Short Barrel 38 SPL Ammo

This is a discussion on Short Barrel 38 SPL Ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was wondering if there are any other 38 Special ammo other than Gold Dots that are designed to work with snubbies. The only one ...

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Thread: Short Barrel 38 SPL Ammo

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    Short Barrel 38 SPL Ammo

    I was wondering if there are any other 38 Special ammo other than Gold Dots that are designed to work with snubbies. The only one I can find is from Speer which is a good choice but I am looking for options.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    The classic 158gr SWCHP+P "FBI load" is hard to ignore...available from various sources.
    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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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    What's wrong with Golden Sabers or Critical Defense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkruf View Post
    What's wrong with Golden Sabers or Critical Defense?
    Nothing wrong with either, however the test data for both is with a 4in barrel. I was wondering if there are others designed specifically for short barrels such as a snub barrel revolver.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    If it will punch deep, and shoots well...tell me why it simply must be "designed specifically for short barrels"?

    What do you think you are gaining, besides paying for somebody's marketing?
    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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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    The classic 158gr SWCHP+P "FBI load" is hard to ignore...available from various sources.
    ^^^^^^^^^^This. You can spend alot more money, but can't do any better.
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    So where can I get this FBI load? The only place I have been able to locate them is on the Bullalo bore website.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    If it will punch deep, and shoots well...tell me why it simply must be "designed specifically for short barrels"?

    What do you think you are gaining, besides paying for somebody's marketing?


    ^^^^^^Ideally^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    The Speer GD Short Barrel stuff has been tested to reliably expand when fired from a 2in. or shorter barrel.
    Something the other .357, and .38 loads cannot boast.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    The fact that it is designed to expand reliably from a short barrel reeks of compromise. To get, you have to give.

    Either the jacket is extremely thin, or the velocity has been increased. I think it's a little of both. The bullet weight is reduced to 135, which let's it fly faster, and, I'm sure the jacket has been redesigned to aid in the expansion.

    Another great marketing ploy to get more of your $.

    Even by reducing to the 135 from 158 weight bullet, the gain in velocity is not significant.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneshot View Post
    ^^^^^^Ideally^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    The Speer GD Short Barrel stuff has been tested to reliably expand when fired from a 2in. or shorter barrel.
    Something the other .357, and .38 loads cannot boast.
    Ideally...means little or nothing when the rubber hits the road...or, as Golden Earring sang, when the bullet meets the bone.

    The 158gr+P SWCHP has a record of being rather good in the expansion department...and in the case it doesn't, retains it's SWC profile to cut a wide channel.

    Sorry, but you cannot 100% guarantee expansion from any 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

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    Member Array Ivan's Avatar
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    If you were on the BB web site... did you notice the Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 (non +p) load? It comes in 158 SWC, 150 Hard Cast Wad Cutter and 125 JHP. I have the 158s in my 638 as I type this. Great round that is both powerful and controlable. I've also used the Gold Dots and Critical Defense. All are excellent, well-planned defensive rounds that work well in snubbies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skysoldier29 View Post
    So where can I get this FBI load? The only place I have been able to locate them is on the Bullalo bore website.
    - If you have a Cabelas near you, they carry various Buffalo Bore .38spl loads.

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I tried the "FBI" load from Buffalo Bore, and found it a bit much for me to handle.

    I prefer to use the standard pressure, low flash variety. It's still pretty stout, but manageable

    I've shot Winchester and Federal's 125 grain +P stuff, and it was a lot softer in the recoil department than Buffalo Bore's 158 grain standard pressure stuff.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Yeah, standard pressure loads with the 158 weight swc are really all that's really needed. They still drive deep and straight.
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    Member Array Cory1022's Avatar
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    I am carrying Crit Defense standard pressure, especially since reading this. I am not opposed to the FBI load, I just haven't acquired any and want some quality time with it first. For hoo-ha's here's a read: Loads for Snub Nose Revolvers

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