38 vs 9mm

This is a discussion on 38 vs 9mm within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; "Just because the 38 special might be loaded with a 158 gr. bullet doesn't automatically mean it will penetrate better than the 9mm." You're right. ...

Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 65
Like Tree19Likes

Thread: 38 vs 9mm

  1. #46
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,060
    "Just because the 38 special might be loaded with a 158 gr. bullet doesn't automatically mean it will penetrate better than the 9mm."

    You're right. And those bullet weights used in those listed loads are comparable.

    Plus or minus less than an inch difference over the listed loads only indicates comparable performance as does the expansion exhibited.

    Besides which, no one's been assailed by any gelatin yet so just how relevant are such tests really, except for how loads perform against gelatin?

    I just prefer to get my "15 inches of fame" with a heavier lead bullet at .38 Special velocities than I would using a lighter, speedier 9mm bullet. For the rare occasions when I carry a Hi-Power a Winchester 147 grain load is chosen.

    While this non-test has no scientific value it may be observed that the only 9mm loadings that will flip over a disc a single time on a spinning disc target that I use around here are the various 147 grain loads. No 115-125 grain loading, no matter if it's +P or +P+ will do any more than set the discs to swinging. The +P 158 grain .38 Special loads will also flip over a disc a single time. Buffalo Bore +P 158 grain .38 Special ammunition and any of several 158 grain .38 Special handloads tried will flip it over a couple of times.

    In comparison, the .45 ACP cartridge will set the disc to spinning merrily. The 3-disc target was designed for use with the .45 ACP. Straight-walled revolver cartridges are a bit harsh on the spinning disc target as would the 10mm round likely be. I had to get it re-welded after a recent session with the .41 Magnum and .357 Magnum.

    I remain convinced that bullet weight counts for more than most give credit and that there's something to be said for momentum. High velocity and expansion is nice but it isn't the do-all and end-all of fight stopping that our ammunition manufacturers, gun scribes, and some forum folk think it is.

    I'm old-fashioned about such things though.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #47
    Distinguished Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    West Branch
    Posts
    1,990
    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    With all due respect, this appears to be a completely pointless exercise.
    Those who bear witness to futility give it meaning.

    kung-fu_tv-master_po-young_grasshopper.jpg

  4. #48
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,954
    Well bmcgilvray I hope I am carrying my .45 or my .357 when I get attacked by marauding metal plates! But I guess that will happen about as often as you get chased down by a glob of jello.
    No factor, be it energy, sectional density, weight, velocity is a be all end all.
    If sectional density is the key, the "mighty" 230 grain .45 is inferior to both the 147 grain 9mm and 158 grain.38 special. And the 225 grain .45acp is within one percent of the 55 grain 5.56 NATO. And the 200 grain .357 magnum load would be right there with the 150 grain .308 Winchester.

    Of course if it was just weight or caliber the .45 loads would easily outclass either of the rifle rounds listed above.

    If it were just velocity the 5.56 would be king.

    It just isn't that simple.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  5. #49
    Member Array thehustleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    113
    Very similar rounds, I'd go with 9mm simply because revolvers are ugly and I much prefer a semi auto

    *swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*
    It's better to prevent a crime, than to punish it.

  6. #50
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,772
    For those who prefer the 38 spl over the 9mm because of the option of using SWC bullets, what are your thoughts on using a heavy 150 gr or so SWC in the 9mm platform.

    Wouldn't this give you the best of both worlds. The bullet design you prefer, with the capacity of the the semi auto.

    I know this didn't address the OP's question, so I will answer it now. With the current ammo availability, it really wouldn't matter to me. 5 of one or 5 or the other, I am ok either way if I do what I am supposed to do.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
    www.ddchl.com
    Texas CHL Instructor
    Texas Hunter Education Instructor
    NRA Instructor

  7. #51
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    W
    Posts
    122
    The rounds just need to meet the FBI protocol.
    If you understand human incapacitation, you'll understand the caliber foolishness.

  8. #52
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,954
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Besides which, no one's been assailed by any gelatin yet so just how relevant are such tests really, except for how loads perform against gelatin?
    You never know...........
    blob2.jpg
    Cory1022 likes this.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  9. #53
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,060
    [QUOTE=mcp1810;2150172]
    If it were just velocity the 5.56 would be king.

