Potent New Buffalo Bore .38 Special Loading

This is a discussion on Potent New Buffalo Bore .38 Special Loading within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by a__l__a__n My point was simply that the LSWC-HP is no longer the recommended ammunition of the FBI. And that doesn't pass their ...

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Thread: Potent New Buffalo Bore .38 Special Loading

  1. #46
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a__l__a__n View Post
    My point was simply that the LSWC-HP is no longer the recommended ammunition of the FBI. And that doesn't pass their current tests. It's not very persuasive to point out that, once upon a time, it was their standard. The bar is higher today.
    and we all know the FBI gets everything right...... what will it be in five years?
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  3. #47
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    "Platt attempted to start the Grogan/Dove car. Mireles drew his .357 Magnum revolver, moved parallel to the street and then directly toward Platt and Matix. Mireles fired six rounds at the suspects. The first round missed, hitting the back of the front seat. The second hit the driver's side window post and fragmented, with one small piece hitting Platt in the scalp. The third hit Matix in the face, and fragmented in two, with neither piece causing a serious wound. The fourth hit Matix in the face next to his right eye socket, travelled downward through the facial bones, into the neck, where it entered the spinal column and severed the spinal cord. The fifth hit Matix in the face, penetrated the jaw bone and neck and came to rest by the spinal column.[20] Mireles reached the driver's side door, extended his revolver through the window, and fired his sixth shot at Platt. The bullet penetrated Platt's chest and bruised the spinal cord, ending the gunfight".

    Agent Mireles S&W Model 13 .357 magnum revolver was loaded with the .38 special 158 grain +p LSWHP the approved duty load for revolvers carried by the FBI at the time.

    I was fortunate enough to be at a training seminar in 1994 and listened to Agent Mireles give his first hand acount of the incident.

    We in LE who carried revolvers in South Florida during the 80's (and that was the vast majority of us) refered to the .38 Special 158 grain +p LSWCHP as the "Miami Load".

    The cops in Chicago called it the "Chicago Load".

    It was and continues to be a load that works and works well for the caliber.

    OS
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  4. #48
    Member Array TommyGun4169's Avatar
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    In the 1950's they were putting out non-+P 38 Special ammo that was putting out 364 ft-lbs of energy , now the best +P load puts out 287 ft-lbs !
    With most folks using 357 Mag handguns, why don't they come out with an old school 38 load ? The reason they toned it down so much is people were trying to shoot the "Police Positive load" in snubbies. This plus the advent of the 357 Mag reduced the 38 Special round to what we know it today. Even in the 70's though the 38 Special was still hotter than todays variety. There used to be Semi wadcutter and lead round nose in +P loads both 158 gr. +P+ loads were also available well into the 90's.
    So what happened ? There's nothing inbetween the powerful 357 Mag loads and the soft 38 Special loads. Why isn't there any 158 gr at 1100 fps ? This would be a good start ! 125 gr at 1200 fps. This would be the max a steel, service sized, 38 special revolver could handle with no problems. I'd be happy if 1100 fps was the cutoff, it would be a hell of a lot better than what exists ! One of the ammo companies has got to revive this once treasured round ?

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  5. #49
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    "Platt attempted to start the Grogan/Dove car. Mireles drew his .357 Magnum revolver, moved parallel to the street and then directly toward Platt and Matix. Mireles fired six rounds at the suspects. The first round missed, hitting the back of the front seat. The second hit the driver's side window post and fragmented, with one small piece hitting Platt in the scalp. The third hit Matix in the face, and fragmented in two, with neither piece causing a serious wound. The fourth hit Matix in the face next to his right eye socket, travelled downward through the facial bones, into the neck, where it entered the spinal column and severed the spinal cord. The fifth hit Matix in the face, penetrated the jaw bone and neck and came to rest by the spinal column.[20] Mireles reached the driver's side door, extended his revolver through the window, and fired his sixth shot at Platt. The bullet penetrated Platt's chest and bruised the spinal cord, ending the gunfight".

    Agent Mireles S&W Model 65 .357 magnum revolver was loaded with the .38 special 158 grain +p LSWHP the approved duty load for revolvers carried by the FBI at the time.

