Load data for .38 ACP?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Guest, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 8
    (11/27/02 2:47:24 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Load data for .38 ACP?
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    I just bought a Colt 1903 hammer gun in .38 ACP (NOT Super) and I want to shoot it. I know that the case is the same as Super so Super dies and brass and any 9mm/.38 bullet of appropriate weight and shape should work fine. But how 'bout some data?

    My "Cartridges of the World" lists a load of 5 gr of Bullseye with a 115gr jacketed bullet, but this book is really not a load manual, so I'm looking for something better. My old Hornady manual may have data, but I haven't been out to the shop to check yet.

    Thanks all.

    Rob

    1badmagnum
    Member
    Posts: 13
    (11/29/02 7:02:55 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Load data for .38 ACP?
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    the loads you have listed are for the super model. speer manual # 13 states these loads are not for use in 1900 and 1902 models,here is some data.

    115 grain
    blue dot---- 9 grains 1265 velocity
    aa #7 ----- 10.5 grains 1328 velocity
    aa#7 ---- 9.5 grains 1219 velocity
    aa#9 ---- 11.7 grains 1222 velocity
    viht 3n37 --- 7.7 grains 1323 velocity/7 grains 1188 velocity
    wsf----------6.8 grains 1282 velocity/6.2 grains 1164 velocity
    h.universal ---- 6.3 grains 1278 velocity/5.7 grains 1145 velocity
    wap---- 7.6 grains 1278 velocity/7.3 grains 1066 velocity
    herco----- 7 grains 1232 velocity
    hs-6 -----8.8 grains 1307 velocity/8 grains 1177 velocity











    Edited by: 1badmagnum at: 11/29/02 7:07:57 am

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2780
    (11/29/02 11:16:47 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Load data for .38 ACP?
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    That old .38 acp is not the best gun to hot rod load so be careful...don't use .38 Super data.

    Check out www.reloadammo.com

    They may have something for your caliber.

    I'm going there now to see.


    Opps, sorry, none listed nor is there any at hodgdon.com.

    I'll look in some of my old loading manuals and get back to you if there is anything for the .38 acp.

    Success! Found an old Hodgdon No. 20 reloading manual that has a couple of loadings.

    Using a lead cast 125 grain round nose bullet # 358242 with HS-6 powder and 6.8 grains will give you 1286 fps velocity.

    HS-5 powder 6.0 grains will give 1,042 fps velocity.

    TopMARK powder 4.5 grains will give 1,002 fps velocity...but, don't know if TopMARK is still being manufactured today...probably not.

    I am familiar with HS-6 and its a very good low pressure powder and would be the best choice...as I have use it extensively with good results.

    That's about it unless someone else has some old reloading manual data.

    Gunguy

    Edited by: AGunguy at: 11/29/02 11:44:28 pm

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 9
    (12/2/02 1:33:24 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Thanks for the info
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    I also found that my old Hornady manual (don't know the edition, but from the early- to mid-eighties) has data for the .38 ACP for bullets of 115, 124 and 125 grain.

    They list 5.0 of Bullseye as the max load for the 115 grain at about 1150 fps.

    Thanks again, guys.

    Rob

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3096
    (12/3/02 10:22:17 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Thanks for the info
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    Just a minute.......if you have a Colt Model 1903 it takes .380 ACP.....NOT .38 ACP.

    If you have the Military Model or Pocket Model, it should say "Calibre .38 Rimless Smokeless".....that's one designed for .38 ACP.

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2806
    (12/3/02 10:54:35 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Thanks for the info
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    Holy moly, you mean his early Colt is not a .38 acp.

    The .38 acp is a center fire cartridge and is way too long to chamber in a .380 acp.

    If that be the case.

    Gunguy

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 10
    (12/3/02 11:55:14 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer pistol
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    This is the "pocket" version of the 1902 Sporting pistol, with a hammer and chambered in .38 ACP (the older, weaker version of .38 Super). It is definately NOT a hammerless Model 1903 in .380 (I have a Hammerless 1903 in .32 ACP, though).

    Rob

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2811
    (12/3/02 2:37:17 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer pistol
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    Good deal, teddydogg. Glad you are on top of the situation.

    Please let us know how those handloads work out and what combination of powder and buddits you use. I like to see the old guns shoot but be careful and have it checked out by a gunsmith to see if its safe to shoot.

    Speaking of old guns, I see over at the S&W website you mentioned you had a Brazilian 1937 .45 acp. I also own one that I recently had restored and boy is it a pip.

