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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2430 Posts

Posted - January 01 2020 :  8:54:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am well into my last box of Rem. 158 lswhp ammo. Search as I may I can't find anymore. I do not care much for 110 gr stuff as it does not shoot to point of aim in my 642.
What do you folks recommend? I have a Ruger lcrx 3" with adj. sights so that will work for most anything, alas not the case for my 642. I did try Buffalo Bore lswhp they where brutal to shoot in my 642, but shot to point of aim.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper

ACP230
Advanced Member

1077 Posts

Posted - January 01 2020 :  11:53:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You might look at the Speer 135 grain, "Short Barrel" .38 Special.

"Never part with your weapons when you are in the field. You never know when, on some lengthy plain, you may suddenly need your spear." Old Norse saying.
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5492 Posts

Posted - January 02 2020 :  07:06:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I twice sent Federal a e-mail regarding the Nyclad standard pressure load. I told them that I personally shot it into a water tank at the crime lab, Ziploc bags filled with water, and a Deer that had been hit by a car and had to be humanely put down and the Nyclads expanded every time for me in my 2 inch J frame 38 snubs. Still no Nyclads back on the market.

They are smarter than me, but it was accurate, easy to shoot and I carried it for backup gun ammo with no concerns...

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...
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heavyweight
Senior Member

USA
858 Posts

Posted - January 02 2020 :  07:51:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Take a look at Federal 130 gr. HST. The jello tests on this round are most impressive.
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ajt
Average Member

USA
329 Posts

Posted - January 02 2020 :  4:59:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Russ, Underwood makes a 158 gr. LSWC and a LSWC HP +P that allegedly exceeds 1,000 fps in .38 Spec. I have fired both the Underwood and the Buffalo Bore in a Model 49 and a Model 10 and fully agree with you - the Buffalo Bore was brutal! I looked for the Speer 135 gr. JHP at the LGS and they were $29.99 for a box of 20! They didn't have a 158 LSWCHP in stock.
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Evan
Administrator

34639 Posts

Posted - January 02 2020 :  5:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Russ- SGAMMO

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2430 Posts

Posted - January 02 2020 :  7:49:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heavyweight, I tried the Federal 130 HST it shot way low I don't remember just how much but a lot at 7 yards that takes it out of the running. I will look into underwood. Evan, they are out of stock. The search goes on.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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WR Moore
Advanced Member

USA
1023 Posts

Posted - January 02 2020 :  8:09:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Federal 38G, I got my supply a couple years ago from ammunitiontogo.com.* Frankly, I've never been able to line up enough water jugs to catch anyone's 158 gr +P HP. Streichers usually has the 50 rd boxes of most stuff at around $30-35 a box.

*Right now, they've got Winchester in 50 round boxes and the Federal in 1000 round boxes.

Beware the politically obsessed. They are often bright and interesting, but they have something missing in their natures, there is a hole, an empty place and they use politics to fill it up. It leaves them somehow misshapen. Peggy Noonan


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BobM77
Advanced Member

USA
1456 Posts

Posted - January 03 2020 :  12:03:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recently switched to 148 gr wadcutters as I don't tolerate the recoil of +P ammo like I did 20-30 years ago.
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Evan
Administrator

34639 Posts

Posted - January 03 2020 :  12:33:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Russ-when the FBI issued the lead hp they were required to buy the low bidder and they saw very little difference between Win, Rem, or Fed. I bought my first box of Win lhp from Montgomery Wards!

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Evan
Administrator

34639 Posts

Posted - January 03 2020 :  12:44:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SG does have the 135 gr +P GD and NYPD and other PDs have been very happy with its performance!

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
3684 Posts

Posted - January 03 2020 :  1:47:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Evan

SG does have the 135 gr +P GD and NYPD and other PDs have been very happy with its performance!


+1. My tests show it's as good as you'll get from a 2 or 4 inch .38 Spl.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2430 Posts

Posted - January 03 2020 :  2:48:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks all, I found some Remington at Midway. Will order soon.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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CW2 Ralph Long
Average Member

USA
418 Posts

Posted - January 06 2020 :  8:28:02 PM  Show Profile  Click to see CW2 Ralph Long's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Like Evan, I was a happier person before I bought a chronograph and started testing velocities of my factory loaded self-defense ammunition. I have had velocity variations from the Speer .38 Spl. GD 135 grain +P as great as 105 feet per second in a single box (same lot no.). The slower ones came in just under 800 f.p.s. from my Colt Agent and an S&W 638-no expansion whatsoever They work well from any 4" barrel and pretty good from the 3incher I tried them (my wife's LCR). They have to be going at least 850 f.p.s. to have a prayer of opening up through heavy clothing. Evan says manufacturers load to pressure limits and not to advertised velocities. He's definitely onto something from my chronograph experience.