    I was fortunate enough to be at a training seminar in 1994 and listened to Agent Mireles give his first hand acount of the incident.

    We in LE who carried revolvers in South Florida during the 80's (and that was the vast majority of us) refered to the .38 Special 158 grain +p LSWCHP as the "Miami Load".

    The cops in Chicago called it the "Chicago Load".

    It was and continues to be a load that works and works well for the caliber.

    OS
    Thanks for posting that OS. I always get Platt and Matix mixed up.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  6. #50
    Member Array a__l__a__n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Our disagreement is on the statement you made saying the 158 weight lswc-hp failed due to not expanding. We do not agree at all on these issues. My suggestion would be to read the autopsy and action report that reconstructs that incident, and you will better understand. A bullet does not fail because it doesnt expand, it fails because it misses something in the CNC that shuts the power immediatly off. Either thru inadequate penetration, deflection, or just completely missing something vital enough to trigger an immediate shut down of the body. If you read the report, you will see that Mattix was stopped early on and never made it out of the car, and if Im not mistaken, it was the 38 spl loads that did it here. Platt, although mortally wounded, continued his rampage. The bottom line here is the 115 weight Silvertip did not have quite enough ass behind it to complete its journey after going thru his arm and into the chest cavity.

    A heavier bullet, would have probably made the difference. It was this single shot that moved the FBI into a new direction, giving birth to the 10mm, which later became the 40 S&W. The move was away from revolvers to autoloaders, for the increased capacity and not because of any cartridge failure associated with the revolver or the 158 grn lswc-hp load.

    And as a point of interest, the move was one towards a heavier bullet. This is the point being made here by myself and others. The heavier loading of the keith style bullet in the 158-180 grn 38spl, does one thing that can be counted on, and thats penetration, regardless of imperfect angles or circumstances. No light weight HP can do this with such a degree of certainty, unless pushed to magnum velocities.
    My statement was that the 158 gr LSWC-HP failed the current FBI test. That's not opinion, it's a fact. You can argue with whether or not the FBI test is the right criterion. But I don't think you can dispute that the bullet failed that test.

    I haven't based any of my opinions on any interpretation of the Miami shootout. A lot has happened since then -- a lot of incidents, a lot of testing, a lot of engineering. We know more now than we knew then. We still don't know enough.

    Choosing a bullet is kind of like playing the roulette table. You have many choices on how to place your bets. You can put all your money on a single number coming up. If you win, you win big... but you'll usually lose. Or you can put all your money on red. You'll win almost half the time, but you'll lose in the long run because the house always wins in the end. You can hedge your bets by placing some money on different combinations. You give up some of the big win potential but you still have the potential to come out ahead on a given spin.

    The same is true with bullet selection. You can place your bets on deep penetration -- but it might pass straight through without stopping the BG. Or you can place your bets on maximum expansion, which might not penetrate deep enough to reach vital organs. Or you can hedge your bets by going for a combination of penetration and expansion. That improves your chances of a "win" but you probably are trading some penetration for some expansion. What is the best tradeoff? You can't know in advance. It all depends on exactly how things go down.

    The difference between the roulette table and ammo choice is that everyone can know precisely what the odds are for any bet in roulette. We don't know that about the bullets. Not even close.

    The FBI test protocol is currently hedging bets, requiring a certain amount of penetration and a certain amount of expansion, through a variety of barriers. Is it the right set of tests? Who knows? There probably isn't one "right" set of tests, but the FBI test not an unreasonable criterion.

    I think we've made progress in this discussion. It has become clear that the difference of opinion really comes down to whether the FBI tests are the best criterion for choosing a bullet for self defense. You can certainly argue with it. Different people will have different opinions.

