Suggested SD rounds for .38 Spl / .38 Spl + P?

This is a discussion on Suggested SD rounds for .38 Spl / .38 Spl + P? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm sure there are posts on this, but I could use some up to date info on SD rounds for .38 Spl / .38 Spl ...

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Thread: Suggested SD rounds for .38 Spl / .38 Spl + P?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Suggested SD rounds for .38 Spl / .38 Spl + P?

    I'm sure there are posts on this, but I could use some up to date info on SD rounds for .38 Spl / .38 Spl + P.

    Any suggestions on the best round for a firearm that can shoot .38 Spl / .38 Spl + P SD rounds?

    The 38 SPL+P 125 GR Gold GDHP felt like they had a harder recoil then the .38 SPL 130 GR. FMJ. Why does it have a harder recoil with fewer GR?

    Is there a Golddot .38 Spl + P round that has greater GR and would a greater GR make for a better SD round?

    Note: I purchased a gun from the closest shop. Small gunshop, no range, but I wanted to give them a little support. The local shop I purchased the gun from suggested .38 SPL+P 125 GR Gold GDHP.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    The classic law enforcement round was the 158 grain lead semi wadcutter hollow point. That was a standard pressure loading that got (relatively) good results.

    Of the rounds you have, the reason the 125 has more felt recoil is it is a "+P" loading. That is higher than the old SAAMI spec for the .38 special. It is OK in limited quantities in most modern revolvers, but if you have an old one you might be taking a risk with them. Some modern revolvers can eat a steady diet of them without any problems at all. Best thing is to check with the manufacturer.
    In the .357 magnum ( a step up from .38 +P) one of the best performing rounds ever was the Federal 125gr JHP.

    I think the 125 Gold Dot should do just fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    The classic law enforcement round was the 158 grain lead semi wadcutter hollow point. That was a standard pressure loading that got (relatively) good results.
    This is the one I choose to use in +P, especially from snubnose revolvers (for some reason, I seem to think snubs are what you are asking for, although you have not said so outright). The bullet is usually very soft lead, so expansion is generally good even at lower velocities (note that nothing is always). Several manufacturers make them.

    Many people also seem to like the "short barrel" Gold Dots in snubs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis
    The 38 SPL+P 125 GR Gold GDHP felt like they had a harder recoil then the .38 SPL 130 GR. FMJ. Why does it have a harder recoil with fewer GR?
    Velocity gain is high enough to offset the lesser recoil of the lighter bullet (momentum equals mass times velocity). Its much more complicated than that, I'm sure, but that's about the level of explanation this old history teacher can give you. You'll need to talk to the physicists to get something better.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    I own a new 642 J-Frame Airweight .38 Spl +P.

    Would a 158 grain lead semi wadcutter hollow point be hard on this weapon?

    are we talking the 38+P 158gr LSWC-HP (old FBI load)?

    I'm not understanding the difference between regular and +P. I'm not understanding how less GR could make a better SD.

    I need to be schooled on this. I'm at a loss. Links are welcome.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis View Post
    I own a new 642 J-Frame Airweight .38 Spl +P.

    Would a 158 grain lead semi wadcutter hollow point be hard on this weapon?

    I'm not understanding the difference between regular and +P. I'm not understanding how less GR could make a better SD.

    I need to be schooled on this. I'm at a loss.
    158-grain...not necessarily (it would really depend more on standard pressure vs. +P), but consult your owners manual to be certain.

    Standard or "regular" is loaded to a given pressure limit (psi or CUP [copper units of pressure] generated against the case walls and supporting chambers) set by SAAMI. +P is loaded to a higher pressure limit, but is to be used only in firearms rated for its use--and some of those are rated only for occasional use of the "hotter" stuff. As for lighter making better, it can be; but it really depends on a number of factors, only some of which you and the firearm/cartridge combination will control. It also depends upon what standard of measure one is using for "better."

    Lots of experts don't agree on what is better, and they supposedly are the professionals. It does get confusing...just read up a little, then decide which "system" makes most sense to you, then keep an open mind down the trail.
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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    I suggest Double Tap Speer Gold dots first, Magtech Guardian Gold second, and then there is the Corbon DPX, Rem Golden Sabers, Win SXT, Hydrashocks...they all bunch together after the top few. But goodluck
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    Buffalo Bore makes the .38 Special 158 grain LSWCHP in both standard pressure and +P versions.

    My recommendation. +P if your revolver is rated for it, otherwise standard pressure.


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    In a 38 Special with a 4" or less barrel I like the Gold Dot 135 Grain JHP's.

    You can find them in boxes of fifty without the "Short Barrel Load" markings, but it's the same thing. It's just cheaper to buy the boxes of fifty, without the marketing "hype" when you factor in cost per round.

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    Lots of good loads but I still like Rem 158 lhp+p best because it shoots dead on to point of aim out of fixed sight j frames.

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