My handguns magazine article updated:


January 4, 2003, 05:34 PM
Now with 100% more charts ( ,

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Lone Star
January 4, 2003, 06:39 PM
Thanks, Dan. I don't see how the editor left those out to begin with! I bought the next issue of the title just to get those charts.

Which handgun did you do your chronographing in? Is that a M36 S&W in the photo, and was it the test gun? About how many rounds have gone through it?

I asked Federal for data on their 129 grain Hydra-Shok in two and three-inch bbs. about a year ago, and they kindly chronographed a batch for me. The two-inch ran 865 FPS and the three-inch ran 936 FPS. This was either a slightly hotter batch than you had, or the gun dimensions were different. I strongly suspect that their figures are in the high range for most lots of the load.

I usually carry Hydra-Shok or Gold Dot if I'm not able to get lead SWC-HP's...

Your article gave me added respect for the 130 grain Winchester SXT. I'll have to try some in my guns.

Lone Star

January 4, 2003, 06:45 PM
The test gun was my personal Scandium S&W 360 PD in .357mag with an 1 7/8 inch barrel. The velocities in the charts were impact velocity (7 yards) not muzzle velocity.


January 4, 2003, 07:54 PM
Go ahead, show some jello getting slammed by a real bullet............

Lone Star
January 5, 2003, 08:05 AM

I just realized that I confused you with Dan Johnson, whose byline is on the article. Apparently, he wrote the main body of it, but your lab ran the ballistics tests. Is that correct?

I think I recall you from another forum. Didn't you go through a traumatic divorce that cost you the lab? My sympathies, and hope that if my recollection here is correct that all will soon go more smoothly for you. I know the impact of a divorce first hand...

Thanks for specifying that the tables show the velocity at impact, not at muzzle. That is important, and I somehow missed that earlier.

Lone Star

January 5, 2003, 10:15 AM
Your right on the money Lone Star...and thanks for the kind words.

How ya been Tim..long time no see.

4v50 Gary
January 6, 2003, 10:45 PM
Thank you very much Jason. It was an enjoyable read well worth the time.

January 7, 2003, 09:32 PM
I been waitin' to see if you made it out the other side.................

Dan Johnson
January 7, 2003, 10:19 PM
Good to see you posting, Jason. Since we last spoke, I have moved from New Mexico to your neck of the woods. I'm in upstate S.C. now. Maybe we can work together on another project some day, that is if you'd ever want to after the screwup on your charts. :D

Dan Johnson

January 8, 2003, 05:14 PM
So glad to see you made it over to the new group. Since we last talked, my whole world has turned on its ear, but thats another thread.
Lets have lunch one weekend, or go shooting.

January 8, 2003, 06:07 PM

Thanks for the article and for posting this notice--this kind of hard data is altogether too much fun to chew on (and altogether too rare!).

I'm impressed with the performance of some of these lighter loads--the Winchester 130gr., particularly, of course. I want to ask a further question, though, especially because the gun you tested with (your 360) is so similar to my own 340 (which, again, makes your test especially valuable to me!); do you find any difference in accuracy between lighter and heavier bullets? I would like to have the control and the apparently reliable expansion of the Winchester Supremes, but I gotta tell ya, I can't get anything under 145 grains or so to shoot worth beans out of my snub. It's a reasonably accurate gun--not easy, but capable of good practical accuracy--if I shoot 158 gr. bullets, jacketed or lead, at either .38 or .357 velocities. But put a light bullet in, and not only does it shoot considerably below the (fixed) point of aim, it SPRAYS there.

So, because you are clearly someone who has thought about this, and appears to enjoy thinking about it: (A) Have you detected any difference in accuracy with different bullet weights in your scandium .357/.38? And, (B) How much do you value accuracy in such a gun? If you have and want to take the time to answer, thanks. If not, thanks anyway for the very nice article.


January 8, 2003, 06:55 PM
Excellent report on a subject very close to my, ah, right front pocket. Very well written and good research. Reads like a Stephen Camp range report!!

January 8, 2003, 07:34 PM
Thanks everyone, but Dan deserves the credit...I just served him up with the raw data.

Christopher, I fired more .38's through my gun for the test than I ever have, so I don't have too much accuracy information for .38's. My load of choice in the 360 is the 125gr Remington Golder Saber in .357 magnum. Its a medium velocity load that offers a happy medium between the full house .357 125's and the .38+p in both recoil and power. They are controlable (read: not TOO painfull) enough to practice with on a regular basis and have greater muzzle energy than the .38+p. My advice would be to shoot the most powerfull load you and your gun can handle effectivly (and for me that isn't full-house 125gr .357's from the little 11.5 ounce beast). I have always been one who beleaves accuracy is superior to power, so If you and your gun are more accurate with a particular load, carry it...even if a more potent loading is available but not as accurate (or not practical to practice with). Even with these small 'belly guns' I beleave accuracy is very important...practice with your carry load OFTEN! The modern snubies are capable of suprising groups, but they are notoriously hard to shoot. After a few thousand rounds of practice, I can now make the plate rack sing with mine.
I haven't noticed any apreciable group size difference with various .38special bullet weights, but as you pointed out, the point of aim is different. All guns, even of the same make, seem to have preferences. The only advice I can give, is keep trying different loads untill you find one you and the gun agree on. If your gun simply insists on heavy weight bullets, the Winchester +p 158-grain LSWCHP (or the similar Remington offering) wouldn't be an altogether bad choice. If you decide to use bullets heavier than 135gr, I would stick with unjacketed.

January 8, 2003, 08:14 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Carbon--
I have shot the Golden Sabers, and agree they're about as much as I can handle with reasonable comfort and control; but they just aren't as accurate for me as the old FBI load, so I'll stick with SWCHP+Ps, which do group quite well. I figure being able to hit 2 or 3 inches closer to my point of aim is a whole lot more critical than getting an extra tenth of an inch of expansion, and the SWCHP has a reasonable record from what I understand. (I do, however, carry a big, bad .357 in the top chamber; if I work my way all the way around the cylinder and I'm still shootin', I want the nastiest thing I can throw for my last shot, and a reminder to reload ;) )


January 8, 2003, 08:52 PM
I figure being able to hit 2 or 3 inches closer to my point of aim is a whole lot more critical than getting an extra tenth of an inch of expansion

The old standby +p 158gr LSWC-HP has an excelent record. The new lighter JHP's outclass it with velocity and expansion, but it definatly has them on penetration. Even though the expansion wasn't as good with the 158's, the higher velocity ones made a pretty fair temp. cavity (for whatever thats worth). Sometimes raw data can be misleading. Some of the better expanding rounds left very small temp. stretch cavities and some of the underexpanding round left nice ones. :scrutiny:
I like the idea about the top chamber...

January 10, 2003, 02:40 AM
I'd like to thank both of the authors for the fine work. It was very professional.
Mike H

January 10, 2003, 07:26 PM
Jason and Dan:

Glad to see you guys here in "God's Country". Where exactly are y'all? :)

Dan Johnson
January 10, 2003, 08:12 PM
I'm near Greenville.

Dan Johnson

January 10, 2003, 09:54 PM
I live in Boiling Springs---just outside of Spartanburg.

January 11, 2003, 04:57 AM
I was In lexington...near Pelion now

January 12, 2003, 06:44 PM
went out and bought the magazine. Your .38 table was a good one. Enjoyed the Remington Army Rep article too. I then wrote an e-mail to the editor telling him how good you are

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