  7. #51
    Member Array a__l__a__n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyGun4169 View Post
    In the 1950's they were putting out non-+P 38 Special ammo that was putting out 364 ft-lbs of energy , now the best +P load puts out 287 ft-lbs !
    With most folks using 357 Mag handguns, why don't they come out with an old school 38 load ? The reason they toned it down so much is people were trying to shoot the "Police Positive load" in snubbies. This plus the advent of the 357 Mag reduced the 38 Special round to what we know it today. Even in the 70's though the 38 Special was still hotter than todays variety. There used to be Semi wadcutter and lead round nose in +P loads both 158 gr. +P+ loads were also available well into the 90's.
    So what happened ? There's nothing inbetween the powerful 357 Mag loads and the soft 38 Special loads. Why isn't there any 158 gr at 1100 fps ? This would be a good start ! 125 gr at 1200 fps. This would be the max a steel, service sized, 38 special revolver could handle with no problems. I'd be happy if 1100 fps was the cutoff, it would be a hell of a lot better than what exists ! One of the ammo companies has got to revive this once treasured round ?
    There is a lot of useful "space" between 38 special +P and full load 357 magnum, especially for light weight snub nose revolvers. There are a few medium 357 mag loads in this range, but I'm not aware of a 158 gr version. Right now, if you want that, I think you have to roll your own. It's not too hard to do, if you have a chronograph.

  8. #52
    Member Array Alarm Guy's Avatar
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    Man there is a ton of good information by people who know their #### in this thread! THanks!

    Back to the orignal round in question! I don't think cost really matters for this round? It would be carried in the woods or outdoors and only used in the worst possible scenario! Its not like you are going to be shooting it at the range much? Two boxes might be all you ever buy?

  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    And as a point of interest, the move was one towards a heavier bullet. This is the point being made here by myself and others. The heavier loading of the keith style bullet in the 158-180 grn 38spl, does one thing that can be counted on, and thats penetration, regardless of imperfect angles or circumstances. No light weight HP can do this with such a degree of certainty, unless pushed to magnum velocities.
    Nice point, or, at least, one that I like. I've been shooting my hollow point ammunition at the range and loading my weapons with FMJ or SWC. I'd rather shoot in favor of penetration and not risk the fragmentation/under-penetration. When hunting with a rifle, I'm still using an expanding rounds. But with slower moving pistol rounds, a solid projectile seems a reasonable choice.

  10. #54
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    So would this be the closest equivalent for semi-autos?

    9mm Luger +P +P+ Pistol and Handgun Bullets Pistol and Handgun Bullets
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majorlk View Post
    I wouldn't use them in ANY alloy or aluminum frame pistol, but that's me.
    Please say some more about why you would not. (I'm new to J-frames and still on the lower portion of the learning curve.)

  12. #56
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcclarke View Post
    Please say some more about why you would not. (I'm new to J-frames and still on the lower portion of the learning curve.)
    Over the years I have seen several alloy/aluminum J-frames crack from high-pressure rounds. You couldn't give me one of the new generation of allow S&W J-frames. FWIW, I have never liked any of the S&W .38/.357 J-frames. I much prefer the all-steel Colts (no longer manufactured, unfortunately) - plus they hold SIX rounds, not five.

    Others may (and probably do) feel differently.
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  13. #57
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    So would this be the closest equivalent for semi-autos?

    9mm Luger +P +P+ Pistol and Handgun Bullets Pistol and Handgun Bullets
    Yeah, at 1300 fps, I'd be comfortable with the 124 weight loading. Especially for a hi cap handgun.
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  14. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Yeah, at 1300 fps, I'd be comfortable with the 124 weight loading. Especially for a hi cap handgun.
    .357 SIG sounds like a winner, then.
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  15. #59
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Yeah, at 1300 fps, I'd be comfortable with the 124 weight loading. Especially for a hi cap handgun.
    Lacks the sharp shoulders of the LSWC though - I guess that bullet profile does not feed too well in most semi autos (?).

    The FMJ-FP is what I run in my .380s.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear2 View Post
    I will still continue to carry BB - 158 gr LSWCHP in my 642 for two reasons:
    1) I already have them, and 2) It is two to the chest and one to the head, per my CPL Class instructor, a few years ago.
    Also re the new "Woodsman" load, it maybe $26/box of 20, but it is also $14 for shipping ground FedEx. I will wait until I can get to Cabelas.
    As will I, exactly as you have stated!
    ...T. Ray

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