S&W J frame ammo?


August 28, 2011, 11:11 PM
looking for some advice. just picked up a S&W 360. what's a suitable SD round for the short barrel that won't be too much of a beast in the airweight pistol? I'm a sturdy guy that can handle the recoil but my small wife may have cause to use it as well. Thanks for any advice!

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August 28, 2011, 11:38 PM
Nothing wrong with using target wadcutters, or standard .38 Special 158 gr. LSWCHP lead semi-wadcutter hollow-points.

Also, many years ago, Gun Digest suggested a 200 gr. RNL atop 3.8 grains of Unique. Small powder load, heavy bullet, tumbled inside of a body for max effect instead of drilling like most .38''s do.

The Doc is out now. :cool:

PS, use the search feature, this type of topic has come up lots of times before here.

August 29, 2011, 10:32 AM
thank you!

August 29, 2011, 10:50 AM
If you want to stick with standard pressure loads (and I can't blame you in an alloy J-Frame), I know that Federal 125gr Nyclad HPs (http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/handgun.aspx?id=828)were once quite popular as a SD round, at least they are popular enough so that Federal has recently put them back into production.

August 29, 2011, 12:54 PM
Federal 125 grain Nyclad for your stated purpose.

August 29, 2011, 01:04 PM
I use the Speer 135gr Gold Dot Hollowpoint in all my .38s, it is designed as a short barrel cartridge.

August 29, 2011, 02:51 PM
Speer Gold Dot non +P - item #53722

August 30, 2011, 01:04 PM
Another vote for the Nyclads here.

August 30, 2011, 02:36 PM
I have used the Nyclads with a great deal of satisfaction in snubs for almost 30 years (and still do in a 1st year Colt Cobra and a S&W M67), BUT while wringing out my new S&W 642 I found that Hornady Critical Defense 110 gr +P shot closer to point of aim and in a tighter group than anything else, including the Nyclads and Gold Dots. You may want to take a sampling of each of the recommended loads to the range and see which your revolver prefers. Word of warning, the recoil is sharp but not unbearable in the 642 Airweight.

Probably won't impress the benchrest crowd with fist-sized groups at 10 yards, but I'm content.

August 30, 2011, 02:45 PM
I use Gold Dots.

But the main thing is to be able to shoot fast and accurate.

August 30, 2011, 02:46 PM
You may also wish to try some non plus P from Buffalo Bore.


August 30, 2011, 11:19 PM
One thing to consider with a very light weight revolver is recoil pulling bullets. My tests with several popular SF rounds were showing bullet pull by the fifth round using my S&W 342 Airlite J Frame

I had no bullet pull problems with regular 148g target wad cutters and they are actually pretty effective for self defense out of a J frame. They make a good sized wound channel and penetrate adequately, Speer 135gr HP also work well if you can tolerate their recoil. I never had bullet pull with the Buffalo Bore 148gr wad cutter or their 158gr LSWCHP (non +P) but recoil is substantial.

Federal 125g Nyclad did pull bullets by the fifth round as did Federal and Remington 158g LSWCHP.

Bullets that start to come out of the case can really tie up a revolver. I suggest that you test any round you might carry with at least three cylinders full. Shoot four and look at the fifth for bullet pull.

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