J frame 38 ammo

J frame 38 ammo

This is a discussion on J frame 38 ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Whatís the current thinking on a good defensive round in 38 or 38+P. I have always relied on Speer Gold Dot short barrel 38+P. But ...

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Thread: J frame 38 ammo

  1. #1
    Member Array triplets's Avatar
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    J frame 38 ammo

    Whatís the current thinking on a good defensive round in 38 or 38+P. I have always relied on Speer Gold Dot short barrel 38+P. But itís been around a while. Any improvements out there.


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    VIP Member Array Texas Red's Avatar
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    My EDC is a S&W 642 and I keep it stoked with one of two rounds:

    1) The Gold Dot 135gr +P
    2) Buffalo Bore FBI loads

    I feel either would serve well if needed.
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    Senior Member Array viney266's Avatar
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    I still run a hot flipped over wadcutter in the weapon, but my speed strip or speedloader has the FBI load in it. It's just far easier to get in the cylinder than a wadcutter. The Gold dot is still carried by many as well.

    A few folks I know are running the new 90 grain Hornady critical defense light just for the speed (1200 fps)...I haven't tried em yet. I see the idea, but I still like a fat heavy bullet in my J frame
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    Senior Member Array CreedDryrot's Avatar
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    There are a lot of good choices for 38spl and a lot of variety. Right now I'm carrying old school Remington Golden Saber 125gr +P Brass Jacketed Hollow Points. I'll also sometimes carry Federal Micro HST 130gr +P JHPs. I'd also suggest looking at two from Underwood Ammo; either the 38spl 125 +P Grain Bonded JHP (Speer Gold Dot) or 38spl 125gr +P JHP (XTP). Out in the woods I carry Underwood 158gr +P Hard Cast Keith. I'll carry those for not in the woods too, occasionally.
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    Member Array entertainment72's Avatar
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    I carry Federal 130 gr +P HST in my LCR with Remington Golden Sabers 125gr +P in a speed strip for easier reloading over the wadcutter like HST rounds.
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    Distinguished Member Array ETXhiker's Avatar
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    Your Speer Gold Dot 135 grain +P may be about as good as it gets for a 2 inch barrel. I carry the same bullet in some handloads (yeah, yeah, I know.) Sometimes I wonder if a plain old 158 grain SWC might not be as good or better because of its deep penetration. It certainly has worked for a lot of people over the years.
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    Senior Member Array Wishoot's Avatar
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    While I agree the 135 +P Gold Dot is probably the best performance in a snubby, it's more than a handful in an Airweight J-Frame.

    I've started carrying Hornady 110gr FTX Critical Duty in my J-Frame. It may not have the performance of the Gold Dot, but it's much more manageable and follow up shots are quicker and more accurate.

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    I like these for my 442

    BigJon


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    I am an old school fuddy-duddy and still prefer 158gr LSWC in my J-frames.
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    Senior Member Array camsdaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    I am an old school fuddy-duddy and still prefer 158gr LSWC in my J-frames.
    Do you use +p lswchp or standard pressure lswc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by camsdaddy View Post
    Do you use +p lswchp or standard pressure lswc?
    Just plain old standard pressure.
    Instymp and dangerranger like this.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."
    A 9MM MAY expand to .45 but a 45ACP will never shrink to 9MM.

  13. #12
    Member Array true grit's Avatar
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    I can not handle the recoil any longer of the Federal 38 + P 158 grain swc in my LCR so I changed to a 148gr WC and reload with Hornady 110 gr FTX. They make a new 90gr light load but I can't tell the difference.
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    All defensive .38 Special revolvers from 2-inch on up get +P 158 grain lead semi-wadcutters or its handloaded equivalent using heavy charges of Unique. If they are hollow points then that's gravy. I've shot lots of critters including a few large ones. Hollow points don't make up for poor hits. I'm not too concerned about expansion.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Whatís the current thinking on a good defensive round in 38 or 38+P
    They're probably all good enough. I have loaded up with 158 grain LSWCHP +P for years.
    msgt/ret and ETXhiker like this.

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    Here's another vote for 158gn LSWC (HP preferred). I also load a 155gn wadcutter that shoots nicely.

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