Loss of faith in the .38


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Puncha
July 29, 2006, 10:53 AM
I recently did some penetration tests with some 148gr S&B LWC target loads shooting at a phonebook place 23 meters away. The gun in question was a S&W model 10 and the load was selected due to some opinions that it could still be effective for SD even if fired from a snubby.

Anyway, I fired 3 shots and all failed to penetrate the phonebook. From what I could see, the slugs bored holes through about 200 pages and ended up stuck in the middle of the phonebook. The implication here is that they lack enough energy to penetrate through bone and into vital organs if used as a self defense/personal protection round.

I know that standard LRN rounds deliver more energy than LWC loads (200 ft/lbs vs 166 ft/lbs), but to what extent will the penetration ability be greater? Can I expect to see a phonebook to be shot clean through? Did the range of 20+ meters make a difference? Would a closer range of 8-9 meters see MUCH greater penetration?

BTW, if anyone is asking me to consider HP rounds or +P rounds, I would like to add that the local authorities have very recently tightened controls over the sale of +P or HP ammo to non LEOs.

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TexasRifleman
July 29, 2006, 11:01 AM
First rule of a gunfight: Bring a gun.

If that gun happens to be nothing more than the "lowly" .38 Special then you are still way ahead of the game.

Just in sheer volume it's likely the .38 Special has killed more men in non-military engagements than anything else.

enfield
July 29, 2006, 11:07 AM
So the phone book is still alive?

Kurac
July 29, 2006, 11:08 AM
Phone books are very hard targets. I have fired .223 FMJ at phone books. They go through but just barely and the bullets went to small pieces.

sgt127
July 29, 2006, 11:13 AM
Phone books are very hard targets.

+1. A dry flat phonebook is damned near solid wood. Pretty tough to poke a hole in.

Go get a big post roast and shoot it with the same round.

Puncha
July 29, 2006, 11:17 AM
The implication here was that I could have used a phonebook in lieu of a ballistic panel and it would have saved by life if my assailent was shooting 148gr LWCs at me from medium range! :confused:

aguyindallas
July 29, 2006, 11:22 AM
When I think of self defense situations, one of the first thing that comes to mind for me is potential distance. I was taught and have a belief that although it doesnt need to be a belly gun fight to justify, you may be hard pressed to prove threat or non threat in a distance such as 23 meters. Typically I believe 7 yards or less is more than fair game and is easy to justify. Anything longer than that and you could be answering to the question that you should have made an attempt to retreat before firing your weapon.

With that said, I am not a lawyer and have never been in front of the grand jury.

I believe the .38 is still a very viable option in self defense.

Sistema1927
July 29, 2006, 11:24 AM
You won't get too many volunteers to stand in front of you to perform a real world test of those wadcutters.

Serpico
July 29, 2006, 11:25 AM
What scares me is they bounce right off the bible.

mete
July 29, 2006, 11:33 AM
Wells Fargo type armoured cars used to use phone books to make them bullet proof.

Hugo
July 29, 2006, 11:38 AM
Hundreds of layers, each one slows the bullet a little. Hmmmm. Layers seem pretty effective. Whether its a home security system or ballistic protection, layers work.

1 LT MPC
July 29, 2006, 11:42 AM
Try your experiment in something that more closely resembles HUMAN tissue. Maybe 10% ballistic gelatin, if you can find it. There are a lot of articles on the tactical forum that discuss this very topic, in detail, based on empirical data. The experts conclude that the .38 full wadcutter (standard pressure) is more effective than standard pressure hollow points, out of a 2 inch snubbie. :)

The caveat is that the WC must have sharp shoulders, as does the Winchester lead Super-X Match ammo.

If your model 10 has a 4 inch barrel, then by all means use hollowpoint ammunition, as you will get more velocity with resulting expansion and penetration.

albanian
July 29, 2006, 11:45 AM
Phone books may not be the the best medium for tests but at least the guy was doing his own tests and not just reading gun rags. A little real world tests goes a long way in showing yourself what does what. You can debate 9mm vs. .45acp all day long and never learn a damm thing but if you take both of them to the range and do some tests, it might just show you what you want to see.

I am of the camp that a round should have a least a certain amount of penetration to have faith in it. I am happy with my 9mms because I have tested them against .45acp and .40S&W and found that they tend to penetrat better than either. If using a JHP, you get great expansion while still getting decent penetration.

