November 17th, 2010 09:37 AM
Ranger Bonded 130-gr. .38 Special +P (Performance data from Winchester)
Well, I saw a couple boxes of this ammo at ammunitiontogo.com, and before I even bothered to look for performance testing, I clicked "Buy."
As I'm sure everyone knows, the Ranger Bonded ammo has some pretty serious fans, but the new 130-gr. .38 Special +P load hasn't been out long enough for all the ballistics junkies to do their thing yet.
I figured I'd share here the information I got when I contacted Winchester about this ammo.
RA38B (130-gr. Bonded Ranger .38 Special +P from a S&W Model 60, 2" barrel):
Muzzle velocity: 835 fps
Bare Gel: 12.2" penetration, .62" expansion, 100% retained weight.
Heavy clothing: 12.4" penetration, .63" expansion, 100% retained weight.
Wallboard: 13.4" penetration, .56" expansion, 100% retained weight.
Plywood: 14.2" penetration, .41" expansion, 100% retained weight.
Steel: 11.3" penetration, .53" expansion, 100% retained weight.
Auto Glass: 10.5" penetration, .51" expansion, 85% retained weight (110.5 gr.)
Compare this to their 110-gr. .38 Special +P+ load:
RA38110HP+ (110-gr. Bonded Ranger .38 Special +P+ from a S&W Model 60, 2" barrel):
Muzzle velocity: 1068 fps
Bare Gel: 7.5" penetration, .68" expansion, 100% retained weight.
Heavy clothing: 7.7" penetration, .65" expansion, 100% retained weight.
Wallboard: 10.6" penetration, .54" expansion, 98% retained weight (107 gr.).
Plywood: 13.4" penetration, .45" expansion, 98% retained weight (108 gr.).
Steel: 10.25" penetration, .48" expansion, 95% retained weight (105 gr.).
Auto Glass: 8" penetration, .55" expansion, 81% retained weight (89 gr.)
The above isn't much above par for their .380 ACP ammo, except in the barrier tests.
Interestingly, the fellow I e-mailed sent me a large spreadsheet with test data on literally every load Winchester makes, so if anyone wants to see a specific load, I can share it. Some of them don't have the gun or barrel length they were fired from, though.
November 17th, 2010 10:06 AM
The new Ranger load is slightly better than the Silvertip load in the same weight and +P rating, with the Ranger expanding slightly more and doing better in the barrier tests. It also penetrated 2.6" less than the 158-gr. +P lead HP load in bare gelatin and 7.2" less in heavy clothing, but the Ranger load expanded to 150% the size of the 158-gr. in bare gelatin and double the size of the 158-gr. in heavy clothing, where the lead hollow point barely expanded at all.
November 17th, 2010 10:45 AM
I don't really see anything outstanding here. Pretty much par for the course for factory produced ammo. The 158 is still the best penetrater consistantly, and the 130 looks good until it clogs up and slows down.
On a second look, it is not showing the penetration depth of the 158 vs the 130. Could you include all the 158 data?
November 17th, 2010 11:30 AM
I would tend to agree. The new loading isn't a magic bullet at all, but the tests seem to confirm that it's par for the course on high-end .38 ammo. It remains to be seen if it can match the FBI LSWCHP load or NYPD GDHP load records.
Also, of course this is only the Winchester loads. I didn't have a comparison against Speer, Cor-Bon, etc.
For the Super-X Winchester FBI load (158-gr. +P LSWCHP), the results from the same gun (S&W Model 60, 2" barrel) were as follows:
Muzzle velocity: 890 fps
Bare Gel: 14.8" penetration, .48" expansion, 99% retained weight (158 gr.).
Heavy clothing: 19.6" penetration, .36" expansion, 99% retained weight (157 gr.).
Wallboard: 13.4" penetration, .37" expansion, 99% retained weight (157 gr.).
Plywood: 12.7" penetration, .42" expansion, 99% retained weight (156 gr.).
Steel: 0" penetration, .68" expansion, 91% retained weight (144 gr.).
Auto Glass: 7.1" penetration, .63" expansion, 83% retained weight (131 gr.)
If penetration is all that counts for you, the FBI load seems to be the way to go, but it gets there by sacrificing almost all expansion.
November 17th, 2010 01:35 PM
I will take the absolute penetration every time over the ''maybe if its just right'' circumstances of expansion. Because if a light weight bullet doesnt expand, you better hope for penetration, and if it does expand, you better hope for enough penetration. Holes in vital organs is what does the damage. I like to iliminate the variables and go for the absolutes. A heavy HP, you know you are getting at least one critical dynamic out of it , and maybe two, if it expands.
For my personal carry, I assemble my own loads using a 158 grain LSWC, over a healthy dose of powder. If I have to use it, I want it to make it thru the spine or hips, or in one shoulder and out the other.
