Question about .38 Special ammo

This is a discussion on Question about .38 Special ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If over penetration is a concern then your probably good to go with the 130 grain JHP. The lighter bullet usually will have has less ...

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Thread: Question about .38 Special ammo

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    If over penetration is a concern then your probably good to go with the 130 grain JHP. The lighter bullet usually will have has less penetration than the heaver.
    I prefer the Buffalo Bore 130 grain Gold Dot JHP. It expands reliably and penetrates about 12 inches.

    http://www.brassfetcher.com/Buffalo%...ity%20JHC.html

    I really like the consistancy of the Buffalo Bore.

    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php...t_detail&p=112

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  3. #17
    Member Array rjpkrp's Avatar
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    I carry the Hornady CD in .38SPL standard load in my Model 12 Airweight. S&W says don't shoot +P though it and that's good enough for me (I know other's run +P through theirs, but if the manufacturer says don't do it, then that's who I'm going to listen to).

    The BB "standard" 158g .38spl load is hot....hotter than any other standard load I've run down this gun. It's not bad to shoot, but it has much more bite than the standard load 158g SWC that I plink with at the range. I haven't chrono'd the CD out of the gun yet, but will and let you know how it compares to the published numbers. I should be averaging Hornadys numbers since my 12 is a 4" bbl, so we'll see how close they actually come to it. I do, however, feel comfortable using the ammo as my defense ammo in this gun.

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tawcat View Post
    All I carry are 38 specials, I have two that I rotate, a 1974 Colt Det Spl nickel plated and a new S&W 637. Right now I am using Winchester 130gr JHP +P.

    My question (concern) is about over penetration. I've read volumes about the 158gr semi wad cutter being probably the best round for a 38 special. My greatest fear in a SD scenario is the impacting round penetrating through the BG and hitting an innocent bystander.

    Your thoughts????
    Well as one soldier to another I can offer that on 05/22 I will celebrate 40 years of concealed carry with a 38 Special and 357 Magnum; both snub nose guns. In all those years I have learned that only hits count, and standard pressure ammo allows a much faster return to battery (recovery from recoil with sights back on target/perp). I've never found any factory standard 38 Special load to "Over-Penetrate"; and that includes FMJ loadings. In my older standard pressure 38 Special guns I carry...........
    Buffalo Bore® Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 Special Ammo - 158 gr LSWCHPGC
    Federal® Premium® Personal Defense® 38 Special 125gr Nyclad HP

    If I want a +P loading in one of my 357 Magnum snubbies I choose.........
    Buffalo Bore® Heavy .38 Special +P Ammo - 158 gr LSWCHPGC over any 357 Magnum loading.

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawei View Post
    Well as one soldier to another I can offer that on 05/22 I will celebrate 40 years of concealed carry with a 38 Special and 357 Magnum; both snub nose guns. In all those years I have learned that only hits count, and standard pressure ammo allows a much faster return to battery (recovery from recoil with sights back on target/perp). I've never found any factory standard 38 Special load to "Over-Penetrate"; and that includes FMJ loadings. In my older standard pressure 38 Special guns I carry...........
    Buffalo Bore® Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 Special Ammo - 158 gr LSWCHPGC
    Federal® Premium® Personal Defense® 38 Special 125gr Nyclad HP

    If I want a +P loading in one of my 357 Magnum snubbies I choose.........
    Buffalo Bore® Heavy .38 Special +P Ammo - 158 gr LSWCHPGC over any 357 Magnum loading.

    I am wondering why you would choose the above over any .357 mag load.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    I am wondering why you would choose the above over any .357 mag load.
    I think the swc +p in 158 grain persuasion is the best compromise of power, penetration, and shootability (as in quick follow up shots) for carry in the snub nose revolver. My question is why would BB use a gas check on a bullet driven at 38 spl velocities?

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I think the swc +p in 158 grain persuasion is the best compromise of power, penetration, and shootability (as in quick follow up shots) for carry in the snub nose revolver. My question is why would BB use a gas check on a bullet driven at 38 spl velocities?

    I don't know what a gas check is, but I sense that was a rhetorical question?
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    I don't know what a gas check is, but I sense that was a rhetorical question?
    A gas check is a short copper cup attached to the base of a lead bullet to prevent leading when fired at higher velocities, generally 1000fps or greater.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    I am wondering why you would choose the above over any .357 mag load.
    Controllability. In my 4" or longer barrel 357 Magnum guns I shoot 357 Magnum ammunition. These are hunting/range guns. The 357 Magnum snubnose guns are EDCG & BUGs.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    A gas check is a short copper cup attached to the base of a lead bullet to prevent leading when fired at higher velocities, generally 1000fps or greater.
    I see.

    Buffalo Bore does advertise their heavy +P .38s at 1000 fps using short barrels; so that must be the reason for the gas check.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  11. #25
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I routinely load unchecked cast bullets over 1100-1200 fps with no leading issues. They may use softer lead. Still , even at 1000 fps, I can't see how it could need a GC.

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    A gas check is a short copper cup attached to the base of a lead bullet to prevent leading when fired at higher velocities, generally 1000fps or greater.
    I am not a reloader, but I am an engineer. I would venture to guess that the gas check is to keep the hot gases from melting the lead onto your barrel surface. It isn't really about speed of the bullet, it's temperature dependent, and as others have said the hardness/melting point of the lead.

  13. #27
    Senior Member Array Skeeter64's Avatar
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    I currently carry Hornady Critical Defense 110 +P, but I just bought some Buffalo Bore ammo to try out. They are the 158 are the LSWCHP in standard and +P varieties.

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    IMHO ... you are "fine" .... remember in a gun with a 1.9" barrel, it losses some umph and energy as well.
    In Winter, put in the +P's.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

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