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Old 04-25-2012, 22:06   #1
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Defence load for a 40's K38 Masterpiece

I inherited a S&W K-38 Masterpiece from the late 40s (1949 I believe). It was my Dad's target Gun when he shot with Burbank Cal. Police Dept.
I want a good defence load, I don't think I would fire .38Spl+p. I'm looking for good .38 Spl. load. for this special to me revolver. I'm not sure I want to fire anything other .38Spl target wadcutter's.
Joe R
P.S. It has a 6IN Barrel. 08-11-02 if it had a # it would 14
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Last edited by XR750; 08-11-2012 at 17:49. Reason: Forgot to mention Barrel lenght....
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:30   #2
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148 grain wadcutters would be an adequate self defense load. I have a 1971 Model 15, which is also known as the K38 Combat Masterpiece, the same pistol you have.
They are not +P rated. I keep Hornady premium standard pressure 158 grain JHP (XTP bullet) in mine. At over a dollar a round I sure don't blast 'em off at the range, though.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:22   #3
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Though I've never shot any, Rice Paddy Daddy's suggestion sounds reasonable. I like that bullet weight, preferring it to using light weight bullets suitable for .380s.

I'd feel comfortable with any sort of standard velocity 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter load. Most standard velocity 158 grain loadings use round nose bullets but there ahve been a few SWC variations in the past.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:33   #4
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Thank you Rice Paddy Daddy & bmcgilvray I have been thinking about using .38 wadcutters rounds for some time.
In the late 70s loading the .38 wadcutters backwards with hollow base facing forward for increased expansion.
Since I no longer reload I will try the factory loads.
Joe R
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Last edited by XR750; 08-12-2012 at 15:23.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:12   #5
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Originally Posted by XR750 View Post
Thank you Rice Paddy Daddy & bmcgilvray I have been thinking about using .38 wadcutters rounds for some time.
In the late 70s loading the .38 wadcutters backwards with hollow base facing forward for increased expansion.
Since I no longer reload I will try the factory loads.
Joe R
Hi XR750, I carried .38 Special wadcutters for some time in my S&W 337 for defense. A year ago Federal released a batch of their .38 Special 125gr Nyclads to the market. That's what I now carry for defense in my S&W 337. While the Nyclads are currently discontinued by Federal, you may still be able to find a box or two at a gun shop. IMO there is no better defensive standard pressure .38 Special load than the Federal 125gr Nyclad.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:50   #6
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Thanks Richard I'll take a look for them......
Joe R
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