Best STANDARD Pressure 38 Special Self Defense Ammo

Best STANDARD Pressure 38 Special Self Defense Ammo

This is a discussion on Best STANDARD Pressure 38 Special Self Defense Ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a s&w 342 airlite Ti that I carry with corbon 110gr +P ammo. This stuff is BRUTAL to say the least out of ...

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Thread: Best STANDARD Pressure 38 Special Self Defense Ammo

  1. #1
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    Best STANDARD Pressure 38 Special Self Defense Ammo

    I have a s&w 342 airlite Ti that I carry with corbon 110gr +P ammo.
    This stuff is BRUTAL to say the least out of a 12oz revolver (I wouldn't expect any less from corbon) even if it is rated for the +P stuff. So my question is what brand of NON +P ammo would you use and the reason why. Which bullet weight is better?, with a 12oz gun I was hoping to stay as light as possible to keep the recoil down. I've also read a little about the solid copper rounds, would it be better to go with a copper solid than a conventional round the uses jacketed or bonded bullets since I want to stay as light as possible on the bullet weight? The only note on the gun is
    " jacketed bullets only" no mention of bullet weights of any kind. Will I really loose that much performance from a 1 7/8" barrel between the standard pressure vs. the +P rated stuff ?
    Does anyone have any experience with the standard pressure 110gr hydra-shock ammo?
    They do have a pretty large hollow point opening, I also like the look for the 125gr Nyclad round too. I was hoping to get some feed back on these also if possible . I also want to pose this question, now that we are moving out of the era of light/fast and into the era of slow/deep, would Winchester 38spl +P 95gr STHP be considered to lite in order to penetrate deep enough to get to "vital" organs or do you think they would be good enough to get the job done? I'm guessing the recoil would be "easier" on the hand since the projectile is only 95gr, an old friend gave me a few boxes of these way back when & yes you are reading correctly they are Winchester 38spl +P 95gr Silver Tip Hollow Point 50 round box
    I know I'm kind of veering off my topic with the mention of the 95gr STHP's, for that I'm sorry I just wanted to see if anyone knew anything about the performance wise
    Thanks
    G


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, you are restricted to 125 or lighter in the ti weight revolver, due to recoil causing heavier loads to pull from the case.
    With this in mind, your choices are limited, and in that range, pretty much a coin toss.

    IF it were me, I would trade for at least an airweight where I could use heavier bullets.

    The trade off of weight vs felt recoil is the fly in the ointment that, unfortunately, is realized only after the purchase.
    Immnot going to say the lightweight bullets will not work, however, they are never going to be a first choice for me.
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    Member Array Fisher10's Avatar
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    The Nyclad is often recommended when I read similar threads.
    Hornady's Critical Defense may be a good option for you. Critical Defense Ammo 38 Special 110 Grain Flex Tip eXpanding Box of 25. Hornady also offers other standard pressure loads with the XTP bullet.

    Avoid Hydra-shoks. They are easily clogged with clothing and when they do expand, it isn't impressive. They don't retain their weight very well either. It is an obsolete bullet design that is simply outperformed by modern bullet designs.

    Here are some simple water ballistic tests of standard pressure loads to show how well a bullet design expands and retains it's weight.
    Hornady Critical Defense 110gr: AT2 - .38 Special - Hornady Critical Defense 110 Gr JHP - YouTube
    Federal Hydra-shok 110gr: AT2 - .38 Special - Federal Per Def Hydra-Shok 110 Gr JHP - YouTube
    Federal Nyclad: AT2 - .38 Special - Federal Nyclad 125 Gr HP - YouTube

    I understand felt recoil can be unpleasant with any load from a light weight snubby, but if you're in a self defense scenario you are not going to notice. Practice with cheap standard pressure loads and carry the best stuff you can handle (+P preferred). You don't need to put a lot of +P rounds down range, just enough to know what to expect when you pull the trigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher10 View Post
    The Nyclad is often recommended when I read similar threads.
    Hornady's Critical Defense may be a good option for you. [url=http://www.midwayusa.com/product/192201/hornady-critical-defense-ammunition-38-special-110-grain-flex-tip-expanding-box-of-25]]

    I understand felt recoil can be unpleasant with any load from a light weight snubby, but if you're in a self defense scenario you are not going to notice. Practice with cheap standard pressure loads and carry the best stuff you can handle (+P preferred). You don't need to put a lot of +P rounds down range, just enough to know what to expect when you pull the trigger.







    ^^YEP^^^^^^^^


    I use the Gold Dot short barrel .38+P 135 gr. in our Taurus 85 and the 442.

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    A standard velocity 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter load would make me happiest.

    The lighter weight bullets may be left for lesser cartridges like .380 ACP and 9mm and a bullet jacket is not as much a necessity on a bullet intended for self-defense as is popularly believed.
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    Federal HST or Hydro-shok.
    Hornandy Critical Defense.

    But, I won't own an ultra-light, feather-light, titanium , etc. gun for anything. Nothing I have is in the category.

    So, you may want to try the "short-barrel" ammo, has less umph and kick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher10 View Post
    The Nyclad is often recommended when I read similar threads.
    A while back I started looking for the Nyclad ammo. After hunting and hunting I found some at the below site and purchased 2 boxes. Not long after I went back to the site and it say on order check back. It still says that. Guess I might have bought the last 2 boxes.
    PISTOL AMMUNITION - Assorted Carry Ammo - FEDERAL PREMIUM .38 125GR NYCLAD HP - (P38M) - 20 ROUNDS

    You might find a dealer in your area by going to the Federal web page and entering your zip code. I had no luck in my area.
    Federal Premium - Handgun Details
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    Hornady Critical Defense,110gr stanard pressure would be a good option,reliable expansion and decent penetration..i'd go with the +p version though,doesn't really have much more kick to it

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, you are restricted to 125 or lighter in the ti weight revolver, due to recoil causing heavier loads to pull from the case.
    With this in mind, your choices are limited, and in that range, pretty much a coin toss.

    IF it were me, I would trade for at least an airweight where I could use heavier bullets.

    The trade off of weight vs felt recoil is the fly in the ointment that, unfortunately, is realized only after the purchase.
    Immnot going to say the lightweight bullets will not work, however, they are never going to be a first choice for me.
    Super light S&W is ideal for concealed carry | Shooting Industry | Find Articles

    When recommending loads for the 342 to your customers, be sure to point out that the barrel of the firearm says, ".38 Special P Jacketed." S&W's extensive testing showed that lead-bullet P ammunition has a lighter taper crimp than jacketed-bullet P amino. A light crimp combined with the rapid recoil of the 342 may cause the bullets in the remaining chambers to unseat from their cases and move forward in the cylinder, causing the gun to jam. Standard velocity .38 Special bullets will not cause this problem

    Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 Special Pistol & Handgun Ammunition

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    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    MagSafe standard pressure .38Special rounds are quite mild, as are the Nyclad standard pressure rounds. i'd also recommend you give the Hornady Critical Defense FTX rounds a try.

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