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Rate the Federal .38 Special Nyclad for Defensive Use

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by .455_Hunter, Jun 15, 2010.

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  1. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Greetings,

    What do folks think about Federal recently re-introduced 125 gr Nyclad .38 Special loading? I am looking at it as a low recoil option for light weight 2" snubs and for use in a 4" barreled gun. It would be in direct comparison to other standard pressure loadings, such as Winchester's 110 Silvertip JHP, Federal's 110 gr Hydrashok JHP, Remington's 110 gr Express JHP and Hornady's 125 gr XTP JHP. How are the Nyclad's expansion/penetration characteristics out of 2" and 4" barrels? I am not really interested in the +P options, nor the "standard pressure" Buffalo Bore stuff- low recoil and blast are the name of the game right now.

    Thanks!
     
  2. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    Wasn't Nyclad developed for minimizing lead exposure shooting in indoor ranges? That would say practice round to me and not SD. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, I don't want to spread disinformation.
     
  3. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    I rate it expensive.

    Evidently there is some reason to keep muzzle blast and recoil to a minimum.
    I smell new-shooter or unmotivated-shooter.

    At probably close to a dollar-a-shot, training doesn't sound like fun.

    Don't worry about expansion.
    Teach 'em to land the rounds between the shirt pockets, and you won't have to be concerned about much else.

    Forget the Nyclad stuff. I didn't think they even made a non +P Nyclad round.
    Go with old trusty wadcutter ammo.
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Nyclad line of ammo was originally introduced by S&W as part of their handgun ammo line...the line advertised itself as clean shooting for indoor ranges.

    the 125gr JHP bullet was marketed as the Chief Special and optimized for use in their short barreled J-frames. the combination of soft lead and cladding ensured expansion without leading the barrel.

    this loading has now been supplanted by the Speer 135gr Gold Dot loading which was designed by Speer to a LE department's requirement for their issued J-frames
     
  5. gun&knifecountry

    gun&knifecountry Member

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    Always like this round and think it's a great non plus p load for the airweights and such. I hesitate to call it a lady"s round but I have recommended it to a lot of them. May not shoot to the sights though but your mileage may vary.


    Yes the Nyclad coating was developed for two things cleaner shooting on indoor ranges and less leading in the barrel. Someone then came up with the brilliant idea that with the Nyclad coating you could go to a softer lead alloy so a JHP would have a better chance of opening up a 38 special velocities. I wish Federal would do a run of the 38+p 158 grain JHP Nyclads I always like that round as well. I carry the Speer Gold Dot 38+P load but I really like this load and it's probably my pick for a lightweight non plus P load.
     
  6. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    As loaded before its discontinuation, it was a very STOUT standard-pressure load, actually exceeding the velocity of some 125-grain +P stuff from 2" barrels. It kicked about like +P, too. Indeed, Nyclad was originally developed to reduce airborne lead in shooting ranges, but it was found to have other advantages, such as allowing the lead to be alloyed very soft, aiding expansion, and the "Chief's Special" was developed. It has a DEEP hollowpoint, which I really like. I have carried this in an Airweight J, and an original no-dash all-steel Model 40.
     
  7. megatronrules

    megatronrules Member

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    This is a good round I like it a lot in my two colt cobras that are not +p rated. There was a guy on the northeastshooters.com forums that did a test with these,and they did really well if I recall correctly.
     
  8. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    I like them out of my 2" snub. Good accuracy, nice and warm for a standard pressure round, and the nickel case and plastic coating means they don't get all grimey looking after carrying for a while.

    I tested mine first in some clay, and they expanded nicely, then in some light gelatin and the round penetrated plenty but tumbled and didn't open up correctly. Il be testing in calibrated gelatin soon and will post results then.
     
  9. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I plan on testing some tomorrow with some water jugs out of a 1 7/8" .38 J-frame. I know that is not the gold standard for ballistics evaluation, but we will see what happens...
     
  10. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    Im guessing you will see atleast 4 jugs of penetration, with little expansion of the round, and probably some yawing.

    Water is ok, but ive noticed a very distinct disconnect between water penetration and performance in gel.

    Specifically, I tested CCI .22 CB shorts out f my .22 rifle. In water, they only fully penetrated two 2 liter bottles, coming to rest in the third. The same rounds fully penetrated a 15" block of calibrated gel.
     
  11. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Some years ago I chronographed some of the earlier version of the standard pressure 125 grain Nyclads and got around 820-830 fps from a 1 7/8 inch barrel. I also shot them into well-soaked bundles of newsprint and they expanded quite well, very well in fact. Here are some velocity numbers I've accumulated from other sources in fps from a 1 7/8 inch barrel:

    826, 835, 867, 790, 754, 811, and 841.

    For the most part these reported velocities mesh with the results I got in that one instance.

    The new version of the Nyclad is listed by Federal as developing I think 830 fps but they do not list the barrel length. If it is a 2 inch barrel (the way they listed the old Nyclad) then it is running about the same. If it is a 4 inch barrel, something doesn't mesh with the old version. I have a sizable supply of the old version and consider it my first choice for the older airweights I own. I've always believed it to be a good choice in a non+P load for a snubby, especially an alloy-framed snubby.

    Though I have not tried to new version (yet), I am glad they brought it back.
     
  12. pmeisel

    pmeisel Member

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    I still have about a dozen of the old Nyclads in speed loaders, for quick use. It's the only factory revolver ammo I have in the house.
     
  13. dawei

    dawei Member

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    It's the same formula as the old stuff - 830fps from a 2" barrel snubnose.
     
  14. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    2-V test barrel per: Federal catalog page 27.
     
  15. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Thanks guys. I appreciate that info. I had looked for it on their website and did not find the test barrel length. Much appreciated.
     
  16. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Well, into plain water jugs (no denim), I got an outstanding classic mushroom. I have not had a chance to measure diameter with calipers yet, but it looks great!
     
  17. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    how many jugs did it end up penetrating?
     
  18. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    I'm curious to know the results of your measurement. I got similar results from firing them into well-soaked newsprint. I don't remember the numbers but do remember they were classic mushrooms and quite large. I'm sure there are other rounds as good or better but I'm pretty sure one could do worse also, esp in standard pressure.
     
  19. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Love those Nyclad's :D
     
  20. farscott

    farscott Member

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    I like the old Nyclad round for use in snubbies. I laid away a few cases when I heard Federal was ending production. I must say that I never found the recoil stout, except when I tried it in my wife's S&W M342PD. But that is the gun, not the ammo. In an SP-101, it is very, very mild, and in a S&W M640, it is quite controllable.

    I have not yet tried the new Nyclad. I need to get some.
     
  21. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    Here are a few pics...

    ...from the testing I mentioned in post #8.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    The fired bullet on the left was shot into modeling clay. as you can see, it mushroomed and opened up pretty good. The other fired bullet was shot into knox gelatin which was about 25-30% too light a mix ratio. It failed to expand, but did fully penetrate 20+inches of the gelatin. It seems from the way its shape is distorted that it also yawed in the gel.

    Both were shot from the 2"barrel of my snub .38spl, from about a foot away.

    I should be able to finally do a few test shots into properly calibrated gel soon, and will post those results with plenty of details when I have them.
     
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