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.38/.357 SWAG-Phone book penetration tests

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Porter_Rockwell, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Porter_Rockwell

    Porter_Rockwell New Member

    Jul 18, 2006

    I can't tell you how much fun I had with the SWAG tests on Saturday. One might consider it SWAG, but yanno...I think the phone books only verified what I had thought all along.

    So...for consistency in our "scientific" little experiment, we used all the same uniform Provo-Orem Utah 2007 phonebooks at a 2 inch width. We did not have the time to soak the phonebooks as we would have liked, however, we know of others who prefer the "Dry SWAG" as well. All books were clamped together. The setup was actually quite nice. I think we have about 25 or so mangled phone books. Fun, fun, fun!

    Guns used: Ruger SP101 2.25 and SW 640 2.0. Also, Ruger GP 100 4.0 and SW 686+ 4.0.

    Distance: All shots were taken with the Short snubbies at 7 yards. All Shots with the larger revolvers/heavier .357 loads were at 10 yards.

    Temperature: 79 Degrees. Wind 9 mph SSW (yeah, its a guess:) )

    Ammo used:
    WWB 125 .38 +P; Corbon DPX 110 .38 +P; HSN 158 .357; Winchester 145 ST .357; Speer Gold Dot 135 .38+P, Grizzly 180 .357; Buffalo Bore 180 .357; Corbon 200 .357.


    WWB 125 .38+P. Penetration into two PB. Measurement of 2.25 inches. The bullet was completely destroyed, jacket/core separation. No difference between either gun. Little recoil.

    Corbon 110 .38+P. Penetration into two PB Measurement of 3.75 inches. The Bullet never expanded at all with either gun, slightly more "stuffing" in the Ruger SP shot. Completely plugged core. Little recoil at all.

    HSN 158 .357. Penetration into two phone books. Measurement of 2.25 inches. Bullet mushroom at about .38. Much framentation. Little difference from both snubbies. Moderate recoil, but handled fine in both guns. Better in Ruger SP.

    Winny 145 ST .357. Penetration into two PB. Measurement of 3.0 inches. Bullet mushroom at about .52-.57 (Better out of the Ruger). One slug partial plugging on one side from the Ruger. Pretty goood expansion. Fairly significant felt recoil in both guns. Manageable in both, not recommended in the Smitty. Great gun, but more felt PAIN!

    Speer 135 .38+P. Penetration into 2 PB. Measurement of 2.8 inches. Bullet plugged with some expansion out of both guns. Approx. .38-.42. Better out of the SW. Some felt recoil, pain less felt in the Ruger SP.

    The BEAR Loads

    Grizzly 180 .357. Penetration into 2 PB (suprising!) Measurement of 3.75 inches. (Using Ruger GP100). Measurement of 3.50 out of SW 686+. Little felt recoil of of both these larger revolvers. Out of 4 shots taken, all failed to penetrate at least 2 full PB. Very odd and no answer for such. Seems to be almost the exact same bullet as the BBore. Very little deformation of the bullet.

    Buffalo Bore 180 .357. Penetration of all 4 PB in stack! (And hopefully has traveled through the rest of Western Utah, all of Nevada and made its way into the SF Bay Area and lodged somewhere in Nancy Pelosi's anatomy if she was home this weekend from DC). No problems with either gun!

    Corbon 200 .357. Penetration of 5 PB in stack and still seeking a tour around the world to land in NY or DC and dispatch of Mrs. Clinton. Some felt recoil of this round in both guns. More than Buff Bore. Both guns handled the load very easily. A little harder load to control that the other two though.

    Just for kicks---Hornady XTP 300 .44 out of new Ruger 4.0 Redhawk. Only expanded through two phone books but a HUGE Mushroom expansion. I would have hated to get hit with this thing!

    Also Corbon 305 HC .44 passed though 6 phone books and actually made the entire stack leap into the air as it passed through. Too much fun allowed for a man in one day!

    Impressions: Although its SWAG and paper, I'm still carrying Winny 145 ST for PD in my Ruger as my #1 choice with the Gold Dot 135 +P for a little more accuracy if desired. I'll take the great penetration and less recoil/more manageability of the Buffalo Bore 180 over the Corbon 200 HC for Blackie backup in the woods.

    Good Shooting, hunting and God Bless,

  2. Porter_Rockwell

    Porter_Rockwell New Member

    Jul 18, 2006

    Any thoughts folks? Anyone else ever had the same or similar results? Anyone tried the ol' water jug tests?

  3. Iggy

    Iggy Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Interesting info.. I have been collecting phone books to do the same thing with various 10mm's

    Just got to find the time.:(
  4. MartinS

    MartinS Active Member

    Oct 15, 2004
    Thanks for that report. I like the idea of testing stuff in different ways, dry/wet, jello/jugs, etc. I think it gives a more complete picture of what happens on the bad end.

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