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Thread: Winchester 38 Spl +P LSWCHP

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Winchester 38 Spl +P LSWCHP

    Got back from the range. Chronographed new box of Winchester 38 Special +P 158 gr LSWCHP “FBI” load from my S&W 642 1 7/8 inch barrel - 10 shoot string avg 803 FPS.

    I duplicated the Winchester load, for all practical purposes, using Speer 158 gr LSWCHP, WW primers and 5.0 grs BE-86 - 788 fps avg.

    Left range early too many folks there on the weekend, and still too dry to comfortably shoot in the high desert.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Cylinder gap has as much influence as barrel length on velocity. Here is older data on several loads from 1993:

    .38 Special Velocity Vs. Barrel Length_________S&W Mod. 10, 4,” 0.005” cylinder gap 6-22-93
    Federal 125 Nyclad HP____________________ 852 fps, 25 Sd
    Remington 148 HBWC ____________________747 fps, 6 Sd
    Winchester 148 HBWC ____________________742 fps, 13 Sd
    WCC87 Ball M41 130-gr. FMJ_______________748 fps, 21 Sd
    Winchester X38SPD 158-gr. LHP__________+P 920 fps 21 Sd
    Winchester Q4196 158-gr. LRN______________793 fps, 10 Sd
    Federal HydaShok 147-gr. JHP +P+LE_________965 fps, 33 Sd

    .38 Special chronograph data, Colt Detective Special 2,” 0.005” cylinder gap 6-22-93
    _____________________________________Velocity_____ Loss of 2” vs. 4” barrel:
    Federal 125-gr. Nyclad SWCHP ____________772 fps, 33 Sd___80 fps
    Remington 148-gr. HBWC ________________702 fps, 12 Sd___45 fps
    Winchester 148-gr. HBWC ________________697 fps, 18 Sd___45 fps
    WCC87 Ball M41 130-gr. FMJ _____________718 fps, 31 Sd___30 fps
    Winchester X38SPD 158-gr. LHP +P ________831 fps, 10 Sd__89 fps
    Winchester Q4196 158-gr. LRN____________728 fps, 24 Sd__65 fps
    Federal HydraShok 147-gr. JHP+P+ LE______920 fps, 6 Sd___45 fps

    Column Mean__________________________Avg. vel. loss__57 fps, ~29 fps/inch.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Great info. Looks like my tests are pretty close (but 30 FPS lower) to your the Win +P LHP X38SPD loading.

    That is impressive velocity in 2 inch for the old Win 38 Spl 158 gr rnl. I avg always below 700 FPS with similar Rem 38 Spl 158 rnl loading.

    Also, the BE-86 5.0 grs loading had less noise and perceived less recoil compared to my Power Pistol FBI load duplicate (5.6 grs). Alliant has no 158 gr lead 38 +P data using BE-86, they have 5.7 grs +P loading using a jacketed bullet and 4.6 grs BE-86 with a 158 gr cast bullet as its max standard velocity loading...I figured that 5.0 grs with 158 gr LSWCHP is in +P territory. Velocity proves it.

    I’ll have to check the cylinder clearance if I can find where I put my gauge a few months ago!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    NE Ohio

    Alliant's data for the be-86 & power pistol is on the mild side. Last year I did a little testing using be-86 in a 2" bbl'd ca under cover. 10 different bullets were used with a load of 5.7gr of be-86. That 5.7gr be-86 load averaged 845fps for the 10 different bullets/50 shot string. The 5.7gr be-86 load was comparable to the 5.5gr unique load. 5.5gr of unique produced 833fps for the same 10 different bullet/50 shot string.

    I'm sure there's more to be-86 then that 5.7gr load. But it would take someone like handloader magazine to find out what be-86 can really do. HL mag did an article testing 38slp p+ loads and used a rimrock 158gr lead gc'd hp with 6.3gr of power pistol and got 1000+fps out of a snubnosed ruger lcr.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Spot on Forrest r...Handloader should do some tests (38/357) with BE-86. As always, thank you and others for the wealth of information. I started reloading in the late 1970s primarily 38 Special...what a great cartridge in my humble opinion from target loads to 38-44 thumpers!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check