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Old March 8, 2005, 09:40 PM   #1
geologist
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Best defense load for SW Airweight

New guy's first post.

Great Forum guys. i read about this forum on Canadian Gunnutz.

I'm getting an aluminum framed Airweight in .38 Spl this week.

Can anyone suggest a good commercial load for defense? We have goblins here in Canada too!

I also need a recommendation for a good practice load.

I handload as well so any home recipes are welcome and will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 8, 2005, 10:37 PM   #2
USP45usp
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geologist,

First, I don't have an SW Airweight so I can't help you on that but, please excuse my ignorance, you folks can have pistols up there?

Heck, just to try to book a hunting trip is tons of paperwork and that is for a rifle (I didn't, just looked into it).

Again, sorry for my ignorance.

edited to add: Pardon me, I forgot to say, Welcome to The Firing Line .

Wayne

Last edited by USP45usp; March 8, 2005 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Pardon me
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Old March 9, 2005, 10:12 AM   #3
alaric
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Winchester or Remington 158 grain SWCHP +P works for me.
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Last edited by alaric; March 10, 2005 at 08:33 AM.
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Old March 9, 2005, 10:34 AM   #4
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I've recently started shifting to Speer's 135gr Gold Dot in my J-frames. The claims made regarding its purposely snubbie-centric nature seem impressive, and Speer's Gold Dot manufacturing process has shown an impressive ability to tune jacket thickness and cavity shape to the intended velocity of the round. I still have 158gr +P LSWC-HP's in my longer-barrelled revolvers, because Sectional Density is Our Friend.
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Old March 9, 2005, 10:56 AM   #5
riverkeeper
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Snub ballistic info -- scroll down to table

http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunition/pocket_dynomite/

Otherwise, do what Tamara says.
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Old March 9, 2005, 11:16 AM   #6
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From the Tactical Forums Terminal Effect Threads:
DocGKR
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Member # 582
Posted 11-11-2002 23:29
148 gr standard pressure full target wadcutters are the best choice for a lightweight J-frame.


why a wad cutter?
148 grain WW Target Wad Cutter.
It's not going to expand and it's not going to burn lots of powder in a 2 inch barrel to get the velocity up. Flat bullets going as fast as the length of the barrel will let them go is best. Plus you can control them better for firing multiple rounds. JM$.02W

If it's a longer barrel, other rounds might be better.

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BTW-DRGRK is probably one of the finest folks around for knowing what rounds will do in real, live folks.
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Old March 9, 2005, 11:31 AM   #7
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http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunition/pocket_dynomite/
I had lots of fun shooting all those jello blocks for Dan. I wish the Gold-dot 135gr 'snubbie specific load' had been out at the time.
I personaly carry Remington or Winchester 158gr LSWCHP's (NO JACKET, at these velocitys a jacket will hinder expansion)

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Old March 9, 2005, 01:21 PM   #8
knightkrawler00
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Another vote for the 158gr. LSWCHP +P. The Speer round does look promising, but the 158gr. has been working for a long time.

I've been loading 158gr. lead SWC's over Titegroup for a practice round, I keep it near the high end, but not at the max.
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Old March 9, 2005, 02:47 PM   #9
geologist
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Thanks to all for your advice!

USP45: Not all Canadians are gutless, 2 faced whiners who criticize the US and at the same time depend on the US for keeping us safe. But that does describe our prime Minister and his minority government to a "T".

BTW our flip flop on missle defense was a politcal move by the PM due to his minority government status. If he had a majority government he would have joined missle defense.

We are actively trying to preserve what firearms rights we have left.

We have registered all firearms. Handguns are "restricted" meaning that they can only be fired at an approved shooting range. We cannot carry our handguns in the field.

If you work in the wilderness (geologist, forestry etc.) you can get a permit to carry a handgun for defense of life (Authorization to Carry ATC). I have an ATC.

It has to be in remote areas only, you have to prove that you cannot carry a long gun for defense, it has to be of suuficient power for bears and cougars, you cannot fire it in the field except in the case of defense of life.

Likewise for Security guards and armoured car drivers in urban areas.

ATC's are also available for people who have been gravely threatened by criminals though apparently these are very rare.

