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Old February 1, 2006, 10:21 PM   #1
Doug.38PR
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.38 special 200 grain bullet 1000-1200 ft per second

Chic Gaylord in his book suggests that a 200 grain .38 special bullet loaded with enough powder to produce a velocity between 1000 to 1200 feet per second would be an effective round against car and criminal.

Now, taking into account the fact that he was refering to a blunt round nose bullet that can be considered dated info. HOWEVER, if such a bullet could be molded into a Hollow Point I would think that would be an extremely effective round! And even suggests that this could be handled in a medium frame old Official Police .38 revolver or, by modern standards, even a .38 S&W Model 10 or 15 K frame with a heavy barrel I would think.

What do y'all think?

Last edited by Doug.38PR; February 1, 2006 at 11:12 PM.
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Old February 2, 2006, 01:34 AM   #2
croyance
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I believe that 1200 fps exceeds the velocity of a 200 grain 40 S&W, .45 ACP, or (more critically) the .357 Magnum. I think 1000 fps does to by a handy margin.
So there should be real and large issues with pressure, frames, and injuries.
Other than that, it sounds lethal. Expansion should be a real issue. If it doesn't expand well, lawyers may be too. A medium bore 200 grain bullet sounds like it will over penetrate if it doesn't open up.
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Old February 2, 2006, 02:19 AM   #3
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No way you can get a 200 grain bullet to that speed in a 38 Special. Not safely at least.
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Old February 2, 2006, 02:57 AM   #4
radom
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Sure you can..just load it to in a 38+P case and in a Smith N frame gun.
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Old February 2, 2006, 05:59 AM   #5
Hal
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1200 fps out of a 200 gr .357 dia bullet is .357Max territory, not .38spl.
Pressures involved are almost double and then some of what .38spl +P calls for.

Re: the hollow point.

Possibly a good idea but I really doubt it.
Simply putting a cavity in a bullet and having it expand is no majic wand.
When, where and how it expands are critical.

Hollow cavity bullets have been around for decades.
It's only been in the last 10 years or so that the R&D boys (and girls) have gotten the "controlled" part of controlled expansion to work as well as it does.
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Old February 2, 2006, 09:13 AM   #6
ISP2605
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The old W-W Lubaloy 200 gr .38 "Manstopper" that we ran across the screens clocked in the range of 600-650 fps from a 4".
It's no doubt possible to push a 200 gr to the 1100-1200 fps speeds, but I won't be running them thru any of my guns. If anyone wants to try that loading in their .38 guns make sure you take a video. I just love watching a good train wreck.
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Old February 2, 2006, 09:56 AM   #7
mtnbkr
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Sure you can..just load it to in a 38+P case and in a Smith N frame gun.
BS. In my 4" GP100, it's taken a rather hot charge to get a 180gr bullet to 1250fps. I wouldn't try it with a 200gr bullet and a 38special case.

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Old February 2, 2006, 10:25 AM   #8
Doug.38PR
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Here is the full story of how and what do to by Gaylord:

Quote:
It would be sheer folly to make a souped-up .38 load that would be practical in Colt's Official Police or New Service, or in Smith & Wesson's .38-44 Outdoorsman and expect to use it in a "K" frame Smith & Wesson, or in an air-weight revolver.
Okay according to this K frame and small frame revolvers (made up to 1960) are out. He moves on to say:

Quote:
The best all-around police bullet for use in the heavy-frame .38 is made in this way. Use regular .38 brass and .357 Magnum primers. Cast teh blunt-nosed 200-grain bullet, similar in corformation to the Western Super Police bullet out of type metal. Load the cartridge with Unique powder, tailoring the charge to suit the length of the barrel of the weapon. The case should be loaded to produce the velocity of between 1000 and 1200 feet per second. This load will smash armor plate. It is equally effective against car or criminal.
When you buy a gun, make sure that it is strong enough to handle the .38 caliber 200-grain Man-Stopper. Your dealer may have to order these cartridges for you. Thay are worth the trouble. In my shop, we often say that anything less than 200 grains is effeminate
Now, again if this weight bullet was molded properly into a well made hollow point, it could be an effective round.
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Old February 2, 2006, 11:34 AM   #9
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Unique wouldn't be a good powder for a heavy load as it burns too fast and would cause a pretty good pressure spike early. The results would not be pretty. Doing a quick calculation of how much Unique it would take to push a 200 gr bullet, in a .38 case, to 1100 fps is a load I'd never post on any list for fear some knucklehead would try it. Suffice to say it's way above any loading for any .38 in any manual I have and for Unique is above any recommended max loading in .357.
How about this Doug? Why don't you load some up for your Dick Special and let us know how they are. Let us know just how much Unique you dump in a case. Make sure you videotape it.
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Old February 2, 2006, 11:46 AM   #10
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What I see lacking is ANY indication that Gaylord actually tried this.

