9mm and .38 special W231 loads

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by bernie57, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. bernie57

    bernie57 New Member

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    my first post, and this question probably been asked too many times,I havent reloaded 9mms for about 10 years, I have on hand 25 LBs of Winchester 231
    powder, every gun show I would allways buy primers and powder, somehow I kept buying W231 for my .45acp loads and .38 specisl target loads, just lately I found how much W231 I hoarded away, cant use it for shotgun, and load data has changed from my Speer 13 manual 1998 manual, the data in this manual is far from what is on the internet, 9mm and 38 special load data is either above or below whats in my reloading books,(I should buy a few new books)but anyway I loaded 800 rds of 9mm with 5.1 grs of 231, they seem to shoot well 115 gr FMJ, now onto 38 special, I wanted to use 231 for a P+ 38
    load, I have a ton of shells to load, BUT with a 125 grJHP the Speer manual says 5.9 max but 2 places say 4.9 max on the net, both are Hodgdon, Winchester, IMR, reload web sites,downloaded PDF reader with same load data but no plus P loads with 231, what is max for .38 +P with winchester 231?
    thank you
  2. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    From the Hornady 7th Ed manual:
    .38Spcl
    125gr XTP-HP or XTP-FP
    WW231
    4.8gr - 800fps <-Starting load
    5.1gr - 850fps
    5.4gr - 900fps
    5.7gr - 950fps <-MAX load and marked as +P

    The Hodgdon online data center only shows one .38Spcl 125gr +P load with HP-38 (the same powder as WW231). It also uses Hornady 125gr XTP
    5.3gr - 1019fps - 19,800cup <-this is tagged as a max load

    On the Hodgdon data center, the .38Spcl +P data is separate from the .38Spcl...next choice down the list.
    That 4.9gr load you found there is the max for NON +P pressure. Only 16,300cup pressure for that load.


    And welcome to TFF!
  3. bernie57

    bernie57 New Member

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    I should buy new manuals not depend on you giving me data from your manual
    and I appreciate the info, thanks! Speer NO.13 manual 5.9 max with W231 and 4.9 at Hodgdon web site, too much difference in data, I want a +P load with these JHPs, and these are being shot from a SP-101 .357 with a a 2 1/4" barrelbarrel, so fast powder no powder wasted like if I use H-110 plus HUGE muzzle flash with H-110, maybe I'll ask for Lymans 195 gr. RN bullet load with 231? thanks,I wil;l order a new manual Lymans would be better with all the cast bullets I load,
  4. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    5.3gr is the +P max load on the Hodgdon site. It is still quite a difference from 5.7gr(Hornady manual) or 5.9gr(Speer manual) though.
    The Hodgdon data is generally more conservative than most of the bullet maker's manuals. Not sure exactly why, but I've seen it with both their handgun and rifle data. It's still good data though and it is one of my main go-to manuals.
    I suspect Hodgdon uses pressure test barrels with SAAMI minimum spec chambers for their load development which will peak at a lower charge than most regular chambers will. But they do this because there might be a minimum spec chamber in some gun out in the real-world that would get an overload from data developed in a looser chambered gun.


    WW231/HP38 is an excellent cast bullet powder for both .38 and .357 so even if you do decide on another powder for your 125gr loads you can still burn it up in plinking loads.
    I use it for 148gr wadcutters and 158gr SWC.
    I've never loaded any heavier lead bullets in either cartridge though but I'd suspect it'll still work just fine if you can find data for the combo.
  5. bernie57

    bernie57 New Member

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    I reload mostly .45 acp 200 gr.SWC 5.0 grs of W231, bullseye target and I try for steel plates timed, never make the speed of most shooters, and .38 special target and carry and shoot cans coons,oppussums, my load I carry every where. now W231 is a great powder for ONLY light handgun loads, cant use it in shotguns or anything else, only powders I have are HS-6 for slugs and buckshot in my shotgun, the other powder is H-110 for mag loads in .357 and .44 mags,somehow I collected more W231 over the years and I'm just trying to use it up, I make my own bullets with Lee molds,all hangun and slugs, shot, from Lee loads.I will have to buy a Lyman reload book with all their cast bullets, and I hope Lyman includes Lee slug loads too,my old Lyman only had Lyman slug data, and I will buy some Bluedot for slugs, maybe some Unique for all other wierd loads, I evenb reload the .25acp, talk about a single stage nightmare.just need to spend money and hope wife doesn't cut my balls off. thanks for info
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