Best S.D. ammo for a .38 special 2"


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MR.G
January 11, 2003, 11:33 AM
What is the best self defense ammo for a .38 special 2" ?

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Swamp Yankee
January 11, 2003, 12:33 PM
Don't know if it's the best, but I carry 158 grain LSWCHP in a +P loading in my 38 Special Colt Cobra.
Take Care

Tamara
January 11, 2003, 12:52 PM
I, too, prefer 158gr LSWC-HP +Ps.

BLiTzNicK
January 11, 2003, 01:01 PM
I, too, prefer 158gr LSWC-HP +Ps.

Anyone know how many rounds of that stuff a S&W 637 can handle before breaking down?

Mark IV Series 80
January 11, 2003, 01:21 PM
Anyone know how many rounds of that stuff a S&W 637 can handle before breaking down?
My 638 has '38 Special +P' stamped on the barrel, indicating that it is rated to handle +P ammo. Earlier models weren't rated for +P.

If in doubt, call Smith & Wesson.

I load the 638 with the 158 grain, +P, LSWCHP's.

These loads are fired enough so that I'm familiar with the recoil. Most shooting is done with non-plus-P loads.

sm
January 11, 2003, 01:35 PM
quote:
I, too, prefer 158gr LSWC-HP +Ps.
________
I agree.
On some older snubs NOT rated for +P
I have used the target WC, Nyclads, or 110 gr Win STHP

Kentucky Rifle
January 11, 2003, 01:43 PM
I noticed that the box was a little different and the weight of the bullet had changed slightly too. So, I called Roscoe Stoker, the owner of RBCD Ammunition. He told me that these are the "latest version of his .38 Special ammunition with more expansion, more velocity and more energy". I don't have the stats on the new stuff yet, but the "old" was not too shabby:
Muzzle energy 385 Ft Lbs
Muzzle velocity 1705 FPS

And ALL rounds are "non +P"!

KR

BLiTzNicK
January 11, 2003, 02:56 PM
My 637 doesn't have +P stamped on the barrel, and came with a generic manual which doesn't even list .38 SPL ammo in the section regarding types of ammo. On S&W's web site it lists the 637 as +P, but makes no mention of it on the gun or in the manual. I'll give them a call Monday morning and find out.

COHIBA
January 11, 2003, 06:00 PM
what about the ultralite guns. heck 5 rd.s of 158 gr weighs about as much as "the heater" itself.
isnt ammo labs finishing up a test on some new 38's that are going to " change the industry"?

Dave Williams
January 11, 2003, 06:34 PM
I use Remington LSWCHP 158gr +P.

Dave

tbeb
January 11, 2003, 06:53 PM
Winchester or Federal 158 gr. lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoint +P. If you want a lighter bullet then Remington 125 gr. semi-jacketed hollowpoint +P which works just about as good. If you want a standard pressure round then Federal Nyclad 125 gr. lead hollowpoint. (Nyclad is getting hard to find but ammoman.com may have them.)

Lone Star
January 11, 2003, 07:44 PM
If your gun shoots it well and local dealers stock it, I'd agree with the guys who carry the lead SWC-HP Plus P. If I can't get it, I use Speer's Gold Dot 125 grain Plus P or Federal's Hydra-Shok 129 grain.

Winchester's SXT looks good; see the tests in recent issues of, "Handguns" and referred to in this forum by the lab guy who did the tests. Not sure which forum it's in. If not here, try the general handguns threads.

Lone Star

ACP
January 11, 2003, 08:13 PM
Check this out:

http://www.handgunsmag.com/dynamic.asp?intSectionID=343&intArticleID=3310

Carbon 15 posted this over on General Discussion forum under the thread "My handguns magazine article updated".

Long story short: out of a 2" barrel, the +p 158-gr. SWCLHP avgs. 821 fps; 16.2" penetration, and expands to .44".

The Speer Gold Dot 125-gr. +p GDHP avgs. 825 fps, 13.4" penetration, .60" expansion.

The Winchester 130-gr. +P SXT personal protection avgs. 825 fps, 14.6" penetration. .56" expansion.

I have always loaded the 158 grs. in my snubbies and my 4" .357 magnum for home defense. I'll continue that load for the big Smith, but I will try out some 125- or 130-grs.

4thHorseman
January 11, 2003, 10:00 PM
ACP, thanks for thearticle. Great reading.

Catbird
January 11, 2003, 10:38 PM
Although I have no personal experience with this ammo, I noticed that it received very favorable comments on the ammolab forum:

http://www.villagemetalworks.com/

I was thinking about trying some in my new S&W 340PD.

