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  #1  
Old 02-26-2009, 12:00 PM
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Anyone know the pros/cons of semi-wadcutters versus hollowpoints? I know the FBI used 158 grain semi-wadcutters in their .38s, and I have seen Federal Premium and Remington advertise semi-wadcutters as self-defense loads.
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:00 PM
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Anyone know the pros/cons of semi-wadcutters versus hollowpoints? I know the FBI used 158 grain semi-wadcutters in their .38s, and I have seen Federal Premium and Remington advertise semi-wadcutters as self-defense loads.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:35 PM
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Sharp-shouldered semi-wadcutters are as effective as they ever were. In the days when hollowpoints were iffy in performance, they were probably most used. Many still carry them.

However, with the new premium hollowpoints that function as advertised, I prefer them over lead for defense. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:39 PM
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Some of our old Fibbies can correct me if I'm wrong, but the "FBI Loads" I've seen have all been semi-wadcutter hollowpoints. I was actually given several boxes of them by a retired FBI firearms training officer years ago. Conventional wisdom is that the LSWCHPs usually expanded from 3" and 4" barrels, not so much from 2-inchers. Our resident adherents to the "more penetration is always better" school will tell you that SWCs are as good as SWCHPs, or better. I disagree, except when the HPs fail to expand. This has been hashed out ad nauseum in many threads, so I must add......

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Old 02-26-2009, 02:09 PM
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Fanning a sleeping horse?
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:16 PM
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Nice lookin' horse John!
There's another gentleman from Texas around here, that actually prefers them in +P from his Model 10.
Erich is more a fan of full wads (at higher than target velocities). But cooks up high grunt SWC's every so often for his .357.
I'm good with either SWC+P, full wad (in my Wife's Ti J currently) or a SWCHP @+P.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:41 PM
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Hollow points?

Semi wadcutters?

As I sit here, with a Model 64 loaded with Buffalo Bore 158 gr +P SWCHPs on my belt, I say: GET BOTH.

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:20 PM
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Actually, I'm carrying Jessie's SWCs in my Chiefs Special today, loaded to better-than-FBI-Load velocities.

So, Folterung, what's with the handle? Welcome aboard, I think . . .
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
As I sit here, with a Model 64 loaded with Buffalo Bore 158 gr +P SWCHPs on my belt
I too swallowed the bullet ($$$!) and switched to Buffalo FBI load in my Det Spl.

Mike
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:13 AM
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The semi-wadcutter is the ultimate general purpose bullet. They will work well for defense, hunting, or target shooting. Of nonexpanding bullet types for defense, I prefer wadcutters to SWCs because I believe trying to reload a gun in a gunfight will likely be a waste of time. YMMV. My wife's gun is loaded with .38 wadcutters, but I prefer and use hollowpoints in my carry guns.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:29 PM
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One thing about lead bullets: They can be driven to higher velocity, at the same pressure, than their jacketed counterparts.
The bugaboo is friction generated by the copper jacket.
Don't believe me? Tap a lead bullet down your pistol's bore sometime. Now, try tapping a copper jacketed bullet down the bore. If you get it started, you'll likely need a gunsmith to tap it back out -- so no, I don't recommend you do it but I say it to make a point.
A hard-cast 160 gr. bullet can get an honest 1,400 to 1,500 fps in a heavy-frame .357 Magnum. A jacketed bullet of the same weight strains to reach 1,400 before pressures rise to the intolerable.
Jacketed bullets are also much harder on the bore. Lead bullets do not promote wear and tear nearly as much as jacketed bullets.
I'm old school too. My S&W 637 .38 snubnose is loaded with hard-cast 158 gr. SWCs. They're accurate, hit with a decided thunk, penetrate well and don't depend on expansion to cut a good-sized hole.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:58 PM
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Eric,I was at a gun store today looking at the Magtech 158 gr. flat tmj for target practice. with the flatpoint which is covered with brass coloring on the bullet,How are they for defense?????? Or have you tried any Magtech of this type? rz625-8
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:34 AM
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Don't generally use store-bought ammo, actually. Sorry!
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:20 AM
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I like how a sharp shoulder SWC chops a nice round hole. Some SWC don't have much of a shoulder so probably don't perform as well. Look at a piece of paper target shot by a full wadcutter and think about how it chops or cuts all the tissue in its path. A hollow point might start expanding after impact but won't reach its full diameter potential until several inches later,.... if the cavity doesn't get plugged and it decides to expand at all.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Farmer17:
A hollow point might start expanding after impact but won't reach its full diameter potential until several inches later,.... if the cavity doesn't get plugged and it decides to expand at all.
I generally see the signs of expansion within a couple inches when I shoot Perma-Gel. A high modern velocity cartridge will usually expand quite reliably, so I'll put my money on hollowpoints.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:55 PM
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Out of the posse guns that I own, the "bedroom" gun for my wife and I is 60's production 4" Colt Police Positive Special loaded with Winchester's exceptional standard velocity 158 gr. LSWC. Good stopping power with excellent penetration, low blast and flash.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:40 AM
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OK Erich, I gotta' ask?
What was the significance of his "handle" selection question about, earlier?
Enquiring minds, just got's ta' know?
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:31 AM
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The guy's name is "torture" in Kraut - I work with real psychos sometimes, and I wondered why on Earth anyone would find that appropriate to represent himself on a forum.