I agree that it's not possible with Unique, and trying to do so would very likely result in blown primers, at a very minimum.

I could see it POSSIBLY being done with some of the super slow Du Pont sporting rifle powders that were available at one time, but only with overcharge loads and long barrels.

I've got some old loading manuals at home.

I'll check them out tonight and see what they have to say about this.
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Old February 2, 2006, 12:10 PM   #11
ISP2605
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If you've ever tried casting HPs you'd know to get a consistent, good HP cast bullet is a PITA.
I have no idea what the OAL of a HP 200 gr lead bullet. It would be in the neighborhood of .85". To get a loaded 200 gr HP to fit in a .38 cylinder would require the bullet to be seated fairly deep in the case, which results in a reduced area for the powder charge. Unique is too fast to push that heavy of a bullet the speed claimed and probably with the bullet seated deep enough to clear the cylinder length it would come close to meaning the Unique would be a compressed charge. A slow burning powder would take too much volume with the bullet setted deep enough to clear the cylinder OAL.
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Old February 2, 2006, 01:13 PM   #12
Doug.38PR
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Quote:
What I see lacking is ANY indication that Gaylord actually tried this
I kind of find it hard to believe that any gun expert, or anybody with any good sense, would advocate an idea that could be potentially dangerous in a written book or article that he had never proven to himself and others that it actually worked safely. Lawsuits would be coming in as fast as hands were blown off.
Also, surely there is someone out there who has actually tried this as the article has been around for 45 years.
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Old February 2, 2006, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Also, surely there is someone out there who has actually tried this as the article has been around for 45 years
Well, like I said before, I know how difficult it is to hit those magic numbers in a 4" 357mag with a 180gr bullet and 357 brass. It can't be easier or safer with a 200gr bullet and shorter brass.

My guess is that if he did do it, he didn't shoot it much and he doesn't talk about the blown primers, sticky brass, worn out guns, etc.

Chris
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Old February 2, 2006, 01:33 PM   #14
ISP2605
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Doug
Give it a try and let us know how it works out for ya.
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Old February 2, 2006, 01:40 PM   #15
Doug.38PR
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hehehehe ISP, if I did try it CERTAINLY wouldn't be in my Dick Special . For the time being, I don't have the means or knowhow to self load ammo. Neither of my Official Police guns would I put that kind of wear on it just for experimenting or even practice (self defense as a last line of backup defense ammo maybe) assuming they would hold up safely with it.
If I could do it, I would start it out in my S&W Highway Patrolman N frame that I knew would handle it okay.

I wouldn't mind getting a beat up old Colt .38 medium frame and trying it........mounted on a stand with wire attached to the trigger and me standing in another room pulling the trigger by wire. In other words, I'd want to be standing AWAY from the gun until I was sure it worked.
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Old February 2, 2006, 02:04 PM   #16
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Well, if you're sure Gaylord knew what he was talking about then give it a try in your medium frame Colts. According to the article you initially quoted all it takes is a gun strong enough to handle the 200 gr Manstoppers. Even the Dick Special or a J frame S&W can handle those. We had the 'Manstoppers' clocked in the 600-650 fps range. Gaylord's load only about doubles that. What's another 600 fps?
Buy yourself a Lyman 310 tool, a pound of Unique powder, a flat of primers, find some 200 gr .357 bullets, and a powder scale. For less than $100 you can give them a try and report back. Surely that load won't hurt any of your guns. Afterall, it was a load that was printed in a book.
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Old February 2, 2006, 02:16 PM   #17
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"I kind of find it hard to believe that any gun expert, or anybody with any good sense, would advocate an idea that could be potentially dangerous in a written book or article that he had never proven to himself and others that it actually worked safely."

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Once of these days we'll share a couple of beers and you might be able to get me to talk about some of the people I knew when I wrote for/edited American Rifleman magazine...
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Old February 2, 2006, 05:35 PM   #18
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"... .357 Magnum primers."
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Old February 2, 2006, 06:01 PM   #19
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I am in the process of working up loads for my .357 for deer, defense, or whatever - that is, 180 grain Horny XTP's at 1300fps for my GP100.

Now, I am fully aware that if I was shooting hardcast lead I could easily wring another 100fps out of the load. But that defeats my desire to use a jacketed bullet.