I used phone books as well as other non-scientific mediums and I felt that I learned more by doing my own tests than reading about it. If I have to shoot someone, I want to be sure that even if they are wearing a heavy leather coat, I still have enough penetration to make a hole. Make a hole first and then worry about expansion. If your bullets are bouncing off your attacker, they are not going to expand much!:neener:

1 LT MPC
July 29, 2006, 12:25 PM
My point is that if one is going to do "tests," Then the tests must be realistic; otherwise garbage in , garbage out. There needs to be a modicum of common sense used. Example, why would I test a personal defense round at 23 meters when the vast majority of fatal shootings occur at ranges of less than 21 feet? Do I have a room in my house that is 23 meters long? Is my (or your) center of mass equal to a 3 inch thick telephone book? Is over penetration more or less fatal? :banghead:
Just some things I would consider.:D

MCgunner
July 29, 2006, 12:34 PM
You can have your wadcutters and round noses for SD. I'll keep carrying a 158 grain JHP or SWCHP at 260 ft lbs (+P) from a 2" barrel, thanks. :rolleyes: I'm not sure how many phone book pages the FBI load can penetrate, but in shootings in the real world, it's one of the best .38 loads going measured either by Marshall/Sanow OR Fackler. If you want to optimize penetration, go for a hard cast +P 158 grain SWC. Wadcutters are for punching holes in targets (Also GREAT for small game:D ) and round nose is eclipsed by just about any SD load on the market for SD use. IMHO, you are testing the two WORST loads in all of .38 specialdom. You seem to be listening to the wrong people. That 168 ft lbs or whatever it was should give you some idea of its lack of effectiveness. If you wanna optimize penetration, go with a 158 grain bullet and push it at a decent velocity. That will increase momentum as well as energy and make Fackler and Evan Marshall happy. ;)

MCgunner
July 29, 2006, 12:41 PM
Phone books may not be the the best medium for tests but at least the guy was doing his own tests and not just reading gun rags. A little real world tests goes a long way in showing yourself what does what.

The only directly applicable "real world test" would be to go out and actually shoot 1500 people and measure the incapacitation time, then do your statistical analysis. In lieu of that, folks have used goats and such to do the testing. Me, I'll just do it the way I always have, read, compare exterior ballistics, pick my handload recipe to optimize accuracy as much as energy, and shoot for center mass. Practice, practice, practice cause the bullet don't even have to expand if it hits the heart.

1 LT MPC
July 29, 2006, 12:45 PM
MC gunner, I agree, if you have a snubbie that can shoot plus p ammo. My colt cobra doesn't do well with +p and I suspect that many other alloy guns would do better with standerd pressure. I use 158 LSWC +p in my SP101 with no problems at all.

MCgunner
July 29, 2006, 12:53 PM
Oh, okay, that makes sense. I'd try a good 158 grain SWC at standard pressure, though. I can get over 200 ft lbs with such a load out of a 2" gun. As for factory loads, I don't pay attention to what's available. I do have a mild +P recipe that is very accurate that I'd use in that Cobra no problem, or carry and fire only occasionally. It is an old standby, 5.0 grains Unique behind a 158 grain SWC. It gives 220 ft lbs. I don't think you need worry about expansion at the velocities you'll get with these loads, so the SWC with its wide flat point makes sense. Too, speed loaders are near impossible with wadcutter loads to get any speed with, where a SWC will guide into the cylinder easier. I really don't think wadcutters have ANY advantage over the 158 grain SWC as far as energy transfer/temp stretch cavity, what ever you want to call it. The facklerites would have you believe that's not important and if you believe that then use round nose bullets, but they're pathetic performers in the real world and this is well documented.

Anyway, my vote is for a good hard cast 158 grain SWC at the highest velocity you're willing to push it. I think it'd work about as good as any non- +P load.

1 LT MPC
July 29, 2006, 01:27 PM
MCgunner, the wadcutters (148 gr) penetrate at least 12 inches in gelatin, about the same as other bullets using standard pressure. Since the wads are flat- faced, they don't have to expand. The hp's do and don't have the velocity, therefore becoming, in essence, round noses, which are undesirable. Ergo, in the Cobra, I carry six wadcutters with a speedstrip backup loaded with 158 gr LSWC's, +P. (If I have to re-load, I'm not so worred about my gun anymore!). Follow up shots with the full wads are a breeze and six fast rounds can be placed on target in a manner of seconds (plus easy practice sessions). :D
All of this is prefaced on a 2 inch barrel. This point is moot if one carries a 3 or 4 inch revolver.