November 24th, 2010 10:30 PM
Well said, Glockman 10mm:
I too prefer the FBI load in my snubnose and 4" revolvers. Manufacture of choice is Buffalo Bore:
Buffalo Bore Short Barrel Snubnose:
** 158-gr. Standard Pressure Lead Semi-Wadcutter HP (20C) Less recoil & similar velocity as Speer 135-gr. Gold Dot
Buffalo Bore 4":
** 158-gr. +P LSWCHP (20A)
* 150-gr. Standard Pressure Hardcast Wadcutter (20D) For barrier penetration & protection in the mountains.
Aim for the Thoracic Triangle Area between the armpits and the base of throat.
1. Shot Placement: Center Mass Between the Armpits & Base of Throat
2. Heavy for Caliber Bullet Weight / Construction
3. Choice of Caliber
November 25th, 2010 09:57 AM
It may seem that most of my posts concerning self defense ammo choices are a little negative about factory produced SD ammo. The truth is I believe many will work as designed, and I exclusivley carry Remington Golden Saber ammo in my revolvers when I do use factory ammo. I believe that brass jacket is a little tougher than copper, and will give some advantage for penetrating after encountering bone or thick tissue. I have used the 147 grain GS 9mm on medium game at SD distance and it works well.
I assume the gelatin tests set forth as the standard are reasonable, and there has to be a standard to measure by. But the problem is we are seeing evaluations done in a perfect, controlled set of conditions, and from what I have experienced, things have a tendancy to not be quite so simple in real life. I have never been much of a gambler, so I always take the route of choosing the outcome I can control, and that is penetration. At least there will be no suprises. I know that the bullet is getting to something vital, whether it expands or not.
November 28th, 2010 12:41 PM
The third page of this article has some interesting stats........the whole article is aimed at snub-nosed. Best.
As an aside, I keep reading about "one shot stops".....it's beginning to get to me. So my 9mm 127gr. +P+ has "only" a 90%+ (or whatever) one shot stop (estimate). Since I was planning on shooting the BG twice (or more) do I get 180% (or more)? LEO's are trained to double tap for a reason. Can't we have a discussion about two shot stops? Weather I'm wearing a .380 or a .45, I plan on firing more than once until he drops!
Ok, my rant is over......Best to all.
November 28th, 2010 01:07 PM
I can't help it. This is the same question I've always had. LOL If the Lysol anti-bacterial wipes claim they kill 99.9% of germs, does that mean that if I used two of them that it will kill the remaining .1% therefore killing 100%? LOL I just couldn't help it.
Originally Posted by rob1109
Glock 26 XD9sc
Ruger SR9c Ruger LCP
December 11th, 2010 09:57 AM
I may give the Ranger a try as well. I have typically carry the 135gr +p Gold Dot NYPD load in my 642, but have also carried the Remington 158gr +p LSWCHP FBI load. I like the fact that both are proven with enough actual data in police shootings to rely upon. I usually carry the Gold Dots in my speed strips because they don't get beat up in the pockets like the LSWCHP rounds. YMMV.
One Riot, One Ranger. Long live the Republic of Texas.
JOIN THE NRA AND DO IT TODAY!!
December 12th, 2010 05:23 AM
That new load is extremely enemic when it comes to energy. No better than your average .380 Auto load. The 130 gr Ranger calculates to only 201 ft/lbs of energy, while the 110 gr load has 278 ft/lbs.
Originally Posted by glockman10mm
That is a significant 38% increase in energy for the older 110 gr Ranger load.
This new 130 gr load was definitely created to satisfy those who believe in the myth of needing 12 inches of penetration. Deeper penetration is all that it has to offer.
December 12th, 2010 05:29 AM
I don't see a market for this load, unless it is for folks who want less recoil. It is certainly not a hot load. Much inferior to the Super-X FBI load in both energy and penetration, and significantly inferior to the 110 gr Ranger load for energy.
Originally Posted by glockman10mm
December 13th, 2010 11:15 AM
I think the target market for the load is the same folks who use the NYPD Gold Dot load. It's loaded much the same way.
I'm actually kind of surprised this thread has generated as much religious strife as it has. I'm not a zealot for any particular caliber or load. I understand that every handgun caliber is underpowered and that for any caliber somebody can whip out a pile of failure-to-stop stories, some quite spectacular.
If this load performs similarly to the 135-gr. GDHP load for snubbies, it might do fairly well. I mostly say that because it's way easier for me to find the Winchester load in 50-round boxes. I haven't seen 50-round boxes of the GDHP load in, well, forever.
December 13th, 2010 03:25 PM
What I see is that it is not near as fast as it should be for that light a bullet. There are several manufacturers that produce SD round that has a faster velocity. Why would anyone want to carry a light slower bullet?
December 13th, 2010 04:10 PM
I'm firmly attached to the +p 158 grain load in the .38 Special.
Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
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