Handguns and Loads

By Chuck Hawks


Here are some representative handguns and loads. In some pistols, particularly autoloaders, I must admit that I prefer to shoot factory loads, as I detest grubbing around on the ground picking-up the brass. I also think that it is wise to use factory loads for personal protection purposes.

On the other hand, I usually shoot handloads in revolvers. Some revolvers shoot so well with a particular handload that I seldom or never shoot factory loads. In some cases there is no equivalent factory load. One of the really nice thing about reloading is the ability to develop reduced power practice loads that civilize even the most fearsome magnum cartridge.

I have listed the brand and type of bullet, powder, primer, case, and the approximate velocity for all reloads. All of the reloads listed below have proven to be safe in my various handguns, but they may not be safe in yours! Guns vary, so before attempting to duplicate any of these loads please consult the major reloading manuals. Start with beginning loads and work up slowly to heavier loads. If you are a shooter and a reloader, you must be a responsible adult, so I accept no responsibility for your actions. For further information about the factory loads, consult the manufacturer's catalogs.

The muzzle velocity (MV) figures for the factory loads listed below are taken from the manufacturer's ballistics tables. Velocities for handloads are based on the figures provided in the reloading manual used to develop the load. Individual handguns will ordinarily give different (sometimes surprisingly different) velocities from the same load, so the figures quoted should be viewed as approximate.

 

.380 ACP

Autoloading pistol: Baikal IJ-70A (Makarov), 3.7" barrel.

Personal defense factory load: Federal Premium with 90 grain Hydra-Shok JHP bullet. MV 1000 fps.

Handload: Speer 95 grain TMJ bullet, 3.6 grains Win. 231 powder, CCI 500 primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 945 fps (Speer #13).


Autoloading pistol: Colt Mustang Pocketlite, 2.75" barrel.

Handload: Speer 95 grain TMJ bullet, 3.6 grains Win. 231 powder, CCI 500 primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 945 fps (Speer #13).

 

9mm Luger (9x19)

Autoloading pistol: Kahr PM9, 3" barrel.

Personal defense factory load: Winchester/USA Personal Protection with 115 grain JHP bullet. MV 1225 fps.

Handload: Speer 115 grain TMJ bullet, 5.0 grains Win. 231 powder, CCI 500 primer, Speer case. Estimated MV 1133 fps (Speer #13).


Autoloading pistol: Glock 19, 4" barrel.

Personal defense factory load: Federal Personal Defense with 115 grain JHP bullet. MV 1160 fps.

Handload: Speer 115 grain TMJ bullet, 5.0 grains Win. 231 powder, CCI 500 primer, Speer case. Estimated MV 1133 fps (Speer #13).

 

.38 Special

Revolver: Colt Cobra, 2" barrel.

Personal defense factory load: Federal Nyclad ("Chief's Special" load) with 125 LHP bullet. MV 830 fps.

Handload: 140 grain Speer JHP bullet, 4.8 grains Win. 231 powder, Win. WSP primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 825 fps (Speer #10).


Revolver: Colt Diamondback, 4" barrel.

Handload: 140 grain Speer JHP bullet, 4.8 grains Win. 231 powder, Win. WSP primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 825 fps (Speer #10).


Revolver: Colt Diamondback, 6" barrel.

Factory load: Remington/UMC with 130 grain FMJ bullet. MV 790 fps.

Handload: 140 grain Speer JHP bullet, 4.8 grains Win. 231 powder, Win. WSP primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 825 fps (Speer #10).

 

.357 Magnum

Revolver: Colt Ultimate Python, 4" barrel.

Handload: Speer 140 grain JHP bullet, 15.1 grains of #2400 powder, Win. WSP primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 1298 fps (Speer #13).

Practice handload: Speer 140 grain JHP bullet, 6.5 grains of Win. 231 powder, Win. WSP primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 1000 fps (Speer #13).


Revolver: Colt Python, 6" barrel.

Handload: Speer 140 grain JHP bullet, 16.2 grains of H110 powder, CCI 550 primer, Speer case. Estimated MV 1323 fps (Speer #13).


Revolver: Colt Python, 8" barrel.

Handload: Speer 140 grain JHP bullet, 15.1 grains of #2400 powder, CCI 500 primer, Speer case. Estimated MV 1298 fps (Speer #13).

Practice handload: Speer 140 grain JHP bullet, 6.5 grains of Win. 231 powder, Speer 500 primer, Speer case. Estimated MV 1000 fps (Speer #13).


Revolver: Ruger Blackhawk, 6.5" barrel.

Handload: Speer 146 grain JHP-SWC bullet, 8.8 grains of HS6 powder, CCI 550 primer, Speer case. Estimated MV 1142 fps (Speer #13).

 

.44 Remington Magnum

Revolver: Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter, 7 1/2" barrel.

Handload: Hornady 240 grain HP-XTP bullet, 20.8 grains of H110 powder, Win. WLP primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 1100 fps (Hornady #6).

Practice handload: Speer 200 grain JHP bullet, 11.0 grains of HS6 powder, Win. WLP primer, Winchester case. Estimated MV 1000 fps (Speer #13).

 

.45 Colt

Revolver: Colt S.A.A. New Frontier, 7 1/2" barrel.

Handload: Speer 200 grain JHP bullet, 11.0 grains of HS6 powder, Win. WLP primer, Federal brass. Estimated MV 945 fps (Speer #13).

 




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