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 A better .357magnum snubby load?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
fsilber Posted - October 22 2018 : 8:29:45 PM
First, a question. Jackeded bullets are made with the jacket in front. The base is bare. Then, to make a hollow-point, they open the other end as well. Is there any reason a bullet cannot have the jacket in the back? It would be like making a FMJ full wadcutter, and loading it base first.

Assuming you could do it, this is my idea.

Suppose you started with a .38 special 200g jacketed full wadcutter, to be loaded backwards. Let's say that the jacket need not fully reach the front end of the bullet, so the exposed part were slightly narrower than the bore. The rifling would engage the jacketed part in back.
It would be made with dead-soft lead, and you could put a hollow-point on the exposed lead in front, and maybe even make some cuts in the jacket behind it to further aid expansion. You load it to run at 800 to 900 fps out of a two-inch .357 revolver.

I imagine that to reach this velocity with a 200g bullet out of a two-inch gun the pressure would be significantly greater than that of a .38special, but still well below that of the hottest .357 magnums. To prevent the bullets from shifting in recoil, a good crimp would be put on the case mouth to grab the bullet (on the jacketed portion.

This would give a small-frame revolver the ballistics of a .44special, or even of a .45acp. The slower, heavier bullet would burn the powder more efficiently than a lightweight supersonic bullet, with less muzzle-flash and blast. It would be like having a Charter Arms .44 special bulldog the size of a Chief's special. Or, fired from a K-Frame, it would be like having a six-shot N-frame .44special the size of model 19/65.

Really, the only reason the famed Chicago / St. Louis load (158g LHP +P) used a 158g bullet is that the agency's revolvers were already sighted in for that -- but we can buy and sight-in our own guns.

And back then they couldn't make a 200g bullet go fast enough to open the hollow-point was that it would be over-pressure for a .38special -- but we now have 11oz J-frames that can stand up to the .357magnum 125g JHP (even if our hands and ears cannot).

But why bust the skin and bones in our hand and destroy our hearing as well, if the load I describe would be a better improvement over the 158g LHP +P?
14   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
BobM77 Posted - July 10 2019 : 9:32:06 PM
I have 110 grain JHPs from Cor-Bon in my SP101. I saw them fired into gel at one of the Hoot-n-Shoots and thought they performed well.
CW2 Ralph Long Posted - July 10 2019 : 4:18:15 PM
I have to put in my two cents worth on the Super Vel .38 Special 90 grain JHP in .357 snubs. I have to agree with Evan on the idea that it's best suited for steel J frame .38s and .357 Magnums. But it is smokin' hot. The slowest chronographed speed was 1268 fps iirc. It peeled back past .51" through my hillbilly clothing barrier and water. It messed up three plastic milk jugs; so, it has to have some penetration ability. The fastest 2" velocity was around 1420 fps from a Ruger LCR .357. It is light, but for adversaries without body armor, it would have to be "uncomfortable" to walk around with inside.
Jim Higginbotham Posted - May 17 2019 : 07:50:34 AM
Originally posted by Frogfoot

Speer also makes a short barrel .357 Magnum load that features a 135 grain Gold Dot at a rated 990fps.

At one time Speer also made a 147 gr short barrel load for the .357 but I've only seen a couple of boxes and they seem to have discontinued it.

Jim H.
Frogfoot Posted - May 10 2019 : 03:25:39 AM
Speer also makes a short barrel .357 Magnum load that features a 135 grain Gold Dot at a rated 990fps.
Ten Driver Posted - May 09 2019 : 12:43:37 AM
The Golden Sabre is relatively mild for a .357 load—akin to the now-discontinued Remington “Medium Velocity” load that was designed for snubs.

Still too much horsepower for me in a 640. I prefer .38+P loads like Gold Dot or SXT, because they hit closest to the sights.
Ace Posted - May 05 2019 : 8:45:43 PM
Was moving some things around 'the room' the other day, discovered a case of about a dozen boxes of the Golden Saber load, plus three or four loose boxes. Don't even remember ordering them. Does Santa visit in the spring time? Ace
Evan Posted - May 05 2019 : 7:44:35 PM
Chronographed a bunch of .357 loads thru a 640 before my wife adopted it. The most pleasant was the Rem Golden Sabre. doable for me at least.
Nanuk Posted - May 04 2019 : 4:31:55 PM
I carry 125 grain Remington 357 mags in my 640. I am more concerned with terminal ballistics than noise, flash and recoil.
Chris Christian Posted - May 02 2019 : 2:23:43 PM
If it's not broke, why fix it? If the recoil is excessive, why not the Speer 135 .38 +P NYPD load. They seem happy with it.
Rexster Posted - May 02 2019 : 12:09:27 PM
I would need a really good reason to use anything other than 125-grain JHP/JHC in a .357 revolver. A small-frame five-gun would be a very good reason, but I try to dress around, and carry, GP100 and Speed Six revolvers, and have my antenna up for a nicely-kept pre-owned pre-keyhole L-Frame, or two.

FWIW, I used a Federal silver-box Hi-Shok 125-grain JHC during a Gravest Extreme event. Yes, one cartridge expended. I have never, in 33+ years of big-city police patrolling, seen such damage caused by a handgun bullet. (See Mas Ayoob for the definition of Gravest Extreme, in his book, _In The Gravest Extreme_.)

JHC is, or was, Federalese for JHP. Cavity, rather than Point. Cavity is more descriptive. It is easier for me to find Gold Dots, these days, and I doubt there is an appreciable difference in terminal effectiveness.

Evan Posted - October 24 2018 : 11:40:52 AM
Fed 125 gr jhp still keeps killing people with boring regularity!
Jim Higginbotham Posted - October 24 2018 : 10:06:55 AM
As Evan says the typical JHP uses a cup with the front open and the lead core and HP are swaged into it. The base is jacket material.

However, there are exceptions and that Black Talon (and subsequent designs of Winchester LE "Ranger") are as Frogfoot pointed out, open at the base (except for a "lip" of jacket).

Modern pistol jackets are usually tapered in thickness and the Talons are the opposite there as well with the front being thicker (to make sturdy "claws").

Speer Gold dots are also different in that they are totally jacketed to start (it is a plating process) and then the hollow point is punched in with a swage die leaving the cavity with lead exposed - whoever came up with that was pretty sharp.

I'm right fond of wad-cutters. And I've shot some 200 gr. bullets in .38s and .357s. The trick it to make them fast enough to stabilize since they are longer than 158s.

I've tried inverted hollow base wad-cutters in .38 (both handloads and some factory efforts). Typically they are not going fast enough to stabalize from a 1 7/8" barrel.

Cup points, OTOH, seem to work OK.

Just Ramblin'

Jim H.
Frogfoot Posted - October 23 2018 : 01:23:43 AM
From what I remember, the Winchester Black Talon bullets (in .45 ACP anyway) were open at the base as well as the front, but it's the only JHP bullet designed for a handgun I've seen made like that.
Evan Posted - October 22 2018 : 9:08:14 PM
The available rounds we have today have stood the test of time and I'm not so sure we can assume anything.

Al the jhps I've seen have a closed base I don't know where you're seeing them with an unjacketed base. Forums © 2002-16, Inc. Go To Top Of Page
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