Saturday, May 16, 2015

.38 Short Colt....again

Having shot up my small supply of 3.5gr red dot under the 92gr round nose bullet I loaded some more primed cases with 1 grain less...2.5gr of red dot. The results were the same it seemed in report at least, I think I'll start to move away from the light 92gr bullet as moving to a heavier bullet will give me less of a report. I have access to a noise dosimeter and may include that along with a chronograph in the next extensive testing day I have at the range. Just for kicks I'm curious how these loads compare with similarly loaded full length .38 Special loads as the load density (or amount of air space left in the case after bullet has been seated) is significantly lower. The 92gr round nose were what I had on hand really for initial testing and I feel comfortable moving to a heavier bullet (105gr Lee or heavier as previously mentioned) The short colt although loaded with a heavier bullet might be made to the same OAL as a .38 special loaded flush with a wadcutter, something I happened to notice that somebody else pointed out on another forum when researching this round.

The accuracy with these loads has been "ok" nothing stellar and nothing tested over 25 yards as the drop is significant past that distance, a quick guess on the ballistic calculator has it dropping over 36" at 100 yards if its clocking around 600 fps and a mere 24" if its getting 750 fps out of the muzzle.

Closing thought, check the chamber for leading build up just like you would with .38 special and check back for more info.

Monday, May 4, 2015

.38 Short colt range report

Note- If you're waiting for the book reviews I mentioned I would try and have up don't hold your breath the weather turned nice early this year and I've started a full time job so reading time has been curtailed. Right on with what we're here for.

I had a chance this weekend to try out some of the .38 Short colt loads I made up last week in my 77 Bolt action. First observation was not all my magazines wanted to actually load all 5 rounds, Something about the helical design of the magazine and the short stubby cases made the magazine jam after loading 3 rounds. However the magazine will pretty reliably load 3 rounds. The second observation was the short case has feeding issues if the bolt is not cycled smartly. The resulting jam is the bullet partially falls into the void in front of the next round in the magazine and catching on the rim. Easy to clear but annoying to say the least. When I shot the first magazine I was impressed with the odd noise these loads made, Not really a snap or pop like one is used to but more like a too large paper bag being popped nearby, doesn't really make an impressive pop but just kind of makes a noise as it bursts.  Not a clue what velocity was,although I think its safe to say this was a max load (3.5gr of red dot under a 92gr cast round nose) I'll try lighter loads of red dot and eventaully bullseye and see what accuracy is. At 50 yards I had 5 shot groups that were fist size easily. Just for fun I tried a few shots at 200 yards, the drop at that range is around 25 feet best I could tell.  I did not get a chance to try these out of a revolver of any sort much to my regret as I'm curious what the report would have been like from those. I have brass primed and ready to load and everything is still set up to load these so I'll load them up again and make a hard metal note to test in a wheel gun.  Hopefully another long range session with a chronograph is around the corner as I have many test loads waiting to be fired through the 77/357 and GP100 combination.