"Best" .38 SPL +P defense ammo

"Best" .38 SPL +P defense ammo

This is a discussion on "Best" .38 SPL +P defense ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Please sound off- what do you carry for your snubbie .38 SPL +P ammo? With warmer weather I'm frequently inclined to carry my S&W model ...

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    Member Array 2ndunamended's Avatar
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    "Best" .38 SPL +P defense ammo

    Please sound off- what do you carry for your snubbie .38 SPL +P ammo? With warmer weather I'm frequently inclined to carry my S&W model 637 (yes, it's the Wyatt Deep Cover edition- I got it for a steal of a price).

    I'm currently considering the Buffalo Bore Barnes Tac-XP 110 gr. Also on the radar are the Double Tap 110 and 125 controlled expansion JHPs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
    This looks like good stuff. I imagine the velocity figures out of a 1.87" barrel are all going to be around 1000-1100 fps, so I like the 125 gr. of the Underwood.

    How do the Underwood compare to the Hornady Critical Defense .38 +P 110 gr. FTX? I ask because Underwood references Hornady in the description of the development of the XTP round.
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    I have used a couple of different ones.

    Buffalo Bore 158 grain + P (runs about 1,000 fps out of a snubbie).

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=108

    However, their cases stick in the current 642 I own. So I switched to the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain + P.

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    Member Array 2ndunamended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdunawaytx View Post
    I have used a couple of different ones.

    Buffalo Bore 158 grain + P (runs about 1,000 fps out of a snubbie).

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=108

    However, their cases stick in the current 642 I own. So I switched to the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain + P.
    I was just reading about the Speer GD 135 gr. +P when you posted this- there's a reason Midway and others are backordered on this round. Tough to go wrong with Speer.
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    However (and I have about 20 of these left), the 158 grain "standard" pressure 38 rounds from BB run about the same velocity as the Speer + P.

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=110
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    Member Array Ivan's Avatar
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    I'll add another vote for the BB. I like the standard pressure loads, as they have plenty of power. I also use the +p Outdoorsman load they have. The hard cast bullet offers deep penetration and power. I've not tried the copper bullets they offer, but as with their other loads, I would expect they are well-planned loads that will do what they advertise.
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    I view the 110 grain and 125 grain .38 Special offerings as using lightweight bullets more appropriately suited for lesser cartridges such as .380 or 9mm ... heh!

    The .38 Special can easily handle the heavier 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter and that is what is loaded in every .38 Special revolver used for personal defense, no matter its barrel length. I like 158 grain +P loadings but wouldn't feel cheated with standard velocity loadings of the same weight bullet.
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    VIP Member Array michael t's Avatar
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    Good old 158gr LSWCHP +P Worked in 70's will work today.
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    Hornady Critical Defense FTX 110 +p
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    I like the 135gr Gold Dots.
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    Winchester white box 125 grain SJHP. It's not an ultra fancy load but it has always given me good penetration and expansion. Plus it's easy to get in my area and cheap enough to practice with.
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    Golden Sabre 125gr +P
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I view the 110 grain and 125 grain .38 Special offerings as using lightweight bullets more appropriately suited for lesser cartridges such as .380 or 9mm ... heh!

    The .38 Special can easily handle the heavier 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter and that is what is loaded in every .38 Special revolver used for personal defense, no matter its barrel length. I like 158 grain +P loadings but wouldn't feel cheated with standard velocity loadings of the same weight bullet.
    When I end up running out of 135 grainers, I'm going to go back to rolling my own 158 grain + Ps.

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    In the 640-1 357, it's BB's 158 lswchp+p 38 spl..

    In the 642, it's BB's 150 grain s/v wadcutter

    I've got a box of Nyclad 158 grain non +P but I can't find data on it, it's been out of production long enough to not even find articles on the 158 grainers.

    Today I carried the 640-1 on the belt and the 642 opposite back pocket. One speed strip in the watch pocket. A gun available to either hand, summers coming so I'll skinny down from the 1911's and sigs/
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