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Discussion Starter #1
This is a historical ammo posting.

I'm wondering why the once popular .38 Special load with the 200gr. LRNs and LFNs disappeared from the lineup of available options. (?) All of the ammunition manufacturers offered either a 200gr. RN or a 200gr FN, and it was the standard "police" load of the day. Charlie Askins, Bill Jordan, and others who had first-hand knowledge of the terminal ballistics of this load felt that it had the best stopping-power of any other factory .38 Special loading of the day - especially when used in snubs.

Here is a photo of one of the W-W loadings. They also offered a "Lubaloy" copper-plated version. The R-P 200gr. bullet had a flatter nose. Just look at how long that big bullet is - from the tip of the nose to the cannelure on the case!


I realize that modern JHPs will open up at .38 Special velocities, but this was a great load with proven knock-down power.

xtm
 

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I have some of the White box WW stuff. Its fun to shoot but really shoots much higher than POA.

I think it would be more effective if it was a flat nose or SWC style rather than the round nose though.

:think:
 

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I have to respectfully disagree with one remark.

I started my law enforcement career in 1970 and the 158 gr. RNL was "the duty round" of the day not the 200 gr. "Super Police" as some suppose.

But like the .41 mag of today the 200 gr. Super Police had it's following "back in the day". In my agency of 300 members, there were only two officers that carried it and they swore by it.

Magnus Bullets, http://www.magnusbullets.com still sells a .357 sized hard cast 200 gr. RNL bullet for reloading in the .38/.357.

It's No. 507 in their catalog, and 500 rds. sells for $45.89+ shipping.

It would be interesting to see someone work up some self defense loads with this baby... :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Moondawg,

I figured that 200gr. bullet was unavailable unless you had a mould!

Good to see that it's still available to non-casters, and ditto on what you said about self-defense loads with this big bullet.

My mind tells me that a SD load with a soft lead version of this would be excellent in a snub .38 - probably better than a lightweight JHP.

xtm
 

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I used to buy 158gr. LSWC reloads for my .38 spls. I haven't seen them around in gunshops anymore. I really like this load. They were considerably cheaper than factory ammo at WALMART prices. They shot to POA at 25 yds., and cut clean holes in targets. They also promised good deep penetration for critters. I dislike the RN ammo. What is it good for.....absolutely nuttin'!!!! Doesn't even make good holes in paper. :roll: Bob
 

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Moondawg, Not in Massatwochits, my friend!!!! Can't get ammo thru the mail in this stupid state. :roll: Bob
 

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I've always liked that 200 grain ammo. As a kid I haunted Frank's Sport Shop in Decatur, Illinois. They were open late on Thursdays, so my Dad would take me every week. Old Frank liked me, and once he showed me the gun his wife kept handy in the store. It was a six inch K-38, and I still remember him gently opening the cylinder and dropping six of those big blunt 200 grainers into his palm. He told me they were "Super Police" rounds, and better than any .357 magnum round available.

He then dropped them one by one back into the cylinder. As he closed it up he said (wistfully) - "Just let some (insert appropriate 1971 racial epithet here) try to take my wife in the back room". Well that got my attention - I wasn't supposed to say that word, and I wasn't completely sure what the whole back room thing meant, but that feeling and the sight of those big grey slugs have been forever linked in my memory.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Welcome to the S&W Forum Sig! Glad to have you here!

Nobody has answered my question as to why the 200gr LRN disappeared from the .38 Special load options of all the ammo manufacturers! ;) It was a popular load back in the day, and a heckuva lot more effective than the 158gr. LRNs you still see around everywhere. One day you could buy 'em anywhere and then they just disappeared from the shelves. Nearly everyone seems to have shifted over to buying lightweight JHPs instead, and until recent years, none of them would mushroom to a significantly larger diameter at .38 Special velocities. You had JHPs that behaved like FMJs!

xtm
 

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I purchased a large number of these boxes of Remington 200 grain component bullets on a close-out over 25 years ago. I had a good time trying out various .38 Special hand loading experiments with them. I effectively took a deer at short range using a 200 grain bullet backed by a max charge of 2400 (as listed in the Lyman 46th for their 195 grain slug) out of my long barreled Model 14. These bullets did lead pretty badly.



