The bullets poked clean holes through grouse and killed them on the spot.
Add to cart. In response to continued complaints over ineffectiveness of the standard .38 Special 158-grain cartridge in stopping assailants in numerous armed confrontations during the 1950s and 1960s, ammunition manufacturers began to experiment with higher-pressure (18,500 CUP) loadings of the .38 Special cartridge, known as .38 Special +P. , The .38 Special is particularly popular among handloaders. This also makes for feeding problems when used in semi-automatic pistols. I today’s post, I’m going to tell you all about the wadcutter bullet and the semi-wadcutter bullet and provide some advice on when you should and should not be using them. The .38 S&W Special, also commonly known as .38 Special, .38 Spl, .38 Spc, (pronounced "thirty-eight special"), or 9x29mmR is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. This came about because the original .38-caliber cartridge, the .38 Short Colt, was designed for use in converted .36-caliber cap-and-ball Navy revolvers, which had cylindrical firing chambers of approximately 0.374-inch (9.5 mm) diameter, requiring heeled bullets, the exposed portion of which was the same diameter as the cartridge case.  That same year, Colt Firearms announced that their Colt Official Police would also handle 'high-speed' .38 Special loadings. The remainder of those loads were shot at targets at 25 to 50 yards. It has been said that a wadcutter’s tin-can shape results in accuracy deterioration at distances past 50 yards. The .38 Special held a minimum of 21 grains of black powder, which was 3 grains more than the current .38 Long Colt, and it was 100 to 150 feet per second faster with a 158 grain bullet.
The .38 Special was the standard service cartridge for the vast majority of United States police departments from the 1920s to the 1990s, and it was also a common sidearm cartridge used by United States military personnel in World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War. A few grains of fast-burning powder occupies little space in a .357 Magnum case. Even taking into account the below average performance of the wadcutter bullet in hunting and self-defense situations, it is still a pretty useful bullet for target shooting and training new shooters.  The .38/44 high-speed cartridge came in three bullet weights: 158 grains (10.2 g), 150 and 110 grains (9.7 and 7.1 g), with either coated lead or steel jacket, metal-piercing bullets. A wadcutter bullet helps fill the empty space to provide even velocities. In 1972, the Federal Bureau of Investigation introduced a new .38 +P loading that became known as the "FBI Load". This cartridge was called the .38 S&W Super Police or the .38/200. Still, velocity spreads remained high using W-572 with both bullets. IMR Red provided five charges that weighed 5.5 grains, three weighing 5.3 grains and two that weighed 5.4 grains. By 1961, a slightly revised M41 .38 cartridge specification known as the Cartridge, Caliber .38 Ball, Special, M41 had been adopted for U.S. armed forces using .38 Special caliber handguns. Make sure you follow The Big Game Hunting Blog on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. In 2004, Speer Bullets introduced the Gold Dot jacketed hollow-point .38 Special cartridge in an attempt to solve this very problem. Additionally, wadcutters are difficult to quickly load due to the blunt, un-tapered shape of the bullet. In the .38 Special, wadcutters shot with IMR Target powder had an extreme velocity spread of 27 fps compared to twice that, at 57 fps, for semiwadcutter bullets. I have also shot grouse with the .38 Special loaded with wadcutters cast of wheel weights from NEI mould 150-358-WC. The velocity is reduced when using the more standard 4-inch (100 mm) barreled guns. Semi-wadcutters generally have a shorter bearing surface than traditional wadcutters. The wadcutter is a relatively specialized bullet type that is only utilized in a few different cartridges (particularly .38 Special). I weighed 5.5-grain charges of all three powders and loaded them with Rim Rock Standard Hard Cast 200-grain RNFP bullets in .44 Special cases and fired them from a Smith & Wesson Model 329PD .44 Magnum revolver to check ballistics. Sold Out. SWC+GC, 158 gr. Pet Loads and Handloader are registered trademarks of Wolfe Publishing Company.
