Buffalo Bore Outdoorsman Loads

The K frame .357 Magnum revolver such as this Smith & Wesson Model 19 is ideal for .38 Special Outdoorsman use.

Buffalo Bore ammunition offers a wide range of quality ammunition in both rifle and handgun calibers. Most make the most of a caliber. Some get the weaker calibers off their knees in a real way. The .32 ACP, .32 Smith & Wesson Long, .38 Smit & Wesson, .32 H&R Magnum and .380 ACP are among the calibers Buffalo Bore has given special attention to. Buffalo Bore also offers medium power/medium recoil loads for use in lightweight revolvers in .357 Magnum caliber. They are the only maker offering full power .44 Special and .45 Colt loads suitable for personal defense.

Tim Sundles, the owner, has extensive outdoors experience. He has taken the largest North American and African game and knows what it takes to create a load useful for defense against animals. Among the most useful are ethe Outdoorsman loads. This line offers shooters an option once available only to handloaders. The shooter taking his 9mm or .38 into the wild may need a bullet with greater penetration in order to be useful against the big cats, feral dogs and even bears. A non Magnum handgun caliber is hard pressed to penetrate a large animal’s body. But a hard cast bullet at sufficient velocity will penetrate the skull. Some of the loads have been used for the intended purpose and proven effective. When a small-bore proves surprisingly effective, it is most often because of penetration. In one case a bear was killed with body shots and a hard cast 9mm load from Buffalo Bore. While fast opening hollow points may be OK for personal defense when a big bore fails, it is because it has failed to penetrate adequately. These loads are proven.

The .32 H & R Magnum is notoriously underloaded with most factory loads using a 85 grain JHP at about 1,000 fps from a four inch barrel. Buffalo Bore’s 130 grain hard cast bullet at 1150 fps. I have fired this load in Ruger revolvers with excellent accuracy potential. This is a respectable loading in a typically underloaded cartridge. Then there is the .38 S & W cartridge. Please don’t fire old hinged frame break top revolvers! The solid frame Smith & Wesson I and K frame revolvers are as strong as most .38 Special handguns. I have fired this load in my old Terrier revolver with good results. A 125 grain flat nose bullet at 1050 fps gets the superbly accurate short .38 off its knees. Most factory 146 grain loads break about 600 fps in the Terrier. MagTech loads are safe in most old break tops as they clock 515 fps. If you have a Smith & Wesson Military & Police revolver in good condition, an I frame five shot Terrier, or a Colt chambered in this caliber, the Buffalo Bore load may get it back into service for defense.

Most .380 ACP ammunition use a 95 grain FMJ bullet at a true 950 fps. 90 grain hollowpoints may break 1,000 fps. Penetration is a concern. Buffalo Bore’s hard cast 100 grain bullet tops 1,060 fps in my Colt 1903. Since Buffalo Bore uses lead bullets that create less friction and pressure, they are able to create greater velocity with a heavier bullet.

This is a hard-hitting bullet that gets the short .380 into different category of penetration. Accuracy is superb in the right handgun.

Most don’t consider the 9mm an outdoors handguns. But ten many of us have more than one gun. Shooters who own a 9mm  may wish to load   deep penetrating loading for animal defense in the wild.

A full-metal jacketed bullet may offer good penetration, but these bullets famously create very little tissue damage, slipping through with little effect. The Buffalo Bore 147 grain hard cast flat point breaks 1,060 fps in most 9mm handguns. Accuracy is excellent and there are no excess pressure signs. Take a look at Buffalo Bore’s bear autopsy video. No the man didn’t go hunting bear with a 9mm but was threatened by a bear. Straight shooting and deep penetration did the business.

This brings us to the most useful and most used of the Buffalo Bore loads and my personal favorites. I own several .38 Special revolvers, not to mention the .357, which accepts all .38 Special ammunition. Few modern shooters realize how powerful and useful the .38 Special really is. In a heavy revolver, the .38 Special may be more useful than the .357 Magnum. It may be loaded into a useful caliber for outdoors use but with less recoil and muzzle blast than the .357 Magnum.

Buffalo Bore offers two powerful lead bullet loads for the .38 Special. I would not use them in a light Rossi, Taurus, or other foreign revolver. The guns wont blow up the small parts take a beating. They are best in a J or K frame Magnum revolver- which are best regarded as nice .38s! The 158 grain lead hollow point is perhaps the best .38 Special defense load possible. For many years a standard .38 Special handload using a cast hollowpoint at 1100 to 1200 fps was a standard and very effective defense load. In four inch barrel revolvers the Buffalo Bore load breaks 1125 to 1150 fps. This is a stout load! I have fired it in my S&W Model 60, which has large Hogue grips. Velocity is 1040 fps. This is a heavy load that makes the most of the .38 Special.

The .38 Special Outdoorsman uses a hard cast Keith type SWC. This bullet has a long nose sharp shoulders and a lot of weight outside the cartridge case. This allows greater powder capacity and less pressure. This load is usually about 20 fps faster than the hollow point loading. This is the single most accurate factory .38 Special load I have tested. Only the most experienced handloader will equal this load’s accuracy. These .38 Special loads get the .38 into a different role and a different power level.

The final load is a superbly accurate long range load that I have enjoyed firing in my Ruger GP 100 revolvers. A 180 grain bullet offers excellent stability, accuracy and penetration. In a four inch barrel GP 100 the Buffalo Bore 180 grain load breaks 1336 fps. This offers a high degree of protection against dangerous animals. The .45 ACP and .45 Colt outdoors loads are also interesting. I have loaded quite a few heavy .45 ACP loads for use in bowling pin shoots. Buffalo Bore offers a 255 grain load at a strong 950 fps. Recoil is there. I fire this load only in Government Model steel frame revolvers. For a measure of authority in the wild this is a credible loading.

This is a small sampling of Buffalo Bore’s loads. I recommend this make without reservation.