Best 38 SD round.

Best 38 SD round.

This is a discussion on Best 38 SD round. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looking to get a new revolver in 38,and wondering what to use for a SD round??...

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Thread: Best 38 SD round.

  1. #1
    Member Array TRAD1's Avatar
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    Best 38 SD round.

    Looking to get a new revolver in 38,and wondering what to use for a SD round??


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Speer gold dot for short barrels ..
    PDX1 +p
    Critacly defensive
    Semi wadcutters



    The question is what wheel guns ? If this is a older one you may want to consider if it is not rated for +p rounds ... The old ones tec fired ammo that was +P so should be a issue but still ...
    CLASS3NH likes this.
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  3. #3
    agalindo
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    GoldDot 135gr +P.
    Happypuppy, Cuda66 and CLASS3NH like this.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    158 lswc.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Probably as good as any other, but any standard pressure 135 grain to 158 grain HP or LSWC would be okay.
    I like the LSWC's.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalindo View Post
    GoldDot 135gr +P.
    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    158 lswc.
    Quote Originally Posted by molleur View Post
    Probably as good as any other, but any standard pressure 135 grain to 158 grain HP or LSWC would be okay.
    I like the LSWC's.
    All/any of the above.

    I prefer the 158gr LSWCHP+P, but that's because my .38's have fixed sights, and shoot very nicely to point if aim with those loads.
    gasmitty likes this.
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    Member Array Bhoffman's Avatar
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    We kind of need to know which 38 Handgun you are referring to.
    38 Super Auto
    38 S&W
    38 Special
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  8. #8
    Member Array TRAD1's Avatar
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    Looking at a Ruger sp101 so 38 special would be the one I guess.

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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRAD1 View Post
    Looking at a Ruger sp101 so 38 special would be the one I guess.

    A ruger sp101 will handle 38+p or 357 +P etc ...


    What you should see is that since your in NY is what you local gun stores have and go from there since you cant mail order ammo easily anymore in NYS

    I like this Hornady Critical Defense Ammo 38 Special +P 110 Grain Flex Tip or Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammo 38 Special +P 135 Grain Jacketed for shoorter barrels Winchester Supreme Elite Self Defense Ammo 38 Special +P 130 Grain is good too

    I like white box for range or Remigtion is decent ... PMC was pretty smokey to me but ran ok
    “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” H.L. Mencken
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRAD1 View Post
    Looking at a Ruger sp101 so 38 special would be the one I guess.
    Are you getting one of the .357 Magnum versions - or the 2 inch .38 Spl?

    If you are getting the .357, I would suggest you use .357 ammo for self defense. The .357 has the velocity to give you both expansion and penetration.

    In contrast, it seems most .38 Spl ammo does not reliably expand when fired at the low velocities generated by snub nose revolvers. If you look, you can find failures to expand even with the vaunted Speer "Short Barrel" Gold Dots.

    FWIW, I carry my .38 LCR quite a bit (in my holster right now), and have gone back and forth on what ammo to use. If a criminal is wearing light clothing, a .38 JHP might expand. With heavy clothing...doubtful. SWCs will give you plenty of penetration (but no expansion of course), but the issue is that they might actually penetrate too much.

    I actually just went to my local gun store yesterday, and started the process of trading my PM9 towards a 3 inch .357 SP101. Can't wait. Used to have a 2 inch SP101 that I (stupidly) sold off a few years ago.
    WrongRecroom likes this.
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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Years ago, when we old men were younger, it was the 158 gr lead SWC or the 148 Rg Hollow base wadcutters that we'd reload, and reverse the wad cutter into a hollowpoint of sorts.
    I'm sure most of us remember those days before all the high performance stuff came out.
    I sometimes carry the PowRball ammo, and the older 110 Super Vel 38 spl in the 2 inch guns. ( yeas, I stillhave a lot of that stuff hanging around, cuz i'm OLD )

    Not to steal the thread, but I recently came across about 800 Rnds of 9mm GECO BAT bullets I had stuffed away. (Blitz Action Trauma).. I hear thei're selling for some pretty hefty money these days. 71 Gr Hollow point with a nylon tip that blew off the bullet as it ignited.
    I hear there's a new BAT out there... more improved as they say. I'll stivk to these ones for sure..
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    158 lswc.
    IMO, here it is..
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    any standard pressure 135 grain to 158 grain HP or LSWC would be okay.
    That's a good answer. I have a few boxes of that myself. But...

    Cor-Bon DPX 38 Special +P 110 Grain DPX Hollow Point is a magnificent round. Look at the expansion - nothing else comes close. You get a perfect, jagged flower petal making the bullet twice it's size and razor sharp. You couldn't ask for more. The Hornady and Speer Gold Dot are reliable and not to be sneezed at, but they generally mushroom in a flat shape. The Cor-Bon spikes out, the way you'd want.

    The LSWC rounds, on the other hand, are just nasty. They splatter and expend all their energy on impact.

    The great thing about .38 special is that you have so many options and more choices than any other caliber, when it comes to ballistics. Still, as anybody here will tell you, no matter how good your ammo is, it won't do diddly squat if you can't put it on target. Your best bet is to grab as many boxes of American or Federal target ammo as you can find and afford. Shoot them all and get your accuracy up.
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    VIP Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    Well there will be some that laugh at me but the best SD rounds that I found good up to 25 yards were hand loads of 3.5grs Bullseye behind 146gr semi-wadcutters hollow base reversed after 25yds they keyhole and do not hold grouping but close up and personal I and several buddies loved them.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
    Well there will be some that laugh at me but the best SD rounds that I found good up to 25 yards were hand loads of 3.5grs Bullseye behind 146gr semi-wadcutters hollow base reversed after 25yds they keyhole and do not hold grouping but close up and personal I and several buddies loved them.
    No laughter from me at all. A tumbling round with horsepower behind it will create a devastating wound cavity. Oddly enough a equally nasty loading would be a spoon nosed FMJ. As soon as it enters the media, the shape of the nose makes the round tumble; I'm not sure if it's legal to carry the rounds for defense though. I saw a YouTube video a while back, not sure who it was made by.
    CLASS3NH likes this.
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