I have a few boxes left of the old (orange and white box) Winchester LHP +P from the '80s & '90s. Those bullets are soft enough and travel fast (840-860 f.p.s) enough to expand to .44-.46 caliber from my 2 inch Colt Agent when shot through water and a couple of sweat shirts and two layers of overall denim. Some WW LHP +P I found in the last five years comes in at around 805 f.p.s. from my 2" guns and have harder lead bullets. They could be reloaded in their resized cases. While looking for a standard velocity replacement for the Nyclad, I stumbled onto the Winchester 130 grain JHP Defender. It got around 810 f.p.s. from my 2 inchers and they expanded to over .50 through water and my "hillbilly" clothing barrier.

The current Federal 158 grain LHP +Ps have the hardest bullets and zero expansion, even from my 4" Model 15 even while averaging 889 f.p.s. The three lot numbers of Federal HST 130 grains I've shot so far are way slower than advertised but expand to .68-.70 cal. even at 795 f.p.s.

Remington 158 grain +P LHPs currently have the softest lead bullets and they expand at 850 f.p.s. and above. I got velocity and expansion similar to the old Winchester LHP +Ps. I have had consistently good results from several lots of Remington +P 125 grain Golden Sabers in all barrel lengths. Except for Super Vel, .38 Golden Sabers have the highest actual vs. advertised velocity of all the .38 Special defense rounds I've tested.

I recently tested a couple of boxes of the new Super Vel 90 grain JHP +Ps. They chronographed at 1312 f.p.s. in my Agent and 1395 f.p.s. from my wife's 3" .38 LCR. Penetration stopped in the second water filled milk jug after exploding it and the first one; expansion...well the bullet flattened out to .58 cal. They're going for about $23.00 for twenty rounds. The other day I got an online offer for free shipping if I bought at least a "hunnert dollar worth."

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed;
if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may
come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Winston Churchill
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9855 Posts

Posted - January 07 2020 :  3:21:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Speer 135 short barrel load is about as low as I will go. I've tested the new Federal Micro load in both water and wet pack - it did not expand and it did not penetrate all that well and it only got a little over 800 fps in a 1 7/8" barrel - maybe 830? I'd have to look it up.

Buffalo Bore and Double Tap make 147 wadcutter loads that are non +P and hover around 800 - I think the Double Tap was around 750 or so from a short barrel.

I won't go with the big 3 factory wadcutters as they are down around 600 fps and that does not give me any confidence in bones - though they probably penetrate enough soft tissue (hint, if all you are hitting is soft tissue you are missing! or almost missing).

I bought a case of the Remington +P 158 - it did not expand in a 2" gun (a real 2" not a 1 7/8") nor does it expand in a 2.25" 640 - it might get there in a 3" but I haven't tried it. The Federal LHP did not either. All three of the big makes get around 790 to 806 fps in a 2" barrel. The Winchester is the only one of the three that I've gotten to expand (yes I've seen test where others expanded in gel).

Some boutique makers have +P loads that get more. Buffalo Bore, Underwood and Double Tap.

I've not seen many 125s expand - even +Ps The Winchester 130 "defend" seems to expand but 130s are so light I wonder if expansion then would not mean poor penetration.

Just Ramblin' I've gone back to handloads in .38 with the exception of the boutique makers. But I do consider the Speer 135 Gold dot a possible fill in. The rounds that reside in my 640 .357 right now are Buffalo Bore 158 gas check HP +P loads they get right at 1000 fps from the 2.25" barrel.

Jim H.


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Edited by - Jim Higginbotham on January 07 2020 3:22:59 PM
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Deputy25
Advanced Member

USA
1000 Posts

Posted - January 08 2020 :  2:57:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My family has been using the Buffalo Bore 158 lead HP-GC standard velocity in our j-frames. It is accurate and expands well. Have only used it on some injured big game (deer) and a few hogs.

