Ruger Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've just bought my first snubbie ... SP-101 @ 2-1/4" barrel.

I've got the most recent Sierra reloading manual (plus a slew of older ones) but none specifically mention loads for snubbies.

Is there a preferred powder for the short barrels with minimum muzzle flash for 158-gr JHP?

Otherwise, I'll just use W231 (my preferred powder for all other calibers) and Blue Dot which I have on hand.

NOTE: Just fired the first 100 rounds of .38 Special (S&B 158-gr FMJ flat point). What a shooter! Really surprising given that my eyes are no longer good with iron sights. Two-inch groups offhand at 10 - 12 yards; 50% bulls at 25 yards (and 50% off the paper!). Now ready to load some magnums to check recoil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Recoil is minimal with the 357 loads. You can tell the differance back to back, but not bad at all.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,471 Posts
Your highest velocities are always going to be with a slow burning powder, no matter the bullet weight or how short the barrel is. H-110, W-296, and Lil'Gun are the best. Short barrels are notorious for producing a huge muzzle flash with slow burning powder. Actually, they produce a pretty big fire ball with faster burning powder too but the above powders get pretty dramatic.

A good compromise is HS6. A medium burn rate powder but it will do a decent job on velocity with a smaller muzzle flash. The faster the powder's burn rate, the more powder burns in a short barrel, thus less muzzle flash. The bad thing is you can easily exceed pressure standards with lower muzzle velocities by using faster burn rates. During daylight, muzzle flash doesn't bother you but boy at night it will shut your peepers down for a few valuable seconds
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
I like Lil'Gun personally. It gives the velocity at very low pressures compared to the H-110 and W-296, which if memory servers are the exact same powder with different labels. It seems to me, and it might just be a self inflicted Jedi mind trick because I know about the lower pressure, that recoil with Lil'Gun top loads doesn't seem as sharp as with the 296 I used previously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
I've used Herco for some Magnum loads that grouped well and ran in the 1200fps range.
Mainly for gas checked lead and jacketed bullets in the 158 - 160 grain weight I prefer H-110.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for everyone's input.

Thought I was in Fat City until I read Iowegan's informative posts in the "H-110 Thread" about many loading manuals having old / excessive .357 loads. This sure seems to be the case for my Sierra 5th Edition / 2nd Printing / 2003 reloading manual. The 158-gr bullet loads exceed even the Lyman / 1984 (yes, 1984) loads by whole grains!

Apparently Speer's current manual provides correct loading references, but I see Speer isn't willing to share that info on-line.

Iowegan, many thanks for making me aware of a problem that had surfaced during my hiatus from shooting & reloading.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,471 Posts
Capn, Speer doesn't put their data on line. Guess they want to sell manuals. Here's the powder drop range for H-110 from Speer #13:

158 Gr jacketed bullet, 13.9-15.5 gr; 140 gr jacketed bullet, 16.2-17.2 gr; 125 gr jacketed bullet, 18.0-20.0 gr.

Your SP-101's fixed sights will register closer with a 158 gr bullet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Iowegan, for the H-110 info.

My current reloading plans are to stick with 158-gr for just the reason you mention. Fortunately, I uncovered a 20-yr old stash of 500 ea. 158 gr SJHP in my locker, and I'm off-'n-running!

Finding a stash like that today is as good as finding gold. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,469 Posts
One of my favorite for a 357 mag is a 158 JHP over 10.2 gr of Blue Dot and a SPP. This load has given me good accuracy in 6" and 4" bbl rugers. My SP101 (2 1/4") doesn't shoot that load particularily well but my 2 1/2" Security Six does.

You mentioned the Sierra manual and for the 357 I find many of the loads begin with higher powder charges than the Speer manual has as max. The only load that I have definitely seen signs of excess pressure were loads of Blue Dot according to the Sierra manual. I worked up to a point and noticed at the next level the primer flattened out on the first shot so I stopped shooting that load and pulled the bullets for that load and the rest at higher charges. They were all in the weight, type primer and powder charge range listed in the Sierra manual. You need to exercise caution with all loads obviously but particularily with loads in the Sierra manual.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Capn

I've just bought my first snubbie ... SP-101 @ 2-1/4" barrel.

I've got the most recent Sierra reloading manual (plus a slew of older ones) but none specifically mention loads for snubbies.

Is there a preferred powder for the short barrels with minimum muzzle flash for 158-gr JHP?

Otherwise, I'll just use W231 (my preferred powder for all other calibers) and Blue Dot which I have on hand.

NOTE: Just fired the first 100 rounds of .38 Special (S&B 158-gr FMJ flat point). What a shooter! Really surprising given that my eyes are no longer good with iron sights. Two-inch groups offhand at 10 - 12 yards; 50% bulls at 25 yards (and 50% off the paper!). Now ready to load some magnums to check recoil.
Speer makes loads specifically tailored for short barreled SD guns. If I remember right, reduced flash was one of their criteria. Problem may be that those powder recipes are proprietary and unavailable for reloaders like you and me. I've gotta read up on all these new propellants now that I'll be reloading 9mms for my coming P89. Happy New Year. Mg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,156 Posts
Interesting..........
i imagine that there are a lot of powders and loads out there that can safely blow the doors off of factory speck ammo.

i recon that SAAMI is there as a recommended limit or safety barrier for folks like me building ammo and a reccomended target for ammo makers considering all the various makes and quality of various weapons on the market. Seems to work as i havn't blown up myself.

Yep i imagine that imr, alliant, or vv powders can all act like a corvette and hit 140 mph. But SAAMI is kind of like the posted speed limit of 70 mph maximum. One can run faster than the posted limit, but as stats point out, accidents and injuries increase exceeding the posted limit---not to mention wear and tear---all of course depending on the driver, his machine, and the road he takes.

i have read many good things about vv powder, but no one in my area seems to carry it. No disrespect to vv product or their data, but i err on the side of caution when it comes to hot loads. Sometimes i ain't the sharpest stool in the shed so SAAMI will work for me. I'll leave everything else to more experienced/edeucated hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
I am in favor of the target loads as the bullets get there faster than I can see and since I shoot paper and tin can's works for me. If I need hot loads I just buy factory that also works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
A friend just gave me an older 1lb. can of Unigue. Didn't smell unusual so I loaded 1/2 box to give it a try. 6.5grs under a 158gr cast SWC. Figured to try them in the SP, squibs would be easier to remove from a shorter tube, if they remained in the barrel at all.

Well, no squibs. And I may have a new plinking load for the little Pig. Might even drop it down closer to 6grs. No problem keeping 5 rounds on a 6" paper plate at 20 yards... :D
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top