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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've shot 158 gr +P LSWCHP from a J-frame and the recoil was substantial, but manageable. I'm going to try out Speer 135 gr +P GDHP and Cor-Bon 110 gr +P DPX for recoil and accuracy. My concern is that although I don't find the recoil painful, I'm sure it will adversely affect recovery times. Can anyone recommend a standard pressure round that has tested well in bare gelatin and gelatin covered with 4 layers of denim?

Crash
 

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Check Stephen's article on these very cartridges on the main stem of this forum. Regretfully, I think you are already using one of the best SD cartridge for a J-frame airweight. I wear a golf glove when I shoot my 637 with standard pressure 158gr. SWC, and still often end up with a blister on the web between my thumb and forefinger. I still like the gun, but it's a handful.
Cordially, Jack
 

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Crash,

Hornady makes a standard pressure 125 grain JHP and Winchester makes a 110 Silvertip, also in standard pressure. I have no idea how either performs in gelatin. The old 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter is also still available in standard pressure; I believe the NYPD used it for a long time.

PGM
 

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I think Federal still makes a 110gr Hydrashok in standard pressure. There's a box on the shelf I never got around to testing.

Regards,

Pat
 

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crash,

It is not standard velocity, but our firearms unit selected the Federal 129 gr JHP HS +P for issue to our folks using 5 shots as back up weapons. Seriously don't think because we are feds, we always have the best weapons. Some of the J-frames I was having to issue were so old they had 3 digit serial numbers, period, which I figure made them older than I was.

Most of the instructors reminded our firearms unit that most J frames had some serious age and the issued rounds had to keep that in mind. They chose that round as it was designed to be fired and expand reliably from a J frame barrel. I carried one as a backup for years, and I have to admit, the round was not hard to control at all, even though it was rated a +P. You might try to find a box of them and see what you think.

twoguns
 

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Just looked; there's a box of THAT on the shelf here also.

Anyone need a project for the new year?


Regards,

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
crash,

It is not standard velocity, but our firearms unit selected the Federal 129 gr JHP HS +P for issue to our folks using 5 shots as back up weapons. Seriously don't think because we are feds, we always have the best weapons. Some of the J-frames I was having to issue were so old they had 3 digit serial numbers, period, which I figure made them older than I was.

Most of the instructors reminded our firearms unit that most J frames had some serious age and the issued rounds had to keep that in mind. They chose that round as it was designed to be fired and expand reliably from a J frame barrel. I carried one as a backup for years, and I have to admit, the round was not hard to control at all, even though it was rated a +P. You might try to find a box of them and see what you think.

twoguns
twoguns,

I'll give it a shot (pun intended). Thanks for the info....

Crash
 
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I have been following this topic at tacticalforums.com for a number of years and am in regular contact with Dr. Gary Roberts, who is arguably one of the world leaders in the testing of ammo for defense, service, & military applications. Dr. Roberts' testing reveals that the 158 gr SWCHP +P load that so many of us have carried for years generally fails the 4-layer denim test (i.e., it does not expand) when fired out of snub 38's. It performs much more reliably out of 4" and 6" barrels, so it's a suitable load in such guns, but it is not recommended for snubs.

Based on Doc Roberts' tests, I have changed my J-frame carry loads one or both of the following: 148 gr standard pressure wadcutters, or Speer 135 gr +P JHP. The 148 gr wadcutter is very mild in terms of recoil, and cuts a very nice full-diameter permanent wound cavity. Note that this is NOT the mythological hollow-base-wadcutter-loaded-backwards load. This load penetrates 12+ inches, even thru denim. The 135 gr JHP load expands reliably and penetrates 12+ inches. I usually go with the wadcutters in in the gun, with a Bianchi Speed Strip holding 6 of the Speer JHP's for reloads.

I have 3 J-frames which I carry regularly, usually in a pocket holster (I like the cheap Uncle Mike's fabric holster better than any of the expensive molded leather and kydex pocket holsters I've used). Two are S&W M442's, and the third is a M640. On the 442's I have Eagle Secret Service grips, and on the M640 I have an Uncle Mike's boot grip (the long one that S&W ships the guns with). I have found that I can shoot 30 to 40 rounds of the Speer 135 gr +P load in the 442's without pain, with good accuracy. In the 640 I can shoot 60+ rounds and still feel quite comfortable. I believe the rubber boot grips really make the J-frames more shootable, but they tend to hang up in a pocket. But there is a solution to this in the offing.

At this point I am getting ready to change the grips on my 442's to the Crimson Trace LG-405 grip. I have tested this grip/gun combination and it is worth every penny. This grip is molded of a less 'sticky' rubber compound, yet has a nice backstrap cushion. The laser dot really enhances getting back on target quickly in rapid-fire mode. Also, I found I can make longer shots much more reliably.
 
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