Be the person your dog thinks you are.
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840
Junior Member

USA
207 Posts

Posted - January 09 2020 :  02:15:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BobM77:
I recently switched to 148 gr wadcutters as I don't tolerate the recoil of +P ammo like I did 20-30 years ago.
And herein lies one of the considerations many of us seem to have to consider with age, loss of strength and mobility issues ... and I'm one of them. Had to trim down and adjust my semi-autos to just two that I can still work the slide on. Revolvers, my favorites, I had to thin out the heavier ones I can't handle well anymore.

I'm down to four revolvers with my two primary-use being a 3" S&W Model 60 .357 Mag. and a newer Ruger LCRx, also a 3" .357 Mag. They can handle the more potent caliber, but the bulk of what they'll be using is .38 Spl. I also have a .38 / .357 lever action Win. 94AE 'carbine' that I mainly use for hunting, but it can be called into service and make use of the 125 gr. SJHP loads I have in .38 and .357.

While I'm comfortable at the present with the .38 Spl. loads I have on-hand now, abt. 40 left-over Fed. 130 gr. Hydra Shock, Hornady 125 Gr. Am. Gunner XTP and Rem. 125 Gr. SJHP +P's, I'm low on what I want.

I just picked up a box of 148 Gr. HBLWC that I need to shoot and check velocity, and if too wimpy I'll look for something else. But what I want to have on-hand and usually carry more often are 148 Gr. wadcutters and 158 Gr. LSWC-HP's. Of the big three I used to favor Remington, but that was many years ago. I just finished off the last of my old-stock ammo this past summer and fall. The one I want they don't make anymore.

Back in the LE 'Revolver Days' I issued 158 Gr. LSWCHP's and cases were head stamped S&W +P. I traded ammo with several FBI and local LEO's at some matches when we were doing a Bowling Pin Shoot. I was smacking the pins off the table very smartly and they wondered if I was using .357 Mag. That S&W stamped ammo was loaded by Fiocchi, but they don't make it now.

All my shopping these days is directed at finding the best .38 Spl. 148 Gr. WC, even backwards-seated if it's out there and decent. Also 158 Gr. LSWCHP ... both in "standard" pressure or just not too hot-rodded.

'840'

Yes, I too have my semi-autos, but folks need to credit the serious versatility of a good revolver with a serviceable load.

Edited by - 840 on January 09 2020 02:17:28 AM
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WR Moore
Advanced Member

USA
1023 Posts

Posted - January 09 2020 :  4:20:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
About 125 gr loads....the Remington 125 gr SJHP loaded in their HTP series can expand reliably. Depends on velocity. Loaded over what's supposed to be a standard pressure dose of Power Pistol, my 4 inch 64 gets ~1000 f/s with no excessive pressure indicators and 50+ caliber expansion. Can't recall the penetration off the top of my head, but it's livable.

Beware the politically obsessed. They are often bright and interesting, but they have something missing in their natures, there is a hole, an empty place and they use politics to fill it up. It leaves them somehow misshapen. Peggy Noonan


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840
Junior Member

USA
207 Posts

Posted - January 12 2020 :  09:26:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by WR Moore:
About 125 gr loads....the Remington 125 gr SJHP loaded in their HTP series can expand reliably. Depends on velocity. Loaded over what's supposed to be a standard pressure dose of Power Pistol, my 4 inch 64 gets ~1000 f/s with no excessive pressure indicators and 50+ caliber expansion. Can't recall the penetration off the top of my head, but it's livable.


I appreciate the reply. A "standard pressure" of ±1000 fps with reliable expansion is definitely a good thing. Way back when my main source for evaluating bullet performance, for penetration and expansion, were coyotes. I never was confronted with a lethal threat by any of them, but I've also never feared for my life by a wet phonebook, water-filled jug (singularly or in a group), or a jug of milk, pack of bologna, rack of ribs, or different colors or shapes of gelatin.

With all the different testing mediums out there, I'm curious what you used to get the .50+ caliber results from those .357 caliber HP's? You are talking about a factory produced load and not hand-loads, correct? I prefer to not tote hand-loads for defensive purposes and legal issues, but have used some on critters.

I mainly used various 158 Gr. LSWC-HP's and 125 Hr. SJHP's, as well as some 148 Gr. HBWC's that were backwards-loaded by my brother and were getting about ±850 fps. They worked well, also.

