Loose rounds, Western .38 Special Police.

Loose rounds, Western .38 Special Police.

This is a discussion on Loose rounds, Western .38 Special Police. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I remember back in the 80s reading about this round in one of the popular magazines of the time. The idea was that a heavy ...

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Thread: Loose rounds, Western .38 Special Police.

  1. #1
    Member Array 5pins's Avatar
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    Loose rounds, Western .38 Special Police.



    I remember back in the 80s reading about this round in one of the popular magazines of the time. The idea was that a heavy for caliber projectile traveling as a low velocity would be so unstable that it would tumble upon hitting its target. If I remember correctly the Britsh came up with the idea in their Webley MkIV .38 S&W 38/200 in 1922.



    The first record I could find of Western loading this round was in 1927 where it is listed in their 1927 price list. This load continued up until at least the 1981 Winchester-Western catalog. The round is described as a 200 lead inside lubricated Lubaloy bullet. Lubaloy is a thin, mostly copper, wash applied to the bullet.

    I dont remember how I came to acquire this box of nine rounds but I have had it laying around for some time now. As near as I can tell it was produced in 1977 if the 77 stamped on the box flap is the date as I suspect it is.

    At five yards it shot very well out of my S&W 442 Airweight or maybe I just got lucky. Recoil was about on par as a 148gr wadcutter but not as snappy.



    I only shot two rounds into some bare gel and only got the velocity off of the first round. Its velocity was 567fps and it penetrated to 18 inches. The permanent wound track showed no tumbling even though it was recovered base forward. The second round penetrated to about an inch more and also show no sign of tumbling and was recovered nose forward.



    An interesting round but other than the decent penetration probably not very effective.




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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I suspect that if it hit bone, youd see some serious deformation and a lot more upset...
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    If 200gr pills in 38 SPL worked they'd still be offered...
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    Quote Originally Posted by entertainment72 View Post
    If 200gr pills in 38 SPL worked they'd still be offered...
    I would choose a 200 gr .38 LRN a 1000 times over a trendy 69 gr "Death Reaper" hollow point...
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    .38 Special Super Police Cartridge

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    Looks like a mini-600 Nitro.

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    Senior Member Array entertainment72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebleyHunter View Post
    I would choose a 200 gr .38 LRN a 1000 times over a trendy 69 gr "Death Reaper" hollow point...
    What is a 69gr Death Reaper hollow point?

    If you're talking about something like the RIP gimmick ammo I agree.

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    OP, thanks much for posting this thread with good pics, gel, chrony data, etc. A 200g .38 caliber bullet at 600-ish does indeed tend to destabilize after penetration, which is why I think of it as a "poor man's hollowpoint." How reliably does it tumble? I don't know. Milk jugs full of water routinely made my LRN bullets tumble when I tried them out some years back, and I posted the detailed results on this forum.

    As velocities approached 700, tumbling became unlikely. At 600-ish, the bullet typically passed straight through the first jug, destabilized in jug 2 and did severe damage to jugs 2-3, tumbled through 4-5 leaving oblong holes as evidence, and penetrating #6. Often that last jug was in the next row, though, as the tumbling bullet was typically going lower and farther left as it traveled. When vels were down around 560, tumbling started quicker and bullets tended to wind up in jug #5, or carom off of #6 with energy expended.

    I tried a 4" and 2" on a couple of tubes of a green test gel, and the bullets bored straight through. Why the apparent difference? No idea. Small test sample, but I'd seen enough of the bullet's behavior in water to conclude it was acting differently in that gel. (Sorry I don't recall the name.)

    I like knowing the 200s have the sectional density and momentum to get through bone structures, and the soft lead ones are liable to wreak particular havoc as they do so. (See Thompson-LaGarde re. soft lead and bone.) Hardcast SWC will cut caliber-width wound channels, and I suspect the RNs are perhaps as likely to tumble as commercial JHPs or LHPs are to expand from any .38 below 4" +P power levels.

    Colonel Charles Askins used a Winchester or Western Lubaloy 200g blunt LRN that he described as "creakingly slow," in other words either the ammo you tested or its precise 1944-45 equivalent, to deal with a German soldier at about 20 yards' range. His bullet passed through the German's leather cartridge belt suspender, coursed completely through his body from the near side and left an irregular exit wound under the opposite shoulder blade. It "knocked him heels over jockstrap," leaving him piled up "in a dying condition."

    A poor ammo choice for cops who need to shoot through car windshields and doors, but I'd personally rather have it for CC than any .22, .25, .32, .380, and almost any other .38 SPL.

    Thanks again for showing us an oldie but goodie.

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    Is there much of a collectors market for old ammo in original boxes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockymonster View Post
    Is there much of a collectors market for old ammo in original boxes?
    On GunBroker all the time under the category of "Vintage Ammo." If you have vintage 200g .38 S&W or S&W Special, please feel free to PM me about it.

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