158 gr .38/.357 Winchester Bulk Pack - not recommended for moderate velocity loads


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RyanM
May 5, 2006, 05:21 PM
Both bullets used book maximum .357 magnum loads fired through a 2.25" Ruger SP-101. The one that expanded a bit was 8.6 gr IMR HiSkor 800-X load (IMR says 1080 fps through a 6" barrel), in Remington brass with a CCI regular primer. The one that didn't was 8 gr of Alliant Power Pistol (1305 fps through a 5.6" barrel) in Winchester brass, also with a regular CCI small pistol primer.

Both bullets were fired into gallon ziploc bags full of water, no clothing. The HiSkor bullet penetrated about 18" of water and was found on the ground a couple inches behind the last bag. The Power Pistol bullet penetrated through 18" of water and then about a foot of dirt. I think it got dented when it hit a buried .22 LR shell case. I found a bunch of those when digging up the bullet, anyway.

It's surprising that the Power Pistol bullet barely expanded at all. It was definitely going faster than the HiSkor one. Harder recoil, much louder. More velocity _may_ increase the expansion and make them perform more reliably, but I definitely recommend against using these in any kind of hunting or self defense load unless you test them yourself, with the particular load and firearm you plan on using.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=39651&stc=1&d=1146860115

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=39652&stc=1&d=1146860115

edit: Oh, I forgot to mention. The HiSkor bullet expanded to an average diameter of about 0.46", and the Power Pistol one to about 0.37".

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Cerberus62
May 5, 2006, 10:05 PM
I have shot a lot of these bullets through 4" and longer .357's and gotten good expansion in wet newsprint. I get the same results you did in any load running under 1000 fps, as your probably were in your snubby. They have always done OK for me in full velocity loads, but it is indeed a tough bullet.

FWIW, I have always preferred fairly heavy solid bullets in lower velocity loads. Some active duty LEO's I knew carried 148gr target wadcutters in their .38 Special snubbies, and I know people who still do, me being one of them. They cut nice clean holes in paper and soft tissue.

A heavy, flat faced bullet is almost never a bad idea when shooting live targets.

Keep the good info coming.

Thanks

RyanM
May 6, 2006, 12:40 AM
I have considered using wadcutters for now, given how incredibly expensive the Speer 135 gr Gold Dots are, but I ordered some plated hollowpoints instead. Hopefully they'll work better, but I don't know. The Berry's hollowpoints are plated on the inside of the hollow. It may be possible to grind that out if they don't expand well as is.

Also, your test results may have been better because you used newsprint, which is a lot more resiliant than water. Tissue is probably closer in performance to water. I remember seeing a picture the results when someone tried the same bullet over a standard .38 SPL load, in wet newsprint. Instead of a kind of half-mushroom, the bullet ended up with the lead "skirt" almost completely sheared off.

ReloaderFred
May 6, 2006, 01:25 AM
I've viewed quite a few bullets from autopsies over the years and there is no guarantee what a bullet is going to do when it hits tissue and bone. Some perform as designed and some don't, sometimes in the same body. There are so many variables involved that it's hard to predict with any certainty what any given bullet is going to do under those circumstances.

I will say that the old Winchester Black Talon was pretty reliable regards expansion, though. We had just started using it when I retired, but the ones I viewed did what they were supposed to do.

Hope this helps.

Fred

asknight
May 6, 2006, 04:19 AM
It's surprising that the Power Pistol bullet barely expanded at all.

From the looks of the pic, it did indeed expand. Perhaps over-expanded as it sheared off the lead nose. In a real world scenario, you would have a good bit of fragmentation of the nose of that bullet floating around in your target. It's not very common for bullets of that type to expand in the area where the copper jacket resides. Early HP designs have their flaws, ya know.

Can you weigh each bullet and post the results?

RyanM
May 6, 2006, 02:07 PM
I already did, but I forgot to include the results. The HiSkor bullet weighed 158.6 grains, and the Power Pistol bullet weighed 157.7 grains. There was indeed no expansion, just a slight crushing of the exposed lead. I really don't know why there was no expansion. It may have been that bullet was a lemon.

asknight
May 7, 2006, 01:25 AM
Well darn, I thought I had helped discover something previously un-noticed. Definitely interesting to me, as your actual test results are contradictory to what I would have thought happened to the faster bullet.

I'm curious whether the Power Pistol-propelled bullet will upset a little more from a longer barrel and/or higher velocity. I've assumed it to be fairly common that the first generation HP's would have a hard time mushrooming from lower-than-nuclear velocities.

