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Old March 12, 2015, 11:35 PM   #1
Cosmodragoon
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What Federal Told Me About Nyclad

Searching for the best standard-pressure .38 special load for self-defense with a snub-nosed revolver, from professional articles to discussions in forums like this one, I see a lot of love for Nyclad. It's a neat idea. Instead of pursuing good expansion with higher velocity, they make their 125-grain hollow point out of very soft lead. To prevent leading, they fully coat the bullet in attractive blue nylon.

Sadly, Nyclad has been out of production for a few years now. I searched high and low to no avail. It is still listed on their site so I gave them a call. After being transferred a few times, a fellow told me that they had to discontinue it due to increased production costs. He said it had something to do with special manufacturing and high recycling costs, but didn't go into detail. He lamented that it had been a popular product and said he still gets calls about it sometimes. He told me that if they brought it back, they would have to charge 3-4 times as much for it and that wasn't going to happen.

This seems outrageous to me but I've got to take their word for it. Unless another company figures out how to bring this kind of product to market at a reasonable cost, those of us who love the idea are just out of luck.

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Old March 13, 2015, 04:21 AM   #2
hartcreek
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I am not buying the company line....coatings have gotten easier since then and many of us home casters can duplicate darn close to that using powdercoating now days.
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Old March 13, 2015, 05:59 PM   #3
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3-4 times the cost?

I find that hard to believe. I too have been searching high and low for Nyclads! Didn't Federal re-release these only a few years ago? Have costs really gotten that high since the second discontinuation? Sounds kind of fishy but he could be right, he does work their after all.
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Old March 13, 2015, 07:56 PM   #4
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https://youtu.be/N-O1xPuFX3k

Here's my long winded attempt and describing how I make my self-defense loads.

Pure lead and powder coat. I'm using a 158gr mould that works out to 150gr with the HP but Lee makes a dandy little 125 bullet that a shop can HP for you if you prefer a little more velocity.
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Old March 13, 2015, 09:37 PM   #5
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S&W ammo came out with a nyclad 38 special long time ago. They looked kind of weird with the dark blue almost black coating.
I purchased half a case back in the 80's for my mother when she bought her first gun.
Good shooting ammo, nice round in a S&W 60.
I still have the gun and several boxes of ammo. I haven't seen them in decades for sale.
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Old March 13, 2015, 09:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
I haven't seen them in decades for sale.
At a gun show maybe a year ago, I saw a few boxes of the S&W "nyclad" ammo for sale. If I remember right, it was a LSWC load, probably 158 grain. I found it interesting but I was after other ammo that day. I love going to the gun shows to find old interesting ammo for my .38s and .357s, found some nice loads this way and I've got a (very) small collection going.
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Old March 29, 2015, 04:52 PM   #7
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They used to make a wider variety of Nyclads back in the day. They went out of production for a while despite popularity, ostensibly for production cost reasons. Then Federal brought them back but I think it was a much more limited line. The one pictured at the start of this thread was the last to go, and the most sought after. If anyone has a stockpile of these in good condition that they are looking to sell off at a reasonable price, please don't hesitate to send me a private message.
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Old March 29, 2015, 08:58 PM   #8
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Sad story, Nyclad was my all-time favorite factory 38 Special.
Down to probably half a box.
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Old March 29, 2015, 09:07 PM   #9
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cute looking ammo, but I aint spending my money on ammo that all can se said for it is cute. sure you can post a pic of it expanded nicely.... as can be shown for most any .38 spl. round.

the round was a gimmick that didn't cut the mustard and had low sales comparatively, that's why it was dropped.
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Old March 29, 2015, 09:11 PM   #10
Bill DeShivs
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It actually worked very well.
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Old March 29, 2015, 09:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
It actually worked very well.
Prove it. What, did it expand well in water? ANY hollow point will expand in water. Truth be known, the .38 special NyClad (nylon clad) did not expand at snub velos. Proof is in the pudding, gents.
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Old March 29, 2015, 11:52 PM   #12
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NyClad

Mod 12... They work. At least they worked for me once ,when in the woods and an infected feral cur pack wouldn't take a hint to leave me alone. Ten yards distance and one growl too many was all it took to convince them to leave well enough alone. Too late for one though. One round through the left shoulder/chest pocket and out the right side leaving a baseball size hole through the ribs surprised even me. And this, out of a J-frame Taurus 85.
If you've never used this round, then don't make any blanket-statement concerning its effectiveness.
I've been there and I still carry them today; A couple speedloaders full in.38 SPL.(125gr) for the Taurus, and two in .357(158gr) for my GP100, and a couple mags full in 9mm for my P89(1-115gr; 1-124gr). The only problem is that the coating will peel off if you cycle them too many times through the mags/9mms..
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Old March 30, 2015, 04:11 AM   #13
Cosmodragoon
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Quote:
Prove it. What, did it expand well in water? ANY hollow point will expand in water. Truth be known, the .38 special NyClad (nylon clad) did not expand at snub velos. Proof is in the pudding, gents.
Have you tried the pudding?

Federal 38 Special Nyclad HP Barrier and Clear Gel Tests (Video)
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Old March 30, 2015, 06:46 AM   #14
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"Proof is in the pudding..."

It thought it was raisins in the pudding...

"Truth be known, the .38 special NyClad (nylon clad) did not expand at snub velos."

Trust be known, you're wrong, pudding or no pudding. The Nyclad round, from its earliest inception by Smith & Wesson, had a reputation as a good expander, and often the only hollow point that would expand at snub nosed velocities.

