.38 +P+ Question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Oyeboten, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. Erich

    Erich Member

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    To follow-up on Jim H.'s post - the 147-gr +P+ loading does right at 900 fps from several 1 7/8" snubs I have. It does about 950 fps from a 4" gun. There is additional chrono data on the two threads I linked supra, if anyone is interested.

    The Speer # 8 158-gr 4756 loading (the starting load, BTW!) that Jim mentions I posted on actually exceeded 1k fps from a 1 7/8" snub. It did 1185 fps from a 3" and 1215 from a 4". This load pre-dated the 1973 SAAMI specs for the .38 Special, and would certainly be in the .38/44 category. A friend had it professionally tested by a powder company, and told me that it peaked at 23,000 psi - not the 40k, that Jim mentions. I would not recommend it for .38 Special revolvers, though I've certainly shot it in some of mine. Everyone who handloads has to assume responsibility for his own actions.

    JellyJar's historical recitation is a little off: there was no designation of ".38 Special +P" until 1973, though .38 Special ammo of greater-than-usual power had been made since at least the '30s as ".38/44" and ".38 Special Hi-Speed" ammo. Certainly he is correct in saying that there were cartridges in the .38 Special +P range prior to WWII. :)
     
  2. jfh

    jfh Member.

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    Erich--glad you checked in.

    1. I'll revise my earlier post with an edit to correct the numbers regarding the pressure spike.
    2. Do you have a link you could post here / send me for the S&W Reloading / "Speer #8 discussions" links?

    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

    3. Until I can see those links again--what I am / was trying to recall were the numbers for both the 6.8 gr. and 8.0 gr. data--I thought the 8.0 data was the one that spiked at near 40,000.

    4. I did a fair amount of testing of the 4756 load data last year, given the historical Speer 8 data and the current ('lowball') Hodgdon numbers. In fact, I ran from the Hodgon min up through the 8.0 load in a 2" barrel (640). I posted those results at the Handloader's Reloading forum, I'll try to find that link later and add it to the discussion here.

    added on edit: Heh, in my initial Handloads.com post for this, I simply linked to my post at the S&W Speer#8 discussion(s)--and that link is now dead. Fortunately, Paul5388 copied in that post in S&W, and that data can be found in this thread.

    At the time I ran them, I found it interesting that the current Hodgdon 4756 max would barely run a 158 LSWC over 700 fps from a 2" barrel.

    FWIW, a powder very similar in feel (and somewhat in performance, IIRC) is WSF. IOW, the recoil starts soft and ends up fast, so to speak--and it seems to me these characteristics make cartridges loaded with these powders suitable for high-end loads.

    added on edit: Since a reloading discussion really is a segue from the actual topic here--i.e., the 38+P+ Hydra-Shok ammo--I'll refrain from further comment on the SR-4756 data.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  3. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Hi Erich,


    You'd mentioned -



    Very interesting...


    I wonder what psi 'Proof Loads' tend to be for .38 Special? And, maybe importantly, what Powder?



    I would suppose that any S&W Model 10, in good condition, would abide 23,000 as a now-and-then thing...while I suspect that anything more, pressure-wise, would be 'iffy'.


    I have also been wishing to find info on Black Powder pressures, psi-wise, ideally, for .38 Special and other Revolver Cartridges.


    I keep forgetting to send off for those Books which may have this info...
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  4. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Hi jfh,



    You'd mentioned in passing -



    Oh...not at all...your contributions along those alternate lines have helped make this a really good Thread, instead of a ho-hum Thread it could very well have been otherwise.


    I have really appreciated the info and personal experience you have brought to this topic.

    All of this is very interesting and important, useful info, completely germain for our perspective in appreciating the original Cartridge I had asked about.


    Right Powder...right Bullet, I am realizing is crucial, for best results in any given Barrel Length.


    Higher fps for a given Bullet, being possible at lower psi, by right Powder kind, is very valuable as an idea, and, as a fact...