I note that he hasn't bothered to respond.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:30 AM
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Back during the 1970's a bad guy was taken down with one shot from a .38 special out of a 2-inch Model 36. Bullet impact was just below the sternum with penetration downward, nearly perpendicular to the front of the body. Autopsy photos showed much of the small intestine was turned into mush.

The bullet? 148-grain hollow-base wadcutter loaded backward (hollow-base forward) over 3 grains of Bullseye (probably around 700 FPS out of the 2-inch barrel), a target load essentially. Recovered bullet had penetrated about 5 inches before stopping, expanded to over 0.60" diameter, remaining weight over 140 grains.

Coroner said it was the most devastating handgun wound he had ever seen.

Our police range ammo was remanufactured on automated equipment, and the hollow-base ended up loaded this way in a few rounds. The officer involved in the shoot had culled these from range target ammo.

Since then I have loaded and fired many hundreds of that load. They will not penetrate a windshield, but will penetrate side windows easily. They will frequently be deflected by a fully inflated car tire. Residential walls (1/2" drywall on each side) are penetrated, but the bullet will usually be stopped by a second wall. If a 2X4 wall stud is hit the bullet will not go through. A one-gallon milk jug filled with water will stop the bullet, but the plastic jug will be shredded and water will be thrown several feet.

All in all, absolutely devastating for a close-range defensive load, with very little blast or flash. Overpenetration is much less of a concern in residential areas. I recommend it frequently for home defense ammo in the .38 special.
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:21 AM
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The backwards loaded wadcutters are interesting...

50% of shooters love them, 50% think they are worthless
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:22 AM
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The hollow-base wc loaded backwards will start to keyhole/tumble pretty early on. Find out where the point of impact is at various disances. Up close should be pretty impressive.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:44 AM
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Thanks for the information everyone...find out a lot more reading these posts than searching the internet!
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:24 PM
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Back in the 70s, I loaded up a bunch of backwards 148gr. HBWCs, mostly for my aunt to keep in her little Model 36. She was very small, with tiny, but relatively strong hands. However, she was developing quite a bit of arhtritis, so couldn't tolerate much recoil. I forget just what load I used, but I believe I used a light load of Unique. I did not have a chronograph then, but I estimated the loads (from available data) at around 725fps. from the snubby. I liked them, although from the snubby, they would keyhole sometimes. From my 4" Model 10, I don't recall having keyhole problems. As noted above, they expanded like crazy, at least when they did not keyhole.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:11 PM
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So, no explanation for why you feel that you want to identify yourself with the word "torture" in German, eh?

I have to wonder . . .
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:05 PM
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Sweet - I'll return the favor, sirrah. Doesn't sound like you have a whole lot to offer in terms of knowledge or judgment anyhow.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:04 PM
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Erich -- if you like to talk to Kraut wierdo's, I could put you on my stepsister's mailing list. She will overwhelm you with love, bad sex jokes and soft Bavarian bier burps.

Say the word, sir, and it is done!

Heh heh, Jack
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erich:
The guy's name is "torture" in Kraut - I work with real psychos sometimes, and I wondered why on Earth anyone would find that appropriate to represent himself on a forum.

I note that he hasn't bothered to respond.
I did look that one up and had to wonder...
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LoboGunLeather:
Back during the 1970's a bad guy was taken down with one shot from a .38 special out of a 2-inch Model 36. Bullet impact was just below the sternum with penetration downward, nearly perpendicular to the front of the body. Autopsy photos showed much of the small intestine was turned into mush.

I think we tend to make too much of ammo selection. Good hits are what count! Think about it, David only had five smooth stones...
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:07 AM
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Yes, but little known is the fact that David's sling had extra-long straps. And even as a boy, he was known for his long arms.
Thus, the stones he was hurling were +P loads!
And let's not forget that when David previously tested his stone loads in a ballistic medium of sheep brains and pulverized locusts, penetration was greater than normal.
Of course, this was because he was using calibrated stones made by the happy slaves of the Hotep Bonded Sandstone Premium Stones co.
Any other stone might have been filled with Goliath's hair, sheepskin clothing or thick layer of desert crust and would not have been nearly as effective.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:14 PM
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I wonder if David ever chronographed the velocity of those stones.Do you suppose he may have weighed each one on a scale in order to hurl tighter groups?
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:30 AM
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To each his own, but I'll stick with the various modern JHP loadings from Buffalo Bore and Cor-Bon. Some people like hardball in their 1911s. Some people like wadcutters for defense. I think there are better choices.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:05 PM
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If I ever had to use my 38 for self defense it would probably be loaded with a SWC bullet. That's all I cast and load because all I use my 10-6 for is informal target practice and plinking.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Photoman44:
Quote:
Originally posted by Erich:
The guy's name is "torture" in Kraut - I work with real psychos sometimes, and I wondered why on Earth anyone would find that appropriate to represent himself on a forum.

