I had been loading and shooting our the 125 grain TCFP bullet in the 38 Short colt case. I prefer the lighter bullets (120-130grain) for competition. We recently introduced the 145 grain RN NLG (Round Nose No Lube Groove) into our product line. LINK I decided to give these heavier bullets a try
Because these bullets have no lube groove the seating depth and overall length is up to the user. I choose XXX for OAL. This gives a smaller volume for the powder to work which I hoped would be more efficient. Also a shorter case should help in relaoding. Quicker out and quicker in for the moon clips.
I started with Clays for my load development. The 8 shots had 6 in the 950 fps and 2 in the 350 fps range. The slower sounds sounded like squib loads. The were not!!! I tried Titegroup; same results. I tried both new cases and once fired case...Same. I let it all rest and started new the next day. I checked my powder drop and all was good. WTF!!!
I then reached for WST powder. I don't know why I had some but heck let's give it a try. Well 3.7 grains produced an 8 shot string of 897 fps avg, 15 fps standard deviation and a power factor of just over 130. I believe ICORE power factor is 120. USPSA minor power factor is 125. So this load would make it. But to reliable knock down steel I thinking a but more to be on the safe side.
4.0 grains of WST gave 947 fps ave 17 fps standard deviation and a power factor of 137 to 140. I'm doing this testing at 6400 feet in altitude and not sure what these loads will do at a lower elevation.
WST is a common shotgun powder which is not very popular in handguns. Dont know how a day of shooting it will work out. That I will find our and report in Part 2 of this blog.