Ammo Test: Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P 130 Grain

When I lug my ammunition testing setup to the range, I get more strange looks than Michael Bloomberg lactating at a Mayors Against Legal Governing (MALG) press conference.

That’s because I bring a couple of now-perforated trash cans full of soaking wet newspaper, some old boots and a bunch of discarded clothing. Shooting into water or plain ballistic gelatin doesn’t tell too much about bullet performance after it has passed through real-world barriers. So I assemble a suitable range wardrobe.

Recently, I brought 1/2 of a fully stocked thrift store to the range to test the Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P 130 grain self-defense load.

Winchester's PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P self-defense load.

Winchester’s PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P self-defense load.

This load is solid for .38 Special handguns, but also makes a good option for .357 revolvers. Some folks like to shoot .38 Special loads out of sturdier .357 revolvers for less recoil and wear and tear on the gun. Of course, the option is always there to load 357 Magnum cartridges whenever you like.


Considering that this load uses 130 grain projectiles, velocity was appropriate. I tested it from a Ruger LCR .357 Magnum revolver, which features a 1.875 inch barrel. That’s shorter than NY Governor Cuomo’s debate on the SAFE Act! Using a Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph, I measured a bunch of shots with the chrony placed 15 feet down range. The average of the Winchester PDX1 Defender 130 grain load worked out to 903 feet per second. Not too shabby, and enough for pretty reliable expansion.

Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P Expansion Performance

I shot another pile of these bullets into a pretty tough target to get an indication of expansion performance. While anything will expand if you shoot it into ballistic gelatin, things start to get crazy when you shoot through real-life barriers like leather and fabric clothing. To put it to the test, I shot through two layers of leather and 4 layers of light canvas. Not counting anything hard that might get in the way, this starts to approach a worst case heavy clothing scenario.

Winchester PDX1 38 Special +P

Expansion was good overall. Throughout testing over 75% of projectiles expanded properly.

I shot everything through the leather and canvas barrier into a deep container of wet pack. That’s a fancy word for soaking-wet newspaper. As you can see by the photo, most projectiles displayed good expansion. About 1/4 of the time, one would slip through with minimal or no expansion. That’s not a big surprise given .38 Special velocities out of a short-barrel revolver.

Closing Arguments

This was a good load. After testing thousands of self-defense rounds, in virtually all pistol calibers, I’ve become a big fan of bonded bullet designs. I’ve yet to encounter a quality bonded bullet that came apart while passing through a tough target. Like jacketed designs, expansion is always measured in probability, not certainty, but overall, bonded bullets have proven to be solid performers.

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

You can find Winchester PDX1 Defender Self Defense Ammunition at Brownells

Buyers Guide: Blackhawk! Leather Speed Classic Gun Holster

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

Blackhawk! Leather Speed Classic Snubnose Revolver Holster

Blackhawk! Leather Speed Classic Snubnose Revolver Holster

We recently reviewed the Blackhawk! Leather Speed Classic Holster for a Ruger LCR revolver and found it to be an excellent concealed carry solution for several reasons.

It’s discreet. The design causes the revolver to ride high relative to the belt line. This makes for easier concealment and reduces the need for a knee-length photographers vest.

It’s fast. The gun is held in place by shape and side pressure. To draw, simply rock the revolver forward. An elastic strap connected the two leather halves of the Speed Classic. The forward rock allows the gun to release above and out the top front side of the holster.

Retention is great. The leather fit, with additional pressure applied by the elastic strap makes your snubbie revolver stay where it’s supposed to.

It’s comfortable. The outside the waistband design and high ride keep the gun out of the way in sitting and standing positions.

Fast, secure, and discreet. This one is a great solution for snubnose revolver users.

Available Here Blackhawk! Leather Speed Classic Gun Holster

Holster Review: Blackhawk Leather Dual Magazine Pouch / Carrier

We’ve gotten pretty attached to this particular piece of gear.  Or maybe it’s the other way around…

Blackhawk Leather Dual Magazine Pouch

Blackhawk Leather Dual Magazine Pouch

The standout feature of the Blackhawk Leather Dual Magazine Pouch is convenience. As you can see from the photo, there are numerous ways to attach this magazine carrier to your body.

The back flap is closed at the top by two sturdy snaps – allowing you to simply slide the back panel behind your belt, starting from the bottom, and fasten the two snaps above. It comes on and off easily. This is especially handy if you live or work in an environment where your gun and magazines have to be removed and remounted throughout the day.

The dual magazine pouch also features cuts if you prefer to mount the rig for a more permanent mount. Cuts are aligned side to side and top to bottom so you can mount this magazine carrier with magazines oriented vertically or horizontally.

Two screws allow precise adjustment of tension to hold the magazines as tight, or as loose, as you prefer. The Blackhawk Leather Dual Magazine Pouch is available in black or brown leather.

One more thing – it’s available in configurations for both single-stack magazines and double-stack magazines.


Available Here Blackhawk Leather Dual Magazine Pouch / Carrier

Read about more carry styles and over 120 different gun holsters in The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – available at! Learn more about our Insanely Practical Guides!

Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Buyers Guide: Blackhawk Leather Check-Six Gun Holster

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

Blackhawk Leather Check-Six Holster

The Blackhawk Leather Check-Six Holster is versatile and comfortable

We recently did a full holster review on the Blackhawk Leather Check-Six Holster and found it to be amazingly versatile.

  • You can use it as a small of back holster
  • You can use it as a small of kidney holster
  • You can use it as a small of behind the hip holster
  • It has an open top design that’s friendly to guns with large and/or ambidextrous safeties
  • It has a positive screw retention adjustment
  • It’s exceptionally well constructed out of nice leather

Oh, and it’s as comfortable to wear as all get out. That’s good.

We’ve really gotten to like this one. It’s great for carrying a full size gun and becomes even more comfortable and concealable for smaller guns.

Highly recommended.


Available Here Blackhawk Leather Check-Six Gun Holster

Blade-Tech Releases Next Generation Bacon Hybrid Holster

Blade-Tech Bacon Hybrid Holster

Blade-Tech Bacon Hybrid Holster

Blade-Tech, leading manufacturer of injection molded tactical holsters, knife sheaths and magazine pouches today announced availability of their next generation hybrid holsters.

“Our new hybrid line combines what are the finest three materials known to man – kydex, leather, and bacon” bragged Blade-Tech CEO Ben Cartwright. “After we announced our new kydex / leather hybrid holsters earlier this year, we immediately started thinking about ways to reach the next level of defensive culinary performance.”

Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger

Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger

One of the primary objectives of the new triple hybrid line was ease and speed of draw. Blade-Tech product managers tested thousands of materials before settling on bacon as the foundation of the new holster. Early customers agree with the choice and recognize distinct speed of draw advantages. “This new bacon holster is sure slick on the draw” gushed Clayton Moore, better known as The Lone Ranger. “I have to admit that the whole rig can get a little greasy at times, but on the plus side, it’s a heck of a lot easier to put on my tight cowboy pants now.”

Industry insiders were given advance looks at the new holster line. Roy Huntington, Editor of American Handgunner Magazine recently completed a comprehensive review of the new triple hybrid. “Mmmmmm. Bacon” purred Huntington.

Asked about future versions of the bacon holster, Cartwright replied “You might look for a double thick version in the near future. We think its a good way to consolidate an hour or so’s worth of emergency rations right in the holster itself.”

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