My choice for the 38spl Snub nosed airweight j frame and why. - Page 2

My choice for the 38spl Snub nosed airweight j frame and why.

This is a discussion on My choice for the 38spl Snub nosed airweight j frame and why. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hard to argue with either a Lead semi Wad Cutter or the full wadcutter. In 38 special. They seem to be extremely accurate in every ...

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Thread: My choice for the 38spl Snub nosed airweight j frame and why.

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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    Hard to argue with either a Lead semi Wad Cutter or the full wadcutter. In 38 special. They seem to be extremely accurate in every 38 I own and allow for quick follow up shots to boot. Lots of folks seem to think 38 is marginal but how many were put to rest with a LSWC-HP over the years? I think you’ve made a good choice. As for me I typically when carrying a wheel gun carry my SP101 stoked with 125 357s but it’s heavy enough that they are controllable.

  2. #17
    Member Array Mark40's Avatar
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    38 SPL ballistics testing

    glockman, great thread and info. Hope you don't mind me throwing in some data collected last week. Was testing some ammo for consideration for carry in an SP-101. 2.25".Had been carrying 148g LWC and wanted to compare/test XTP and SJHP.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My choice for the 38spl Snub nosed airweight j frame and why.-p6250020.jpg  

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  3. #18
    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark40 View Post
    glockman, great thread and info. Hope you don't mind me throwing in some data collected last week. Was testing some ammo for consideration for carry in an SP-101. 2.25".Had been carrying 148g LWC and wanted to compare/test XTP and SJHP.
    Dont mind at all sir. The more info we have helps everyone. Thanks for the contribution!
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  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array CavemanBob's Avatar
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    I finally settled on the Barnes XPB 140 grain for use in my airweight 357. I'm getting just under 1100 FPS with the load. I haven't run my own gel tests yet but assume that the results will be similar to those on LuckyGunner which shows 17" penetration and sharp petals extending out very consistently to 0.67". There's no concern about jacket separation due to the bullet being solid copper.
    The recoil is pretty brisk, as I'm sure those who've shot 357 mag ammo through the airweights and LCRs will know. It's an accurate load in my 340PD, in so far as one can be with 1.875" barrel and fixed sights, but at 7 yards I can keep it inside 3".

    There's a lot to like with these airweight snubbies, very unobtrusive to carry while packing more punch than the little 380s, but most people aren't going to go to the range and run 150 rounds down the tube in one morning.

  6. #20
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    Interesting thread. Makes me think I need to revisit the range with Smith & Wesson Model 642 in hand to verify that the favorite 158 grain +P loads are hitting where I always thought they did in the past from 7 yards out to 25 yards which is "fur enuff" for my purposes.

    Don't recall having point-of-impact variance with any 158 grain load, standard velocity or +p, in any Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver.
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  7. #21
    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Interesting thread. Makes me think I need to revisit the range with Smith & Wesson Model 642 in hand to verify that the favorite 158 grain +P loads are hitting where I always thought they did in the past from 7 yards out to 25 yards which is "fur enuff" for my purposes.

    Don't recall having point-of-impact variance with any 158 grain load, standard velocity or +p, in any Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver.
    I have never had a problem with the steel j frame and the 158’s, just the airweight models I use for pocket carry.

    Doing some off hand practice with the 442 and a fresh batch of handloads yesterday confirmed for me the 125’s are the best choice for poa/poi with the airweights, although I will acknowledge that results could vary by individual grip or other influences not related to gun/ammo combination.

    Take an airweight with you and compare against a steel snubby. I’d be interested in your findings.
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  8. #22
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    I too like the XTP's.* They still open consistently if driven about 100fps faster than Hornady says, but open slower than many others. But that's ok by me. I'd rather they drive deep enough and straight enough to do their work, and if driven fast enough to reliably expand that should slow them down enough that even if they do exit it probably won't do much damage.
    Seems like the backside of a hide equals about 4-6" of ballistics gel as it is, so I'm more worried about hitting my target anyway than over penetrating.

    XTP's are available in factory loads, and they by far have been the easiest to hand load for accuracy in various firearms. On top of that they aren't that much more costly.

