Suggestion for 38sp non+P Defense Ammo?

This is a discussion on Suggestion for 38sp non+P Defense Ammo? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Any solid suggestions for 38sp self/personal defense ammo that is not in the +p category for a 1-78" (aka 2") barrel? Currently using, Fiocchi Extrema ...

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Thread: Suggestion for 38sp non+P Defense Ammo?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Suggestion for 38sp non+P Defense Ammo?

    Any solid suggestions for 38sp self/personal defense ammo that is not in the +p category for a 1-78" (aka 2") barrel?

    Currently using, Fiocchi Extrema 38XTPB which cycles and groups pretty well. Seems to do what is is supposed to do - at least into a phone book.

    Speer Gold Dots seem to be the most popular but that is in +p and since my wife has now decided to hijack and never return my 637, the +p is hitting her a bit hard. Same for Rem. Golden Sabers.

    TIA for the advice!

    Craig
    Diddle
    Indusrtrial Machine Tool Technician - Certified Refrigeration Technician - CET
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  3. #2
    Member Array awoodpd13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigStill View Post
    Any solid suggestions for 38sp self/personal defense ammo that is not in the +p category for a 1-78" (aka 2") barrel?

    Currently using, Fiocchi Extrema 38XTPB which cycles and groups pretty well. Seems to do what is is supposed to do - at least into a phone book.

    Speer Gold Dots seem to be the most popular but that is in +p and since my wife has now decided to hijack and never return my 637, the +p is hitting her a bit hard. Same for Rem. Golden Sabers.

    TIA for the advice!

    Craig
    Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 Special Pistol & Handgun Ammunition

  4. #3
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    Try these..............

    Federal Premium - Handgun Ballistics

    Both NOT +P.

    BTW, if the 637 bites too hard, maybe she'll give it back?

    In that case try..............

    Federal Premium - Handgun Details
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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    I carry Federal 125gr. Nyclads in my S&W model 60.

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    Member Array thedogfather's Avatar
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    Yes, try the Federal 110 grain JHP in their Personal Defense line.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I second this, with the 158gr SWCHP's in particular.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  8. #7
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    Haven't shopped for any but I'd be tickled with any standard velocity 158 grain semi-wadcutter loading for a snub revolver. SWCs cut dandy holes in stuff. Works well when carrying the .38 Special afield.

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    Member Array Bill DeShivs's Avatar
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    Factory 148 gr. full wadcutter target loads work well.

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    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    +1 should work good

    -1 for suggesting wadcutters. Sorry bmcgilvray and Bill DeShivs.
    Jacketed hollow points make better SD rounds.

    As far as Mrs Craigstill swiping you favorite pistola, what better reason to get a new one?
    The views expressed above are the opinion of the poster and may or may not be total bunk.
    Viewer discretion is advised.

  11. #10
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    "Jacketed hollow points make better SD rounds."


    Ahh, the magic hollow point bullet. Always dependable in snub barrels and makes poor hits on assailants golden.

    Shoot some game, varmints, and critters with a .38 Special and sharp shouldered semi-wadcutters and get back to us on that.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    "Jacketed hollow points make better SD rounds."


    Ahh, the magic hollow point bullet. Always dependable in snub barrels and makes poor hits on assailants golden.

    Shoot some game, varmints, and critters with a .38 Special and sharp shouldered semi-wadcutters and get back to us on that.
    Don't take it personal. Wadcutters cut a nice neat hole, very similar to FMJ. Ballistics tests: .38 Special
    There are no magic bullets, and critters do not equal a human assailant. The sarcasm doesn't support your premise.
    It's a free country, sort of, shoot what ever you like.
    The views expressed above are the opinion of the poster and may or may not be total bunk.
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    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    +100 on the Bufalo Bore standard (heavy) load. I use the item #20E.
    This is a full power but not +P load that uses a 125 grain Speer Gold Dot SJHP. This bullet is proven to expand reliably and the Buffalo Bore powder charge gets it up to 950 FPS out of a 2" barrel.

    The recoil is slightly higher than a normal Winchester White Box 130 Grain but in a SD situation the adrenilin rush should mask that anyways.

    I carry these and feel confident they are as good as anything out there.

    On a consistantcy note in checking out the brass fetcher ballistics site the buffalo bore is very consistant in expansion and penetration.

    Buffalo Bore 125gr Speer Low Velocity JHC

  14. #13
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    I've always used +p Gold Dots in my 642, but have heard (not experienced) that the Federal Nyclads recently reintroduced do a good job for non +p rounds. YMMV.

    Cheers!
    One Riot, One Ranger. Long live the Republic of Texas.

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    For standard velocity 38 loads 158g LSWC HP does a good job. For JHP I go with 125g or 135g bullets for penatration (right now I have Hornady XTP HP and Speer Gold Dots because that's what I could find).
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  16. #15
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    "Don't take it personal."
    "The sarcasm doesn't support your premise."


    I won't take it personally if you won't. There is no more sarcasm in my reply than was in yours suggesting that I gave a poor response.

    Awoodpd13 got a pass and he provided a link to what amounts to a 158 grain semi-wadcutter with a hollow point in it.


    "There are no magic bullets, and critters do not equal a human assailant."


    Critters may not equal a human assailant but neither do internet forum links to "tests" showing blobs of denim wrapped gelatin with bullets in them.


    "Jacketed hollow points make better SD rounds."


    Why does the jacket help make such a bullet superior, especially at .38 Special velocities?



    Over the past 35 years I've used the .38 Special to take two deer and finish off several deer which were wounded by hunting, vehicle impact, or being caught in a tangle of fence. I've eliminated several large feral dogs and done all manner of small game and varmint hunting. Round nosed, semi-wadcutter, and hollow point ammunition were all tried. Through observation I've concluded that 158 grain semi-wadcutter bullets along with good hits is the best bet with the .38 Special. It offers enough penetration to reach the vitals at most angles and does cut an entrance wound and channel that lets out more blood than does a full metal jacket, round nose, or a hollow point bullet that fails to perform as advertised, and hollow points do fail with some regularity in the .38 Special due to velocity limitations. A snub barrel and the velocity performance lost only exacerbates expansion issues so yes, a heavier standard velocity semi-wadcutter load is a great choice in a short barreled .38 Special revolver. Further hamstringing the .38 Special by employing lightweight bullets which fail to make worthwhile velocity gains only renders it equal to the piddly .380 ACP. I have a chronograph and have tested lightweight .38 Special ammunition and it is mostly feeble.

    There have been all manner of "tests" published and bandied about over the years. None are really effective and believable in my view. The "bullet of the week" method of marketing boutique self defense loads with high price tags sells ammo and generates profits yet doesn't guarantee the good hits that are absolutely necessary above all other considerations. Unless one wants to make it a fun hobby, chasing after each and every specialized self defense ammunition offering is an expensive exercise in futility.

    While it can't work for anyone else, I'll stick with what I've observed which is is that accurate application of semi-wadcutter bullets at adequate velocities gains the most dependable results.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; December 29th, 2009 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Addition

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