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Old 08-20-2010, 10:52 AM
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Default PMC .38 Spl. Tubular Ammo

A couple of years ago my brother and I bought a lot of new old stock from a defunct gunshop. Among the goodies was an assortment of discontinued ammo of various calibers. I recently was going through what we had left and found two boxes of Ultramax .38spl ammo. Manufactured by PMC, and marked 38 J Special +P 66gr. Tubular. I remember these from back in the 80's or 90's. They weren't on the market long and I think they were banned since they were supposedly solid bronze tubing with a teflon plug base which fell away after being fired. They had sharp edges and got the nickname "cookie cutters". I think they are fairly rare these days. At first I was going to try a few at the range with thoughts of using them in a carry gun but the fact that they were banned and may be considered illegal, not to mention being pretty old changed my mind. Has anyone ever had any experience firing these rounds? Would they be of any value to cartridge collectors? Just wondering.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:38 AM
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I believe the UltraMax original .38 Special loadings with brass bullets is on the Fed banned ammo list. The copper plated and aluminum alloy bullets are OK by the Feds.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:49 AM
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I have heard rumors that some of the earlier ones may have been legislated against as "armor-piercing," but that later production differed and had been found by the ATF to be OK. Again, rumor-level reliability; I used to remember the details, but even then I did not have reliable documentation.

I can tell you for a fact that the later production is definitely not armor-piercing, armor being Kevlar in moderate amounts.

These rounds are very accurate in my 2.5" M19 and M66. They are rated +P. They shoot low, as would be expected of a very light bullet - I think about 2.5 revolutions (900 degrees) on the rear sight screw of a 2.5" K-frame. They don't drop much at distance.

AFAIK, PMC stopped producing them because the patent owner, Abe Flatau, came after them, and between the cost of not stealing and the modest sales, it wasn't worth it. They also made some in .44, which I wouldn't mind encountering.

I chrono'ed some out of my 2.5" Diamondback at 1446 fps; my 2.5" 19 gave 1387 fps, both with a standard deviation of velocity of 18 fps.

Last edited by Model520Fan; 08-20-2010 at 01:08 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:51 PM
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I shot a box of .44 Specials about 20 years ago. As I recall, they were very inaccurate and shot about 3 feet low at 21 feet. At 25 yds., forget about it.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:37 PM
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The original PMC Ultramag load in 38Spl did use a brass alloy bullet that was declaired armor piercing by BATF. The 2nd Grn loading in 38Spl and 44Spl used a copper bullet to get around the AP designation.

This Tubular ammo is highly collectable and you can probably get $50-60 for a box or $2 per round if you can find the right people to buy the ammo a single round at a time.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:13 PM
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Hello-

I might be interested...PM sent, Thanks

Mike
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:25 PM
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I'm a newby to revolvers and the forum but I would be very interested to see a picture of this ammo.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS1100 View Post
I'm a newby to revolvers and the forum but I would be very interested to see a picture of this ammo.

Ammo For Sale : For Collecting - 38J Special 66 Gr. Tubular - Auction: 9666405 (Ended 04/24/2010, 07:43:12 PST)

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y17...ecUltraMag.jpg
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I miss my 4546 the most.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:06 AM
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Default PMC Tubular 38spl +p ammo

This ammo has been my every day carry in my J frame for years. I'm down to my last 5 rounds of it. I knew it was pretty old but I guess I didn't remember just how old it is. I was looking around online to try to buy more when I found this thread.
Perhaps it's time to put newer ammo in my snubby. LOL
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:14 PM
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I got a couple of boxes of the 44 cookie cutter ammo when it first came out.
I guess it never occurred to me it might be illegal.
Kind of a moot point however as I discovered it would not shoot well or anywhere near regular ammo.
The fact the bullets weigh half what a normal slug would and are more than likely much smaller
in diameter than the revolvers of the era's throats caused me to just give up on them.
They might actually shoot well thru a newer gun but I still don't want
to have to fool with the radical sight adjustment.

If I wanted to shoot a solid copper bullet, I would probably go with something like this:

HGS_44_240

or one of the Barnes numbers.

===
Nemo
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Last edited by Nemo288; 03-19-2014 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:30 PM
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Nemo288, no need to worry about your 44Spl THP ammo as it uses the copper alloy bullet and isn't considered AP.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:31 PM
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That stuff was interesting.
There was the potential of overpenetration in ordinary use.
It would cut a section in 3/4" plywood and leave a plug of wood in the bullethole whilst screaming downrange uninterrupted.
It was surmised that a through & through with it would create long shreds of guts hanging out the backside wound tract.
It was high veloicity and nasty. More than likely a very effective anti-personnell round
I thought they were cool as the dickens.
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38spl, cartridge, k-frame, m19, m66, model 19

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