    Nope. That title would belong to the .220 Swift rather than the 5.56 NATO.

    It just isn't that simple. [QUOTE]


    And, in that statement you would be correct. It isn't that simple because "they" don't want it to be simple. Ammunition and handgun makers won't sell as many products if they actually assisted the consumer by making it simple.

    We've all been inundated for years now in marketing and hype that speedy (in a relative sort of way) light, trick pistol bullets are the panacea for handgun related stopping power. There are so many different "fancy" bullets out there, each one claiming to provide the fix that the handgunner is searching for. It's an ever-burgeoning market in which there are too many choices with none being materially different than another. What is really being sold is a false sense of confidence that is only transient. The result of all this is that a bunch of confused folks are sucked into the vicious cycle of angst over their choices, buying ever more newly introduced ammunition offerings while agonizing over whose chart, study, or forum post to believe.

    In the middle to late 1970s I was there, buying into the hype of the Super Vel concept. I bought Super Vel ammunition loaded with light bullets, cooked up heavy .38 Special handloads with lightweight jacketed bullets with hollow points in them, and dreamed of a .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 19 Combat Magnum. Later, I got my first Model 19 and made up hairy-chested handloads using Sierra 110 jacketed hollow cavities (Sierra wasn't content to just call them hollow points back then) with large amounts of Blue Dot. The loads gen'ed up 1600 fps over the chronograph from a 4-inch barrel and made a fire ball that would singe one's shoe laces when they were fired. On critters though, sometimes the bullets performed spectacularly and sometimes they didn't. Hollow point designs are better now, or so it's said. The heavier semi-wadcutter bullet gave dependable performance with good hits so the fancy lightweight bullets were eventually left behind. Now I never carry any of the .357 Magnums I have. Non-magnum .38 Special, .44 Special, and .45 ACP rounds appeal to me using bullets on the heavier end of the scale. 9mm is fine too for the semi-auto fan and the .40 S&W with 180 grain bullets has a lot of appeal. I don't know why I have never picked up a .40 S&W pistol.

    Of course the weight alone won't do it either without velocity to efficiently propel it. And heavyweight, large diameter handgun bullets become too difficult to effectively control if propelled with a large measure of velocity. Otherwise we'd all "have our cake and eat it too." So something has to give. Despite expansion claims, we're only guaranteed the diameter of the bullet as it exits the muzzle. I'll give up a little velocity and the uncertainty of bullet expansion performance for the heavier bullets in the range of weights commonly used in a particular handgun cartridge. The hole-cutting feature of the semi-wadcutter or even a full wadcutter has appeal. Any expansion is just the gravy. Some would prefer the lightest weight bullet, flung the fastest and depend on design features that are suppose to expand. That's fine. You pay your money and you take your chances.

    Neither charts, graphs, jello, nor metal plates reveal the complete answer. Accurate shot placement is the simplest answer.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  10. #54
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,954
    Well my eleven year old settled it for me this afternoon at the range. After shooting my .22 Ruger he moved up to my S&W with 158 LSWC .38's in it and finished off with my P225 shooting 115 FMJs. He said the 9mm was best because the smoke smelled better.
    How do you argue with that? In his world of experience at poking holes in paper the best smelling round is the obvious winner.

    I think the big problem is that people ask to broad a question when it comes to cartidges.
    "Which is better?"
    I think the best answer to that question is, "For what?"
    If I were choosing what to carry tomorrow one of the biggest factors would be where am I?
    Here in our neck of the woods what I would carry tomorrow afternoon is not necessarily what I would have carried last night when it was 35 degrees out, or what I would carry in Michigan right now. In the cold, with the reasonable expectation that anyone I found myself shooting would be wearing multiple heavy layers, I would go with the heavy for caliber round, or maybe even go with a larger caliber. As you said, might expand might not.

    When it is seventy one degrees tomorrow afternoon it is a pretty safe bet that anyone I find myself shooting is not going to be as bundled up. A lighter bullet at higher velocity that will expand would be my choice.

    Different tools for different jobs.

    My holster for my 681 should be arriving via UPS shortly. It will certainly find it's way into my rotation. I have a variety of factory ammo for it from 110 grain +P Hydra Shoks to 180 grain Black Talons. But that doesn't mean I am going to stop carrying any of my other weapons. It and the various cartridges for it are just more tools in the box.

