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Snub Nose Velocity Test

This is a discussion on Snub Nose Velocity Test within the Range Reports forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; This was really interesting. A couple of guys set up a Chronograph and did a Velocity Test on two Snub Nose Revolvers. Ruger SP-101 2.25 ...


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Old January 15th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #1
 
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Snub Nose Velocity Test

This was really interesting.
A couple of guys set up a Chronograph and did a Velocity Test on two Snub Nose Revolvers.

Ruger SP-101
2.25 inch barrel
.357 Magnum

S&W Model 442
1.875 inch barrel
Rated for +P loads

They used a variety of different kinds of ammunition for this test.



(The Burp Velocity was kinda funny.... )


EDIT TO ADD:
Here is the information from the YouTube page....
Quote:
Overall the % loss in energy with the SP-101 was 27.7%
Overall the % loss in energy with the Model 442 was 26.2%

These percentage losses are from factory stated velocities compared to our chronograph data. Most Factory .357 and 38 Spl loads are tested out of a 4 inch barrel.

Let it not be said that you don't get any benefit from a .357 Mag out of a snubnose revolver...just compare the two in the video. These benefits; however, do come at a price and that is more muzzle flash and bang, and greater recoil, that can result in slower follow up shots.

I was not surprised that the 110gr Winchesters were slightly anemic out of the snubby. This is based off of testing I'd done previously. I was however very surprised that the 158gr Speer's didn't perform as well. I had come to the assumption that the heavier bullets would maintain more energy out of the shorter barrel. In fact it lost 37% energy which was the highest percentage loss in the test. The Remington 125gr .357s performed pretty well and are typically bargained price, and should probably be high on the list for carry loads (although I do like the bonded bullet construction of the Speer's round more).

I want to get my hands on some of Speer's short barrel ammo to test in the future
To the Mod Staff:
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Last edited by Dood; January 15th, 2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #2
 
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That chrono seemed to be set up quite a ways from the shooting point. Is that typical? How close do you actually have one of those when officially measuring "muzzle" velocity?
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:58 AM   #3
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WheelyGuy, 10~12 feet from the muzzle is recommended. The reason .... when you fire a round, the velocity of burning gas is around 6000 fps. A plume of gas will exit the muzzle and quickly pass the bullet then peter out. If the muzzle is too close, the chronograph will try to measure the gas plume and get a grossly incorrect reading.

In the video, they got several "no data" conditions .... probably because they were shooting too high over the sensors. This happens to me a lot because I'm always afraid I'll blast the chronograph. I have the same exact Oehler chronograph and because it has two sets of sensors, it always compares both readings and displays the result. You either get a very accurate reading or you get a "no data" reading.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #4
 
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@Iowegan...
If you do not mind since I know you have posted that your are busy and have some health issues to take care of....
My question is: What your thoughts are on this guy's results with the higher end ammo?
I think he said the Gold Dot did not have the velocity that the manufacturers claimed it has.
(Something like that... )
Was this a 'Fair Test' from your experience?
Thanks for any and all replies...I will fully understand if you are to busy.

I was hoping this guy (or someone) would do a test with handgun type ammo.
I know this guy said he was going to do that at some point...
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Old January 24th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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Dood, Very few factory loads will actually reach "advertised velocity" unless you have a longer barrel. You may have noticed ... both test guns have pretty short barrels (2.25" and 1.875") so I would not expect velocity to be near as high as advertised. Yes, I think the tests were done fairly and are meaningful except "energy" is not a realistic statistic, rather "momentum" paints a better picture of effectiveness. Simply stated, momentum is velocity times bullet weight. There is energy & momentum chart in the Library as well as a "sticky" at the top of the reloading section.

Here's a QuickLOAD chart I had saved on Photobucket that may help explain why velocituies were so low in the above test. The red line and red numbers are for chamber pressure so don't worry about them. What we want to look at is the blue line and corresponding blue numbers at the right of the chart in respect to the black number at the bottom, which indicate barrel length. With this particular load, velocity is only 625 fps from a 2" barrel. At 3 inches, it increases to 775 fps and at 4", it hits about 825 fps. After 4", the bullet will continue to gain speed but at a much lower rate per inch of barrel.


