Test Gun: S&W M442
Barrel length: 1 7/8 inches.
Ammunition: Federal .38 Spl 120rg +P Punch JHP (PD38P1)
Test media: 10% Vyse Ballistics Gel
Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
Five shot velocity average: 785fps
BB Calibration: 3.75 inches.
The Federal Punch line was introduced in 2020 as a new Premium line of self defense line of ammo. It seems to be considered a more budget friendly line of ammo similar to the HST. At least that seems to be the conventional wisdom. According to Federal’s product description. “Get protection that delivers a knockout blow. Punch™ draws from Federal® Ammunition’s decades of experience designing the world’s finest defensive handgun loads. The bullet’s skived jacket and soft lead core produce ideal expansion and penetration for the most common situations, while its quality brass and sealed primer deliver reliable feeding and ignition.” At the time of this posting this was one of the few .38 Spl rounds that was redaly avalable form several venders.
Visiting a Sportsman Warehouse the other day I noticed they had some .38 Spl. Punch in stock and decide to grab a box and try it out. .38 Spl has been one of the harder calibers to find in stock and I was a bit surprised to fine some. The price was $25.99 for a box of 20 rounds.
I got a five shot average of 785fps with a high of 843 and a low of 716fps for an extreme spread of 127fps. The advertised velocity was 1000 fps for a 4 inch barrel. When adding the highest velocity form the gel test the first round brings the ES to 199fps!
Starting off with the bare gel shots, the first round hit at a velocity of 915fps and penetrated to 11.75 inches. It’s recovered weight was 114 grains and it expanded to .59 inches by .58 inches. It shade jacket matreal at 5,6,9.5, and 10 inches. Round two had a velocity of 813fps and its penetration stopped at 13 inches. The recovered diameter was .54 inches by .53 inches and the recovered weight was 119.5 grains.
When shooting through the heavy clothing gel the first round’s velocity was 820fps. The bullet came to rest at 16 inches with diameter of .43 inches by .43 inches. Its weight was 120 grains. Round two penetrated to 15 inches after hitting the block at a velocity of 813fps. The recovered weight was 120 grains and it expanded to .48 inches by .48 inches.