.38 Special load recipe – for plinking, using Berry’s bullets and TiteGroup powder

Now that I’ve settled upon a .38 Special load, I thought it’d be good to give it its own entry for ease of finding it.

First attempt here. Results here. Chrono results and last word here.

This is a recipe for .38 Special (not +P). The goal is for a plinking/practice load. Something that doesn’t cost too much. I don’t want it to be a high power load so I can shoot a lot of them in a practice session or a class, but I also don’t want it too wimpy because I’d like it to still have some oomph so practice sessions don’t get too comfortable and have too much of a leap towards self-defense ammo.

The gun used is a Smith & Wesson 442 snub nose revolver with a 2″ (well, 1 7/8″) barrel.

I may no guarantees about this data. Use at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for yourself and your actions. Your mileage may vary.

Bullet — Berry’s Manufacturing Preferred Plated Pistol Bullet, .38 caliber, 158 grain, round nose (RN), double-struck (DS)

Powder — Hodgdon Titegroup, 3.5 grains

Primer — Remington 1 1/2 small pistol primer

Case — CBC (Magtech) brass, used

Cartridge Overall Length — 1.510″

Crimp — “light” Lee Factory crimp

In my testing that produced a velocity of 581 feet-per-second, which is reasonable for a 158 grain bullet and compared well against a Magtech factory load (158 grain LRN). Again remember, this is standard .38 Special NOT .38 Special +P.

Note as well, this is merely one recipe. Over time I may change it or just switch to something else entirely. But as of this writing, it’s what I’m using for my plinking loads.

8 thoughts on “.38 Special load recipe – for plinking, using Berry’s bullets and TiteGroup powder

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