Help with 38 special ammo

This is a discussion on Help with 38 special ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by azchevy I hardly find the 135Gr+p Gold dot snake oil... +1. I keep my LCR stocked with this load, and I feel ...

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Thread: Help with 38 special ammo

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    I hardly find the 135Gr+p Gold dot snake oil...
    +1. I keep my LCR stocked with this load, and I feel very confident that I am not under-prepared when I step out of the house with it.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mano3 View Post
    Why? Seems to meet FBI penetration standards and expand evenly. Very curious about this...
    Got a link to substantiate that claim?
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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  4. #33
    Member Array thedogfather's Avatar
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    Over the last couple of years, I bought several boxes of Federal .38 special standard pressure 110 grn HP. My S&W 649 is heavier than your LCR, but they are very pleasant to shoot and seem to group well on paper. I haven't done any expansion tests.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    Got a link to substantiate that claim?
    Just google Xtp FBI protocol results, you will find several. There are newer bullets that perform better however. Curious why you gave it the thumbs down. If you have an opinion, please feel free to explain the basis for it. Not doubting you, just curious and might learn something.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    Just google Xtp FBI protocol results, you will find several. There are newer bullets that perform better however. Curious why you gave it the thumbs down. If you have an opinion, please feel free to explain the basis for it. Not doubting you, just curious and might learn something.
    You claim that the critical defense round passes the FBI protocol, Hornady states that Critical Defense was specifically designed to limit penetration and not pass the FBI protocol. The testing I've seen substantiates Hornady's claim.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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  7. #36
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    I just gotta ask, and with all sincerity; why must so much credence be placed in all these various tests that may be found?
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I just gotta ask, and with all sincerity; why must so much credence be placed in all these various tests that may be found?
    Because like the evolution of tactics they were born out of failures, in this case failure of ammunition to preform adequately in real life gunfights. Specifically the Platt & Mattix shootout in 1986. Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    You claim that the critical defense round passes the FBI protocol, Hornady states that Critical Defense was specifically designed to limit penetration and not pass the FBI protocol. The testing I've seen substantiates Hornady's claim.

    Well I read it on Internet, so I thought it was true....

  10. #39
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    Mrs bigredfish shoots 135 gr +P Gold Dots out of her S&W 642 just fine. In fact if I load them for her, she isn't even able to pick out the difference between the +P GD's and regular range ammo consistently. It's not THAT big of a difference in recoil. The fact that most every test and/or analysis I've ever read calls out the 135 +P GD as the best round for defensive purposes out of a snubbie gives me more comfort than if they all said it sucks.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    Because like the evolution of tactics they were born out of failures, in this case failure of ammunition to preform adequately in real life gunfights. Specifically the Platt & Mattix shootout in 1986. Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.
    What could the modern lightweight jacketed hollow point ammunition produced with today's bullet technology have done to render a different outcome to the Miami shootout? Trotting out the example of Platt and Mattix really doesn't prove a point in favor of today's ammunition.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  12. #41
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    From BUG's: .380 ACP vs. .38 Sp - M4Carbine.net Forums -

    There have been many reports in the scientific literature, by Dr. Fackler and others, recommending the 158 gr +P LSWCHP as offering adequate performance. Please put this in context for the time that these papers were written in the late 1980's and early 1990's--no denim testing was being performed at that time, no robust expanding JHP's, like the Barnes XPB, Federal Tactical & HST, Speer Gold Dot, or Win Ranger Talon existed. In the proper historical perspective, the 158 gr +P LSWCHP fired out 3-4" barrel revolvers was one of the best rounds available--and it is still a viable choice, as long as you understand its characteristics.

    While oversimplified, bare gelatin gives information about best case performance, while 4 layer denim provides data on worst case performance--in reality, the actual performance may be somewhere in between. The four layer denim test is NOT designed to simulate any type of clothing--it is simply an engineering test to assess the ability of a projectile to resist plugging and robustly expand. FWIW, one of the senior engineers at a very respected handgun ammunition manufacturer recently commented that bullets that do well in 4 layer denim testing have invariably worked well in actual officer involved shooting incidents.

    With few exceptions, the vast majority of .38 Sp JHP's fail to expand when fired from 2" barrels in the 4 layer denim test. Many of the lighter JHP's demonstrate overexpansion and insufficient penetration in bare gel testing. Also, the harsher recoil of the +P loads in lightweight J-frames tends to minimize practice efforts and decrease accuracy for many officers. The 158 gr +P LSWCHP offers adequate penetration, however in a 2" revolver the 158gr +P LSWCHP does not reliably expand. If it fails to expand, it will produce less wound trauma than a WC. Target wadcutters offer good penetration, cut tissue efficiently, and have relatively mild recoil. With wadcutters harder alloys and sharper leading edges are the way to go. Wadcutters perform exactly the same in both bare and 4 layer denim covered gel when fired from a 2" J-frame.

