Tried Some Different .38 Special Range Ammunition

Discussion in 'General Firearms & Ammo' started by Stephen A. Camp, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Member

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    Jul 14, 2008
    Southwest
    Hello. It seems that one consequence of the lingering ammunition shortage is trying brands we've not used before and so it was for me with respect to two different .38 Special loads I fired today through a 4" S&W Model 10 HB.

    Both loads were described as being standard-pressure, non-corrosive, boxer-primed and loaded with 158-gr. LRN bullets. These were from Lapua (Finland) and Prvi Partizan (Serbia).

    [​IMG]
    Both of these rounds had brass cases and had LRN bullets but the Lapua (left) was noticeably more pointed than the Serbian ammunition.

    [​IMG]
    It was not easy to see, but I think that the Lapua cartridges had sealed primers. The bright red sealant on the Prvi Partizan leaves no doubt that it is.

    [​IMG]
    The Lapua came packaged in a 50-round plastic box. The lid is "hinged" on one of the long sides but the plastic is about as thin as it can be and still actually be there! Even if the lid on this box has been closed, it still will not prevent all fifty of the rounds from going everywhere if the box is inadvertently knocked off of the shooting bench! (Don't ask me how I know...)

    [​IMG]
    The Serbian ammunition was packaged in 50-round cardboard boxes.

    Finish on some of the Lapua ammo was considerably more tarnished than the Prvi Partizan and I think it may be quite a bit older. The Lapua was bought in a sealed metal tin containing 700 rounds or 14 fifty-round plastic boxes. The Prvi Partizan came with every 5 boxes sealed in plastic. I have no idea if that was from the manufacturer or distributer.

    I fired 10 shots of each load for the below-listed average velocities, extreme spreads and standard deviations. The muzzle of my revolver was a measured 10' from the first chronograph screen. Here's what shook out:

    .38 Special Lapua 158-gr. LRN:

    Average Velocity: 890 ft/sec
    Extreme Spread: 26
    Std. Deviation: 11

    .38 Special Prvi Partizan 158-gr. LRN:

    Average Velocity: 804 ft/sec
    Extreme Spread: 40
    Std. Deviation: 16

    Both burned clean and a total of but fifty shots of each load were fired. (Short on time and it was raining intermittenly.)

    [​IMG]
    Both loads shot essentially to the sights of my Model 10-6 Heavy Barrel revolver and both seem to group satisfactorily to me, at least in this initial range session.

    I shot at 12 yards because to get to the 15-yard backstop and staple targets, I'd have to stand in about 3" of water. I attached my targets to the 10-yard backstop and took two "long" steps back from the table for the estimated 12-yard distance.

    Today's shooting was done standing and in slow double-action-only using a two-hand hold. There were no malfunctions with either load. Initially, it does appear that either will be fine for informal target shooting but I have not tried either of these loads before or at any distances greater than today's distance.

    Much of the time, I continue to use handloaded ammunition but since not everyone reloads, I thought that some might find this information of at least some use. (For those who do reload, the description that both are boxer-primed is true.)

    Should anyone be interested, here is where I bought the Lapua .38 Special:

    http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/index.php/cName/38-special-lead-round-nose-ammo

    (I am in no way associated with this company nor am I receiving any sort of favors or payment from them for this post.)

    I do not remember where I bought the Prvi Partizan. It was a good while back and I've slept since then. I think I paid $11 or $12 per box but just don't remember. If it can be found "right", it does appear to be good range fodder from my admittedly limited preliminary shooting session. I believe that either load would serve well.

    Best.
     


  2. DCortez

    DCortez TGT Addict

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    Funny you should post this, I checked this out 5 minutes ago and was curious. Thanks
     
  3. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Member

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    Hello. Well, either "Great minds think alike" OR (and more likely) just a coincidence! In any event, I am glad that the post was of interest to you.

    Best to you and yours.
     
  4. BurkGlocker

    BurkGlocker Active Member

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    Burkburnett, TX
    First I have to say, nice shooting, SA or DA? If DA, WTG.

    I just wished I could get that good of a grouping out of my G21SF, but it is still young and I am still working on the trigger.

    Pvri and Lapua both put out some damn fine ammo, as I have shot both out of my .308 rifles and had great results with both manufacturers. The Lapua looks to have more crimp than the Pvri, and I am wondering if this had a better effect with accuracy, but it seems so negligable considering your targets.

    But kudos on the shooting!

    Rock on! :texas:

    Brad L.
     
  5. kingofwylietx

    kingofwylietx Well-Known

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    Good info, thanks. I have noticed a lot of off-brand ammo, especially at the mom & pop shops. Some of them are recognized by me, some are not. It seems that these 2 brands did just fine, so I'll keep this in mind if I run across them.
     
  6. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Member

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    Jul 14, 2008
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    Hello and thanks for the comments. I am glad the post was entertaining or of interest.

    BurkGlocker: Thanks very much. It was DA shooting. That revolver is DAO. Most of my revolver shooting is double-action; it is how I was trained decades ago.

    Best.
     
  7. DCortez

    DCortez TGT Addict

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    My oldest son wants my 24" .357 lever gun, my youngest son wants a 20" .357 lever gun, I still want a .357 lever gun so I'll probably get a 16" since I can always use the others.


    Around here, we refer to .38 as the .22 that could :lolz:
     
  8. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Member

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    Interesting post.
     
  9. Texas42

    Texas42 TGT Addict

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    LOL

    Got to love DC

    Thanks for the report. It was well done. I'm not a revolver guy (yet, one of these days)
     
  10. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Member

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    Hello. Glad it was of interest.

    Best.
     

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