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  #1  
Old 01-13-2017, 09:44 PM
42241 42241 is offline
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38 Super SD loads - do you roll your own?

Just starting to load the mighty .38 Super. Looking on the web, some good defense loads are out there but thinking about just making my own. I've got 1000 .38S +P new Starline cases, and I see no reason not to load some stout recipes using low flash powder and a good bullet that expands well. Am I alone on this? Been reloading since the '70s and always heard - "no reloads for self-defense". With modern components and equipment, I think it's time to bust that old myth. Anyone agree,,, disagree?
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2017, 10:00 PM
tps34433 tps34433 is offline
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I would buy these bullets! Best SD bullets available, used world wide by most law enforcement, great expansion.

Speer gold dots! 125Gr.


http://www.midwayusa.com/product/317...int-box-of-100

And then, I'd use this powder, it gets .38 super moving out quick.

Vihtavuori N105 powder.

9.6Grains of N105 with a 130 Grain Speer gold Dot will push right at 1,400fps with no signs of over pressure in your cases. This is a great powder! And works very well.

The Speer bullet penetrate within the higher margin of FBI ballistic, closer to 18". With great uniform
expansion.

Speer gold dots 130gr, and N105.

Ballistics out of a 5" with 9.6gr of N105 chronograph right at 1392 fps from a government model.





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  #3  
Old 01-13-2017, 10:07 PM
tps34433 tps34433 is offline
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130 Grain speeds utilize 9.6grains of N105.

124 Grain you can use 10.4 Grains for some ultra hot 1500fps loads.

It's all about the right bullet.

The Speer gold dots perform great at 1250-1390 range and do not separate or blow up on impact, or shrapnel.

Past 1,400 range they will blow to pieces on impact lol.

My ideal load Speer gold Dot 125gr with 9.6GR of N105. This will provide just a 1,390's fps range. Alot of penetration with great uniform expansion.

Do not exceed 10.4gr of N105 with 124-125 grain bullet. That's a good safe zone at 1,500fps with magnum like power.



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  #4  
Old 01-14-2017, 03:07 AM
kgphotos kgphotos is offline
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I am currently working on a self defense load for a new DW Guardian .38 Super. I am using AA#7 in Starline brass. My goal was for an upper end 9mm equivalent. I chose .38 Super over 9mm for possible better feeding in a 1911 platform and because I wanted something different. With AA#7 I am easily getting 1280 fps with 124gr Gold dots and 1100 fps with 147gr Federal HST bullets. Using AA#7 with Starline brass and Winchester primers I am getting standard deviations under 10fps. I have listened to all the discussions regarding loading your own self defense ammo. I respect everybodies opinion and then came to the conclusion that for me, reloading my own ammo makes sense. I truly believe that my own hand crafted ammo is the best quality that I can carry. Hope I helped you out at least a little.
Kenny
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2017, 06:21 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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.38 super load for self defense....

I reload all of my self defense loads for my guns, including .38 super. I have yet to find any documented court cases where using handloads has been an issue that led to the person that shot a bad guy to go to jail when using a firearm for self protection. If a lethal force is used in a self defense situation and it is justified, it doesn't matter if the "bad guy" was killed with a baseball bat, a knife, a firearm, or any other weapon...

When shooting any hand load to max velocity in a barrel, it is good to have full case support of the barrel chamber....which means the steel chamber fully supports and encircles the cartridge case up to the extractor groove of the case. I have found the best barrels to support the case are ramped barrels, and use them for all my guns with high pressure pistol rounds.

It is also important when reloading max loads to be extra cautious, and double check you scale when measuring powder charges. Avoid all distractions if possible, and make sure your scale is "zeroed" properly before you start measuring your powder charges. This applies more to balance beam scales.

When developing high pressure self defense loads for .38 super, I use small rifle primers. Three of my optimal powder choices to keep pressures within reason are: Lil Gun, Vihtavuori N 105, and VV 3N38.

When working up your loads, it is best to use a chronograph, and test for accuracy results at the same time. Here is a compilation of load data, used in USPSA shooting.....these loads may have been developed for custom guns, so it is best to reduce any given load and work up to the charge listed, since some loads may be higher than SAMMI specs:

http://www.k8nd.com/ipscload.htm

I don't believe Lil Gun powder, made by Hodgdon, was around when the above load data was compiled, but you may be able to find other sources for starting load date. The Lyman 49th edition reloading manual shows Lil gun powder with a 125 gr FMJ/FP bullet style with a max load and MV of 1,383 fps. I like my self defense .38 super loads using a 124 gr. JHP bullet to leave the muzzle of my 1911 .38 super Commander at roughly 1,350fps. I like the way the gun handles and how the sight tracks with this load.

All three of the above powders listed are available at:

www.powdervalleyinc.com

Good luck and be safe!

