Monday, July 13, 2015

More .38 special .357 Magnum wet pack tests

What was supposed to be another weekend full of shooting matches turned out to be half a weekend of shooting matches and half range work as the rain here in NW Ohio has made a lake out of the range we were going to be shooting 3 gun at so I helped at our home range with a work day. Made up another block of phone books to soak over night and thought I would test some more .38/357 bullets as well as .500 S&W and a 30/30 cast load.

First off all the .500 S&W factory loads kept veering off course inside the books and blowing out the sides. got one really good mushroom. Did not penetrate as much as you would think but expansion helped it slow way down and leave a large cavity in its wake.

Factory Hornady .500 S&W bullets (350gr starting I believe) 

Next I wanted to test some souped up .357 hallow point loads I've touched on in a previous post. 125gr cast HP bullet exiting a carbine bullet going ~2000fps. I didn't think the bullet would hold up but it did and retained all its weight! 

2000 fps loads flanking the slower .38 special load I covered in a previous post. Same bullet.

Top view of souped up .357 magnum 125gr load.
 Next I wanted to test a 173gr keith bullet coming out of my carbine at  a unknown velocity (greater than 1100fps though) the bullet performed very well, penetrating far into the stack of wet phone books, well over a foot and a half. The re-swagged jacketed bullet shown at right below did not deform at all surprisingly. This bullet was experimental and will not be used for anything other than plinking.

R:124 gr 9mm swagged to .357 fired into wetpack shows no deformation, C: 173gr keith fired into wet pack R: unfired Keith.

Last I wanted to see how my 30-30 loads with 34gr of Reloader 15 and a Lee cast flat nose 150gr bullet performed out of my newly rebuilt 94. at this point I had pulled the phone books apart to recover previous pistol shots so sucessive bullets wouldn't damage future specimens. I had about 20" of good phone books left and wasn't enough, my 30-30 loads blitzed right through the whole stack as if it were butter. Sooo I will revisit that particular test next time I head to the range with wet pack and test more bullets. The more I learn about bullet performance and design the more I see how gimmicky some of these bullets being offered by the big companies really are. Dead is dead.....can't make anything more dead. And a good shot can do a lot with any bullet, a bad shot will just piss off an animal with a top of the line bullet if not placed correctly.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Experimental 9mm swagged to .38 special bullets

Anybody who has frequented the range for various matches or just practice more than 3 times a week starts to pick up a LOT of brass and sometimes "duds" or dropped live rounds. As a rule of thumb I never try duds in my guns as they could be bad reloads etc... But the bullets are still good. I have a good size box full of 9mm bullets I've pulled from range dropped  ammo and "duds". I don't really shoot 9mm a whole lot but I do have swage dies to make .357 diameter bullets for use in my .38 special/.357 mag. Just for grins I dropped some standard round nose 124gr fmj in the dies with a SWC  type nose punch. The noses don't form fully because of the jacket but I do get a interesting wadcutter with a nipple type projectile. They are purely just for plinking in my revolver as they do not feed in the bolt action. I could try seating the wadcutter part flush and that might work but like I said these are just cheap fun as I don't shoot FMJ bullets often. 

9mm projectiles swagged for use in .38 special, Center round is factory .38 Special round that I picked up at the range.

7/12 Update- Shot a few of these into wet pack and had zero deformation and a lot of penetration. Interesting performance considering its a "junk" bullet and seemed to perform better than a regular round nose.