I note that he hasn't bothered to respond.
Maybe the guy is on the young side and into Legos - see advert. http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/101651

I did look that one up and had to wonder...
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erich:
Sweet - I'll return the favor, sirrah.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:16 PM
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I have about 350 .45 Auto Rim cartridges loaded with the Leadhead 200 gr. SWC to just
a tad over 1,000 FPS. I'm taking the partial
box along to the range with the full mooon I just loaded up, tomorrow AM. Nice and accurate
Penetration is not a problem

R-
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  #36  
Old 03-17-2009, 05:43 PM
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5grs unique and hardcast 158swc for 38spec.everything. In the 357 mag 6.5 grs of unique. Kills deer broadside lung shots just fine.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:44 PM
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I like the 158 grain +P loads in the .38 Special and carry it as the ammo of choice in all my .38 Special revolvers. Doesn't matter to me if it is factory fodder or a hand load that utilizes the max listed Unique load from older Lyman manuals. I don't care whether the 158 grain SWCs have hollow points or not.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:18 PM
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And BMC ladies and gentlemen, is the man I referred to earlier, that actually preferred them, out of his Model 10...
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:48 PM
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The first six rounds in both my Model 10 and Model 15 are 148 grain double-end hard cast wadcutters, loaded over 5.0 grains of Unique. My speedloaders are filled with 158 grain hard cast semi-wadcutters, loaded over 5.2 grains of Unique.

Both are very accurate.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:59 PM
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I like to practice with my carry guns and ammo, and I can't afford to do that with premium self defense ammo.
So here's what works for me in this mod. 36
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:36 PM
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This thread is from antiquity.

Joe
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:52 PM
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"This thread is from antiquity."

So am I.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:38 PM
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The old stuff works so I must be an antique also!!
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:31 PM
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I sure don't want to take a hit from a 158gr cast flat pointed slug moveing on @ 1250 fps. the original .357 mag load.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:10 PM
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My all purpose bullets are LSWC. In my .357's, my #1 carry bullet in that is #358156, in my .38's, the old 170 grain solid #358429, I haven't started with the .41's but those will be Montana Bullet Works 210 grain cast SWC's and my .44's are #429421 in 250 grain.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:48 PM
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Interesting

Last edited by Wheel-er; 01-07-2011 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigirondan View Post
The first six rounds in both my Model 10 and Model 15 are 148 grain double-end hard cast wadcutters, loaded over 5.0 grains of Unique. My speedloaders are filled with 158 grain hard cast semi-wadcutters, loaded over 5.2 grains of Unique.

Both are very accurate.
Would be curious if you get a chance to chronograph. Buffalo Bore has a 150 (148gr?) DEWC HC (From Rim Rock Bullets) that they claim 868 out of a 2".
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:20 AM
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That's not hard at all to believe, Rob - a few years back I was playing with (Tennessee Valley Bullets - I'd been using Rainiers and Berry's swaged/plated bullets until a friend in Arkansas told me about the amazing results he was getting with TVBs) hardcast DEWCs for defensive loads and I found that velocity was easily attained (and exceeded) with presently published Unique loads. A quite accurate loading, too. The potential legal ramifications of carrying handloads aside (which of course would not be an issue with the Buffalo Bore loadings), the only real downside that I can see to using it is that it's difficult to do a speedy reload with due to the short nose.

The one on the right:


Here are the results from the first range session I did with the load in question (these velocities were on the high end - averages from snubs tend to be about 75 fps lower):

Remember, folks, this is supposedly a standard pressure .38 Spl load per the Speer # 12 . . .
Max Unique load from Speer #12/TVB 148-gr hardcast DEWC
M 15 4" - M 1127/ES 19.88/SD 8.54
M 36-1 3" - M 1095/ES 49.10/sd 21.42
M 38-2 1 7/8" - M 1020/ES 75.92/SD 37.92

The load was actually unpleasant to shoot from the Airweight. It was fine to shoot from the other two guns, though I knew I'd launched something of consequence. These somewhat frightening results got me questioning my chronograph, so I immediately shot two 9x19 loads that I'd chrono'd the month before from the Sigma - and they both performed extremely similarly (both were a little faster - maybe the air was fast today) to the way they had last month, which made me think the chronograph was fine.

The two lower groups in this pic:


A later session:


Here are results from a later re-chronographing - these are more in line with the usual results:

TVB 148-gr DEWCs through the 1 7/8" 38-2; same range - 5950' > sea level, 36 F this time:

average of 954.8 fps, ES 36.71, SD 16.82



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Old 01-03-2011, 05:20 PM
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Just a quick reply to thank you for your efforts. Will review thoroughly later and re-email you.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:44 PM
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You're most welcome, Rob, but I can't really answer your Q about the Buffalo Bore rounds as I've never fired/chrono'd them. OTOH, I'd be shocked if they did anything other than what Tim Sundles says that they do.
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Ammo Thread, Semi-Wadcutter for self defense? in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; Anyone know the pros/cons of semi-wadcutters versus hollowpoints? I know the FBI used 158 grain semi-wadcutters in their .38s, and ...
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