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38-44 loads

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  • 38-44 loads

    Does anyone still play with the 38-44 loads anymore? I know it is foolish as 357 brass is plentiful and cheap enough but boredom does get to me sometimes. I put together some 358156 seated long over 12 grains 2400 just to see and by golly my S&W 686 and arthritic old hands both liked the load a lot. I haven't run them over a chronograph but suspect I could do the same thing with 7 grains Unique in a 357 case. I use the 358156 bullet seated long because these rounds are easy to identify and I don't own a 38 special only revolver anyway. This seems to be one of my more accurate loads and I was just curious if anyone else fooled around with this type of load.

  • #2
    I have an old S&W 38/44 Outdoorsman with 6" barrel. I bought it to replace the one I had many years ago which I did load to full 38/44 power. Made the dumb mistake of selling it as back them partying with pretty young girls seems to be a higher priority. Kind of wish I still had that one. My load was the same as tours with H2400, not A2400. I know Alliant says they're the same but I'm thinking A2400 is slightly faster burning, at least the lot I have now definitely is. JUst two things that I can add. I estimate your velocity as roughly 1100 FPS with a 6" barrel and maybe 50 FPS slower in a 4". One the Fourth of July weekend in 1959 while camping with a young adult church group, I had to shoot a roughly 250 pound Black Bear twice with my first Outdoorsman. Bear died and his victim lived but had some ugly scars on her leg. Sad thing is the only firearm of any type in that camp was mine.
    Normally these days when I take it to the range I just shoot a target level .38 Spl. with 148 gr. wadcutter. If I want to shoot full power stuff I just used my S&W M28. Oh yeah, both revolvers have 6" barrels.
    Paul B.


    • #3

      Paul, that first sale wasn't a mistake. What I'd give to be of the age of parties and pretty girls now!
      I haven't run these over the chrony, did run the same bullet with 13 grains 2400 and a magnum primer(because they were all I could get) over the chrony a while back for 1200+. My old wrists said to back it off a bit.


      • #4
        Today I made a small batch with the same powder charge over the 358429 bullet. Winter has jumped on us so I don't know when I'll get out to shoot them. Then I'll try that load under the 357446 and 358447 bullets and see what my Smith likes the best.


        • #5
          Well Rex, this is what was the standards of the day back in the mid 50's. The loading on the bottom is the same for the 357446. In most loads the 357446 and 358156 were interchangeable. In the other page is some old school stuff for the mag cartridge. The other is 357Mags from the same old book. The top stuff is mild 357's. The lower stuff is 357Mag of the day.

          Note: today's 2400 is hotter in my opinion and is not like the old stuff we grew up with. I'd go easy with it in these loads.

          Now in the event that you find some Herco, grab it!
          6.2gr in a 38 case with our favorite 357446 or the 358156 or even the 358429 is pure magic! Around 1,100 fps or so and super accurate!
          [Its not a standard load for disclosure purposes. Use only in 357 revolvers!]

          That ought to be some food for thought about the old high-speed 38 loads back in the old days.
          Last edited by Kit Fox; 11-09-2018, 11:23.
          Remember, the last thing a man wants to do is the last thing he does.


          • #6
            Thanks Wade, I think I have a copy of that old Ideal manual out in the garage. Wife is fighting pneumonia now so it is a lot of trips to town to the Dr.'s and it's too darn cold to shoot today anyway. I'll let you know the results as soon as I can get out.


            • #7
              Well sir, you take good care of your bride. Family's number one as we both know. This pistol business can wait until another day. My very best to your wife. She'll be in my prayers amigo.
              Remember, the last thing a man wants to do is the last thing he does.


              • #8
                Thank you.