- May 26, 2017
The person I quoted mentioned "data". That covers a broad range. Keith's .38-44 was tested at well over 40,000psi, as I already said.
True, Keith pushed the 38 Special hard in his S&W 38/44 revolver. But that does not say that was 38/44 ammunition/ballistics/pressure. According to Keith, it was for development of 357 Magnum ammunition.
Keith writes in a January 1969 Guns and Ammo article "Favorite loads for handguns" that he was asked to help develop loads for the 357 Magnum. There he says some of his loads measured 42,000 psi.
He writes, "Major Douglas Wesson wanted me to work with him on the development of the .357 Magnum back in the early '30s, which I did. I sent him 200 of my 173- grain solid bullets, sized and lubricated, after I had put 1000 of them through a 5-inch .38 Special Heavy Duty Smith & Wesson with a heavy load of Number 80 powder. Col. Bill Tewes, then of Peters Cartridge Company, chronographed them at an average of 42,000 psi. They were very accurate but far too heavy for any light-frame gun."
Again, this is just how hard he pushed his 38/44 gun in developing 357 Magnum ammo. It does not state that was the pressure or ballistics of 38/44 ammunition. Moreover, it gives no ballistics, so we can't tell if the bullet was at 38/44 speeds or 357 Magnum speeds. What he says references the development of 357 Magnum ammunition, so it was likely at 357 Magnum speed/power.
If you can find a reference for 38/44 load data or factory ammo that lists the ballistics and measured pressure, let us know.