Here’s a couple loads for service or carry handguns chambered for the 38 Special. These loads are intended to maximize velocity without excessive muzzle flash when fired in service or carry revolvers.
From a 4” barreled Ruger Service Six, the following load produced the 125gr JHP velocity in the table below. Data is for a 6 shot string.
This load above is right at Hodgdon’s published maximum for the 38 Special (NON +P), so approach with caution.
Below is a good 38 Special +P load. Use this load only in revolvers suitable for use with +P loads. Data is for a 6 shot string.
The load above is right at Hodgdon’s published maximum for the 38 Special +P, so it should be approached with caution. Somewhat higher velocity can probably be achieved with HS6 loads at +P pressures, but I have yet to pursue them. Both HS6 and W231 work very well in the 38 Special.