Encouraging manufacture of .38 S&W defense ammo - Page 2

Encouraging manufacture of .38 S&W defense ammo

This is a discussion on Encouraging manufacture of .38 S&W defense ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by glockman10mm If Underwood doesn't maybe Mike McNett at Double Tap might. After all, he kept producing real 10mm ammo when everyone else ...

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Thread: Encouraging manufacture of .38 S&W defense ammo

  1. #16
    Member Array LouisianaMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    If Underwood doesn't maybe Mike McNett at Double Tap might.
    After all, he kept producing real 10mm ammo when everyone else gave up on it.

    Might be worth a shot.
    I'll write them, too. Worst that can happen with any of them is they say "no thanks," right?
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    A nice Victory and stable of Colts!!!! I'll try to take some up-to-date photos of what I have currently, and post them tomorrow.
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  3. #18
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    Great idea, LouisianaMan!

    I'll call 'em up and add a voice.

    Now you're going to make me get out on a fairly chilly (for Texas) afternoon and photograph .38 S&W revolvers.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  5. #19
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    Colt Banker's Special, had to seach for it, interesting gun http://www.coltautos.com/DA/BankersS...ecial_1932.jpg

    The $27 price from the early 1930s would be approximately the same as $450 today.

  6. #20
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    Yep, Bmcgilvray, a chilly day for us Southerners...64 degrees here in Baton Rouge right now! By tomorrow at midnight it's supposed to be down to 28. I may wind up breaking up the chairs to burn in the fireplace...pray for us! lolol

    OK, full disclosure here: Germany 7 years, Korea 1 year, New York 6 years, Maryland 3 yrs, Kansas 1 yr. So I've put in enough snow shovel work to know that it's not my favorite pastime! For those of you north of the Mason-Dixon line and the Big Sky western states, my condolences on scraping windshields, shoveling the driveway clear (again) after the snowplow fills it back up with a wall of snow from the street, etc. More power to you, amd I have no idea how your lower back can stand the strain at our age!

    Anyway, I need to take some pictures myself. 10 revolvers and about 20 boxes of vintage .38 S&W/.38 Colt NP ammunition. I've also got a ton of loading to do and tons of shooting to do. Dang this big city living! At my old place, I'd load something in the garage, walk out front and lie down to fire at a pine stump, water jugs, even a lane cleared in the woods for 100 yard rifle zeroing. Chrony, target eval, and go back into the garage to adjust the load. Repeat as necessary.

    Even though my .38 S&W loads are relatively quiet to shoot, neighbors now are so darned close they might get hit when I eject my brass!

    Oh well, keep the calls and emails going to the ammo manufacturers to see if maybe they'll dip a toe in the water for us :-)
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennfd View Post
    Colt Banker's Special, had to seach for it, interesting gun http://www.coltautos.com/DA/BankersS...ecial_1932.jpg

    The $27 price from the early 1930s would be approximately the same as $450 today.
    Those old ads make my mouth water! Here's something similar:






    And pretty soon Bmcgilvray will come along with a pic of his Banker's Special--talk about mouth-watering!!!
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  8. #22
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    Here are the .38 S&W-chambered guns around here. Only the Colt Bankers Special and the Webley Mark IV are taken seriously though the Smith & Wesson break-top has been fired.



    The Bankers Special compared with a Detective Special. Frame and cylinder are longer on the Detective Special.


    Taurus tried a similar-sized revolver chambered for .380.

    The Colt Bankers Special with its .38 S&W cartridge would be a superior revolver to a .380 chambered revolver.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; January 6th, 2017 at 12:49 AM.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  9. #23
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    Nice pics and guns!
    Showing that Taurus pic is an interesting graphic. That gun, in .38 S&W, would simply need some 50+ year-old Colt New Police ammo to be more effective than any .380. I have chrono'ed some Winchester 150g flatpoints at 770 fps from a 4" barrel.

    Souping up the round more would be great, but even that old-school solution would be something pretty good! Load the Taurus with Buffalo Bore 125g LSWC (chrono'ed at 874 fps from my 2" Smiths), and show me the .380 that could hold a candle to it. Want less recoil? Load a 110g JHP (better yet, an LHP) at a true 950. That is absolutely feasible--I could go to my bench and make some in 15 minutes--and note that 950 fps is the design velocity of standard .380 95g FMJ ammo. You know, the ammo that ACTUALLY gives only 790-850 out of most real guns?

