Author Topic: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231  (Read 18790 times)

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Star73

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38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« on: August 14, 2008, 03:58:11 PM »
Can anyone provide the amount of 231 used in the 1911 converted to 38 special? I'm also interested in the type & amount of crimp.

I currently use 2.75 of bullseye & set the crimp by adjusting the seating die with a factory round inserted in that station.

Thanks!

Ron H

bummer7

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 04:35:21 PM »
Hi Ron,

I have been experimenting this summer with similar loads for my 1911-38spl.  With ww231 powder, I loaded 50 rounds each using 2.8gr, 2.9gr, and 3.0gr for testing.  The bullet used is a swaged 148gr HBWC bullet (Hornady).  So far, I found 2.8gr of 231 reliable, accurate, easy on the slide, and the brass landed within two feet of me.  The 3.0gr load seemed too hot for my recoil spring and slide setup.  Not only did the slide come back with a sharp movement but the brass flew several feet further away than I expected. 

Now waiting an opportunity to chronograph the 2.8gr of ww231 load.  My guess is it'll chrono at or about 700fps out of my gun.   

Tried both roll and taper crimp.  Prefer taper crimp out of the two. 

-s

Star73

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2008, 04:43:19 PM »
Was there a difference in accuracy between roll & taper crimps? I have a slide mounted red dot so am using slightly more BE than those without.  What is your sight-slide setup?

Thanks,
Ron

bummer7

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 06:36:51 PM »
I did not notice any differences or improvement between the roll or taper crimp.  Nor did it seem to make a difference in feeding.  Both crimps fed well with no issues or problems related to crimp. 

I recently changed from over from a Bomar rib to a regular Bomar rear sight.  Installed a  new 10# Wolffe recoil spring and a spring guide was installed prior to testing. 

The gun was RR [no e-mail]@ 50yds and the test targets is a 10-shot 1.75" group using Federal Monarch ammunition. 

Hope this information helps.

Best regards,
-s

starman

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2008, 05:01:11 PM »
not to tell you what to do here but in the 38 sp clark  2.8 bull is the one you want, do not mix brass Win or Fed works best I think and you might want to slug the barrel you will be surprised on size go .0005 but no more than .001 over size. I have 3 1911 38 sp they are so fun to shoot Oh yes taper crimp for sure. if I can be of any help here let me know Pat   from   Kalifornia

bummer7

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2008, 08:36:06 PM »
I agree 2.8gr of BE is a good load.  It shoots well in my revolvers and well known to be accurate load. 

My question to you is "have you tried 2.6gr, 2.7gr, and 2.9gr in your 1911-38spl?"  While I thought my test loads with 231 were pretty good; I started trying loads with 2.6gr and 2.7gr of BE finding this is more accurate than 2.8gr loads.  Now I wonder if its just my pistol or do others find this to be a good accurate load?   

BTW, is your Clark a long slide? 

-s 

CDRT

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2008, 08:32:16 AM »
Just thought I'd join in the conversation:
I have a Clark Heavy Slide (not Long Slide).  I've tried loads between 2.7 BE and 3.0 BE.  The 2.7 load will shoot inch and half groups at 50 yards from a Ransom Rest.  The 3.0 load shoots three and a half inch groups.  The lighter powder charge is definitely more accurate.  The pistol also shoots the smaller group with Remington factory ammo (unfortunately, I only have two boxes left of it).

Up until last year I was roll crimping, but I picked up a taper crimp die and have used it since then.  I'm getting better feeding and fewer jams since I switched over.  I use Winchester brass, but have a couple ammo cans full of Remington and Federal for when the Winchester goes bad, which won't be any time soon.  Hardly ever have a case go bad with such a light load.

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bummer7

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2008, 10:01:56 AM »
Good information to know!  Shooting 2.7gr of BE out of my gun has proven to be more accurate with just enough recoil to work the slide reliably for me so far. 

I find it interesting you separate your brass instead of mixing brands.  Is this to improve accuracy or reliability or just for reloading consistently?  I ask as I don't separate brass by brand. I generally only separate by color.  Either nickel or brass. 

What did surprise me was reading here the Star fixed powder slides markings are more a guide than a indicator.  For example, I have a slide marked 2.8gr BE but the charges average 2.9gr BE.  Same with a 2.6gr BE slide.  It throws 2.7gr BE.  It is close but not the same.  Because of this, I started using an adjustable charge bar for the smaller charges. 



