Long Barreled muzzle velocities?


October 10, 2005, 06:51 AM
There seems to be a lot of data out there provided by the various ammo companies concerning the muzzle velocities and muzzle energies of their various .38 special loads out of 4" barrels.

My question is....

.....can anyone here direct me to data concerning .38 loadings shot out of 6" barrels?

Specifically, how much improvement in speed and ft/lbs do the following .38 loads get out of a 6" barrel as opposed to a 4" barrel?

a) 158gr LRN standard target load.
b) 130gr FMJ/FMC target load
c) 158gr LWSC +P load

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Peter M. Eick
October 10, 2005, 12:50 PM
I will let you know maybe this afternoon if the rain lets up. I have the chrono out and was going to take out a bunch of 38 special reloads. I was planning to try them in the following guns.

8 3/8" pre-27
6.5" 38/44 outdoorsman
4" diamondback
2" detective special.

These should all be in the 700 to 900 fps reloads using standard book data.

If I can't get it done today, then tomorrow morning.

October 10, 2005, 01:27 PM
From COMBAT HANDGUNS, July 2004 - Chuck Taylor, author

Smith & Wesson .38 K Frame /4" /6"/ %

Glaser Blue 88 Safety Slug /1512/ 1655/ 91
US Gov't 110 JHP+P /1129 /1170/ 96
Super Vel 110 JHP /1140/ 1201/ 95
Winchester 110 JHP+P /902/ 954/ 95
Winchester 125 JHP+P /895/ 942/ 95
Remington 125 JHP+P /869/ 899/ 97
Fed Nyclad 125 SWCHP+P /906/ 963/ 94
USAF 130 FMJ Ball /883 /937/ 94
Federal 148 LWC /702 /756/ 93
Winchester 158 LRN /734 /781/ 94
Winchester 158 LRN+P /911 /944/ 97
Fed Nyclad 158 SWCHP+P /855 /874/ 98
Winchester 158 LSWHP+P /833 /890/ 94
Federal 158 LWCHP+P /896 /944/ 95
Remington 158 LWC JP+P /902 /951/ 95
USAF 158 FMJ Ball /775 /793/ 98

Average = 95%

October 10, 2005, 08:11 PM
I use the Rem LWC HP +P after many years of fooling with such trash as the 110 grain Super Vel ect. which is great for game up to 50 pounds!
Notice the Rem LWC velocites! Very close to my tests and I get 850 out of snubs 2 inches and 2.5 with it! ;)

Peter M. Eick
October 10, 2005, 09:44 PM
Go hit the reloading page. I have a whole writeup to dump up there in a few minutes.

October 11, 2005, 01:02 AM
If firing 38spl in a 357 mag chamber though, I have heard you lose 30-40fps on average.

Sleeping Dog
October 11, 2005, 08:12 AM
I gotta get a chonograph, gotta get researchin' this issue.

My non-chrony gut-feel is that barrel length makes more difference with slow powder (Blue Dot, VV N350) than with the fast stuff (Bullseye, VV N310).


October 11, 2005, 09:02 AM
So....in terms of raw speed and ft/lbs,

would a +p .38 Special self-preservation load fired out of a 6" barrel be as effective as a standard pressure 9mm JHP fired out of a 4" barrel?

October 11, 2005, 11:00 AM
Not much difference in the 950fps 158grain .357" bullet and the 980fps .356" 147grain 9mm bullet other than having at least 2 times as many 9mm bullets in the gun! :neener:

Peter M. Eick
October 11, 2005, 02:34 PM
Real world test time. Check out the reloading section for details.

Would you believe that an 8 3/8" barrel could be slower then a 4" barrel (see the trail boss data, pre-27 vs Diamondback).

Would you believe that a 2" barrel would be 40 fps slower then an 8 3/8" barrel (see the cci blazer data, DS vs pre-27.

Would you believe that a 5" would be faster then a 6.5" barrel and commonly a 4" would be faster then both (see the titeroup loads for the diamondback, outdoorsman and heavy duty.

What does this mean?

If you have a "fast' detective special you might be be better off then a "slow" 8 3/8" pre-27. Or your 4" Colt might outrun a 5" and a 6.5" S&W.

Trust nothing, test everything........

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