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Old 06-08-2013, 07:45 PM
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Default Buffalo Bore 38 +P in 642?

Has anyone used Buffalo Bore 158 gr lead semi-wad cutter hollow points in their S&W 642? How did it behave?

Before I order this rather pricey ammo I'd like to hear some impartial experience.

Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:26 PM
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I've heard/read Airweight owners say it kicks like the proverbial mule. I'm hoping to try the 880 fps standard pressure 158 grain in a 640. By all accounts hit does well in a snubby.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:32 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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Folks, full power 158 grain stuff kicks in any J frame, even the steel ones! If you really want a thrill, fire a box or two of 38/44 ammo in your J frame. Buffalo Bore makes the load - they call it the Outdoorsman, for obvious reasons. It runs a 158 grain Keith type semi-wadcutter at between 1125 and 1150 fps. And, it is SAFE in any modern 38 Special that is in proper working condition, even the J frames. You don't have to get in front to figure out it just went off.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:44 PM
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THE 158 SWC-LHP +p load is the 38-44 load also. the 20a load.

I haven't fired it in my 37-2 but have in other airweights. Velocities over a chrono is accurate with factory claims. Aint pleasant shooting them...
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn mccarver View Post
Folks, full power 158 grain stuff kicks in any J frame, even the steel ones!
I've used +P 158-grain LSWCHP (Remington, mostly) in a 640 for years. Thumps a bit, but not painful even with arthritic hands, especially with Pachmayr Compacs. I'm sure it would be far less pleasant in an Airweight or one of the Gnatweights. And even in a steel J the .38-44 doesn't appeal.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine View Post
Has anyone used Buffalo Bore 158 gr lead semi-wad cutter hollow points in their S&W 642? How did it behave?

Before I order this rather pricey ammo I'd like to hear some impartial experience.

Thanks.
Fired in both my LCR and the 642......really mean!
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:31 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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Originally Posted by medic15al View Post
THE 158 SWC-LHP +p load is the 38-44 load also. the 20a load.

I haven't fired it in my 37-2 but have in other airweights. Velocities over a chrono is accurate with factory claims. Aint pleasant shooting them...
The 20A load does not really duplicate the velocity of the old 38/44 load. On Buffalo Bore's web site, 20H shows 1,250 fps, while the 20A load you mention is only 1,000 fps, using the "low velocity" hollow point with gas check designed to expand because it is so soft. 20H uses a hard cast keith-type semi-wadcutter. The velocity is what makes it a 38/44, not the type or weight of bullet.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn mccarver View Post
The 20A load does not really duplicate the velocity of the old 38/44 load. On Buffalo Bore's web site, 20H shows 1,250 fps, while the 20A load you mention is only 1,000 fps, using the "low velocity" hollow point with gas check designed to expand because it is so soft. 20H uses a hard cast keith-type semi-wadcutter. The velocity is what makes it a 38/44, not the type or weight of bullet.
My apologies, I went back and looked sat those figures again and for some reason thought I have read them as the same velocity but with the LSWC-HPGC rather than Hardcast. My mistake!
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:04 AM
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I have fired Buffalo bore 38+p out of my Model 637 j-frame there a little on the stiff side . Stick with Remington Golden Saber
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:43 AM
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Whip Man (Jimmy) has Pachmayr Presentation Grips on my Model 638.
Yes there is "RECOIL" but if the BG has your air supply cut off-you won't notice the recoil.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:59 AM
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I see no reason to push a bullet that hard when there are other loads on the market that will kick less and do just as good a job, especially for the price Buffalo Bore is asking. I shoot either the Remington FBI Load or the Speer Short Barrel 135gr +P load in all my J frames, including Airweights. Those loads are stiff but controllable. (and street proven)
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:39 AM
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I shoot a 22 oz. M49 all steel J frame with a Hogue monogrip
and a 158gr LswcHP at 850 fps out of the 1 7/8 inch barrel
will get your attention. My snub nose gets the best groups
and poa with 822 fps down to 800 fps with the 158 bullet.

The Remington loading is all you really need...........but if you
think you need the Buffalo load and your Revolver is +P rated
you can buy a box and see if it is your cup of tea.

As mentioned there are lots of other SD and standard
38 special loads that can work for you. The main thing is that
YOU feel comfortable and have trust in the load for your protection.

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Old 06-22-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
I see no reason to push a bullet that hard when there are other loads on the market that will kick less and do just as good a job, especially for the price Buffalo Bore is asking. I shoot either the Remington FBI Load or the Speer Short Barrel 135gr +P load in all my J frames, including Airweights. Those loads are stiff but controllable. (and street proven)

I agree 100%. I have shot the BB +p and yes, the recoil is harsh in a smaller gun, however my biggest problem is the Rim Rock bullets they use that are harder than a hooker's heart. They just don't expand much and that's not good IMO. I choose the same carry loads that you have specified. They are the best in .38 IMO as well.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:16 PM
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Default With the heavy stuff

With the heavy stuff I just shoot enough to keep familiar with the recoil, and save enough to use in emergency situations. Cheap ammo gets shot downrange.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:37 PM
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I've shot the "Remingchester" +P 158 grain lead SWC loads in the Model 642 as well as somewhat heaver handloads using the same weight bullet. The revolver is configured as it is seen below. It's doable but is not pleasant at all.