Jim March
January 11, 2003, 11:36 PM
The Winchester 130grain +P Supremes have a VERY large JHP cavity, so their performance in a 2" snub isn't terribly surprising. Good to have it confirmed though.

The only thing "wrong" with this test is that the reporter failed to include a 158+P lead hollowpoint other than the Federal Nyclad version. The nylon coating may have delayed expansion, and Federal in my opinion has a bad habit of "wimping out on the powder charges" in too many loads. I would suspect the Winchester flavor is better, and the Remington possibly a bit better yet.

Or if you have a strong steel gun, have Weshoot2 at Gray Area brew you up something wild :).

NEon
January 12, 2003, 12:16 PM
110 grain jhp controlled expansion +p+. Works every time. Hold on to your hat!

Mike Irwin
January 12, 2003, 05:14 PM
I've been using Federal 125-gr. +P Nyclad, but that's been harder and harder to find, so a few months ago I switched to Speer 125-gr. +P Gold Dots.

Mike Irwin
January 12, 2003, 05:15 PM
I've been using Federal 125-gr. +P Nyclad, but that's been harder and harder to find, so a few months ago I switched to Speer 125-gr. +P Gold Dots.

Mike Irwin
January 12, 2003, 05:16 PM
I've been using Federal 125-gr. +P Nyclad, but that's been harder and harder to find, so a few months ago I switched to Speer 125-gr. +P Gold Dots.

ACP
January 12, 2003, 05:48 PM
Jim March, you are absolutely correct. That is a good point.

Here is some old info. I have on other 158-gr. tests, FWIW:


*Handguns, July 1996, "Best loads for self-defense" by Ed Sanow. Win. 158-gr. +P LSWCHP: 890 fps; 278 ft. lbs. energy; penetrates 14.8" gelatin; .62 caliber recovered diameter (NOTE: 4" barrel length! )

*Combat Handguns, date? "Ammo vs. clothing" by Mike Boyle.
Cor Bon 158-gr. +p+ LSWCHP: 867 fps out of a Colt Det. Spec.; penetrated 19" of light clothing (cotton t-shirt) (2 of 3 rounds not recovered); expanded to .358" (no expansion); penetrated 18.5" in heavy clothing (t-shirt, heavy sweathsirt, down vest with a nylon shell); expanded to .356" (no expansion). Boyle also tested the Winchester SXT 130-gr. JHP+P : 886 fps; 11.25" penetration/.551 cal. in light clothing; 11" penetration/.559 caliber in heavy clothing.

*American Handgunner, Jan./Feb. 1998, "The Minus of +P" by Charles E. Petty. Petty concluded that only the .38 Special caliber benefits from the use of +P ammo, because manufacturers have devoted more time to bullet design with +P velocities than they have with standard pressure rounds.

Maybe someday someone will test various 158-gr. +P loads from an honest-to-goodness snubby and let us know the results???

Dave Williams
January 12, 2003, 07:45 PM
"Maybe someday someone will test various 158-gr. +P loads from an honest-to-goodness snubby and let us know the results???"

Cops across the country tested the 158gr LSWCHP on the street for a long time, and didn't find it lacking, according to writers/police historians Lovette and Ayoob. They only wanted more "firepower" in the switch to autos. FWIW

Dave

ACP
January 12, 2003, 08:04 PM
I agree with you Dave, as far as 4" guns go. But I'm thinking pocket guns, and whether that 158-gr. +P slug is the best bet all-around or whether a slightly lighter but faster JHP could do just as well, with slightly less recoil. I carry an alloy S&W 642, so that's a consideration.

FPrice
January 12, 2003, 09:59 PM
I like to use the 158 gr+P LSWCHP for steel guns and the 110 WW STHP for the lighter ones.

Tom B
January 13, 2003, 06:19 AM
I use Fed Nyclads 125 gr non +P or Win STHP 125gr +P in my 637 S&W.

Tony Z
January 13, 2003, 11:49 AM
I would have to agree with the 158-Gr +P LSWCHP.

I have reloaded 158Gr LSWCHP using a 357 mag case and a medium load of powder for the fun of it. But I won't use them for self defence. Because of possable legal issues.

Has anyone got any information on useing DEWC's as a S.D. cartridge?


Tony

Jeff OTMG
January 14, 2003, 11:58 PM
Everyone knows that I too am an RBCD believer. The new 'Tactical' loads sound good with a 50 gr bullet.

As far as 'independent' testing goes. If Sandia Labs ever publishes their testing of handgun ammo I will believe it when I see the credentials of the testers. I would prefer to see a PhD in Physics, a medical doctor with a background in trauma, as well as a mechanical engineer tell me which they think holds the most promise. Roscoe does have a degree in mechanical engineering as does one of my consultants and they agree that RBCD is the best thing out there.

