.38 webly revolver as SD weapon?


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el Godfather
December 14, 2012, 04:45 PM
Dear THR:
I need to ask how effective is .38 webly revolver for SD? How much more powerful is it from .32, and how close does it come to .38 spl?

Basically, is it worth it? I know its old, but question has arisen in a friendly discussion today and I would like your opinion.

Thanks

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rcmodel
December 14, 2012, 04:52 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.38/200

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.38_Special

Not as powerful as the .38 Spl, especially in +P loadings.

But England fought WWII with it.

It would certainly be much better then a sharp stick or a rock for SD.

rc

4v50 Gary
December 14, 2012, 04:55 PM
Beats a rock, but I've no faith in the 200 grain 38 caliber bullet.

el Godfather
December 14, 2012, 04:56 PM
Could you please elaborate.

rcmodel
December 14, 2012, 05:10 PM
.38/200 = 200 grain bullet at 630 FPS.

Thats only about 4 1/2 times faster then a baseball pitcher can throw that rock we were talking about.

rc

4v50 Gary
December 14, 2012, 05:29 PM
Shot placement is everything and a 38 S&W Special beats a rock. That said, I'd rather have a bigger bullet to cast in the direction of a foe.

ApacheCoTodd
December 14, 2012, 05:37 PM
It's a lot of gun for relatively little projectile/power. The actions - both single and double action - are very long and fairly slow but what they hey - it's still effective.

Once you climb on the "yeah but **** is more effective" band wagon, it's hard to get off again.

Besides, if you ever empty it - few handguns make better clubs.

The Lone Haranguer
December 14, 2012, 05:38 PM
If there were nothing else around, sure, but I can't visualize any circumstances where that would realistically happen.

Jim Watson
December 14, 2012, 06:12 PM
I read where all the stopping power formulae were applied to .38 S&W.
It came out very close to .380 auto.

If a .38 Webley was all I had, I would fight with the Webley.

I would not buy a Webley for the purpose. Maybe if you were on a budget back when they were cheap surplus, but prices are up and you can get a better weapon for the money.

rswartsell
December 14, 2012, 06:32 PM
Nobody here volunteering to stop one. The point being though that there is much more efficient available. It's a when in need use what you have choice, but a winner of a deliberate selection process? no.

rodinal220
December 14, 2012, 09:01 PM
If thats all you got than its better than nothing.Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch talks about running some of these older guns like Luger's,older 1911s,P38s and the like. If they are sound guns,you cant afford anything better,its all you have,you can defend yourself.You do not need a $1000 gun.

Deaf Smith
December 15, 2012, 07:24 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=140048&d=1302218523

I've often wondered if Buffalo Bore could make a SD round for the old girl above I own.

Say a soft lead 150gr gas checked SW hollow point at 800 from a 4 inch barrel yet safe for the old top breaks.

BTW.. Guess what gun Wyatt Earp used for his last carry gun? A S&W .32 top break!

Deaf

Lawdawg45
December 16, 2012, 08:51 AM
Looks like a very beefy frame. Is the break top design the weak point as with the open top SA's?

LD

Certaindeaf
December 16, 2012, 10:06 AM
That 200 grain slug tumbles when it hits. It's over an inch long I'm pretty sure and with that much weight, penetrates fairly well.

solvability
December 16, 2012, 10:11 AM
The Brits ran tests to prove it was effective - I have one and it would be my last, last ditch weapon, behind a Makarov but ahead of my Colt 25 which I consider irrelevant.

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-70916.html

DNS
December 16, 2012, 10:50 AM
I'd carry it in a heartbeat.

el Godfather
December 18, 2012, 03:33 AM
Looks mean l- just business, I also wonder why not more powerful bullets?

Clark
December 18, 2012, 04:08 AM
I have been doing internet gun forum posting for >16 years.
I know I do not want to debate anyone about terminal ballistics.
But I am just saying, I have seen a 1.5 pound squirrel go quite a ways with a .458" hole in the midsection.
For stopping power at handgun velocities, it may take lots of big holes.

But when I shoot things at rifle velocities with fast expanding bullets, there is a shock wave of water being pushed out of the way by the bullet, and the big animals go down.

