Impact Power > LCR vs. SP-101

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mike-h

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
40
My wife and I each own a 3 1/16" SP-101 357 Magnum and an LCR. Both are great guns. In cooler months its easier to carry the larger gun but in summer attire the smaller is easier. For defense purposes we plan to use the same type ammo in each - - such such as Hornady Critical Defense, Extreme Shock, and a few others.

Maybe this is a stupid request, but I'm interested in assistance to become educated regarding what is the expected difference in impact energy and velocity between the 1 7/8" LCR and a 3 1/16" SP-101. Is the SP 101, for example, 50% more effective - -or what? I recognize the type of ammo used influences absolute numbers but my question regards differences.

Of course the SP 101 can handle 357 magnum rounds, which the LCR cannot. Also, the SP 101 also can easier handle +P rounds. But, if I load both with the same ammo type what can

While accuracy is paramount which comes only from mucho practice, obviously the shorter barrel LCR carries less velocity and impact energy than the SP 101 for most ammo types. But, how much less?

Can someone add some experienced guidance here? Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
7,749
neither is actually long enough, so it would be hard to even measure...ou can 'chronograph ' them for speed,but there agai, if using "magnum" ammo much of it will be burning out in front of the gun, NOT "inside".......thats why we only use 38 specials, the other is wasted far as I'm concerned...shoot them in 6in or 8 3/8 guns,then you'll get some performance...just MY .02 cents

would love to "see" some good/decent 'second shot recovery' shots from one of them little snubbies.....kinda like them calling it "double tap" first one to the groin, then the head on the way UP..... :roll:

and also wonder as to the eyes 'pupil' dialating from the muzzle blast ( flash) in a darkened room....... 8)
 

azrugershooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
147
mike-h":2s56pik1 said:
My wife and I each own a 3 1/16" SP-101 357 Magnum and an LCR. Both are great guns. In cooler months its easier to carry the larger gun but in summer attire the smaller is easier. For defense purposes we plan to use the same type ammo in each - - such such as Hornady Critical Defense, Extreme Shock, and a few others.

Maybe this is a stupid request, but I'm interested in assistance to become educated regarding what is the expected difference in impact energy and velocity between the 1 7/8" LCR and a 3 1/16" SP-101. Is the SP 101, for example, 50% more effective - -or what? I recognize the type of ammo used influences absolute numbers but my question regards differences.

Of course the SP 101 can handle 357 magnum rounds, which the LCR cannot. Also, the SP 101 also can easier handle +P rounds. But, if I load both with the same ammo type what can

While accuracy is paramount which comes only from mucho practice, obviously the shorter barrel LCR carries less velocity and impact energy than the SP 101 for most ammo types. But, how much less?

Can someone add some experienced guidance here? Thanks in advance.

I'm curious Mike, why would you even bother carrying the Sp 101 if you are planning on using the same 38+p ammo in both? As for your question the small difference in barrel length isn't going to make a noticable difference in vel. Just pick something made to expand from short barreled 38's. You hornady is a good choice. As is the 135gr gold dot 38+p.
 

Landric

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
90
I'll play. First off, its one of the great internet myths that .357 Magnum isn't any better than .38 Special +P out of a snubbie. I chronographed a number of .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum (full power) loads out of my 2 1/4" SP101. On average the magnum loads had 400 fps more velocity than the .38 +P and twice the muzzle energy. I would say that is a significant difference.

I also chronographed Georgia Arms' 158 grain LSWCHP +P out of both my 1 7/8" S&W Airweight and my 3 1/16" SP101. From the S&W it averaged 769 fps and 207 ft.-lbs. of energy, from the SP it averaged 839 fps and 247 ft.-lbs. of energy. From my 4" S&W 681 the same ammunition averaged 895 fps and 281 ft.-lbs. of energy. So, its not a huge difference between the two, but the 3" does offer some improvement.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
40
Landric":20zxz04x said:
I also chronographed Georgia Arms' 158 grain LSWCHP +P out of both my 1 7/8" S&W Airweight and my 3 1/16" SP101. From the S&W it averaged 769 fps and 207 ft.-lbs. of energy, from the SP it averaged 839 fps and 247 ft.-lbs. of energy. From my 4" S&W 681 the same ammunition averaged 895 fps and 281 ft.-lbs. of energy. So, its not a huge difference between the two, but the 3" does offer some improvement.

