanced Member

12270 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2018 :  5:26:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Been reloading for years but never loaded 38 special. Found a load on internet of 4 grains red dot behind a 124 grain hard lead round nose bullet. Loaded a couple of dozen and shot them through one of my 357 magnums. I see no signs of excessive pressure at all. What I do see is the dang case is half full of air. Any danger here? These are being reloaded for grand sons to shoot. Reason for red dot is I have over 8 pounds of it and have loaded every thing with it before. Thanks in advance.

Advanced Member

18696 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2018 :  6:16:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, there's someone asking 'bout you in the GD forum ,,,,,,,,,,,,Chuck, I think,,,,

Here ya go, you ol' Curmudgeon,,,,,,,,

Edited by - forgemonkey on 03/09/2018 6:18:56 PM
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Advanced Member

5524 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2018 :  7:11:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Never loaded 124 gr, usually 158 gr for me. Don't have my books here but Lyman's cast bullet handbook will have data or the newer ones.

The danger is a double charge can fit in the case, I use a loading block and compare the level in each case with good lighting.

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903 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2018 :  7:18:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That load is safe in any .357 revolver. Likely safe in any steel frame .38 also. I use the identical load (4.0 Red Dot and 124 grain bullet) for my 9mm pistols.

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Advanced Member

15788 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2018 :  7:30:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you were loading black powder, airspace would be a major problem. With smokeless, not a problem. Some of my Bullseye loads are tiny.

"Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine."
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Advanced Member

8306 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2018 :  11:26:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the big flaky Red Dot is taking up 1/2 the case, your 124 grain bullet will be taking up 1/2 of the other 1/2, or your case is only 1/4 air.

As already posted - no problem.

You might want to think about ditching the 124 grain-ers and going with 158 grain SWC. You can then drop the charge to 3.4 grains. (per Alliant)

EDIT: Alliant shows a 38 Spl 'Cowboy' load of 4.6 grains of Red Dot under a 124 grain RNFP (round nose flat point makes me scratch my head a bit), so your 4.0 load is a bit more than 10% under charged.

Edited by - iceracerx on 03/09/2018 11:32:54 PM
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Junior Member

233 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2018 :  09:34:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
4 gr is OK.
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Senior Member

Vatican City
1734 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2018 :  8:35:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am a revolver guy. I like to use TITEGROUP. It is not position sensitive if you're worried about that. I shoot a lot of 44 spl. and a TON of 45 colt and those are pretty big cases compared to 38 Spl. Cheap and clean also. Check the reviews.The RED DOT load is ok, shoot it and have fun.
Also agree with Ice on going with 158 gr SWC. Another fun thing to do is use TRAILBOSS. Ya' wanna fill the case.... Have at it!

Edited by - B17-P51 on 03/10/2018 8:40:13 PM
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Advanced Member

2823 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2018 :  3:30:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hope I never wind up next to you on a range if you use recipes off the internet! You might get lucky this time, but lookout next time. Anyone that doesnt use manuals for recipes is asking for problems.
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Advanced Member

37257 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2018 :  2:49:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JimmyJack

Hope I never wind up next to you on a range if you use recipes off the internet! You might get lucky this time, but lookout next time. Anyone that doesnt use manuals for recipes is asking for problems.

Not so much today, books are going the way of the Linotype machine. All powder manufacturers list powders an charge weights on the internet. His load is fine and I like the way red Dot smells when it is fired in pistols. I too burned up an eight pounder in 38/357 and 45ACP loads. If Tite Group did not mimic Bullseye loads (low charge weights and low cost) and burn so dang clean I would still be buying 8 pounders of red dot for pistol loading.

I am a practicing Curmudgeon, someone that hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so.

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