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I've been on several firearms boards asking about this .38spl ammunition which carries Smith and Wesson's name. It is 158gr LSWCHP +P. The lead does feel hard; I can scratch it with a fingernail but I cannot deform it by hand.

I decided to do a water shoot. We have a new pup so newspaper for wetpack is in short supply.

The firearm used was a Rossi M68 with a 1-7/8" barrel.


Here is the setup. Prior to this test I did on with a 125gr bullet, and that bullet penetrated three jugs. I figured with the increased weight I'd need at least that.


Here is my view. I figured the old computers would be appropriate.


This is me taking the shot in my "Silent Bob" getup - or - I need to get off my butt and lose weight! This picture is a still taken from a video of the shot. Please forgive the quality.

I have to say here, recoil was not what I expected out of a revolver that size. It is comparable to my full sized all metal 9mm with +P loads. Now, I know someone's going to want to see the whole video. Here it is:


Click on the pic. Just don't hold it against me! It's about 5mb in size if I remember correctly, so dialup, count on a download time of 15mins to 1/2 hour.


As you can see, the first two jugs are very torn up. Taking the video of the shoot frame-by-frame, I can see the individual impacts. It's enlightening as to when the energy is actually released.


The bullet penetrated through the fourth jug and came to rest between the fourth and fifth, causing no damage to the fifth jug.

The total penetration came out to about 24" of water, or about 12" of gelatin.


Here's the expanded bullet. It measures right around .52"x.51" and is about .63" tall.


For comparison...

As compared to the Magtech 125gr I tested a while back, this round appeals to me more, at least insofar as water jugs are concerned. While this round penetrated four water jugs and expanded to over half an inch, the Magtech only penetrated three jugs and partially expanded to a bit less than half an inch at its widest point.


The Magtech, for comparison...

I plan on shooting one of these S&W rounds through four layers of denim into water as soon as I am able to gather more jugs.


As you can see, the round overexpanded a bit. I am hoping a denim test will provide results as realistic as one can get by shooting water.

Overall, I am cautiously impressed. The S&W fodder has become my carry ammo for the time being.

Josh <><
 

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You done good pard, and that is adequate loading. But your hat is on backwards. :thumb:

Seriously , that will do what you need it to do.
 

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Josh, is this current production ammo? I knew Smith had some ammo years back but wasn't aware of anything recently. Also, any idea who loaded it for them (Remington, Winchester, Federal etc)?

Steelheart
 

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I'm not a big fan of water for testing, but it's a lot easier than jello or even wet newsprint. I carry a 158 grain JHP in my M85, but have always believed the "FBI Load" to be the best load for .38 special, snub or otherwise. Good bullet weight and adequate energy/momentum for penetration. The deformation of that bullet looks good, too. I like the good ol' .38, enough for defense and a heck of a lot more controllable in a light weight small frame gun than its magnum sibling.
 

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I'm another who carries the 158gr LHP +P in their small frame. However, I do feel that some of the newer loads are likely to be as good or slightly better. But I'd rather use a load with a proven track record that can be measured in decades.

If I had a snubbie magnum I would likely use one of the medium velocity loads. Its a trade off between more power on target vs the time between repeat shots vs the ability to handle the recoil (more so in practice).

Steelheart
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Steelheart,

No, this is not current production. I've got a source that has had some in "cold storage" for years. They are, in fact, collectable but I can get, for the same price, some in a much nicer box. These are shooters that have been stored properly.

As to the manufacturer, I've alternately heard Federal or Fiocci. Examining everything, it really looks like more like a Federal load than anything else.

Josh <><
 

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Interesting ancient history.Smith&Wesson hasn't made ammo for almost, if for not more than 2 decades. Nor are they likely to start back up. They do have automotive parts,bicycles and other such stuff, but are manufacturing nothing or have their name on any current ammo. Factory management confrims this.

Have to use that ammo for something though and the test was a good way to do it.

Media such as water, gelatin, wet newpapers and telephone books are poor simulators for real flesh, but they do give one some indication of what will happen when shot into a target. This has been documented by patholigists and other professionals in the field.

There was even the Stasbourg tests where hundreds of Alpine goats were shot and the bullets examined. Bullet pentration and expansion were recorded. Times for the animal expiration rate were kept for each brand of ammo and type.


Fragmenting defense rounds such as Glaser, Beehive, Magsafe and others came out the winners. Ball ammo lost horribly. JHPs all had expiration times all lumped together in hundreths of a second as to have no real clear winne. These goats approximate human make up and weight.

Do not condone such animal testing.And the results have some validity, but not necessarily that much.

S&W LSWCHP were known to have slightly harder lead than Winchester's, so expansion usually was not as great as Winchester brand of the same load. To the target being shot the diffference in expansion was a moot point. Not much difference between brands. Remington's 158 gr.LSWCHP is in the same class as the Winchester brand.

So for those of you who carry a .357 mag or .38 Special, the 158 +P LSWCHP is the way to go as for defense carry. That's in .38 Special guise.

Steelheart and Native Texan know of what they speak.
 

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I've got some S&W headstamped brass. Of course, it's been in my collection of brass for two decades. LOL!
 

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I think I'd put a box (that was in real nice condition) away as a collector piece, which could double as a SHTF ammo stash. Beyond that, yeah shoot it.

Gello, water, wet newsprint, clay etc are mainly a means to compare bullets/loads on an equal basis. The real nice mushroom you get in testing probably won't happen in a real situation. And the depth of penetration will likely be different in a real target vs testing medium. But testing medium is about all we have until some poor person is forced to use the load in question to defend either themselves or another.

All that said, if I had the cash available (yeah right with the way ammo's going up) Cabela's sells stuff called Perma-gel that you can use to test your own loads and its reuseable! But it costs more than a case of cheap ammo so you all probably have a good idea which one I'd order first.
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...arentType=index&parentId=cat601043&id=0037512

Steelheart
 

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Ah yes, the wonderful sports of water filled Milk Jug Shooting and Ammunition Testing!
Very entertaining! Particularly when Centerfire Rifle Cartridges are used!
Have done some of that myself with some reloads.

For some more Ammo Testing Documentation, in a variety of calibers, see: http://stevespages.com/page8f.htm

Another entertaining site is: http://www.theboxotruth.com/
 
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