.38 lead SWC-HP question for Steven A. Camp


Lone Star
June 8, 2006, 09:55 PM
Mr. Camp-

I have read your various articles on the Net with deep interest and enough background to be impressed.

I see that you prefer (in a snub) the Remington lead SWC-HP .38 load to the Winchester equivalent as its softer lead bullet expands easier.

But, what about barrel leading if a box of this ammo is fired at the range? Does the Remington lead-plate your guns' bores worse than the harder Federal and Winchester ammo?

How does penetration differ among the brands, if you've tried that in water, etc.?


Lone Star

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June 11, 2006, 09:33 PM
I'll bump this because I know Steve has recently had some puter/ISP issues and so may not have seen it yet - hopefully he will eventually.

Stephen A. Camp
June 11, 2006, 10:07 PM
(Thank you, P95Carry. I appreciate it and had not seen it.)

Hello, Lone Star. I apologize but I've been having seven yards of you-know-what with my internet service provider.

I have not experienced any leading problems in any revolver (S&W, Ruger, and Colt) that I've tried any of the Big Three's LSWCHP ammo in. The twist on the .38 is relatively slow and at velocities in the 800 - 900 ft/sec range through 2 to 4" tubes, it simply has not been an issue in my guns. I have little doubt that if a bore is unusually rough, leading could crop up.

Checking my often-hard-to-find-and-sometimes-permanenty-lost notes, it appears that about the most Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P I've fired at one time were through my 3" Model 64 and the number was 95 shots. (Getting rid of some old or beat up ammo.) In any event, I suffered no major leading problems and a normal cleaning took care of things.

I have not compared the Winchester to the Remington but would expect the former to probably penetrate perhaps a bit more than the latter from a 1 7/8 to 2" barrel. Either expand pretty well the same from 3" barrels.

Part of this is because I've noted no complaints on penetration with any of these "old techology" rounds and since my usual carry .38 is a snub, I opted for the Remington.

I wish I had a more definitive answer for you, but simply do not.


Jim March
June 11, 2006, 10:10 PM
Not Stephen but...my understanding is that leading doesn't get too bad until you hit about 1,000fps. Which is why the Buffalo Bore variant of this load is gas-checked, meaning a copper based plate is added to the back of the bullet (it doesn't affect expansion, it just prevents burning gasses from frying the back of the round and plating the barrel with lead). The BuffBore version can hit 1,000fps from a snubbie if all is right with the world (decent barrel, decent gap).

The Remingtons won't hit that from a snubby or from a 4" barrel. So...I doubt the leading is going to be too ugly. Shoot a few standard pressure jacketed rounds through the gun at the end of the range session to blast most of the lead out, saves a ton of scrubbing. Standard pressure is for safety if the leading is worse than you thought.

June 11, 2006, 10:12 PM
Steve - the bump worked :) Thx for picking up on it.

Lone Star - do go browse on Steve's site - http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/ where if you look around you'll see some very useful tests he has done with all sorts of bullets - including the lead.

Lone Star
June 12, 2006, 09:32 AM
Thanks, guys. I have had minor leading with the Federal and Winchester versions; only had one box of Remington, and don't recall that it was different, but it was several years ago.

I might add that the discontinued Federal (NO. 38G in their list) was quite accurate in my several guns, especially an S&W M66, four-inch bbl.

I like the idea of this load for ample penetration, especially if I have to shoot a big dog or take a crossbody shot on a bulky felon. It would also be my preference if I had to carry a .38 in bear or cougar country, although a .357 makes more sense.


Lone Star

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