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I recently purchased a PT1911 stainless in 38 Super and am looking for some moderate loads for range fun. I have a good supply of Bullseye and Unique powders plus a large box of Ranier 124 grain bullets I originally purchase for my .357 Sig. Does have anyone have any suggested loads? I don't shoot competively any more. Getting too old and my eyes aren't what they once were. I read that the 38 Super needs a fully supported barrel. Does the PT1911 have a fully supported barrel? This is my first post here so forgive me if this ground has been plowed before.
 

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5.5 grains of Bullseye gives 1134 fps in a full-length barrel.

6.7 grains of Unique will give you around 1177 fps.

These are starting loads, do not require Magnum primers, and shoot mildly.

The original .38 Super had accuracy problems due to it's manner of head-spacing. That was corrected in the 1980s. Fully supported chambers usually are required for heavy loads, in any caliber. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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The PT1911 in 38 Super does not have a fully supported barrel, to my knowledge the only Pt1911 that has a fully supported barrel is the 9 MM.
The only time that you are likely to encounter problems with this is where shooters are trying to meet major requirements for the 38 Super in competition, as these loads are well above SAAMI standards for even the plus p rounds.
I don't use the 124 as a range load, instead use the 115 grain R/N plated and find that due to the case capicity of the 38 Super and the full length barrel that a bit slower powder meeets my needs better.
I load the Ranier 115 R/N with accurate #5 @ 7.9 grains and a OAL of 1.270, this produces about 1250 FPS by the books.
starting load is about 7.2 grains, max is about 8.1 or until you see pressure signs.
My particular gun settled in at the 7.9 grains.
this is for me a quite clean powder so i assume that its getting a good burn in the barrel.
Generallly the medium burn powders seem to be best in the 38 Super.
Hope you enjoy yours as much as i have mine and welcome to the forum.
 

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Welcome to TaurusArmed.net!:wave:

Congratulations on your recent acquisition of your PT1911 .38 Super.:thumb:

I recommend that take the time to read the FAQ section, and check out the information on the sticky topics found at the top of each section’s page; where you will find a wealth of information which will give you a jump-start as a new member.

Be sure to check in each day, for there will always be new and interesting threads to read and participate in.
 

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Welcome to the Forum!
 

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ive never had any luck with 124 gr plated bullets in a 38 super ,but to each there own . ive got a rock island 38 super ive tried several differant bullets and powders in it , what seems to work best for me is the 158 gr lrn bullets that i cast for my 357 mag resized to .356 charged with 5.6 gr unique . nice grouping and pretty accurate at 25 yrds bench rested .
 

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I just noticed while reading through my Hodgdon Reloading 2012 Annual Manual, a 147 grain Hornady XTP with 11.0 grains of Lil'Gun @ 1,207 fps. And while at first look I'm thinking this is an OK load for that bullet, what gets my attention is the pressure rating of 28,100 psi. Now that is probably a Hodgdon max because it is getting to be a compressed load (manual does not say), but still it is impressive. Then I look down at the suggested starting load of 10.0 grains pushing that bullet at 1,111 fps with a pressure of only 22,200 psi, now THAT is impressive when you understand that the .38 Super SAMMI max pressure rating is 36,500 psi, so this starting load is 61% of max rated pressure at just over 1,100 fps. That max load of 11.0 grains of Lil'Gun is still only at 77% of max pressure, so I'm wondering if that is not only a top PD/Hunting load for the .38 Super, but also a good reduced recoil load.

Now I don't have a .38 Super, or I would be looking at this load right now, but a target load 147 grain XTP, or the new and cheaper HAP target bullet, running low pressures and 1,100 fps sounds like a dream come true. While a 1,200 fps personal defense load for the 147 grain XTP, again at relatively low pressure (and possible reduced recoil) would be at the top of my stuff to CC list. So has any one tried this yet?

BTW the Hodgdon Reloading manual says this is out of a 5" barrel, so your PT-1911 pimp guns should be getting roughly the same performance. And OAL is 1.260". Also, I would advise against using mag primers with this powder. Lil'Gun is really made to perform best in the big revolver magnum cartridges and the magnum primers in a small case like the .38 Super will not only burn much hotter, but the pressure will spike much higher than what you want. This could also be the reason Hodgdon is only pushing this load to 28,100 psi, just in case someone decides to use a magnum primer, we don't know since they are not saying.
 

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I haven't tried that heavy of a projectile yet, and honestly the 38 super is really just a fun range gun for me, I did load some Speer gold dots in 115 grain just in case that i wanted to carry it.
that load is using HP-38 at 6.0 grains and 1.250 OAL, i would have to check the PSI and FPS, but the PSI is well below max operating pressure and i think the FPS is in the 1150-1200 FPS range???
standard small pistol CCI primers.
Funny thing is the recoil is a bit stouter and increased muzzle flash (not severe) with the Hp-38 over the Accurate #5, even though the #5 produces a bit more FPS.
Accurate #5 has been a sweet little powder in this cartridge for me.
I'll write the loadings down that you listed for future trials.---Thanks.
 

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I had always heard that the .38 Super really shines with the heavier bullets. I really would like to see someone shoot those loads, I have a feeling the Lil'Gun may be throwing a good flame too. I use it in my .458 SOCOM AR, so I was a little surprised to see Hodgdon providing data for it on the .38 Super and it was one of the best performers in that caliber too.

I am not sure, but I think AA #5 has just a little flash suppressant added. Not surprised the HP-38/W231 is a little more brisk. The faster powders when loaded to the same pressure level as a slower powder will seem a bit brisker because the faster powder has the faster recoil pulse too. Stretching out the pulse makes the recoil seem to be a bit lighter.
 

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I have loaded the Hp-38, Unique, and Accurate #5 so far in the 38 Super, nothing else.
there are some speed of light powders out there at 1500 + FPS in the cartridge but for plinking/target practice any of the three works in my gun well, the Accurate #5 just seems a bit better.
I agrre from the load data the 38 Super really outperforms the 9 mm with the heavier stuff.
I need to quit shooting so much and work up some all copper loads for the 380, 9 MM and 38 Super.
 

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Congrats! The .38 Super is a lot of fun, and very versatile.

I had been shooting 125 Gr Zeros in my .38 Supers, but recently tried the Berrys 124 Gr HBRN TP bullet. It shoots great. The TP stands for thicker plating. They are coming out with a 115 Gr soon as well. I even ran some 124's to 1400 FPS in my SA .38 Super (Do not try this with the stock Taurus .38 Super), and they held up just fine with good accuracy.

I like AA #2 or N320 for light loads (I have a 4 pounder of both), but several powders work well. The HP-38/W-231 and AA #5 mentioned are both good choices as well for standard loads.
 
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