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Old 03-01-2017, 10:23 AM   #1
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Military designation for the 1943 .38 Special Load?

I'm wondering if anyone has researched or found the military designation for the 158 grain 850 fps .38 Special load supposedly developed for the Victory revolvers in 1943?

I've found several sites that quote:

" In May 1943, a new .38 Special cartridge with a 158-grain, full steel jacketed, copper flash-coated bullet meeting the requirements of the rules of land warfare was developed at
Springfield Armory and adopted for the Smith & Wesson revolvers.
The new military .38 Special loading propelled its 158-grain bullet at a
standard 850*ft/s (260*m/s) from a 4-inch (100*mm) revolver barrel"

but I haven't found what the military designation for this round would be.

The M41 special ball and PGU-12 are not the 158 grain 850 fps load. Any ideas?

Thanks for Y'all's time and effort.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:09 PM   #2
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Mike “Duke” Venturino wrote the following a few years back:

De-Mystifying .38 Special Military LoadsAmerican Handgunner | American Handgunner
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmkersh View Post
Mike “Duke” Venturino wrote the following a few years back:

De-Mystifying .38 Special Military LoadsAmerican Handgunner | American Handgunner
Thanks csmkersh, that was one of the articles I researched before posing the question. Great source, but I couldn't find the answer to the question within that article. My curiosity stems from the fact that my Navy SVU Originally came equipped with a S&W M&P .38 Special with a 5 round load and a string of 5 Tracer Rounds. (Yes I selected the .45 ACP 1911 option with pencil flares) And while I could have been issued 5 of the 158 Grain rounds, I don't have any recollection of thier military designation. Having toted a bolt prior to being issued an SVU, I had a predilection to the 1911 if I had to leave everything else behind. (Get out of Dodge instantly) But I do believe that the military designation for the 158 grain 850 fps load is a relevant Historical question.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:04 PM   #4
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deleted - duplicate

Last edited by GunGeek; 03-01-2017 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:14 PM   #5
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According to "Handguns of the World, Military Revolvers and Self-Loaders from 1879-1945" by Edward C. Ezell
Chapter 19, p.687


.38 Special M41
140 grain lead bullet at 950fps.


The description reads:


This cartridge originated early in the twentieth century. For much of its long life has been a commercial or police round, however, it has been adopted as a military cartridge in a number of countries. In the United States it has been used on a limited basis by the Army for a variety of missions, including air crew survival.*

*emphasis mine



If anything I think this just muddies the waters. Edward Ezell is an excellent historian who's words I have always taken as near gospel. But this cartridge description seems to be a bit "off".
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:23 PM   #6
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According to the piece I linked to the M41 was a late comer, 1956 to be specific. We were issuing .38 Special round nose lead to the MPs during WWII and I read Hitler had issue kill on spot of any Ps captured carrying that load.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:38 PM   #7
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Kevin I have a 50 rd. white box with the label (SADLY EMPTY)

"50 Cartridges
158 GRAIN FULL M.C. BULLET
CALIBER .38 SPECIAL
LOT RA 5004
REMING TON ARMS COMPANY, INCORPORATED

Inside an end flap is stamped "U16S"

On the side is,

"THESE CARTRIDGES ARE ESPECIALLY DE-
SIGNED AND MANUAFACTURED EXCLUSIVELY
FOR MILITARY USE. THEY ARE NOT SUITABLE
FOR CIVILIAN, LAW ENFORCEMENT OR
OTHER NON-MILITARY PURPOSES."

i've never mastered putting pix in and it is time consuming PITA
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Petty View Post
Kevin I have a 50 rd. white box with the label (SADLY EMPTY)

"50 Cartridges
158 GRAIN FULL M.C. BULLET
CALIBER .38 SPECIAL
LOT RA 5004
REMING TON ARMS COMPANY, INCORPORATED

Inside an end flap is stamped "U16S"

On the side is,

"THESE CARTRIDGES ARE ESPECIALLY DE-
SIGNED AND MANUAFACTURED EXCLUSIVELY
FOR MILITARY USE. THEY ARE NOT SUITABLE
FOR CIVILIAN, LAW ENFORCEMENT OR
OTHER NON-MILITARY PURPOSES."

i've never mastered putting pix in and it is time consuming PITA
Sounds like it might be the load in question, but any idea of what the military designation (nomenclature) would be?
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:17 AM   #9
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No... it wasn't on the box.

As an aside I was often issued .45 Wadcutter in brown boxes with no FSN just a lot number... often WCC and the year for headstamp
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