Ammo Suggestions for S&W 442/642

Ammo Suggestions for S&W 442/642

This is a discussion on Ammo Suggestions for S&W 442/642 within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm very new to firearms and ammo choices. I am purchasing an S&W 442 for concealed carry, and would like to know your suggestions for ...

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Thread: Ammo Suggestions for S&W 442/642

  1. #1
    New Member Array SoFla at Hom's Avatar
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    Ammo Suggestions for S&W 442/642

    I'm very new to firearms and ammo choices. I am purchasing an S&W 442 for concealed carry, and would like to know your suggestions for ammo choice. Some people have told me to avoid +P ammo, and to stick with regular 38 special. From browsing forums, it appears that an all-around favorite is Federal Premium, Hydra-Shok® JHP. Do you agree, and I'd also be happy to hear suggestions about Grains/Weight. Finally, I am seeing more posts about HST. It sounds too good to be true: more-effective, less cost. Is it?


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    Member Array FallenPhoenix's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why people would recommend standard pressure rounds in a snub nose. Admittedly, +P isn't what I would call "fun" from a scandium frame revolver, but they're not bad.

    The Speer short barrel +P is very well spoken of, though I've found it difficult to find other than ordering over the internet. I keep Cor Bon 110gr +P hollow points in my 637.

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    New Member Array SoFla at Hom's Avatar
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    That's sound advice. In looking around more, I've seen a lot of good feedback on the Speer.

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    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    terminal 38 special

    Check that link out.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

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    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by FallenPhoenix View Post
    The Speer short barrel +P is very well spoken of, though I've found it difficult to find other than ordering over the internet. I keep Cor Bon 110gr +P hollow points in my 637.
    I use the Gold Dots in my 642.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    Member Array DAtrigger's Avatar
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    I would suggest that once you receive your gun try it with several different types of ammo at a range. The most commonly given advice seems to be: "carry the most powerful ammo that you can effectively control ". Especially with the snubby (or any kind of double action revolver for that matter) practice, practice, practice. You did not say whether you are buying your revolver new or used. If it's new, you should also expect that the trigger pull will become somewhat lighter after the first few hundred rounds or so. Some people will further suggest to dry fire your weapon for break-in as well as to get used to the sights and to develop a more natural aiming ability.

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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    I always say you can't go wrong with a round that was designed for the gun...Speer Gold Dot short barrel in 135 grain is what I trust in mine.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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    Carry what you can get hits with. If +p works consistantly for you, carry that. If not, nothing wrong with the standard 38 hollow point load.

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    I'm old fashioned and use +P 158 grain SWCs in my Model 642 as well as all other .38 Specials I have that pull defensive duty.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Non +p

    Welcome
    We get a lot of requests for snubbie ammo at the gunshop. The most common and easily available is the 110gr Hydra Shok.
    Federal Premium - Handgun
    Next would be the Winchester 110gr Silvertip.
    Centerfire Handgun
    Lately it's been backorderd. Remington lists a 110gr JHP but it's allways been backordered. Remington Express® Handgun Ammunition
    Some people like the Buffalo Bore LSWCHP in a non +p, I personally have no experience with it. It probably kicks more than the 110gr stuff if that matters to you. Some folks use plain LSWC or LWC for defense, I personally don't. There are good expanding loads available that have enough power to penetrate.

    For +p, most folks prefer the Speer 135gr snub load. We sell a lot of the +p Hydra Shok and the +p Gold Saber. The Cor Bon is hot if you can find it too. I like the Gold Saber just because it's a round nose and has a strong jacket. Easy to reload from speedloaders and it doesn't get beat up in your pocket. I have snubs I carry standard non +p in ,some I use with +p, and one with +p+ (a Ruger). I also have a stockpile of Nyclad in +p and standard, but if you carry it the tips get beat up.

  11. #11
    New Member Array SoFla at Hom's Avatar
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    It looks like I have some experimenting to do. I picked up a box of Hornady 125gr 38special JHP/XTP. My gun dealer swears by these. I also bought a Glock 23C, and I am trying the same brand/type of ammo in .40 S&W, 155gr. But, I look forward to trying out different ammo.

  12. #12
    Member Array Casey's Avatar
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    As for the .38, I've got a 640 that I'm crazy enough to actually carry Magnums in, Remington 110gr. If I carry a .38 round its been some Winchester 125gr +P+. My only other snubbie is a Detective Spl. Does Corbon make a Pow'r Ball in .38 spl? I've got a G36 in .45 and I'm impressed with the stuff in it.

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    Member Array Casey's Avatar
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    I've never known Hornady to make any junk. I've tried the Hornady XTP ammo in a couple of different calibers and find it to be very consistent in velocity and extreme spread. All in all, you won't be undergunned if you carry it. The important point is in how well you shoot it. Trying multiple brands of carry ammo can get expensive at, well, a buck a round or so for most all of them. If I were you I would pick three from the choices that have been suggested here, try those, and pick the one that shoots best out of your gun and that you can control best. Just a suggestion. If you're rich, on the other hand, feel free to send us all a box or two of all of them. :P

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    Member Array Harlan's Avatar
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    That's My Opinion and I'm Sticking To IT!

    That pistol is very accurate. The shorties will fool you.
    My model 36 Chief's Special would shoot solid 2.0-inch groups off a sandbag at 25-yards with my Speer swaged 148gr HBWC & 3.1gr of 231 in remanufactured mixed brass.



    Advice: Train 90% with Quality remanufactured Target Ammo and, with the other 10%, with your Favorite +P Carry Ammo, fired at the beginning, and at the end of each session. (The memory is best at the alpha & omega of each session.)

    #1) You Must Train Often!
    #2 A Steady diet of +P will loosen up your nice new revolver!
    #3) Target remanufactured ammo will never wear out your piece and it's inexpensive to shoot.
    #4) It's a light load that's laser accurate, fun to shoot and inexpensive! (= More range time!)
    #5) You can engage the services of a Personal Ammunition Manufacture who can keep you supplied with precision new and remaunfactured ammo of any type loaded to your requirements.
    YOU CAN ONLY HAVE TOO MUCH AMMO IF YOU'RE ON FIRE OR DROWNING!

    Benefactor Member NRA -- Life Member GOA -- Life (Christian) Member JPFO -- Card Carrying Minuteman

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Cor Bon

    They do list a 100gr Powerball, but it's +P. Numbers look good, tested from a snub according to the chart:
    Pow'RBall by Glaser, LLC.
    I'm not a big fan of the XTPs. The small, shallow hollow point underexpands compared to almost anything else. I normally prefer an expanding bullet for my defensive needs. You may feel differently. Now, if you like fragmenting bulets, Cor Bon lists a Glaser blue and silver in non +p (and in +p) Numbers are from a 4" barrel though. One big argument against these is the cost of function testing. In a revolver, you would probably only need to verify point of aim and impact, one big argument for a revolver.
    Glaser Safety Slug

    The story (myth?) is that the Powerball was developed originally as a reduced cost training load for the Glaser Safety line. Same shape, same ballistics, cheaper to make.

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