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.38 Spl - Load Work & Testing

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  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,209 Senior Member
    I think this last shot illustrates a problem with jugs as a testing medium.  I've kinda/sorta come to equate a standard gallon jug to about 4-5 inches of ballistic gel, but it's a long way from a perfect match. 

    On a deer, pig, hominid, etc..., you might have a rib to contend with on the way in - no real obstacle, and the bullet hasn't expanded yet.

    By the time you get to another rib with a fully expanded bullet, the bullet's done all the good work it will do for you, and we don't really care if it stops at that point.

    The juncture of two jugs pressed together is probably a reasonable approximation of the resistance you'd get from a rib and chest wall - and you're hitting it with a wider, gently curving bullet face that's spreading the load.  We've inserted the opposite wall resistance into the test before we've collected oour "gel equivalent" penetration data.

    I've seen a lot of jug rows where dents have told me that it was this jug juncture that stopped a widely-expanded bullet more than water. A good example being a 10mm Silvertip, which for damn sure should have enough energy to punch more than the 3 jugs it does  - it just gets turned into a .75 caliber pancake that the plastic can handle.  Maybe it's a good simulator for light bone and gristle, but not the stuff inside the chest walls.

    They have the saving grace of being cheap and repeatable. . .(shrug)
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    SIIIIIGGGHHHH. . .

    TURN. . .

    IT. . .

    AROUND!!!  The alloy there is soft enough you'll probably get SOME expansion and a deeper dive.

    But better still, find some solid WC's.  The potential problem with a hollow base and short barrels - especially the way you plan to load them - is that there's enough residual pressure after the bullet exits to blow the stern of a soft HB bullet all out of kilter.

    Good thing on your test though - it proves the soft stuff will expand at some lower speeds.
    I already have the Wadcutter Target Load that does what you speak and I’ve already tested them in jugs with my 340 M&P thread. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,507 Senior Member
    Try some jacketed stuff tomorrow :)
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,922 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I already have the Wadcutter Target Load that does what you speak and I’ve already tested them in jugs with my 340 M&P thread. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. 
    Speaking of reinventing the wheel, do you keep a record book or data book on all the tests you do (so as not to repeat tests that have already been done)?
    I only ask because when I started reloading I never kept track of all the different load recipes I came up with and used. Since I use a variety of calibers in competition, sometimes I would forget what load performed really well and which ones sucked. Now I record everything so I don't have to cover old ground 😂 I'm more forgetful these days.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Try some jacketed stuff tomorrow :)
    👍🏻
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    Zee said:
    I already have the Wadcutter Target Load that does what you speak and I’ve already tested them in jugs with my 340 M&P thread. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. 
    Speaking of reinventing the wheel, do you keep a record book or data book on all the tests you do (so as not to repeat tests that have already been done)?
    I only ask because when I started reloading I never kept track of all the different load recipes I came up with and used. Since I use a variety of calibers in competition, sometimes I would forget what load performed really well and which ones sucked. Now I record everything so I don't have to cover old ground 😂 I'm more forgetful these days.
    I try to keep a good record for the most part. That’s why I take so many pics. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,101 Senior Member
    Yes, Zee keeps records......in the form of posts on here.  :D
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    A certain Chiropractor decided I had too much free time on my hands and was spending too much time in the brothels selling my body. 

    Top to bottom:
    Nosler 158gr JHP
    Hornady 110gr JHP
    Magnus 125gr JHP

    Im gonna have to save up more jugs. 😳

    Question now, do I push them fast with Unique/Longshot or do I push them slow with Trail Boss?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,829 Senior Member
    If it was me, I'd try to get those 110s and 125s zinging pretty quick. They don't have the weight behind them, so might as well substitute some speed in the energy equation. For the 158s, I doubt they can get going very fast without hitting +P level.  They're taking up some room in the case.  I'd be curious to see what their expansion is at lower speed.  My guess would be not much.  But could be wrong.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    The Noslers would make fine hunting loads if launched from the appropriate case/platform at around 1400fps..

    The other two may not play well at the 38spl playground.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,507 Senior Member
    Early, it's science, don't steer the mad scientist. Nature will find its balance, maybe 1400fps .38spl loads will be a thing soon :)
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Early, it's science, don't steer the mad scientist. Nature will find its balance, maybe 1400fps .38spl loads will be a thing soon :)
    😳
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,507 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Early, it's science, don't steer the mad scientist. Nature will find its balance, maybe 1400fps .38spl loads will be a thing soon :)
    😳
    My reloading mentor already went down that road, no such luck.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,922 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    A certain Chiropractor decided I had too much free time on my hands and was spending too much time in the brothels selling my body. 