What it often didn't do, though, was penetrate to depths considered to be necessary by today's standards.

http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/2...nyclad-hp.html

http://www.firearmstactical.com/test...5nhp-swm60.htm
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Old March 30, 2015, 09:56 AM   #15
Model12Win
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I stand corrected.

But the only role for this round is in revos not +P rated.

For +P .38 special snub noses, the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain Short Barrel load is the load of choice. Excellent stopping power, excellent expansion and penetration. Also has low recoil and flash/blast. Penetrates much nicer than the Nyclad load, about 13-14" in gel which is optimum for most threat levels and risk assesments.
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Old March 30, 2015, 10:03 AM   #16
Mike Irwin
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Nyclad came in both standard pressure and +P loadings over the years.

For years I carried 125-gr. +P loads in a variety of snubs -- Charter Arms, Colt, and Smith & Wesson.

I have retired the Nyclad, though, and gone with the Speer Gold Dot load for all of the reasons that you list.
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Old March 30, 2015, 01:48 PM   #17
Cosmodragoon
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Quote:
I stand corrected.

But the only role for this round is in revos not +P rated.

For +P .38 special snub noses, the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain Short Barrel load is the load of choice. Excellent stopping power, excellent expansion and penetration. Also has low recoil and flash/blast. Penetrates much nicer than the Nyclad load, about 13-14" in gel which is optimum for most threat levels and risk assesments.
Not quite. The Nyclad also served a role for people who are not +p rated. I know there is the usual "women, elderly, and disabled" consideration but truth be told, reduced recoil usually means increased control in general, especially out of a snub-nosed revolver. I don't have a box of each handy, but I'd bet the Speer God Dot kicks harder.

The point is that Nyclad is very special for what it is: a standard-pressure .38 special for use in snub-nosed revolvers.
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Old March 30, 2015, 03:40 PM   #18
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"The point is that Nyclad is very special for what it is: a standard-pressure .38 special for use in snub-nosed revolvers."

And, once again, Nyclad was available in BOTH standard pressure and +P loads in the same bullet weights, both from Smith & Wesson AND Federal.

The original S&W advertisements in the mid to late 1970s offered 158-gr. in both standard and +P.

125-gr. standard and +P loadings came later.
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Old March 30, 2015, 06:52 PM   #19
Homerboy
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The NYPD issued Nyclads in 158 grain. First non hollow points then hollow points. And yes, they were +P. Still got a few boxes left.
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Old March 30, 2015, 07:06 PM   #20
mete
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They also increased the thickness of the nylon to give better rifling marks . This was requested by forensics people .

Many bullets have been changed over time .The question to ask is will it still do the job well ?? It also depends on what the cryteria are .
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Old March 30, 2015, 07:14 PM   #21
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The fact is that a 125gr bullet at ~850 f/sec is ..... well, though better than harsh words, you can easily carry something with more oomph, less recoil, and more capacity, and carries easier (IME) than a .38 snub........ the tiny niche market for this round would not justify the extra production costs, or they would still make it.

If you really like something, learn to produce it yourself. Otherwise, it may vanish from the market for no apparent good reason and you're outa luck ......
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Old March 30, 2015, 07:18 PM   #22
Model12Win
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Good thing though that Speer still make the .38 special +P 135 grain Gold Dot Short Barrel load. When they stop cranking that stuff out, I'll be pretty upset.
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Old March 30, 2015, 07:36 PM   #23
PatientWolf
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I'm sure the cost is much higher than standard bullets-cast or jacketed.

A manufacturer has to consider other costs than the home brewer. Small lot sizes may mean lost production time due to changing in and out of a product. The bullet may require different sets of tooling-another cost. Low demand may create higher caring inventory.

If they replaced a significant portion of their products and had distribution commitments, I'm sure the cost difference wouldn't be great, but I don't think these made it to the mainstream demand needed to drive lower cost.

On a separate point, can anyone comment on whether the coating left any fouling in the barrel?
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Old March 30, 2015, 08:06 PM   #24
Mike Irwin
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"Good thing though that Speer still make the .38 special +P 135 grain Gold Dot Short Barrel load. When they stop cranking that stuff out, I'll be pretty upset."

I sincerely doubt that it's going away any time soon.

A lot of people like to look down their noses at snubs, considering them weak, archaic, out of place in the modern world, etc.

If that were TRULY the case, and they had been passed buy, gun companies wouldn't be selling the absolute hell out of them.

As of a few years ago, snubs were VERY competitive sales wise in the pocket gun market.

Seems as if not everyone agrees that they're obsolete, and not everyone agrees that they absolutely have to have the latest, mostest wonderfulest 9mm that's 1/4mm thick, 1/4mm high, and holds 87 rounds in its magazine...

I've got a gunsafe chock full of semi-autos in .22, .32, 9mm, and .45, and 9 times out of 10 when I reach for a gun it's for my Centennial Airweight.
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Old March 30, 2015, 10:25 PM   #25
Cosmodragoon
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Quote:
"The point is that Nyclad is very special for what it is: a standard-pressure .38 special for use in snub-nosed revolvers."

And, once again, Nyclad was available in BOTH standard pressure and +P loads in the same bullet weights, both from Smith & Wesson AND Federal.

The original S&W advertisements in the mid to late 1970s offered 158-gr. in both standard and +P.

125-gr. standard and +P loadings came later.
I suppose I should have clarified. I was talking about the standard-pressure 125-grain load, which is the last one Federal made. That's where I think it shines, where expanding at lower velocity is a pretty rare feat.
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