S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P Water Test

This is a discussion on S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P Water Test within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P Water test

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    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P Water test

    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.


    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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    Nice write up Joshua it is hard to beat the old FBI load
    Sometimes I wonder who the old man in the mirror is....

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    Member Array ispcapt's Avatar
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    Just how old is that S&W ammo? I haven't seen S&W ammo on the shelves in 20 yrs. I still have some S&W ammo in .38 SPL WC and some in .380.

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    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    ISPCapt,

    It's old. I don't know how old, but it's been stored properly so I'm not concerned.

    Others are telling me it's collectable so I'll have to go get another box and put it in a large ammo can with my other firearms collectables I reckon.

    Josh <><

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    The factory 158 grain +P is my choice in the .38 Special. I've always selected Winchester but have read that Remington yields higher velocities. Of course now there's Buffalo Bore.

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    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Josh-
    Thanks for posting your test! This just makes my decision to get some 158 LSWCHP for my new 642 even more solid! I have been searching for some testing of the "old FBI load" and came up empty handed. Thanks!
    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Benjamin Franklin
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Good job Josh. Thanks.

    wht06rado: If your interested in this kind of stuff, Steve Camp probably has the most extensive site for tests and comaprisons of 38spl ammo. here is a link http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/OtherHandguns.htm
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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