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Old April 15, 2018, 09:54 AM   #1
Bucksnort1
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38 Special Cartridge

I have a 38 special cartridge with a round nose full metal jacket bullet. It has a cannelure. This is not a reload by me. My opinion is, it is a factory load by Winchester. The head stamp has WCC 94 and 38 spl.

Is this a military cartridge?
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Old April 15, 2018, 11:36 AM   #2
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Yep, military. You will probably see sealant around the primer and maybe around the bullet too. The cartridge was made by Winchester Cartridge Co. in 1994...
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Old April 15, 2018, 12:50 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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What U.S. military coppers, assuming it's MP's, were still carrying .38 revolvers in 1994? Just curious.
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Old April 15, 2018, 01:15 PM   #4
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The standard military .38 Special load is a 130gr FMJ.

Different sources give different velocities, one says 810fps, another says 950fps.

Ok, did a little digging, and a 94 headstamp round should be approx. 950fps.
There was a lower velocity round made to support the aluminum cylinder (& frame) "aircrew" model S&Ws and Colts, as the standard load was too much for those guns. Those guns were retired from service rather quickly, and the light load M41 ammo went away, the load returning to what it was originally.

Reportedly the 130 at 950 has the same POI as the 158 at 850 (or close enough to be usefully "on" with the usual fixed sight set up).

Quote:
What U.S. military coppers, assuming it's MP's, were still carrying .38 revolvers in 1994? Just curious.
The military still have, and issue .38 Specials. Not for combat use, or regular aircrew use, but for MP use during prisoner transport duty. (they were doing it in 94, I know the Air Force was still doing it 2 years ago, and I think they still are). I'm told all the services agreed on the .38 revolver for that use, some time ago.

A 130gr FMJ with a WCC 94 headstamp is Winchester produced ammo for military use, in 1994. It might have gone to the military and later made it way out (surplus, etc) or it might have been sold direct to the public, as "surplus" (contract overrun, etc.)

No way to know which.
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Old April 15, 2018, 01:25 PM   #5
Marco Califo
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Yes, mil-spec.

Yes, mil-spec. It is Ball ammo for 38 special revolvers. These are/were issued to Air Force pilots in case of shoot downs, and Security Personnel (not necessarily MP's). Today, most base Security is contracted, but it would not surprise me in the least if whoever is in the guard shack at the gate has a S&W Model 10 and FMJ 38 Special Ball.
Lead Round Nose Bullets, and Wad Cutters are also included in the tech manual.

From TM43-0001-27
"CARTRIDGE, CALIBER .38, BALL, SPECIAL, M41
Type Classification:
OBS - MSR 08836015.
Use:
Revolver. The cartridge is intended for use in personal
defense hand guns.
Description:
BALL Cartridge. The cartridge has a jacketed bullet.
Tabulated Data:
DODAC.............................................. 1305-A400
UNO serial number ............................ 0012
UNO proper shipping
name ........................................... Cartridges for
weapons, insert
projectile
Weight ............................................... 203 gr
Length................................................ 1.55 in. (39.4
mm)
Tracer ................................................ NA
Primer................................................ Percussion
Fuze................................................... NA
Explosive:
Type ............................................ NA
Weight......................................... NA
Incendiary:
Type ............................................ NA
Weight......................................... NA
Propellant:
Type ............................................ SR 7325
Weight......................................... 4.8 gr
Performance:
Chamber pressure.............................. 16,000 psi
Velocity .............................................. 950 fps, 15 ft
from
muzzle
Shipping and Storage Data:
Quantity-distance class/
SCG ............................................ 1.4S
Storage code...................................... Class V
DOT shipping class ............................ C
DOT designation ................................ SMALL ARMS
AMMUNITION
Drawing number................................. 7553580
References:
SB 700-20
TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1
TM 9-1005-206-14P/3
TM 9-1300-206"
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Old April 15, 2018, 01:51 PM   #6
Nick_C_S
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Quote:
My opinion is, it is a factory load by Winchester. The head stamp has WCC 94 and 38 spl.
It is. It is likely a 130gn FMJ bullet. About 900 fps. Over the decades, I've purchased hundreds of these for the brass to reload.

Military? I don't think so. Maybe. I know that I used to just go to my LGS to buy them. They used to come in a pretty basic white box where they were stuffed in there like sardines - no tray. I miss those boxes. They were kind of a pain to refill (had to alternate upside down, rightside up, upside down, rightside up, etc.), but they were a very compact way to package 50 rounds.

Nowdays, the "same" round comes with a tray. The bullet has a truncated nose (flattened), and the brass headstamp just says "Winchester 38 Spl." And I buy them by the case (500) now .
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Old April 15, 2018, 02:22 PM   #7
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USGI M41 ball ammo. The Air Force used a lot of this.

Don
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Old April 16, 2018, 02:04 PM   #8
hdwhit
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Back in my working days, I had a couple of assignments at facilities controlled by the Department of Energy.

All of the guards inside the facility were carrying revolvers. They looked like my grandmother's 38 Special S&W revolver, but I wasn't about to go into a facility like that and start asking about the security arrangements.
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Old April 16, 2018, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
What U.S. military coppers, assuming it's MP's, were still carrying .38 revolvers in 1994? Just curious.
I remember back through the Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force crewmen were issued .38 snubbies. However, I do not know when they switched (or if they ever did), to Barretta 92's. Someone must know.
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Old April 17, 2018, 09:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S
Military? I don't think so.
Who else uses that WCC nn headstamp? If sold on the civilian market with a newer year, I would guess ammo with that headstamp is military contract overrun ammo. The overrun may be intentional, knowing a lot of civilians like to recreate militarily correct shooting experiences, but I couldn't say for sure. If sold on the civilian market with the WCC 94 headstamp, specifically, then, assuming the powder is a double-base spherical propellant, it has exceeded stockpile life (20 years) for double-base powder and munitions and is likely being made surplus to get rid of it. I would guess Lake City isn't going to bother to set up to produce .38 Special, so contracting it out makes sense.
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Old April 17, 2018, 10:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Who else uses that WCC nn headstamp?
Not sure I understand the question. Hopefully this helps . . .

I used to buy Winchester White Box 130gn "ball" ammo with the WCC headstamp. I bought them at various LGS' in my area. I was also buying like headstamped 45 ACP WWB ammo at the same time "230gn ball." I wasn't buying old ammo. The year stamped at the time was current - or maybe the year before.

Most of what I bought was "83" through "85" - purchased mostly in 84 & 85. But I have many other years - even from the '70's (range pick up). I don't recall having "94" specifically, but I know I have quite a few from the '90's.

I didn't buy much ammo in the late '90's, through the '00's; so I'm not sure when they dropped the WCC designation from WWB ammo. Or when they switched from just packing them into a little box, to adding the trays (and expense).

As for the 38 WCC brass, I have since retired it. Most of them have been loaded countless times and they seemed to have softened or something (for another post). So I set them aside. The 45 ACP stuff is till going strong.
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Old April 17, 2018, 10:19 AM   #12
Mike Irwin
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WCC stands for Western Cartridge Company, not Winchester.

But, given that the two companies are under the same owner, it's a blurry distinction.

Western produced/produces ammo in Illinois, and Winchester produced ammunition in New England.

You can still buy this exact load commercially. I saw some boxes of it at WalMart a couple of years ago when I was looking for other ammo.
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