Testing revealed that the longer, heavier 200 grains (13 g) .357-calibre bullet fired at low velocity tended to 'keyhole' or tumble upon impact, providing more shock effect against unprotected personnel. , Demand for a .38 cartridge with even greater performance for law enforcement led to the introduction of the +P+ .38 Special cartridge, first introduced by Federal and Winchester. Ballistics By The Inch .38 special results. My casting furnace was full of Lyman No. In terms of the best “stopping power” for .38 Special, I personally like 150 grain full wadcutters or 158 grain hollowpoint semi-wadcutters. I dispensed old Red Dot made in 2002, improved Red Dot and IMR Red through an RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure that remained on one setting. These loads turned in an extreme spread of only 24 fps with Titegroup powder, and Universal reduced velocity spread by more than half compared to the powder shot with semiwadcutter bullets. Correspondingly, the semi-wadcutter design is much more common and is used in a number of cartridges for revolvers (.357 and .44 Magnum in particular), semi-automatic pistols, and even a few rifles for both target shooting and big game hunting. Rim Rock Hard Cast Cowboy 200-grain DEWC-FB bullets (left) and Rim Rock Standard Hard Cast 200-grain RNFP bullets (right) were loaded in .44 Special cases with three different powders. Old Red Dot dropped five charges that weighed 5.7 grains, two at 5.8 grains, two at 5.6 grains and one that weighed 5.5 grains. Federal GM38A Premium 38 Special Lead Wadcutter 148 GR 50Box/20Case- Gold Medal- Hunting/Target- 38 Special-... SKU: SPS-67124 Availability: Out Stock. Thus, with proper care, a suitably-strong revolver, and adherence to safe handloading practices, the .38 Special can accommodate ammunition ranging from light-recoiling target loads to +P+ self-defense rounds. There are many companies that manufacture .38 Special ammunition. Both .38 Special and .357 Magnum will chamber in Colt New Army revolvers in .38 Long Colt, due to the straight walled chambers, but this should not be done under any circumstances, due to dangerous pressure levels, up to three times what the New Army is designed to withstand.  Remington-Peters also introduced a similar loading. Unfortunately, the shape of the bullet, combined with the extreme low velocity of the round, also decreases the effectiveness of wadcutters when used for self-defense. This .38 Special variant incorporated a 200 grains (13 g) round-nosed lead 'Lubaloy' bullet, the .38 Super Police. Ayoob, Massad, "Why are We Still Using the .38 – It's Still A Good Cartridge", Typically, the FBI Load utilized a very soft lead alloy of 5.5–6 as measured on the, "What are the most popular calibers in the US? The .38 S&W Special, also commonly known as .38 Special, .38 Spl, .38 Spc, (pronounced "thirty-eight special"), or 9x29mmR is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. The .45 ACP cartridge in the photo above utilizes a semi-wadcutter design, which is basically a traditional wadcutter that is conically shaped and has a flat tip. Clays is my favorite powder for light-recoil loads for the .44 Magnum, and it continued to work well during this experiment. Due to its black-powder heritage, the .38 Special is a low-pressure cartridge, one of the lowest in common use today at 17,500 PSI. I eventually started carrying a Ruger SP101 .32 H&R Magnum. It has been said that a wadcutter’s tin-can shape results in accuracy deterioration at distances past 50 yards. Discussion Starter • #1 • Mar 7, 2012. Therefore cutting the wad. The solution to those wide velocity swings was the use of wadcutter bullets. However, not all wadcutters are equally suitable. The RCBS and NEI bullets were loaded in .38 Special and .357 Magnum cases, the two SAECO bullets in .44 Magnum cases and the two Rim Rock bullets in .44 Special brass. A wadcutter bullet helps fill the empty space to provide even velocities. A Smith & Wesson Model 19 .357 Magnum was used to shoot .357 Magnum and .38 Special loads listed in the load table. The bullets poked clean holes through grouse and killed them on the spot. Reloading The .38 Special Left to right:--148 gr. In 2004, Speer Bullets introduced the Gold Dot jacketed hollow-point .38 Special cartridge in an attempt to solve this very problem.  