Federal Premium Law Enforcement 38 Special (+P) 129gr Hydra Shok JHP

Federal Premium Law Enforcement 38 Special (+P) 129gr Hydra Shok JHP

This is a discussion on Federal Premium Law Enforcement 38 Special (+P) 129gr Hydra Shok JHP within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Been shooting these in my S&W Airweight-shoot well. Any comments regarding their use in self defense effectiveness? Have been hearing much of different ammo (Remington ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array fffabiano's Avatar
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    Federal Premium Law Enforcement 38 Special (+P) 129gr Hydra Shok JHP

    Been shooting these in my S&W Airweight-shoot well. Any comments regarding their use in self defense effectiveness? Have been hearing much of different ammo (Remington and Buffalo) but nothing of this ammo which was recommended to me by my gunsmith.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Out of a snub your best performing ammo is going to be the 158g hard cast, standard pressure round.
    Aceoky and Easy8 like this.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Let me add to that. Sorry giving an answer without a reason is lazy and inconsiderate on my part.

    For a reliable outcome in a SD shooting you need the bullet to hit something vital, a .38 hollow point fired from a short barrel may open up too soon in it's target and not get enough depth to hit something important. A hard cast bullet will penetrate deeper, but will not expand like a HP. I wouldn't hesitate to use the ammo you listed in something like a 4" K Frame, but a snub length barrel likely won't even burn all the powder internally before the bullet exits so you are also increasing flash.

    One of our resident reloaders and ammo exprts will likely be along shortly to add to my basic answer with more sound advice. Your choice wasn't a bad choice, it's just that with the short barreled snubs extra care must be taken to acchieve the best results.
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array clarkston_cz's Avatar
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    Funny how they call it premium, but it is old technology.

    The 230 Hydras were once King in .45 auto have have long been eclipsed by other loads.

    Same for 9mm and .38/357.

    They will still work, but there are many other better choices these days.

    Now, HST in .38 Special would be a big leap forward!

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Aceoky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkston_cz View Post
    Funny how they call it premium, but it is old technology.

    The 230 Hydras were once King in .45 auto have have long been eclipsed by other loads.

    Same for 9mm and .38/357.

    They will still work, but there are many other better choices these days.

    Now, HST in .38 Special would be a big leap forward!
    I do not believe the definition of stopping the bg or "Dead" has changed since then? They were/are King for solid reasons- I still carry them FWIW (though I also have PDX1 loaded as well) might even run some Golden Sabers in my compact 1911's one day- I never sweat having Hydroshocks 230 grain loaded though YMMV

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    Member Array fffabiano's Avatar
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    Are you recommending a standard, not a +P round? If so, which do you recommend?

  7. #7
    New Member Array hurley842002's Avatar
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    I will add the 135 grain +p Speer gold dot short barrel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k890...e_gdata_player
    blitzburgh likes this.

  8. #8
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    Take a look at some ballistics on the 38. Then look at the foot pounds delivered. By shooting a hard cast bullet you get better penetration and better foot pounds of energy from what I read. Some interesting tests have been conducted on hard cast bullets and vests.

    Good Luck

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurley842002 View Post
    I will add the 135 grain +p Speer gold dot short barrel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k890...e_gdata_player
    I love these, Speer Gold Dot +P in the 125 gr GDHP "for Short Barrels", which means it has faster burning powder and a quick, in-bbl, expanding HP.
    The ft-lbs of POI energy are amazing. They are all I will carry in my snubbies for SD.
    I use the same thing in my 9mm PF9s in 124 gr GDHP.

  10. #10
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patri0t View Post
    I love these, Speer Gold Dot +P in the 125 gr GDHP "for Short Barrels", which means it has faster burning powder and a quick, in-bbl, expanding HP.
    The ft-lbs of POI energy are amazing. They are all I will carry in my snubbies for SD.
    I use the same thing in my 9mm PF9s in 124 gr GDHP.
    Just bought a 642 Sunday. Anyone know where you can buy this stuff?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    The NYPD aproched Speer to create a load that would optimize 38 Special terminal ballistics when fired from a revolver with a 1-7/8 inch barrel. The result became the 135-grain Gold Dot bonded, jacketed hollow point +P. in numerous shootings with snubs and 4" revolvers NYPD officials are more than satisfied. They have found it to be a good man stopper. That was good enough for me.

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    As has been stated here many times before, the 158 grain, +P, lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoint is an effective and classic round. Even if the HP doesn't expand much, you still have 158 grains of bullet launched with +P pressure to do some decent penetration. No, it's way short of a .357 mag, but it has an unarguably good track record on the street for a .38.
    Aceoky and Easy8 like this.
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    Member Array GetSmith's Avatar
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    If you can handle the recoil Buffalo Bore makes a 158 gr LSWCHP +p rated at 1000 FPS from an airwieght. That's nearly a light magnum and might be a bit much for follow up shots. I have 2 boxes but have not tried them out yet.

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    Member Array Drgnfly's Avatar
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    Will my model 36 38special be able to shoot +P ?

    I have heard it can, but not in any great amount..

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drgnfly View Post
    Will my model 36 38special be able to shoot +P ?

    I have heard it can, but not in any great amount..
    From every thing I have read and experienced myself, I would say yes, in limited amounts. Shoot enough to see point of impact and felt recoil. Ten rounds at a time once or twice a year. Say you pick Gold Dot 135g. 38+P. Then I would practice with American Eagle 130g. Standard 38spl. Ball ammo. That's what I have done with four 38s that I have owned and Two that I presently own.

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