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I don't keep a levergun for home defense, but was wondering what sort of ballistics you would get from an 18.5" length barrel, or close to it, with a +P 38 load. My carry load is the Speer 135 Gold Dot, which I carry in a 4" revolver on duty. I have complete confidence in it, but was wondering what kid of velocity you'd get with a longer barrel. And as far as terminal ballistics go, I'm sure the bullet would be more likely to come apart, since it was designed for 800-850 fps from a snubby. Any thoughts?

Papajohn the Curious
 

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Papajohn,

I ran a load of .38+P thru the chrony and got 1580fps with a 125gr JHP. It seems all the .38+P shot thru the rife ends up to the same ballitics as a .357 Mag load in a 4" .357 Mag. handgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Carwi! I had wondered if the pressure curve in a long barrel might drop to the point that barrel friction might slow it down, at least in the load you tested. With the Speer being tailored to snubbies, I bet it comes out a bit slower.

But I like the idea that you can get magnum ballistics with a hot 38, just add another foot of barrel and let it fly!

Papajohn
 

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I think its valid to point out, that yes, there is a point of diminishing returns when shooting pistol ammunition in a rifle. There are lot of folks that think and claim, that they are getting spectacular results when shooting .357 in a lever gun. My casual tests show that while there is usually some gain in velocity, its not as great as some think it would be.
 

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Mannlicher said:
I think its valid to point out, that yes, there is a point of diminishing returns when shooting pistol ammunition in a rifle. There are lot of folks that think and claim, that they are getting spectacular results when shooting .357 in a lever gun. My casual tests show that while there is usually some gain in velocity, its not as great as some think it would be.

A 158 grain Hornady FP/XTP over 18.0 grains of Lil' Gun gets 1,208 fps average out of my 4 inch 686 and 1,867 fps average out of my 18.5 inch 1894C. 125 grain JHP over 18.5 H110 gets 1,161 and 1,970 fps respectively. 180 grain gas checked cast over 14.9 Lil' Gun gets 1,137 and 1,703. The smallest gain in that bunch is over 560 fps or 33%.

My tests were 20 shots of each load from each platform over a Chrony F1 Master.
 

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from gunblast.com

http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomf...p://www.gunblast.com/Winchester-Ranger357.htm

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As far as power, the .357 Magnum using the right ammunition is in the same class as a good .30-30 load, while shooting a bullet of larger diameter. From a sixteen-inch barrel, factory thirty-thirty ammunition from the big ammo manufacturers drives a 170 grain bullet at just under 1900 feet-per-second (fps). The .357 Ranger Compact, with the same length barrel, drives a 180 grain bullet in excess of 1800 fps, and this too is using factory ammunition available from Buffalo Bore. I tested the Ranger Compact over the chronograph using a variety of factory ammunition, along with two handloads, with the following results:

Load Velocity (fps)
Grizzly Cartridge Co. 180-grain cast lead 1502
Buffalo Bore 180-grain cast lead 1812
Cor-Bon .38 Special 125-grain Jaketed Hollowpoint 1437
Handload 125-grain Jacketed Hollowpoint 2003
Handload 180-grain Hornady XTP Hollowpoint 1831

The carbine extracts much more power from the .357 than is obtainable in a revolver. The reason for including the lightweight Cor-Bon hollowpoints I will get to later.



....


gunblast.com thinks the .357 magnum 180 grain bullet by Buffalo Bose approches the statistics of a 30-30 .... seems pretty impressive to me.

Hook686
 

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Mannlicher said:
I think its valid to point out, that yes, there is a point of diminishing returns when shooting pistol ammunition in a rifle. There are lot of folks that think and claim, that they are getting spectacular results when shooting .357 in a lever gun. My casual tests show that while there is usually some gain in velocity, its not as great as some think it would be.
I don't know what kind of casual testing you've done in this area, but I've done extensive testing on this, and I can assure you that with the majority of loads, the increase in velocity is very dramatic. The only time it's not so much a factor is when using the fastest powders. If you use just about any powder from Unique or slower, with any bullet weight, the velocity will jump tremendously when fired from a 16+" barrel. Like imashooter2 mentioned, with the slowest powders, and heavier bullets the rifles become an entirely different animal than the revolvers.

The hottest 158g load I can shoot before seeing obvious pressure signs in my 5.5" 357 Blackhawk is just short of 1400 fps. That same load in my 18.5" 1894C clocks almost 2000 fps.

I'm not trying to stir up nothing here, but only suggesting that you test this out a little more in depth. I think you'll see that a lot of folks that think and claim, that they are getting spectacular results from rifles chambered in pistol calibers, are actually firing loads over a chronograph, and busting game with them.
 
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