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Old June 21, 2013, 08:23 AM   #26
badge851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSP972
Buffalo Bore standard pressure 158gr has same velocity/etc. as the FBI +P load "without the blast and recoil"???

How, exactly, does that work???
Beats me, but works fine in both of my Taurus® Mdl 85SS2UL revolvers. Very accurate w/minimal recoil. Buffalo Bore® designed this load for Airweight® (S&W), Ultra-Lite® (Taurus®), Agent™ (Colt®), & Undercover™Charter® revolvers.
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Old June 22, 2013, 06:38 PM   #27
Doug Ridley
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Not to hijack this thread but I have a box of cartridges with a flat nose lead bullet and the only mark on them is Winchester .38 spl. They were given to me in an unmarked box. Anybody know exactly what they might be? I would post a pic but have never figured out how to put one on this forum.
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:57 PM   #28
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Re the Buffalo Bore ammunition... I'm sure it works fine. However, you cannot change physics.

So pardon my skepticism...

.
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Old June 22, 2013, 09:53 PM   #29
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I have several carry revolvers. I currently have my 2" 60 & 64 stoked with gold dots and my 3" 65 stoked with 158 lswchp. As soon as component become available I will probably just load 158 and carry them all the way around due to POA/POI.
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Old June 23, 2013, 12:18 PM   #30
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Doug Ridley: There are several possibilities, Wadcutter, Semi-Wadcutter, and Lead Flatnose. Each of those bullet types come in a variety of weights and each may be loaded in a differently named cartridge.

The wadcutter is column shaped. The semi-wadcutter has a step above the shell rim and is a truncated cone. The flatnose is a cut off sphere or a truncated cone.

Posting a picture is a good idea.

Once you have the bullet type and weight then just google.
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Old June 24, 2013, 03:21 PM   #31
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Well I guess I'm going to try whichever load I find first. Went to my LGS and Cabelas and nothing. I knew 9mm and 45 were hard to find but I figured there would be 38 spl around.
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Old June 25, 2013, 12:35 AM   #32
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Yeah, with the current availability, I guess we get what we can get.

I see a lot of folks in this string recommending 158g slugs - mostly lead semi-wadcutters. Without doubt, they would put a good hurt on a bad guy. But I subscribe to the notion that a short barreled 38 would struggle getting that big fat slug lumbering down the barrel. I believe that it's better to go with something in the 125g range with a 38 snubbie. It's just physics. At least, that's how it works in my head. I'm certainly not saying anybody is wrong.

In fact, I don't choose a 158 for defense until I've worked all the way up to my .357 Smith 686 w/ an 8 3/8" barrel. (Federal Hydra-shock 158JHP)
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Old June 25, 2013, 07:00 AM   #33
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The reason I prefer 158 is poi. Of course I understand there bring little difference at "self defense" distance and both are plenty for "combat accuracy" which is great until it isn't.
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Old June 25, 2013, 08:57 AM   #34
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I also like the Lyman 358156 HP. I'm also fond of this modern bond wadcutter. The HP was shot thru my 2" Colt Cobra.

[URL=http://s299.photobucket.com/user/farcla/media/DSCN0262_zps6fab7181.jpg.html][/URL

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Old June 25, 2013, 09:05 AM   #35
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38 spl defense loads

For a ".38 Special night stand gun", I do emply I.Q. Metals 158-grain standard load standard-no-hollowpoint semiwadcutters, or 148-grain Georgia Arms wadcutters, in a nice Centennial-inspired snubnose.

I don't feel the need to part with the money necessary to buy a-dollar-or-more-a-nuclear-tipped-warp-engined-bullet, that's only gonna need to reach thirty five feet, maximum. I know that wadcutters penetrate. I know that semi-wadcutters penetrate. I can afford more of them on a 'fixed income'. I've been down to the Club Fed in the region, on a clerical job, a few years back, and witnessed the Refrigerator Perry-ites pumping iron. I know I have the right combination.
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Old June 25, 2013, 03:50 PM   #36
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The Model 38 Bodyguard Airweight in my pocket right now is loaded with 158gn Remington +P SWCHP.
I have other ammo I could load it with, including some of the latest light weight JHP's.
I just like the way my chosen load shoots in my revolver, and it's long record of successful use by law enforcement.
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Old June 28, 2013, 01:52 PM   #37
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Any of the factory made HD/SD loads will be fine.

Fabrication your own that beat those these days is a waste, the factory loads have gotten very good .

Back in the day we could make better ones (and I did) but now, for the carry rounds in any of my guns I use factory and the reloads are for practice.

If the gun likes one better than another for accuracy go for it but for the most part it won't make enough difference to want to test any.

I am partial to Remington GS stuff as it is accurate in the guns I have tested it in but that is too small sampling to say outright its the best. All of them will do what is needed and have been tested through far more extensive range of conditions than we can do.
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Old June 28, 2013, 03:37 PM   #38
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I know that some experts recommend against it and there is an argument that they can make but I carry my own loads. In my state law abiding citizens who shoot criminals generally are not persecuted so I feel somewhat secure in this decision. If I lived in a blue state unfriendly towards gun owners I would not do this.

