Base image courtesy Winchester.
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The good folks at Winchester have announced a recall on some 100-round boxes of .38 Special 130gr. FMJ ammunition. Three lots may have rounds loaded with extra powder.  And if you’ve ever fired an over-charged .38 Special round, you know that can make for an exciting experience.

We just published a story about the benefits of small-frame .38 Special revolvers. Check to see if you have ammo from the recalled lots. Winchester will pay for you to ship them your recalled .38s and I have no doubt they will replace them with some great ammunition at no cost to you.

From Winchester’s website:


WINCHESTER® 38 Special 130 Grain Full Metal Jacket

Olin Winchester, LLC (“Winchester”) is recalling three (3) lots of 38 Special 130 Grain Full Metal Jacket centerfire ammunition.

Symbol: USA38SPVP

Lot Numbers: KF21, KL30 and KM52

Winchester has determined the above lots of 38 Special ammunition may contain incorrect powder charges. Ammunition with excessive powder charges may cause firearm damage, rendering it inoperable, and subjecting the shooter and bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury or death.

DO NOT USE WINCHESTER® 38 SPECIAL 130 GRAIN SYMBOL USA38SPVP WITH LOT NUMBERS KF21, KL30 or KM52. The ammunition Lot Number is ink stamped inside the right tuck flap of the 100-round carton as indicated here. The symbol is printed above the UPC bar code.

Courtesy Winchester.

To determine if your ammunition is subject to this notice, review the Symbol and Lot Number. If it is Symbol USA38SPVP with Lot Number KF21, KL30 or KM52, immediately discontinue use and contact Winchester toll-free at 844-653-8358 for free UPS pick-up of the recalled ammunition.

This notice applies only to Symbol USA38SPVP with Lot Numbers KF21, KL30 and KM52. Other Symbol or Lot Numbers are not subject to this recall.

If you have any questions concerning this 38 Special centerfire ammunition recall please call toll-free 844-653-8358, write to Winchester (600 Powder Mill Road, East Alton, IL 62024 Attn: USA38SPVP Recall), or visit our website at

We apologize for this inconvenience.

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      • Maybe… Then again, it could be unpredictable. For all you know, it’s loaded passed safe .357 pressures.

    • A friend of mine, the same one who used to bow hunt, had a Martini-Henry 310 Cadet converted to fire .357 Magnum. Loads that have a revolver pointing at the sky were pleasant to shoot in the Martini-Henry.

    • I don’t want to spend a fortune in ammo for the range and their WWB in 9mm has never failed me.

      • Their JHP 9mm in 115 gr is good stuff and cheap, $32/100rds.

        But once you get outside the 9mm, .40, .45 WWB, the quality to price isn’t good. .32 ACP is crappy, I imagine .25 is as well and the prices their WWB ammo costs for the non “big three” I mentioned, you can get ammo that equally as crappy for half the price. Idk how their .38 is or other revolver ammo is, but when I go to Walmart and look at it, next to Federal, Federal is always less and shoots fine.

    • For revolvers I agree, can save a lot of money and get better ammo. I bought some Magtech 158 grain LRN on sale and that is some dirty stuff, as dirty as any reload I can make for less.

      For 9mm or .40, I wouldn’t bother reloading, can get that stuff cheap and spend my time reloading more expensive ammo like 10mm, .45 ACP, .44’s or .45 Colt.

      • But .45 ACP is cheap too, only pennies more than 9mm.
        35 cents a round for .45 ACP at Midway.

  1. I will look to see if I have a box of that ammo, but I would not hesitate to shoot it through a 6 shot Ruger Redhawk. The gun is built like a tank.

    • As others have stated, guns designed for lots of full power loads wouldn’t notice the difference. But some of the lightweight snubbie revolvers might not take this ammunition too kindly.

  2. Factory ammo only brah…….don’t buy reloads as they may have been loaded incorrectly. oh wait…..

  3. Any idea when this ammo was made? I may have a box or two if it’s old but I haven’t bought factory revolver ammo in years.

  4. It’s almost certainly not limited to .38 special. I had a white box of 240 grain soft points that were supposed to he hum drum ammo and it ended up kicking harder than the 300 gr bear loads I bought with the same velocity numbers. Physics being what they are, the 300gr should have kicked harder but the white box fucked the timing up on my 629 and started spitting lead back in my face. I’ll never ever buy Winchester ever again.

  5. A range of dates, that the ammo was put out to the public for sale, would be nice. I have many of these bulk packs, many of which are in storage, that I need to check. All were purchased more than 5-6 months ago. Not really a problem to check (if I can locate every box…), but a date range would be nice.

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