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Old May 16th, 2016, 10:50 AM   #6
 
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Just wonder is the remington 110 gr sjhp are good out of a LCR .357 for self defense? I just wanna be confident if my life were ever in danger someday while carrying i wanna be well prepared not ill prepared.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 01:33 PM   #7
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TXDMERC, The 110gr factory loads are OK for self defense but 125~130gr JHPs are much better.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 02:06 PM   #8
 
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penetration is better with the heavier slugs esp through clothing and penetrating the target's vitals is what stops fights. JMO of course
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Old May 16th, 2016, 02:38 PM   #9
 
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While these tests are useful for comparison, one must keep the results in perspective.
It's easy to get mired in statistics and lose sight of the goal.
The goal of a self defense tool such as a snub nose DA revolver is to stop a threat. Given a choice between a 4" barreled revolver and a 2" barreled revolver, most of us would pick the 4" tube. However, there's a reason snubnose revolvers exist.

Velocity is a factor in the terminal performance of a projectile but it is not the only factor. Generally speaking we want more velocity but speed comes at a price. Ultimately we are all forced to make compromises. If we are launching a .358" projectile from a 2" barrel, about all we have left to play with is: bullet weight, pressure and bullet construction.
Given a restriction of a 2" barrel, our velocity is going to be controlled by pressure and bullet weight.

With all else being equal the lighter projectiles will achieve higher velocities but that higher velocity doesn't always translate into deeper penetration. In fact, even when those light/fast projectiles start out considerable faster than the heavier bullets; they shed that energy rapidly upon meeting resistance. This is one of those times when the statistics can be a bit overrated. At snubnose velocities heavier (within reason) bullets show a clear terminal performance advantage over their lighter/faster counterparts. Speed Isn't Everything !

When it comes to SD loads for the snubnose 38 Special I'm still a huge fan of the old "FBI load" [158gr LSWCHP at +P velocities]. That load is considerably slower than the 110 and 125 gr loads but it has a proven tract record. The heavier loads may not look as good as the faster loads on paper but speed isn't everything.

One of the lighter loads that does have a lot of research as well as a decent track record is the Speer Gold Dot "Short-barrel" load.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 03:34 PM   #10
 
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I think the cold was getting to the shooter. Stats are useful, but making a video in that cold one's brain slows a bit, least enough to leave you eye protection off and sitting on the table.

With a friend good enough to stand out in the cold filming, one might hope your good friend remind you of your fundamentals of safety.

Maybe I am an old grump...... but safety first.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 04:25 PM   #11
 
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One thing to point out from a physics perspective is the formulaic based comparison of energy versus momentum. If you double mass (weight) for a given velocity, both the energy and momentum double. If you double velocity for a given mass then momentum doubles but energy quadruples, since energy is a result of velocity squared.

Take 40 grain 22 (1215 quoted FPS for a Minimag) vs 40 grain 223 (3650 quoted FPS for a Fiocchi Extrema) as an example. The velocity is quoted as three times larger for the same mass, so three times the momentum, nine times the energy. While I doubt there is much data on comparing such rounds in effectiveness, I highly doubt the 223 is nine times as effective as the 22 LR.

This is why I've seen "power factors" listed before as bullet weight times velocity- it is essentially just the bullet's momentum, and is probably much more effective of a measure, though actual bullet geometry is also very important (such as FMJ, JHP, segmented hollow points such as the FTX bullets, etc).
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Old May 16th, 2016, 04:59 PM   #12
 
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Again, numbers are nice for general comparison but real world performance is what counts. There are a lot of variables beyond velocity.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 04:37 PM   #13
 
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I still wonder which is best suited SD rounds for maximum incapitation , i have the 110 gr remington HTP as stated also got a box of hornady 125 gr xtp and a box of 140 gr ftx leverevolution but i heard stories the leverevolutions dont expand and the XTP feels like it can snap my hand in half from the recoil i can handle the 110gr but not confident they will do the job . So any experts on ballastics testing or anyone who tested these rounds in a LCR .357 id appreciate the vote of confidence!


Also which load would u prefer in ur LCR ? XTP? HTP or FTX?

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Old May 18th, 2016, 04:52 PM   #14
 
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I use a 357 snub and it is sp101 in a more comfortable snub.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 04:56 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXDMERC View Post
I still wonder which is best suited SD rounds for maximum incapitation , i have the 110 gr remington HTP as stated also got a box of hornady 125 gr xtp and a box of 140 gr ftx leverevolution but i heard stories the leverevolutions dont expand and the XTP feels like it can snap my hand in half from the recoil i can handle the 110gr but not confident they will do the job . So any experts on ballastics testing or anyone who tested these rounds in a LCR .357 id appreciate the vote of confidence!
It makes sense the Leverevolution rounds wouldn't expand. They are designed for rifles, would probably take much higher velocity to expand by design.
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