My load came from a published manual and is a 125 JHP at a clocked 1250 FPS from a 4" barrel. Makes around 1175 from a 2" gun. Functions well in every gun I've used it in and I feel much more comfortable with this load than I would with the weak and puny mainstream +P which is the same 125 JHP at 925.

The lead 158 SWC HP ("FBI load") is often recommended. I have a box around here but no experience with it. I like a little more velocity than this load delivers.
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Old June 30, 2013, 02:29 AM   #39
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The short barrel stuff clocks some sissy speed as noted above, but they are low flash and not too loud and opens up to a half inch. When I feel like carrying hotter, I put my SP101 on my hip and not the airweight 38 or in addition to it. It doesn't bother me that 9mm usually well outperforms my 38, I have several I could carry and sometimes do, but that airweight is always on me. For whatever reason I just love the wheels.

I certainly understand wanting to maximize your carry cartridge of choice, especially if you only carry one gun.
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Old June 30, 2013, 03:07 PM   #40
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Earlier this year I got a chance to chronograph the Remington version of the much touted "FBI Load". l was under-whelmed.

From a 4" barreled 38 Special it averaged 804 fps, not the often quoted 900+ fps. I don't own a 2" 38 Special and neither does the guy I was shooting with so I don't know what it does out of a J-frame, except it's got to be way under 800 fps.

The very best 38 Special defensive load in my experience and opinion is the Buffalo Bore +P 38 Special 158g SWCHP-GC. When I choreographed that one from the same gun it averaged 1153 fps. That's almost an exact duplicate of your great grandpa's 38/44 load. (smile)

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Old July 1, 2013, 08:27 AM   #41
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Just like to remind everyone that the original question (and the one I am especially interested in) was pertaining to a 3" barrel. A lot of you are referring to "snub-nosed" revolvers. Personally, I don't know if a 3" is considered a snubbie or not. To me, it is a mid-sized revolver, with a 1 7/8" being a snub and a 4" being full-sized.

Since I have a 3" .357 as well, I am curious what is best to run. I suspect the 158gr FBI load is probably just fine, but I don't know if 3" is "too short".
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Old July 1, 2013, 09:22 AM   #42
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Quote:
Fabrication your own that beat those these days is a waste, the factory loads have gotten very good .




That could be true, I haven't bought a factory centerfire for some years. I would argue about being a waste however. 100rds of my cast HPs cost me about $5.00. Oops, $8.00, forgot the gascheck. I'd be curious how much 100 buffalo bore lead swchp gascheck cost.
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Old July 1, 2013, 09:28 AM   #43
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couldn't stand it so I checked midway. $126 dollars before shipping charges
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Old July 1, 2013, 03:46 PM   #44
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I prefer to stick with the traditional 158gr bullet weight for the .38 Special, that is what the fixed sight service revolvers will be regulated for. I think that it's funny that most folks today think of the 158gr. bullet weight as a heavy weight for the .38 SPl and the .357 mag A heavy weight bullet would be anything that is above 158gr. I like the Remington 158gr LSWCHP (+P) as it has a good track record, and it hits close to the sights of my S&W M10.

Dave T, you must have gotten ahold of a bad batch of ammo to get velocities that low from a 4" barrel. Here is some very thorough chrongraph tests done on various .38 SPL ammo.

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...ity-tests.html

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...handloads.html

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...handloads.html
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Old July 1, 2013, 05:17 PM   #45
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336A, that test you posted was done in 2010. My chronograph readings were from earlier this year. You say I got a bad batch. OK, how does someone tell (if they can even find the stuff for sale) if they have a good batch from 3 or so years back or a currently sold bad batch? Mine came right out of the Remington factory box and it didn't say they were wimpy. That idea came from the chronograph results.

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Old July 1, 2013, 05:30 PM   #46
336A
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Regardless of when that test was done, the velocites of the Remington 158gr LSWCHP (+P) load are typical of what was attained in that test. Those same velocities have also been attained from others as well it's no secret how that load performs from a 4" tube.

Lets not get sarcastic here, obviously it is not going to say on the box that it is a bad batch. However from the velocities that you attained it clearly shows that that specific box of ammunition wasn't within the specs for that load. BTW not long ago there was some QC issues with this ammo. Some folks were finding this ammo had the bullets seated out to long, thus giving the cartridge a longer O.A.L, which prohibited some from chambering it in their revolvers.

Last edited by 336A; July 1, 2013 at 05:39 PM.
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Old July 2, 2013, 01:33 PM   #47
Dave T
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Tell you what. You go on thinking that stuff is the cat's meow and I won't. We'll just have to live with that. And, I'm not being sarcastic but very suspicious, particularly of factory and internet claims.

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Old July 4, 2013, 04:02 PM   #48
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ScotchMan: I consider a 3" a snubbie. That's where my opinion draws the line between snubbie and full-sized.
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