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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just took a close look at the Buffalo Bore standard pressure 38 special 125 gr load -- 20E-20

The bullet looks identical in a side-by-side comparison with 125 gr 38 special +P Speer Gold Dot ammo.

I believe BB is sourcing the bullet from Speer. I've heard that said before, and now I believe it.

In looking at BB ballistics number they should this standard pressure load making 921 ft/sec from a 2" snub .

Pocket guns and gear has a test of the Speer 38 special+p 125 gr load clocked at 900 ft/sec -- and it shows good expansion in gelatin.

That leads me to believe that the BB 125 standard pressure load is a good choice for 38 snub nose revolvers -- particularly those not designed for +P.

Comments?
 

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I would think most anything Buffalo Bore is going to be a sound option. Although in .38 I would still try to use the +p unless I absolutely couldn't. The .38 will do the job, hell it did for many a cop for years. But I'd prefer to give it just a wee bit more oomph if I can. I don't know of too many modern revolvers that can't handle a +p .38, maybe outside of Rossi/some Charter Arms.
 

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Yo Dave909 over here, add my Ruger LCRX. :smile:
 

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I personally wouldn't have an issue with that.
I believe, my handloads using a Hornady 125 XTP are 938fps out of a 1 7/8 inch j frame barrel.
Put it where it needs to be and it should do fine.
 

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Great question and of interest to me as I often discreetly carry my S&W snub 642. I'm of the mind that a snub won't derive much benefit from +P, but I don't suppose it hurts either (other than your shooting hand). I'm sure the BB is more than adequate, and I know Speer is.
 

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I don't think the +p designation on a .38 special case necessarily means better performance. I've seen chrono data on the 125 gr +p Winchester white box not even break 800 fps out of a snub. There are plenty of 158 grain loads that will break 800 fps. In fact buffalo bore makes a 158 grain standard pressure load that breaks 800 fps. In a snub some standard pressure loads outperform some +p loads. It doesn't matter much for a snub owner what the published velocity is on a given load if that velocity was obtained from a 4 or 6'' barrel.
 

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@craze, yeah I'd prefer the heavier weights for the snubs. Of course 158 isn't bad in any length IMHO. I'm okay with an 800 fps chunk of lead, at the range best suited for a snubbie that's going to put a hell of a damper on anyone's day. (yeah yeah, I know, velocity this and that. Stand in front of a .38 shell coming at your head or center mass and tell me that it was too slow).
 

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@craze, yeah I'd prefer the heavier weights for the snubs. Of course 158 isn't bad in any length IMHO. I'm okay with an 800 fps chunk of lead, at the range best suited for a snubbie that's going to put a hell of a damper on anyone's day. (yeah yeah, I know, velocity this and that. Stand in front of a .38 shell coming at your head or center mass and tell me that it was too slow).
Dont you know the 38spl and is ineffective to the point it will actually bounce off of people?
At least that's what some will claim, lol.
 

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I always buy the +P .38 personal defense ammo. I mean why not?
 

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If those numbers are accurate, hard to see a problem with that.

Not being a handloader, I wonder exactly how BB manages to coax extra velocity from their standard-pressure loadings in general. I assume that they balance the load in such a way as to maintain close to the high end of the SAAMI rating for the entire time the bullet remains in the barrel. At any rate, if one's concerned about the longevity of a lightly-built gun, it's probably still best to limit the diet of BB rounds - the pressure may not exceed the limits, but the added recoil may still result in greater stress on the gun. Of course, if one can afford enough BB ammo to wear out a revolver, he can probably afford a new revolver too. :lol:
 
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I carried a 2" snub for years that was not rated +P and always had it stocked with BB 150 grain hardcast full wadcutters (still do). I am not much for +P even now. I carry 147 grain standard in my G43 as +P doesn't penetrate as deep but, has just a tad more expansion. I know a lot of modern gunners think anything under 1000 FPS just won't cut it but, it has for many years. My snub is steel so very easy to shoot well. I love my magnum revolvers but, I typically bet my life on slow and heavy most days.
 

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Yo Dave909 over here, add my Ruger LCRX. :smile:
All LCR models, be it DAO or the SA/DA (labeled with an x) chambered in .38 are rated for +P ammunition.
 
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Dont you know the 38spl and is ineffective to the point it will actually bounce off of people?
At least that's what some will claim, lol.
Oh yes, and the stories of multiple shots to the face and chest with the BG still coming, all the while swearing that the BG was just mad and not high out of their mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I carried a 2" snub for years that was not rated +P and always had it stocked with BB 150 grain hardcast full wadcutters (still do). I am not much for +P even now. I carry 147 grain standard in my G43 as +P doesn't penetrate as deep but, has just a tad more expansion. I know a lot of modern gunners think anything under 1000 FPS just won't cut it but, it has for many years. My snub is steel so very easy to shoot well. I love my magnum revolvers but, I typically bet my life on slow and heavy most days.
I always used the rule of thumb that +P is OK in any steel S&W snub.

But it's best to stick to standard pressure with Airweight Aluminum J frames -- given their propensity to crack.

But that said, it's not clear standard pressure buffalo bore puts less strain on a gun's frame that +P loads from other manufacturers.

My thought is to carry standard pressure buffalo bore in Airweights, but not shoot it much with BB ammo.

Don't want to shoot much BB ammo of any type given the price, anyway.
 

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I believe that before the merits of non plus P or +p are argued, it's important to remember why a plus+p is desirable.

For a heavy, solid projectile, the speed is not as important, because it will use the weight and solid construction to penetrate, and do that very well.

A lighter bullet with a hollow cavity benefits from a little more thrust, for expansion, and to overcome the ever resistance forces applied to its frontal diameter as it expands to reach that depth it needs to reach.

Another consideration for is for poa/poi.

Personally, I prefer heavy lswc designs, but because I am using an airweight gun, for me they print too high.
So, I use the hot loaded 125's to hit my poa without needing to guessing poi at various distances.

For instance, my poi at 7 yards might be 4 inches high, but at 25 yards, i literally have to aim at the crotch of a humanoid target at 25 yards to get hits in the thoracic area.
Out of a airweight j frame, I cannot get enough speed out of a 158 to flatten the curve, but 125's hit dead on at all distance and recoil slightly less.
 
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