    Reloading for it is a breeze, but a lot of guys think they can soup up those .45 Auto Rims to +P status. I disagree with that thinking as I once cut a ruined .45 auto rim brass into length wise and it doesn't have as thick a case web as the .45 acp. 950 fps is pushing the envelope on that brass.

    I enjoy shooting 750 to 800 fps velocity in those old Smiths.

    Hopefully, I've got a 1926 3rd model coming from some friends down south in .44 special.

    Gunguy

    Edited by: AGunguy at: 12/3/02 5:56:56 pm

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2822
    (12/4/02 6:21:45 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer pistol
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    Found another .38 acp loading for teddydogg, this one from Winchester No. 10 manual.

    130 grain F.M.C. bullet with 4.4 grains of 231 powder. This will move it at a very moderate 875 feet per second velocity and 20,000 CUP.

    Winchester 231 powder is a good one for uniform powder measurements because of its small ball shape granules.

    Gunguy

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 11
    (12/6/02 7:49:28 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Figured out how to post to this board
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    Here's a pic (from the auction house) of my Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer .38 Automatic Colt Pistol.



    Rob

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2838
    (12/6/02 8:29:08 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Figured out how to post to this board
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    Hey, neato pistola.

    Notice the wedge slide bar at the front of the slide, doesn't this have to be removed to dismattle the slide from the frame.
    This seems to be a throw back to the old Colt black powder revolvers that had a slide bar to hold the piece together.

    I've never seen one of these up close but bet it'll be great fun to shoot.

    Will the .38 super brass work OK in this gun, I would think it would...but not the same powder loading specs.

    Gunguy

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 12
    (12/9/02 12:21:46 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del I don't have the pistol in my hands yet
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    It has not arrived from the auction house yet. My understanding is that this model (and the 1900 and 1902) have TWO parallel barrel links: one at the front and one at the rear. To unlock, the two links swing the entire barrrel down (vs. a rear link swinging down the rear of the barrel only).

    Yes, the front pin has to be removed to disassemble the pistol.

    Rob

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3160
    (12/9/02 6:17:37 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: I don't have the pistol in my hands yet
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    Yep, Ted. The '03 Pocket pistol has the double link system.

    Colt didn't go to the single-link system until the Model 1909 (45 caliber) pistol was built and submitted for military trials in August '09.

    Bob In St Louis
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3391
    (12/10/02 4:10:33 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: I don't have the pistol in my hands yet
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    Check out some 9mm Largo ammo - I know a lot of the Spanish guns take 9mm Largo/38ACP interchangeably -

    Is this also the case the other way with a 38ACP taking 9mm Largo? If so, there is a lot of 9mm Largo ammo available.

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2863
    (12/10/02 7:26:03 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: I don't have the pistol in my hands yet
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    Dang it, I wish I had a loading manual on the .38 acp cartridge.

    We need to see the specs on brass dimensions, I curious about the interchangeability of what brass will work for this round.

    Can anyone shed any light on all of the .38 acp dimensions.

    Gunguy

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 13
    (12/10/02 8:20:21 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Don't know about 9mm Largo
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    I'll check my Cartridges of the World when I get home.

    The .38 ACP and .38 Super use a case with identical dimensions. Only the power level is different. Interestingly, about 30 years ago American companies agreed to mark ALL .38 Super brass as "+P" to help with safety and keep folks from using it in old ACP guns.

    Rob

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 14
    (12/11/02 7:52:10 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del More loads
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    Just got my Lee Carbide Dies today and their datasheet has some loads for the .38 ACP. Bullets from 115 gr to 130 grain and powders ranging from 700x, 800x, Accurate #7, #5 & #2, plus Blue Dot, Unique Bullseye, Green Dot, Red Dot and W231 for the heavier bullets. I should have no trouble building loads.

    Thanks for all your help guys.

    Rob
  2. evansr727

    evansr727 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    DID YOU EVER FIND AMMO FOR THE COLT? I JUST BOUGHT A 1902 MILITARY COLT AND I AM IN SEARCH OF AMMO TOO. THANK FOR ANY REPLY.
  3. wolfen1949

    wolfen1949 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    I use a 124 gr bullet in front of 4.5 grs of bullseye , works well in my Astra 400 and my CZ52 in 9mm Largo
  4. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,130
    Location:
    ND, USA
    A belated welcome to TFF wolfen!

    For those of you that still have an '02 Colt or other .38ACP pistol the current Hornady manual (#7) still lists data for the cartridge in 100, 115, and 124/125gr.
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