    'Priceless'
     
  5. hoptob

    hoptob Member

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    Oyeboten,

    There is conflicting data (not to mention conflicting opinions) about pressure level of this load. A member of S&W forum Leon Riverrat had a load with 7.5 gr. SR4756 under 158 gr. lead bullet tested by H.P. White lab. It came back at 36,690 CUP (link). I don't know which one is correct but thought you should know about it.

    Mike
     
  6. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    DOJ Loads

    Stiab, I've got a box of that I still keep for my bedside M10 HB. Never thought it was particularly heinous but it does have a sharp report, as they say. Good inside-the-house load.
     
  7. jfh

    jfh Member.

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    Shooting +P+ 38 Spl load and other overpressure loads

    probably really does come back to what is important to the shooter. Tactically, the argument comes back to probably what one can shoot well, not what will do the most damage--at least for most civilians, I think.

    My bedisde gun is a 686+ 4"--at nominally 40 oz, I could put any .357 through it and shoot well. My carry gun is an M&P340--at nominally 13.3 oz, and with a well-conditioned hand, a 158 running at about 840-860 is enough to still shoot as well (but with more effort) as I do the 686.

    The idea of a factory .357--with a 158LSWC-HP running at about 900 fps--does continue to be a dream round.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  8. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Hi hoptob,



    You'd relayed-



    I do not know how to co-relate 'CUP' to 'PSI'...


    Found this though -

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=214412
     
  9. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Hi jfh,



    You'd mentioned -


    My 'plain', old, Pencil-Barrel, 6 inch, S&W 'M&P' .38 Special Model of 1902, would be happy to do this, or better, probably do 950 fps, with the 158LSWC on 21-1/2 grns of 3f Black Powder....with a mild recoil, and mild report.

    A Magnum Primer, might even nudge the 1000 mark with no liability or strain...


    Those darn 'shorties' are what seem to make all the hassles...challenges...
     
  10. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    Hello everyone

    Re: Cite references

    I don't post on many forums but I do read a lot of them. I have seen others asked to "cite references". FCOL!. ( For crying out loud ). These forums are not scientific journals or even articles in popular magazines. I think it is asking too much for people to have to cite references for ever thing they say. You have to take every thing you read at places like this with a grain of salt and then do your own research!
     
  11. jfh

    jfh Member.

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    ...and the link you include, Oyeboten, is probably the best short layman's discussion of the subject. 37000 CUP is .357 magnum territory, period.

    As for the blockpowder load--yes, that is true--but with the right powder selected, that same round would be doing about 1100 fps from your 6" barrel. The highest I've ever clocked from a 2" barrel (the same 640) was with a MAX load--from the Ramshot manual--of Ramshot's Silhouette in a .357 case--and that was about 1120 fps. Note that the 8.2 load of SR-4756 broke 1000 from the 2" barrel.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  12. hoptob

    hoptob Member

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    Jim, I think Buffalo Bore sells a round like that. It's a non +P version of their famous 38spl load -- link. The load is advertized at 850 fps but in Brass Fetcher testing, the velocity from 642 was closer to 900 fps - link. It's in 38spl rather than 357mag cases but I think should be fine in your 340.

    Oyeboten, the link in your post pretty much sums up difficulty of translating between psi and cup. I don't know of a good way to do it either.

    Mike
     
  13. jfh

    jfh Member.

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    re the BB 20C: Well, there you go. It averaged over 900 fps in that Brassfetcher test. It also penetrated about 14" or so.... and all in a non-plus-p load. In .38 Special. By the time I had segued away from sorting out "replica reloads" (rounds that feel 'just like' the GDSB 38+P 135-gr. round for PD practice) and moved over to sorting out "FBI load" (a 158-gr. LSWC-HP round capable of running 850 fps plus from a 2.5" barrel) reloading, I had stopped looking very hard at retail PD ammo--so I missed this one.

    The Brassfetcher results for the BB 20C suggest that available LSWC-HP bullets (Speer, Hornady) do penetrate well. And, over in this thread, we have a discussion about 38 Special PD ammo suitable for penetration--and that discussion takes a turn to provide a link to a post on on another forum by an expert--in which he opines--

    "...The 158 gr +P LSWCHP offers adequate penetration, however in a 2" revolver the 158gr +P LSWCHP does not reliably expand (in a 4-layer denim / ballistic gelatin test)...." comment in parentheses added by me, jfh.

