.38 Special +P vs. 9mm (non +P)


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Gunsmoker
July 23, 2007, 02:36 AM
Which round do YOU think is the better bad guy stopper?

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ugaarguy
July 23, 2007, 02:44 AM
Which round do YOU think is the better bad guy stopper?
The one you have a handgun chambered in which you shoot significantly more accurately than the gun you have chambered in the other. Put the lead on target quickly and don't think an agressor's gonna be asking you what caliber you're shooting him with.

bamabluesman
July 23, 2007, 03:03 AM
just curious. Why did you list the lightest weight 9mm? Why not the 124 gr which is just about the same as the .38?

Gunsmoker
July 23, 2007, 03:10 AM
just curious. Why did you list the lightest weight 9mm? Why not the 124 gr which is just about the same as the .38?


Because the store only had 115 GR in 9mm. Another day another thread for equal grains and +P for both calibers.

vanfunk
July 23, 2007, 10:31 AM
Larger surface area

Huh? .355 versus .357? The .38 has, in fact, a whopping 2/1000ths of an inch of advantage here.

Of the rounds you've mentioned, I'd take the 9mm, but I think the difference is not enough to worry about.

vanfunk

Breakdaddy
July 23, 2007, 10:39 AM
Either one would do the job, but since I'm a 9mm fan I'd vote the 9mm. I would not carry 115gr standard pressure rounds unless I had to, though. I don't own any non +P defensive rounds for my 9mms. Currently I have 127gr Ranger +P+, Cor Bon DPX 115gr +P, Doubletap 124gr +P, and some 124gr +P Golden Sabers. These are the rounds Ive tested and trust in all of my 9mms.

mavracer
July 23, 2007, 10:46 AM
since you didn't put brand restrictions on it the doubletap +p 125 GD is about as fast as anyones 115 9mm loading.so I said 38 but I dont think its any where near enough to make a difference.

40SW
July 23, 2007, 12:07 PM
".38 Special +P vs. 9mm (non +P)
Which round do YOU think is the better bad guy stopper?"

The one who gets hit with either one first is the LOOSER.
and thats my final answer. lol.

on the flipside, there are some positive and negative aspects to both.
1. 9mm offers higher capacity and more opportunity for potential followup shots.
2. Both offer versatility with bullet shape/weight/size, both are versatile to reload.
so my original statement holds, hit first, win first.

obxned
July 23, 2007, 01:04 PM
Too close to choose one over the other based on 'stopping power', provided you are using good JHPs.

BillinNH
July 23, 2007, 01:05 PM
They're pretty close but the 9mm wins on specs. The real issue is which of the two classic platforms do you prefer: the .38 revolver or the 9mm semi-auto.

Bill

Walkalong
July 23, 2007, 01:34 PM
Toss up.

longeyes
July 23, 2007, 01:53 PM
I picked 9mm. "Upscale" 9mm, like +P+ hollowpoints (e.g., Ranger T 127g), has a significant throughput edge. More to the point, I am more confident I could quickly put multiple rounds on target with the 9mm platforms I currently use (Glocks). That said, I do like 38spl in the Airweight format as a pocket or back-up handgun.

glockman19
July 23, 2007, 02:52 PM
I carry 9mm Federal 124 grain HP in my Glock 19 & 26.
I carry .38 Federal 110 grain HP in my S&W 642/442.

nemoaz
July 23, 2007, 02:58 PM
It's not really a toss up at all. The 9mm will be 200 fps or so faster pushing a bullet that is approximately the same diameter.

38 special and 380 are more comparable (velocity and energy) than 38 and 9mm.

It just confuses people because they see that LARGE 38 case and think that it must be more powerful than the tiny 9mm case.

mavracer
July 23, 2007, 03:23 PM
It's not really a toss up at all. The 9mm will be 200 fps or so faster pushing a bullet that is approximately the same diameter.
Item 20A: 158gr., very soft cast, semi wad cutter, (Keith) hollow cavity, with a gas check. This bullet will mushroom violently on impact and will penetrate roughly 14 inches in human flesh. Again, this bullet is gas checked and will not lead your barrel.

S&W mod. 60, 2 inch—1040 fps (379 ft. lbs.)
S&W mod. 66, 2.5 inch—1059 fps (393 ft. lbs.)
Ruger SP101, 3 inch—1143 fps (458 ft. lbs.)
S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch—1162 fps (474 ft. lbs.)

Item 20B: 125gr. Speer Uni-core (Gold Dot). This is the Low velocity version designed to expand under 800 fps. It will mushroom violently and penetrate roughly 12 inches in human flesh.

a. S&W mod 60, 2 inch—1072 fps (319 ft. lbs.)
b. S&W mod 66, 2.5 inch—1108 fps (341 ft. lbs.)
c. Ruger SP101, 3 inch—1180 fps (386 ft. lbs.)
d. S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch—1258 fps (439 ft. lbs.)

these were taken from buffalo bore websight and I have chronoed their stuf their #s are right on since OP said std 9mm vs 38+p. find me a std pressure 124 9mm thats going 1250 fps or as you said 1450.

longeyes
July 23, 2007, 04:18 PM
The Buffalo Bore stuff sounds interesting. I'm currently using Win 158g LSWCHPs and Cor-Bon 110g DPX in my .38s. But what is it like to fire it? Have you tried it?