Landric - - that is most helpful info. Thanks a lot.

Let me see if I got that right.

Taking a calculator to his comparisons of various barrel lengths each using his mentioned 158 gr ammo, is data shows >

1) SP-101 3 1/16" had 9% more velocity and 19% more impact energy than the S&W airweight 1 7/8"
2) and, his 4" S&W had 12% more velocity and 11% more impact energy than the 3 1/16" SP101.
3) comparing just his 4" to the 1 7/8" gives 12% more velocity and 31% more impact energy.

Now, someone may post that we cannot do this, but if I presume the Ruger LCR (1 7/8") and his S&W snubbie (also 1 7/8" barrel) have near identical velocity and energy impact output - - then Landric provided potential good LCR data comparison 3 1/16" SP101.

Two items follow to help this along - - at least in my dull mind:

a. does someone have good data comparing the Ruger LCR to the S&W snubbie (model # 642??). In other words, is it proven that each is equal in all aspects regarding energy impact, regardless of say standard pressure or +P pressure ammo, or are there proven differences.
b. Can someone comment how Landric's comparison data might look had he compared with different ammo types - - such as standard pressure 158 gr LSWCHP (instead of +P, as he used),
and such as lighter weight ammo including some of the very fast defense rounds such as Hornady, Extreme Shock, etc.

Thanks for contributing.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
40
azrugershooter":xizz5hhd said:
I'm curious Mike, why would you even bother carrying the Sp 101 if you are planning on using the same 38+p ammo in both? As for your question the small difference in barrel length isn't going to make a noticable difference in vel. Just pick something made to expand from short barreled 38's. You hornady is a good choice. As is the 135gr gold dot 38+p.

Good question, Az, if I had planned using 38+p ammo. Although both guns handle +p ammo, the SP101 handles it easier than does the LCR - regarding recoil hit to hands. My wife's more delicate hands are also involved in my decision, so to use the same ammo for both guns I have decided to consider standard pressure-only ammo for both - - and that's why I mentioned the high energy impact types such as Hornady and Extreme Shock being considered.

Now - - from firing experience we find the SP101 more accurate at distance and more recoil friendly - and, that gun has the advantage of also using more powerful rounds incl 357 mag should we wish. So, we have the SP 101 as our primary carry - - but, as you know, it is much easier to conceal same with winter clothing than with summer attire. And, that's where the LCR comes in - - summer use, and as a possible winter pocket-backup.

So - life can be a bit easier if we use the same ammo in both guns and speed loaders, BUT - BUT > we want that ammo to be defense-effective no matter which gun we use -

- and thus part of the reason for starting this thread is trying to find out relative differences velocity and impact energy-wise between the two from those with experience.

Hope that helps explain objective.
Open to assistance and critizism. Thanks to all.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
40
mike-h said:
I'm reposting the comparisons as #2 below should have said 6% more velocity (not 12%)

1) SP-101 3 1/16" had 9% more velocity and 19% more impact energy than the S&W airweight 1 7/8"
2) and, his 4" S&W had 12% {6% is correct} more velocity and 11% more impact energy than the 3 1/16" SP101.
3) comparing just his 4" to the 1 7/8" gives 12% more velocity and 31% more impact energy.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
40
Redhawk4":6way4jw9 said:
These links give some good comparisons regarding barrel length. In short barrels specific short barrel ammo can make a big difference. Double tap has some good offerings although they seem to have discontinued my favorite 357 mag load a 158 gr for short barrels.

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/38special.html

Thanks Redhawk. That's helpful, however too bad those tables do not also include our target guns > LCR and 3" SP101 357 mag < for comparison.

