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Old 07-09-2013, 05:31 AM
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Default Buffalo Bore FBI Load

I have always used the FBI Load in my 38s and 357s for SD, but lately all I can seem to find is the Buffalo Bore version. While I know the performance of these rounds, I was wondering if these were reliable rounds out of the box? I know with the big 3 and Cor-bon and Horandy I can trust, but are Buffalo Bore reliable for a SD ammo? I
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:53 AM
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You mentioned all the "designer" ammo but not the original FBI Loads made by Remington, Winchester and Federal. I have used the FBI loads made by Rem, Win and Fed and all worked as intended. Just last year I bought the Federal offering for only $19.95/50 rounds. Before that I bought Remington for $24.95/50 rounds. I refuse to pay over $1.50 a round for a very old design just because it's marked Buffalo Bore or Cor-Bon.

Yes, Buffalo Bore makes good SD ammo but how can anyone afford to practice with your carry ammo when they charge that much? Don't be fooled by the hype, use the stuff that made the good name for the FBI Load. (Remington, Federal or Winchester)
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:24 PM
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I have to agree. It sounds like BB makes good stuff (never tried it myself), but close to $30 for 20 rounds seems steep for cast bullet loads.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:33 PM
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I've considered trying BB's standard-pressure 158gr. LSWCHP, but the price has kept me away from it. It clocks 880fps out of a two-inch barrel and supposedly uses low-flash powders, but still...

I've used the Remington FBI load in snubbies for fifteen years and like it very well. Have a little on hand, so I'm not worrying about price just now.

I'd like to try the Speer Gold Dot short-barrel 135gr. +P, but price again is prohibitive on a small fixed income.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:57 PM
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I don't know how to tell you this, but the Federal copy of the "FBI" load was plagued with a spotty performance record compared to Winchester & Remingtons loadings.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:06 PM
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I agree that Buffalo Bore is pretty pricey, but I can attest that it is good quality ammo. As others have noted, you can get the same performance, though, for less from other manufacturers.

I've used that load in a Model 28 (4") and from a 2.25" Ruger SP101... guess which one was more fun!
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:43 PM
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I just bought a box of the Remington version of this load yesterday at a local big box store...it was packaged in the newest redesigned "HTP" packaging, so I'm pretty sure it is of very recent manufacture.

$29.99 for a box of 50, and they had several boxes of it. The less expensive "classic" stuff is out there.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_hutcherson View Post
I just bought a box of the Remington version of this load yesterday at a local big box store...it was packaged in the newest redesigned "HTP" packaging, so I'm pretty sure it is of very recent manufacture.

$29.99 for a box of 50, and they had several boxes of it. The less expensive "classic" stuff is out there.

I snagged three boxes this week at Bass Pro for $26.99 per 50.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:45 PM
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In the factory loading, get the "real deal," which is the Winchester X38SPD.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 358156hp View Post
I don't know how to tell you this, but the Federal copy of the "FBI" load was plagued with a spotty performance record compared to Winchester & Remingtons loadings.
You are correct, it was reported as "spotty" years ago. I usually only carry the Remington brand because the lead is soft enough to reliably expand and I use the others for practice. (usually) I also trust the Winchester FBI Load more than the Federal but in a pinch I would use all 3. (Federal being last)
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_hutcherson View Post
I just bought a box of the Remington version of this load yesterday at a local big box store...it was packaged in the newest redesigned "HTP" packaging, so I'm pretty sure it is of very recent manufacture.

$29.99 for a box of 50, and they had several boxes of it. The less expensive "classic" stuff is out there.
I've been dying to see what the new "HTP" load looks like and had briefly talked about it before. If possible, would you please post photos of it?
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:18 AM
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Thanks for the advice fellas. I really do not even actual bullet performance, its just I have always noticed in my experience the big three brands as well as Cor-Bon and Hornady always go bang when I drop that hammer. Looking at the overall scheme of things, if you need a 38 to go that fast mine as well go with a 357
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:14 AM
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I've never succumbed to BB hype always been a Speer GDHP fan.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CoMF View Post
I've been dying to see what the new "HTP" load looks like and had briefly talked about it before. If possible, would you please post photos of it?
I had missed the earlier discussion, and just picked my box up when I was in Cabelas and realized what it was.

I don't have any older versions of it for comparison, so can't say if the bullet has changed appreciably or even at all. Mine are in nickel plated cases, and the photo on the box shows nickel cases.