First off, I would NEVER let anyone shoot these loads in ANY gun other than my own. These things are at/near max loads and are showing (very minimal flattened primers) some pressure signs (but drop from the cylinders without any need for the ejector at all, just tip it up and they drop out). I am officially into the "Thompson Center" loads in my Speer Manual doing this.

Second, that's just about all I am willing to do. These things are a handful. My indoor range won't let me shoot them around other shooters because of the sonic impact and concussion they make.

Third, I am filly up the entire .357 case with powder. No WAY can a .38 case hold that much powder.

So, WOULD a .38 spec 200 grain hollowpoint at 1200 fps make a good defence load?

Yep, sure would.

Is it feasible?

Nope. Not without a lot of danger to self.
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Old February 2, 2006, 06:03 PM   #20
Doug.38PR
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Quote:
Once of these days we'll share a couple of beers and you might be able to get me to talk about some of the people I knew when I wrote for/edited American Rifleman magazine...
Seriously, wouldn't that be a serious liability issue? Essentially what that is is someone saying, at both theirs and their publishers reputation, that it is perfectly safe and advisable to go try their untried theory.
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Old February 2, 2006, 06:12 PM   #21
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Man Stoppers?

Old news folks, been there and done that using 230gn WC @1000fps, I'll wager 10s of thousands of a similiar load were fired at 2nd Chance Pin Shooting.
I think Jerry was first to use the heavy .38s and many (who Jerry beat) copied the loads.
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Old February 2, 2006, 06:49 PM   #22
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Since I have an energy calculator in a spreadsheet I decided to look at the comparative energies you'd be talking about. A 200g bullet at 1000fps has an energy of 444 foot pounds, while at 1200fps it would be 639 ft#. (Energy is a function of the square of velocity - a 20% increase in velocity brings a 40% increase in energy.)

Using the data from my Accurate powder data book, the hottest 38 Special +P load is a 158g XTP bullet at 900 fps, energy = 284 ft# and chamber pressure is 18,500 psi, the industry maximum for +P. A hot 357 Magnum load uses a 180g XTP @ 1196 fps, energy = 572 ft#, pressure = 27,000 psi (I'm extrapolating here, my book gives 38 data in psi and 357 data in CUP.) This is twice the energy of the hottest 38 Special +P, lands right in the middle of the energies you're looking at, but generates almost 50% more chamber pressure. (You can push this bullet even faster with other powders, but pressures go to the 33-34,000 psi range.)

There's a reason we can buy 357 magnum guns and ammunition - they're designed to take the energies a 357 mag round generates. I can't imagine wanting to run 357 Magnum pressures in 38 Special brass in a 38 Special chamber. Even if others may have gotten away with it.
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Old February 2, 2006, 07:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Seriously, wouldn't that be a serious liability issue? Essentially what that is is someone saying, at both theirs and their publishers reputation, that it is perfectly safe and advisable to go try their untried theory.
Liability law was a lot different back in 1960.

So was reloading. There were no consumer chronographs and no pressure testing equipment outside a few industry labs. If you did not blow up a gun, the load was considered safe.

Relying on an opinion that old is just silly. Get a .357 and be done with it.
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Old February 2, 2006, 08:34 PM   #24
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Liability law has changed drastically in this country over the decades.

What once would have gotten a defendant laughed out of court for being a complete and total dumb ass, such as the jerk who is suing IPOD because no one warned him that listening to loud music could damage his hearing.

At one time in this country it was expected that people would have a modicum of common sense, and if they didn't, the fault was theirs.

Case in point. Winchester use to put out a line of Hi Speed ammo in .45-70, .32-20, .38-40, and .44-40, mainly for the 1886 and 1892 Winchester lever actions. Hi Speed was just another way of saying pressures far beyond what a Colt Single Action Army 1st Gen. or an 1873 Winchester would take.

Boxes had BIG warnings on them, DON'T USE IN OLD GUNS and the like.

Well, some people did, their guns were destroyed, and they just slunk away muttering to themselves "I'm the sorriest dumbass on the face of the earth."

Today, though, the response would be a mult-million dollar lawsuit with the stupid bastard who blew up his gun whining about how the company's negligence resulted in the loss of a precious family heirloom.

It's all part of the ************* of America, and if you watched Tim Kaine's Democratic Response to the State of the Union Address, you'll know that the Democrats are the party that loves to protect dumbass Americans from the big, bad corporate evildoers.
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Old February 2, 2006, 08:39 PM   #25
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""... .357 Magnum primers."

At one time Winchester produced primers specifically for the .357 Magnum because of the large quantities of slow powder that were used in that round.

Of course, that was the only magnum round that took small pistol primers for nearly 35 years...

Winchester continued production of Small Pistol Magnum Primers until just a few years ago.
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