Your comment about short barrel ammo making 'big difference' is intriguing. Can you perhaps name some brands/types with relative velocity and impact energy data we might use for LCR and SP101 so we might see measurable differences?
 

Florida-boy

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
20
I can tell you one thing that played around with back in the late 70's. In my snubs I found that the lighter weight bullets gave better performance than the heavy weights. I shot Remington 95 grain, 110 grain, and 125 grain factory stuff out of mine and the 95 worked best of all. I got good expansion every time. I didn't have a chrony back then so bullet expansion was the only thing I could compare. A 158 grain LSWC showed no expansion at all and could have been washed off and loaded again. These were all shot into wet sand at 3' distance. The 110 and 125 grain showed some expansion, but as weight increased expansion decreased.
Hope that is of some help.
 

clayflingythingy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
360
I don't pay any attention to differences in energy. Select a load that has a good reputation and never look back. In 38 +P snubbies the 158 gr lead SWC-HP has a good reputation as does the Speer Gold Dot short barrel load. Corbon DPX has a slew of advocates too.

The 110 grain non +P loads are about as easy a shooting load as you can find in a snub.

A hit with a 110 grain load beats a miss with a load you can't shoot well.

I for one think the focus on foot pounds of energy can be taken too far. As an example, a 9mm loaded with the same weight bullet and velocity will have the same energy if the bullet is a FMJ or a premium HP. Yet FMJ's have a lousy "fight stopping" rep while some of the premium HP's are recognized "stoppers".

Any handgun is a lousy stopper. We carry them because we can't go around with a battle rifle. Choose a load, such as the Gold Dot short barrel, that has a proven rep and forget about the rest.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
40
clayflingythingy":3uwt22pn said:
Choose a load, such as the Gold Dot short barrel, that has a proven rep and forget about the rest.

Hello Clay. I would appreciate it if you would point me to the 'proven' results of the Gold Dot short barrel ammo you mentioned. Hopefully it includes comparative test data also out of the SP 101 and LCR.
Thanks.
 

mike-h

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
40
Redhawk4":1gzr02sg said:
These two from double tap work well in a short barrel if you look at the velocities from the 1.875" Smith. Speer also have short barrel ammo.

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalo ... cts_id=215

Thanks, Redhawk. That's helpful.

Your link referred to > Double Tap .38 Special +P 125gr. Bonded Defense. On the surface, that round seems impressive - - and, despite the fact I believe it uses gold dot bullet heads this round is configured such that it produces much more velocity and energy impact than the > Speer Gold Dot hollow point, .38 SPL +P (designed for short barrel). If someone reads this differently, please pitch in.

And, it appears the double tap is more cost effective than the Speer gold dot.

Now to the question, Redhawk. Have you had experience test firing that double tap round in an LCR. If so, how was muzzel recoil and how was the recoil bite to hands (thinking of my lady)? Thanks.
 

Redhawk4

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
124
I've only fired them in a 2" barrel Taurus 605ss and a 2 1/2" Smith 686. So I can't vouch for the LCR but I believe the general trends will be similar. Muzzle flash and blast was significantly less than typical ammo in general that isn't optimised for short barrel. At the end of the day what I like with Double Tap ammo is that you get a quality product in a box of 50 at a fairly reasonable price. This gives you the opportunity to really try it out at the range in your particular weapon to ensure it meets your needs and that you are then proficent with it.

My personal favorite for my Smith 686 was their 158gr 357 mag round that could still get up to 1300 fps from the 2 1/2" barrel, unfortunately these seem to have been discontinued. I perceived the recoil to be less than with normal range ammo, but that could be the reduction in flash and blast. I know that's not for your LCR but it was a great 357 mag short barrel round. I have found the 38 +P 125 gr round to be a very good 38 round too, but haven't tested it as much as the 357 yet. Recoil still seemed to be less than expected for the performance. My wife can shoot it fine in the little Taurus that is probably as close to the LCR as I have.

Sorry I can't be more help but you really need to try it, and in your individual Revolvers to be sure of what will work for your situation.
 

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