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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Might belong in the ammo section, but if anyone has tried it, I figure it'll be the SP101 and GP100 folks.

What do y'all think of stuff like this?
https://www.underwoodammo.com/38-special-p-158-grain-hard-cast-keith/

I think Buffalo Bore has something similar.

What would this be good for? The copy says "woods defense". I'm not expecting it would be much good against bear, but what about deer or coyote? Probably so?

Surely my GP would have no problem with it right?
 

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I'm not sure about this being a reliable bear killer. I have Keith for decades. I always felt he forgot more about handguns than most people will ever know. Trusting a 38 spl to take down an angry bear. That is whole different thing. The bullet doesn't expand so the wound channel is small.
For anything else, except moose it might work. The problem is if I am defending myself against a bear or large boar, I would want something bigger.
 

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I think if I was concerned with black bear or charging hogs, I'd be using 180-200 grain LFN pills at 357 pressures.
 

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That is right up there in 357 magnum country with 1250fps with a 158 grain bullet. Pressure would have to be up there as well. It will be OK in a 357 but I would not use them in a 38 special only revolver. Penetration is the name of the game on heavy animals so the bullet choice is good. I would still rather have the 357 ammo if the revolver is chambered for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is a GP100 chambered only for 38. Same frame as the 357 models so the gun should be fine with it. Less sure if I would be. :D I'm not really concerned with bear or boar right around where I live. More like possums and raccoons mostly. :D
 

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This is a GP100 chambered only for 38. Same frame as the 357 models so the gun should be fine with it. Less sure if I would be. :D I'm not really concerned with bear or boar right around where I live. More like possums and raccoons mostly. :D
I am thinking cheaper standard 38's would handle a charging **** or possum:D
 

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This is a GP100 chambered only for 38. Same frame as the 357 models so the gun should be fine with it. Less sure if I would be. :D I'm not really concerned with bear or boar right around where I live. More like possums and raccoons mostly. :D
Out of a GP100 you'll be more than fine. I would be a bit hesitant to shoot "nuclear" loads out of my LCR. But out of my 38 SPL Service Six I wouldn't worry at all.

But if I'm out woods walking I'll be totin my Alaskan.
 

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Your GP100 will be fine. I tend not to push any caliber to nuclear levels. It gives me an excuse to buy a larger caliber gun.
 

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I have shot Underwood 125 gr Gold Dot +p, that is all I carry in my LCR 3" now. Other forum posters at StoppingPower.net have tested them and found them to be safe pressure levels. Underwood has something different from other manufacturers in their powder mix. My 125 Gold Dots get 1150 at least out of a 3" tube. No bear medicine in 38 at all, if you think there is a good chance you are facing a bear, either don't go or get something more stout.
 

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Did you get any leading?
While searching for a defensive round for my LCR .357 I shot some of Underwood's full wadcutter 38 specials and they were the smokiest, dirtiest rounds I have ever used AND they leaded my barrel so bad I couldn't believe it. I emailed them and really didn't get any help.

Not sure if this ammo would be the same, but that was my first and last experience with them.
 

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Buffalo Bore has a load that amounts to the old .38-44 round. I think it'd deck a bear, with good placement. Their Plus P .38 is plenty hot. I think it uses a gas check to avoid leading. Has anyone here tried it?

I know of one grizzly killed by a game warden who was attacked. He used an issued S&W M-66 with some 158 grain .357 load, whatever Montana was issuing then. Fired all six shots in a panic, and one found the bear's heart. The bear actually had him down and was trying to kill him.

I think a .44 Magnum is more suitable, but don't own one just now. I have a box of Remington 165 grain .357 loads, meant originally for deer. It's a different bullet than their 158 grain offerings, not just slightly heavier. I hope it'd penetrate okay.

Go to a zoo or natural history museum and study bear anatomy. At a zoo, watch bears move and visualize where you'd place the shots in that situation.

I think a lead Plus P SWCHP from at least a three-inch barrel gives you a chance with a bear, but a 357 is sure better.

I'd say the same about cougars, but a good .38 round probably kills them easier than it will a bear. Again, go to the zoo and watch cougars or other big cats move and think where to shoot one.

I know of one lion and a cougar that were killed by knives. A handgun would have surely done as well or better. Both victims were badly mauled before delivering fatal knife strikes. But they survived! So did a man who stabbed a big Kodiak bear in the neck with a Buck Model 110 folder! Chuck Buck kept that knife framed on his office wall for some years. The hide of the lion and the knife and belt of the man who killed it were on display at Kruger Natl. Park for decades. May still be there. To read about that case, Search for Harry Wolhuter, the man who killed it. He had to stab the lion, as his rifle was on his horse, which bolted when two lions attacked. His African helpers also fled. They later returned and got him to help.

But he never regained full use of the arm where the lion had him by the shoulder and was dragging him off to eat.
 

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Good ole 44 mag leaves little to doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good ole 44 mag leaves little to doubt.
Sure, but I'm just musing about what all I can do with the gun I have. So far it's just been a range toy. After some trigger work it will serve HD duty with either 135gr+P Speer or 158+P FBI loads. I don't do much woods walking really and the "worst" thing I've actually seen around my house are small whitetail, foxes, and smaller. Straying pit bull wouldn't be unheard of. Sounds like this load would be more than adequate.
 

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Sure, but I'm just musing about what all I can do with the gun I have.
Does that include blowing it up? ;)

I'm surprised it's a +P load, but that said, who knows what barrel length was required to push a 158gr .38 Special to 1250 fps. If it does that or close from a 4" revolver, it seems hard to believe it operates within +P pressures.

Using kinematic equations and assuming there is zero resistance and that you could maintain 20,000 psi for the entire 4" of barrel, the bullet would have an absolute maximum possible speed of 1,355 fps. But zero resistance and somehow maintaining pressure like that seem highly improbable for any load.

An average pressure of 15,000 psi also seems improbable (as does zero resistance) and yields 1175 fps for a 158gr bullet being pushed 4".

I'm sure the .38 Special GP100 is stout. But if you really wanted heavy loads, you should get the .357. That said, the Underwood is commercial ammo. I doubt it would blow up a gun. I also doubt it will match that velocity claim, though, from a 4" revolver. But who knows, only one way to find out.
 

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I've shot 13.5 grs. of 2400 with Elmer's bullet in 38 spl. cartridges in a S&W 19-4 for two decades with no ill effects!
 
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