.38 SPL Showdown: Ammo Testing Buffalo Bore vs. Black Hills
By Josh Wayner
The Smith & Wesson Model 327 served as the test gun for this review. (Photo: Josh Wayner/Guns.com)
The .38 Special is one of the most common revolver cartridges available today. When most people think of a snub-nose pocket revolver, they think of a good ole .38. The most common in widespread use today are in the 2-inch range as far as barrel length goes. Most people carrying a .38 SPL these days don’t do so with a 4-inch or 6-inch barrel.
A major complaint about the short barrels is that they don’t offer great penetration or velocity. While this may ring true for some types of ammo, it does not for all of them. Today we are going to be taking a look at two types of .38 designed for close ranges — the Black Hills HoneyBadger 100-grain +P and the Buffalo Bore 158-grain Outdoorsman Hardcast +P.
The Black Hills load features a very modern solid copper bullet with an X shaped tip profile. It is part of the company’s “HoneyBadger” line. It maintains effectiveness through tissue displacement, functioning like both a JHP in terms of tissue damage and an FMJ in penetration.
Buffalo Bore’s deep-diving load here is meant for the woods and