Ammo question

This is a discussion on Ammo question within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Which is a better defense choice, 380 defense or 38 special standard? I have both and was debating on carry. I know 38 special +p ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Joonbi's Avatar
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    Ammo question

    Which is a better defense choice, 380 defense or 38 special standard? I have both and was debating on carry. I know 38 special +p is better but have read that 380 beats out 38 standard which sounds hard to believe considering the size of the bullets.

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    Both (90 gr. v. 158 gr.) are around 200 ft lbs at typical muzzle velocities. I would go with the 158 gr over the 90. But then again I'm partial to the unglamorous, blue-collar and hard workin' .38 Special.
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
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    I'd rather have the heavier bullet. Placed properly, either will do.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    I'd rather have a 158 gr standard pressure round fired from a revolver than a 90 gr FMJ fired from an auto, but I wouldn't say no to either if I needed to defend myself.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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    I think its the wrong question. Which gun is better for you to carry, might be a better question.

    I agree with everyone else. .38 special Id trust more. And I have a S&W J frame classic that I love. However, its 5 shot. And bigger and heavier than a .380 pocket pistol that has higher capacity. I also own 3 .380s. And while I like the J frame more than the .380s as a better made weapon, I probably use the .380s more often.
    Maybe the correct answer is that each has their place. Or that "mission dictates gear".
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    Another vote for the .38 Special.
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    Put me down for the 38spl camp.
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    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I have both and carry one or the other as BUG, I trust both but again placement is the key

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    Member Array Joonbi's Avatar
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    I recently bought a s/w 340pd and will probably get the +p but was just curious. My other is a p238.

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    They are BOTH pretty close as far as evidenced here; Stopping Power


    You are somewhat better served with the heavier bullet giving you better penetration than the lighter .380.

    I carry a snubnose with HP 135+P.

    You are not too far behind if you choose the .380 with 6 or seven rounds instead.
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    I do my best to keep a .38 Special revolver handy most days. I do my best to avoid keeping the .380 automatic handy most days.
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    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joonbi View Post
    I recently bought a s/w 340pd and will probably get the +p but was just curious. My other is a p238.
    The 340 PD is about 3.5 oz lighter than the Airweight. In my airweights I now shoot 158 standards, because I can get back on target easier, the recoil is less than +p, and the 158 standard is fine round. I mention this because the +P out of the 11.5 oz 340 will have a heck of a recoil and you may have trouble getting back on target. So I recommend that you experiment with both.

    On the plus side, the 340PD is so light you will forget it's there. I forget about the airweight, and that's is heavier than the PD.
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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    Member Array Joonbi's Avatar
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    Recoil is another reason for asking about standard 38 special but was hoping it would be better as a defense round than the 380 hydro shock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joonbi View Post
    Recoil is another reason for asking about standard 38 special but was hoping it would be better as a defense round than the 380 hydro shock.
    Well, I would feel more confident with standard .38 Special than I would .380 Hydra Shok, more confident than with .380 "anything else" too for that matter. Between the two cartridges I value bullet weight over expanding bullets or speed.
    Aceoky and oneshot like this.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Member Array Joonbi's Avatar
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    Glad to hear most like the 38 special caliber. I liked this revolver so much that I had to have. Haven't got a chance to fire it yet but think I'll start with the 158 standard first and see how it feels.lots of people think the xds45 is bad but to me it is nothing so I am thinking I'll love shooting it as much as holding it. Thanks guys for the input.

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