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  #1  
Old 01-23-2010, 09:16 PM
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Default .38+p from Walmart

I was shocked when I looked in my local walmart and actually found some .38 in the ammo case. I immediately bought it. Now can anyone tell me if it is any good. It is WWB 125 grain +p, part of their" personal protection" line, marked USA38JHP. Has anybody got any real life numbers for it through 4 inch or 3 inch barrels? At $18 a box of 50 it seemed a decent deal and the only non FMJ .38 I've seen in walmart for monthes.
Thanks in advance for any info on it
Eric
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:24 PM
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Each one of us has their "pet load" that we have confidence in and like the spec's we have read about it. Some guys like lighter faster bullets, some like slower heavier bullets. My preference is a FAST HEAVY BULLET.
Check out Buffalo Bores "heavy" 38 special +p 158 gr. SWCHP-CG. It will give you an honest 1100 fps (and about 365 ft. lbs. of energy) out of a 4" bbl. revolver. I have personally chronographed them out of my 2" chief special at 1040 fps. That's huge!!! The recoil is slightly stiffer than a regular +p of similar weight, but the performance is about double!!

I would not want to stand in front of a 125 gr. +P either, but I always go for maximum performance providing that the quality, reliability and performance is there. In this case the BB ammo does exactly what they say it will do.

Chief38
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:30 AM
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http://www.winchester.com/Products/h...s/X38S7PH.aspx
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:33 AM
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That WWB 125gr personal protection load lists at approx 950 fps. I think that is supposed to be a 4in bbl.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:36 AM
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I'm thinking that the load in question is decent for those on a budget, or if there is nothing else available. There is better ammo available, but those will work (better in longer barrels) if placed right. My hunch is that Remington's +P 125 gr. SJHP is a little better though. That load is often available in bulk.

That said, I'd rather use DPX, Speer Short Barrel, or the better offerings of the FBI load.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:30 PM
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Thank you for your time and comments. I was hoping for some chrono numbers from an individual, I sometimes have trouble trusting manufacturer's numbers.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:07 PM
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eric: that is because the manufacturers fudge velocity in every way that they can. I will bet at minimum that the referred to MV was measured from a ballistics bolt action test receiver with a four inch barrel screwed into it with NO cylinder-to-breech gap as all .38 Special revolvers would have. ...... Big Cholla
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:08 AM
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Eric1959:

CHRONOGRAPHING 38 SPECIAL SELF DEFENSE AMMO



I have just conducted some chronograph testing of my own using a S & W model 60 (2" barrel) and a bunch of different Factory Loads that are typically used for self defense purposes. The equipment I used was the Master Chrony that I have always found to be reliable, and the weather on the test date was about 55 degrees and sunny. I have to say that after seeing the results with my own eyes, I was BLOWN AWAY! The results below were an average of 10 shots out of a 2" S & W Chief Special.

ALL FACTORY AMMO:

Winchester 158 Gr. SWCHP +P (FBI load) ............751 fps
Remington 158 Gr. SWCHP +P (FBI load)...............746 fps
Winchester 158 Gr. SWC Standard Non +P Load .....692 fps
Federal 158 Gr. LRN Standard Non +P Load............701 fps
Speer Gold Dot 135 Gr. JHP +P ("short bbl. load")...880 fps
Buffalo Bore 158 Gr. +P SWCHP-Gas Check...........1,025fps
Buffalo Bore 158 Gr. Std. Non +P 158 Gr. SWCHP.....835fps

What really surprised me is how dismal the FBI loadings were! I have serious doubts that they would even expand at the above velocities, and as far as the standard pressure loads go (from Federal & Winchester), I would classify them as plinking loads only. The Buffalo Bore ammo actually performed better than the company advertises. Their +P loading in my opinion is nothing sort of FANTASTIC!!! Over 1,000 feet per second from a 2" gun. Their Non +P loading actually performed better than the Winchester and Remington +P ammo. Not only were their velocities incredible, but the recoil was not bad at all. In my M60 Chief's Special (all steel with wooden grips & a Tyler "T" grip) which weighs in at 20 ounces, it was very controllable, and point of impact was the same as point of aim. The Speer Gold Dot ammo was quite good as well. Their loading averaged 880 fps which again form a 2" gun is very respectable.

What really gets me is that the big 3 ammo companies that have been in the business for many many years, have resources up the wazoo, lots of money for R & D, and they are producing self defense ammunition with sub standard performance. For the past 20 years I have carried the so-called FBI load in my Chief, but no more. I will now be carrying Buffalo Bore's +P 158 Gr. bullet, and I will probably use either the Gold Dot 135 Gr.or the Buffalo Bore standard 158Gr. in my Model 37 "Airweight".

