38 special carry ammo - Page 2

38 special carry ammo

This is a discussion on 38 special carry ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Any Day Now I like these in my older non +P rated .38 revolvers. Attachment 288960 Not shabby. I like bullet weight ...

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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Any Day Now View Post
    I like these in my older non +P rated .38 revolvers.

    Attachment 288960

    Not shabby. I like bullet weight so these might suit.

    Off the subject but suddenly had the urge to hear this tune for some reason.

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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Any Day Now View Post
    I like these in my older non +P rated .38 revolvers.

    Attachment 288960

    Not shabby. I like bullet weight so these might suit.

    Off the subject but suddenly had the urge to hear this tune for some reason.




    Quote Originally Posted by redmc View Post
    My .38s are loaded with 158gr.swc and unique. I have been shooting this load for years, Don't feel like I need more gun when armed with any of my revolvers.
    Yeah boy! Many pounds of Unique has fueled large piles of 158 grain lead bullets down the barrels of the .38 Specials here. Folks could benefit from the regular use of such ammunition.
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  3. #18
    Senior Member Array AndyC's Avatar
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    May just leave it as a safe queen / occasional range piece, or just trade it in on something.

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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I've come to the conclusion that I don't care for the lightweight frames of the Airweight Smith & Wesson models for personal use. One is kept on hand and Mrs. BMc loves to tote it. It's the "+P rated" Model 642-1 seen in post No. 2. It's been fine with all manner of factory loads as well as heavy handloads.

    I just don't personally care for the Smith & Wesson Airweight models. They are light enough to actuate recoil without providing any truly meaningful weight savings for carry purposes. They aren't as steady to hold or shoot, feeling ... well, too light and "whippy" for really accurate aimed fire. I'm a geezer and appreciate accurate groups even with small "hide-outs." To my way of thinking, anyone who thinks a steel-framed J-Frame is "too heavy" to carry is feeble indeed.

    I'd gleefully sneak up on a "good deal" on any older Smith & Wesson Airweight revolver such as the K-Frame Model 12 or J-Frame Models 37, 38, or 42. I'd shoot it too if I had it, though probably only with light wadcutter handloads. I doubt I'd make much use carrying it.
    Couldn't GIVE me an airweight as a gift. I bought a brand new Model 12 in about 72...12 rounds later I traded it in...never again. 158gr RNL liked to have beat me to death. I like all the pain on the OTHER end.

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
    Been debating carrying my 38 special older model airweight from time to time in my pocket when I donít feel like going IWB with the XDs or just in the scenarios when pocket carry is more feasible. Question is what type of ammo do I need to look at to carry in this gun? Itís a Ď60ís(ish) model so it is NOT +p rated. Just looking around at midway Iím seeing regular hollow points, critical defense type hollow points, semi wad cutters, and the less traditional looking self defense offerings from Underwood ammo. Iíve seen semi waddutters recommended a lot but are they better than the more traditional style hollow points or the ammo from underwood? Iím part of our ďguardĒ cc group at my local church now and while I always or will most always have the .45 with me there are times Iíd prefer just to throw the little .38 in my pocket and go so I want a type of ammo I can trust that if I do my job itíll do itís job and do it without over penitration concerns, especially if something happens in the church.
    Just me, but I'd carry the std pressure version of Buffalo Bore's FBI load.

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=110

    Specs show it to be a heavy hitter.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmc View Post
    My .38s are loaded with 158gr.swc and unique. I have been shooting this load for years, Don't feel like I need more gun when armed with any of my revolvers.
    I fully agree. A 158 gr. LSWC over Unique is my favorite .38 Special load also. Presently I carry Federal 158 gr LSWCHP +P. But I have no delusions about it actually expanding from a 2Ē barrel. The main reason I carry it over my favorite handloaded, home cast, 158 gr LSWC is because Iím still a full time LEO, so I have to carry factory loads. I figure the Federal 158 LSWCHP will at least act like a LSWC.

    After retirement Iíll probably just switch exclusively to my LSWC handload for my snubs.
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  8. #22
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    Stay safe bigsteve113.
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  9. #23
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    @bmcgilvray Would you all think I could trust this older little airweight to handle 158gr semi wadcutters for the occasional pocket carry gun, or is it just not made strong enough for todayís ammo? The gun itself is practically new, just barely shows any wear at all on it, but if these guns in general are considered to be a ticking time bomb to todayís standards I donít wanna bet my life on it. I looked it over closely and no signs what so ever of any cracks or breaks anywhere on it. Only signs of wear at all is where the cylinder has been opened and closed some. Other than that gun looks mint. 3rd picture down shows the only wear I could spot on the whole gun, right side of pic where cylinder has been opened and closed.

    38 special carry ammo-c43237a5-97cf-4647-9958-121ef5db5351.jpeg38 special carry ammo-af3318e0-d688-4ad6-b79b-8abe505615ea.jpeg38 special carry ammo-1da56edb-4fd8-4501-be90-c6c0328c5a93.jpeg38 special carry ammo-ed9fb406-b8eb-4399-9efd-7aa6e63e5b7c.jpeg

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
    @bmcgilvray Would you all think I could trust this older little airweight to handle 158gr semi wadcutters for the occasional pocket carry gun, or is it just not made strong enough for todayís ammo? The gun itself is practically new, just barely shows any wear at all on it, but if these guns in general are considered to be a ticking time bomb to todayís standards I donít wanna bet my life on it. I looked it over closely and no signs what so ever of any cracks or breaks anywhere on it. Only signs of wear at all is where the cylinder has been opened and closed some. Other than that gun looks mint. 3rd picture down shows the only wear I could spot on the whole gun, right side of pic where cylinder has been opened and closed.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There are plenty of standard pressure loads that will get you in the low 900 FPS without going over 15000 PSI. [The +P loads are up around 19000 PSI] When that gun was made Std pressure 158 loads were the rule, not an oddity.
    I shoot 148 gr in a 642 all the time. At 800 FPS they will poke a full caliber hole through anything I would need to shoot it at. and with the less recoil I'm getting better at hitting where I am aiming. Lately I have been working on moving targets. and targets out to 30 yards with the 642. DR

  11. #25
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    OOOooo... Andy! It's so niice!!!

