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Discussion Starter #1
I recently acquired an original (still has the hammer spur) 1938-production Enfield No2 Mk1 pistol (which is a top-break, very strongly based on the Webley No1 pistol, the .455), and due to the complete lack of .38 S&W ammo anywhere within a few hundred miles, decided to load my own rather than buy on-line.

I've got the Lee dies, new Starline brass, and the 145gr lead roundnose .361 diameter (specifically for .38 S&W ) bullets from Missouri Bullet Company.

However, the manuals I have (Lyman 42nd, 43rd, 44th, & 49th editions) all state that their loads are for "solid frame revolvers only, do not use in top-break revolvers".

Does anyone have a recommendation for powder brand/type and load weight?


Or should I just go with my gut and start ~10% lower than the loads in the Lyman manuals?
 

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I'm surprised you can't find loading info for the 38 S&W. I think the Brits call the load the 38-200 which I think it means a 38 cal and a 200 grain bullet.
 

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No real help but a couple of random thoughts.
In the world of topbreaks the Enfield service revolver probably ranks at the top strength wise. It was a mi-spec weapon fielded in the defense of their country with confidence . It was made by folks that knew how to measure and heat treat with modern metallurgy and designed for smokeless powder. While not magnum stuff the Brits did not issue wimpy ammo to the field.
That puts it lightyears ahead of 99% of the topbreaks out there. That 99% is what the manuals address most of the warnings about.
As such , if in proper shape I don't think you need to tread lightly.
But with that said you are probably not packing it with the expectation of needing one shot kills. You probably just want to shoot that thing.
So, no real need to push it past a good , firm load.
Just have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm surprised you can't find loading info for the 38 S&W. I think the Brits call the load the 38-200 which I think it means a 38 cal and a 200 grain bullet.
I can find lots of "solid-frame-only" loading data for the .38 S&W, just none for "top-break" pistols.

A 200gr round-nosed lead bullet fired at at a velocity of "over 570 fps @ 50 yards" was the original loading in the early testing - by the time it was accepted as a UK military weapon and approved for general issue (1937) the loading had changed to a jacketed 174gr bullet - hence the pistol markings reading ".38 cal".
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No real help but a couple of random thoughts.
In the world of topbreaks the Enfield service revolver probably ranks at the top strength wise. It was a mi-spec weapon fielded in the defense of their country with confidence . It was made by folks that knew how to measure and heat treat with modern metallurgy and designed for smokeless powder. While not magnum stuff the Brits did not issue wimpy ammo to the field.
That puts it lightyears ahead of 99% of the topbreaks out there. That 99% is what the manuals address most of the warnings about.
As such , if in proper shape I don't think you need to tread lightly.
But with that said you are probably not packing it with the expectation of needing one shot kills. You probably just want to shoot that thing.
So, no real need to push it past a good , firm load.
Just have fun.
Well, that is pretty much what I had gathered from some of my reading - but I just wasn't positive - and I don't want to damage either my Enfield No2 or myself! ;)

I expected the normal commercially loaded 145gr LRN ammo to be safe - I just wasn't sure how that would compare to the "solid-frame-only" loads in the Lyman manuals.
 

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Use a starting load and you can enjoy the revolver without pushing it over the edge.
 
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