Until this stray box turned up when I moved last year I thought I used up the last few boxes a few years back hand loading the .38 S&W to mimic the British .38/200 load. My Webley Mark IV thanked me with groups that printed to point of aim with the issue sights.

The bullet that took the deer, cut through the blood vessels at the top of the heart, then ended up beneath the hide of the off side, breaking a single rib on either side as well. The buck humped up and took some rubber-legged steps for perhaps 15 yards and dropped. Of course it was a typically small Central Texas deer. The bullet had turned sideways and had a large smear of lead about the size of a dime on one side.

I fired a few factory 200 grain loads on occasion in the past, but all I can remember about them was that they felt mild. I never ran any over the chronograph. I suppose that the Super Vel ammunition began the fad of light jacketed hollowpoint/higher velocity that was so popular by the late 1970s that the 200 grain "Super Police" loads quietly faded away.

Seems like such a bullet in a flat nose configuration might offer an additional performance alternative for the fellow toting a .38 Special snub. Perhaps a weakness in the idea of the 200 grain bullet in a factory loading would be achieving decent velocities while staying within reasonable pressures in a load that would be marketed to all and sundry.


They came so neatly packed in their box with a piece of onion paper dividing the two layers.


A 158 grain bullet made by my B-I-L, a 170 grain Sierra "Silhouette" jacketed round nose, and a 200 grain Remington lead round nose.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Brian,

Thanks for the trip back in time! I well remember those Remington components sold in the red, white, and green reinforced boxes. I never ran across any of the 200 gr. .38 bullets, but I bought plenty of the .45 cal. 230 grainers for Auto Rim and 255 grainers for .45 Colt. They were all swaged of soft lead and tumbled with some kind of sticky and ineffective lubricant. To say they leaded badly is a sad understatement - they would plate the entire bore with a grey smear! Why did I continue to buy them? Those things were my only local source of bullet components in .45 caliber.

I may be wrong, but my memory tells me that the 200gr. Remington factory loads I bought in the 1960s had a much flatter tip than the ones you're showing. Nonetheless, one of the factory rounds from the past was loaded with a 200gr. bullet that had the same blunt profile as the .41 Long - and I would like to get my hands on some of them, or a mould of that weight and profile.

Back in the days when a M-15 was the only sidearm I owned, I observed that the 200gr. load was noticeably more effective on critters large and small and that is why I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about its effectiveness in a .38 snub! Somewhere in my clutter I have several of the heavy 200gr. mushroomed soft lead slugs that tell the tale of their effectiveness. I'll post pix if I can ever find them.

xtm
 

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Back in 1965 when I first went to a police training program during the firearms segment the instructor was an F B I agent from the Boston MA office. We were very interested when he showed us his Duty Gun. A Standard barrel M&P / Model 10? And his loading was 3 WW Lubuloy lead 200 Gr rounds and 3 Remington HYWAY MASTER 110 Gr rounds. He told us that he positioned the cylinder to fire the Hyway Masters first as he felt that he would most likely fire the first rounds at a Motor vehicle and if it got to the point of emptying the cylinder He figured he would be firing at a man and wanted the super police load. I do not know where the 2 rounds would hit but when I bought a box of 200 Gr and a box of 150 gr WW Highspeed loads I found that there was quite a difference in the point of impact in my Model 36 3" and 6" M&P, the 38 Special guns that I used for police duty. Because it shot to the sights, I adoped the 150 gr. as my duty load until Hollow points became available some years later.
 

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XTM, you're right about the leading. One could extract great, long ribbons of lead from a revolver's bore after shooting very many of them. I recall being impressed with the accuracy of the bullet, even after the bore was leaded. Perhaps this says more about my sorry shooting than anything else.

