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Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP +P in Clear Ballistics Gel.

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 5pins, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. 5pins

    5pins Member

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    ySX1hgCl.jpg

    Test Gun: S&W M442
    Barrel length: 1 7/8 inches.
    Ammunition: Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP.
    Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
    Distance: 10 feet.
    Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
    Five shot velocity average: 778fps
    Gel Temperature 74 degrees.

    I didn’t realize it but its been almost two years since I did a .38 Spl. test. While digging through some stuff today I came across a box of some Winchester 158gr LSWCHP’s that I’ve for a few years now. It’s been some time since I have carried a snub nose but when I did it was with this load(AKA the FBI load). I have owned this M442 for about 25 or so years and put thousands of rounds through it. But when I picked up my first sub-compact 9mm that all change and it’s been at least 6 years since I have carried one.

    If the truth is known I could never shoot well but sometimes it was necessary to have something a little smaller than my normal carry pice, a Glock 19. I guess what I’m trying to say is there is a reason the 5-yard group below sucks.

    I got a five-shot average velocity of 778fps with a high of 786 and a low of 774fps.

    PUebBMYl.jpg

    The first round into the bare gel had a velocity of 775fps and penetrated to 20.5 inches. The expansion was .39 inches and recovered weight was 157.9 grains. Round two also penetrated to 20.5 inches and expanded to .38 inches with a recovered weight of 156.7 grains. Its velocity was 768fps.

    dI0uDvyl.jpg

    Through the covered gel, both rounds were clogged with the clothing and passed through both gel blocks and were found laying on the floor. The recovered weights were 157.6 and 157.7 grains. The velocity of the two rounds was 757 and 775fps. There was no expansion of either round.

    UTrmspPl.jpg
     
  2. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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  3. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Yuk, plain WC rounds would work just as well... with less recoil to boot.

    I don’t know if these LSWCHP rounds would do much in +P form out of a 2” gun either, but it may be interesting to see if there is any improvement.

    Thanks for the post!

    Stay safe.
     
  4. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I hope you test those from a 4" gun. It would be interesting to see if there is much of an improvement. Just goes to show that +P is just a bunch of hooey. I'll take my handloads loaded to real 38 Special velocities any day.
     
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  5. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    That was not much expansion. Need less penetration and more expansion.
     
  6. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Actually, I’m impressed. 700+fps from a 2”bbl is excellent.
    Remember, living flesh isn’t gelatin blocks.
    Hemorrhage or damaging cns is the only way to incapacitate an adversary.
    Two holes bleed more than one. Those aren’t round nose bullets!

    Exemplifies why I’ll continue with the .40.
    So what! I’m already a Luddite!
     
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  7. Jerry M

    Jerry M Member

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    20+ inches of penetration?! Sounds like excellent performance to me.

    Good luck

    Jerry
     
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  8. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    People will see the lack of expansion and call it a fail, but I would say this shows why the LSWCHP is the baseline for .38 Special performance. That is a better bullet profile for wounding than a standard LRN or FMJ bullet provides, while sacrificing little or nothing in terms of penetrative ability unlike target wadcutters which tend to only make it to about 18" in test media and have very poor barrier penetration ability.
     
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  9. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I like wadcutter bullets but not the target loadings. Loaded to real power of 900+fps from a 4" barrel or around 800-850 from a shorter barrel gun I think they would make excellent loads. And I like penetration. The more the better as far as I am concerned.

    About now someone will jump and say "but too much penetration and you may wound an innocent bystander". Yep thats true. And the same person will tell you to use a super expanding hollow point to limit penetration and it makes a better wound channel so you don't have to shoot as many times.

    But what they never mention or talk about is what happens if you miss the BG and you hit that same innocent bystander with a stray shot and you are using that nasty, expanding hollow point? Now you just blew a gaping hole in the wrong person. And the guy you intended to stop is still active and probably coming after you. See what a mess this discussion could turn into?
     
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  10. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    Remington's version of that load is softer lead...
     
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  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    These were +P loads.
     