Lone_Gunman
July 29, 2006, 01:37 PM
The moral of the story is that if you are being attacked by phone books, get something better than a 38.

Seriously, I see no relevance between performance of a bullet in a phone book, with performance of a bullet in living tissue.

There are many, many corpses in graveyards right now with 38 caliber bullet holes in them.

usmccpl
July 29, 2006, 01:37 PM
I have never fired a single round into ballistic gelliten but i have fire several into large phone books. The only bullets ive seen go more than half way through the book 375 H&H mag rounds that the jacket opened to create a large hole while the steel core dug deep. Even my 44mag using 330gr hard cast lead bullets only go about half to 2/3 of it.




one shot one kill

EddieCoyle
July 29, 2006, 02:37 PM
OK, I'm sold. Where do I get a phonebook vest?

RON in PA
July 29, 2006, 02:44 PM
Do your test over, but soak your phone book in water first and shoot at 7 yards.
Nobody tests penetration in dry phone books.

Iggy
July 29, 2006, 03:08 PM
Also, find a way to supend the wet phone book.. If it is against a hard backstop etc. the resistance is growing as compaction increases.:rolleyes:

MCgunner
July 29, 2006, 05:40 PM
Well, I think a .22 short, maybe even a CB cap, could penetrate the Port Lavaca, Texas phone book. :D

albanian
July 29, 2006, 06:07 PM
I suspect that a phone book would stop most handgun rounds. I wouldn't bet that a hot 9mm FMJ would be stopped though. I am sure a .40 or a .45 would be stopped.

armoredman
July 29, 2006, 06:09 PM
Layers seem pretty effective.
Onion or parfait?

TimboKhan
July 29, 2006, 07:10 PM
hmm... Oddly, my thoughts on the .38 have changed, but in the exact opposite direction as Puncha. I would be lying if I said that I have conducted penetration tests of any sort, but I have researched the issue, and while nothing beats your own empirical observations, all the data I have looked at has left me satisfied that I would not be undergunned with a .38 in a SD situation. Interestingly, while I wouldn't call it "research", one time my buddy and I did blaze away at a phone book that we had suspended from our target stand, and it was fairly easy (and fun) to blow rounds through it and watch confetti shoot out the back. I am no physics guy, but I assume that because the phone book was suspended and the pages not tightly compacted together in addition to the relatively large amount of movement that the setup provided (no rigid backround), the space between the pages offered less immediate resistance than a closed phone book would have, although what I don't know about this subject could fill a book.

Jkwas
July 29, 2006, 07:16 PM
I shot some S&B 148grn wadcutters with my 3in model10. Horrible load. They tumbled and slashed at the target, many appeared to hit sideways. Don't go by the results produced by this load. Try their 158gn FMJ. It works a lot better, and better yet, buy a premium JHP load for SD. ;)

pezo
July 29, 2006, 07:43 PM
Not to sound distastefull. But dont tell John Lennon about the ineffectiveness of the .38 round.

pezo
July 29, 2006, 07:50 PM
P.s I was blasting away at 3/4" plywood with 158 grain .38 lrn (winchester)and .357 mag 158 grain PMC jsp's with a 6" gp100. The rounds whizzed right thru. My buddy grab his sks rifle and fire's a 30 round mag into the same board. Not one 7.62 mm round in that mag penetrated!:confused: It was factory ammo since he wouldnt know how to reload. The next mag with different ammo did go thru however. I had no idea where or what kind of ammo he was using but still.

MCgunner
July 29, 2006, 07:53 PM
Well, I think we should give Hinkley a .44 mag and give him another shot at the Bradys. How's THAT for distasteful? :D

JERRY
July 29, 2006, 10:03 PM
if i were to base my opinion on a calibers usefullness for self defense, it would be with a round in that caliber that "I" would use for self defense.....and a target loading would not be one.....

vanilla_gorilla
July 30, 2006, 01:37 AM
I have long since lost all faith in the .38, particularly the snub model. Perhaps this might change when I lay hands on some of the loads made specifically made for short barrels, but as of right now, I consider the .38 the absolute minimum in self defense rounds.

The standard argument is that the .38 has "killed more people than we can ever talk about" and that is very likely true. After all, how many untold numbers of police officers and bad guys alike have used it, often resulting in death? Well, if killing is all you want in a self-defense piece, then I'm sure the .38 is quite fine for you. I do not personally care if my attacker lives or dies, as long as he is STOPPED. I want him to stop attacking me, and anything beyond that is immaterial. This is where the .38 falls short. It's terminal ballistics, particularly out of ~2 inch barrels, is inadequate to provide the necessary tissue damage for good stops.