Ayoob, Massad, "Why are We Still Using the .38 – It's Still A Good Cartridge", Typically, the FBI Load utilized a very soft lead alloy of 5.5–6 as measured on the, "What are the most popular calibers in the US? The flat shape of the nose is the primary feature of the wadcutter bullet. 38 Wadcutters were designed to make scoring easier for pistol bullseye competitions. Wadcutter bullets dropped from an NEI 150-358-WC mould with a diameter of .358 inch. Rim Rock Hard Cast Cowboy 200-grain DEWC-FB bullets (left) and Rim Rock Standard Hard Cast 200-grain RNFP bullets (right) were loaded in .44 Special cases with three different powders. The higher-pressure .38 +P loads at 20,000 PSI offer about 20% more muzzle energy than standard-pressure loads and places between the .380 ACP and the 9 mm Parabellum; similar to that of the 9×18mm Makarov.
Federal AE38SJ1 38SP 148 Synthetic JWC - 50rd Box. My casting furnace was full of Lyman No. Red Dot powder has been a good choice for low-velocity handgun loads for decades.  The media attention gathered by the .38/44 and its ammunition eventually led Smith & Wesson to develop a completely new cartridge with a longer case length in 1934—this was the .357 Magnum. In 1956, the U.S. Air Force adopted the Cartridge, Caliber .38, Ball M41, a military variant of the .38 Special cartridge designed to conform to the rules of land warfare. My load consisted of 2.0 grains of Red Dot that fired Speer 98-grain hollowbase wadcutters at 742 fps from the Ruger’s 4-inch barrel.
 The FBI Load proved very satisfactory in effectively stopping adversaries in numerous documented shootings using 2- to 4-inch barreled revolvers.
Wadcutters loaded over W-572 narrowed velocity spread by 53 fps compared to the semiwadcutters loaded over the same powder. Due to its black-powder heritage, the .38 Special is a low-pressure cartridge, one of the lowest in common use today at 17,500 PSI. As you can see in the photos below, a wadcutter bullet has a flat front and is typically cylindrical in shape.  The FBI Load combined a more powerful powder charge with a 158-grain unjacketed soft lead semi-wadcutter hollow-point bullet designed to readily expand at typical .38 Special velocities obtained in revolvers commonly used by law enforcement.
Bullets cast from Redding/SAECO 200-WC (right) and Redding/SAECO 200-RNFP moulds (left) were loaded in .44 Magnum cases with three different powders.  The new M41 Special cartridge used a 130-grain FMJ bullet loaded to a maximum allowable pressure of 16,000 psi (110,000 kPa) for a velocity of approximately 950 ft/s (290 m/s) in a solid 6-inch (150 mm) test barrel, and about 750 ft/s (230 m/s) from a 4-inch (100 mm) revolver barrel. Federal GM38A Premium 38 Special Lead Wadcutter 148 GR 50Box/20Case- Gold Medal- Hunting/Target- 38 Special-... SKU: SPS-67124 Availability: Out Stock.  The closest comparisons are the .380 ACP, which fires much lighter bullets slightly faster than most .38 Special loads; the 9×19mm Parabellum, which fires a somewhat lighter bullet significantly faster; and the .38 Colt Super, which fires a comparable bullet significantly faster. This group was shot at 25 yards with a Smith & Wesson Model 329PD .44 Magnum revolver using Rim Rock Hard Cast Cowboy 200-grain wadcutter bullets with IMR Red powder in .44 Special cases.  Upon its introduction, the .38 Special was originally loaded with black powder, but the cartridge's popularity caused manufacturers to offer smokeless powder loadings within a year of its introduction.
 The PGU-12/B High Velocity cartridge differs from M41 Special ammunition in two important respects—the PGU-12/B is a much higher-pressure cartridge, with a bullet deeply set and crimped into the cartridge case.
JHP (WC= WadCutter, SWC= Semi-WadCutter, HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose), (JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point and if GC indicated, means Gas Check at bottom of lead bullet) Loads for .38 special: (Note: These are near maximum loads (in some cases …
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