This is a quick cellphone snap in the windowsill-I hope it shows what you'd like to see, but if it doesn't please let me know and I'll try to get a better photo this afternoon.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:59 AM
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The Remington FBI load was our issued ammo back in the day and I can attest to its performance on the street, both from 4" & 2" guns.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bello View Post
I've never succumbed to BB hype always been a Speer GDHP fan.
Like it or not Buffalo Bore's claims are not hype, it actually performs as advertised and in some cases exceeds the manufacturers claims. Our very own Bmcgilvray did some extensive chronograph work on various .38 SPL ammunition and posted it here a while back. The Buffalo Bore lived up to the claims. Don't believe that the Speer GDHP is some kind of wonder bullet that is going to expand no matter what either. I've seen where it failed to perform as advertised too. I couldn't find the post that Bmcgilvray posted here, but here is a link of very same that he posted elsewhere.http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...ity-tests.html


I picked up a box of the new Remington HTP 158gr LSWCHP (+P) load a few days ago. Outwardly it looks like the new loading is using a bullet with a slightly curved nose, where as the older stuff looks like the nose is more squared off. Who knows however, it may be just this particular box and another may look just like the old stuff.

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Old 07-10-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old cop View Post
The Remington FBI load was our issued ammo back in the day and I can attest to its performance on the street, both from 4" & 2" guns.
That kind of testimonial (I've heard a number of them) is why I've carried the stuff in two-inch guns for fifteen years. Ed Lovette's excellent little book The Snubby Revolver: The ECQ, Backup And Concealed Carry Standard, supports the FBI load as his pick based on experience as a Special Forces officer, CIA paramilitary operative, and firearms consultant to a number of LE agencies.

I figure if it ain't broke, et cetera. But I still might one day try the Buffalo Bore standard pressure 158 grain LSWCHP, just for the sheer, unbridled hell of it.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:23 PM
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Default Federal 'spotty' performance

Some posters mentioned that Fed's LHP showed 'spotty' performance. In what way, please? Velocity, accuracy, expansion? More specific, please.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bello View Post
I've never succumbed to BB hype always been a Speer GDHP fan.
I'm just the opposite, I never succumbed to the whizbang load hype-- Gold Dot, Critical Defense, Vital Shok, Golden Saber, DPX, XTP, etc. The (possible) exceptions would be the old Silvertip or Nyclad loads.
I handload the equivalent of BB's standard pressure #20C (150 gr hard WC) and #20D (158 gr soft SWC-HP) loads and have more confident in them than in some super-expando light fast JHP. If I was buying factory ammo, it would be the Winchester etc "FBI load"-- good proven performance at realistic prices.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:03 PM
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Some posters mentioned that Fed's LHP showed 'spotty' performance. In what way, please? Velocity, accuracy, expansion? More specific, please.
The information I've seen suggests that Federal never consistently got the bullet alloy down right. Sometimes they were a bit too hard and expansion suffered.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:10 PM
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Thanks 336A;

Here's the Smith & Wesson Forum thread on that test.
Some .38 Special Chronograph Tests

The Buffalo Bore +P 158 grain load is good stuff but it is pricey. Among the "Fedingchester" renditions of the same load; limited testing found Federal's version to be slowest, followed by Winchester, with Remington's the fastest. Remington also is said to load the softest lead bullet and that seems so in unofficial "gouging" non-tests.

I've had good luck with the Winchester version on critters over the years. I've shot off more of it than the other two brands. I have Winchester and Remington around the house and also some heavy Unique-fueled handloaded equivalents.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default Thank you: 358156hp, bmcgilvray

Many thanks to these posters for prior 'likes' of some of my posts and for their info today. Interesting data on the Fed LHP. Guess I'll have to use the remainder of my case as practice ammo!

I am a little ticked that the LHP has been watered down from its original 60s-70s ballistics. The 1972 LE HG Digest has a chart of chrono'd velocities on p. 188. From a 4" M-10, the W-W LHP (38SPD), the 'gold standard,' is chrono'd at an average 1014 fps. Modern factory charts (usually hopeful) show this load at about 880-890 fps in 4": this is a significant drop in a cartridge not terribly powerful to begin with.

I'm quoting a writer who said the original LHP brought the .38 up off its knees, as many LEOs will confirm. Now the mfg-ers have dropped the MV and brought it back down to its knees. I still have several boxes of the original loading, the all-yellow 1969-70 box, so I'm OK.