    What is best for me when delivering some diamonds in downtown Houston is not necessarily what is best for me back packing in bear country.
    wmhawth likes this.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  11. #55
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,060
    Maybe the way a round smells is the proper way to pick a cartridge and load. Your boy may be on to something there.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  12. #56
    Distinguished Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    West Branch
    Posts
    1,990
    .357s were a little bossy today so I'm going with plus peas at least until the next range session or until I'm out of ammo - which ever come first.

    Put a boot grip on my LCR.

  13. #57
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    8,802
    Bmcgilvray, as usual, is correct in his explanation of the better round. And, I'm sure that he has proven it for himself outside of the lab environment.

    I too have used both against flesh and bone, and this is where the 158 weight hard cast swc design excels. While many here will argue with little or no practical experience what they read in their favorite " Guns & Animosity" rag, or regurgitate what is printed on the box, the fact is the swc bullet is simply a better penetrator.

    The question was posed, what if the 150 weight swc was loaded in the 9mm case and fired from an auto, that would not this be the best of both worlds? Well maybe. The one issue is, that the smallish case of the 9mm is limited to what can be loaded. And then, there is feeding issues.

    The thing that people do not understand about the conventional HP, is that bone, even a thin, flat rib, is a very porus tissue, that is flexible, pliable, and will completely screw up an HPs ability to expand. A small glance on the bone will cause an HP to careen out of control, and off course. Especially if some expansion has begun before it hits.

    The hardcast swc will be less effected by the same tissue.

    Sure, lab tests in gello may show a marginal increase in penetration over the 38, but those marginal gains are negated when " the bullet meets the bone".
    I have shot a feral dog with a very popular, and highly touted 124 weight +p, the exact same round many of you carry, recommend, and brag about here on this very forum. The shot was within the perimeters of the distance many would consider within self defense range. The dog, was about 50-60 lbs, and ran out of sight after hitting it behind the front leg.

    Several days later, while cutting brush, I found it a loooong way from where it was hit. I opened it up and found the bullet, was real pretty and flowery lookin. It bloomed just like a rose, just like all those pretty pics in the gun rags. The bullet, went thru the right lung, and was found against the left lung, without even entering the lung sac. Nomwonder the dog ran so far.
    And many of you reading this carry that same load in your pistols, with complete confidence that it will do great work because it has x amount of energy, and it expands reliably in jello, and penetrates in jello.

    So excuse me if I and some others, ( including some of your favorite gun scribes), would scoff at the posts of those of you who would post copied numbers and pics of your favorite carry load based on what you read.

    Im not feeding them a $ a round for a bunch of BS, especially when I know the truth from first hand experience.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  14. #58
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    8,802
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Maybe the way a round smells is the proper way to pick a cartridge and load. Your boy may be on to something there.
    Makes about as much sense as some of the other BS around here.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  15. #59
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    The question was posed, what if the 150 weight swc was loaded in the 9mm case and fired from an auto, that would not this be the best of both worlds? Well maybe. The one issue is, that the smallish case of the 9mm is limited to what can be loaded. And then, there is feeding issues.
    I guess I have a project for after tax season. I will order some SWC 9mm lead and experiment with some loadings to see what velocities I can get out of them with a couple of different grain lead, and see how they feed in various 9mm pistols that I have.

    Although case size would offer some hurdles, with the wide variety of powders available, I think the 9mm still has plenty of case to get one to higher than safe powder charges. The key will be, like any caliber, getting the right combination for the best results and still being safe.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
    www.ddchl.com
    Texas CHL Instructor
    Texas Hunter Education Instructor
    NRA Instructor

  16. #60
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    minnesota
    Posts
    2,293
    Somebody--Fiocchi, I believe--has a 158gr offering in 9mm. However, I also believe that it is a FMJ.
    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

Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

.38 or 9mm
,
.38 special vs 9mm
,

.38 vs 9mm

,
.38 vs. 9mm
,
38 or 9mm
,
38 special vs 9mm
,
38 versus 9mm
,

38 vs 9mm

,
9mm or 38
,

9mm vs .38

,

9mm vs 38

,
9mm vs 38 special
Click on a term to search for related topics.