Test Gun: S&W M442
Barrel length: 1 7/8 inches.
Ammunition: Underwood .38spl 150gr Wadcutter (Item 732)
Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel
Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
Velocity average: 806fps
Back in July, I played with the idea of using a snubnose revolver in .38 Spl as a woods or camping gun. Underwood .38 Spl 158gr +P Hard Cast in Clear Ballistics Gel
And while it showed promise with deep penetration, it also had a lot of recoil to the point of being very uncomfortable and not very controllable. A co-worker suggested I try Underwood’s .38 Spl 150gr standard pressure Wadcutter and gave me a box. This bullet is a hardcast Wadcutter coated with what Underwood calls a “black cherry” coating. This loading was much more comfortable to shoot than the 158gr +p and while it hit a little high and to the right for me, it wasn’t as bad as the other load at 10 yards.
I got a five shot average velocity of 806fps at 10 feet. With a high of 819fps and a low of 793fps, giving an extreme spread of 26fps.
I laid three Clear gel blocks end to end and shot three rounds. The first round penetrated to 25.75 inches. Recovered weight was 146.5 grains and there was no expansion and the velocity was not recorded.
The second round had a velocity of 791fps and penetrated to 25.5 inches. Again, no expansion and the weight was 147 grains.
The last round’s velocity was 803fps with the penetration of 23.5 inches. Recovered weight was 147.5 with no expansion.