Favorite 38 Spl. SD ammo

This is a discussion on Favorite 38 Spl. SD ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have several 38 Spl. revolvers..barrel lengths 2in-3in. I had Federal 129gr 38 +P recommended to me several years ago..bought a couple of boxes and ...

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Thread: Favorite 38 Spl. SD ammo

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Buckeye63's Avatar
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    Favorite 38 Spl. SD ammo

    I have several 38 Spl. revolvers..barrel lengths 2in-3in.

    I had Federal 129gr 38 +P recommended to me several years ago..bought a couple of boxes and tested one box in my revolvers ..some 357 mag some 38spl.I seemed to be able to shoot it accurately...

    I carry the Federal 129gr Hydra -Shok 38 Spl +P

    and my ole stand-by Remington 158gr LSWCHP 38 SPL +P

    Whats your favorite ?



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  3. #2
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    I too like the Remington +P 158 grain load, or did before I read that current lots are giving velocity figures 100 fps slower than before. This would put them in the Winchester Western +P 158 grain load category. Not bad mind you but not quite "up to snuff" to old performance levels.

    At any rate it's 158 grain +P factory loads or their handloaded equivalent all the time, for all the .38s carried.
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    Senior Member Array BamaT's Avatar
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    I haven't had any luck finding 158 grain lead HP +P, but would carry it if I could. Currently carrying Golden Saber 125 grain HP +PFor whatever they're worth, this round seems to perform well in 4 denim layer test. I also like the idea of the brass jacket, maybe being a bit tougher with more controlled expansion. The afore mentioned tests typically show expansion in the 60 caliber range, but also penetrating well.
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    I've got some Federal 158 LSWC +P that chronos faster than advertised out of my 4" K-frame. I wasn't able to check it out of the snub, but based on other loads I've checked I can extrapolate to something around 825 ft/sec or so. This is the carry load for the snub and what's in my lady's nightstand M64.

    Through experience I've found that the lead SWCs have their noses deformed if they're carried in speed strips or speedloaders in a pocket; not so with JHPs. So when the J-frame snub is in a pocket, the one or two reloads in the offside pocket are JHPs such as the Hydra-Shok.
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    Member Array thedogfather's Avatar
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    I agree, the 158 grain LSWCHP +P is the .38 special round I would carry. That is what I have in my Model 28 now, bedside duty. I realized that I really do not have all that much quality SD .38 special ammo, beside the 158 grn, other than a couple speed loaders of Federal 110 grn JHP. Standard pressure I believe. I have lots of "range fodder" but not SD ammo. I should probably go shopping.

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I have a couple of favorites that I go to for my snubs. Usually they will be loaded with the BuffaloBore standard pressure 158gr SWC-HC stuff. I also use the 124gr +p Golden Saber and the 124gr +p Gold Dot. The ballistics test done by (TNoutdoors9) from YouTube for these rounds looked good, and they should do their job if placed where they need to be.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Another fan of the 158gr+P LSWC-HP.
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    Federal .38 spl +P 158 grain SWC-HP Nyclad for me!
    Good luck trying to find it!
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    Member Array JohnHancock's Avatar
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    I'm currently carrying the Remington 125 gr. +p Golden Sabers. ...unless I manage to find the now mythical 135 gr. Speer Gold Dots. I will say the Sabers are accurate, manageable and the ballistics are more than impressive, so no worries! After seeing prices and hearing reports on Georgia Arms 125 gr. +p Speer HPs, I'm anxious to try these out as well! Considering 50 rounds are priced the same as WWB at Wally, how could you go wrong?! WOW! Since defense rounds you can actually afford to practice with (and find) is the ultimate goal, I might turn my back on the mass producers altogether!

  11. #10
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    158gr LSWCHP 38 SPL I figure if it was good enough for the FBI, it's good enough for me.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Buckeye63's Avatar
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    I was looking into some standard pressure SD ammo.... ...i like the LWC ..and the newer "Pink Tip" Hornady 110 gr standard pressure ..I have read in a couple of gun Mags..that they do expand..some and penetrate well...

    I have a 100 or so handloads of the older no longer in production Winchester 158gr HP..that where produced to expand at standard pressure velocities,,...The fellow that handloaded them for me tested them in Wet Print and said they performed as as advertised...(not sure of barrel length) so at least I know if I'm attacked by wet News Papers ..I will be covered

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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    Currently have the pdx1 +p varietal, but am trying to find the venerable 158 gr lswc. As gasmitty said, the lswc would be in the gun then probably backed up by the pdx1s.
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Been shooting this lately. Performs well and should pack a serious wallop:

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    Member Array Sturgis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molleur View Post
    Federal .38 spl +P 158 grain SWC-HP Nyclad for me!
    Good luck trying to find it!
    We had the Nyclads on patrol in the mid 90's. I still have a small amount of of Winchester and Speer 158 gr +P JHP's that I use when I carry my S&W 640. I have been looking everywhere for them with no result. It's like finding hen's teeth. I know the NYPD OutDoor Range has pallates full of them, but they won't give us retired guys anything. Maybe if I show up with a Box of Joe and Donuts they might let me walk home with a box or two??? ---Sturgis
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Another can of 158 swc, HP, or not.
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