Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 7/18/2008 3:07:49 PM EST
I'm thinking seriously hot here 1200 fps+. Preferably loaded with a hard cast Keith style bullet.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 5:35:32 PM EST
Why?

Not trying to be too much of a smart ass, but what benefit are you going to get from a bullet that has no expansion at 1200fps over one that has no expansion at say 650fps? They'll both make a .38 hole. It seems one would just do it with more flash and recoil.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 6:45:41 PM EST
Dangerous.

If you want that kind of velocity, get a .357 magnum.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 7:03:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:
Why?

Not trying to be too much of a smart ass, but what benefit are you going to get from a bullet that has no expansion at 1200fps over one that has no expansion at say 650fps? They'll both make a .38 hole. It seems one would just do it with more flash and recoil.


I was just snooping around to see if anyone knew of a commercial load duplicating the old Keith 38/44 Heavy Duty load that he developed pre-.357 Magnum. Keith slayed all sorts of critters with that load. Big and small, he slayed 'em all.

Why do I want more speed in a non-expanding bullet? The faster it goes, the deeper it penetrates...sheesh.

Why would I be remotely interested in this load? I just picked up a new Airweight S&W today, and after toting it around for the afternoon, it occurred to me that it would make a dandy addition to my trout fishing vest...if only.

I guess I'll look into getting one of the offerings from Buffalo Bore. They will throw a 158 gr. @1000fps.



Link Posted: 7/18/2008 9:00:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By konger:
Why would I be remotely interested in this load? I just picked up a new Airweight S&W today, and after toting it around for the afternoon, it occurred to me that it would make a dandy addition to my trout fishing vest...if only.

Come on, trout arn't that hard to kill!

Kidding aside, Buffalo Bore is probably the hottest you’re going to get short of hand loads.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 9:34:21 PM EST
My own handloads will do a 158 LSWC at better than 1250 fps in a .38 Special case, but that's from a 4 inch or better barrel, and I wouldn't dare shoot them from a J frame. If it would stand up to it, it probably wouldn't last through many of those rounds.

If you don't handload, Buffalo Bore is almost certainly your best bet.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 9:43:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 9:53:07 PM EST by uglygun]

Originally Posted By konger:
I'm thinking seriously hot here 1200 fps+. Preferably loaded with a hard cast Keith style bullet.


Handload and find old 38/44 data using 2400 is the best way.

Probably be 11-12ish grains of 2400 with a 148-158grn range cast bullet. Stick with the slow burning powder. I have no signs of flame cutting with this gun which is GOOD.

The old world 357Mag loads I've chased using blue dot quickly caused flame cutting on my 28-2 and 27-2, those loads were 125grn jacketed bullets that were MOVIN and I'm done with the light/fast thing now in these guns. It was impressive to see the 357s doing damage on steel almost like that of rifle rounds though.


This gun has seen a few old world loadings in it's day, it was my grandfather's who I have NO idea how many rounds he put through it but I do know he was into handloading for some time and he may have chased some good loads.

When I got into handloading I did some 158grn SWC and 148grn WC loads with it that were up there using 2400. Definitely got your attention when that slow powder was burning through the barrel. Gun was pretty damned accurate with those loads as well.

I don't shoot this gun much anymore, I'm 30 now and have been shooting it since I was 16-17(have probably put 5-8k rounds through it minimum since I've had it) and that's on top of whatever rounds it had before then. Gun had it's ejector shimmed and it's timing could be a little bit better(has seen LOADS of double action firing which is hard on N-framed 357s/38s due to cylinder mass) but it's still a damn fine gun with the absolute smoothest/lightest double action of any Smith I've ever held. . It is all numbers matching with finish that I'd rate around 90% and original magnas numbered to the gun, box may even be original as well but has no serial number on it to know for sure.

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 9:58:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By uglygun:

Originally Posted By konger:
I'm thinking seriously hot here 1200 fps+. Preferably loaded with a hard cast Keith style bullet.


Handload and find old 38/44 data using 2400 is the best way.

Probably be 11-12ish grains of 2400 with a 148-158grn range cast bullet. Stick with the slow burning powder. I have no signs of flame cutting with this gun which is GOOD.