Obviously both Buffalo Bore & Speer have done their homework as far as self defense ammo is concerned, and Win. Fed. & Rem. have either gotten very lazy, or caved into the lawyers. Just thought some of you would be interested.

Regards,
Chief38

Last edited by chief38; 01-25-2010 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
What really gets me is that the big 3 ammo companies that have been in the business for many many years, have resources up the wazoo, lots of money for R & D, and they are producing self defense ammunition with sub standard performance.
I think the Buffalo Bore and other small companies that produce loads that are at the top of SAAMI pressure don't have as large a customer base and just haven't been sued as much as the Big 3. In a niche market the small companies can make money by selling custom loads at 1.5X-2X average market cost per round and the people who buy their ammo are probably more gun savvy than the average Winchester customer who wants ammo cheap and isn't overly concerned about a 5% or 10% increase in one shot stopping power they may get for twice the price.

Its not like the Big 3's JHP ammo is ineffective, it generally works very well, will make holes in targets and bad guys and won't rattle your gun apart or put you in the poor house.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2010, 10:47 AM
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Here's some chrono data that a buddy of mine did for me back in 2004 (it was selling for !$11! a box of 50 back then):

Temperature 70 degrees.

Winchester 125 JHP 125 +P generic USA ammo
442-1: 782, 804, 779, 805, 799
GP100: 873, 931, 872, 941, 908
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2010, 11:28 AM
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Sorry, I don't have a chronograph, but I have shot the Winchester 125gn "+P" through my Model 15-3 4". It was very accurate at 25yds.
As for Buffalo Bore, I refuse to spend that much for ammo. I will load my own, first.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:41 PM
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I won't speak about the Winchester but the Remington 'FBI' load does expand from 2 inch barrels, in one test at least.

158 grain +P lead HP (test 2)

Explaining to customers why their heirloom .38 shot loose in a single box of shells is something Buffalo Bore is more willing to contemplate than the larger ammo companies.

Whether that's a positive or negative might depend on whether you were shooting such a firearm, or something proofed at higher pressures.

PreWWII .38s are such SWEET shooters it'd be easy to shoot hot ammo "just this one time".. and likely not very smart.

IF you want to carry hot .38 ammo you're better off shooting it in a .357. Just for drill. In My Opinion.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:57 PM
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.357 IMHO is simply too much load for most people in an airweight J-frame.

.38 Special +P is perfectly fine unless you are shooting an older gun that's not rated for it.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:27 PM
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I chrono'd a few rnds of this today I had no 2in, but in my M-66 3in it went 898 to 914fps. In my 4in M-15 it went 947 to 961fps, and in my M-28 6in fired one rnd only 943fps.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:23 AM
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I don't recall the velocity off the top of my head, but that Winchester 125gr JHP load actually expanded some and still penetrated well when launched from my 642 in some gelatin tests we did at work.

I'd carry it if I couldn't get my preferred loads without losing any sleep over the matter.

I noted that this ammo was accurate and fairly low recoil for being +P
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:42 PM
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Here is the Winchester Link to the ammo number you posted. I see no reason not to use it for SD if it's the only ammo available at the moment. Winchester always made a good bullet so it should perform well in that ammo. That ammo is part of their USA line which is the replacement for their White Box ammo so it's not part of their Premium Ammo line.
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  #17  
Old 06-08-2010, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
Eric1959:

CHRONOGRAPHING 38 SPECIAL SELF DEFENSE AMMO



I have just conducted some chronograph testing of my own using a S & W model 60 (2" barrel) and a bunch of different Factory Loads that are typically used for self defense purposes. The equipment I used was the Master Chrony that I have always found to be reliable, and the weather on the test date was about 55 degrees and sunny. I have to say that after seeing the results with my own eyes, I was BLOWN AWAY! The results below were an average of 10 shots out of a 2" S & W Chief Special.

ALL FACTORY AMMO:

Winchester 158 Gr. SWCHP +P (FBI load) ............751 fps
Remington 158 Gr. SWCHP +P (FBI load)...............746 fps
Winchester 158 Gr. SWC Standard Non +P Load .....692 fps
Federal 158 Gr. LRN Standard Non +P Load............701 fps
Speer Gold Dot 135 Gr. JHP +P ("short bbl. load")...880 fps
Buffalo Bore 158 Gr. +P SWCHP-Gas Check...........1,025fps
Buffalo Bore 158 Gr. Std. Non +P 158 Gr. SWCHP.....835fps

What really surprised me is how dismal the FBI loadings were! I have serious doubts that they would even expand at the above velocities, and as far as the standard pressure loads go (from Federal & Winchester), I would classify them as plinking loads only. The Buffalo Bore ammo actually performed better than the company advertises. Their +P loading in my opinion is nothing sort of FANTASTIC!!! Over 1,000 feet per second from a 2" gun. Their Non +P loading actually performed better than the Winchester and Remington +P ammo. Not only were their velocities incredible, but the recoil was not bad at all. In my M60 Chief's Special (all steel with wooden grips & a Tyler "T" grip) which weighs in at 20 ounces, it was very controllable, and point of impact was the same as point of aim. The Speer Gold Dot ammo was quite good as well. Their loading averaged 880 fps which again form a 2" gun is very respectable.

