Magtech 38 special JHP?????

Magtech 38 special JHP?????

This is a discussion on Magtech 38 special JHP????? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Bought a box of Magtech "guardian gold" 38 special +P, 125 gr, JHP today ($20 for 20). Tried them out in my new S&W 642, ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array DrJ's Avatar
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    Magtech 38 special JHP?????

    Bought a box of Magtech "guardian gold" 38 special +P, 125 gr, JHP today ($20 for 20). Tried them out in my new S&W 642, and am EXTREMELY disappointed! I almost can't believe it, but 8 out of 20 wouldn't fire!!!! Even with multiple hits, only 1 of the 8 eventually fired. (Which brings up another question - what do you do to dispose of misfired but potentially live ammo??) The gun is pretty new, but I've run about 30 rounds of Remington target loads through it without a misfire. Needless to say, since I bought the JHP's as personal defense rounds, a failure rate of 40% is WAY unacceptable. So the question is, has anyone else had a similar experience, or is it just me? And what would you recommend for 38 special personal defense rounds?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    If other ammo is reliable (meaning your gun hasn't been "gunsmithed" to the point of unreliability) a strong letter to Magtech is in order. Include the lot number from the box, maybe it will result in a recall. They should replace your ammo or refund you some money. That performance is way unacceptable.

    I prefer Nyclads or 110gr Hydra Shok in non +p. Gold Dot 135gr, Winchester 158gr LSWCHP, or Gold Saber 125gr in +p. I have a few boxes of Federal +p+ 110gr if I need more than +p. There are plenty of opinions out there on defensive ammo.

    Most ranges have a bucket for unfired dud rounds. Soaking them in oil or water to deactivate them is totally a myth. Maybe bury them or get them to the bottom of a river or a lake.

  3. #3
    JD
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    FWIW I dismantle the duds with a pair of pliers and a vice grip after they have sat a while.

    I have a dislike toward Magtech revolver ammo after witnessing a friend have to remove his cylinder and pound out the spent casings with a cleaning rod and a mallet after the brass over expanded in the chambers...

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    The Magtech SD ammo has been less than stellar from my experience. Not just what you experienced, but not very good expansion from their JHP or solid copper bullets.

    Like JD suggested I would pull the bullet pour the powder out and burn it in the driveway or someplace safe. How you get the primer out is up to you. You could put some oil, or other liquid down in the case and let it soak before getting rid of it or attempt to set it off or remove it in a control situation. That is your call.

    Don't tell anyone but I have removed live primers from cases without incident.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superhouse 15 View Post
    If other ammo is reliable (meaning your gun hasn't been "gunsmithed" to the point of unreliability) a strong letter to Magtech is in order. Include the lot number from the box, maybe it will result in a recall. They should replace your ammo or refund you some money. That performance is way unacceptable.
    +1
    That said,
    I shot some Magtech 38 Sp +P 158gr SJHP in my Taurus 85UL when proving it. The spent brass did stick a bit in the cylinder but was removed with little real difficulty. This stuff rocked in the Ultra-Lite! Granddaughter was especially impressed with the smoke and muzzle flash from that snubby (2" barrel). Although it was dirty, I had no failures out of 50 rounds.
    Last edited by Brady; June 26th, 2009 at 10:40 PM. Reason: addition
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  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    re-visit

    Bought another box of Magtech 38 Sp +P 158gr SJHP to continue proving my Taurus 85UL. Only shot about 1/2 the box and had 4 misfires. Shot 2 cylinders of it in my Dan Wesson and it misfired 3 times as well. Problem with the primers? The brass stuck like crazy in both cylinders too. I've had only limited experience with magtech and this is the first time I've had trouble with them. While I never did before, I know now not to use it as carry ammo. And it was expensive to boot.
    ...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the post. I'll file this one away in the "learn from others' experience" file.
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  8. #8
    JT
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    FWIW I dismantle the duds with a pair of pliers and a vice grip after they have sat a while.
    That's what I do. Then I pour out the powder and light it with a match.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Sounds like ammo to run away from
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    I've never tried Magtech defensive ammo but I've used some target loads. Dirty stuff, I avoid it.
    As far as defensive ammo, I feed my .38 nothing but Federal Nyclad, rated as one of the best defensive rounds for a snubbie. Second choice would be CorBon DPX.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  11. #11
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    Magtech? IMHO it's certainly not a top-shelf SD choice. At $1.00 a pop I would surely move to something from Hornady, Speer, Federal, Winchester, etc. & see how my pistol runs.
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    Magtech Duds

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    FWIW I dismantle the duds with a pair of pliers and a vice grip after they have sat a while.

    I have a dislike toward Magtech revolver ammo after witnessing a friend have to remove his cylinder and pound out the spent casings with a cleaning rod and a mallet after the brass over expanded in the chambers...
    Thanks. JD, for sharing that horror story. I am will be running away from Magtech for my new Airweight Snubby even if its the last box on the shelf.

    Anyone with J-frame ammo experience with Cor-bon or Glaser?

  13. #13
    Member Array thedogfather's Avatar
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    I shot some MagTech .357 mag 158 grain solids a while back and didn't have any problems. I think I still have a box in the ammo can but would only use it for range shooting anyway. For SD, it is much better to spend a few extra $$ on top shelf, proven ammo. I did shoot some cor-bon .357 mag 110 grain JHP through my Model 649 (steel frame) a couple of weeks ago. The all went BANG and the recoil was manageable. I have another 20 round box in the can and would buy them again.

  14. #14
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    Bought some magtech sport .38 special 158 grain LRN recently and shot them through my colt cobra the other day at the range. I was highly disappointed with the performance. 4 duds out of fifty rounds and many required two or three slams of the ejector rod to fully eject because the crappy brass had expanded so much. I would hate to be caught with this ammo in a firefight. also shot a 50-round box of .38 special winchester 158 grain LRN with NO PROBLEMS whatsoever. Needless to say, I will definitely be staying away from magtech in the future.
    Last edited by czakem; September 4th, 2009 at 11:10 AM. Reason: exposition

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    I weigh and measure all of my handgun ammo before firing it in my guns. (I think I may be OC about ammo!) I do this at the kitchen table with calipers, cartridge length gauge and digital scale. The "calibrated ammo" is ammo within two Standard Deviations (SD) of the Mean. Measurements are always in terms of 100 of the same lot. This ammo goes into plastic ammo boxes for the range.

    Bottom line is that two makes of ammo are always wildly variable (large SD): MAGTECH and Remington.

    Winchester and Federal always have small variation (small SD) and Hornady has an SD measured in less than .1 of a gr.

    (I carry Hornady and use Winchester and Federal for range ammo)

    Consistency does not guarantee reliability but it is good indicator of attention to manufacturing procedures (QA).
    Last edited by wjh2657; September 6th, 2009 at 12:14 AM.
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

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