12.5 grains of 2400 out of my 5 inch 27-2 does right around 1250fps. I would say 2400 is a poor choice for snub barrels, and I would suggest that a load like 12 grains of 2400 not be used in small, light 5 shot revolvers.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:15:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:

Originally Posted By uglygun:

Originally Posted By konger:
I'm thinking seriously hot here 1200 fps+. Preferably loaded with a hard cast Keith style bullet.


Handload and find old 38/44 data using 2400 is the best way.

Probably be 11-12ish grains of 2400 with a 148-158grn range cast bullet. Stick with the slow burning powder. I have no signs of flame cutting with this gun which is GOOD.



12.5 grains of 2400 out of my 5 inch 27-2 does right around 1250fps. I would say 2400 is a poor choice for snub barrels, and I would suggest that a load like 12 grains of 2400 not be used in small, light 5 shot revolvers.


Agreed, also I feel that such loads are likely to be dangerous in any 38s other than an N-framed Smith be it a 38/44 like mine or out of a 357Mag.

But a slower powder may be the only way it would be remotely safe in a smaller framed gun where the powder doesn't have a chance to burn completely before the bullet is expelled from the barrel, safer pressure curves maybe.(absolutely not recommending that it be tried). 2400 seems to be the most forgiving in that you are using up a good amount of case capacity avoiding the possibility of a double charge and using a burn rate that is condusive to building a hotrod 38 load.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 5:51:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By konger:
Why do I want more speed in a non-expanding bullet? The faster it goes, the deeper it penetrates...sheesh.


This isnt true at all. The comparison round I was thinking of, the 148gr Match Wad Cutter, is moving along at about 650fps, but its known to penetrate over 20 inches of ballistic gelatin. If, and its a huge IF, there is more penetration, it would be so miniscule that it wouldnt outweigh the negatives of the hotter round.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 8:53:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/19/2008 3:27:43 PM EST by konger]

Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:

Originally Posted By konger:
Why do I want more speed in a non-expanding bullet? The faster it goes, the deeper it penetrates...sheesh.


This isnt true at all. The comparison round I was thinking of, the 148gr Match Wad Cutter, is moving along at about 650fps, but its known to penetrate over 20 inches of ballistic gelatin. If, and its a huge IF, there is more penetration, it would be so miniscule that it wouldnt outweigh the negatives of the hotter round.


I respectfully disagree, and what are you comparing that wad cutter to? The particular load you are speaking of may have an extremely hard bullet. Fire that same bullet twice as fast and you will get deeper penetration.

Why would Keith have invented the .357 Mag if he didn't yearn for more killing capability (more velocity).

*edit- I added respectfully as I reread my post and it sounded rude.

Link Posted: 7/19/2008 11:35:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:

Originally Posted By konger:
Why do I want more speed in a non-expanding bullet? The faster it goes, the deeper it penetrates...sheesh.


This isnt true at all. The comparison round I was thinking of, the 148gr Match Wad Cutter, is moving along at about 650fps, but its known to penetrate over 20 inches of ballistic gelatin. If, and its a huge IF, there is more penetration, it would be so miniscule that it wouldnt outweigh the negatives of the hotter round.

This would be true IF two legged vermin were his intended target for this load, but his comment about dropping it in his trout vest leads me to the conclusion that four leggers are a more likely target.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 4:36:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By konger:

Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:

Originally Posted By konger:
Why do I want more speed in a non-expanding bullet? The faster it goes, the deeper it penetrates...sheesh.


This isnt true at all. The comparison round I was thinking of, the 148gr Match Wad Cutter, is moving along at about 650fps, but its known to penetrate over 20 inches of ballistic gelatin. If, and its a huge IF, there is more penetration, it would be so miniscule that it wouldnt outweigh the negatives of the hotter round.


I respectfully disagree, and what are you comparing that wad cutter to? The particular load you are speaking of may have an extremely hard bullet. Fire that same bullet twice as fast and you will get deeper penetration.

Why would Keith have invented the .357 Mag if he didn't yearn for more killing capability (more velocity).

*edit- I added respectfully as I reread my post and it sounded rude.



You can disagree with me all you want, thats cool, but I can bring quotes from the likes of Dr Roberts to back me up.

I am comparing that .38spec wadcutter, particularly one with a sharp shoulder that plated moving at between 650-700 to darn near any .38spec bullet at darn near any speed. the bullets will still make the same .38 hole.