    When faced with too little penetration, as is common with lightweight .38 Sp JHP loads or too much penetration like with the wadcutters, then go with penetration. Agencies around here have used the Winchester 148 gr standard pressure lead target wadcutter (X38SMRP), as well as the Federal (GM38A) version--both work. A sharper edged wadcutter would even be better... Dr. Fackler has written in Fackler ML: "The Full Wadcutter--An Extremely Effective Bullet Design", Wound Ballistics Review. 4(2):6-7, Fall 1999)

    "As a surgeon by profession, I am impressed by bullets with a cutting action (eg. Winchester Talon and Remington Golden Saber). Cutting is many times more efficient at disrupting tissue than the crushing mechanism by which ordinary bullets produce the hole through which they penetrate. The secret to the increased efficiency of the full wadcutter bullet is the cutting action of its sharp circumferential leading edge. Actually, cutting is simply very localized crush; by decreasing the area over which a given force is spread, we can greatly increase the magnitude to the amount of force delivered per unit are--which is a fancy way of saying that sharp knives cut a lot better than dull ones. As a result, the calculation of forces on tissue during penetration underestimate the true effectiveness of the wadcutter bullet relative to other shapes."

    Currently, the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr +P JHP and Barnes 110 gr XPB all copper JHP (for ex. in the Corbon DPX loading) offer the most reliable expansion we have seen from a .38 sp 2” BUG; the Winchester 130 gr bonded +P JHP (RA38B) and Hornady 110 gr standard pressure and +P Critical Defense loads also offer good performance out of 2" barrel revolvers.
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    What could the modern lightweight jacketed hollow point ammunition produced with today's bullet technology have done to render a different outcome to the Miami shootout? Trotting out the example of Platt and Mattix really doesn't prove a point in favor of today's ammunition.
    Your question was as to why place credence in the current "testing" to which I replied. The Platt and Mattix shootout put the LE community on a serious path towards the understanding of terminal ballistics and the development of test criteria that evaluates the probability that a given load will perform sufficiently to provide adequate terminal effect.

    Agent Dove's 115gr silvertip did exactly what it was designed to do (expand) dumping it's energy into the target, however inadequate penetration stopped it an inch short of reaching Platt's heart. While a mortal wound it did not incapacitate Platt who was able to continue to fight and kill. Had Dove's 9mm been loaded with one of the current 9mm loads that have passed the FBI protocol it would have reached Platt's heart and ended the fight sooner, saving lives. Including Agent Doves'.

    People practice on 90 degree static ranges and tend to think along the same lines, however in a real life gunfights aren't that neat and simple. The FBI protocol is designed to evaluate ammunition capable of defeating common concealment that delivers adequate penetration without excessive penetration all while giving consistent expatiation.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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  14. #43
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    I found the lighter bullets have less perceivable recoil (in terms of discomfort). Like the 110gr loadings. Will probably shoot at a different point of aim when using fixed sights (usually set for 158gr bullets). I use 125gr +P JHP in my airweight J-frame. Plan to switch to the Gold Dot 135gr +P short barrel load.

    Hmm, is this gun for CCW or strictly home defense? If using something for home defense, I'd have her use a larger revolver like an SP101 or an S&W K-frame with a 4" barrel and also will have 6 rounds (7 in some S&Ws). Can also shoot the heck out of it compared to an LCR. The LCR is only a 13oz gun. A revolver is a good choice for it's simplicity.

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasgo View Post
    I found the lighter bullets have less perceivable recoil (in terms of discomfort). Like the 110gr loadings. Will probably shoot at a different point of aim when using fixed sights (usually set for 158gr bullets). I use 125gr +P JHP in my airweight J-frame. Plan to switch to the Gold Dot 135gr +P short barrel load.

    Hmm, is this gun for CCW or strictly home defense? If using something for home defense, I'd have her use a larger revolver like an SP101 or an S&W K-frame with a 4" barrel and also will have 6 rounds (7 in some S&Ws). Can also shoot the heck out of it compared to an LCR. The LCR is only a 13oz gun. A revolver is a good choice for it's simplicity.
    It is her CCW.

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