.38 Special Results in fps

Click here for a Muzzle Energy graph for the tests in this caliber.

barrel length Cor Bon
110 gr.
JHP
Cor Bon
125 gr.
JHP
Cor Bon
110 gr.
DPX
Federal
125 gr.
Hydra-shok
JHP
Speer
135 gr.
Gold Dot
HP
18" 1243 1190 1332 1247 n/a
17" 1211 1209 1298 1233 n/a
16" 1298 1261 1388 1252 1315
15" 1220 1210 1301 1231 1255
14" 1187 1180 1274 1214 1264
13" 1151 1182 1311 1199 1247
12" 1181 1164 1298 1192 1233
11" 1200 1144 1232 1178 1242
10" 1163 1135 1232 1182 1217
9" 1162 1129 1230 1144 1209
8" 1105 1092 1214 1119 1189
7" 1095 1069 1171 1094 1145
6" 1021 1014 1106 1052 1115
5" 1009 1045 1129 1029 1101
4" 1013 996 1084 954 1027
3" 851 854 963 831 892
2" 675 723 814 700 756

 

real*
world
weapons
Cor Bon
110 gr.
JHP
Cor Bon
125 gr.
JHP
Cor Bon
110 gr.
DPX
Federal
125 gr.
Hydra-shok
JHP
Speer
135 gr.
Gold Dot
HP
Stoeger
Buntline
18" barrel
1135 1115 1180 1085 1131
Winchester
94AE
16" barrel
1261 1256 1392 1210 1289
Colt
Python
6" barrel
1015 983 1014 871 890
Korth
revolver
5.875" barrel
1068 1093 1101 1009 992
S & W
627-3
w/ brake
5.625" barrel
986 903 1008 930 942
S & W
627-3
w/o brake
5" barrel
972 909 1026 918 988
Colt
Diamond-
back
4" barrel
1003 939 1017 865 957
S & W
686
4" barrel
1018 1027 1064 923 1025
Bond
Texas
Defender
3" barrel
n/a 900 1020 853 885
Colt Det.
Special
2.125" barrel
816 893 988 858 928
S & W
642
1.875" barrel
940 911 961 847 897

*see also .357 magnum real world tests

Other Resources

BBTI is not the end-all of ballistics testing, just one more component available for the common good.  In addition to extensive discussion about ballistics to be found at many gun forums, here are some other great resources pertaining to ballistics testing you should check out.  (And if you would like to recommend a site to list here, please send an email.)
  • BrassFetcher:  excellent resource, with an emphasis on bullet performance in ballistic gelatin
  • The Box O' Truth:  testing ammo penetration through various barriers
  • Terminal Ballistics Research:  Specializes in the research of cartridge & projectile performance, using hard data gathered from 20 years of hunting game.

Acknowledgements

We'd like to personally and specifically thank Pat Childs at Fin & Feather in Iowa City, as he not only helped get most of our ammunition and other supplies, he was the brilliant gunsmith who worked with us to make this insane project much more practical.  Without his help all of this would have been much more difficult and perhaps impossible.  Anyone who uses our data owes him a debt of gratitude.

And thanks to our spouses, who were not just tolerant but enthusiastically supportive of this rather nutty project.

Disclaimer

This project, and all of its results, is only our fault.  We (well, Jim K, mostly) paid for everything ourselves, and we did not receive any kind of sponsorship or remuneration from anyone.  We did all the work.  We used products we were either familiar with, or because they were what was available, and mentioning them by name does not constitute an endorsement of any kind.  Furthermore, the data is provided purely for entertainment purposes - to better facilitate arguments over what ammo or caliber or gun is "best."  How you use the data is entirely up to you.  And if you think you could do better, feel free to spend the money and do the work and publish your own results.  Or not.  Your choice.