S&W M&P mysteries

Right. I am now, finally, completely and utterly baffled.

My S&W M&P in 38 S&W, despite being a commercial finish and being wartime, is the British military model with 5" barrel etc etc etc.

However, loads approximating 380/200 shoot really very high at 25m and about 4" high at 50m.
Commercial 38 S&W (about 650fps) shoots a bunch low at 25m and ridiculously low at 50m.

I discovered by chance that a 148gn hollow base wadcutter at about 720fps shoots bang on at 25m. Basically a 38 Spl match load (2.7gn Bullseye) loaded in the shorter case to the same length as the 38 Spl.

However, a LRN doing the same velocity is again low at 25m, although only by about 4-6".

What in the ever loving crap were these sighted for? Did .380 Mk.II really shoot to that much of a different point of aim than 380/200? Could it be sighted for that? It does split the difference nicely between 145gn and 200gn, so it's plausible...

Enquiring minds need to know.
 
Any info on what range were they would have been zeroed for? It wouldn't surprise me if they specified a zero of 5 yards from horseback for the shooting of fuzzywuzzies.
 
I've not seen anything on that, but I presume 25 yards, since that was always the standard British pistol training distance.

However, they're low for standard 38 S&W and high for 200gn right up to and beyond 25 yds.
 
It's also possible that they are quite simply sighted for "Minute of Hun" at 10 yards...
 
My S&W M&P in 38 S&W, despite being a commercial finish and being wartime, is the British military model with 5" barrel etc etc etc.
They were produced specifically for the British because prior to the version that you have that model was chambered for .38 Special. Maybe they left the zero for .38 Special.

BTW, we used to have hours of fun on Winans/Gallery at historic meetings discussing this anomaly. In some "Classic" shoots the M&P was allowed in .36 Special but not in .38 S&W (the earlier cartridge) because the M&P itself was not chambered in .38 S&W until 1940. In other competitions it was.

I am currently putting a 148gn HBWC load together for my Webley Mk.III Pocket, Webley Mk.IV P&M and Enfield No.2 Mk1. I'll be testing the load against some Gevelot .38 S&W. I shall not be at Bisley now until the New Year but I'll post the results.
 
They were produced specifically for the British because prior to the version that you have that model was chambered for .38 Special. Maybe they left the zero for .38 Special.

Very few, if any, 38 Spl M&P's were 5"

BTW, we used to have hours of fun on Winans/Gallery at historic meetings discussing this anomaly. In some "Classic" shoots the M&P was allowed in .36 Special but not in .38 S&W (the earlier cartridge) because the M&P itself was not chambered in .38 S&W until 1940. In other competitions it was.

Typical HBSA rivet counting... It's even mentioned in the old rule book that it was at match organisers' discretion as to whether it was Classic or not. From a competitive perspective I see no reason not to allow it, particularly when they allowed 38/357 and 44 Mag/Spl Uberti SAA's to compete...

Also, I can't believe that not one was ever produced in 38 S&W pre-1919, not even as a special order, and secondly, Colt's equivalent New Model Police certainly was, so any claims of "competitive advantage" go out the window when you can just take the equivalent Colt piece. And when you think that in general the 38 S&W ones will perform worse on target than 38 Spl due to the oversize barrels. Plus, factory 38 S&W is crap compared to factory 38 spl...
 
Oh, and as a result of today's testing, I can confirm that a flat-base .361 bullet cast in 50:1 alloy will NOT set up enough not to lead a .363 barrel...

Next batch of bullets will be made with a beagled mould so as to give me a little bit more girth.
 
Actually, anyone got a 38 Spl victory / M&P pre-1945? If so, can you measure me the height of the front sight and tell me your barrel length please? This is something we can simply check.
 

rampant

LE
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Actually, anyone got a 38 Spl victory / M&P pre-1945? If so, can you measure me the height of the front sight and tell me your barrel length please? This is something we can simply check.

I don't think we're that kind of website.

What is a beagled mould, or what does the term beagled mean in this context?
 
I don't think we're that kind of website.

What is a beagled mould, or what does the term beagled mean in this context?

"beagling" is sticking a couple of bits of aluminium flue tape on the interior faces of the mould such that it doesn't quite close. You can get another 3-4 thou of diameter that way. It's out of round, but the sizing die or the barrel deals with that :)
 
I reckon I'll try a slightly lighter load and see if this brings it up at all. Probably not, but worth a go.

Also, might not lead, so might get away without beagling the mould.

Incidentally, I found today a 150gn load the Webley Mk.4 likes: 11gn Swiss No.2 :D Shoots more or less to point of aim.

I didn't measure the velocity of the blackpowder load, but it felt quite chunky. The Prvi factory I put down afterwards were decidedly weak sauce, and dropped very low.
 
Beagled the mould. looks like you need at least double the thickness of flue tape that you think you do!
 
In a very unscientific test around dusk, we tried 4 rounds of original Mk.2z from 1966.

Result is "maybe" this is what the M&P is sighted for. Hopefully will get the chance to try on a clean target in the light tomorrow morning.

Would 1966-dated Mk.2z be corrosively-primed? It doesn't smell like it, and I doubt they'd have been using chlorate primers that late, but can someone confirm? I swabbed it out with ballistol-water mix just to be on the safe side...
 
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so, it shoots about 2-3" high at 25m with Mk.2z. So I guess that's close enough for govt work. It does about 560fps (only had 1 register over the chrony, and interestingly it got about the same out the Webley, which is the opposite to everything else I've tried)
 

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