38/44 load data

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2frogs posted this 04 October 2022

I've taken an interest in the 38/44 to try in my Rossi 92,but am finding no load for it. My bullets are the Lyman 358/156 with gas checks. Or the lee 158 with gas checks. Where can I find some loads to try? Thanks.

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Larry Gibson posted this 04 October 2022

The 358156 seated out to the lower crimp groove and loaded in Winchester 38 SPL cases with WSP primers 11.5 gr of Alliant 2400 will give you a "classic" 38/44 load.  It generates 28,700 psi as measured in a Contender barrel via an Oehler M43 PBL.  It runs 1150 fps out of my 6" Ruger Security Six.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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2frogs posted this 04 October 2022

Appreciate the reply. Might load a few to try in my Rossi 92.

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BigMan54 posted this 08 October 2022

I like the #358429 over 5.5grs of Unique. Works well for Me in the Colt OP. My Dad liked this load in His Pre-War SAA & Heavy Duty.

I color the headstamp of all such loaded rounds RED, and tape a warning note inside the lid of all boxes holding such loads. 

I've visions of My Wife's d@#$%&s relatives blowing up My Colt Cobra & S&W Aircrewman with these loads after I'm gone.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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2frogs posted this 08 October 2022

Very interesting. I see Hodgon has several+p loads. Are these even close to the 38/44 loads?

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RicinYakima posted this 08 October 2022

No. 38/44 loads were about 30,000 CUP, much more than +P.

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Wineman posted this 09 October 2022

Think 357 light not 38 Special hot. You definitely don't want to run them through any 38 Special revolver except a S&W Heavy Duty/Model 23. Outdoorsman/ Model 20 or a Colt SAA.

Dave

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2frogs posted this 11 October 2022

My revolver is a Smith 686 or use my Rossi 92.

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Wineman posted this 12 October 2022

Since they are both 357 Magnum, there is no problem. I do not know what a constant diet of shorter cases with hot loads will do to the chamber but it probably would need to be in the thousands of rounds to cause an issue. Since the 38/44 predated and probably helped parent the 357, I would not see any reason to use shorter cases. Wesson, Kieth et al. felt that making the case longer was a positive step. Because of the black powder history of the 38 Special, a better ballistic efficiency is possible with less space in the case, but longer keeps you out of trouble.  Unlike the 38 ACP/38 Super situation, there are millions of 38 Specials around and the opportunity to use the 38/44 in a weak platform is pretty high if manufacturers kept producing it. I would love to see where the 70's Norma 1,500 fps 38 Special round or today's Buffalo Bore hot stuff would fall.The likelihood of anyone's 38/44 handloads getting into the general population is minuscule, but as they say: "safety is no accident".

Enjoy!

Dave

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Aaron posted this 12 October 2022

 I do not know what a constant diet of shorter cases with hot loads will do to the chamber but it probably would need to be in the thousands of rounds to cause an issue. Since the 38/44 predated and probably helped parent the 357, I would not see any reason to use shorter cases.

Shooting a 38 Special cartridge with lead bullets in a 357 Magnum chamber will cause a problem called "Ringing" and eventually will prevent the longer 357 Magnum cartridge from chambering. Below is a photograph of a cylinder with ringing after just 24 rounds - not "thousands" of rounds.

The lead buildup can usually be removed with a bronze bore brush if only a few cartridges were fired. If more are fired, a Lewis Lead Removal Tool may be required. If shooting jacketed bullets in a 38 Special, you may start to see pitting (erosion) ahead of the case mouth in the 357 Mag chamber.

Ringing is a real condition and I have seen it happen to many firearms. Once the chamber is cleaned but the lead smoothed out (polished), not removed, the owner wonders why the heck a 357 won't chamber anymore. Ringing in a rifle chamber is a real PITA to remove.

I appreciate your wanting to try some of the 38/44 cartridges and suggest you limit them to the 357 revolver which is a lot easier to scrape lead out of the chambers. Once that Rossi gets rung, you will be hating life and cursing the day you fired the 38/44 cartridges in it.

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Wineman posted this 13 October 2022

For sure a WAG with no real experience other than 38 Special standard loads in a Ruger BH 357. I did not see this type of "ringing" and I always associate ringing with rifle cartridges and fillers (no experience there either, I just don't use fillers). As I implied, the short case with the heavy load would not be my first choice both from a wear and tear and a potential for damage to something like a K-22 target or 1905 M&P. To each his own though. I am not sure how I would use a S&W Heavy Duty if I owned one. I seldom shoot full charge 357 since I am not a hunter. This is a very interesting part of revolver history and the desire to have greater performance has not gone away. The catch is to make the combination of cartridge and firearm idiot proof as much as possible and I guess the 357 with a longer case was one way to do it (also followed by the 327, and 44 magnums with the same philosophy). The 38 ACP and 38 Super managed to coexist but the number of 1911's vs the Colt 1900 and 1902 is greater. Even the 38 ACP in early loadings proved too hot for the 1900 Colts and it got the -P treatment over the early part of the last century. Today the 38 Super is marked +P and it was developed in the same time frame as the 38/44 but was not the quantum leap that the 38/44 was in terms of performance over its 38 ACP predecessor, so that makes sense. The 10 mm went backwards and gave us the 40 S&W (38-40 ballistics) as it was easier to shoot. Now the 40 S&W is getting sidelined by lighter and faster (and more rounds) 9 mm pistols. The balance of control and performance is always there but a hit with something good enough, is thought to be better than a miss with a more powerful cartridge.

This has been a fun dive. Glad to review some interesting history.

Dave

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BigMan54 posted this 13 October 2022

When I do shoot .38Spl (whatever the load) I dry brush each chamber before leaving the range. 

My Kids fired many, many thousands of Cowboy Shooting .38Spl loads in .357Mag  Colt SAA's & Uberti clones using this method.  Later I fired .357Mag Loads in these revolvers W/O a problem. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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2frogs posted this 13 October 2022

Interesting. I really appreciate all of these post, it's teaching me more and more. But I still have failed in locating any 38/44 loading data. Is it because they are no longer safe to used in today's modern arms?

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RicinYakima posted this 13 October 2022

It was never a SAAMI recognized cartridge, not was any revolver labeled and sold as a "38/44". There has not been any 38/44 ammo sold since SAAMI listed the 38 Special +P. The last was probable made about 1970, 50 years ago. 

If you go to your 1957 original Handbook of Cast Bullets by Lyman, you will find data on page 194.

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beltfed posted this 16 October 2022

Here are some PICS of my Peters No 3844 box/ brass with 
LARGE primer pockets

It is available

beltfed/arnie

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2frogs posted this 16 October 2022

I wanted to try some 38/44 loads in my Rossi 92. Them I noticed it says not to use any 38+p+ loads in it,which is basically a 38/44 load,or isn't it?. Guess I'll just stay with the plus p loads. Any comments appreciated.

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RicinYakima posted this 16 October 2022

I think that is a wise move, using what the maker says is OK. That extra 10,000 pounds doesn't get you much more. 

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