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Thread: 38 cal ammo question

  1. #1
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    38 cal ammo question

    Have a S&W Model 442 38Spl +P with aluminum alloy frame and carbon steel cylinder. Up to now have used Remington 130g for practice. I need suggestions for the best +P DEFENSIVE ammo to use and where is the best place to pick it up. Thanks in advance for your help

    NAVYBLUE

    PS: Have been practicing with 130g for about a year.

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    Regular Member The Big Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAVYBLUE View Post
    Have a S&W Model 442 38Spl +P with aluminum alloy frame and carbon steel cylinder. Up to now have used Remington 130g for practice. I need suggestions for the best +P DEFENSIVE ammo to use and where is the best place to pick it up. Thanks in advance for your help

    NAVYBLUE

    PS: Have been practicing with 130g for about a year.
    Many people will tell you to use a smaller 125 grn bullet, moving as fast as possible. I prefer heavier 158 grn moving as fast as possible. In either case I use a semi jacketed hollow point. I like the heavier bullet as most defensive shooting is at close ranges and I want to hit as hard as possible.


    As I reload I'm not familiar with all the choices out there but I would look for a 158 grn +P load using a semi or jacketed hollow point. I don't think you will go wrong. Be aware however that the muzzle flash will be pronounced and the kick much harder. For the sake of your firearm, use lighter loads for general practice, and only use the defensive loads on occasion to get the feel of them.



    TBG
    Life member GOA and NRA. Member of SAF, NAGR, TXGR and Cast Bullet Assoc.

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    Look into Gold Dot hollow points. If I recall, Speer loads them specifically to get more velocity out of a short barrel. Or, maybe they make a load just for short barreled revolvers, I forget.

    Also, Corbon's DPX ammo had good reviews a few years ago when it came out. They use Barnes' solid copper bullets with deep hollow points.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Myself I prefer a heavier bullet out of a short barrel...

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    Thanks for all the replies. I am leaning towards +P 158 gr. I am though going to buy 50 rounds of 130s range, 140's range and 150s range P+ and run each 50 round box on (3) separate occasions so as not to stress the S&W frame/cylinder so as to get a "feel" for the flash and kick. Going to do shooting 1/2 hour before to 1/2 hour after twilight to get a sense of the flash. For those who have never fired a "snub nose" (mine is 1.875"/Model 442/J Frame) I'm done after 100 rounds of 130 gr standard 38 cal practice ammo. It does have a kick to it and I am small build @ 160 lbs.

    I am going to do some research though on defensivecarry.com to get an idea of what the testing says about penetration and expansion. Looking for a compromise on both. Want to be able to penetrate to vital organs but also expand when hitting bone.

    Thanks agains for the replies.


    NAVYBLUE

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAVYBLUE View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. I am leaning towards +P 158 gr. I am though going to buy 50 rounds of 130s range, 140's range and 150s range P+ and run each 50 round box on (3) separate occasions so as not to stress the S&W frame/cylinder so as to get a "feel" for the flash and kick. Going to do shooting 1/2 hour before to 1/2 hour after twilight to get a sense of the flash. For those who have never fired a "snub nose" (mine is 1.875"/Model 442/J Frame) I'm done after 100 rounds of 130 gr standard 38 cal practice ammo. It does have a kick to it and I am small build @ 160 lbs.

    I am going to do some research though on defensivecarry.com to get an idea of what the testing says about penetration and expansion. Looking for a compromise on both. Want to be able to penetrate to vital organs but also expand when hitting bone.

    Thanks agains for the replies.


    NAVYBLUE
    I carry a Navy cartridge conversion. The load is a 38 spl case loaded to the top with ffffg black powder and topped with a 158 grain pure lead bullet, compressed and then seated. Good penetration, good expansion, and one hell of a muzzle blast. I also carry the load in my j frame so as not to mix up ammo. Anybody or anything close will get set on fire. I have not chronographed the load out of the j frame but it easily penetrates one inch pine boards, and will punch through a large phone. Any firearm using dark stuff will need a thorough cleaning.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I carry Buffalo Bore 158gr in my Colt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I carry a Navy cartridge conversion. The load is a 38 spl case loaded to the top with ffffg black powder and topped with a 158 grain pure lead bullet, compressed and then seated. Good penetration, good expansion, and one hell of a muzzle blast. I also carry the load in my j frame so as not to mix up ammo. Anybody or anything close will get set on fire. I have not chronographed the load out of the j frame but it easily penetrates one inch pine boards, and will punch through a large phone. Any firearm using dark stuff will need a thorough cleaning.
    LOL! Handgun, flamethrower, and personal smokescreen generator--all in one package. I love it!
    Last edited by Citizen; 06-23-2012 at 11:14 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    LCR 38sp+p

    I carry a an Ruger LCR revolver concealed. I like the 158 gr. hollow points for a harder hit. I hope I never have to use but I do feel better carrying it. I'm new to this forum and respect what you folks are doing. I'm 71 yrs old and a revolver lover Rugers all the way.



    Rich

  10. #10
    Regular Member The Big Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichB71 View Post
    I carry a an Ruger LCR revolver concealed. I like the 158 gr. hollow points for a harder hit. I hope I never have to use but I do feel better carrying it. I'm new to this forum and respect what you folks are doing. I'm 71 yrs old and a revolver lover Rugers all the way.



    Rich
    Welcome to the forum. My wife also carries the LCR, OC. It is a wonderful little gun. Extremely light and easy to carry. Handles great. It will take the big punchers but would be extremely uncomfortable to shoot full loads at targets. Using the +P 158's is not a problem for defense because the adrenalin is flowing and you're not thinking about the kick and blast. Even though I carry a .357 snubbie (by the way Ruger has the LCR in .357 now I understand), with 180 grn partitions with a full load of blue dot, I would not feel under gunned carrying the LCR .38 with the big loads as most fights are at close range and it has plenty of stopping power up close and personal. My opinion is you've made a good choice. I'm a wheel gunner myself.

    TBG
    Life member GOA and NRA. Member of SAF, NAGR, TXGR and Cast Bullet Assoc.

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