Ammolab, What is the conclusion of the .38 snub tests? By looking at the picture I would say the Magtech Guardian Gold 125gr JHP +P is the bullet to shoot. ANy other info I should know before buying the Magtechs?
Those Magtechs sure looked the best in the test,but they didn't test the offerings from Corbon,who has 110 and 125gr jHP loads that do over 1000fps from snubbies based on what chrono data I have seen.I have tried the +P+ 147gr Win load,but don't know what vel it has and while it seems to perform great in my Model 15 4",it doesn't want to open up from my shorter 2.5" model 66.
I still like the FBI load or the Corbon in a snubby,FWIW.
My snubby is titanium, so I need to fire jacketed bulllets or else the lead will slide out of the casing and lock up the cylinder. I'd like to go with Speer Lawman 148gr +P JWC, but I can't find that bullet offered anywhere. It has only been recommended by that firearms tactical site.
Anyway, I've got a box of Magtechs on order so in a week I'll/we will know how they work in the old water jug tests.
Indeed, most JHPs tested don't expand out of a .38 sub. The Magtechs were the only rounds that I saw with any indication of expansion. Then again, I only saw one picture featuring one bullet. If these don't expand, I guess I'll just have a bad guy hole poker.
Though they are not the end all say all, I'd like to see ammolab test those "safe stops". If these things are what they advertise, I find it hard that all the designers for the big manufacturers haven't come out with a similar design. MMMM...
I am not all too familiar with Dr. Roberts credentials, but he does seem to know what he is talking about and can really "poke holes" in Dr. Sanows publications.
OK, here is the verdict for the .38 SPL Magtech Guardian Gold 125gr +P JHP fired out of my 2" 337PD titanium snubby:
1. Five water jugs at a distance of 10 yds. Bullet passed through four jugs, landing in the 5th jug. I discovered the bullet having one petal bent back. Looking at the jugs, it appears that the bullet expanded the one petal in the first jug and then tumbled through the other four jugs.
2. Four jugs and a 4X4" wood block at a distance of five yds. Bullet passed through the four jugs and bounced off the wood block. The bullet hit the wood block sideways. One petal bent back as well.
3. Four half full jugs and the 4X4" wood block at a distance of one yd. Passed through the four jugs and embedded sideways into the wood 1/4" deep. Expansion unknown.
4. I fired three Winchester .38 SPL +P 125gr JHP at ten, five, and one yard as well. The bullets passed through all jugs and hit the wood block square on. Two bullets bounced off, one bullet embedded into the block. No expansion of the recovered bullets.
In the end, I don't think I will see adequate expansion out of any bullets fired out of a 2" snubby. Though I wasn't too impressed with expansion on the Guardian Golds, they did spend a petal and tumbled through the jugs and wood. I can appreciate yaw and tumble! The Winchesters were basically hole punchers.
FWIW, in my ammo testing out of my snubby, the only stuff that reliabily expanded was the 125gr Nyclad (which I've since heard has been discontinued). Fed hydrashocks rarely even seem to upset the nose (fired through waterfilled milk jugs) AND tend to tumble. Haven't tried a FMJ full wadcutter before...that might be just the ticket...who is it that makes'em??
Nice thing about the Nyclads was that they pretty much ALWAYS expanded...dead soft pure lead with a nylon jacket worked wonders.
If I ever have to shoot in self defense its probably going to be can't run, can't hide, and within bad breath range. A snub, especially the easy to carry light weights are IMO just about as good as it gets in an EDC firearm. I've read a lot of opinions and 'tests', most of which support the notion that no one makes a proper load for the 38/357 snub. IMO the .38/.357 would, by now, be extinct as a defensive cartridge if not for the short barrel revolvers, Smith J's in particular. When are the .38/.357 ammo makers going to make a round thats designed for them... . Come-on Corbon, where's your .38 Special Pow'rball ?