I prefer bigger bullets with hollow noses that I can trust to expand. If I can't have bigger bullets, I can certainly have faster bullets. Either one works better though.

BluesBear
July 30, 2006, 02:23 AM
I used to use dry Louisville, KY phone books as a backstop.
This was back when the white and yellow pages were combined.
.357/.41/.44/.45 I've never had ANY handgun cartridge fired from a handgun penetrate even a single one.

A telephone book acts like a kevlar vest. A lot of layers combining resistance to stop the bullet.
And when wet the resistence lessens greatly!

Stainz
July 30, 2006, 07:38 AM
The so-called 'FBI load', the +P 158gr LHPSWC, like the Remington R38S12 (~$22/50), was designed for short barrels. I have chrono-ed the Remington round at 840 fps from my 2" 10-11 (A very recent +P variant.), while from my 6" 66-6, they made 994 fps, which is possibly just too fast for a LHP. According to those who tabulate 'one shot stop' data, they fare far better than .45ACP ball ammo in 'OSS'. This data simply implies the fight is over, not that the attacker was vaporized.

That round is fine in my 2" 10 with wood service boot grips - or anything larger. They are miserable in a 642, of course, but that is what I'll use in a 642 - when I get one. Collateral damage, easily experienced in hyper-velocity .357M rounds of the day - now in lite weight +P .38's, shouldn't be a problem with a lead HP at that ~840 fps.

Wasn't the 158gr LRN load at one time referred to as the 'widowmaker' load by NYPD? Still, the very best .38 load is whatever you have in your .38 - when you need it.

Stainz

JERRY
July 30, 2006, 08:29 AM
the "widow maker" was used for the cop carrying that round, meaning he will probably die in the gun fight because of the rounds anemic design.....hence his wife would be a widow, not the bad guys.....


in a snubby, the Cor-Bon DPX round gives good penetration and almost absolute expansion, about the best you can expect from any caliber or gun in general. the round has been shown to pen/exp. so consistantly from a snubby that i have stoked my model 37 with it.

the Remington (not Win. or Fed.) 158gr. lhp does the same from a snubby. it does it better than the others because it uses a softer lead, allowing it do expand reliably from the 2" barreled guns....

i have some of those stoked in some other airweights i have....

but note, both of these laods are not fun at all to shoot in a light weight snubby. but i believe they are the best performers in such a gun.

MCgunner
July 30, 2006, 08:41 AM
I thought the "widow maker" referred to the lead round noses that cops used to be forced to carry in NY? I wouldn't apply that to the FBI load.:rolleyes:

JERRY
July 30, 2006, 09:06 AM
Wasn't the 158gr LRN load at one time referred to as the 'widowmaker' load by NYPD? Still, the very best .38 load is whatever you have in your .38 - when you need it.



thats what he said...i was making it clear that the cop was not going to be making a bad guys wife a widow, rather the other way around.......and i also stated that i believe the "fbi" load is one of the best...

the Remington (not Win. or Fed.) 158gr. lhp does the same from a snubby. it does it better than the others because it uses a softer lead, allowing it do expand reliably from the 2" barreled guns....

Puncha
July 30, 2006, 10:39 AM
....i) I tested the rounds at 20+ meters because I shoot most accurately at that range (don't ask me why 20-25m is the magic range for me, I just shoot best at that distance. :) ) and wanted to ensure that I hit the A4 sized phonebook accurately.
ii) I reasoned that if the wadcutters were able to penetrate at 20-25 meters, then I would have confidence that it would go deeply enough into a large sized perp at shorter distances.
iii) Similarly, with 148gr target loads being mild, if it could do well for penetration even with a totally flat nose, then a normal speed 158gr LRN with a sharper nose would DEFINATELY be able to do the job.
iv) It's now very difficult to buy self protection ammo where I reside due to recent govt regulations.

JERRY
July 30, 2006, 11:23 AM
as you know im sure, shot placement is second to nothing. expansion of a bullet is way behind penetration as the next thing in line.....

but penetration and expansion mean little if you shot a bad guy in the arm or leg or even in the gut (if it misses the pelvic girdle) and he continues to fight........


if shot placement was a given, then all the other h.p. would have a real world arguement over what is best.


but i'd rather take the latest and greatest touted h.p. in the arm, leg, or gut, over a taget load in the chest........


dont get too hung up on the junk science that some folks use to promote their pet loads........while there are some true innovations and a few have real world street results without the fuzzy math to squew numbers, the only thing any good round has in common with another is the shot placement.......

