I’ll be expanding on this topic in detail in a future post on Lucky Gunner Lounge. We’ve got a huge selection and super fast shipping — any orders placed by 3PM EST on a weekday will ship out of our warehouse the same day. The first number is the value of this cartridge, and the last number is the value of the most powerful round in our bullet database. JHP: Federal 130 gr. been much more difficult and perhaps impossible. Before we get into the test results, I want to thank everyone for all of the encouraging feedback and suggestions on our previous tests. mostly) paid for everything ourselves, and we did not receive any kind of sponsorship It’s a high pressure .38 Special load that is still well below typical .357 Magnum levels, but exceeds the official threshold for .38 +P established by SAAMI. The post for our previous ballistic gelatin tests outlines all of the detailed specifics of our test protocol and explains both the value and limitations of gel testing. Ballistics and Drop for the .357 Magnum (Rifle Data) Cartridge Type: Height: 1.29" Width: 0.44" Average FPS: 1737 Average Energy: 1105 Average Gr: 165 Recoil: 1.3 *Casing image above is an artist rendering and not a real photo of .357 Magnum (Rifle Data) Ballistics cartridge. Unlike the penetration depth, there is not a widely accepted standard for expanded diameter, but one commonly used guideline is to look for an expanded diameter that is at least 150% of the original diameter. Only 4 of the 20 loads tested had any bullets that failed to expand. You will also be able to see the results of 146 semi-auto loads that we tested covering popular self-defense ammo in .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. the list of ammunition tested as part of the For both .38 Special and .357 Magnum, that is roughly .54 inches. Overall, the performance of the .38 Special loads we tested falls somewhere between the typical .380 ACP and 9mm results from our previous tests. If you don’t have much prior experience with wheel guns, you might already have some questions about the relationship between .38 Special and .357 Magnum. This seems to support the conventional wisdom that magnum ammo tends to underperform when fired from short barrels. However, in at least a couple of cases, the reverse was true — the extra velocity from the 4-inch barrel lead to slight over penetration and less expansion than the same load fired from the 2-inch barrel. .357 Magnum Ballistic Gelatin Tests.
barrel length: Cor Bon 110 gr. We followed all of the same protocols for our .38/.357 tests that we used in our semi-auto tests. A quick look down this column makes it easy to see which loads varied the most between the two test barrels.
We'd like to personally and specifically thank Pat Childs at Fin & Feather in Iowa City, as he not only helped get most of our JHP: Cor Bon 125 gr.
of this rather nutty project. We used products we Clicking on the graph (or the photo icon if you’re using a mobile screen that’s too narrow to display the graph) will display actual photographs of the bullets in the gelatin block. We fired five rounds of each load into the gel block and measured the penetration depth of each bullet. If you are unfamiliar with how these tests work, I highly recommend looking over that article before moving on to the results here. by Richard Mann - Wednesday, September 5, 2018. Under-penetration was almost non-existent, but several loads exhibited severe over-penetration. DPX: Federal 125 gr. up to you.
The .357 Mag cartridge case is ⅛” longer than the .38 Special’s in order to prevent the magnum rounds from being accidentally loaded into a revolver that’s only designed to fire the lower pressure .38 Special. Click here for a Muzzle Energy graph for the tests in this caliber. polygonal rifling + If you would like to know which self-defense loads I would suggest after conducting these tests, I’ve got a post over on the Lounge with some of my thoughts. cylinder gap + I have tried to limit my commentary to simple observations of the raw data. How to Sight in a Scope - Step by Step Guide. If you use the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s guidelines as the bar to measure a “good” round, both calibers present several excellent options for carry ammo or home defense.
Revolver fans rejoice! According to the FBI’s research, bullets that penetrate between 12 and 18 inches in 10% ordnance gelatin correlate heavily with bullets that sufficiently penetrate soft tissue in real-world shootings. As mentioned above, all of the 2-inch tests were conducted with the Kimber K6s and the 4-inch tests were done with the Ruger GP100 (which has an actual barrel length of 4.2 inches). Thank you. Terminal Ballistic Performance. If you have found these tests helpful, I just ask that you consider shopping at LuckyGunner.com the next time you need some ammo, whether it’s self-defense loads for your revolver or another case of FMJ .223 or 9mm.
That said, I hope that the test results provided here will help you make better-informed choices with your life-saving equipment. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally ready to show you the results of our ballistics gelatin tests for .38 Special and .357 Magnum self-defense ammo. The most common .357 Mag bullet weights range anywhere from 120-160gr and come in designs that range from deep penetration to … Five loads were unable to expand with any of the 10 rounds fired. this insane project much more practical. Some of the loads that exhibited borderline performance through the 2-inch barrel showed better numbers when pushed to slightly higher velocities with the 4-inch barrel.
Legal Disclaimer, Tip:click on product names above to see full test results, barrel length affects the velocity of revolver ammo, Winchester 148 gr Super-X Match Wadcutter, Buffalo Bore 125 gr Barnes XPB Low Flash Short Barrel, Remington 158 gr Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point, Remington 125 gr Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point. As expected, the .357 Magnum loads performed, on average, much better than .38 Special.
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