Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by stonebuster, Feb 7, 2022.
At .38Spl pressures, even .38+P, it won’t reliably expand.
Further, at less than +P pressures, it can stick in the bore creating a bore obstruction.
Says so in my Speer manual!
Use them to load .357magnum loads! Use any reliable 158gr JACKETED bullet data.
I had some Speer/Lawman 158gr +P .38spl I bought to carry in my duty revolver many years ago. My Department required we carry “Factory” loaded ammo.
I chrono’d the ammo (after I acquired a chrono) at 585fps from my Charter Arms 2” UnderCover. Switched over to 158gr Lead HP-SWC +P (FBI load).
Retired, I now carry 148gr PC wadcutters that chrono 800fps... (when I carry a .38Spl.).
+P 125gr JHP’s only get 875-900fps, and don’t expand either.
I load those over 20gr of H110. (.357magnum, of course!). Those DO expand, but also double for “flash-bang” grenades...
SPEER doesn't "like" any FMJ bullet in 158 grain for 38 special.
They recommend their lighter bullets.
That must make me a cave man shooting 180s out of a 38 case. Trying to make a 38 directly compete with a 9mm is the game the industry plays and it makes zero sense to me.
Not trying to pick nits, but the OP's question was about a soft point bullet, not FMJ. Do you mean they don't recommend any jacketed bullet? Curious because I have some Hornady 158 gr JSP I'm trying to decide what to do with. Sounds like .357 mag is the way to go.
They more recently came out with a 135gr Short Barrel Gold Dot HP bullet (plated bullet with punched hp). But No JHP or JSP data.
The XTP is a slightly different animal in that Hornady claims it will expand at 700fps. IMHO, MAYBE... The 158 FP-XTP 1,150fps-1,800.
I suggest if planning to load self defense loads in .38spl with an eye to getting expansion, use a 158gr lead SWC-HP. They are proven to work.
I’ve got the remnant of 2,000 Remington 158gr JSP’s I bought in ‘03 for about $5/100. They’ve been superlative in heavy .357mag and full velocity .35Rem (2,500fps!) 17.8gr of Hodgdons Lil’Gun will give 2,100fps from a M94 Winchester 20” .357mag. (It’ll eat out the throat/forcing cone of a revolver however). That’s where those 158gr Speers would excell!
Though I recommend the 180gr XTP at starting levels if interested in shooting edible game (smallish pigs, deer). -.35Rem).
Yeah, I have Remington.357 JSP and the box says they are running at 1250 fps. It’s the defensive load I use in my 4 inch Model 28.
ACJ1; no, not a cave man, just a Victorian era “holdover”.... (not necessarily bad!).
The .38s&w (small letters not to confuse with longer, more powerful.38SPL) use a 200gr bullet at ~600fps (as did the British MkVI), and later 178gr FMJ. Allegedly the Germans complained about the wounds inflicted by the 200gr lead RN. (But so did the French about the 123gr RWS FN FMJ 9mm load). Germans changed to 123gr RN!
Both due to Hague Convention on in-humane injuries in warfare.
I suggest a SWC as originally designed by Elmer Keith. The momentum of the heavier bullet insures penetration; a full caliber cutting surface, large wounds; long bullet for twist rate yields bullet yaw for cavitation for good permanent wound cavity. Plus, a cast lead bullet at equal pressures will yield 50-100fps greater m/v. The “old timers” were on to something!
I carried that load while a l.E. Officer, only the 158gr JHP with the scalloped jacket! And indeed, they turn out 1,250fps +/- from a 4” bbl.
And indeed! They DO expand.
I later switched to Ga Arms “Deer Slayers” which DO achieve 1,500+FPS from a 4” 686! Eventually later, I convinced the department when they started issuing ammunition to issue the 145gr Winchester SilverTip (flash suppressed) @1,350fps+/-.
Thanks. I probably should have responded to you instead of Rule3, since my concern was more about the possible barrel obstruction. I have 300 XTPs waiting in the wings, but thought I would burn up these older bullets first.
There are lots of Factory ammo 38 special FMJ anni being made. Some reason Speer doesn't want to. They just want to sell their lighter weight bullets.
I watch folks shoot those at the public range I frequent.
You can watch the bullets in flight at even 7yds!
I’ve seen some chrono at under 500fps from a 1-7/8” bbl!.
We did not realize what happened because we saw the core hit the target, ear protection disguised the funny report.
So naturally he fired again, pushing the jacket all the way to the target and ring bulging his barrel. S&W did not charge much to replace it and he was soon back in action.
Some how Nosler gets 6-800 fps in 38 special 158 gr. Granted it is a 7.75" barrel so knock a little off for shorter barrels.
I doubt that a 158 gr bullet will get stuck in a 2" snubby
Time to step up to a true 200-grainer.
Rossi 3" bobbed hammer J-Frame .38Spl with CP 200gr. LWFN-GC over 2.8gr. of Bullseye. Hits like a brick through a plate-glass window.
Repercussions and reverberations of "The Super-Vel Effect"?
Cool article. Seems like that era was all about speed. 220 swift, like wow. I guess a few decades later pistols needed the same treatment
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