Gordon
January 15, 2003, 12:18 AM
Of course if you reload and don't live in an apartment or around others in house then a 173 grain hard cast Kieth or wide flat point at 900fps blows a 3/8" hole thru anything everytime for sure, for sure!:D

P12
January 15, 2003, 12:25 AM
In that combat handgun article, I thought the Hornady Custom performed quite well, considering the expansion vs penatration vs no clothes vs clothed.

It had uniform expansion and good penatration.

Never fired the stuff. Been thinking about trying it though.

Johnny Guest
January 15, 2003, 12:35 PM
- - -the 158 gr. LSWCHP +P

I have a mild preference for the R-P version, but have no qualms about taking the Winchester. Never tried the Federal version.

This load was first catalogued by Win as the "MS" back in the late 1970s, I believe. Had a couple of good contacts/shooting buddies at firearms section of Dallas County Crime Lab (Southwest Institute of Forensic Science,) which was just upstairs from the medical examiners office. Those guys were very enthusiastic about what they called "The City Load," or the "DPD load." Worked well on every solid torso hit. Noticible expansion from two-inch revolvers, and classic performance from the four-inchers.

My Colt Agent is loaded with the R-P ammo now. I also provide it for house and/or carry guns for my wife, ex-wife, son, and daughter-in-law. I've also given cylinders full to a least four other friends. I DO try to practice what I preach, at least in this regard.

I will note that this load is a bit vigorous for full-time use in alloy frame revolvers. I check point-of-aim vs. point-of-impact, certainly, but do my regular practice with lighter loads. Years ago, I developed a handload with very similar trajectory and recoil for practice, and shot an M37 Airweight Chiefs Special loose, twice.

Best,
Johnny

Stephen A. Camp
January 15, 2003, 12:44 PM
Hello. My S&W M642 is loaded with the Remington 158 gr LSWCHP +P load right now. Recoil is there, but managable; at the current time, I think it's the most viable type load for a 2" snub for protection.

Best.

Ol' Badger
January 15, 2003, 08:19 PM
148 gr. Double Ended Wadcutters. And they'er hell on cats:D

COHIBA
January 16, 2003, 10:09 AM
i dont see anyone mentioning silvertips. are they not a good stopper. i always thought they looked pretty good as a snubbie loading.

ruger357
January 16, 2003, 10:31 AM
I use Federal's Hyra Shock 129.

GooseGestapo
January 16, 2003, 03:39 PM
Somebody asked about chrono data for 2" w/ 158-SWC+P

Can't find my card, but here's what I remember
6" mod14-HB 905fps
4" mod15-HB 840fps (rebarreled for me by Jim Reyes w/S&W PC,'00)
3" mod337Ti 790fps
2" charterU-C 760fps

I carry the WallyWorld WinUSA 125+p HP. $11.00/50. I Don't cry everytime I pull the trigger from the "cramp under my wallet".

3" mod337Ti 980fps

sm
January 16, 2003, 03:56 PM
quote:
dont see anyone mentioning silvertips. are they not a good stopper. i always thought they looked pretty good as a snubbie loading.
...
Thread asked in reference to 2", alluded in my earlier posts use of the standard 110 grSTHP.

In a model 64 with a 3" HB I carried the 125 gr STHP( +P), the gun loved this load, most accurate, POA/POI , just made for each other.

Kept in a hidden Jframe ( model 36) in an business, these used also, didn't run a bunch through it, mostly standard WC for range. For business encounters-stoked it up.

I've personally used STHP for years, like 'em , were available, found something that worked and really didn't shop around once a load worked for intended purpose.

'course I buy a truck every ten years (maybe longer) whether I need It or not. Current one is 10--don't like pmts--maybe bump this to a 15 yr rule

Art Eatman
January 16, 2003, 08:20 PM
Wuz on a jury where the demise of the late unlamented came about as a result of five HydraShoks from a 2" S&W 36. The coroner's report stated that any of the five would have done the deed.

One cross-body hit, through the right bicep and on to the heart. One or two in the back, stopping in the front of the body at the ribcage. One across the upper jaw. Disremember the other.

Sounds good to me.

Art

Kentucky Rifle
January 17, 2003, 10:54 AM
Was that the "non +P" version of H-S?
A guy at a gun shop just told me that he had tried several brands in water filled milk jugs and the +P Golden Sabers and the non +P H-S had the best expansion. I neglected to ask him if he tried the "+P" H-S. He was using a 2 inch barrel snub.

KR

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