Am I flogging an awfully dead horse? Maybe. However whiskey proofs have decreased in the past 2+ decades in too many instances, and 80 proof Jack Daniels is NOT the same drink as the previous 86 and 90 proof whiskeys. Same with the LHP.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:53 PM
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One, maybe ammo companies have toned down their loads for liability's sake. And two, maybe they've toned down their CLAIMED velocities, due to lots of people having chronographs now and being able to clock factory ammo (and report the results on the internet).. Pretty normal for mfr's to be a bit optimistic in performance claims for their products- that goes for cars, motorcycles, and airplanes as well as ammo.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_hutcherson View Post
I had missed the earlier discussion, and just picked my box up when I was in Cabelas and realized what it was.

I don't have any older versions of it for comparison, so can't say if the bullet has changed appreciably or even at all. Mine are in nickel plated cases, and the photo on the box shows nickel cases.

This is a quick cellphone snap in the windowsill-I hope it shows what you'd like to see, but if it doesn't please let me know and I'll try to get a better photo this afternoon.
Ben, thank you so much for posting that! It appears the predictions others have made on my thread were true. Remington has indeed used a slightly more aerodynamic bullet to achieve the modest increase in retained MV/ME over the older Express loading.

The biggest surprise of all is that they're still using nickel plated brass and not unplated brass. If you don't mind me asking, what was the going rate for these when you picked them up at Cabelas and how do they shoot?

I half wonder if the new HTP load will eventually replace its brother in the Express line...
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:20 AM
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If you don't mind me asking, what was the going rate for these when you picked them up at Cabelas and how do they shoot?
They were priced at $29.95/50 when they had them in stock. That was this past Monday, and they were all gone on Wednesday. I wish that I'd bought more than one box, and will certainly pick up more when I see them in stock again. It's a lot nicer to pay $30/50 than $20/20 or 25 for some of the fancy new hollowpoints.

As for how they shoot-I've only run one cylinder full through my 4" 64, and they seemed accurate enough and the recoil was no more objectionably than any other +P load I've show(and it's not much in a gun this heavy anyway). Once I pick up another box or two, I will probably spend some serious range time with them and will report back then.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:52 PM
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Interesting, Ben. It confirms what I wrote above and what I already know. When we touched off a LHP from a HB 10 in the early 70s, we knew we had fired something more than a service load!
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:29 PM
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Buffalo Bore is good ammo and a bit pricey so it is available!! You get what you pay for.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 336A View Post
I picked up a box of the new Remington HTP 158gr LSWCHP (+P) load a few days ago. Outwardly it looks like the new loading is using a bullet with a slightly curved nose, where as the older stuff looks like the nose is more squared off. Who knows however, it may be just this particular box and another may look just like the old stuff.

I have picked up four boxes recently of the new production and compared it visually to the old stuff in hand and not a damn bit a difference to my eyes which I had checked two weeks ago and am using new bifocals to boot.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:24 PM
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Some have stated that Winchester might have lower fps and also that the lead may be a little harder...........

Here is a picture of a Rem & Win 158 FBI factory load out of a snub nose.........
I shoot Remington's out of my snub.....but both work very well out of a 4 inch barrel.

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Old 07-14-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantu357 View Post
I have always used the FBI Load in my 38s and 357s for SD, but lately all I can seem to find is the Buffalo Bore version. While I know the performance of these rounds, I was wondering if these were reliable rounds out of the box? I know with the big 3 and Cor-bon and Horandy I can trust, but are Buffalo Bore reliable for a SD ammo? I
I've been using the Buffalo Bore® Standard Pressure 158gr LSWCHCGC load (#20C/20) for the last seven years. It is my daily carry load. This Standard Pressure loading has the same energy and velocity as the Remington® +P FBI load (#R38S12) with less recoil & muzzleblast. In my guns it is highly accurate and I've never experienced a FTF.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bello View Post
I've never succumbed to BB hype always been a Speer GDHP fan.

With all due respect, Buffalo Bore is NOT hype! I have personally tested and chronographed Buffalo Bores FBI load as well as the Big Three offerings numerous times. I can attest first hand that the velocities and muzzle energies that BB states are SPOT ON and tested out of actual guns where as Remington, Winchester and Federal are from "test barrels" of longer lengths.

From my 2" Chief's Special M60, BB (heavy) 158 grain +P LSWCHP-GC will consistently produce 1025 ft / sec which in turn is 360 foot pounds of ME. That is NOT hype! A 4" bb.l is 1162 fps & 474 ft lbs of energy.

I have been testing their ammo for 3 1/2 years now and I have NEVER had a failure of any type. The cost of this ammo s about $26 bucks for 20 rounds and I go through a few boxes a year to practice with and test. So subtract $52 bucks a year from eating money and I plink and practice with reloads. Not a bad deal in my eyes.
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