    FWIW since I've been carrying my GP100 more I've been stashing 135gr Critical Duty @1250'ish fps. So I kind of split the difference and have been stocking more of the 140gr XTP's lately. It seems like I can load them somewhat mild to pretty wild for all my revolvers and Rossi lever too. Target, two legged vermin, reasonable whitetails at reasonable distances they should still give me decent enough penetration for that too.


    According to my old XTP/TAP/HAP brochure the 140's are supposed to start opening up as low as 700fps, but I just checked my 10th edition manual and they now show the velocity range for 125's @ 850-1600, 140's @ 850-1600, and 158's @ 700-1400 fps. So it seems like Hornady has changed the formula a bit on their XTP design over the past several years.





    *(I'd rather shoot lead, but that's another story dealing with inconsistently sized cylinder throats and forcing cones in various revolvers...and lead isn't much fun to shoot indoors. I need to get around to testing powder coated lead.)
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  9. #23
    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risasi View Post
    I too like the XTP's.* They still open consistently if driven about 100fps faster than Hornady says, but open slower than many others. But that's ok by me. I'd rather they drive deep enough and straight enough to do their work, and if driven fast enough to reliably expand that should slow them down enough that even if they do exit it probably won't do much damage.
    Seems like the backside of a hide equals about 4-6" of ballistics gel as it is, so I'm more worried about hitting my target anyway than over penetrating.

    XTP's are available in factory loads, and they by far have been the easiest to hand load for accuracy in various firearms. On top of that they aren't that much more costly.

    FWIW since I've been carrying my GP100 more I've been stashing 135gr Critical Duty @1250'ish fps. So I kind of split the difference and have been stocking more of the 140gr XTP's lately. It seems like I can load them somewhat mild to pretty wild for all my revolvers and Rossi lever too. Target, two legged vermin, reasonable whitetails at reasonable distances they should still give me decent enough penetration for that too.


    According to my old XTP/TAP/HAP brochure the 140's are supposed to start opening up as low as 700fps, but I just checked my 10th edition manual and they now show the velocity range for 125's @ 850-1600, 140's @ 850-1600, and 158's @ 700-1400 fps. So it seems like Hornady has changed the formula a bit on their XTP design over the past several years.





    *(I'd rather shoot lead, but that's another story dealing with inconsistently sized cylinder throats and forcing cones in various revolvers...and lead isn't much fun to shoot indoors. I need to get around to testing powder coated lead.)

    I agree. If a bullet expands fine, if it doesn’t fine.

    I have found that bullets that are are shown to be resistant to expansion in gel do quite well when it hits hide, muscle and bone.

    Id rather use a lead 158, but poa/poi are higher on my list. My 125’s are averaging 925 FPS out of my j frame.
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  10. #24
    VIP Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Man, G, I remember when I was there, and you were starting to re-examine your Snubby work. Glad to see it's grown and still developing.

    I still suck at running one at distance.
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew03 View Post
    Man, G, I remember when I was there, and you were starting to re-examine your Snubby work. Glad to see it's grown and still developing.

    I still suck at running one at distance.
    All of us mere mortals do. But the practice is fun!
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  12. #26
    Senior Member Array camsdaddy's Avatar
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    I'm currently loading 158 coated lswc over 3.5 titegroup. I like it a lot. I do not carry this load but I enjoy shooting it in my model 60. If push came to shove I am confident enough in my accuracy to put it where it's needed.
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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by camsdaddy View Post
    I'm currently loading 158 coated lswc over 3.5 titegroup. I like it a lot. I do not carry this load but I enjoy shooting it in my model 60. If push came to shove I am confident enough in my accuracy to put it where it's needed.
    Unless I am choosing a magnum load in a steel gun, the lswc is the only other choice; for me.
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  14. #28
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    8 pounds of Unique


    That would have made a moving company real excited.
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  15. #29
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    I loader about 500 Coated 140 grn TC for IDPA over 5 grns of Titegroup in 38 cases.

    I carry these in my 357 mags.
    https://www.luckygunner.com/357-mag-...00-rounds#info
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  16. #30
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    Ya’ll wicked fun makin’ me want S&W snubby real bad
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