I've tried the Ranger T +P+ stuff in my Glocks and it is very manageable.

the naked prophet
July 23, 2007, 04:49 PM
I would personally prefer to use 158 grain LSWCHP +P. I feel that even against 9mm+P they're pretty close.

If it's between the .38 special Remington 158 grain LSWCHP +P and any brand of 9mm 115 grain standard pressure JHP, I'll take the .38 special - assuming that it's being judged solely on the performance of one single round.

Hey, that is what I decided. I carry a .38 special Taurus 85, loaded with the Rem 158 LSWCHP+P, over a 9mm single stack of the same size and similar capacity.

LeonCarr
July 23, 2007, 08:13 PM
I voted for the 9mm, but if the .38 Special was changed to a 158 Grain +P LSWCHP, I would vote for it instead of the 9.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

P. Plainsman
July 23, 2007, 08:29 PM
Yeah - what LeonCarr said. Given your two choices, I'd take std. pressure 115 gr 9mm.

But I'd take the ol' "FBI Load" (158 grain pure lead hollowpoint .38 Special +P from Remington or Winchester) over virtually any standard pressure 9mm.

That thing is no joke even in a little snubby, and out of a service revolver (say a 4" S&W K-frame at circa 900 fps) it is very serious.

If we add 9mm+P to the mix, I'd take the top 115 and 124 grain 9mm+P loads (Speer Gold Dot, Remington Golden Saber, Black Hills) over the FBI Load, but not by a huge margin.

mavracer
July 23, 2007, 09:52 PM
the BB 158+p load hurts a little out of a airweight but I'd rather be on the grip end.

jad0110
July 23, 2007, 10:06 PM
Didn't vote, there is no "whichever you shoot best" option.

As many of you know, I'm not much into fps, ft-lbs of energy, or other such things. Placement and penetration are what count most, IMHO. Either will do the job, just pick which you shoot best.

My personal preference is for the 38.

Alan Fud
July 23, 2007, 10:47 PM
3913tsw

GunNut
July 23, 2007, 11:35 PM
What barrel length are you shooting either of them out of? Makes a big difference if you are comparing a 5" 9mm to a 2" .38special.

Either way I would probably choose the 9mm if it were a gun I could comfortably CCW.

Steve

ArchAngelCD
July 24, 2007, 03:13 AM
I'm betting you would get different results for this Poll if you posted it in the Revolver forum.

Gunsmoker
July 24, 2007, 10:47 AM
but if the .38 Special was changed to a 158 Grain +P LSWCHP, I would vote for it instead of the 9.


What is the 158 Grain +P LSWCHP?

And how is it better than the 125 GR +P Speer dot (or whatever brand)

scubie02
July 24, 2007, 10:53 AM
it would depend alot on what guns the two rounds were being fired from--are they comparable? Are you comparing a PM9 to a j frame, or a 4 or 6" revolver vs a small 9mm, or a full sized 9mm vs a j frame...all kinds of possible scenarios that would make a big difference as far as energy and such.

these factors not only affect energy, but how likely the average person is to shoot them well, too. Most people find +P's out of a lightweight snubbie pretty unpleasant and hard to shoot well.

Having said that, I'm old enough to remember when 148 wadcutters were a preferred load in 38 snubbies, which have all of 166 ft pounds of energy or something like that, but were supposed to cut holes less likely to close up that would bleed alot as a result, or that was the idea anyway. I knew an old timer who moved UP to a 38 snubbie with such loads for the power. Hell, the first issued police revolvers in NY were chambered in 32 S&W or something of the sort as I recall.

The long and the short of it is that if somebody is hopped up enough or crazy enough or wants you badly enough, you can plug them with body shots from a 40 S&W or something of the like till the cows come home and they may still get to you. But the average person is going to go "oh crap, I've been shot!" and lose interest in attacking you in a hurry, no matter what the caliber that poked the hole in them.

scubie02
July 24, 2007, 10:55 AM
What is the 158 Grain +P LSWCHP?

it's the old "FBI load", and was considered to be about the best you could do in a 38 special back in the day--I use it in my k frame snubbies, somewhat stout in a j frame

the naked prophet
July 24, 2007, 01:17 PM
158 grain Lead SemiWadCutter Hollow Point. http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38%20Special%20158gr%20LSWCHP.htm

Gunsmoker
July 24, 2007, 04:52 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/poll.php?do=showresults&pollid=3339


Here's the identical thread I made in Revolvers section just to compare.

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