Mr. Cirillo (ret. nypd) has documented many kills in the line of duty........quite a few were head shots since he had the drop on them often enough......his target was the eye or ear depending on the presentation, and it did not matter that he was using a load that by todays "standards" was a "poor stooper" or had less than 50% one shot stops........


he put it where it had to go. and if you do the same, you will be far better of than the guy who has the latest gee whiz round that under stress cant make consistant K5 shot or whatever you call it now......

Tim Burke
July 30, 2006, 12:34 PM
I tested the rounds at 20+ meters because I shoot most accurately at that range (don't ask me why 20-25m is the magic range for me, I just shoot best at that distance.
So you shoot smaller groups at 20-25 meters than you do at 5 meters?
That's very odd.

Delmar
July 30, 2006, 12:57 PM
You should use a Washington DC phone book. That way, you can test penetration into BS.

grislyatoms
July 30, 2006, 01:13 PM
A telephone book acts like a kevlar vest. A lot of layers combining resistance to stop the bullet.
And when wet the resistence lessens greatly!

I am going to build myself a phone book vest!:neener:

MCgunner
July 30, 2006, 01:34 PM
Wasn't the 158gr LRN load at one time referred to as the 'widowmaker' load by NYPD? Still, the very best .38 load is whatever you have in your .38 - when you need it.




thats what he said...

Oh, I re-read that. Makes more sense now...:banghead:

cookekdjr
July 30, 2006, 02:12 PM
Puncha,

Don't give up on the .38 special. It has performed well in every shooting I have investigated. That being said, the .38 is similar to the 9mm in that its performance is very load-dependant. I doubt a 130gr bullet going 800 fps (WWB, I believe) is going to match a 158gr bullet at 900 fps (approximation of the FBI load).
BTW, you may be interested in a write-up of the .38's real-life performance here (from an incident in Atlanta):

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=151697&highlight=homicide+call


David

P.S. in the above instance, even the wimpy 130gr WWB performed well.
-D

Jackal
July 30, 2006, 02:28 PM
Okay, thats it. Im making a phone book "bullet proof vest".

357wheelgunner
July 30, 2006, 02:53 PM
"BTW, if anyone is asking me to consider HP rounds or +P rounds, I would like to add that the local authorities have very recently tightened controls over the sale of +P or HP ammo to non LEOs."

Where the hell do you live? No where in America are hollowpoints outlawed. I'd get your facts straight.....

cslinger
July 30, 2006, 02:56 PM
Actually hollowpoints are technically illegal in New Jersey. I believe you can own them on your property but cannot carry them in any way (read that as loose in your pockets). Basically HPs in New Jersey are ILLEGAL.

Chris

sm
July 30, 2006, 03:23 PM
I am a huge fan of the Model 10 and its Cousin the Model 64.
I like dedicated .38spls. Oh I am a big fan of K frame revolvers, be they .22, to .357, still the dedicated Model 10/ 64 are proven.

SM/D Test is something I was Mentored about in the '50's. I was born in '55, and I recall this test the first time. Seems these folks been doing it forever. Even checking Blackpowder loads...way back when...

Many on this board, folks you all have read reviews by, and have done business also know of this Test, and have mentioned as I have, and am about to again.

Shoot dirt.

Mentors kept it simple, fill a box with dirt/ mud , shoot, and from the top of box, recover bullets, buckshot, slugs, whatever.

Make a note of all pertinent information. Gun, factory ammo/ reload data, distance...etc. Keep the bullet and label it.

I have used a Model 10 to shoot critters for instance. Recover bullet. Look up notes, and it is amazing how close and similar the Scientific Mud/ Dirt Test Bullet replicates the one recovered from a critter.

I have compared with meat, that went bad due to loss of power, shot hams, roasts, side of beef...and that was a busy day , shooting and making notes, tagging bullets, pellets and slugs.

I have also shot vehicles, from outside into - and from inside out of. Doors, windshields , etc.

Mentors said back when, repeated since , still applicable.

"One must test their gun with ammo to know. Best to have a easy method to test and make notes to refer back to".

I believe in the Model 10, the dedicated .38spls, and in keeping it simple when it comes to me testing, and having comparisons for me to conduct.

I appreciate and respect all the time, money and efforts other folks do and share - still I need to have a way I can test for me.

One person that does the SM/D test, makes ammo, and sells it.