Last edited by Rwehavinfunyet; 01-14-2017 at 06:28 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2017, 08:53 AM
huntershooter huntershooter is offline
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I prefer the recoil impulse of a "Major" 147 gr. load over the 124's.
I'm running Gold Dots @ 1170 FPS with WSF.
Accurate, controllable.
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2017, 09:16 AM
judgedelta judgedelta is offline
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If you're going to "roll your own" self-defense loads, please be sure and check each and every one of your primers. I have seen them come out of the box without an anvil. Just sayin'...
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2017, 10:46 AM
kgphotos kgphotos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judgedelta View Post
If you're going to "roll your own" self-defense loads, please be sure and check each and every one of your primers. I have seen them come out of the box without an anvil. Just sayin'...
I believe that is a great reason to load your own defense ammo. I can double check each primer, each flash hole, each powder charge. Those are things that I can't do with factory ammo. I know that modern factory ammo is usually very high quality. However, there is a great comfort in knowing that I have personally inspected the inside of each case and hand crafted each component of my defensive rounds. I have read the stories of primers without anvils and cases without flash holes. I know those are rare in factory rounds, and I have not personally experienced them, but it seems that they have occurred. I enjoy the extra margin of confidence that I gain in my ammo by loading it myself.
Kenny
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2017, 11:12 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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I run Hornady 147 grain XTPs, Bullet #35580.

These on top of a healthy dose of Blue dot work really well in my Colt Government model. I do not know how fast they are going, but they are ripping along pretty well.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2017, 12:51 PM
Cowboy1629 Cowboy1629 is offline
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I usually carry Wilson's Combat 38-Super 124gr +P Hornady XTP ammo however I wouldn't have an issue carrying my own either.
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2017, 01:00 PM
joepilot joepilot is offline
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I wouldn't hesitate to carry my own loads for SD, but I usually carry Cor-Bon 125 from JHP. Very nice, consistent ammo.


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  #12  
Old 01-14-2017, 03:19 PM
42241 42241 is offline
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Some great advice. I'm leaning toward the 130 gr Speer Gold Dots. I've never experienced a bad primer yet (no anviil) but I suppose it's possible. As far as checking weights, I use a Dillon 650 and check it often. My 38S EDC is an Ultralight Wilson Carry w/ fully supported chamber. Thanks guys for the great info.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2017, 01:09 PM
pelikan800 pelikan800 is offline
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I wouldn't roll my own for self defense due to the legalities of it all. If the prosecution or defense wants to duplicate the rounds used in a SD incident, they will have no way to ascertain what specific load you were shooting if you rolled your own. No, they aren't going to take your word you were using 5.4 gr. of Unique, CCI primers, etc. That's not proof. Were you using commercial SD loads that can be defended because "NYPD uses 124gr Gold Dot's in 9mm +P, and I deferred to all of their testing of that round in my search for a round that would protect me without having too much power", or using your own "elephant load" to defend yourself against our 150 lb miscreant. With a commercially available load, they could find that load to see what the ballistics were, maybe even from the same lot number used in the incident. If you carry a firearm for self defense (CCW), ask the attorney you have on speed dial (you have found an attorney to use if circumstances require one, haven't you??) and see what they would rather have to defend against. Cheers!

Last edited by pelikan800; 01-17-2017 at 01:15 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2017, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelikan800 View Post
I wouldn't roll my own for self defense due to the legalities of it all.
You're relatively new to the Forum and haven't had the benefit of the years & years worth of discussion here about handloads for self defense.

Of the regular posters here, I'm guessing that we're split about 75%-25% in favor of using our own hand loads for self defense. Several of our members have challenged anyone to cite a specific instance where the use of personal handloads was detrimental to a person's case.
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:23 PM
pelikan800 pelikan800 is offline
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Wasn't aware of the history of this thread. Wasn't looking to step on toes.

In having a CCW, I have taken a number of classes to get closer to becoming a responsible CCW holder. One of the classes I've attended was Massad Ayoob's MAG 20 class. In that 2 day, 20 hour class a number of folks wanted to know if they should use reloads. Mas had some specific examples of cases that didn't go well due to the good guy rolling his own. I'll take a look at my notes to see if I wrote down any specific examples I could cite.

Last edited by pelikan800; 01-17-2017 at 04:25 PM.
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  #16  
Old 01-17-2017, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelikan800 View Post
Wasn't aware of the history of this thread. Wasn't looking to step on toes.

In having a CCW, I have taken a number of classes to get closer to becoming a responsible CCW holder. One of the classes I've attended was Massad Ayoob's MAG 20 class. In that 2 day, 20 hour class a number of folks wanted to know if they should use reloads. Mas had some specific examples of cases that didn't go well due to the good guy rolling his own. I'll take a look at my notes to see if I wrote down any specific examples I could cite.
Oh, no problem. No toes stepped on.

