This is a discussion on Smith & Wesson 642 - What's the best range & Self Defense Ammo? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looking for sound advise on what ammo to use at the range and for self defense. I have been given permission by my boss to ...
Looking for sound advise on what ammo to use at the range and for self defense.
I have been given permission by my boss to cc. I work in an office sitting at a desk much of the time, but do walk around the facilities throughout the day for various reasons. I want something that will do the job if needed without worrying if it will pack the punch needed. Any ideas?
Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
For my 638 I used either white box 38 or remigtion 38 both seem to fire just find . I normal like either hornady critical defensive or pdx1 rounds for carry. I believe speer makes a round made for short barrel guns and is low flash. Both CD and pdx1 are as well.
Also federal and hordnay make low recoil ammo if that is a issue
Most any modern hollow point round will do the job just fine . Just fire a few box to get the feel for it and make sure there is no issues ( rare but you never know).
Also depening on the round you may want to look at better grips help a lot esp with small guns . I have pacymare on mine helps a lot with grip and control also the much larger Houge are good for the range and reduced recoil to nothing . You will know after you shoot it .
For range use, a straight wadcutter is a lot of fun.
And my snub .38 is loaded (like bmcgilvray's) with 158gr+P LSWCHP's.
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
Any decent brand using Hornady's 158 gr. XTP bullet (including Hornady itself) is a good choice for self defense. Although the +P loads mentioned are effective, keep in mind they can be a handful in a small lightweight revolver. You may be able to shoot better with a standard pressure load, and that is the most important thing.
I have shot wad cutters seated backwards out of a 357 with a gas check. I don't remember the charge, but I used Alcan 10, which tells you how long ago that was. I can tell you this, don't attempt shooting a load like that into a gallon jug of water within 20 yards! My first shot was at 10 yards. None of the 10 jugs had an exit hole. The good thing is, it was a on a hot day. I even had a rainbow once!
Keep everything at 158gr. The weight the cartridge was designed for. Use lead RN, SWC, WC for range, HP for self defense.
For range work I like 148 wad cutters. Low recoil and very accurate. If that was what my gun was loaded with at the time I would feel confident in a self defense situation.
For carry I like 158g lead semi wad cutter hollow points. They have a proven track record. When you push velocity with this round the recoil is very noticeable.
My second choice for a snubby is 125g JHP.
I do not use 158g JHP in a snub nose revolver.
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato
Load my own for range work, been using cb bullets 158gr LRN with 4.2 gr unique for cc I carry standard pressure buffalo bore 158gr lswc low flash low recoil great round
A wad cutter will cut a hole into flesh, instead of ripping it. A ripped hole will close somewhat, and a cut hole won't, at least not as much. Even if it doesn't expand, the subject will (should) bleed out more quickly.
One of the reasons a wad cutter is so accurate is the relatively soft lead, and the large hollow base which forms the best gas seal.
Gramps loads my .38 range rounds. Some are wadcutters. I think they are fun to shoot at the range because they make such NICE NEAT holes! For SD I use branded "self defense" +P in my j frame and .357 in my heavy model 686. I don't have a choice or preference in SD rounds because Gramps came equipped with boxes and boxes of them. AND I hope, really hope, to never have to use them. (Although I have shot a speed loader or two full during competition shoots by mistake: they make a lot of noise!)
Getting old was not on my list of "things to do" in the Golden Years!
Talking to each other here is good, but taking action is better.
For the range I like precision one 125 grain fmj or jsp. This round is lightly loaded and will keep your hand from stinging after 20-25 rounds of practice. For SD I like the Gold Dot 135 grain +p. I use both rounds in a 642 and a ruger lcr.
I stopped differentiating between range and carry ammo. The points of impact were off by too much during instinctive shooting. I now practice with my carry ammo.