We have used simple cardboard boxes, Wood "coffins" out of discarded furniture, like dressers on backsides filled with dirt/ mud, dresser drawers themselves, made wooden "coffins" with scrap wood , to using 55 gal and smaller drums, on their side, side cut out.

Anything as a front to keep dirt in. We can put a pane of glass, drywall, denim, you name it in front to check penetration and deflection.

Glass does interesting things to bullets.


HTH

Steve

BOBE
July 30, 2006, 04:12 PM
If all else fails,don't give up on the 38, move to a city which has a thinner phone book.:what: :neener:
Just kidding,
BOBE

Ryder
July 30, 2006, 05:58 PM
The implication here is that they lack enough energy to penetrate through bone and into vital organs

No implication about it. I knew a guy who was shot with a 38spcl and the bullet was stopped by his rib bone. Neat looking scar.

I used to shoot a lot of 38s at targets in my 357 but only full power 357 for self-defense. Penetration rules.

gazpacho
July 30, 2006, 06:37 PM
Puncha, the S&B 148gr WC was never meant to be a self defense load. It is even less powerful than a standard pressure 130gr LRN (Lead Round Nose). Its real purpose is to cut pretty little holes in target paper with minimal recoil. The Wadcutter is only effective as a self defense load when a LOT of power is loaded behind it.

Just out of curiosity, is reloading legal in your area? Pulling that 148gr WC adding in a little more powder and reseating it could give you a kick butt cartridge. There are a couple of people around who could help you figure out exactly how much powder to use.

.357 magnum
July 30, 2006, 07:22 PM
First off your distance is too great, as someone else pointed out before me, most self defense situations do not happen at that distance. [usually 21feet and under]

Secondly, forget what they will not sell you around town. Go a little ways out of town and get yourself some winchester 130gr +P sxt [yes that is a hp] or speer gold dot 125gr ghdp [this is +P ammo also] You can even order ammo on line in most states. If your gun does not handle +P ammo then It is marginal for sd/hd. Otherwise a .38 w/4inch barrel or even a snubbie [the four inch is better] Is a pretty good defensive weapon.

I would not let a local ordinance dictate what I carry in my gun, or if I carry a gun, or keep a gun around the house for protection. My safety and the safety of my family come first. You can try me after the shooting is done. I am sure I will do just fine. Most judges and jurys are not as in love with the bad guy as you would think. Take care!

[Remember two in the body and one in the head make the bad guy dead]
Old law enforcement advice.

Bob41081
July 30, 2006, 09:19 PM
I have the misfortune of having worked with someone who's son committed suicide with a 2" S&W .38 and lead 148 gr WC's. While it was contact range they worked.

Bob

Gary A
July 30, 2006, 10:24 PM
.357 Magnum wrote: "forget what they will not sell you around town. Go a little ways out of town and get yourself some winchester 130gr +P sxt [yes that is a hp] or speer gold dot 125gr ghdp [this is +P ammo also] You can even order ammo on line in most states."

I may be reading between the lines, but I think Puncha, the original poster, is from Australia. He may not have the options you mention.

Puncha
July 31, 2006, 12:03 AM
...South East Asia. The gunstores in my country usually sell crap from China, India and some $%#@ from South Africa. Occassionally, we get decent stuff from Magtech, CCI, Winchester or even Fiocchi but HPs are quite rare. The S&B stuff that I shot was bought second hand from a friend and was 22 years old.

We have to make an application to the authorities each time we make an ammo purchase and if its for HP ammo, the application will quite certainly NOT be approved.

cslinger
July 31, 2006, 12:23 AM
Well the reality is that if you are limited to simple round nose basic ammo then bigger is better. Think .45, .44 etc.

Doug.38PR
July 31, 2006, 12:40 AM
BTW, if anyone is asking me to consider HP rounds or +P rounds, I would like to add that the local authorities have very recently tightened controls over the sale of +P or HP ammo to non LEOs

Where would this be? :confused:

Besides, you can get it online.


I have shot standard LRN at a target stand built by wooden 2 x 4s. I fired at the base of the stand. The round went though one of the 2 x 4s that made up the front of the base and well into the one on the back of the base.

whm1974
July 31, 2006, 01:24 AM
We have to make an application to the authorities each time we make an ammo purchase and if its for HP ammo, the application will quite certainly NOT be approved.

Is there a limit on how much you can buy at one time? Consider using a 158 gr SWC load. Even standerd loads would be much better then using the 148 gr WC.

