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SKU: 20.5A/20
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38 S&W or (38 COLT NEW POLICE)
125 gr. Hard Cast FN @ 1,000 fps
20 Round Box

ITEM 20.5A

After countless customer requests for ammunition that will make the 38 S&W cartridges lethal to humans, Buffalo Bore is delivering. There are millions of small revolvers still in circulation chambered for this cartridge and if an ammo company was to make effective self-defense ammo, the little revolvers would have a meaningful purpose for personal defense against humans. Current (as of this writing in 03-2013) factory ammunition offerings include soft pure lead bullets of round nose configuration at very low velocity. Round nosed bullets do little terminal damage as they tend to slip and slide through mammalian tissues and the very low velocities don’t help much either.

In order to make this cartridge more lethal for defense against humans, we designed hard cast (not soft) bullets that will not deform on impact and will maintain their flat nose profile as they penetrate through muscle and bone and because of their flat nose, they crush (not slip and slide) through mammalian tissues, doing considerable damage along their path. Then we added velocity by using modern powders that will give extra velocity and remain within the SAAMI pressure limits of 13,000 CUP. The result is a lethal cartridge that brings new usefulness to these old pistols. In fact, this load is as powerful as most ordinary 38 SPL ammo currently being made, by most ammunition companies! Depending on how much clothing must be penetrated and how much bone is encountered, expect 22 to 30 inches of straight-line penetration in mammalian tissue with this load. This 125gr. hard cast bullet is moving roughly 250 fps faster than other commercial ammo we tested of the same bullet weight and due to bullet design, this load was more accurate than other commercial loads we tested.

The use of jacketed expanding ammunition in this weak cartridge would be a mistake as even if you could get a jacketed bullet to expand at these velocities, doing so would limit penetration significantly enough that the bullet would certainly under-penetrate and as a result would likely not be deadly to humans. Also, hard cast bullets are more “slick” than jacketed bullets and hence generate more velocity at less pressure than comparable jacketed bullets.

We have utilized flash suppressed powder so the shooter will not be blinded by his/her own gunfire in low light situations and this can be an important advantage as the criminal element and wildlife are much more active in the darkness.

This ammunition is safe to use in ANY solid frame revolver that is in ordinary shooting condition. “Solid frame” means any revolver that is not a top break frame. “Ordinary shooting condition”, means ANY revolver that is in condition to fire any factory made, 38 S&W ammo, without malfunction. Have a competent gunsmith check your revolver for “ordinary shooting condition” if you have doubts, as many of these revolvers are very old and some imports were made of questionable quality as manufacturing techniques and materials were not advanced one hundred+ years ago. Be certain to take a copy of this press release to your gunsmith, so he can understand the context of your questions.

The only two top break (not solid frame) revolver manufacturers that can use this ammunition are British Enfield and Webley. Both these models feature heavy frames and robust latches that resist deformation. All other “top break” models should never be fired with this ammunition.

We have continued our practice of using real over-the-counter revolvers to develop our published velocities of this ammunition. The duplicitous practice of using extra-long laboratory barrels to develop published velocities is deceptive to the customer. Real world users of firearms and ammunition need to know how the ammunition is performing in the real world, where it matters.

➤ 1030 fps -- S&W Regulation Police 6 inch
➤   977 fps -- S&W Regulation Police 4 inch
➤   926 fps -- S&W Regulation Police 4 inch
➤   874 fps -- S&W 2 inch


Item 20.5A - Exterior Ballistics Charts for several different Muzzle Velocities


Muzzle Velocity @ 1200 fps for Item 20.5A



Muzzle Velocity @ 1100 fps for Item 20.5A



Muzzle Velocity @ 1000 fps for Item 20.5A



Muzzle Velocity @ 900 fps for Item 20.5A



Muzzle Velocity @ 800 fps for Item 20.5A



Muzzle Velocity @ 700 fps for Item 20.5A


Field Proven pistol and handgun ammo. Maximum firepower ammo. Best ammunition for pistols and handguns for sale. Buffalo Bore. Strictly big bore. Strictly Business.

You must be 18 or older to order ammunition. Ammunition must ship UPS ground. Due to Department of Transportation regulations, we cannot accept returns on Ammunition. Make sure to use the correct ammunition in your gun. Check local laws before ordering.

Cale H on 01/28/2023 05:11pm
I keep a Colt Police Positive on my nightstand for reasons I cannot explain. Traditionally I have shot the low pressure Remington or other over the counter loads I can get my hands on. The Buffalo Bore ammo is a substantial improvement over those brands. This is a hot load in which I would feel completely confident with in the event of a break-in. 38 s&w is a really accurate round as it stands. With the improvement in ballistic performance, this ammo is a real gamechanger as far as the uses you can make of a 38 s&w wheel gun.
john brock on 03/03/2020 08:09pm
I think this load would punch a nice hole in any problem you have. I carry them in my S&W Victory. I love that old revolver and it's deadly accurate with this load. I'm really glad someone makes a serious round for this efficient little cartridge. I just wish they were cheaper.
LouisianaMan on 04/17/2017 10:41am
Chrono'ed a 5-shot string at 990 fps from my 4" S&W Mod. 33-1 revolver. From memory, 874 fps from a 2" Mod. 32-1.

That 990 fps is about 45-70 fps faster than the advertised 4" barrel velocity on 110g or 125g-130g .38 SPL standard OR P jacketed hollow point ammunition from the first four major brands that come to your mind. That includes both their standard AND their premium ammo lines. The only brand even *advertising* a higher velocity with a 110g load doesn't disclose their test barrel length. Another well-known Italian brand advertises a 125g JHP P at 1050, but that's from a 7.7" unvented test barrel!

All of the MILSPEC and target practice 130g loads from these manufacturers advertise approximately an anemic 800 fps, mostly jacketed RN but at least one FP.

Testing .38 SPL CD from a 2.5" .357, my average vel fell just short of 800 fps.

This Buffalo Bore ammo cannot possibly expand, but its .30" wide meplat will also never get smaller or get clogged like many HP's. According to an online ballistics calculator from a premium lead bullet manufacturer, a .30" meplat bullet at 990 fps creates a permanent wound channel of .742", and is still creating a .524" channel @ 700 fps, .45 @ 600 fps, .38" @ 500 fps. A clogged JHP is effectively a round nose bullet, and won't create any expanded wound channel like a flatpoint bullet.

This 125g LFP ammo shoots dependably, accurately, and powerfully. It is 300-400 fos faster than standard commercial 145-46g .38 S&W ammo. Commercial 110-125g .38 SPL JHP's *that expand* would perform as well or better, but ones that clog up are generally inferior to this big-meplat .38 S&W.
Caleb on 06/10/2015 06:37pm
Great ammo! Used in Iver Johnson cadet, only giving 4 stars due to packaging is clumsy and hard to get rounds out of box
Steve on 06/18/2014 01:25pm
Iver Johnson Cadet snub pocket gun, accurate with less recoil than expected. 5 Rounds carried for 1 year were 100 %.
AZ on 12/12/2013 12:35pm
Worked just fine in a hundred years old H&R American Double Action. Hottest .38S&W ammo available.
Mike Mounts on 11/13/2013 10:41pm
I recently used these to qualify for my concealed carry permit in Illinois. My CC gun is a colt detective special with a 2" barrel---so I wanted the most accurate ammo around. Happy to say these fit the bill. Perfect 30/30 score:

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