CDRT

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2008, 10:54:31 AM »
I started sorting brass back when I was shooting Bullseye matches in the 1970s, so it was easier to know which was mine.  Of course, now, only a few guys shoot .38 Specials in the Centerfire match, so it's not as important.  But, oddly enough, the other day at the Dallas match, I had a guy shooting a Model 52 next to me and another guy with a Clark down a few positions.  Luckily I keep a Sharpie in my gun box for just such an occasion.  The brass catcher doesn't always get them all, but it helps.

I do feel a little more confident in their consistency when I use the same mfg, especially for match loads versus practice.

I know what you mean about the powder slides.  I had one that was supposed to throw 3.0 grains of BE.  When I checked it, it was only throwing 2.7.  I used a fine swiss file to open it up a little, so now it throws right around 2.95; close enough.  I do have a couple of the adjustable slides since I have a separate press for .38s and another for .45 ACPs.

I had to go to a 7 pound recoil spring in the Clark to get it to function with the 2.7 load.  I'm not sure what weight the original spring was, since it had been cut down from a heavier spring.  I had Clark build it in 1982.  I did have a new bushing put in a few years ago when I noticed the groups opening up and I had the slide tightened.  We have a good local gunsmith who works on 1911s.  He built my Hardball gun for me that I used to get my Distinguished Pistol medal.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 10:56:03 AM by CDRT »
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Star73

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2008, 01:22:07 PM »
Interesting information from all of you! The reason for my interst in 231 is that Jerry Keefer related it's superiority after much testing. This was for revolver & PPC but I understood it to include the 1911.

I have 2 38 1911's, both recent aqusitions. I have many yrs of bullseye shootingl using a 45. The gun I'm currently shooting is by an unknown 'smith.  It has a slide mount. The other is a Giles that looks to have seen light usage.  A friend with many yrs of BE comp opines the gun was done by Clark. I question that as I've always observed Clarks to be marked. The earlier guns on the inside of the slide.

I find the 38 fun to shoot. 

Ron


Star73

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2008, 01:35:15 PM »
Regarding the mix/sorting of cases, soon after getting the 38 I had a poor lot of BE so started using Clays in the 45. After completing the workup for the 45 I started w/ the 38. I used all nickel to ease ID of the Clay loads. I settled on 2.6 of Clays & loaded a couple hundred . Checked the cases after the 1st string of 5 & found all bulged.

Apparently the nickel cases are stronger. Nickel & brass cases were mixed.

CDRT

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2008, 03:11:03 PM »
You're right about Clark marking the inside of the slide. Even my newer Clark Heavy Slide has the date stamped on the housing over the firing pin, as does the older one.  Clark also engraved the slides on the outside of every one I've ever seen with his name, type of firearm, e.g. Heavy Slide, and his location.

The only time Clark will not engrave the slide is if they only do part of the conversion.  If they do not do the trigger job, for example, when they build the gun, they will not engrave the slide with their logo.

I've had much better luck with regular brass than the nickel kind with my Clark, BTW.  All the nickel brass I had was sold a long time ago on eBay, when you could do that.
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bummer7

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2008, 12:30:12 AM »
Very interesting information indeed!  As to comparing brass vs nickel - I haven't found any advantage of one over the other.  Like you, I separate brass and nickel strictly for reloading purposes.  I will say that I find nickel seems to have more splits than brass cases though. 

Also interesting is your load of 2.6gr of Clays bulged some of the cases.  I thought this was a mild load?  On the plus side, you can always shoot your remaining reloads using a revolver. 

I have to agree with your assessment on the 1911-38.  It is a fun combination although finicky about the ammo at times.  As much as ww231 is easy to meter and shot well, I found the powder left a gritty ash in the gun. 


Star73

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2008, 12:59:21 PM »
Bummer,
You're right 2.6 clays is a mild load. The 38 conversion is only capable pf a mild load as the case is unsupported which caused me to [edit] the nickel as adding some strength to the case. Possibly an increased tendency to split is from the nickel not having the elasticity that brass does? I did use the 2.6 up in my revolver. Glad I looked at the cases after the 1st 5!

Clays load data site lists 2.6 as the max load for the 38 WC. I called them to verify that & the tech answered he didn't know!!!

At any rate the response here has caused me to put the 231 50 load on hold. Possibly what I read only applied to the revolver?

starman

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Re: 38 Special load for 50 yards with W-231
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2008, 07:37:48 PM »
on the 38 brass if you check the wall thickness of one brand and then check another you will see that it is not the same that is why you do not want to mix brass. I mark my brass with felt tip pin that way I know what is mine. Pat    Kalifornia