-Bill

BluesBear
July 31, 2006, 01:49 AM
Sounds like a kinetic bullet puller and an old fashioned Lee Loader would be nice to have. (If you could get proper component bullets.)

Or an old Forster? Hollow Polinting tool.

RioShooter
July 31, 2006, 02:36 AM
MCgunner wrote:

Well, I think we should give Hinkley a .44 mag and give him another shot at the Bradys. How's THAT for distasteful?

Comment not up to THR standards.

skeeter1
July 31, 2006, 03:09 PM
I'm curious that you can't get .38Spl+P where you're at. You might try rolling your own. 5.4grs of Win231 topped with a 125gr Horanady XTP would be much better than a LSWC or LRN.

HankB
July 31, 2006, 03:25 PM
Tightly bundled dry paper is a tough medium - some years back, a friend fired a full power .41 Magnum at an 8" thick bundle of newsprint, and the bullet barely got halfway through. We have to make an application to the authorities each time we make an ammo purchase and if its for HP ammo, the application will quite certainly NOT be approved.OK, so you're somewhere in SE Asia . . . have you checked the laws on handloading?

With something simple like a Lyman 310 hand tool (which doesn't even look like a loading press) and an inertia puller, you can probably 1) take apart the HBWC target ammo; 2) Salvage the powder from say, 5 rounds and use it to make 4; (An increase of 25% in powder charge ought to be safe, considering how lightly target ammo is loaded.) 3) Load the HBWC bullets backwards in the original cases.

Be innovative - if the gunsmiths in Peshwar can make machine guns using only simple hand tools, you ought to be able to make some decent ammo yourself, as long as you can access the raw materials.

BluesBear
August 1, 2006, 07:09 AM
I'm curious that you can't get .38Spl+P where you're at. Pay attention SKeeter1.
Puncha stated in post #57 that he is in Southeast Asia.

You must also remember that most of the outside world has even worse gun laws than we do.

BluesBear
August 1, 2006, 07:11 AM
As for reversing the hollow base wadcutter all he needs is the inertia bullet, puller which looks like a plastic hammer, to pull the bullet and a medium sized C-clamp to reseat it.

But I would shange the ratio to 10 rounds to make 9.

birddog
August 1, 2006, 07:42 AM
The moral of the story is that if you are being attacked by phone books, get something better than a 38.

He was the toughest book on the frontier. Folks just called him "Yellow".

:D

MCgunner
August 1, 2006, 11:06 AM
Actually hollowpoints are technically illegal in New Jersey. I believe you can own them on your property but cannot carry them in any way (read that as loose in your pockets). Basically HPs in New Jersey are ILLEGAL.

I'd move.

Puncha
August 3, 2006, 12:03 AM
This time, I'm going to decrease the range to 12 meters and kick the power level up a notch to early 1980s service grade 158gr LRNs. The target this time will be 360 sheets of paper held together with sticky tape. Wish me luck and i'll try to take some pics for posting.

By the way, will 125gr +P SJSPs offer any increase in performance?

BluesBear
August 3, 2006, 12:22 AM
Once again, you will NOT get good expansion, or penetration in dry paper.

kmrcstintn
August 3, 2006, 12:33 AM
...here's my list...

S&W 642-2 airweight snubby gets Hornady 125gr XTP jhp (non +p)

S&W 60-7 steel snubby gets Federal 125gr Hi-Shok sjhp +p

whatever .357 magnum revolver is in the collection (in this case a 6" ruger GP-100) will probably get either the Hornady load or Remington UMC 125gr sjhp +p since the Federal Hi-Shoks are not as readily available to me right now and I need to test the load before I trust it for defensive use; the only purpose that magnum loads have in my house is a SHTF backup load to the .38's!

I have been relying on .38 or .38 +p as my primary defensive load in different wheelie guns since mid 2002 and I have only been shooting since early 2001.

Carbon_15
August 3, 2006, 06:50 AM
Both loads you listed are designed specificly for targets. Try some Cor-Bon or the new 135gr Gold-Dot "snubbie load", I think you will see different results.

wizard of oz
August 3, 2006, 08:23 AM
no probs getting .38 ammo of all kinds here in Oz. Carry S&W 64 4" everyday and don't feel underarmed.

BluesBear
August 3, 2006, 08:53 AM
Try some Cor-Bon or the new 135gr Gold-Dot "snubbie loadBut he can't get those in his country. :banghead:
That's the point of this thread.

Never forget how lucky we are to be Americans!

