Speer Target 38 plastic cartridge cases


#1

I have got this box of Speer Target 38 plastic cartridge cases. I think that all of the information that I have is clear in the photos except that one end flat has got; “8515 260C” written on it in black ink. The headstamp is SPEER at 12 0’clock and .38 at 6 o’clock. The box contains the full complement of 50 cases and with the box I also got a further 8 cases and 11 black plastic bullets. The bullets have a reduced diameter at one end to fit firmly inside the case and sit on the bullet shoulder. The primers can be pushed into the cases by hand. A few of the cases and bullets have been fired and are a little smoke blackened but I think that they are re-useable for quite a few times.

I have not heard of anyone in the UK who has used these plastic practice rounds, perhaps they were more popular in the USA. The pistols have been destroyed in the UK (except for those held by criminals) so these are just historical relics now.

gravelbelly


#2

There are several versions of those “cartridges”. Speer also made a 44 Caliber that could be fired in most any 44 caliber revolver. There are also other brands that have different colored cases and “bullets”.

I have a big bag of them somewhere in my junk boxes. I’ve shot a few of them just to see what would happen. Not much happened. To label them as a “Target” cartridge is really stretching things.

Ray


#3

Gravelbelly, do you remember the rubber practice bullets sold by Mountain & Sowden Ltd under their trade name Inex?

I had a few years ago but they didn’t work well enough as Ray said.

I suppose they would still go through a gallery rifle if the primer was strong enough to push them through the longer barrel.


#4

It’s a pity that I have never had the opportunity to see what they would really perform like, it sounds as if they were powered more by “hype” than the primer. So, back in the cupboard with them for another ten years.

gravelbelly


#5

There is a minimum velocity required with any elongated projectile. It has to travel fast enough to be stabilised by the rifling. In a .38 Special the rifling is quite slow about 1 in 16. Perhaps that was the problem. Maybe they would work better in something having a faster twist like a 9mm.


#6

For the sheer exhilaration of discoverying the truth, I took 3 of those cartridges out into the yard and fired them. Smith & Wesson 6" revolver. Fired at 10 feet. 3/4" group. Not exactly target performance. One case suffered a head seperation so I guess they have become brittle with age.

As I remember, at 10 or 15 yards they tended to take off in every direction except straight.


#7

I have a box of the .45 Speer plastic projectiles that I would just squeeze in primed brass. If I remember correctly I was shooting at about 40 feet.


#8

Did I mention that I was on horseback - at full gallop - reins in my teeth - uphill - in the snow ?

Ray


#9

With a bear chasing you?

Steve


#10

Winchester-Western sold an almost identical product. Red plastic case with dark blue plastic bullet. Headstamp “W-W .38 TGT.” I still have a box or two of them somewhere. Shot them and the Speer ones in the garage and basement until I switched to rubber bullets. They weren’t real accurate but then again neither was I.

Paul


#11

Fiocchi recently copied these cartridges and put them on the market. Don’t know if they are available in the USA.

They are identical to the SPEER ones except Fiocchi ones have yellow bullets and grey cases. Fiocchi called them “Funny shot”

My sample is headstamped " G.F.L. 38 SPL FUNNY SHO"


#12

The “green/blue” one have a head stamp BEST SHOT PAT. PEN.
The black ones are plain.

Rgds
Dutch


#13

There was at least one other brand here in the US. They were headstamped “WALMAX INC”. The case was black and the bullet was blue.

It looks like these plastic cases and bullets could be a collecting specialty all on their own.

Ray


#14

Ray
Is the name Wal**** significant to Walmart? Incidendally I was impressed with your group. We have a vacancy here at our club for an instructor but the pay is peanuts and the commuting may be too much. However it would be great to get you over.

Vince


#15

Vince–“WALMAX” has nothing to do with Wall-Mart. I have the full name and address somewhere in my records. If I remember correctly, but don’t quote me on this, I think it is/was located in Florida. If I can find it, I’ll post the information.


#16

[quote]Winchester-Western sold an almost identical product. Red plastic case with dark blue plastic bullet. Headstamp “W-W .38 TGT.” I still have a box or two of them somewhere. Shot them and the Speer ones in the garage and basement until I switched to rubber bullets. They weren’t real accurate but then again neither was I.
[/quote]

I also have a box each of the W-W plastic .38 bullets and cases, and they do appear to be identical to the Speers. I think they are from the late 60s-early 70s. Beside the fairly poor accuracy they produced at other than short range, my other problem is that the red cases tended to split on the first shot (this was back when they were new, and they shouldn’t have done that). For those reasons, I shot only a handful of them. I wouldn’t be surprised that the W-W and Speer examples came off the same plastic molding machine, likely to have been from an outside plastic molding supplier to both W-W and Speer (and possibly others).


#17

.45 Speer plastic projectiles

Steve