I've shot Buffalo Bore +P 158 grain loads in other .38 Special revolvers in most barrel lengths and the company exhibits "truth in advertising." The loads clock every bit of what Buffalo Bore claims. It is very difficult to equal those velocities with any published handload, even from manuals from bygone times.

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Old 06-22-2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine View Post
Has anyone used Buffalo Bore 158 gr lead semi-wad cutter hollow points in their S&W 642? How did it behave?

Before I order this rather pricey ammo I'd like to hear some impartial experience.

Thanks.
The Buffalo Bore® 158gr LSWCHCGC+P (20A) load will be ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL in an Airweight® Mdl 642! I would advise using the Buffalo Bore® Standard Pressure 158gr LSWCHCGC (20C) instead. This load is designed specifically for light weight guns like the S&W® Airweight®. It is very accurate in my guns & is my daily carry load.....
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=110
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn mccarver View Post
The 20A load does not really duplicate the velocity of the old 38/44 load. On Buffalo Bore's web site, 20H shows 1,250 fps, while the 20A load you mention is only 1,000 fps, using the "low velocity" hollow point with gas check designed to expand because it is so soft. 20H uses a hard cast keith-type semi-wadcutter. The velocity is what makes it a 38/44, not the type or weight of bullet.
Actually they are identical in performance bullet construction aside. If you click on the product details you will see they perform identically when fired from a 4" barrel. Both will average about 1150fps when fired from a 4" barrel according to their website.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:08 PM
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It's not so much the recoil that bothers me about the 642, it's that 1/16" of aluminum under the barrel that keeps me awake. Slamming a big slug at 850fps into a forcing cone held in place by this tiny piece of frame just doesn't sound like a long term proposition(even though it's clearly marked "+P" on the barrel). The torque of engaging the rifling will have a different effect on aluminum than steel. At least that's what my tiny brain can figger. I have never shot +P out of my 642. I have carried it with 110 gr Fed HS (puny), 158 gr RNL (widowmakers), 130 gr ball (Hey, the Armed forces used these for like 30 years). I guarantee any miscreant shot with any of the aforementioned loads will be mighty surprised and might even lose some of the original enthusiasm to get froggy in the first place. Joe
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:47 PM
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I enjoy shooting a Friendswood 148 DEWC out of my 642. Set it in front of 3.4 231 and it is fun to shoot a few cylinders.

When I put the megalithic blasters in I wear a golf glove.

I don't shoot a lot of those it's just stupid to me to punch paper or rattle a little steel with those at their cost.

Nothing wrong with a 158 LSWC sittin on 4.0 to 4.2 231 either.

I have a 640 that should be here sometime soon I'm kinda interested on how that's going to feel in comparison to the 642.

Megablasters in that may not be a bundle of joy either, but for sure they will do what they are intended. Some stout .38 may be fun.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:21 PM
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Default BB +P are a Little Stout

I'm not real savvy on bullet loads. Most important to
me, is making sure there's something in each chamber.
That said, I tend to stick with 158gr bullets, because
that's what the guns were designed for. (I think)
Whether that's true or not, it's 158gr, and now I'm
using some 200gr. loads. I shoot only a cylinder full or
two of the heavy stuff at a time, so I won't forget how.
Lighter loaded 158's for most practice. I've never had to
ask anyone if the rounds went off.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWales View Post
have a 640 that should be here sometime soon I'm kinda interested on how that's going to feel in comparison to the 642.
You're unlikely to need the golf glove. I think you'll like it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:42 PM
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Use ammo you can hit the target where you point and that is comfortable to shoot.

Forget the whiz bang stuff. You're better served with a 148gr target load you can hit something with than something with gee whiz ballistics.

Arreating the background won't help. Ammo that beats you up doesn't do what you want - stop the bad guy. Ammo you can hit the bad guy with will!
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:03 AM
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Use ammo you can hit the target where you point and that is comfortable to shoot.

Forget the whiz bang stuff. You're better served with a 148gr target load you can hit something with than something with gee whiz ballistics.