    Headspace that little Taurus for revolver cartridge rims, or relieve the chambers for them, and I could probably use .38 S&W ammo to shoot from it AS-IS. Remember, the Ruger Indian contract ".380 Rim" is/was originally a rechambered Ruger 9mm revolver, so groove diameter in those bad boys was about as tight as a Colt. That tight bore souped up the velocity on Mk 2Z 178g FMJ ammo from 600-625 in an Enfield or Webley to well over 700 fps in testing conducted by Outpost75, an engineer on the Ruger Indian project. Now the Taurus is no Ruger, but New Police lead 150g bullets would probably pop out of it at about 750-ish. Milder NP loadings would scale down accordingly. I have lots of testing yet to do on vintage ammo, but some earlier work showed NP ammo of three types clock 585, 739, and 770 from a 4" S&W, so with that old ammo you could pick your poison on power vs. recoil.

    Oh, and FWIW, one .38 Super Police 200g cartridge I pulled down used a hollow-base, soft lead .356" bullet. Perfect for a gun bored for .380 ACP.
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  10. #24
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    Here's a link to an interesting side-by-side comparison between an I frame Terrier and the Taurus .380 revolver: Taurus 380 Mini Ultra-Lite .380 ACP Snub Nose Revolver Review

    Right along the lines of our discussion. Note that this author focused on the Taurus, and thus used only one weak factory loading in .38 S&W. As we've discussed, there are fixes for that!
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  11. #25
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    Great thread!

    I have been a fan of the .38 S&W ever since my Dad bought me my DAO Enfield carry gun at age 13.

    I frequently carry my early 50's Terrier, usually loaded with fresh Fiocchi ammo- either LRN or FMJ. It really is amazing how much smaller a true I-frame is versus a modern J-frame.

    My local Cableas had one of the .380 Taurus revolvers in the used case for a good price. I was going to buy it, but the craftsmanship was so poor (cylinder slop and gap were horrendous) that I had to pass.

  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebleyHunter View Post
    Great thread!

    I have been a fan of the .38 S&W ever since my Dad bought me my DAO Enfield carry gun at age 13.

    I frequently carry my early 50's Terrier, usually loaded with fresh Fiocchi ammo- either LRN or FMJ. It really is amazing how much smaller a true I-frame is versus a modern J-frame.

    My local Cableas had one of the .380 Taurus revolvers in the used case for a good price. I was going to buy it, but the craftsmanship was so poor (cylinder slop and gap were horrendous) that I had to pass.
    Too bad that Taurus looked junky. They have great concepts, but spotty execution.

    I wish Fiocchi would at least flatpoint their FMJ and LRN offerings! Nonetheless, I applaud them for manufacturing two versions of that cartridge at an advertised 725 fps. Modern commercial ammo from PPU and Remington has given me a frightening number of low-600's, sub-600's, and even sub-500's over the chronograph. Ever had a chance to chrony yours?

    How about your Enfield? What ammo do you use for it? I regret letting mine get away, as it had the point-and-shoot ergonomics very well figured out, just as Fairbairn and Sykes were advocating at the time. (Don't know who invented their version of close range point shooting, but whoever it was did us all a favor!) My Enfield DAO also had a decent trigger and amazingly fast lock time that allowed me to group DA shots far better than with other guns in this caliber. With 200g ammo, it shot handily and to point of aim. Same with Mk 2 178g FMJ. In general, not a 50-yard gun for me, but extremely smooth, fast, and natural to about 15 yards, which is enough for the huge majority if SD/HD situations.

    Although it was manufactured & finished more crudely than my commercial Smiths or Colts I've had, it honestly points much better than they do, and the extra weight makes rapid burst-fire very easy to master. And that is EXACTLY what that gun was designed to do. Sure wish we had better information on actual combat or HD/SD shootings with it (and Mk 1 or 2 type ammo). I have a sneaking suspicion that the DAO Enfield with that ammo is equal or superior to any .38's in the 20-30 oz. range, with the possible exception of a Model 10 and FBI Load (158g LHP +P). Rapidity of bursts is probably better with the lower-powered Enfield, and there seems to be a magic to the terminal effects of rapid burst fire that has often been observed, but perhaps isn't fully understood.

    My layman's guess? Burst fire has enhanced effects if the 2nd and 3rd shots hit RAPIDLY near the impact point of the first shot, perhaps indicating that temporary stretch cavities are ripped into much larger permanent crush cavities by the subsequent shots. That applies most fully, however, if the subsequent hits are immediate and close to the first shot, before temp cavities retract and stabilize. And that is PRECISELY what Fairbairn & Sykes imdicate as the goals in "Shooting to Live with the One-Hand Gun." Speed above all, and a viselike grip that makes shot #2 strike very near to shot #1. They don't spend effort speculating on WHY that technique worked, but it's exactly what they sought to achieve.