    Pinned barrel and the style of walnut stocks with the diamond pattern surrounding the center escutcheon ("diamond stocks" in collectors' parlance) indicates it was likely made prior to about 1967.

    I may have mentioned that I'm not so keen on Airweight frames, but I'd be real proud to own that little jewel.

    Dangerranger makes good sense in his post. Your revolver would be fine with wadcutter loads like he suggests.

    Elmer Keith was said to wring out a new Smith & Wesson Airweigth J-Frame in a durability test soon after they were introduced in the early 1950s. He fed it with 500 (?) ... 1000 (?) ... more (?) ... of the very potent old .38-44 factory load. I can't recall now and couldn't find a good reference online just now. Anyway he pronounced it sound. The .38-44 was "stouter'n bear's breath" being more potent than most modern +P 158 grain factory loads. I think Buffalo Bore +P 158 grain ammunition comes closest to the old 158 grain .38-44 loads.



    There ain't no way I'd shoot either .38-44 or Buffalo Bore +P in your nice revolver.

    I'd shoot it though. Probably would mostly use 2.8 grains of Bulls-Eye under a 148 grain hollow base wadcutter. I would be tempted to tote it with a charge of Unique not to exceed 4.8 grains and a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet if I had need to carry the revolver.

    I couldn't retire the revolver completely.


    Bottom left finds the Smith & Wesson Model 649 that is my favorite of the three J-Frames I have on hand. The "Humpback" Bodyguard style J-Frames are my favorite of all the J-Frame models as I view them as the most sensible configuration. My Model 649 is a mid-1980s gun but I hunted down a set of vintage "High-Hump" factory walnut stocks for it and installed a Tyler-T-Grip. The vintage stocks are for a "retro" look and the T-Grip is a control enhancement. I really like the Model 649 or its blued steel (nickel too) stablemate, the Model 49 as these are all-steel construction.


    Your Smith & Wesson also has what is termed by collectors as "High-Hump" stocks. They vary on how "high" their wood covers the "Humpback" frame depending on what year they were produced. Your stocks by themselves are worth a pretty penny. They look completely original to your nice revolver.
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  12. #26
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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    OOOooo... Andy! It's so niice!!!

    Pinned barrel and the style of walnut stocks with the diamond pattern surrounding the center escutcheon ("diamond stocks" in collectors' parlance) indicates it was likely made prior to about 1967.

    I may have mentioned that I'm not so keen on Airweight frames, but I'd be real proud to own that little jewel.

    Dangerranger makes good sense in his post. Your revolver would be fine with wadcutter loads like he suggests.

    Elmer Keith was said to wring out a new Smith & Wesson Airweigth J-Frame in a durability test soon after they were introduced in the early 1950s. He fed it with 500 (?) ... 1000 (?) ... more (?) ... of the very potent old .38-44 factory load. I can't recall now and couldn't find a good reference online just now. Anyway he pronounced it sound. The .38-44 was "stouter'n bear's breath" being more potent than most modern +P 158 grain factory loads. I think Buffalo Bore +P 158 grain ammunition comes closest to the old 158 grain .38-44 loads.



    There ain't no way I'd shoot either .38-44 or Buffalo Bore +P in your nice revolver.

    I'd shoot it though. Probably would mostly use 2.8 grains of Bulls-Eye under a 148 grain hollow base wadcutter. I would be tempted to tote it with a charge of Unique not to exceed 4.8 grains and a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet if I had need to carry the revolver.

    I couldn't retire the revolver completely.


    Bottom left finds the Smith & Wesson Model 649 that is my favorite of the three J-Frames I have on hand. The "Humpback" Bodyguard style J-Frames are my favorite of all the J-Frame models as I view them as the most sensible configuration. My Model 649 is a mid-1980s gun but I hunted down a set of vintage "High-Hump" factory walnut stocks for it and installed a Tyler-T-Grip. The vintage stocks are for a "retro" look and the T-Grip is a control enhancement. I really like the Model 649 or its blued steel (nickel too) stablemate, the Model 49 as these are all-steel construction.


    Your Smith & Wesson also has what is termed by collectors as "High-Hump" stocks. They vary on how "high" their wood covers the "Humpback" frame depending on what year they were produced. Your stocks by themselves are worth a pretty penny. They look completely original to your nice revolver.
    Should I even shoot or carry it at all then if itís fairly valuable?

  14. #28
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    As ptetty as yours is, I'd sell it-for at least $700-800. Might have to wait, but I think you'd get that.

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snub44 View Post
    As ptetty as yours is, I'd sell it-for at least $700-800. Might have to wait, but I think you'd get that.
    I wouldnít be against selling it or trading it in to LGS. As far as selling goes never sold nor shipped a gun in my life online. Wouldnít know who what when where or how to even start.

  16. #30
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    Sad thing is, a LGS won't give you much for it. I haven't sold online either, always talked it up on the local network. Process isn't hard, I just haven't done it...lots here could help you.
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