'840'

Yes, I too have my semi-autos, but folks need to credit the serious versatility of a good revolver with a serviceable load.
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9855 Posts

Posted - January 14 2020 :  5:04:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WR Moore

About 125 gr loads....the Remington 125 gr SJHP loaded in their HTP series can expand reliably. Depends on velocity. Loaded over what's supposed to be a standard pressure dose of Power Pistol, my 4 inch 64 gets ~1000 f/s with no excessive pressure indicators and 50+ caliber expansion. Can't recall the penetration off the top of my head, but it's livable.



Yes, it does depend on velocity. I was involved as an expert witness in a Homicide in which the deceased was shot with the Remington 125 gr. +P fired from a S&W 442 at a range of just a couple of feet.

The bullet did not hit bone, traveled 10" in flesh and did not expand, did not even deform. The fellow shot was not exactly a body builder but he must have had some dense muscles - it took him 4 days to die.

Memphis PD carried this load back in the late 70's. From their 4" guns expansion was "iffy" but it sometimes did.

Jim H.

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Tom-R2
Starting Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - January 20 2020 :  05:44:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a bullet manufacturer online: gtbullets, they have several all lead HPs for reloading. I have NOT used any, but have been considering buying some to try out. They have a 145grain (also 130, and 160 grain) lead HP for 38/357. I have no idea how they perform, I'm just throwing it out there in case someone wants to experiment with them. I'm aware of all of the various opinions about carrying handloads, that's a decision everyone has to make for themselves dependent on their situation.
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9855 Posts

Posted - January 20 2020 :  08:21:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom-R2

There is a bullet manufacturer online: gtbullets, they have several all lead HPs for reloading. I have NOT used any, but have been considering buying some to try out. They have a 145grain (also 130, and 160 grain) lead HP for 38/357. I have no idea how they perform, I'm just throwing it out there in case someone wants to experiment with them. I'm aware of all of the various opinions about carrying handloads, that's a decision everyone has to make for themselves dependent on their situation.



I really like these people. In tests in both water and newsprint they, even with something to represent bone (which does exactly like pig ribs with BBs) and 4 layers of denim the .45 260 gr LHP expands to nearly an inch at 850 fps!

I use both of their .38s, same thing except of course they only expand to about .57 to .6 "

I've asked them to make a .475 diameter bullet for the .475 Linebaugh and .480 Ruger for thin skinned game.

They sure seem to be good folks, everything I've ordered from them arrived as ordered and expeditiously.

Jim H.

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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2430 Posts

Posted - January 20 2020 :  10:33:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The main reason I want a 158 hp is because it shoots to point of aim in my 642. Most other lighter stuff hits way to low for me. I am not adverse to using a handload for carry if I can't find factory stuff. As I said before Midway has some.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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Pop Pop
Advanced Member

USA
1217 Posts

Posted - January 20 2020 :  11:46:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Russ, why not try Cor Bon DPX in 38Spl? I find it a little softer shooting than the 158 gr and the all Copper Bullitt expands well with good penetration. For sure you may need to float a loan to purchase a box, as it is not cheap, but I like it.

I got some Buffalo Boar 158 gr, but in my 642 recoil is rather nasty.

Pop Pop

Edited by - Pop Pop on January 20 2020 11:49:20 AM
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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2430 Posts

Posted - January 20 2020 :  1:04:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pop Pop

Russ, why not try Cor Bon DPX in 38Spl? I find it a little softer shooting than the 158 gr and the all Copper Bullitt expands well with good penetration. For sure you may need to float a loan to purchase a box, as it is not cheap, but I like it.

I got some Buffalo Boar 158 gr, but in my 642 recoil is rather nasty.




PP;
I have some old Cor Bon 110 stuff. You are right it is softer shooting but still shoots low. Nasty is a good term for the BB stuff, it is regulated to my 4" guns now.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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CW2 Ralph Long
Average Member

USA
418 Posts

Posted - January 20 2020 :  1:30:40 PM  Show Profile  Click to see CW2 Ralph Long's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
If you are patient, the Remington folks should produce some more of the LHP +Ps soon. They seem to manufacture a couple of cartridge types and bullet weights and then move to some others. It's about time for the Golden Saber 125 grain and the 158 grain LHP's .38 Specials to show up again. If you go to Target Sports USA and SG Ammo websites, they have a place you can get text and email notices when what you are looking for arrives.

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed;
if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may
come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Winston Churchill
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