  12. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    This discussion can go around in circles for years and it has on just about every forum and seems like once a year it gets started up again. The old "FBI" load of a SWCHP was a standard for many years and I carried it faithfully as well, but technology in my opinion has made it obsolete. There are several bullets available that will give adequate penetration and expansion and lower velocities in a snub nose and with less recoil which to me is just as important if you need a follow up shot. I studied the luckygunner.com in depth and I have done some testing on my own. If you study the test, the old SWCHP while a great load for many years is not the best choice of whats available today. That's just my opinion and I'll never fault anyone for carrying the load that they feel is the best for them, but the data sure seems to support other choices.
     
  13. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Oh, I didn’t see that. :thumbup:

    Still think a good wadcutter load would do just as well with less recoil in the snub revolver :).

    Stay safe.
     
  14. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    Real +p would do around 970 to 1030 fps out of 1 7/8" gun. That would make a huge difference.

    The velocity you are reporting is standard 38 special loads.

    +p in 38 special is like 29% more pressure. Got ripped off by Winchester. This is why hand loading is important.
     
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  15. slide

    slide Member

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    I doubt +p 38 spl would go anywhere near 1,000 FPS from a 1 7/8 barrel. If it could be boosted to even 900 FPS, I suspect the muzzle flash would blind the shooter. This is an ancient round used in ancient tech firearms. It is what it is and cannot be made to be more.
     
  16. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    Oh. Its fairly easy to get to that speed.

    Dont believe me? Got to buffalo bore and look. He shows velocity from real firearms.

    I have a load that does it with ease. No pressure signs. Looks good and matches with quickload. Hits poa. Not much muzzle flash.

    Ancient yes. Still more powerful than a 9mm.

    Wheel guns ancient yes. More reliable than ANY semiautomatic.
     
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  17. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    Good post, OP.

    FWIW, it's been known for years that the FBI load needs at least a 3" barrel, preferable 4" to get meaningful expansion. The results that 5pins posted mirror what I've seen from others who've tested the FBI load from snubbies in gelatin, which demonstrates that his methodology is sound.

    Also as mentioned above, the Remington equivalent is made from softer lead. The Federal equivalent is slightly harder.
     
  18. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Nope.

    .38 Special +P is 20000 psi maximum average pressure. SAAMI says nominal velocity of 158 gr @ 880 fps at 15 feet from a 4" vented test barrel.

    Twenty-thousand psi = "real" .38 Special +P.
     
  19. slide

    slide Member

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    I saw a 125 gr at 1,125 fps but no mention of barrel length and it wasn't the OP's 158 gr weight which is what I doubted would get to over 1,000 fps.
     
  20. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    Nope. Look it up as I said. Screw sammi. They are bean counters and lawyers. Go to his website, 158 gr. Keith style bullet. Buy some and chrony them. It's no lie.

    And as for "real" sammi just changed this rating a few years ago. Until then it was around 22k psi. You can thank crap charter arms for that. They seem to always take out any good older cartridges like 44spl and 45 colt. Along with 38 spl
     

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  21. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    See above pics. Go to his website. Buy some and chrony them as I did. It's TRUE and tells the tale. Yes they are 158 gr Keith style bullets. Like I said look it up.
     
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  22. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    Both of you guys realize your arguing with a ballistic designer/tester and commercial ammo manufacturer right?
     
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  23. 5pins

    5pins Member

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    I don’t know how many times someone said ” try it with a 4 inch, a 4 inch, a 4 inch” Ok, here it is out of a 4-inch S&W 686 .357. Two round in bare and two in the clothed gel.

    The first round in the bare gel had a velocity of 830fps and penetrated to 17.5 inches. The recovered diameter was .47 inches and the recovered weight was 157.1 grains. Round two’s velocity was 824fps and penetrated to 17.25 inches. The recovered weight was 156.4 inches and expansion was also .47 inches.

    VSkxhiIl.jpg

    Through the heavy clothing, the first round’s velocity was 812fps and it penetrated to 18 inches a recovered weight of 156.8 grains. Round two’s velocity was 778fps and it’s penetration was 26 inches and weighed 157 grains. Neither bullet showed any expansion.

    OCzuQUWl.jpg
     
  24. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    Read my posts. It needs more speed which is easily attainable.
     
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  25. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    Underwood 158 SWCHPGC does well out of my short barrels. Their 125 grain jacked hollow point +P actually clocked about 1180+ in my SP 101 2.25" 357.
     
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