S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P Water Test - Pistolsmith
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:46 PM   #1
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S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P Water Test

I've been on several firearms boards asking about this .38spl ammunition which carries Smith and Wesson's name. It is 158gr LSWCHP +P. The lead does feel hard; I can scratch it with a fingernail but I cannot deform it by hand.

I decided to do a water shoot. We have a new pup so newspaper for wetpack is in short supply.


Here is the setup. Prior to this test I did on with a 125gr bullet, and that bullet penetrated three jugs. I figured with the increased weight I'd need at least that.


Here is my view. I figured the old computers would be appropriate.


This is me taking the shot in my "Silent Bob" getup - or - I need to get off my butt and lose weight! This picture is a still taken from a video of the shot. Please forgive the quality.

I have to say here, recoil was not what I expected out of a revolver that size. It is comparable to my full sized all metal 9mm with +P loads. Now, I know someone's going to want to see the whole video. Here it is:


Click on the pic. Just don't hold it against me! It's about 5mb in size if I remember correctly, so dialup, count on a download time of 15mins to 1/2 hour.


As you can see, the first two jugs are very torn up. Taking the video of the shoot frame-by-frame, I can see the individual impacts. It's enlightening as to when the energy is actually released.


The bullet penetrated through the fourth jug and came to rest between the fourth and fifth, causing no damage to the fifth jug.

The total penetration came out to about 24" of water, or about 12" of gelatin.


Here's the expanded bullet. It measures right around .52"x.51" and is about .63" tall.


For comparison...

As compared to the Magtech 125gr I tested a while back, this round appeals to me more, at least insofar as water jugs are concerned. While this round penetrated four water jugs and expanded to over half an inch, the Magtech only penetrated three jugs and partially expanded to a bit less than half an inch at its widest point.


The Magtech, for comparison...

I plan on shooting one of these S&W rounds through four layers of denim into water as soon as I am able to gather more jugs.


As you can see, the round overexpanded a bit. I am hoping a denim test will provide results as realistic as one can get by shooting water.

Overall, I am cautiously impressed. The S&W fodder has become my carry ammo for the time being.

Josh <><
 
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:57 AM   #2
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Interesting test - thanks.

Might consider shooting the jugs level next time - not sure it would matter but it might.
 
Old 08-11-2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting Josh. I was sort of tied up shortly after you posted this and haven't been able to comment.

What we learned about 25 years ago is that it does not mean a thing what happens to the water...pepple are a lot more elastic and there is very little relevance to exploding jugs and bullet effectiveness (if there was a 30-06 would blow people up).

However there is relative expansion and penetration to be measured and water is not a bad medium amongst homogenous mediums. It is certainly less tempereature sensitive than 10% gelatin and one does not need to worry about the formulation.

I guess that ammo is long out of print but if stored carefully it should be good for some time if you have a good supply. Looks like a decent load to me.

I did not notice in your report the barrel length? If that is from a snub it is pretty darn good performance! I cannot play the video as on my dial up it takes even longer to download 5 meg that it should in my area..no idea why. But as I said, what the bullet does to a jug is irrelevant anyway.

Onward,
Jim H.
 
 
Old 08-11-2007, 10:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
I did not notice in your report the barrel length? If that is from a snub it is pretty darn good performance!
Hi Mr. H,

It is indeed from a snub, 1-7/8" barrel.

It didn't do too awful well against denim and jugs though - there's another test showing those results around here someplace. It was more recent than this test.

Josh <><
 
Old 08-12-2007, 05:31 AM   #5
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Covering garments can indeed make a difference, and I have no kick on using the typical denim as that is quite commonly encountered, but that is still a good performance from a snubby.

I found a guy recently who makes a 135 gr cast SWC-HP with a big hollow point. When I get back on my feet I intend to try up some snubby loads for my airweight.

Jim H.
 
Old 08-12-2007, 10:20 AM   #6
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Mr. H,

Sounds good. I've not been happy with the POA vs POI in my fixed-sight snub with anything but 158gr. Granted, it likely wouldn't matter at defensive distances, but I guess it's a comfort thing.

That's what I'm mainly concerned about. I'd like to know how the POA is vs POI on that load you're talking about.

Thanks,

Josh <><
 
Old 08-12-2007, 10:55 AM   #7
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I have good reason to be optimistic in that the 135 gr Speer Gold Dots hit close enough to POA for me.

To my utter amazement, when I shot some 110gr DPX (this was some of the first test lot given to me by the factory) it hit right to the sights at 10 yards in my model 37. It also put 3 bullets in the same hole!

That has not been my experience with other 110gr bullets. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that the DPX is a long bullet?????

Some things just dont make sense.

Jim
 
Old 08-12-2007, 11:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Higginbotham
To my utter amazement, when I shot some 110gr DPX (this was some of the first test lot given to me by the factory) it hit right to the sights at 10 yards in my model 37. It also put 3 bullets in the same hole!

That has not been my experience with other 110gr bullets. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that the DPX is a long bullet?????

Some things just dont make sense.

Jim
Actually, from what I understand the DPX was not +P at that time. From what I'm picturing in my head, you'd be further into the recoil arc than with +P ammo, so it would hit higher like the 158gr load. From what I understand about stabilizing bullets, I think the length did have quite a bit to do with its accuracy.

If you picture it all working together, I do think you're right, and it does make sense.

I just wonder how far off the increased velocity of the current +P load would throw it?

Interesting.

Josh <><
 
Old 09-04-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
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Re: S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P Water Test

Josh, I found this very interesting as I developed a .357magnum version of the load for my Model 66 snub. Using Speer 158gr.LSWCHPs, 7 grains of Unique and CCI 500 primers. Instrumental velocity is 957fps measured 10 feet from the muzzle. It averages about 1-1/2" at fifteen yards. My goal was to replicate the old FBI or Treasury-load only in a snub(2-1/2"bbl). Haven't had a chance to do any water-jug tests but as soft as Speer makes these, it should readily expand.
 
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