158 gr Winchester LSWC vs. 125 gr Golden Saber +P JHP for SD


July 9, 2010, 06:08 PM
I have heard great things on this forum about the 158gr LSWCHP round. With that said, I haven't been able to find any locally since acquiring my J Frame Smith. I was however able to find a few boxes of Winchester LSWC (not hollow points).

This stuff: http://www.winchester.com/Products/handgun-ammunition/super-x/lead-semi-wad-cutter/Pages/default.aspx

In terms of self defense effectiveness how much 'stopping power' am I losing by not shooting a HP. Would I be better off switching to the 125 gr Golden Saber HP+P round until I can find some LSWCHP in +P.

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July 9, 2010, 07:08 PM
out of the 1 7/8" barrel of a J-frame, you'd be better off with the Speer Gold Dot 135gr+P JHP which was designed for that barrel length. i've been carrying my M-642 too long to subject it to the battering of the 158gr+P SWCHP when there is something better available

July 9, 2010, 07:11 PM
Buffalo Bore 158 gr LSWC-HP +P. I have no experience with the golden saber but have heard it isn't that great. I like the 130 gr +P Winchester PDX1 hollow points. I can usually find those at most stores. I shoot the Buffalo bore out of my 442 and the recoil is stout but controllable. I will say that if you are recoil sensitive, The Buffalo Bore +P might be a bit much in your J frame.

July 9, 2010, 08:30 PM
My choice is the Buffalo Bore 158 gr LSWCHP +P in my 4 inch Smiths and Rugers. I do have one J frame Smith M36. In my M36 I have used the Federal nyclad 125 gr HP "Chiefs load" which expands at low velocity and they are easy to shoot in the M36. They are hard to find but if you look awhile they do become available. You can also get the Buffalo Bore in standard pressure.


July 9, 2010, 08:44 PM
in expanding with short barreled guns than other rounds. They are made now by most of the Main manufacturers ; Winchester, Federal , Remington, Speer, and Hornady. The older +P lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoints is still used by many but based on my reseach on this the new core bonded ammo seems to expand more and do it more consistently from the short barrel snubby revolvers. I use the Speer Gold Dots in my snubby CCW .Masad Ayoob and other gun writers have experimented with this round and have highly recommened its use for CCW.

July 9, 2010, 08:56 PM
Hornady critical defense and Federal Nyclad that has been mentioned has an excellent expansion record in the lightweight snubby. A friend brought over a container of ballistic gelatin to my farm range and we fired a round of the Nyclad that my wife carries in her Ruger LCR and the expansion was greater than the +P that we used in his S&W 642. The recoil of the Nyclad was much milder too.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 9, 2010, 09:16 PM
Although I selected the Speer 135g HP, I also use a 158g LSWCHP which is a calmer load.

I load both of these myself, however have them calmed down just a bit.

July 9, 2010, 09:26 PM
+1 Buffalo Bore 158 gr. LSWCHP +P.

July 9, 2010, 09:53 PM
I'm very surprised we don't have more opinions. This should be a very popular post.

July 9, 2010, 10:37 PM
To clarify, I'm shooting a Model 60LS (Pretty Lightweight). I really want to try to the Buffalo Bore but I may just go with the Gold Dots until I can find some.

July 9, 2010, 11:11 PM
I have the remington +P LSWCHP loaded in any of my 5 .38's that I carry for serious purposes. It dosent matter to me if it's a 2" J frame or 5" K frame, when I carry one it's loaded with the remington flavor of the FBI load.

IIRC Stephen Camp did a side by side comparison of the various brands (federal. winchester, georgia arms and remington) of LSWCHP's out of various barrel lengths of revolver. The remington was the only one to reliably expand out of a snub, but all of them expanded out a 4" or greater barrel.

July 10, 2010, 12:56 AM
First off, the internet is your friend. Order what you want from Midway, Grafs, Wideners, somebody. No need to be stuck with only local fodder.

In any .38spl, +P or not, I want some mass to get penetration. That means 158gr.

If I am to use LSWCHP in +P, gimme the Remington flavor.

If it is just LSWC, the most accurate hard cast LSWC is what I'd want.

The .38spl & .38spl +P move slow enough that fancy bullets are not necessary.

July 10, 2010, 10:03 AM
I use remington 158gr +P LSWCHP in my 642

July 10, 2010, 12:45 PM
The modern JHP rounds in this caliber tend to expand quite a bit, which limits penetration. Heavier LSWCHP rounds should get better penetration, still expand by some amount, and have milder blast & flash, so I generally prefer them over JHPs (the reverse would be true for more powerful calibers).

July 10, 2010, 12:47 PM
You left out the Hornady critical defense, which is my choice.

July 10, 2010, 02:21 PM
I didn't expect the poll results to be so evenly split between 2 options.

July 10, 2010, 02:55 PM
Winchester 158gr LSWC

July 10, 2010, 03:16 PM
I have no experience with the golden saber but have heard it isn't that great.

That's not consistent with what I know about the Golden Saber.

Unless your J-frame has adjustable sights, your foremost concern is getting what gives you good accuracy. It's got to both regulate to the sights, and group well.

125 grain bullets will strike lower than those 158's. Which does your revolver like?

Steve C
July 10, 2010, 03:36 PM
This Marshall/Sanow data (http://handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=8&Weight=All) for the .38 spl +P gives a reasonable comparison to relative effectiveness of various ammo along with barrel length. Don't ge too hung up on a couple percentage points but when the difference is greater than 5% I'd say its significant enough to pay attention to.

July 10, 2010, 04:45 PM
Go with whichever one shoots closest to point of aim.

July 10, 2010, 05:52 PM
Like I said, I'm not super familiar with the golden saber. I do know in 40 S&W I have encountered consistent jacket separation in the golden saber. If it doesn't perform well in 40 S&W then I'm not using it in any caliber. I have too many other great bullets to choose from. I meant I have no experience with the golden saber in 38 special in my first post. I have shot quite a bit of it in 40 S&W and 45 acp.

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