Arreating the background won't help. Ammo that beats you up doesn't do what you want - stop the bad guy. Ammo you can hit the bad guy with will!
For sure good advice. I've also said it many times, the best ammo in the world will do you no good unless you make good hits!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
I see no reason to push a bullet that hard when there are other loads on the market that will kick less and do just as good a job, especially for the price Buffalo Bore is asking. I shoot either the Remington FBI Load or the Speer Short Barrel 135gr +P load in all my J frames, including Airweights. Those loads are stiff but controllable. (and street proven)
I agree with this. The old 38/44 load is mostly for entertainment, and to see what the FBI used in their Colt Police Positives back when they bought those guns. Our choices these days are better, and agree with the FBI load (158 gr LHP +P) or the Speer GD Short Barrel. Both are fully tested and proven.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:38 AM
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I've gotten some good opinions on this site regarding the Buffalo Bore 38 +P 158 gr lead semi wad cutter hollow point in a S&W 642. Thanks to all.

I ordered a box and took my 642 to the range today to see for myself how it handled. DAMN!

The 642 is my preferred carry. I use the two finger grip because of its concealability. I was hoping the B.B. 158 grain wad cutter would give the snubby some extra velocity and punch.

There can be too much of a good thing.

The recoil in that little light frame was overwhelming. A quick follow up shot was out of the question. I'm 6'1", 230 lbs and have been shooting all kinds of weapons for 45 years. This ammo was too much for me to feel confident about use in a critical situation if more than one shot is required. I'm afraid the power and slug weight is mismatched to the 642.

I use other Buffalo Bore ammo and love it in my .45, 9mm and .380.

This .38 ammo might better be great in a K frame or some weapon heavier than the J frame. For me, I'll stick to Federal Premium Hydra Shok +P 129 grain JHP in the 642.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine View Post
I've gotten some good opinions on this site regarding the Buffalo Bore 38 +P 158 gr lead semi wad cutter hollow point in a S&W 642. Thanks to all.

I ordered a box and took my 642 to the range today to see for myself how it handled. DAMN!


The 642 is my preferred carry. I use the two finger grip because of its concealability. I was hoping the B.B. 158 grain wad cutter would give the snubby some extra velocity and punch.

There can be too much of a good thing.

The recoil in that little light frame was overwhelming. A quick follow up shot was out of the question. I'm 6'1", 230 lbs and have been shooting all kinds of weapons for 45 years. This ammo was too much for me to feel confident about use in a critical situation if more than one shot is required. I'm afraid the power and slug weight is mismatched to the 642.

I use other Buffalo Bore ammo and love it in my .45, 9mm and .380.

This .38 ammo might better be great in a K frame or some weapon heavier than the J frame. For me, I'll stick to Federal Premium Hydra Shok +P 129 grain JHP in the 642.
Try the 20C (standard pressure) load; it's specifically made for shooting in Airweight® guns. Recoil is not a problem for me with this load.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:26 PM
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For an Airweight I would use the STANDARD BB 158 grain LSWCHP which out of a 2" gun will give you around 880 fps - a VAST improvement over the BIG 3 +P offerings and will not harm your gun.

Leave the BB +P's for the steel framed guns and you'll be fine.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:46 AM
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BB offers two loads in non- +P 38 ammo that I like the looks of : a soft lead 158 gr SWC-HP at 850 fps, and a hardcast 150 gr WC at the same 850 fps. I think the BB people prefer the full wadcutter-- read their description of each of these loads and you'll see that they really rave about the wadcutter's virtues. I handload my own version of each of these and kind of go back & forth on which ones I want to carry in the gun for self-defense purposes. Right now the guns are loaded with the full wadcutters, but the quick-strips have the SWC-HP's in them.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:44 AM
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BB offers two loads in non- +P 38 ammo that I like the looks of : a soft lead 158 gr SWC-HP at 850 fps...

Soft it ain't and it doesn't expand worth a damn:


Buffalo Bore .38 Special 158 gr Semiwadcutter Ammo Test - YouTube
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Boge View Post
Soft it ain't and it doesn't expand worth a damn:
According to Rim Rock, the bullet has a Brinell hardness of 5, and I can mark them with my fingernail. How much softer could they be?
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:54 AM
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Buffalo Bore 38 +P in 642? Buffalo Bore 38 +P in 642? Buffalo Bore 38 +P in 642? Buffalo Bore 38 +P in 642? Buffalo Bore 38 +P in 642?  
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Per their website, Buffalo Bore offers several non-jacketed loads:
standard pressure ("short barrel low flash" per BB):
#20C - 158 gr soft lead SWC-HP at 850 fps
#20D - 150 gr hard cast WC at 850 fps
plus-P
#20A - 158 gr lead SWC-HP with gas check at 1,000 fps
#20H - 158 gr hard cast 158 gr SWC at 1,250 fps ("outdoorsman")
Their soft SWC-HP's are cast, not swaged, and apparently both loadings have gas checked bullets. Like I said, I handload the equivalent of #20C & 20D, and would feel confident using either of these for a self-defense carry load. I personally would like to handload a soft solid-base full wadcutter,but so far I haven't had any luck finding anyone who manufacturers one. I think that one of those, with sharp shoulders & maybe a cup point to imitiate a very moderate amount of expansion, would be the best of both worlds.
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