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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I appreciate all the great information I've found here. Here's a question about my S&W M49.

I carried the M49 back in police and detective days (1973-84). It's still one of the best carrying guns I've ever owned.

In the past I carried Federal 125grain JHP +P, but I'm wanting to try the Remington 158 grain LSWC +P since Mr. Camp has such great things to say about this cartridge.

Any reason I shouldn't?

I also plan to use this same cartridge in my M67 4" S&W. I tend to pick a good cartridge and stay with it.

I'm also looking for a good practice load for both revolvers and I would appreciate any help.

Thanks for your recomendations.

Regards to all,

Steve
 

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Your Bodyguard should be fine with limited +P use, and the 158 "Treasury Load" is one of the best out there. It shoots a lot better in the steel 49 than in the lighter M638.

Here are Winchester LSWCHP +P and Remington 158 SWC +P fired from the 49 into wetpack.



(And here's some non-PC ammo.)



As for practice ammo, I load my own, so I'm not up on what kinds of less expensive Specials are available.
 

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LelandRay: I liked the looks of those inverted semi-wad cutter bullets shown in the 2nd picture. I remember a cop buddy who loaded them in his back up Charter Arms Bulldog 44spl over "so many grains" of 2400 powder 20+ years ago. If I could remember that load I'd use it in my Bulldog. Also, I did the same for a then owned Mod 10 with 3" heavy barrel. Kick myself twice for selling it, and forgetting that load also. All I can remember was all bullets mentioned we added gas checks to reduce leading. Thanks for the memories......

Wags
 

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Hello. I use the Remington 158-gr. LSCWCHP +P as a carry load in the snubs right on up to the 4" with good results in all. It moves up quite a bit in "potency" in the jump from 1 7/8" to 3" and is about the same in the 4" guns as from those with 3" barrels.

Here are some chronograph results for comparison:

S&W Model 642 w/1 7/8" bbl:
Average Velocity: 800 ft/sec

S&W Model 042 w/1 7/8" bbl:
Average Velocity: 838 ft/sec

S&W Model 64 w/3" bbl:
Average Velocity: 883 ft/sec

S&W Model 10 w/4" bbl:
Average Velocity: 888 ft/sec

For those using this load in the 2 1/2" Model 19, the average velocity is 858 ft/sec. Every fraction of an inch of barrel seems more important on the shorter end than the longer.


I think the Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P remains a very good choice for protection from the pocket guns....


...to the 3" revolvers...


...through the traditional 4" service barrel length.

At the current time, I'm sticking with this "old techology" load but will probably be taking a hard look at the Speer 135-gr. Gold Dots as time permits.


At the present time, I'll stay with this load in any 38 being considered for "serious use." The load has a good "track record" and has no serious drawbacks I'm aware of once one gets past the sharp recoil in the small, aluminum-framed snubs. (Note: It cannot be used in the super-light snubs that are lighter than the Airweight Series as the unjacketed bullets will unseat themselves in recoil. I've tried this and they simply do.) Whether this load expands after passing through 4-layers of denim is just not that big of a deal to me. If this means that I'm not "serious" in my layman studies to some, fine. In real life situations where I've personally spoken with men who used it out of snubs, it worked. The lightly-loaded 148-gr. wadcutter as recommended by some is a mistake in my opinion and I neither buy into it or believe it to be a good choice unless someone is very recoil sensitive or has a physical handicap preventing their use of the more potent round. The denim thing is not a problem when the LSWCHP is fired from a 3 or 4" tube.

FWIW, here are the average velocities of S&B factory-loaded wadcutters fired from a snub and a 4" gun:

S&W Model 642 w/1 7/8" bbl: 541 ft/sec

S&W Model 10 w/4" bbl: 607 ft/sec

Winchester 148-gr. wadcutter:

S&W Model 642 w/ 1 7/8" bbl: 577 ft/sec

S&W Model 10: w/ 4" bbl: 651 ft/sec

As best as I can recall, the Model 49 is an all-steel J-frame and should be considerably easier to handle with this load than the Airweight aluminum-frame versions. I know it is quite manageable out of my wife's 3" Model 65, a K-frame, but she is not a shooter by any means. A man or woman who is will most likely find the recoil of the steel snub fairly well dampened compared to the aluminum snubs.

Best.


PS: If interested, here's a couple of links that might be of use:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38%20Special%20158gr%20LSWCHP.htm

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38%20Special%20Expansion%20Tests.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all. Yes the M49 is the stee frame. I bought it from another undercover cop in 1973 for $75.00. I never used a hoster, but carried it in my jacket or coat pocket in colder weather where I could have my hand on it ready to shoot through my jacket, or stuck between my pants and body. Sure was quick to pull out when I needed it. The banana grip felt good and I never felt the grips were undersized.

Mr. Camp, my congratulations on your excellent website. I learned a great deal from it and I'm ready to buy a CZ-75B this week based on your advice. Keep up the good work!

Thanks to all,

Stephen
 
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You undercover cops get a tip of my hat. I can't imagine associating with dangerous criminals, on a daily basis, especially when, in order to blend in, you have to limit yourselves to weapons a crook would actually have, which pretty much rules out anything more potent than a Makarov.
 

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Hi there sgphoto,

Welcome to the forum!

I like the Federal Hydra Shok load for the S&W 642 sitting in my pocket as I type.

Based on my shooting experience, it feels like the best combo for defense for reliable expansion and recoil manageability. If I reloaded the .38 special round, than I would certainly try to match its velocity for practice.

As Stephen has mentioned, the Speer CCI Gold Dot 135 grain Short Barrel round holds great promise for us wheelgun snubbie carryers.

Chris
 
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