Moonclips
August 3, 2006, 09:20 AM
Quoted by Puncha:
iv) It's now very difficult to buy self protection ammo where I reside due to recent govt regulations.
Which state (or country) is this in?

Sport45
August 3, 2006, 09:21 AM
I'll second the recommendation for an inertia bullet puller and c-clamp. Pull bullets from your HBWC cartridges and save them. Dump each powder charge back into the cartridge it came from. Pull bullets from your 158gr LRN cartridges and dump the powder back into the cartridge. Then press a HBWC bullet with the hollow base out over the 158gr cartridge load. That should get you a 148gr HP zipping along smartly. You can load the 158gr bullets over the HBWC powder charges for practice loads. I looked at my load data and 158gr cast loads are all greater than max listed loads for the 148gr HBWC and substituting a lighter bullet will not cause increased pressure. I think this is safer than trying to "eyeball" powder charges when splitting 10 into 8 or 5 into 4.

DO NOT MIX POWDERS BETWEEN THE HBWC AND LRN CARTRIDGES! The powders used may not be the same and you NEVER want to mix powders.

A powder funnel would be handy, but you can make do with a piece of paper folded into a cone with the bottom cut off.

(And try soaking your phone books / newsprint or whatever you're going to use in water for 24-48 hours prior to shooting it. Bundle and tape it dry and toss it in a bucket or ice chest full of water and let it soak thouroughly.)

Master Blaster
August 3, 2006, 09:23 AM
let me just interject a safety note here:

I seem to recall that some lead HBWC bullets have a certain range of velocity that they are designed for. By pulling 5 and loading the extra powder into 4 of them, OR USING THE POWDER FROM THE 158 loads you may be setting this nice man up for a serious accident.

IIRC some hollow base waddcutters come with a caution not to load them to velocities over x feet per second because they can come apart in the barrel if they are loaded too fast, like the hollow base will seperate. The next round fired will hit the obstruction in the bore and you will have a kaboom.

Just thought I would mention this.

carry on.

BluesBear
August 3, 2006, 02:53 PM
Moonclips; Pay attention - read post #57.

Master blaster; We are talking about REVERSING the HBWC when replacing in into the case.
That makes in a big honking hollow point and removes the chance of blowing the skirt off of the bullet.
Factory WC ammo is loaded for accuracy not speed.
That's why it's called mid-range ammo.
You can actually load the HBWC quite a bit faster and still remain safe.
Remington produced a standard speed HBWC loading prior to WWII.

Master Blaster
August 3, 2006, 03:45 PM
Yes BluesBear, most likely it would work just fine.

But lets remember that Puncha was asking if he sould buy the RNL instead to get better penetration. Turning the wadcutters around so they are hollow points could get Puncha in trouble with the law where he lives. Puncha is also not an experienced reloader from what he said.

So I thought I would point out there is a risk involved.

Moonclips
August 3, 2006, 04:37 PM
Moonclips; Pay attention - read post #57.

Yup. South East Asia. That's not a country. So which country again?

BluesBear
August 4, 2006, 02:07 AM
Puncha said they'd "most certainly" deny an application to purchase HP ammo but he didn't say if was or wasn't any problem making or possessing it.

kmrcstintn
August 4, 2006, 04:06 AM
sorry that I misunderstood the original purpose of this thread...

if stuck with target loads and no hp's...

158 grain lead round nose loads...try to get a soft lead to promote some "deformation" that would slow the bullet down and reduce the potential overpenetration

158 grain lead semiwadcutter loads...ditto as above

125 or 130 grain FMJ...similar to what the U.S. Air Force used in their S&W 15's for security work

158 grain FMJ...not as easy to get anymore...seems to be a dying load...I occasionally see them as a truncated cone & flat nose target load

148 grain wadcutter...not alot of potential as a defensive load, but very accurate

shot placement in the chest cavity will be your best bet to train for no matter what load you choose...this is the way the police departments used to train (the NYPD and LAPD come to mind since they used the .38 special loads for a long time and some older officers are still carrying revolvers instead of autoloaders)

Puncha
August 29, 2006, 10:42 AM
I shot a "test pack" of 360 sheets of paper taped together with masking tape. The distance was 25 meters. (rationalised that if it could penetrate at 25m, it would penetrate at closer ranges).

Anyhow, 6 shots later, all had penetrated decisively.

The round was the fiocchi 158gr LRN.

It should thus be able to penetrate light clothing, skin, sub-Q fat, muscle and reach the internal organs of a violent attacker.

My faith in the .38 is restored! :D

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