Dr Gary Roberts:

VEL = 657 f/s, PEN = 20"+, RD = 0.36", RL = 0.64", RW = 147.4 gr


So I say again, you are already getting 20+ inches of penetration with a standard velocity easy recoiling bullet. The velocity difference in the two wont make a huge difference, not enough to justify the extra recoil, flash, and other detrimental issues. 20+ inches of penetration is hard to argue with, even for 4 legged critters. BTW, its 20+ inches because it exited the 20 inch block of gel and kept on trucking.

The .357 was invented when it was thought speed equals power/speed is all that matters and what not, now we know better. The .357 also offers plenty of heavier rounds at higher velocities than .38spec cant ever achieve. Its simply more versatile. At the sametime, remember, its also going to make the same initial hole as the .38.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 5:17:22 PM EST
Great! Dr. Roberts poked some holes in gel. While 20" of penetration in gel may seem impressive, it really doesn't mean a tremendous amount in the real world (especially when you're dealing with toothy critters that want to eat you). When things like thick hide, blood and bone density come into play, you can throw gel tests out the window.

When you're using a non-expanding bullet, velocity does make a difference in killing power. I want that handgun bullet to penetrate fully and leave a blood trail. Enough to break bones, disrupt major organs and exit. Penetrating through 20" of ballistic gel may not be enough.

I have yet to recover a handgun bullet from a game animal and I hope I never do.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 9:14:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:32:09 AM EST
I strongly suspect that you're unlikely to find a .38spl in ANY +P configuration that will give you 1200 fps out of a 1&7/8" barrel. Quite honestly, if your concern is toothy critters that might eat you, ditch the .38 and pick up at a MINIMUM, a .357 mag in 4" configuration. Smith makes some scandium models that aren't too awfully heavy in their L frames.

I know, I know, you want what you want and screw what everyone else says. Ok, all these super hot vintage loads you've heard about? NONE of them were developed by shooting through short barrels and alloy frames, NOT ONE.

My best (though most irresponsible) advice is to load your own. Get a 158gr Keith bullet and put it ahead of the largest load of Unique you can come up with from a loading manual (most likely it'll be lucky to give you 900 fps out of the snubby) and then start adding powder until you crack the frame, or meet your velocity goal.

Try to recognize that you're asking for high end .357 mag performance from a .38spl. (high end in the sense that you want lots of velocity with a heavy bullet, from a short barrel)

Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 7:28:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zhukov:
konger:

Ballistic gelatin is a valid test medium, and you shouldn't dismiss it. Comparison to real-life shootings shows ballistic gelatin to be an excellent match. Your application, however, is very specific, and as such the criteria you put out may very well be more important. I personally do not have any experience with large game animals and handgun bullet performance when heavy fur/hide/etc. are involved.

While bumping up the velocity on your bullet will probably buy you extra penetration, I would still be hesitant to rely on a J frame Smith as a reliable stopper for toothy critters. Obviously it's better than a pointy stick. Finding factory ammo is going to be pretty tough; if Buffalo Bore doesn't make something, your best bet is to handload.


Oh, I believe that test gel is great for testing bullets made for self defense against humans, but I think there are just to many variables in the animal kingdom for gel to replicate. If you think about how fragile humans are and the shallow penetration depth needed to be effective, most any quick expanding bullet will be at least moderately effective. It's a wonder the ammo companies make the great products that we enjoy currently. I guess there's something to be said for specialization.

I have just today located a FMJ bullet in the S&B line (158 @ 850 fps), so that may be promising.

As for all of the suggestions to handload...I wish I could. Unfortunately, I went through an unexpected divorce last year and along with my house, I sold my reloading equipment. I'll get back into it someday, but for now, I need commercial ammo.

Thanks for the recommendation on the light weight .357. I choose the .38 because I didn't see me firing a ton of .357 Mags through the scandium framed gun. In fact, I heard it was down right painful to do so. So instead of blowing an extra $250 on a gun that was only marginally better, I settled on the 442 .38+P. I figure a light weight Mountain Gun is in my future, but even it may be a bit too large for stream fishing (sheeple). We all make compromises in our firearms. If I knew for sure I was going to have a confrontation with something toothy, I would much rather have my 12 ga. shotgun in hand stoked with 3" Brennekes. Unfortunately, we can't always have the most effective gun at hand and must weigh the odds accordingly.

Top Top