S&W Model 40-1
Hey Guys I gotta problem & need your input.
I recently bought a new
38spl S&W m-40-1 "lemonsqueezer" snubbie 1-7/8in. Bbl. for concealed carry when I travel outside the Peoples Republik of Illinois ,I have a Fla.ccw permit .
I really like this revolver . It fits my hand well with a S&W grip adapter and there is no hammer to get snagged on clothing or in my pants pocket like my Model 36 does , kinda the main reason I bought it .
Now my carry load for my 36 was/is the Remington 158grn. SWHP+P the FBI load , and it perfomed well out of the 36 .
On my 1st range trip with the 40-1 , I was using the FBI load to start and see how she printed at 5 & 7 yards . The 1st cylinder full did just Great , putting all 5 shots in a palm sized group just about 1in. left of the bullseye. I was very pleased ! Then the trouble started ! At the 2nd cylinder full & the next 40 rounds I was getting intermitten keyholeing . Sometimes every other one , next time 3in a row, next times one or two per cylinder full .
I then tried varous other types of ammo , both +P and standard pressure and there was NO keyholing and accuracy although not as good as that 1st charge ,(my hand was taking a beating by then ) it was acceptable . But the only thing keyholing was the Remington FBI Loads .
2nd range trip this past Saturday she starts keyholing the very first round (FBI) . Shot two cylinders with no change . So I put the FBI loads away and switched to the Speer Gold Dots Short Barrel +P that I had bought earlier that day , and those shot Very Well , as did other brands both +P & Standard .
Do any of you fellas have any ideas why only the FBI Loads keyhole ???
I am very adamant and thorough in making sure my weapons are cleaned and lubed after every range session but I don't have a clue as to what is causing this . And I had my heart set on carrying the FBI load in this revolver because of its proven prefomance and how well they worked in my Models 36 ,66 &,19 snubs .
For now I guess , I'll carry it stoked with the Gold Dots since they did well. And on the other hand maybe I'll try some of the standard pressure Hyra-Shoks and see how they do , because it doesn't take too many +p rounds for that grip saftey to start battering the $hit outta my hand & causeing my accuracy to suk LOL!!!
Anyhows , if you guys have any suggestions , imputs or insults : ) , I'd be glad to hear em
Thanks in advance ,
Well to start with the old FBI load is not what it used to be. It's outdated as many of the jacketed rounds some of which you mentioned are a better round for defense even in a snubbie. Your Remington rounds could be undersized and being driven as fast as possible may not be getting a good bite into the rifling before they leave the barrel. I would also check the rifling at the end of the muzzle to be sure it's uniform all the way around. It could even just be that your revolver just doesn't like lead bullets and yes some guns do have a preference as to what they will shoot and not shoot. Also be very sure there is no lead build up at the muzzle too as this can cause the bullets to keyhole too. But without seeing your revolver in hand it's very hard to say what the cause is.
I would have to agree with everything Tuna said. I have a S&W model 37 and have tried many different loads while a good lead bullet will almost always shoot better for the first shots accuracy usually would go downhill but nothing with guns or reloading is absolute. I load 125 grn jacketed hollow points in mine and I buy the bulk box bullets at that they shoot just fine I use 4.5 grns of Bullseye for about 900 fps (always check reloading manual )
Thanks for the replies guys ,
I should have mentioned that in my ammo inventory that I used on these two range sessions that I used , were some 158grn. Lead semi wad cutters (reloads) , some DEWC (reloads) and sellier & bellot 148grn. wad cutters . I had no keyhole with these , just the FBI loads keyholed .
I am for now inclined to believe that (1) the bullets may be undersized . (2) that my lemonsqueezer just doesn't like the FBI load . (3) the lead is so soft in the Remington brand that leading ofthe bore starts dramaticaly and instantly , causing it to become unstablized .
Again , I am really dedicated when I clean my weapons and keeping them in pristine like condition. Paying real close attention to the forcing cone & crown areas ,& the lands & grooves . snd making sure all leading is removed .
I guess the FBI load is considered "old School" by todays standard with the advance in bullet design & technology. The Gold Dots seem to work well but are hard to get . I just happened to Luck Out & get the 2 boxes at the LGS. Same goes for the Nyclads , they work well in my 36 but are hard to find . The Hornady Critical Defence 38+P just isn't accurate enough for "me" and it really batters my hand when used in my J-frames.
In retrospect , maybe I ought to just stay with standard pressure 38spl . loads and quit trying to find that elusive thermonuclear +P load that will field dress a bad guy with one shot , LOL as they are not readily available at the LGS and supply is sparotic here in my region .
What do you guys think of using the DEWC , or a 158grn SWC ,or the S&B 148grn WC for a carry load ? Anything "but" the 158grn Lead round nose for personal defence ?
As Always , your thoughts & comments are greatly appreciated !
I quit awhile ago.
Originally Posted by Shawn Grear
I carry Rem 158 SWC standard velocity in my S&W M60 2" bbl.
I am confident that it will handle the job if ever needed.
Speer 38Spl 125gr Gold Dot (53277) or (53277LE) are non +P rounds and they work well in the J frame S&Ws.
As far as the +p 158 gr lead SWCHP FBI load in general it's still one of the top three rated loads in .38 special by almost everyone and some companies versions, especially the Remington load do work as designed pretty consistantly in "snubbies." This load works fine in my 640-1 but obviously not yours . The Remington load is very soft lead and has a huge hollow cavity. Nobody's going to be disadvantaged by using this load. There are some other loads that are excellent like the Speer 135 gr. GDHP "Short Barrel" it's a hot +P load made with snubbies in mind.
Last edited by Art; 06-03-2012 at 08:01.
Reason: Helps to carefully read the OP
Thanks Art ,
I was able to get 2 boxes of the Federal 110grn. Hydra-Shok Low Recoil jhp.yesterday at my LGS . He says that he has no problem keeing this type in stock . Went to the range and fired off 15 rounds and they performed outstanding !!! So I guess this will be my carry ammo for now
I also took my M66-1 snubbie out and fired one 6 shot string of the Rem FBI load and the very last round keyholed ! I was using the shoot-n-see targets at 7 yards and the last round hit way high & right at the 1 O:clock position and keyholed . All of my groupings in both revolvers cluster about 1 inch left of the bull .
I guess I might have just gotten a bad lot as I have never notice any keyholes with the 66-1 or any other of my revolvers before while using the FBI load .
I took my Model 40-1 to the range today and put 20 rounds of Rem. 158 gr. +P SWCHP through it. No keyholes at all but the powder Remington used for this lot was something else, more smoke than the gufight at the OK Corral. Other than that is shot great . I was more deliberate than usual firing strings of 5 shots in 12-15 seconds and put most in the 4"x5" "X" ring of the Transtar II qualification target used by the Feds at 7 yards.
So it does look like there could be a problem with the lot your ammo came in.
Last edited by Art; 06-19-2012 at 09:08.