38 Special


#1

just obtained a 38 spl made by speer with a reddish-brown semi wad cutter what was it made for??? thanks vic


#2

Vic–Sound to me like a Frangible bullet to me, but, I am not a .38 Spl. specialist and could be wrong.


#3

It sounds like a PPS “ZC 38” which is an aluminum bullet coated with some sort of Teflon or nylon. PPS offered them as a super high-velocity wonder-bullet. Not meant to be frangible as far as I know, but meant to be super high-velocity at close ranges, but would also lose energy fast so as to limit collateral damage. Axiom loaded them also, but in gray color. Here’s an image cut from my book, I think the explanation is correct, but it gets confusing with all the parties involved, correct me if I’m wrong anyone:


#4

I have PPS Ltd six-round packets of both 38 Special and 357 magnum. Mine must be a lot older because the packaging is plastic zip-lock bag with a folded sheet of information.

It says that the 38 SP is 38 grains and the 357 is 45 grains. Bullets are “aluminum alloy” and the coating is a “special red coating by Z-Coat Corp.” Loaded below SAMMI (sic) maximum. 38=2000 fps. 357=2500 fps.

Six-pack is $14.95 and a 20-pack of ZC “heads” for $11.95.

Says it creates a “turnip shaped wound”, whatever that is. It must be good though. Lots of other hype. Penetrating power, etc, etc.

hs is WINCHESTER.

BTW, like everything of mine, these are available for trade. :)

Ray


#5

Vic,

Can you post the headstamp info or a pic? If it’s a recent ATK (Speer/Federal) frangible then the headstamps will often have markings like ‘NT’, etc.

To my knowledge, Speer has never produced a frangible in the SWC configuration. All the ATK frangible rounds I’ve seen have had either a TC or RNFMJ profile.

Several smaller companies have produced frangible training rounds with Longbow or other proprietary projectiles loaded into various types of brass.

FYI the Equalloy was tested/mentioned in the Sanow/Marshall book; when I get home this weekend I’ll try to look it up for any add’l info.


#6

Ray described the round perfectly!! no question left in my mind what it is, if you would like me to post I could let me know. Vic


#7

Mike - If the cartridge is what I think it is (PPS ZC-38 shown above), then it is possible that different commercial headstamps were used, or that somebody bought a packet of the projectiles and just loaded them in Speer cases.


#8

My ‘frosted side’ loves loading very hard, lightweight projectiles in calibers like .357M, 9x25D, .41M, etc…it’s like going to ‘ballistic Disneyland’. Low recoil, flat trajectory, and sometimes beneficial penetration of barriers.

I still actually shoot/carry some of the .44sp PMC Ultramags for this reason.


#9

[quote=“Mwinter”]My ‘frosted side’ loves loading very hard, lightweight projectiles in calibers like .357M, 9x25D, .41M, etc…it’s like going to ‘ballistic Disneyland’. Low recoil, flat trajectory, and sometimes beneficial penetration of barriers.

I still actually shoot/carry some of the .44sp PMC Ultramags for this reason.[/quote]

Mwinter, if I could reach thru my iPhone I’d slap you silly!!

I’m still trying to find a 44Spl Ultra-Mag and here you are carrying and shooting this round!

It’s a crime I tell you!


#10

Would an Aluminium bullet be sufficient at the range most self defense shootings happen (point blank)? It seems like it would be unlikely to come out of the other side of the perp and a miss would lose energy quickly.


#11

Leon,
If you are stateside/lower 48 I’ll gladly mail you a .44 PMC Ultramag. If so PM me with address/info; if not if you are attending SLICS I’ll send one with an attendee.

With regards to terminal effect: a flatnose SWC projectile, even a soft lead one, does not produce a permanent wound cavity to even ‘full-caliber’ (ie a .357 SWC bullet leaves a hole often less than .357"). The Equalloy projectile is designed not to deform, but being very light and lacking momentum it might slow down rather quickly in a soft target.

The Marshall/Sanow notes mirror this, with the permanent wound cavity being described as indistinguishable from other non-expanding projectiles and penetration of around 10" in ballistics gel. The high velocity yields a larger temporary/stretch cavity than some other loads; however my opinion, mirrored by the M/S book and other more recent and better accepted testing, is that there are many better, simpler cheaper loads, including a standard lead full wadcutter, in .38sp.

The only reason I’ve relied on the Ultramag at all is that in extremely lightweight revolvers, it offers a very low recoil load with adequate penetration and an excellent cutting wound mechanism. If plain lead light .44sp wadcutters were readily available I’d be using those instead of the PMCs.


#12

Just want to add to Matt’s photos, main package front’n’back close-ups and the insert (in red print) which is in the plastic bag together with burgundy-coloured projectiles.