Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP +P in Clear Ballistics Gel.

Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP +P in Clear Ballistics Gel.

This is a discussion on Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP +P in Clear Ballistics Gel. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Test Gun: S&W M442 Barrel length: 1 7/8 inches. Ammunition: Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP. Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel. Distance: 10 feet. Chronograph: ...

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Thread: Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP +P in Clear Ballistics Gel.

  1. #1
    Member Array 5pins's Avatar
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    Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP +P in Clear Ballistics Gel.



    Test Gun: S&W M442
    Barrel length: 1 7/8 inches.
    Ammunition: Winchester .38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP.
    Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
    Distance: 10 feet.
    Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
    Five shot velocity average: 778fps
    Gel Temperature 74 degrees.

    I didnít realize it but its been almost two years since I did a .38 Spl. test. While digging through some stuff today I came across a box of some Winchester 158gr LSWCHPís that Iíve for a few years now. Itís been some time since I have carried a snub nose but when I did it was with this load(AKA the FBI load). I have owned this M442 for about 25 or so years and put thousands of rounds through it. But when I picked up my first sub-compact 9mm that all change and itís been at least 6 years since I have carried one.

    If the truth is known I could never shoot well but sometimes it was necessary to have something a little smaller than my normal carry pice, a Glock 19. I guess what Iím trying to say is there is a reason the 5-yard group below sucks.

    I got a five-shot average velocity of 778fps with a high of 786 and a low of 774fps.



    The first round into the bare gel had a velocity of 775fps and penetrated to 20.5 inches. The expansion was .39 inches and recovered weight was 157.9 grains. Round two also penetrated to 20.5 inches and expanded to .38 inches with a recovered weight of 156.7 grains. Its velocity was 768fps.



    Through the covered gel, both rounds were clogged with the clothing and passed through both gel blocks and were found laying on the floor. The recovered weights were 157.6 and 157.7 grains. The velocity of the two rounds was 757 and 775fps. There was no expansion of either round.


  2. #2
    Member Array entertainment72's Avatar
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    Thanks for more testing.

    Some older snubbie carriers adhere to the FBI load. But this test like others shows that newer designs/loads like the HST or Golden Saber are far superior.

  3. #3
    Member Array Melvin's Avatar
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    778 fps is very anemic compared to many other offerings that are not even +P.
    Buffalo Bore 158 LSWCHP +P will provide 1,000 fps from the same revolver.
    The non +P is 850 fps.
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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entertainment72 View Post
    Thanks for more testing.

    Some older snubbie carriers adhere to the FBI load. But this test like others shows that newer designs/loads like the HST or Golden Saber are far superior.IN GEL
    Fixed it for you. How many living creatures have you killed with a 38 special? I ask because I have killed many and with all kinds of ammo. As a result of that experience I carry solid hardcast full wadcutters in my 2" snub. Those pretty little gel flowers are great if you have the perfect shot that does not hit any bone. Try them through an arm bone and several layers of clothes and then hit a rib,if they even get through that arm bone. You will likely get 2 inches of chest penetration if your dang lucky. Now if you want to get that barrel out to 4 or better I would take the LSWCHC+P all day long, just not that crappy anemic Winchester brand.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Bigsteve113's Avatar
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    Thanks for the test. I always glean info from your testing. I carry Federal 158 LSWCHP +P .38 Special in my LCR and 642. I have no delusions of them expanding from my 2Ē barrels. I figure it will at least act like a LSWC though. After I retire in 2 years, 9 months 19 days and 9 hours (active LEO), I will just carry my regular LSWC 158 handloads in them.

    I do have some solace in the fact that my current carry load appears to be a good penetrator. I place more importance on penetration than I do expansion, although when possible ..... I like both ! But, I just havenít found anything in the 158 grain flavor, thatíll do that from a 2Ē .38 Special.

    Now 2Ē .357 Magnumís are a different story !
    ďOut of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.Ē

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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array WebleyHunter's Avatar
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    It is pretty typical for FedRemchester 158 gr +P loads out a snub 2inch to equal velocity of a non+P load from a 4 inch, or roughly 755 fps (200 fpe).
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  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Shootnlead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    Fixed it for you. How many living creatures have you killed with a 38 special? I ask because I have killed many and with all kinds of ammo. As a result of that experience I carry solid hardcast full wadcutters in my 2" snub. Those pretty little gel flowers are great if you have the perfect shot that does not hit any bone. Try them through an arm bone and several layers of clothes and then hit a rib,if they even get through that arm bone. You will likely get 2 inches of chest penetration if your dang lucky. Now if you want to get that barrel out to 4 or better I would take the LSWCHC+P all day long, just not that crappy anemic Winchester brand.
    You are probably wasting bandwidth...unless people have shot animals...they don't understand the effectiveness of bone cutting, straight penetrating (non-deflecting) flatnose cast bullets. I, like you, have seen the evidence in flesh and bones. And, for me, there is another really huge upside to flatnose cast bullets...they perform the same way every time..unlike ANY jacketed hollow point of any caliber that I have ever tested.
    ďThe everyday man who holsters a handgun for come-what-may eventualities cannot improve on a .44 Special revolver.Ē Skeeter Skelton

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entertainment72 View Post
    Thanks for more testing.

    Some older snubbie carriers adhere to the FBI load. But this test like others shows that newer designs/loads like the HST or Golden Saber are far superior.
    The FBI load was actually designed to be fired from a 4" BBL. The thing you have to be careful with when selecting low energy rounds is that if the bullet expands too much it retards penetration. That is one of the reasons that rounds like the Glaser Safety Slug are seen as gimmicks and not taken seriously by the people who have BTDT.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Texas Red's Avatar
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    755 fps seems pretty weak for a +P round.

    I like Buffalo Bore's version of the FBI load at close to 1000fps from a snub.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Red View Post
    755 fps seems pretty weak for a +P round.

    I like Buffalo Bore's version of the FBI load at close to 1000fps from a snub.
    That is why I prefer magnums.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    That is why I prefer magnums.
    That would be the way to go, but Iíll be the first to admit, I ainít got the sand for a real maggie in a j frame.

    What I have found is that 38spl loads like the Remington GS in the 125 weights are a good compromise for me in velocity, penetration and expansion from the jís.

    I also like the Treasury Load....but it can be a might hard on the lightweight Jís with extended use.

    As suggested above, if using lead bullets in the 158ís, Iím happy with a plain ol lswc.
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight.Ē
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  13. #12
    Member Array 5pins's Avatar
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    I donít know how many times someone said Ē try it with a 4 inch, a 4 inch, a 4 inchĒ Ok, here it is out of a 4-inch S&W 686 .357. Two round in bare and two in the clothed gel.

    The first round in the bare gel had a velocity of 830fps and penetrated to 17.5 inches. The recovered diameter was .47 inches and the recovered weight was 157.1 grains. Round twoís velocity was 824fps and penetrated to 17.25 inches. The recovered weight was 156.4 inches and expansion was also .47 inches.



    Through the heavy clothing, the first roundís velocity was 812fps and it penetrated to 18 inches a recovered weight of 156.8 grains. Round twoís velocity was 778fps and itís penetration was 26 inches and weighed 157 grains. Neither bullet showed any expansion.


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