Lastly there are a very small (maybe less than 100 or so I hear) number of individuals (non LEO) who have concealed carry permits. Mostly high ranking politicians or so I hear. It's typical liberal thinking, I don't want you to have guns to defend yourself from criminals but I'm going to hang on to my gun.
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Old March 9, 2005, 03:09 PM   #10
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the 158 gr. lswchp is better known as the fbi load
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Old March 9, 2005, 04:15 PM   #11
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Welcome to TFL

Sounds like your one heck of a good Canadian.... I know a few just like yourself... Good to hear you can carry out in the bush country. Too bad it is so hard any place else. Sad thing is the bad guys know they got the edge. I agree the 158g LSWCHP would be my pick too.... Good luck and stay safe out there.
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Old March 9, 2005, 04:34 PM   #12
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Guys,
It is my understanding (unless the Instructors at Quantico were lying) that the FBI Load does not preform well in guns that have a barrel length less than than 3 to 4 inches. I really like the old WW 158gr LSWCHP +P in my Model 65, three inch, but when I carried a J Frame Airweight, the FBI Load was difficult to control for the second or follow up shots. But then again I had to conceal the gun and I had smooth grips on my hideout J Frames and not the rubber ones seen today. It's a Ford or Chevrolet debate.

Jungle Work
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Old March 10, 2005, 03:46 AM   #13
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I would only use jacketed loads in an Airweight - not the barrel length so much as the total weight of the piece. Sometimes lead bullets can slip in their cases under hard recoil; if they slip out far enough they will stop the cylinder rotating, tying up the gun.
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Old March 10, 2005, 07:03 AM   #14
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Wadcuttes are not likely to slip or tie up your cylinder
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Old March 10, 2005, 06:59 PM   #15
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I believe that the problem with bullet jump in lightweight revolvers does not present a problem until you step up to the Titanium and Scandium guns. S&W has a warning on these guns to not use lead, only jacketed rounds due to this problem. Have not heard of anybody experiencing bullet jump with the aluminum guns.

That said, it would be advisable to measure one round, mark it, then fire a number of rounds through the gun, say 25, then remeasure that one round and see if the bullet has started to come out of the casing. This test would show if you may have a problem that could cause the cylinder to bind at the least opportune time.
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Old March 10, 2005, 10:25 PM   #16
CarlosDJackal
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If your revolver has a barrel that is 2-inches or less, I recommend the Speer 135-grain +P round. It's what I carry in my S&W 340PD and it seems to do well in all the tests I have read about (out of short-barrelled revolvers anyway).

Good luck!!
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Old March 12, 2005, 04:03 PM   #17
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I have a 342PD. I carry it stoked with CorBon 125 Grn +P's.

I just came back from the range. Shot Winchester 125+P's and the Cor-Bons.

If you go by noise and recoil the Corbons produce almost twice the recoil and a louder noise.

CorBon ammo has a lot of engineering built in and is usually hot!

If your Airweight is not +P rated you can get the Chief Special Federal Nyclads. They chrono'd in a test as hot as some +P's with standard pressure.
They were specifically designed for Snubs.


The powerball ammo in my 9mm is hot too,
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Old March 12, 2005, 04:07 PM   #18
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The Speer's .38 Special 135gr Gold Dot would be an excellent choice.
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Old March 13, 2005, 11:46 AM   #19
OBIWAN
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Actually, I had a Ruger SP101...certainly no liteweight

And I had 2-3 different loads tie up the cylinder

Good Crimp is important

Wadcutters don't protrude past the front of the case, making them safer than most
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Old March 13, 2005, 06:47 PM   #20
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Quote: "Actually, I had a Ruger SP101...certainly no liteweight

And I had 2-3 different loads tie up the cylinder "

Factory loads doing that in a SP101??? .357 Handloads maybe?

I've got both the SP-101 and S&W (12 ounce) 340. With factory loads, yes, when I tested years ago, 8 out of 13 ammos slipped the crimp in 340, but none so much as to tie up cylinder. Hard to imagine such with factory loads in a gun the weight of SP-101 ...
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Old March 14, 2005, 06:36 PM   #21
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Emfj?

Is there an EMFJ in .38? If so go for it. See a test: http://www.raoulwagner.com/9mm.htm
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