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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have ready access to two defensive loadings in .38spl for my snubby: Smith and Wesson LSWCHP 158gr+P and Magtech 125gr +P HP.

I've been advised on other boards against using the S&W stuff because "it's old." However, Nyclad is getting up there in years and it's still used when it can be found.

The S&W have been stored properly and the rounds look factory-new, no corrosion.

The Magtech does perform, at least on milk jugs. I've not tested the S&W though I plan to do so.

The argument has also been made that I should save the S&W for a collection. Well, I really don't collect ammo. If I should decide to do so, I have access to about 15 more 50 round boxes in better shape than the one I grabbed.

On top of everything else, I flat like the profile and, until I order some Buffalo Bore (waiting to see street results; Mr. H's tests were not encouraging), I'd really like to carry some 158gr +P LSWCHP.

I was told in an earlier thread that this ammo was made for S&W by Fiocchi.

I am currently carrying the 125gr +P Magtech because it's newer, but I'd like opinions. I just can't imagine age alone having much effect on modern ammo.



Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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The 158g. SWCHP +p has a long record of proven street results; as long as it still works in your gun, I'd go with it. That load, along with the Speer Gold Dot short-barrel 135g +p and Corbon DPX, seem to work consistently well in my own expansion/penetration tests. The Buffalo Bore looks promising, but I've seen no results to recommend the Magtech.
 

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Hello. Right now, I'm using the "old technology" SWCHP +P" from Remington in my snubs. If the older S&W/Fiocchi ammo has been stored such that it has not suffered any temperature extremes over the years, it should be good to go. How well it expands from a snub will depend upon how soft the lead alloy is in the bullet, I believe.

Best.
 

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I carry the 158 SWC-HP +P in mine. I have that loading in Remington, Federal, and Winchester, but Remington seems to shoot to the point of aim in my guns while Fed and Win does not, so that's how I chose to carry the Remington.

There shouldn't be a problem with ammo that age, but I still try to keep "fresh" ammo in my carry guns. I may not need to do that, but I do anyway.

It's a tough question to answer- Do you go with (presumed) effectiveness, or with (presumed) reliability? In most things self-defense elated, I'd say to go with reliability.
I can't give an honest answer, since I'm not sure what I would do...if buying new ammo wasn't an option, that is.

Just remember-
If that snub (nice looking gun, by the way) is your "always gun" like it is for most of us, then it will be the gun you will always have if you have a gun at all.
Therefore, I feel it's even more important that it work if there is even the slightest chance of it being the only thing you'll have.
A new box of ammo is cheap insurance. Most 158 SWC-HP comes in 50rd boxes so you can probably save some money by getting a 20-rd box of Speer 135 Gold Dots.

Something else to consider with any ammunition is how the gun is carried. I don't know how you carry it, but snubs often get carried in places like pockets and on ankles where there is moisture and other things that can harm ammo- no matter how old. It's may be a good idea to rotate ammo more often if carried that way.
 

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I vote for the Winchester +P 158 LSWC for carry ammo. But after a few rounds, it gets sort of inaccurate in my experience. The S&W may actually have collector value but I think fresh Winchester would be better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello,

I'm going with these two options right now because I do plan to turn up some Federal, Remington, or Buffalo Bore LSWCHP when it's available.

I'm not wanting to turn things political here, but I am not shipping ammo due to a personal boycott of the high HAZMAT prices which have been forced upon us. Before that I shipped in carry ammo on an annual basis. 'Nuff said about that whole thing there.

Though my revolver's not +P rated I don't figure a few will hurt, and I've begun collecting milk cartons for a test as well as newspaper for a wetpack.

Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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I'd be less worried about the age of properly stored ammo than ammo that has been in the gun for a few months.

Pop a milk jug to make sure it expands some and don't worry about it. Its collectible but there's more in the stash, right? If its at the right price, grab some more and lay a box back if you want.


Regards,

Pat
 

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Josh,

Call me a traditionalist, but I'd go with the + 158 Gr LSWHP and not look back. It's a proven round and has probably put more bad guys on their back than most others.
I'll be blunt, light bullets in a .38 Snubbie just don't do it for me. If you want light and fast go with a compact 9mm and some hot 115 to 127 grain ammo. You'll get more rounds than the snubbie carries, too.
As for shooting old ammo it should be no problem if it has been properly stored. They still occasionally find ammo from WW1 and it still goes bang. I've never had a misfire with any WWII ammo.
Generally, the ammo in my carry guns gets changed out about every three months. Just in case there has been oil leaking on a primer(not likely...my guns are pretty dry), etc.
One downside I have seen with hot loads/lightweight bullets in .38 is the cases can get jammed in the chambers due to pressure. Cor-Bon was a particular offender. Never had a problem with their semi-auto ammo.

Wes
 

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Josh - I still like the 158 +P LSWC best in 38 SPL. It has a proven record of performance in action (Marshall & Sanow).
 
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I have a stockpile of the Federal Nyclad chief's special load I plan to use for carry for many years in my airweight J frames. I also have some 89-91 Fed & Win +P+ I still use. Should I buy any today, I would get Fed/Win/Rem 158gr SWCLHP +P. Modern ammo stored well should not be a problem.
 

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I'm down to a couple hundred Nyclads now.

Prolly going to go with Ga Arms SWC loads for the non- +P guns when thats gone.


Regards,

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Busy.

Life is coming at me hard and I'm trying to get into ammunition testing even more - I have someone who's willing to mix gelatin for me. We're just trying to figure out where to cool the stuff. I might have to buy a new fridge and stick it in the garage, but I'd really like to shoot jello instead of water and wetpack (nothing against anyone who does).

Thanks,

Josh <><

P.S. We'll talk more about my personal life and such if you ask over at the new shootersville. I'd really just rather not do that here. I know you understand sir! J.S.
 
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