    Another *totally* speculative idea I have about burst fire: even though a handgun bullet may not actually cause remote neural damage (as Fackler emphatically asserts), it's possible that the nervous system's effective fight/flight mechanisms may be momentarily overwhelmed by the immediacy of second and third hits, especially if placed closely to each other. Perhaps it overloads the nervous system's ability to cope, especially if the same neurons are having to send emergency signals simultaneously, whereas individual hits at greater intervals or more widely dispersed can be coped with more readily. Just a SWAG. Maybe more of a WAG. But I kinda suspect both stretch cavity damage and neural response adequacy are compounded exponentially rather than arithmetically, if shots are placed very closely, very quickly.

    I have read of wartime incidents where several close, immediate hits from a MG or SMG had a noticeably decisive effect, different than the same hits spaced a bit more slowly, or a bit farther apart.

    It seems to make sense of the "double tap," as well as the Fairbairn/Sykes/Applegate 2-3 round burst. Lawmen and soldiers have seen that work, and perhaps there's some validity to my speculation about why that's so. (And maybe it's already been proved or disproved and I'm simply unaware of it!)
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  13. #27
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Yessiree!!!

    And look what's coming soon--lousy pic, but you get the idea. I'll do a "retro shoot" and chronograph every box through 4" and 2" guns, and we'll see firsthand "what was what."

    Encouraging manufacture of .38 S&W defense ammo-file-jan-06-10-57-38.jpg
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    Oh my! That's an epic undertaking there.

    Say Dana, did you email your thoughts on the .38 S&W to the perspective makers?

    I'm going to put something together and send it ... just for fun.

    The fly-in-the-ointment to all this jazzing up the .38 S&W is going to be concern over all those myriad top-break revolvers that are still out there that may be up to 140 years old, which were constructed out of primitive steels, some of which was substandard even in the day.

    Can you say "grenade?"

    I thought you could.
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    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Oh my! That's an epic undertaking there.

    Say Dana, did you email your thoughts on the .38 S&W to the perspective makers?

    I'm going to put something together and send it ... just for fun.

    The fly-in-the-ointment to all this jazzing up the .38 S&W is going to be concern over all those myriad top-break revolvers that are still out there that may be up to 140 years old, which were constructed out of primitive steels, some of which was substandard even in the day.

    Can you say "grenade?"

    I thought you could.
    Hi Brian,
    Very first post is a long-winded note I sent to Underwood. I need to contact some others, though, such as Double-Tap amd Buffalo Bore. Am open to any/all suggestions, including "where I can go"! lolol

    Beyond that, though, if we could just get the major ammo manufacturers to give us a flatpoint or wadcutter bullet and a true velocity of 725-750, it would be a real improvement, without even scaring the SAAMI spec.

    I definitely understand the "Grenade!" concept. Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, Double-Tap, Underwood, among others, however, have long sold ammo with warnings to avoid use of it in various types of guns. Even BB's 125 @ 1000 isn't safe for the ancient relics. And what is a ".380 +P," you know? And the .357 Magnum will chamber in the old .38 Long Colts, bored straight through as they are with no chamber throats.

    What other good precedents can we cite? Let's see: TomCat is sold with warning NOT to shoot ammo over 130 fpe. Heavy .44 SPL and .45 LC is manufactured, with due warning not to fire in old guns (which may date back as far as the earliest .38 S&W guns). 5.56mm is sold freely, but if you look into the matter you learn it's not considered safe to use in a rifle chambered for .223. That one baffles me, since the ammo is often advertised as "5.56mm/.223 Remington." How about 9mm +P+ from an old trophy Luger or P-38 of late-war manufacture? Or .38 SPL +P+ that some nimrod uses in an original 1899 S&W proofed for black powder?

    When I chrony factory .38 Colt New Police ammo that's from the 1930's - 1950's, and it fires a 150g bullet at a true 770, why do I shoot modern Prvi Partizan ammo that goes "poof!" and registers sub-500 on the chrony? And Remington and Magtech have often chrono'ed down around a true 600 or high 500's, not even approaching the advertised 685 fps?

    Historically, we also had the ".38 Special Hi-Speed" aka .38/44, which was touted as safe for all Colts chambered in .38 Special, but not in S&W guns until the development of the N frame .38/44? ? How about CIP-spec 7.65mm Browning ammo in an old Ruby?

    I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, and also that many of my comparisons are very imperfect, as weak .38 top breaks were once quite abundant. Nonetheless, there is one heckuva precedent for selling modern hi-performance ammo that is unsafe for use in older guns it will fit.

    What do you think? Picture of a top-break with red circle and slash through it on the ammo box, plus written warnings like BB uses?
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