Loose Rounds, Federal .38spl Nyclad.


In the past the decision on what ammo to carry was often based on marking hype, magazine articles, or gun store experts. Maybe some people still do. Unfortunately, I’m finding out that some of the advice I received years ago wasn’t so great. Today, the info available to us is much better allowing people to make better choices for their needs.


I recently found a 125gr .38spl +P Nyclad when I was rummaging around in my box of odds and ends ammo. I thought this would be the perfect round following the 9mm Nyclad I shot last week. I was hoping this one would do better but I really didn’t think it would. Turns out I was right.

One round into two 16 inch blocks of Clear Ballistics gel fired from a S&W model 442 Air Weight with a 1 7/8’s barrel. The Bullet hit with a velocity of 844fps and penetrated 17 inches. It stopped with the base forward and did not expand. You may notice the leading edge of the bullet looks like it started to expand but what you’re seeing is the nylon coating separating from the lead.
Another eye opening and disappointing outcome.



  1. That round was our State Department-issue ammunition for our 4-inch Model 19-4 revolvers on Embassy Duty. It probably would do better with a 4-inch barrel.


  2. Darn. You shot it into the clear gel.

    Here’s to hoping we see this load available on store shelves again soon…. cheers.


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