    [I've seen the photos 🤣]
    I got my TV finally, it works great 😂

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    We’re you not entertained?!?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,922 Senior Member
    edited June 6 #47
    Zee said:
    We’re you not entertained?!?

    I was riveted!!!!
    But my initial reaction was more like
    😁
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    Ok, tried the Doc’s Bullets this weekend. Well, two of them. 
    I went with .2 grains under the Sierra Manual Book Max Load. 
    I had hopes for the 125gr bullet and they did NOT disappoint!

    Tightest group yet from this gun at 10 yards. Still low and right. But, everything has been. 

    Decent expansion and a two jugger. 

    :happydance:

    Think I’ll load the rest up at book max (only .2 more grain) and call it good at about 1,000 fps. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,805 Senior Member
    That will work
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Success!

    I have 125gr factory ammo, but I don't think Ive ever handloaded that weight.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    Then..........I tried the 110gr Hornady JHP. 
    Actually thought these would be dramatic..............and then it plowed through 4 jugs. As I stood up, I was wondering how the Hell a 110gr bullet out penetrated a 125gr bullet. Literally baffled!!!  Until I poured the bullet out of the fourth jug and saw darn near zero expansion. 

    Went ahead and grouped it.......and the grouping was as dismal as the expansion. 


    Oddly, the lowest POI of all Bullets tested. And the least expansion........almost. 
    Guess this sucker was designed for .357 Mag velocities. 
    Well, I’m out of jugs.  Gotta save more up for the 158gr Nosler. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    This has turned out to be an inexpensively FUN GUN!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,507 Senior Member
    Hmm, interesting on both counts. The 110's are of unknown age, does oxidation and time change the lead enough not to expand? 
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Hmm, interesting on both counts. The 110's are of unknown age, does oxidation and time change the lead enough not to expand? 
    No clue. But, it looks as either the lead tip was pushed back into the jacket or it was wiped off completely with no further expansion. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,209 Senior Member
    edited June 8 #55
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Hmm, interesting on both counts. The 110's are of unknown age, does oxidation and time change the lead enough not to expand? 
    No.  What you're seeing there is probably too much jacket rigidity.

    I've had some samples of range scrap tested that were carefully segregated before melting.  As I recall, jacketed was something like 1% antimony.  At any rate - low.  You can't harden up lead too much if you're going to swage it as a "fluid" into a jacketed bullet.  This is close to pure lead, and lead is about as inert as elements get - - uranium will decay into lead over gazillions of years. . .and there it stops.  Surface oxide will only be that - on the surface.

    One of the wacky bits of mind-bending alchemy with bullet casting is that when you get both tin and antimony involved, bullets can age-harden - - OR if they were heat-treated by water-quenching, they can harden up briefly (relative term) and then will soften back down to some base-line for the percentages involved.

    It is WEIRD, and something the true egg-heads can manipulate to their advantage, but it's not what's happening here.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,507 Senior Member
    Good explanation BigSlug
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,080 Senior Member
    That Hornady looks like its the same bullet that I fired from their loaded ammo into gel from a 4” barrel

    Don’t remember if the weight was the same.  Have to look that up.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,922 Senior Member
    The 110's are probably designed, as you surmised, for higher .357 mag velocities. The first thing I noticed is the lack of skiving on the jacket. Skives on a jacket greatly reduce hoop tension around the nose. This allows the lead to flow much more easily on impact than bullets without them. Skives or those notches around the nose let's the copper tear more easily.
    Without the skives, higher velocities are usually required. So I'm guessing those 110's (not all 110's) are meant for higher speeds. The 125's you're using are probably within their design velocity for that bullet so good expansion is taking place.
    Anyway, 125 at 1000-ish... Good expansion, excellent accuracy. That's not bad. It's a keeper. 👍
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    Spk said:

    Anyway, 125 at 1000-ish... Good expansion, excellent accuracy. That's not bad. It's a keeper. 👍
    Yeah, I’m happy with what they did. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    I just ordered 200 of these. I was waiting for reviews and they are all good so far. That, and free shipping. So, with great reviews and free shipping.......they are on the way. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,805 Senior Member
    Looking forward to your next science project 
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
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