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What do you all think of the Hornady 158 gr. .38 Special XTP for a S&W 442? It's a non-+P.
And compared to the other end which would be like a 110 gr. Silvertip.
Thanks.
 

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I have an old taper barreled Model 10 retired from the RHKP that loves that round, shoots it like it was built for it. But I've never tried it in a snubby.
 

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I’d take the XTP. It is a tougher bullet design and does much better in organic tissue than superficial gel tests would lead you to believe.
 

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Have long enjoyed owning and using the .38 Special cartridge in revolvers snub and (mostly) otherwise. I won't have a thing to do with any lightweight bullet in the .38 Special for any purpose. I like bullet weight so 158 grains of slug makes me happy in .38 Special. I don't place much stock in jacketed bullets in non-magnum revolvers, seeing jackets as being superfluous unless one is terribly concerned with leading.

I would have assumed that expansion would be pretty well nil from that load if used in a snub, and not much better from my personally favored 4-inch barrelled service revolvers. I can't say how it'd behave in organic tissue. Gman's likely had personal experience with the bullet style. It's been so long since I shot any critters with a jacketed .38 Special load of any sort. With good hits they go down fine with any 158 grain load at about 850 fps including the good ol' lead semi-wadcutters I like to use. I figure any expansion at all is gravy as are the better 158 grain +P loadings. Gravy's nice sometimes, but not required.
 

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I run it out of my LCR, one of the most accurate loads I've tried.
 
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Our second to last car tour in California was made with a Model 64 snub and a factory 25 round box of Hornady Custom 158 gr XTP. I didn't feel unarmed if SHTF hit while we were there and legal compliance was easy with a small lockbox.
 

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At 158 gr it's heavy enough to push through even if it does not expand. Hornady does not advertise how fast it needs to be pushed to expand, so no real help there. worst case it punches a 38 cal hole through its target. My own favorites are Wadcutters or Semi Wadcutters. Even if they don't expand they cut a full caliber hole! The good thing is your snub guns sights are probably regulated to 158 gr ammo. I doubt you are going to get full advantage of the HP, at the speed you will get from a snub, but you are not loosing anything either. DR
 

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Might want to look at this. It is not a +p round, and he corrects that in the video. These results pretty much mirror my experience with XTP bullets. They don’t look that good in gel, but when busting bone and tissue really come in to their own, I think much better than the more picture perfect, softer style “ defense” style ammo recovered from gel does. People get hung up on these pretty perfectly bloomed bullets in gel, but that only tells you what it tells you.

Heres a 40s&w recovered from a deer. Not that this indicates anything other than what you can expect of an XTP in the multiple types of tissue encountered in living organic matter.
799B0712-886A-4133-943D-8F0F7510EC6A.jpeg
 

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Hornady does not advertise how fast it needs to be pushed to expand, so no real help there.
They publish a chart of speeds:

XTPVelocities.jpg

That said, the Luckygunner test shows they failed to expand even at velocities well above the minimum in that chart. Glockman10mm's post about the gel test being deceptive is interesting and possibly explains how Hornady derived the speeds on their chart.
 

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OP, I don't feel like there's anything wrong with the Hornady 158gr XTP. I'm sure it probably works. With 38 spl ammo, there are a lot of options. A lot of different weights, types and powers. If you've narrowed down your specifications for a 38 spl round, and it's this one, go for it. As a general recommendation, I'd say look around at what's out there for 38 sp SD ammo.

I often carry a 442 myself, and I've carried a variety of rounds in it. Now days, it's generally going to be Remington Golden Saber 125gr +P JHP, Underwood 125gr +P Bonded JHP, or Federal 130gr HST Micro 38 spl +P. I return to these 3 because they all have proven to be good expanders and penetrators, at least in what I've seen, and compared to what I want. The Federal feels the best to me, it seems like it has very little recoil, at least to me. Are others better? Probably. Are others worse? Sure. Which is my point, there's a lot out there and I'd say follow what your research shows you is best for your needs/wants.
 

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With the velocity you get, you’re going to have FMJ performance. Essentially zero expansion, but good penetration. Wouldn’t be my first choice for defense against 2 legged critters.
 

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With the velocity you get, you’re going to have FMJ performance. Essentially zero expansion, but good penetration. Wouldn’t be my first choice for defense against 2 legged critters.
You are probably right. The XTP is a tougher bullet than most prescribed as self defense loads, although it would still be a top pick for me, but then again, I like a good Keith style 158 moving along at about 700 FPS also.

There so are many schools of thought on it, and each one has its own validity. Truth is, it probably doesn’t make too much difference across the spectrum as long as whatever it is, hits something significant.
 

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couple yrs ago in a hurry to go hunting , I grabbed a case from the safe thinking it was my 4inch 357mag, i actually grabbed a 4inch model 10 38 special. good news was it fit my holster bad news is i had 357 ammo . closest mom and pop shop had hornady custom 38 xtp. used it to put down a rifle shot deer it had good penatration and mild expansion from 5 yards . would not feel badly armed if i had to carry this load
 

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What do you all think of the Hornady 158 gr. .38 Special XTP for a S&W 442? It's a non-+P.
And compared to the other end which would be like a 110 gr. Silvertip.
Thanks.
I carry the XTP in my 637. I don't worry about penetration, expansion, and all that stuff. I just picked something heavy and went with it.

It's easy to overthink and over analyze this stuff.
 

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only XTP i have had fail to expand was a 180 XTP out of a .44 spc. it wouldn't expand in bare water jugs out of my M720 with a 3" barrel , I suspect a factory run that had 180 grain 44 mag bullets loaded in the 44 spc cases but no way to prove it
 
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