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.38 Special JHPs versus Bone and Ballistic Gelatin

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Brass Fetcher, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Well-Known Member

  2. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Well-Known Member

    Veeeeery interesting. I guess I still like the idea of the 158 LSWCHP load; nothing I saw in those pics would do much to change my mind.

    Thanks a ton for your work, and thanks for posting it here.
  3. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    The Remington 158 LSWCHP +P a little softer and as fast as the Buff load, but I think the results would be the same. The DPX shows promise, but I too will stick with the 158 Lead. Thank you for your work.

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    The Remington LSWCHP isn't as hot as Buff. Buff's load clocked 1006 fps from my 640 with a 1 7/8 barrel.

    Nice test John. I think your 642 is slower than my 640.
  5. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    " Buff's load clocked 1006 fps from my 640 with a 1 7/8 barrel"
    That is one fast 1 7/8" barrel! I only got 1010fps from the 110 grain +P+ Winchester Treasury load in any 2" J frame I tested in the late 80s! That load will eventually tear apart older J frames and even a Colt Agent only lasts 1000 rounds of the Treasury load, IF you are lucky! So if Buff knows how to push the much heavier 158 grain (yeah I know lead bullets are faster) to the same speed they must use some wizard dust if it is only +p! The Remingtons do high 800s fps in most J frames, the Winchester and Federals at least 50-80 fps slower from my Oehler tests over the years. Yes I made 900 fps 148 HBWC inverted loads in the day!
  6. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    S&W switched from mechanically cut rifling, to electrochemically cut rifling a few years ago. The EC rifled barrels are exceptionally smooth, and tend to be very fast.
    It's not magic: Just modern pressure testing equipment & powders. With the stuff they have access to they hold pressure at a plateau rather than a spike; rising quickly to max pressure, and falling off quickly.

    Combine S&W's faster barrels with BB's new loads, and you get fast moving bullets with relatively low pressure.
  7. jojo200517

    jojo200517 Well-Known Member

    I'm not much of an expert at ballistics or anatomy by any means but since the bone simulation was on the outside of the gel about all I can conclude from this test is that the .38 special rounds tested were all pretty poor against any type of critter with an exoskeleton.
  8. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Well-Known Member

    ^^^interesting point. A test with the bone 1-2 inches in could yield different expansion results.
  9. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    actually a thin piece of leather, 1" of gelatin,bone simulator and then a gelatin block would be pretty close.
  10. sm

    sm member


    I appreciate your work and especially this test.

    Sending best,


    [old school and still in the 158 gr camp]
  11. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Well-Known Member

    that's pretty neat. Thanks very much for sharing.
  12. Big Juan

    Big Juan Active Member

    Very interesting - but, I don't see the shooting distance listed. I wonder about why the bone was placed in front instead of cloth/leather gel then plate? Nice, professional looking work. I'll keep my 158 XTP's.
  13. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    Never did like the 38 much, impact speeds are just too darn low for that caliber, at leased it penatrates OK which gives it a big leg up on the 380 and other sissy kicking calibers. I would like to see them test that bone plate with high speed rounds like 9mm +P and 357 mag, that would be alot more interesting.
  14. Super Sneaky Steve

    Super Sneaky Steve Well-Known Member

    I wish they would have tested the 158 +P Buffalo Bore round. It feels like a magnum round in my smaller guns.
  15. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Why does everybody select the standard pressure Buffalo Bore load?

    When will somebody test the +P 158gr load?? 1,000 fps from a 1 7/8" barrel...yes please!
  16. drw2514

    drw2514 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if firing any of those loads out of a 4" barrel would result in any of the rounds expanding more? How much more velocity would be gained by two more inches of barrel? Something tells me the results might be a little different...

    And thanks JE223 for all your hard work.
  17. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting! Thanks!
  18. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Well-Known Member

    Nice work.

    I currently have the gold dots in a 442. Nothing in the report really convinces me to change loadings, since they all did relatively poorly!

    However, it is good to see they all at least penetrated the hard surface, meaning all of the tested loads would likely push through a rib or sternum section to wound a heart/other soft tissue. Then, once that bone is out of the way, the second shot of the double tap should expand beautifully, right? right?!? :uhoh:

    I think it would be interested to repeat the test as others have mentioned using soft tissue simulations like leather or gel followed by the hard plate followed by more tissue simulations.
  19. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Well-Known Member

    It's also interesting that your rounds on the chronograph were quite a bit faster (roughly 50 ft/s) than gold dots shot through a 438 by Tnoutdoors on youtube. I'm not sure of the exact differences between the 642/438/and 442 but i'm pleased at the velocity you are reporting from the sub 2" barrel on your 642.
  20. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Well-Known Member

    The velocity issue is an interesting one ... we've worked for 351WINCHESTER in the past, I wonder if the velocity figures he quotes was not from one of our tests?

    If so, it was the same chronograph in fact used in this test... so I'd say those figures are correct :).

    Like any other measuring device, chronos all have a different bias. It seems as though most measure too high of a velocity, at least compared to Oehler brand.

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