One time I determined that I wanted to stop one of the slugs so I placed six gallon milk cartons full of lake water in a row and fired into them. Even with the muffs on I heard the bullet "thwack" into a stand of creek willow trees some 40 yards behind the cartons. The bullet penetrated all of them. This was with the heavy 200 grain hand load, though fired from a 4-inch barrel in this instance.

I also shot quantities of the Remington 230 grain .45 Auto Rim bullet and the 255 grain .45 Colt bullet through my first S&W Model 1917. Got them cheaply. Bore was lightly frosted so the leading was something to behold. I always thought the 255 grain .45 Colt bullet's shape looked "tough."
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can't imagine why I'm so amused at thinking about something that gave me so many hours of frustration decades ago! The profuse leading of the old Rem. and Win. swaged lead bullets must've been universal and well known, because I read an article in some gun magazine about it. That forgotten author's cure was to re-lube with his own wax and grease concoction before seating the bullets in the case. That's when I discovered another use for this stuff:

I didn't come up with the idea. The fellow at the hardware store who sold me the Remington bullets 'fessed up that he used it on them himself. It didn't completely eliminate the leading, but helped a lot. Until she caught me in the act, my mother would open up the can and wonder about all the holes poked into the wax. I still keep a can of it around to re-lube .22LR bullets meant for my best rifle and revolver. It leaves a glassy-smooth bore!

xtm
 

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As to why "200 gr." .38 spl.'s dissappeared off shelves one can speculate it was the same reason most anything else dissappears...because they weren't selling well.

If Remington, Winchester, Federal et. al. were bombared with enough customer requests, they "might" bring back a limited run of 200 grainers to "test the water" with.

It would be interesting to see how they'll sell amongst todays shooters... :roll:
 

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I'd like to see the 200 grain loads brought back with a flat nose and better lube.

I think it'd be "one-in-the-eye" for all this high style performance ammo marketed these days such as Atomic Annie's Armageddon Annihilating Ammo or Mighty Moe's Missiles of Mega-Muerte.
 

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Why the 200 gr load disappeared

Welcome to the S&W Forum Sig! Glad to have you here!

Nobody has answered my question as to why the 200gr LRN disappeared from the .38 Special load options of all the ammo manufacturers! ;) It was a popular load back in the day, and a heckuva lot more effective than the 158gr. LRNs you still see around everywhere. One day you could buy 'em anywhere and then they just disappeared from the shelves. Nearly everyone seems to have shifted over to buying lightweight JHPs instead, and until recent years, none of them would mushroom to a significantly larger diameter at .38 Special velocities. You had JHPs that behaved like FMJs!

xtm
I shot the 200 gr loading extensively in the 1960s in a 5" barreled S&W model 10 and later in a 3" barreled model 10. What has not been mentioned in this thread is how accurate the load is rivaling the 148 gr HBWC. The velocity however was so low 635 fps in the 5" barrel, that it would only penetrate one side on a 55 gal drum. In the 3" barrel it was very accurate. The soft lead was engraved the full length of the bullet shank and that was the secret to it's accuracy.

The problem with this load and what I believe ultimately did it in was the high price. I don't remember what it cost but it was not
something to be shot on a regular basis.
 

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Hey,
You guys have just come up with another research article for David Lapell for the magazine.

Let's see if he's interested in it. If he does the article he'll get to the root of the question for sure.

Regards,
Gregory
 

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Like Moondawg, I started my law enforcement career in the late 60's and a S&W or Colt revolver was the norm. (You had to buy your own). Either a 158 grain RNL or 200 grain RNL was the only ammunition authorized by the department, and had better be the only ammunition they found on you during the occasional pre-shift "inspection" of uniforms and equipment. As for the 200 grain bullets, I quit carrying them after they were used in a shoot out where they actually glanced off the car windshield (when fired from an angle), bounced off the car door, and several rounds actually stuck in the sidewall of the car tire without penetrating completely into the tire. The 158 gr. weren't much better, but we relied on our marksmanship to end the fights and found either round did the job when placed properly. It wasn't long afterwards the dept. switched to the 158 gr. lead semi-wadcutter hollow point which was more powerful and much more effective.
 
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