What really gets me is that the big 3 ammo companies that have been in the business for many many years, have resources up the wazoo, lots of money for R & D, and they are producing self defense ammunition with sub standard performance. For the past 20 years I have carried the so-called FBI load in my Chief, but no more. I will now be carrying Buffalo Bore's +P 158 Gr. bullet, and I will probably use either the Gold Dot 135 Gr.or the Buffalo Bore standard 158Gr. in my Model 37 "Airweight".

Obviously both Buffalo Bore & Speer have done their homework as far as self defense ammo is concerned, and Win. Fed. & Rem. have either gotten very lazy, or caved into the lawyers. Just thought some of you would be interested.

Regards,
Chief38
I've been buying BB both directly and via Midway. After checking the FPS info in their site for various loads/weapons, and especially their warnings about .357's indoors, I've become a believer....best
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:25 PM
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The "secret non-cannister powders not available to handloaders producing unheard of results" bugaboo is a common sales pitch. If it actually existed and was so awesome, the powder companies would be more than happy to sell it to eager handloading customers. In fact, they'd be selling a helluva lot more of it to the thousands of handloaders than a single boutique ammo maker.

Fact is, the laws of pressure and performance aren't magically suspended at the Buffalo Bore factory. Note that no hard pressure specs are given for the ammunition. That +P Buffalo Bore ammo is most likely loaded beyond SAAMI spec for .38 Special +P. To get 1000+ fps from a 2" J frame with a 158 grain lead bullet, the level being loaded is +P+: which is to say, well beyond 18,500 cup, akin to the .38/44 ammo of yesteryear (22,000-28,000). IIRC, a shooter previously send some particular super-awesome BB ammo to get pressure tested and the results were well over SAAMI spec, but I'd have to do a more extensive search to find the details.

A modern good condition revolver shouldn't explode at that level. S&W makes .357 magnum guns on the J frame that are only marginally different in construction than the .38 models. But an older gun - or an aluminum alloy frame gun - can get stretched and distorted with that kind of ammo, and becomes unreliable and unsafe. How much of that ammo will do that is a good question - alloy J frame .38s have been know to be rendered useless with as little as 4 boxes of that kind of pressure ammo.

Folks seeking the best performance should know that you cannot turn a .38 calibre weapon into a magical death ray, and indeed there are too many variables involved to create 100% effective "one-shot manstopper" with any calibre you can carry on your person. Better advice in my view is to select a load which you can shoot in sufficient quantity to become proficient with in the gun you actually use, which means a reliable load that shoots to POA and will not beat you or the firearm into oblivion. There is really not much difference in terminal effect amongst the various .38 loadings, so long as it penetrates sufficiently. But we all want that magic bullet.

In my experience the shooter armed with, for example, .38 wadcutters who can place them accurately and quickly on one and more targets, is better armed than the person relying on a heavy load that cannot be shot well, or quickly, or that causes the weapon to be unreliable.

Last edited by Model 15-4ever; 06-09-2010 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model 15-4ever View Post
Folks seeking the best performance should know that you cannot turn a .38 calibre weapon into a magical death ray, and indeed there are too many variables involved to create 100% effective "one-shot manstopper" with any calibre you can carry on your person. Better advice in my view is to select a load which you can shoot in sufficient quantity to become proficient with in the gun you actually use, which means a reliable load that shoots to POA and will not beat you or the firearm into oblivion. There is really not much difference in terminal effect amongst the various .38 loadings, so long as it penetrates sufficiently. But we all want that magic bullet.

In my experience the shooter armed with, for example, .38 wadcutters who can place them accurately and quickly on one and more targets, is better armed than the person relying on a heavy load that cannot be shot well, or quickly, or that causes the weapon to be unreliable.
Well said!
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:46 PM
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As revolvergeek notes above (and thanks revolvergeek for that), the ammo in question runs about 800fps on average out of a snubbie, which is outstanding. The JHP Winchester uses in these rounds is the old style Winchester JHP with the flat point and exposed lead tip. I've handloaded thousands of those in the past and they are good bullets. I picked up a box of these at my local Wal-Mart in Texas and paid $19.97 which I think is decent these days for 50 rounds of JHP.
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