Paul7
December 18, 2012, 12:03 PM
As has been said here, a .38 S&W is about like a .380. While a .380 has its place, I wouldn't choose one as a primary defense weapon. The .455 Webley, on the other hand, IS a legitimate self defense round.

Vern Humphrey
December 18, 2012, 12:18 PM
Shot placement is everything and a 38 S&W Special beats a rock.
But the "Webley" (Actually in this case an Enfield revolver) was not chambered in .38 Special. The .38/200 was actually the .38 Smith and Wesson -- a much less powerful cartridge -- loaded with a 200 grain bullet.

56hawk
December 18, 2012, 11:00 PM
The 38 S&W came out in 1877 as a black powder round. With the case capacity about the same as a 9mm Luger you get an idea of just how wimpy it really is. As far as loading more powerful rounds goes, remember that the 9mm runs at the same pressure as the 357 Magnum. So in a modern revolver the best you could hope to do would be to duplicate the 9mm. In an old Webley or Enfield you are pushing it just to get the equivalent of a 380.

Certaindeaf
December 19, 2012, 12:40 AM
I have been doing internet gun forum posting for >16 years.
I know I do not want to debate anyone about terminal ballistics.
But I am just saying, I have seen a 1.5 pound squirrel go quite a ways with a .458" hole in the midsection.
For stopping power at handgun velocities, it may take lots of big holes.

But when I shoot things at rifle velocities with fast expanding bullets, there is a shock wave of water being pushed out of the way by the bullet, and the big animals go down.
My main squirrel gun is a RWS Diana P-5 Magnum .177 piston pistol. It gets about 700fps with cheap lead domes and will put down around 8-9/10 with a good body hit. There are some though that I've hit hard and then kowabunga'd (skewered into the dirt with all my might) with steel T-bar fence posts five times that'll still not give up the ghost.

robert garner
December 19, 2012, 07:50 AM
I wouldn't hesitate with the British load,if I could only use the S&W load I would not be happy.
Deaf Smith, thats got to be the ugliest Webley I've ever seen,and Webleys weren't made to be pretty, if ya ever get to feeling silly give me a chance at her.
robert

Deaf Smith
December 19, 2012, 07:29 PM
Robert,

If you want pretty go look at Dianna Riggs (of the Avengers fame.) She uses one on the TV series. Nickle plated to.

I got it at a pawn shop cause I wanted a real Webley and not a GI version. Mine has no import marks but a heck of alot of British stamps! Man they go ape on those guns.

Right now I have a Colt "Chase Manhattan Bank' Positive in .38 also. Sadly I once passed up a S&W Terrier 5 shot .38 S&W!

Maybe one day Robert I'll let someone else enjoy some of these guns I have (but not now! No rocking chair for me yet!)

Deaf

Jim K
December 19, 2012, 07:59 PM
To me the drawbacks of the Webley (and Enfield No. 2) revolvers is not the caliber, which I consider adequate for self defense, but the trigger pull, which is usually quite hard, and the difficulty of operating the barrel catch if reloading is needed. In other words, those revolvers require more hand and finger strength than modern American revolvers, a consideration if the gun is to be used by a woman or an elderly person with low hand strength.

Jim

481
December 19, 2012, 08:07 PM
Dear THR:
I need to ask how effective is .38 webly revolver for SD? How much more powerful is it from .32, and how close does it come to .38 spl?

Basically, is it worth it? I know its old, but question has arisen in a friendly discussion today and I would like your opinion.

Thanks

I look at it like this-

Aside from the hard to find ammo for the .38Webley, both ought to do about the same thing against the human body.

Using the Schwartz bullet penetration model to make a direct comparison of similar loads in both calibers- a .361" dia. 200gr LRN @ 630fps for the .38Webley and a .356" dia. 200gr LRN @ 680fps for the .38Special-

-the .38Webley would penetrate to depth of 29.2 inches and permanently crush about 1.24 ounces of soft tissue

and

- the .38Special would penetrate to a depth of 32.0 inches and permanently crush about 1.32 ounces of soft tissue.

IMO, not worth the difference, but you may feel differently.

Of course, I really like the Webleys- very classy guns! :)

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