A variant of the standard M41 cartridge with a semi-pointed, unjacketed lead bullet was later adopted for CONUS (Continental United States) police and security personnel. Relatively hard Lyman No. Britain would later adopt the .38/200 as its standard military handgun cartridge. I have also shot grouse with the .38 Special loaded with wadcutters cast of wheel weights from NEI mould 150-358-WC. Blue grouse would fly off never to be found, unless a .22 bullet hit them in the spine or wing butts. If you own a revolver, especially one chambered in .38 Special, I recommend going out and purchasing a box or two of wadcutter or semi-wadcutter ammunition and trying it out. By 1961, a slightly revised M41 .38 cartridge specification known as the Cartridge, Caliber .38 Ball, Special, M41 had been adopted for U.S. armed forces using .38 Special caliber handguns. The original .38 M41 ball cartridge used a 130-grain full-metal-jacketed bullet, and was loaded to an average pressure of only 13,000 pounds per square inch (90 MPa), giving a muzzle velocity of approximately 725 ft/s (221 m/s) from a 4-inch (100 mm) barrel. During World War II, some U.S. aircrew (primarily Navy and Marine Corps) were issued .38 Special S&W Victory revolvers as sidearms in the event of a forced landing. The NEI wadcutter bullet has no crimping groove. Sort By: 10 Item(s) Show. This cartridge was called the .38 S&W Super Police or the .38/200. RN, 160 gr.  At the same time, authorities in Great Britain, who had decided to adopt the .38 caliber revolver as a replacement for their existing .455 service cartridge, also tested the same 200 grains (13.0 g) bullet in the smaller .38 S&W cartridge. I shot one grouse through the wing butts and the bullet tore up the meat. The semi-wadcutter bullet is also much more effective for self-defense and big game hunting than the traditional wadcutter. In May 1943, a new .38 Special cartridge with a 158 grains (10.2 g), full-steel-jacketed, copper flash-coated bullet meeting the requirements of the rules of land warfare was developed at Springfield Armory and adopted for the Smith & Wesson revolvers. SWC+GC, 158 gr. If you’re new to the shooting community (or even if you’re a veteran shooter), then you could be forgiven for wondering what a wadcutter bullet is. This also makes for feeding problems when used in semi-automatic pistols. This, combined with their generally excellent accuracy at short to moderate range, also makes the wadcutter an ideal choice for people learning how to shoot. Additionally, the .38 Special's heritage as a black powder cartridge gives it a case size capable of accommodating many types of powders, from slower-burning (e.g., Hodgdon H-110 or Hercules 2400) to fast-burning (e.g., Alliant Bullseye, the traditional smokeless powder for this cartridge). The .357 Magnum fared better shooting wadcutters loaded with three powders. Velocities with Red Dot varied nearly half as much when shooting wadcutters as compared to RNFP bullets. Tracer cartridges in .38 Special caliber of different colors were issued, generally as part of a standard aircrew survival vest kit. The cartridge's straight walls, headspacing on the rim, ready availability of previously-fired cases, and ability to be fired in .357 Magnum firearms, all contribute to this popularity. Long ago I carried a .22 handgun on hiking trips in the early fall to pot grouse along the trail. Additionally, wadcutters are difficult to quickly load due to the blunt, un-tapered shape of the bullet. The .357 Magnum fared better shooting wadcutters loaded with three powders. As a result, most factory wadcutter loads shoot at 900fps or less, typically 700-800fps in full sized handguns and 500-600fps in short barreled pistols. Well, the fact of the matter is the wadcutter bullet (and its cousin the semi-wadcutter bullet) is a very specialized tool designed to excel in a particular role. Pushing the bullets through a .359-inch sizing die only added a hard lube in their grooves.  This ammunition was intended to prolong the life of S&W M12 and Colt Aircrewman revolvers equipped with aluminum cylinders and frames, which were prone to stress fractures when fired with standard .38 ammunition. Hollowbase wadcutters are a relic of the past, when the expanding skirt of the base was required to spread out to seal barrel bores that varied widely in diameter. 308 vs 30-06 vs 300 WIN MAG: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU BE HUNTING WITH? My load consisted of 2.0 grains of Red Dot that fired Speer 98-grain hollowbase wadcutters at 742 fps from the Ruger’s 4-inch barrel.  The M41 ball cartridge was first used in .38 revolvers carried by USAF aircrew and Strategic Air Command security police, and by 1961 was in use by the U.S. Army for security police, dog handlers, and other personnel equipped with .38 Special caliber revolvers. Add to cart. .38 Special Wadcutter Ammunition (10 Products) Filter By . I've worked up a 38 special load that consists of a Berry's 148 grain double-ended plated wadcutter loaded with 3.3 grains of Titegroup @ an OAL of 1.30". As you can see in the photo below, there is a dramatic difference in the size and shape of the holes that the .38 Special wadcutter bullets make in a paper target compared to a regular round nose full metal jacket round.Since wadcutters are almost always unjacketed and have long bearing surfaces, factory loads are usually loaded to shoot at low velocities to minimize the deposit of lead into the rifling in the barrel and to keep chamber pressures at safe levels.
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