Thursday, April 17, 2008

Strictly... mid-bore?

Matt has a review up of Buffalo Bore's stout .38 Special +P loads. If you haven't looked into the offerings of the "Strictly Big Bore. Strictly Business." company in a while, you should. I know I'm a very satisfied customer.

11 comments:

Bryan said...

Interesting stuff. My problem is that I have difficulty shooting standard velocity .38spl out of my little airweight S&W 638. By that I mean my accuracy is awful past about 7 yards. It's only so-so under 7 yards.

I freely admit to being a mediocre shot, and airweight j frames are not the easiest thing in the world to shoot well.

BryanP

Tam said...

No, that's definitely not a load I'd shoot out of an Airweight J. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't shoot it out of a steel J with the old-fashioned "splinter" stocks. But I'm all girlie about not wanting to split the skin on my knuckle open with the backside of the triggerguard...

Matt G said...

I'm thinking that the Buffalo Bore may only make an appearance in my Airweight as the carry round under the hammer, not to be shot until the very last shot in a major altercation, and NEVER in practice.

But this would be perfect for, say, Marko, who's stardized on a K-frame steel gun.

I'm going to pick up a box of their heavy standard pressure loads, too.

Anonymous said...

It appears that Double Tap can duplicate most of the Buffalo Bore loads. And usually with less overpressure too - the BB +P+ loads are about equivalent to the DT +P loads.

Tam said...

Oh boy! Ammo fanboy wars! I haven't had that kind of fun since the good ol' days of Cor-Bon v. Triton!

Sincerely,
A satisfied customer of both Buffalo Bore and DoubleTap.

TM said...

Glad I read that. I ordered two boxes of the +P .38 LSWCHP for my J-frame. I had been loading Golden Sabers.

I learn something new everyday from blogs!

Jay G said...

Heh. And I've been stoking my 12 ounce S&W 360PD with 158 gr. Remington JSPs...

(Okay, I shot five rounds out of it once. Once.)

I don't have too much problem with 147 gr .38 special +P+ out of the 360; of course, I'm also a fithy masochist...

James E. Griffin said...

I'll be the resident heretic, again. Call me under-whelmed; I'm not exactly sure as to this load's purpose.

In my book, with anything like a .38spl or less, you've got to be extra aware of shot placement. (Yes, shot placement is most important with any hold it in your hand gun, but I think folks know where I'm coming from.) A HPLSWC, doesn't need to be pushed too fast to be an effective short range defensive cartridge. Yet and still, there are folks who try to get .357 mag results in a 38spl. It's Super-Vel all over again.

This stuff seems like it could degenerate into a race for the famed "magic bullet." The old idea that you can "accessorize" your way to excellence.

I'd rather see folks spend time and money trying out different caliber, gun, and ammunition combinations to see what it is that that individual shoots best under pressure.

My experience is that mid-range ammunition in any caliber is what most folks shoot best. Then spend your money and time on the best training you can get, and at the range.

Tam said...

Mr. Griffin,

You can be the resident anything-you-like. Jurras was all hung up on magical things like feet per second and foot pounds. I've seen neither of those chimerical beasts.

There are only three things tha matter in a handgun bullet In ascending order of importance, they are: 1) How big around a hole does it make? 2) How deep of a hole does it make? and 3) What did it poke a hole through? The last one can completely trump the other two.

There are lots of .38 Spl loads out there that are very easy to shoot, some of which generate very impressive velocity and energy numbers (at least for the caliber) that won't penetrate a balloon hide. The 158gr LSWC-HP is not one of them. I, for one, have been using this bullet in my self defense .38's for a decade now, and it's nice to see someone paying the load a bit of attention in these days of non-sectional-density-having flyweight whizbang bullets.

You, of course, may shoot whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Matt G said...

"It's Super-Vel all over again."

Actually, no.

Super-Vel was all about light and super-fast.

Admittedly, the Buffalo Bore is very fast, but it's not a bit light. It's rare to find any .38 Special bullet heavier than 158g. I see 148g, 145g, 135g, 125g, and 110g loads out there. SuperVel would likely have fielded a 95g .38 Special load.

The thing about the Buffalo Bore load is that it's got sectional density for days. But as I say, I may get a box of the lower-velocity stuff for my lighter guns.

James E. Griffin said...

I'll have to work on my reading comprehension; I'd missed that the Buffalo Bore was a 158 grain bullet. Operator brain-fade, on my part.

For the record, I am no fan of ultra-light weight bullets in a given caliber. I'll totally concur with Tam on the need for adequate penetration, which you get with sectional density and velocity.

That sent me back to what I should have consulted in the first place: my reloading manuals.

In my 13 edition Speer manual, pg. 523 lists a .38spl +P load of 6.0 grains of Power Pistol, with a 158 grain LHPSWC, CCI 500 primers at 1037 fps out of a 6 inch barrel S&W Model 14, twist of 1-18.75.

Since the Buffalo Bore is so expensive, relatively speaking, the above load looks to be an excellent practice load, which should print close to the same point of impact.

Bought in lots of 1K the Meister bullet 158 g LSWC is 10c each, and Star Line brass +P is 11c. Figure about 2c each for powder and primer, and the practice load is 25c each.

Looks like I'll break out a chronograph and do a little testing.