Peters .38 special, TARGETMASTER , 158 grain lead round nose


Hello , Yesterday at the gunshow , i picked up a interesting late Peters ammo box, its navy blue , white and red lettering , marked .38 special, TARGETMASTER , 158 grain lead, round nose ,index 3862.
targetmaster 158 grain round nose ??
please advise, many thanks robbt


Robbt - the “Targetmaster” .38 Special match-grade ammunition was offered under both the Remington and the Peters Brand Names. Unfortunately, I have gaps in my catalogs, but I will do my best to give you a time-frame.

This load is not listed in the Peters January 15, 1959 catalog. The only match loading in that catalog is the “Police Match Wadcutter,” Index 3847. The Remington 1958 catalog likewise doesn’t mention this load, but it does refer to the .38 Wadcutter Loading as the “Targetmaster.” The earliest catalog I have for Peters listing this load is 1962, but it goes under the index of 6238, a Remington number, with a symbol next to it indicating it is available in Remington Brand only. My next catalog of interest to this question is the Peters issue of 1967. This now shows the 158 grain RN Targetmaster load under the Index Number 3844. The 1968 Peters Ammunition Price List changes the Index Number to 3862. The last Peters catalog I have showing this load is that of 1977, but this catalog omits Index Numbers, although they probably were still used on boxes and in price sheets. By the 1979 Peters catalog, the Targetmaster is only offered in the .38 Wadcutter version.

So, it seems that the Peters version was introduced sometime between 1962 and 1967, and that it was discontinued between 1977 and 1979. That is as close as I can come to it. However, the load remained in the Remington line until 1996, under the Index number R38S4.

In the Peters line, by the way, the term “Targetmaster” replaced their previous brand name for match ammunition of “Police Match.”

This load was last listed at a muzzle velocity of 855 fps and a muzzle energy of 255 ft lbs. The mid-range trajectory at 50 yards was 1.6" and at 100 yards 6.5". All figures are shown from a 6" barrel. These figures are identical to those for the normal, non-match 158 grain lead RN bulleted cartridge.

Your blue box style is shown in the 1967 catalog, by the way, and was the next-to-last pattern for Peters boxes, as I recall. The final pattern had a brown-tone basic color with black print and a floral decorative pattern. There was a picture of a flying duck in the middle of the top label, even on pistol and rifle ammunition. This box style was shown at least as early as the 1977 catalog. I have examples of both style of box in my collection, and to my eye, the brown box with the floral pattern is somewhat homely.

This is about all the information I have for you. Perhaps someone with a better collection of Peters catalogs and/or price lists can pin down the dates your load was offered by Peters to a little tighter time-frame.


John–You got the year correct for the beginning of this load as a Peters as opposed to a Remington load. The 1966 catalog still shows it as available only as a Remington product. This load, 6238, was made in Peters brand from 1967 to 1973. In 1974 the index numbers changed to the style with a letter “P” at the beginning.


Ron - Thanks for the confirmation of when this load was introduced in the Peters brand. Also, my Remington gun/Peters ammunition catalogs for the 1970s don’t show the Index numbers, so didn’t notice the “P” prefix added to the Peters Index Numbers. I assume that price sheets for Peters Ammunition showed the factory order-Index Number, rather than the consumer catalogs. Odd, because the pure Remington catalogs for the same era do show the Index Numbers.

However, it is not correct to say that Peters only made this load from 1967 until 1973, even though that may be when they changed the Index Number to reflect a prefix “P.” My 1977 “Remington Sporting Firearms, Peters Ammunition” catalog (ammunition section exclusively for Peters brand) still shows the 158 grain RN Lead “Targetmaster” load. The only question, since the 1979 catalog does not show this load, is whether it appeared in the 1978 catalog or not. I do not have the Remington-Peters catalog for that year.


John–You are correct, the load was continued after the change in index numbers, but the question was when was when was Robbt’s box produced, not when the load was available. Since it has the index number of “3862” his particular box had to have been made between 1967 and 1973.


Ron - there actually was no specific question about the box or even the load in his initial entry. However, thanks anyway, because you have pinned down pretty darned close when the rounds were made by the box itself. Good detective work! I like Peters things. There really isn’t a huge amount of it in my field, and I have always gone out of my way to get a Peters cartridge or box in auto pistol. These last couple of weeks on the Forum have been great for Peters stuff!


John–Technically you are correct. In Robbt’s posting this time he did not not implicitly ask for a date on the box. But, I have been fielding his questions on boxes of Remington pistol cartridges for some time now and it has always been the date of the particular box that he wanted. Perhaps I read something into this inquiry that was not there and maybe you were right that he wanted to know the history of the load type and not the box. Either way, I am sure your more complete answer will be good information for someone.


Ron - the information you supplied was good for my files. Thank you. Everyone’s answer adds to the knowledge we all obtain from this Forum.