Ballistic gelatin test results : Various .38 Special (snubnose)


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Brass Fetcher
May 6, 2007, 01:51 AM
Cartridge : Various .38 Special JHPs

Firearm : .38 Special revolver with 1 7/8" barrel length

Calibration : All depths corrected (From 9.2cm @ 556 ft/sec)

Shot 1 - 125gr +P Speer Gold Dot. Bullet penetrated to 9.5" and expanded to 0.511" average diameter.

Shot 2 - 130gr +P Winchester SXT. Shot penetrated to 10.6" and expanded to 0.560" average diameter.

Shot 3 - 110gr Federal Personal Defense Hydra-Shok. Bullet penetrated to 12.0" depth.

Shot 4 - 129gr +P Federal Hydra-Shok. Shot penetrated to 7.4" and expanded to 0.541".

Shot 5 - 110gr +P+ Winchester Ranger SJHP. Shot penetrated to 5.6" and expanded to 0.612" average diameter.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=57632&stc=1&d=1178426903

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Jim March
May 6, 2007, 02:01 AM
About as expected.

Speer's 125 needed more heat on it. Buy it from Tim if that's what you want otherwise get Speer's 135+P for snubs. Only reason I'd run Speer's 125+P is if my barrel length was REAL long (as in 6" or more) and I wanted to make sure it'd hold together. Otherwise this round is obsolete as Speer loads it...it's likely not as fast as Buffbore's standard-pressure version which does about 950ish.

The Winchester 130 is a pretty good slug and probably where Speer got some ideas for the 135. If you can't find anything else decent, the Winnie 130 will do.

The Federal 110 standard pressure is junk IF, as I assume, it's the unexpanded slug visible towards the bottom? If it only did 12" with zero expansion, it didn't have anywhere near enough heat.

Shot 4 is another reason I mostly despise Federal. I don't know of a single Federal current-production load I'd trust my butt to.

And the Winnie 110 is a disappointment. Sigh.

Good info.

sm
May 6, 2007, 02:46 AM
JE223, again thank you for testing and sharing.

I wonder how the Old Winchester 125 STHP would do?

Still the old 158gr loadings we have discussed recently and 148 wadcutter are not so "antiquated" as some would seem to think. *grin*

Jim,
I personally am doing fine with Federal, it is Winchester that is giving me fits.

Do recall I am into the gun going bang and shot placement.
Expansion is not that big of a deal with me, then again LSWC and Hardball always did get some depth...which is what I want, as it may be one has to get past an arm, hand or whatever due to target being at a odd angle.


JE223,
You know I have done the Scientific Mud/Dirt test.

I have to wonder about the loads above...try something one of these days.
Get a baked chicken , save the carcass.
Set that in front of your Gelatin, to replicate a BGs hand, wrist, or glancing a bone getting to COM.
Something in a real world incident that does happen.
One is not guaranteed an unobstructed "flat" facing target, it may be more of an angle...follow me?

Now I wonder if those loads above would deflect, and really be off POA/POI, if they would Plug up with "bone" and therefore act like solid bullets, if they would stay together, or come apart?

I admit being old school, being one for the gun running with ammunition ( including mags if a semi) and POA/POI before expansion. Just how raised I guess.
Quick effective hits where aimed and the recoil comes to play on this quick shot to shot recovery too.

I do not do "light guns" either ....

Just some personal druthers and food for thought....

Brass Fetcher
May 6, 2007, 03:26 PM
@sm - That sounds good... but bone simulant is outside of the Brass Fetchers budget right now. There's a good company out of Switzerland that makes bone simulant but the shipping and the cost of the material exceeds the cost of the gelatin block itself.

TYY
May 6, 2007, 05:52 PM
Looking at that makes me glad I stick with 357 i my GP100, despite blast and recoil issues. I wouldn't trust most of those to get to vitals if the shot isn't perfectly ideal. 8" in gelatin is about 3" in people, IF you don't hit any bone.

I like the gold dot 357 125gr. According to brassfetcher:

"Bullet impacted at 1432 0.500 ft/sec, penetrated 16.0 0.031" and out of the block and had a recovered diameter of 0.651 0.0005"."

This looks reliable to me. Granted, it's a different round altogether, but I know a lot of people keep their 357s loaded with 38s for home protection for fear of being blind and deaf.

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