Need help with choosing carry ammo for 38 special

This is a discussion on Need help with choosing carry ammo for 38 special within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It seems the general thought is the 158 grain is the better weight but I can't find a lot of agreement on which brand or ...

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Thread: Need help with choosing carry ammo for 38 special

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    It seems the general thought is the 158 grain is the better weight but I can't find a lot of agreement on which brand or style of bullet is best
    I'm another who uses 158 grain LSWCs for carry in 38 Spl. I use Buffalo Bore in both +P and standard pressure. Of course I do my practicing with much cheaper ammo.

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawei View Post
    The best 38 Special defensive load I've ever used is............
    Click it

    This standard pressure load out performs just about any current 38 Special+P. It is specifically designed for Airweight®/Ultra-Lite® guns like yours. It is the carry load in my Taurus® Mdl 85SS2UL. POA/POI are identical.
    I prefer the Buffalo Bore 130 grain JHP (I am pretty sure they use the Speer Gold Dots.)
    Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 Special Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
    They load them pretty darn hot and use special blends of powder to get the most from the short barrel. I can actually tell the difference in the recoil from a 130 grain target load when I mix them in the gun. Their claim of getting the most from a short barrel seems to be true.

    If your gun can handle the +p then go with the Buffalo Bore +p. You will not regret it.
    Heavy .38 Special +P Pistol & Handgun Ammunition

    If they made a 40 caliber standard pressure, that's what I would carry in my Glock.

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan View Post
    I'll add another vote for the Buffalo Bore Standard Pressure Low Flash load. PLENTY of power for it's intended purpose.
    Count me in too...
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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    I like the Speer Gold Dot short barrel load with a 135gr bullet.
    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyBunny View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dripster View Post
    I second this ammo choice.


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  6. #20
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Does anyone have denim ballistics comparing these recommended rounds?
    I'd like to see the differences between Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon DPX, and Speer.
    I haven't seen Speer's 23921 (I've seen 53921) ballistics tests, so I'm using Cor-Bon DPX 100gr.

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I use Federal HST , Hornandy CD, or SPEER short barrel .
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  8. #22
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    DPX in town

    158 gr solids in the woods

    Whatever you decide to carry, try to duplicate the felt recoil with your cheap practice ammo. Group sizes will be just as small, but keep in mind that point of impact for the groups will be different. It doesn't have much effect at short range, but may make a big difference if longer range precision is important to you.
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  9. #23
    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    I would suggest the Corbon DPX 110 gr. Always expands no matter what (at least in every single test I have done or seen). But hey, either way, just buy quality ammo and it will make a hole!
    snakyjake likes this.
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  10. #24
    Member Array pete950's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I only carry 158 grain SWC bullets in my 38s. I prefer to error on the side of maximum straight line penetration. I also only carry revolver cartridges that I reload myself. If that's not an option for you, there are many good heavy bullet choices available. +p loadings are good but not necassary with this loading, unless you go to a lighter bullet.
    I agree with glockman10mm only I carry a full wadcutter at 850+ FPS with 158 SWC for reloads

  11. #25
    Distinguished Member Array grouse's Avatar
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    Another vote for Buffalo Bore 158 grain LSWHP. Should hit pretty close to point of aim with your S&W 642. (NICE SNUBBY)!

  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    I like the Speer Gold Dot short barrel load with a 135gr bullet.
    x2, although I've carried the BB 158gr LSWCHP +p in my by 642 before as well. It will be one of the two loads, but I carry the Gold Dots in my speed strip reloads because they don't seem to get banged up as much when floating around in my pockets.
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  13. #27
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    158 gr+P LSWC-HP's...the ol' FBI load.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  14. #28
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    There are lots of great ammo choices in this thread...try several and pick what works best for you.OMO
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  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    I like the Speer Gold Dot short barrel load with a 135gr bullet.
    That's what I carry.
    ...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    I use Federal HST , Hornandy CD, or SPEER short barrel .
    I doubt that, as Federal does not offer any .38spl loads in their HST line.

    LE - Tactical HST
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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