I must agree that this bullet at the velocities tested won't be ideal for hunting or personal defense from your particular pistol though. :)

RyanM
May 7, 2006, 02:17 AM
The failure to expand with the Power Pistol loaded round was probably a fluke, but it definitely lowers my confidence in that bullet for hunting or defense use, even at higher velocities. If one layer of thin plastic bag prevented the bullet from expanding, what will a T-shirt and skin do? I estimate that the Power Pistol load should have generated about 1100 to 1200 fps. Power Pistol is fast burning enough that the short barrel shouldn't slow it down more than that. Heck, the SP-101 actually has a 3.94" barrel if you measure it like an autopistol, from breech face to muzzle. Take away the half inch difference in case length, and it's got almost the same effective barrel length as a 3.5" barrel compact 9mm.

I plan on testing another Power Pistol loaded round or two, probably sometime next week, once I get some more bags. Also some factory loaded Remington 125 gr SJHPs, and some Berry's Preferred Plated Hollowpoints (158 gr .357 and 180 gr .40 cal) over various loads. I've yet to see anyone ever do any expansion testing of the Berry's hollowpoints, so it should be informative. I really have no clue how they'll do, especially since the pictures look like they're plated on the inside of the hollow cavity (they're still in the mail). Stay tuned.

The Remington SJHPs may be interesting too. I know they fragment like crazy through a 4" gun, but a snubby barrel may slow them down enough that they perform okay. Especially since the particular lot I have appears to use a different powder than usual. I tried firing them at dusk once, and all I got was a very ordinary looking 4" wide dull orange fireball. Most people seem to get foot wide, very visible fireballs in broad daylight that practically set their targets on fire, with that ammo. The recoil and noise were very nasty and my hand was sore for days, though, so apparently velocity is the usual.

The Bushmaster
May 7, 2006, 11:52 AM
RyanM...Have you ever did the same experiment using Remington bulk bullets in SJHP? Their noses are a little softer...

RyanM
May 7, 2006, 08:15 PM
Unfortunately, I'm limited to what I can get at the only local store, or buy online from Cabelas (since they're the only place I know of that doesn't charge an arm and a leg for shipping, plus they have a store right in PA, and didn't charge tax even though they shipped from that location...). And unfortunately, neither has the Remington SJHPs in .38/.357 caliber. I did look when I was still shopping around, but no luck.

Though that does remind me that I may also buy and test some Remington 155 gr .40 cal JHPs to handload if the price is low enough. Local store had them last time I was there. The factory loaded ones performed amazingly well in the Steve's Pages tests. .728" expansion, 19" penetration of water.

Kamicosmos
May 10, 2006, 02:23 AM
I'll definitely follow this thread for the report on the plated bullets. I've have trouble with leading and jacket seperation when pushing .357 and .44 Plated bullets supersonic.

I also use Winchester bulk bullets and Power Pistol for my .357 loads, including my SP101 2 1/4".

Steve C
May 10, 2006, 03:35 AM
The one that didn't was 8 gr of Alliant Power Pistol (1305 fps through a 5.6" barrel) in Winchester brass, also with a regular CCI small pistol primer.


The problem w/ JHP's is that you generally need at least a 1,000 fps to get any expansion, esp from conventional types like the Winchester, Remington or Speer. Apparently you didn't run these over a chrono and checking you data I would expect your velocities where only running around 800 to 850 fps from the short barreled Ruger.

Alliants load using 8.0grs of Power Pistol is useing a Federal 200 magnum primer. I've found that CCI standard primers can give as much as a 10% reduction in velocity vrs a standard Winchester primer (or example) in actual chrono'd velocites. Even so Speer's #13 Manuals data using their standard primers showns a load of 7.5grs Power Pistol only pushing a 158gr JHP out of their 6" Model 19 test revolver at 963 fps and their max load of 8.5 grs only doing 1,078 fps. Now subtract 200 fps for the 4" of lost barrel length and your'd down to around 800 fps.

The 800-X load would most likely be around the same though looking at your results it may be a bit faster but I'd still expect not much faster than 900fps.

If you want a good mag load to try, use 14.0grs of 2400 with your CCI standard primer (don't use a mag primer) in your Winchester case and Winchester 158gr JHP. This isn't a maximum load but may be a little over start value (-10%) depending upon data source. I've chrono'd this load from my S&W model 19 with 4" barrel at an average of 1,243 fps, pretty much spot on the standard 158gr factory loads published balistics. Even out of the 2.25" SP101 you should expect 1,100 fps or so but that should ensure proper expansion. A chronograph is a necessity to get accurate velocity data but you can make a good guess if you check various data sources and actual chrono'd results.

You still need to use the slower powders for optimum velocities even in short barrels. Powder like 2400, H110, W296 and AA#9 will get you there better than the slower or moderate rate powders. This does come at the price of greater muzzle flash and blast.

RyanM
May 10, 2006, 10:18 PM
I'll definitely follow this thread for the report on the plated bullets. I've have trouble with leading and jacket seperation when pushing .357 and .44 Plated bullets supersonic.

