What bullet weight do you carry in your .38 Special?


June 18, 2006, 09:13 PM
what weight bullet do you carry? I carry 158 gr. Why carry a lighter bullet that is going to have less penetration and expansion in the bad guy and more wear in your gun?


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June 18, 2006, 09:24 PM
When i carry it since it is a 2" snub i carry 125 federal nyclads that you cant seem to find anywhere anymore

June 18, 2006, 09:27 PM
Speer 135 +P Gold Dot.

June 18, 2006, 10:02 PM
125 gr. Nyclads here too.

June 18, 2006, 10:20 PM
158gr LSWCs in my old M&P - sights on these old guns are factory regulated for that weight and it shows.

Ala Dan
June 18, 2006, 10:22 PM
Federal 158 grain Nyclad JHP's~!:D

June 18, 2006, 10:29 PM

June 18, 2006, 10:37 PM
Black hills 125gr +P's loaded with the Speer
gold dot bullet in my 642-2.I carry them over
the 158gr because the 125's produce less
muzzle flip and shot POA in this gun.

Federal 158gr +P LSWCHP's in my 3" model
10-7,these shot POA and muzzle flip is not a
problem in the heavier gun.

June 19, 2006, 02:50 AM
Corbon DPX 110 grain in my 642.

June 19, 2006, 07:52 AM
Federal 129gr +p Hydrashoks

(been known to put them in 357's too)

June 19, 2006, 12:01 PM
Remington Express 158-gr LSWC +P in my 442.

Matt Dillon
June 19, 2006, 12:56 PM
RBCD Performance Plus 60 grain

June 19, 2006, 01:36 PM
125 JHP Remington Golden Sabres hand-loaded to 1,150 FPS. They lose about 100 FPS in the 2" guns.

June 19, 2006, 01:40 PM
I carry 158 grain semi wad cutters that I hand load. These are as hot as I can handle them but are still manageable.

June 19, 2006, 02:00 PM
Was 124 gr GD +P, now 135 gr GD +P.

June 19, 2006, 02:53 PM
I sometimes carry a S&W 642 with 125 gr. Nyclads. I have also toted silvertips on occasion.

June 19, 2006, 02:59 PM
My loads weren't an option, but:

146gr Speer SJSWCHP handloads and 154gr hardcast LWC handloads.

The 146 shoots POA/POI, and the 154 shoots 1.5" high of POA.

June 19, 2006, 08:19 PM
135+p speer gold dots

Kurt S.
June 19, 2006, 10:07 PM
I have 2 snub .38's, a S&W M36 and Taurus M85 ULCH. I also have a S&W M60 snub in .357.

I have started carrying the Gold Dot 135 grainers in the .38s. The 158 grain LHPs are hell to practice with in my Model 36. I don't normally mind a bit of kick, but I get blisters on my trigger finger from the heavies. I have seen 148 grain WC's bounce off of hard wood posts :eek: ; I have no faith in penetration with this load. The 125 grain Nyclads are too hard to find anymore.

Although I have tested the 158 gr load in the Taurus Ultralight, I still have a concern about bullet pulling in that firearm. I settled on Gold Dot 125 Grain +P's for both guns until the the 135 grainers came out recently.

Now in the Model 60 .357, the 158 grain .38 LHP is fine, no blisters. Go figure. However I carry the Corbon 110 grain .357 (1500 fps!) or the 125 grain Rem Golden Sabre in that piece.

June 19, 2006, 10:56 PM
135 gr Gold Dots.

June 20, 2006, 03:11 AM
158 lhp.

June 20, 2006, 08:03 AM
Remington 158gr LSWCHP +P

For practice I use my reloads. Zero 158gr LSWCHP over Titegroup. A healthy load, but not +p.

June 20, 2006, 08:11 AM
I keep five Rem R38S12 158gr LHPSWC +P's in my HKS #10 speedloaders for my 2" 10 and 6" 66. The sixth round is a snakeshot capsule. My carry is a 296 with 200gr GDJHP's - GA Arms or Blazers.


June 20, 2006, 08:44 AM
The correct answer is a Speer Goldot 135 grain hollowpoint. Preferably loaded in the +p range to ensure expansion. But I really appreciate everyone elses answers, however misguided.

June 20, 2006, 10:07 AM
The 158gr fbi load is the best load, as it out-performs every other .38 load out there (as well as a number of .357 loads).
Some lighter j-frames (especially scadium/titanium etc) require jacketed bullets and only shoot reliably with 125gr loads. So I carried 125gr in my 340 and 342 pd's. Managable recoil, reliable performance. It wasn't the most powerful thing out there, but its all about trade offs. The guns weighed 10 ounces and I could carry them anywhere.

June 20, 2006, 10:58 AM
I couldn't vote for my current load 'cause it's not listed, a 140 grain JHP. However, I voted for 158 since I fully intend to switch. The 140 grain +P I'm shooting hits a little low and I wanna shoot more weight to raise the point of impact up to point of aim. I have a couple of loads to test I loaded up the other day, but I've gotta weight for the rain to stop to get to the range with the chronograph. The skeeters are deadly out there right now, too. :cuss: Soon as I test and confirm accuracy, I'll likely switch to the 158 grain Remington JHP in a +P handload.

I think anything from 125-158 grains in the .38 +P is a good choice for self defense. Any load in this range should have adequate penetration. The lighter bullets should expand better since they have more speed, but it's hard to beat the ol' FBI load. Main thing is, I want it to hit where I'm shootin'.

June 20, 2006, 02:22 PM
158, however misguided...

June 20, 2006, 02:39 PM

June 20, 2006, 05:45 PM
Federal +P 158 gr LSWCHP :D

June 20, 2006, 06:11 PM
another vote for 135 gr gold dots.

June 20, 2006, 10:44 PM
135-grain Gold Dots in the J-frame .38 special, the SP-101, and the Smith K-frame.

Speedloaders contain 158-grain lead hollowpoints, because I have so many of them and can't afford another box of 135-grain Gold Dots.


June 21, 2006, 10:29 AM
Actually I carry any of 3 weights, 110 and 125 JHP, and 158 LSWC-HP. The latter is my favorite and trusted.

Marko Kloos
June 21, 2006, 08:39 PM
One-fifty-eight grain LSWCHP +P...that load has settled a lot of dirty business for a long time now. Lots of SD, goes deep, expands well, and the fixed sights on the K-frames are regulated for that weight anyway.

June 22, 2006, 06:09 AM
This will sound dry and uninnovative but I get the best groupings and scores with standard velocity 158gr LRNs (755ft/s from a 4" barrel with 200ft/lbs) so hence, if all hell breaks loose, that's what i'll load into my six gun for self preservation and even small/medium game harvesting.

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