.38 Special, Was There a Conspiracy? - Page 3

.38 Special, Was There a Conspiracy?

This is a discussion on .38 Special, Was There a Conspiracy? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm coming into this pretty late: ".38 Special, Was There a Conspiracy?" Not a conspiracy, but many firearms enthusiasts began to believe that faster was ...

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Thread: .38 Special, Was There a Conspiracy?

  1. #31
    Member Array Erik's Avatar
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    I'm coming into this pretty late:

    ".38 Special, Was There a Conspiracy?"

    Not a conspiracy, but many firearms enthusiasts began to believe that faster was better, period, without asking why faster may be better sometimes, and conversely why it may not be. Folks who make and sell such things began to take note, and gave those people, who if not a majority are certainly a sizeable minority, what they wanted.
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  2. #32
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    About .38 Spl. +p+ Ammo

    Hi all, this is my first post in this forum wich call my atention because in my country, COLOMBIA, the .38 is the most popular caliber, even it is the standard side arm for police and security men. I work in a security company so guns are a tool for me, not a sport, but I love guns and shooting. I have 2 guns: a S&W M19-3 4" barrel in .357 Mag. and a M14-3 6" barrel in .38 Spl. The problem is for work I should carry .38 Spl. ammo only, so as handloader I developed a very hot load some 10 years ago as follow. Case: Indumil (government brand) hand selected and weighted for internal capacity homogenity and wall thick control. Primer: CCI550. Powder: 13 grains of Blue Dot. Bullet: 110 grains Sierra JHC. In the Chrony with the 4" average is 1366 FPS, with the 6" average is 1514 FPS. No flatened primers or extraction problems. Penetration and expansion in water filled bags is very good. By the way, the price of a 50 rounds factory box (government produced) .38 Spl. 158 grains RN is some US $45.oo, so for practice I use 4,3 grains of Winchester 231 with 158 grains Lee mould bullet and standard primers.
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  3. #33
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    Hi and welcome to the Forum.

    That is some .38 Special handload. Would be ok in your revolvers but might be a bit stiff for some of my ol' wheezer collectable .38 Special revolvers.

    I'd say you love guns and shooting. Anyone who has a couple of quality revolvers, handloads, and owns a chronograph is more than a casual shooter.

    Glad you're here. Be sure to chime in with your remarks any time the mood strikes you.

  4. #34
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    This is an awesome thread. I want to make a request. If you or anyone else has a vast amount fo knowledge about the "consiracy" behind the failure of the .38 super to ever live up to it's potential. I would love to see a thread on it. Seems like if folks wold have just grabbed onto the super, we may have never had to head down the 10mm/.40 cal road. ??

    Again, I too am a lover of revolvers and the 38spl. I carry one, and my wife doesn't even care to shoot any other handgun besides a .38 wheelie, so thanks for this informative thread.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  5. #35
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    I've long read and heard that the .38 Super was hamstrung by improper and inconsistently prepared chambers and throats in the Colt barrels which contributed to uneven accuracy performance. I never obtained one to play with and see for myself. I know two other shooters who both have older Colt .38 Supers and the small amount of range time I had behind these pistols was most satisfactory. For flinging .355 bullets the .38 Super is as good as any other reasonable high-performance round of that bore diameter and I've always pulled for it as an underdog round. I hope to get one one of these here days.
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  6. #36
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    The .38 Super got a bad rap in the early days because chambers were cut so that the cartridge headspaced on the semi-rim. This caused accuracy problems due to inconsistent case rim thicknesses.

    Modern barrels are chambered to allow the cartridge to headspace on the case mouth, which has pretty much eliminated the problem.
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  7. #37
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    I was disappointed in the expansion performance. It did finish the buck however.
    Very interesting chronograph figures. Ive always waned to get hold of some of that stuff and check it out. Your 1979 data is no doubt more trustworthy than I would get with decades old remnants. The velocities you recorded are lower and more sensible than I thought might be the case with that load. Those early jhps without pre-stressed jackets were notable for non-expansion. A local guy shot an edp with the Super Vel. .380 load. Hit him center chest and the bullet exited his back with no sign of expansion. Amazingly, no important organs sustained damage and he was back on the street in a week.
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    First hand gun I purchased over 2 years ago was a .45, then I went 9mm (mainly for price and compact size) then .38special/357mag.... the first gun I ever shot was a S&W 36, and I was 8years old, I noticed that it had less penetration than the 9mms out there when shooting metal drums etc but knocking it makes no sense to me, it's enough for self defence.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestranger View Post
    Even though I've got a "stable" full of autos and magnums, I still recommend to folks asking about a first handgun to get a 6 shot, DA, min. 3" barrel 38 sp.(or 357 if they start out with 38s) and a same style 22RF if they can afford 2 handguns. Amazing how many want to start out with a Glock! Just call me old fashioned or ol' geezer, got nothing against Glocks, but a Glock ain't what I'd recommend as a starter gun.
    I agree, the best "starter gun" IMHO is a revolver... not much to mess around with and is more reliable.
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  10. #40
    Senior Member Array rdoggsilva's Avatar
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    I still enjoy shooting my 38spl. And still reload for it, like 158gr SWC, for range use. I use Speer 158gr LSWCHP for my FBI load in +P. The 38spl is a mild load that any one can master and control even in +P. I do not consider it a absolute round.
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  11. #41
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    This is still one of my favorite threads.
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanMartin View Post
    This is still one of my favorite threads.
    Wish we had more like them to read.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  13. #43
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    Now here is an old thread worth the Lazarus treatment.
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  14. #44
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    Amen Brother! Great post bmcgilvary! My wife's go to gun in the stable is her 4 inch Colt Diamondback, my son's favorite is my SP 101 loaded wit .38 special's.
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  15. #45
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    There is nothing wrong with .38 special. It's a good round when you understand it for what it is. I think the biggest resistance to it has come from the exact opposite conspiracy: the conspiracy to make .38 spl seem like god's gift to 1 shot drops in a handgun. I had a CCW instructor that went through handgun rounds one by one, stating that .38 special was an ideal defense round that anyone should trust for self defense, then 30 seconds later talk about how weak 9mm was and how you shouldn't trust it for anything bigger than a squirrel. So...the same diameter and weight class projectile, shot at a higher speed with more energy is worthless, and practically the same thing going slower is god's gift to defense? That sort of thing, based totally on old time nostalgia and anecdotal stories, annoys people. Then when we get annoyed, we want to dispel it, so we push back the other direction...sometimes too hard, making it seem like we think .38 spl is worthless. It's not. It's a good round. It's just doesn't live up to its legend.

    I do disagree with the OP that .38 special is ballistically comparable to 9mm though. More like .380 for standard pressure .38 spl and .38 +P being a tad under 9mm standard pressure in my opinion.
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