That sounds like you were putting way too much of a crimp on the bullets. I've actually stopped crimping altogether with both calibers I load. No belling the case mouth, either. Considering that Power Pistol is a fast-burning powder, a crimp shouldn't be necessary in the revolver loads for uniform burn. And in the autopistol calibers, the crimp is only to help feed reliability; taper crimp actually decreases the case tension on the bullet. My TIG welded Glock feeds the uncrimped rounds just fine, with zero setback, so it really just seems unnecessary.

-----------------

Alliants load using 8.0grs of Power Pistol is useing a Federal 200 magnum primer. I've found that CCI standard primers can give as much as a 10% reduction in velocity vrs a standard Winchester primer (or example) in actual chrono'd velocites. Even so Speer's #13 Manuals data using their standard primers showns a load of 7.5grs Power Pistol only pushing a 158gr JHP out of their 6" Model 19 test revolver at 963 fps and their max load of 8.5 grs only doing 1,078 fps. Now subtract 200 fps for the 4" of lost barrel length and your'd down to around 800 fps.

That's pretty crappy velocity that Speer got. Oh, well. Unfortunately, I really don't have the money right now to get a third powder, so I'm stuck with what I got for now. I tried to get powders that would be good in both calibers I own, but it seems like both of them are great in .40 S&W, but not that good in .357.

Although, felt recoil with the Power Pistol loads was worse than the factory 125 gr SJHPs, which another guy chronoed at 1243 fps through an even shorter barrel (http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38vs357snub.htm). The HiSkor loads had about the same recoil as the factory 125 gr loads. That's all I have to go by for approximate velocity. Not very scientific.

------------------

Also, I checked the local store again, and they did have some Remington 158 gr SJHPs this time. Those have a lot more lead exposed, and it may have been my imagination, but the lead looked darker too. And they were really cheap, $8 for 100. I'll pick some up when I've got some money.

The Berry's Plated Bullets don't look very promising as shipped, since they have this very thick ring of plating right at the hollowpoint opening. I scraped it out with a knife on a few bullets, but it's pretty labor intensive. I tried using a dremel and a grinding bit, but all that did is make the bullet shake and vibrate like crazy, without removing any metal. My fingers were numb for an hour after trying to hold that bullet. Maybe a normal drill and drill bit will work, if I can find something to hold the bullet securely and keep it from rotating, without crushing it. You can (kind of) see the difference in hollowpoint opening size in this pic. Modified on the left, stock on the right. It's especially obvious in the .357/.38 ones (bottom).

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=39832&stc=1&d=1147309186

Without the ring, it's a pretty sizeable hole. If the modified ones perform well and the stock ones don't, we should start an e-mail or telephone campaign to get Berry's Mfg. to start reaming out their hollowpoints.

It's looking like the testing will have to wait until Friday or the weekend.

ReloaderFred
May 10, 2006, 11:46 PM
Berry's plated hollowpoint bullets aren't designed for expansion. They were made because some shooters believe that hollowpoint bullets are more accurate than solid bullets. The 168 grain .308 BTHP Match bullets are a prime example. Those bullets aren't made to expand, but are inherently accurate.

I shoot Berry's bullets by the thousands, as I have a wholesale account with them. You should keep the plated bullets at about 1200 fps or below, though I've run them as fast as 1300 fps and they shot fine. When I bumped them up to around 1400 fps, they keyholed like crazy, because that is beyond their designed velocity.

I haven't played with the .38 plated hollowpoint bullets, but I've shot lots and lots of Berry's 124 grain plated hollowpoints in 357 Sig. They are very accurate and will expand to some degree in the right medium, even though that's not what they are designed for.

I've also run them through a hollowpoint swaging die and made a bullet similar to the Speer Gold Dot, but not as pretty. Once the plating is broken in the swaging die, and the nose is reformed, the modified bullets open up like mushrooms when fired into water, but it's pretty labor intensive to make any quantity of them.

Hope this helps.

Fred

RyanM
May 13, 2006, 08:46 PM
Well, none of the plated bullets seemed to expand, nor did the 158 SJHP I tried again. They all went through 2 feet of water, and then embedded themselves in a couple of thick magazines (dry) and got all mangled from hitting them.

That's really stupid that they make HPs for "accuracy." Jacketed HPs are only "more accurate" because they have no exposed lead at the base. Completely plated bullets make that pointless. I guess there's no substitute for premium bullets.

I'll be testing some modified Winchester and stock Remington 158 gr SJHPs in a few weeks. For the Winchesters, I hammered various sized phillips screwdriver heads into 'em, and also did a Torx screwdriver for a couple. That might help. I'll be waiting until I can get about 15 pounds of modeling clay to shoot them into. Water bags are too much trouble.

xring44
May 13, 2006, 09:14 PM
quote:That's really stupid that they make HPs for "accuracy." Jacketed HPs are only "more accurate" because they have no exposed lead at the base. Completely plated bullets make that pointless. I guess there's no substitute for premium bullets.