    That minimal quote above is really incomplete; I recommend we all read the expert's post to digest it well; it has good examples of various PD ammo after expansion (or lack thereof).

    With all this in mind, it does suggest to me that perhaps it is time for Speer and / or Hornady to take a look at further development of an 158-gr. LSWC-HP round. Or, Speer should look hard at developing a 158-gr. Short-barrel JHP round.

    Then Speer could build a 357-case 'FBI900' round, and a CIP-Pressure (e.g., Plus-P-Plus in SAMMI, but by another professional standards association's 38 Special standards) 38-Special case round could be built nicely.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  14. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Still...I keep wondering on how a plain, pure Lead, deeply 'cupped' Nose, 158 grn flat-base Bullet would do, with 'Standard' pressures ( ie: 17,000 or 18,000 PSI ) behind it, out of a 2 inch, or 3 inch or 4 inch .38 Special Revolver...thus covering what most people are likely to Carry.


    Makers of Cartridges do not seem to have offered any such thing, and, I do not see why such a Bullet would not behave pretty well for penetration and expansion if going 650 - 750 fps.


    Is it that layers of Winter Clothing of a people-target tend to occasion a premature expansion in pure Lead, or slightly harder Alloy, if having a large hollow or 'cupped' Nose?


    And...if so, how much so?


    Obviously, Summer, to Winter, may have differing requirements...or, layers of Clothing may, anyway.
     
  15. stiab

    stiab Member

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    Most posts don't need references, but some appear to.
     
  16. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Hi jfh,



    You'd mentioned -



    Bearing in mind, hypothetically/theoretically, this 6 inch Barreled S&W 'M&P' is now a 107 year old Revolver...what would some Candidate Powders be, for allowing this at 'safe' pressures? (ie: I'd guess, 17-19,000 PSI...)


    I still have no idea what BP pressures were or would be...and, for all I know, they may have been higher even than modern 'SAMMI' standards...as, 19, 20,000 psi even...though with less 'spikey' or rapid of a peak...


    I have no idea what 'early' Smokelss .38 Special Cartridges had for pressures...either...other than that the Revolvers obliged it alright.




    At any rate...regarding the original +P+ curiousity...


    Since I do own a nice Model 13 S&W, I was brooding on prospecive defensive Cartridges for it...which of course ended up including interest in viable defensive Cartridges for older K-Frame .38 Specials of various Barrel Lengths.


    Truth be told, I am so comfortable with my older Revolvers, shooting Double-Action, and, doing so fairly rapidly...making nice-enough ( on a good day, and, being decades out of practice, 3 to 4 inch) groups in fairly rapid Double Action firing, always one-handed, at say 10 or 15 yards...

    The times I have tried +Ps, it threw me off...the recoil and report were so nasty, and, it was not possible to get back on Target as gracefully in stride.


    For me, I fire, and, I am back on point as the Hammer again falls...it's all sort of 'rubbery'...so, there is a nice easy, loose, fast-enough cadence...say, all six shots in three seconds or a little more.

    And, even a +P messes this up at least somewhat...let alone what a +P+ would be.





    Granted, with practice, I could get used to it...but, so far, +Ps alone have seemed decidedly user-unfriendly to me.


    .45 Auto, standard old Military Ball ammo...I am very easy and comfortable with...but then, that's a different Pistol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  17. jfh

    jfh Member.

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    Sounds to me like you have a research project, Oyeboten--google is your friend. You want both BP and S&W experts commentary.

    Be sure to post up some results; I'm curious, too.

    Jim H.
     
  18. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    The Treasury load suffered from quality control. W/W had the contract for some years and following some problems it was given to Federal. The Federal loading didn't seem as hot loaded as the W/W. The specs called for a 110 gr. jsp at 1,000 fps from a 2" tube. The newer 147+P+ wasn't impressive as the lot we tested only gave up about 1000 fps from a 4". The claimed pressure in the original Treasury load was 23,000 cup as I recall. I liked W/W the best.
     
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