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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really curious as to what kind of velocities people have gotten from the 2.5" barrels of old Model 19 snubs. Particularly, I'd like to know if anyone has ever tried Hornady's 140 gr. XTP JHPs from one. I know that this load produces no appreciable muzzle flash, even from the shorter barrel, but I'm not certain if that's from a flash-retardant powder, or a particularly fast-burning one.

I'm not saying that anyone has to run out and chrono a bunch of ammunition for me, but the old S&W K-frame snubs have a rather unique barrel length that's difficult to find accurate chronograph records for.

If anyone does have any records or recollections on this load, or any other loads, for that matter, from the 2.5" barrel, I'd appreciate it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmm. My guess from all this is that with a standard pressure 140 gr. .357, that Model 19 is likely pushing them at about 1100-1150 ft/s. That's a little slower than a hot 115 or 124 gr. 9mm from a service auto, but with a heavier bullet.
 

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Interesting figures, Stephen, especially since you chrono'd two loads I have actually been known to use. My normal carrying load for the 2 1/2" M66 is the Remington 125:

Remington .357 Magnum 125-grain SJHP (Full-house load) 1243

(I tend to consider this load virtually equal to the Ranger 127-grain +P+ in 9 mm.)

Recently I've switched my 2" load to the LSWCHP "Treasury Load":

Winchester .38 Special 158-grain LSWCHP +P 858

I do think your 50 fps added on account of the long chamber is probably rather generous, though I wonder if the chamber length issue would make up for the 1/2" of barrel length lost in the J frame? (I very rarely shoot .38 Special ammo in my .357 guns because of the extra work needed to clean chambers--as a reloader I can load mid range ammo in .357 cases. If I ever carried reloads in a defense weapon, I think it would be a useful exercise to cook up a LSWCHP load for the .357 case that would surpass the .38 load, while maintaining controllability in the 2 1/2" barrel.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just shot some of my newly delivered Corbon DPX .357s in my blue 19 2.5" and it was pretty manageable. It grouped well too. It's going to be my carry round now instead of the 145gr Silvertips.
 

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Hello. LelandRay, I tend to agree about the ballistic equivalence between the 9mm load you mentioned and the 125-gr. Remington .357 when it is fired from the shorter barrel. I don't have the notes anymore, but in a comparison between a friends 3" Model 64 and a 3" Model 65 firing the Remington LSWCHP +P from the same box of ammo, such was the difference. I suspect strongly that even if the figure is correct, the variation in average velocities between different revolvers, even of the same make, could make it moot.

It appears to me that from a snub .357, its primary advantage over a hot 9mm load might be its ability to shoot a heavier bullet. In the K and L-frame shorties I prefer the Winchester 145-gr. STHP. (I will have to try some of the 140-gr. XTP as well.) In the small-frame short magnums, I find my shot-to-shot recovery enough longer between shots that I use mid-range magnum loads, but were I to go with .38 Special +P, it would be the Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P.

Best.
 

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While I havent shot 140 from any of my magnums I did chrono 110 gr Remington magnum from both a 2 1/8 and a 3 in SP 101. From the 2 1/8 the load averaged 1288...from the 3in it averaged 1364fps. Regarding your 158 gr load for a snub the now discontinued CorBon 158lhp did 961 fps from the 2 1/8 barrel. The current Buffalo Bore should be slightly hotter.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello. LelandRay, I tend to agree about the ballistic equivalence between the 9mm load you mentioned and the 125-gr. Remington .357 when it is fired from the shorter barrel. I don't have the notes anymore, but in a comparison between a friends 3" Model 64 and a 3" Model 65 firing the Remington LSWCHP +P from the same box of ammo, such was the difference. I suspect strongly that even if the figure is correct, the variation in average velocities between different revolvers, even of the same make, could make it moot.

It appears to me that from a snub .357, its primary advantage over a hot 9mm load might be its ability to shoot a heavier bullet. In the K and L-frame shorties I prefer the Winchester 145-gr. STHP. (I will have to try some of the 140-gr. XTP as well.) In the small-frame short magnums, I find my shot-to-shot recovery enough longer between shots that I use mid-range magnum loads, but were I to go with .38 Special +P, it would be the Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P.

Best.
Cor-Bon 9mm 147 gr hollow point will do 1117fps out of a 4 inch S&W 5906.
 

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I very rarely shoot .38 Special ammo in my .357 guns because of the extra work needed to clean chambers--as a reloader I can load mid range ammo in .357 cases.
I do the same, and for the same reason, Leland Ray. My practice load is like a +P .38, only in a .357 case: 5.2 grains of Bullseye under a 158 gr. LSWC.

What to do with the 1K .38 rounds I loaded up before deciding to go this route? Well, I have my eyes open for that nice Model 10!
 

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I am with Steve all the way on his estimate (big surprise). I can cite all sorts of data from my own revolvers of different barrel lengths that make no sense at all.

Even auto barrels can give surprizingly different results in the same barrel lengths with the same ammo but at least they are a tad more predictable.

I tend to like heavier bullets than the average pundit but I do think the X bullet thing has a great deal of merit - it wont disentegrate.

Like Leyland and others, I rather like .38 +P loads in my short revolvers. So far the 158 LSWCHP has been my standard but I am tentatively impressed by the Speer 135 "Snubby" load. In some old meat it did as much damage from my 3" 65 as did 125 gr. Remington Magnum JHPs!

I do like the Federal Classic 140 gr magnum but it will sure get your attention on the back end.

Onward,
Jim
 
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