View Full Version : Winchester PDX1 .38+P for short barrel?
Currently I'm carrying a S&W 640-3 for my off-duty. I hear very good things about the Speer GD SB ammo, but trying to get it in my area in .38 or .357 is like snatching gold out of the air.
Wally World seems to always have a few boxes of Winchester's PDX1 in .38+P. I'm sure it would be fine out of my GP100 with the 4 inch barrel, but wonder how it would perform out of the 640's 2 1/8 inch barrel.
Anyone do any testing or have any links to articles/research on the PDX1 in .38+P out of short barrels?
I just reviewed some fired rounds from a gel shoot where it was fired from someone's J-frame. The expansion & penetration actually rivaled that of some of the 9mm rounds, including the 127gr +P+ load. It did well in the denim-covered gel block and the auto glass shots, comparatively speaking. Interesting.
I've got it in one of my J-frames at the moment. I might make a quantity buy a little later after seeing how it did in the gel shots.
Of course, I have other loads in other J-frames, depending on what's closest at hand when I'm loading the guns, speedloaders & speedstrips. I think my present +P loads include Speer 125gr +P & 135gr +P, Rem 125gr +P GS & 158gr LHP +P and a couple of different standard pressure loads for a 37-2. I rotate the different loads out for qualifying & practice with different J-frames, but I haven't seen much difference in POA/POI until I start to get out past 10-15 yds ... in my guns, in my hands.
Thanks FB. I called Winchester this afternoon and discussed this with one of their techs. They're tested out of a 4inch barrel for 950fps. He figured about a 100fps drop going to a 2inch barrel, but that it would still have plenty of velocity to function as designed within 20 yrds. That stacks up pretty well with what you've observed.
I'll be picking some up on the next trip to Wally World.
While a few gel shots done outside the factory aren't much of a data set, and production variance could certainly affect the bullets and how they perform, the limited results I saw seemed to at least match what I've seen when some of the Speer 135gr +P and Rem GS 125gr +P were previously fired in similar hosted gel conditions.
It's comforting that some of the ammo companies are apparently taking into consideration the use of some of the shorter barreled .38's. ;)
Looking at the Speer website, the .38+P is rated for 860fps out of a 2 inch barrel. The PDX1 is rated for 950fps out of a 4 inch so figuring around a 100fps drop going to a 2 inch is probably a fair ballpark. That puts the PDX1 around the same velocity as the GDSB. So if the bullet is designed to function within that window (as it seems the GDSB and GS are) then it does indeed seem the companies have considered all of those snubbies out there in the CCW role.
That only makes since really, the number of law-abiding gun owners are far more than L.E. and since many of those L.A. owners carry a snub or short barreled semi....well it would make sense to devote some time to making a good round for them.
Look at the .45, it's in the same boat as a .38 snub when it comes down to it. Designed for a 5 inch barrel, quite a bit can be lost going down to a 3 1/2 like a 30 or 36 (or others). So a SB .45 just makes sense just as a SB .38 or even .357.
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