.38 Midrange wadcutter?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by Mark, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Is there anybody currently building a 1911 style pistol chambered for the .38 special? What I have in mind is a target pistol like the Colt National Match in .38 wadcutter.
    Mark
  2. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

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    You need a Smith 52, just no new ones
  3. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    Yea the 52's are nice
  4. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Having owned a couple, I would say folks are touting you in the right direction.
    They will hit anything you can see, if you hold well.
    I own a couple of Colt "wad guns", at more than twice the price of the Smith, and they shoot no better.
  5. hoser1

    hoser1 New Member

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    Para came out with a new 38 super. Sure beats a 38 special!
  6. billt

    billt Former Guest

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    [​IMG]

    This is my Smith & Wesson Model 52 chambered for the .38 Special Cartridge. I'm not sure but I thought S&W dropped production of these guns not too long ago. It shoots like dream. 3 grains of Bullseye on top of a 148 Gr. wadcutter is just enough to kick the slide open and drop the brass at your side, not halfway across the range. Smith isn't necessarly noted for their autos, but this and the Model 41 are 2 of the best I own. Bill T.
  7. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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  8. billt

    billt Former Guest

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    Are you saying .3 of a grain blows your groups open????? Bill T.
  9. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Bill: I use that load because of the accuracy it has given me for many years, in the 52; upping the charge to 3.0 Gr increases the charge by 11%, and the recoil, as well.
    2.7 gr of Bullseye gives full recoil in a clean pistol, and just barely 'bumps' the frame, with the slide, where 3.0 'raps' the slide, making recovery, out of the secondary recoil, when the slide stops suddenly, slower.
  10. AGB

    AGB New Member

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    Bill and Stash,

    I do not use bullseye because it is not easily available here, I do use CBC 216, that is the choice for reloading this ammo according to the CBC factory instructions. Went fron 2.9 to 2.3 when the gun stops cycling properly. Got the best results around 2.5. Have a couple 52's, one -1 and a -2. The -1 is well used, but still in good shape, and I fear going hard on in and spoil the gun. With more than 2.7 the gun shows more recoil and no improvements on the group size. I've been reloadong with this amount 2.5 grains and i'm quite happy to it.
  11. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    AGB; what are your muzzle velocities, if known, with these loads?
    You just said what I did, about a powder I know nothing about, but my bet is 780-810 fps, for the 'sweet' load, and 830-850, for the 'banger'.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
  12. AGB

    AGB New Member

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    Stash247,

    I have no acess to any timing device here. At once I found a table comparing the burning speed of our popular powders with the bullseye ones, but dunno where it is. Guess your numbers are quite close to reality.
  13. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    AGB, you found what I found; the 'sweet spot' in the load, and jumped on it, for the same reasons I did!
    Different climate, different powder, but, same rules!
    In a 1911, in .45 cal, with serious threats about, I'll gladly sacrifice a pistol, for immediate energy, and 'suck up' the recoil, as a cost of doing business!
    This is a 'wad gun', designed only to put all the shots close together, and recoil is an adversary to that end; a load that shoots well, and puts the slide just far enough back, close, but not hitting, the frame, fully compressing the recoil spring, is the ultimate load, for rapid fire!
    The empirical method you used yields no numbers, in velocity, but the results are obvious, to the shooter; the darned gun just keeps coming back to target!
    Could we load, 'on the spring' for other calibers, their accuracy would improve, as well!
  14. blackhawkkid308

    blackhawkkid308 Member

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    my 52-2 likes 2.7g bullseye with a 148g dewc.
    bhk308
    [​IMG]
  15. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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  16. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat New Member

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    I was gunna mention the smith in LA as well. He makes great stuff. Them's some pretty 52's. What blue book on those these days?
  17. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    The S&W Model 52 has become quite a pricey gun now that they are out of production.

    Most shooters in the USA have stopped shooting a .38 caliber gun for bullseye competition. They use their .45s for both the .38 match and .45 match.
  18. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Smash, have no idea about the bluebook price. I will buy every one I see, as all seem to be well cared for, when I find them at $600 US, or less.
    They are certainly worth that money, if one deires a totally useless pistol for any purpose but punching paper (LOL), extremely well!
    Aside from the intended purpose, and my last comment, the pistol might well make an excellent 'House gun', with a lot of liability intervention, as a sideline!
    Being a 'Target gun', by design, and execution, nobody could really offer a 'Dirty Harry' mentality as a basis for some 'bad actor' having been shot in a 'home invasion' scenario, should it come to court. Just a thought.
  19. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat New Member

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    The main thing that I recall on the 1911 versions was that the mags were finiky and expensive. Not sure I'll ever buy one, but it is a unique piece of hardware.
  20. yellowf4

    yellowf4 New Member

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    I have thousands of rounds of 38 wadcutter loaded and they are just waiting for a nice 52 to come along. I can't find one of these great guns that anyone will part with for less than $1000 which is WAY too much. I have been looking for years with no luck. Anyone want to sell theirs?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2006
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