I'll be testing some modified Winchester and stock Remington 158 gr SJHPs in a few weeks. For the Winchesters, I hammered various sized phillips screwdriver heads into 'em, and also did a Torx screwdriver for a couple.

The reason hollow points are more accurate generally is the cavity up front puts more weight at the base of the bullet for more stability.

If you did, "hammer" screwdrivers into the the bullets to achieve hollow points you might want to check the diameter of the "finished product" Could be that the base flattened and now are WAY above bore diameter. Also, look for eratic flight, unless the "hollow point" is concentric to the diameter of the bullet, it cannot stablize in flight.

RyanM
May 14, 2006, 01:09 PM
More weight in the back makes a bullet less stable. Try throwing a badminton birdie backwards. Try taking apart a "rifled" slug shell and see which end of the slug is actually hollow.

The only reason JHPs are more accurate is the lack of exposed lead at the base. Some people say they have a higher ballistic coefficient, too, because the hollowpoint traps air in flight, acting kind of like the dimples on a golf ball, but I dunno if I buy that.

Already checked diameter, and nothing expanded at all. It's not like I was pounding the screwdriver to the bottom. Just making the cavity a slightly different shape.

YodaVader
May 14, 2006, 03:25 PM
Not trying to get off the subject of the 158 JHP Winchester bullets - but the main purpose of hollow point match rifle bullets is to "have as much weight (lead) possible at the true diameter of the bullet". The bulk of the lead core is "close to the center of bullet gravity" (or spin) These were stated in the book - THE ULTIMATE IN RIFLE ACCUARACY.

Or to think of it another way, if the lead core extended all the way out to the tip or point of the bullet, it would be far more difficult to achieve the bullet concentricity needed to achieve match accuracy.

As far as the Winchester 158 JHP mentioned above I have never tested it for expansion but the acccuracy of the bullet has been excellent in both my 6" 686 and TC 10" Contender. In the TC 158 JHPs go about 1450 fps and this was with a load about 1 grain under the max listed. Not sure about the speed out the 686.

ReloaderFred
May 14, 2006, 03:53 PM
Instead of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, why don't you just buy the bullet that's designed to expand in short barrelled revolvers. Speer has created the 38/357 Cal (revolver) Gold Dot Short Barrel HP 38 Spl/357 Mag. The part number is 4014. You can view it at www.speer-bullets.com. You may be able to view it at this link: http://www.speer-bullets.com/default.asp?s1=7&s2=27 Then just click on the "detail" for that bullet.

Seems this would be a lot better than punching bullets with a screwdriver.

Also, as I've noted in a previous post in this thread, bullets do strange things when impacting a body. Unless you've studied this in detail, it's hard to explain, but I can tell you for sure that plain water isn't going to give you the same results as clothing, meat, bone, gristle, etc., all in combination.

Hope this helps.

Fred

xring44
May 14, 2006, 07:50 PM
Quote:Not trying to get off the subject of the 158 JHP Winchester bullets - but the main purpose of hollow point match rifle bullets is to "have as much weight (lead) possible at the true diameter of the bullet". The bulk of the lead core is "close to the center of bullet gravity" (or spin) These were stated in the book - THE ULTIMATE IN RIFLE ACCUARACY.

Thats what I was trying to say YodaVader! Thanks....x

RyanM
May 14, 2006, 11:28 PM
Instead of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, why don't you just buy the bullet that's designed to expand in short barrelled revolvers. Speer has created the 38/357 Cal (revolver) Gold Dot Short Barrel HP 38 Spl/357 Mag. The part number is 4014. You can view it at www.speer-bullets.com. You may be able to view it at this link: http://www.speer-bullets.com/default.asp?s1=7&s2=27 Then just click on the "detail" for that bullet.

Speer Short Barrel Gold Dots are $13.29 per 100 plus $8.70 for shipping. Winchester or Remington bulk pack bullets are $7.99 per 100 plus gas for about 15 minutes of driving, round trip. Berry's are $13.99 per 250 plus $4.75 for shipping. If I had money, the Speer rounds would be my first choice. But, to rephrase your question; if you could make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, why wouldn't you?

Also, as I've noted in a previous post in this thread, bullets do strange things when impacting a body. Unless you've studied this in detail, it's hard to explain, but I can tell you for sure that plain water isn't going to give you the same results as clothing, meat, bone, gristle, etc., all in combination.

Water gives the maximum upset of the projectile, and thus lets you figure what the minimum penetration would be. If that's adequate, then you know that the bullet penetrates enough no matter what.

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