I just wanted you to know that most of the members here don't subscribe to the theory about handloads being bad (legally) for self defense. We're aware of Mas Ayoobs position on the matter. It would be interesting if you can find any of his specific examples. If you do it would be worthy of a thread of it's own rather than veering this thread in another direction.
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:44 PM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is online now
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Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
Oh, no problem. No toes stepped on.

I just wanted you to know that most of the members here don't subscribe to the theory about handloads being bad (legally) for self defense. We're aware of Mas Ayoobs position on the matter. It would be interesting if you can find any of his specific examples. If you do it would be worthy of a thread of it's own rather than veering this thread in another direction.
Agreed! Mas had written some articles in the 70's on this subject, but a lot has changed since then anyway. I would love to see some particulars in this subject, with actual data to substantiate this viewpoint. In the 70's, we didn't have CCW or Castle Doctrine laws in place, so the outcome could vary widely from place to place as to whether "rolling your own" had any significant impact on the outcome of a legal case.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:02 PM
Matquig Matquig is offline
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If you do not feel confident enough to sit in a witness chair answering questions about your CCW handloads, then using handloads for personal defense MIGHT be a concern. On the other hand, you will not HAVE to take the stand if you are a defendant. It might be a murky area, and totally dependent on how good the attorneys are, or who the jury is. I, personally, feel confident that I can professionally articulate what my ammunition is, and why I use it. After a number of years of reloading, you might just have a jury eating out of your hand if you can communicate well about a topic you know well. To blanket tell people not to use handloads is to sell knowledgeable people short.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:32 AM
judgedelta judgedelta is offline
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On the other hand, if all of the brass in your pistol is from the same manufacturer, who is going to know that you are shooting handloads? uness you tell them... If I was going to carry handloads, I would spring for some new brass, or at least some once-fired from the same batch.
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Old 01-19-2017, 05:45 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Using new or once fired all matching head stamp brass for self defense loads.....

Quote:
If I was going to carry handloads, I would spring for some new brass, or at least some once-fired from the same batch.
This is what I do....!
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:02 AM
huntershooter huntershooter is offline
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I load Gold Dots in once fired Speer brass, along the line of thinking above...
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  #22  
Old 01-19-2017, 08:43 AM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Originally Posted by pelikan800 View Post
I wouldn't roll my own for self defense due to the legalities of it all. If the prosecution or defense wants to duplicate the rounds used in a SD incident, they will have no way to ascertain what specific load you were shooting if you rolled your own. No, they aren't going to take your word you were using 5.4 gr. of Unique, CCI primers, etc. That's not proof. Were you using commercial SD loads that can be defended because "NYPD uses 124gr Gold Dot's in 9mm +P, and I deferred to all of their testing of that round in my search for a round that would protect me without having too much power", or using your own "elephant load" to defend yourself against our 150 lb miscreant. With a commercially available load, they could find that load to see what the ballistics were, maybe even from the same lot number used in the incident. If you carry a firearm for self defense (CCW), ask the attorney you have on speed dial (you have found an attorney to use if circumstances require one, haven't you??) and see what they would rather have to defend against. Cheers!
I wondered how long before ol' Messiah Adoodi would raise his ignorant head!
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  #23  
Old 01-19-2017, 09:00 AM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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I don't think reloads are a great idea for SD, not because I subscribe to the theo that its a legal liability, but because there's dozens of high quality factory offerings available who's performance we can reasonably predict, because thorough and quantifiable evaluations have been conduct under controlled circumstances.

Unless you're using the EXACT same primer, powder, brass and bullet as the load you're trying to duplicate, it ISN'T the same.... if you're getting the same velocity, it should be pretty close- but 50 fps can have a significant impact on performance...

Since very few have the ability to conduct proper, industry standard evaluations, why roll the dice on unknown terminal performance...?
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  #24  
Old 01-19-2017, 12:55 PM
Slow bullet guy Slow bullet guy is offline
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Not everyone that is carrying handloads is trying to "duplicate" a particular load. Some folks just want a hard hitting, accurate chunk of lead that feeds reliably. The handloader is capable of this.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:54 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Originally Posted by Slow bullet guy View Post
Not everyone that is carrying handloads is trying to "duplicate" a particular load. Some folks just want a hard hitting, accurate chunk of lead that feeds reliably. The handloader is capable of this.
True... but so is commercial ammunition.

"Hard hitting" is a very ambiguous term, with no real definition. To the KE guys, the only thing that matters is energy. Doesn't matter if there's little momentum, or the bullet doesn't expand, or over or under penetrates..... never mind that "hard hitting", if one defines it as the felt impact on the target is a function of momentum.

Personally, I think all 4 metrics have value in predicting terminal effects- though some carry more weight than others.

The vast majority of handloaders don't have the desire or capability to fully test their creations, so at least 2 of the metrics I listed are pure assumptions, based on what "similar" commercial ammunition does.
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