Need .38 Special personal defense ammo recommendations.


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pgmrdan
September 27, 2011, 05:13 PM
Should a post about ammo go in the Firearm Accessories forum? :D

I've read in one of Massad Ayoob's books about the FBI load and the NYPD load. I can't find them in the stores.

I've also seen reference to a CCI Blazer cartridge that is ballistically very similar to the FBI load so one can use it for practice and save a few bucks. I can't find it in the stores.

What's the deal?

One of the ammo 'experts' at a store said a lot of better stuff has come out since the FBI load was selected by the FBI. Ayoob's book just came out about 3 years ago.

Bottom line is: What should I use for a personal defense round in my .38 Special revolver? Is there a ballistically similar round that would be cheap for practice?

Thanks.

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Drail
September 27, 2011, 05:20 PM
Where you hit is much more important than what you hit them with. Ammo type should be at the bottom of your list of what's important. Also whatever ammo LE uses is not necessarily the best thing out there. I used to believe that also but it's absolute hype.

gunsablazin
September 27, 2011, 05:32 PM
I use 135gr. Speer Gold Dots in my .38s it's designed for short barrel revolvers, and is supposed to be one of the best on the market. With that said, any of the premium HPs should do just fine, if you put them where they need to go.

Loosedhorse
September 27, 2011, 05:36 PM
What barrel length?

Out of a 4 in barrel, nothing is better that the 158gr LSWCHP+P FBI load, IMHO. Made by Remington, Winchester, and Buffalo Bore. Most 4-inch revolvers with fixed sights are regulated to this load.

beatledog7
September 27, 2011, 05:40 PM
Agreed, your ability to put rounds on target is the real key. For selecting ammo, most shooters seem to agree that barrel length and whether you can or want to chamber +Ps matter. I don't like +Ps and carry a snubbie, so I choose Federal Nyclad 125gr JHPs. My second choice is any other 110-125gr JHP, followed by 158gr SWCs.

pgmrdan
September 27, 2011, 05:52 PM
gunsablazin recommended the NYPD load I've been looking for and Loosedhorse mentioned the FBI load I've been looking for. I guess I've just been looking in the wrong places. No body near me (and not so near me) carry them.

Sorry, I should have stated 4" barrel.

If you guys order these on the internet, who carries them?

pgmrdan
September 27, 2011, 06:51 PM
I went back to MidwayUSA and looked for the NYPD round. I had been looking under CCI but when I looked under Speer there they are...sort of. They're out of stock until 10/31. :(

Loosedhorse
September 27, 2011, 07:05 PM
Midway has the Remington FBI load; for Buffalo Bore you can order from them or from Midway.

I don't prefer the NY load, and I think it'll shoot low for most 4 inch revolvers.

451 Detonics
September 27, 2011, 07:29 PM
I use one brand of ammo for every caliber...CorBon DPX. While there are no magic bullets the DPX excels in one area that gives it an advantage over the other fine defensive ammos available, it gives the same performance after barrier penetration.

Mr.Blue
September 27, 2011, 08:33 PM
Speer Gold Dot is the best IMHO. They have one load for revolvers with barrels 4" and longer and one load for short barreled revolvers. The short barreled load is designed to expand at the slower velocities projectiles will experience when fired from a short barrel.

Pyro
September 27, 2011, 10:27 PM
A mix of Magsafe and Buffalo Bore wadcutter.

camar
September 27, 2011, 10:31 PM
I reload my own for defense. It is 173gr. LSWC +P out of a 4" bbl.

mdauben
September 27, 2011, 10:52 PM
I've read in one of Massad Ayoob's books about the FBI load and the NYPD load. I can't find them in the stores.


FBI Load = .38 Special +P 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoint (Buffalo Bore (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=171388) Winchester (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=765718)and Remington (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=548921))
NYPD Load = .38 Special +P 135 grain Gold Dot JHP (Speer (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=738035))

While these are still proven performers in short barreled revolvers, there are certainly other good loads nowadays, too.

wrs840
September 27, 2011, 11:03 PM
FBI load I like best (and it is my favorite .38 SD load for two-legged critters): Remington R38S12 .38 spl +P 158gr. LSWCHP:

Midway Product # 548921
Cheaper Than Dirt Product # 66333
Sportsman's Guide Product # WX2-13913

I find this to shoot very accurately out of 2-1/2 and 3" bbl Smiths. With a 4"bbl, it shoots a little high, in my experience, all at 50 feet.

bergmen
September 27, 2011, 11:09 PM
I must be the cheap one of the bunch. I use Winchester white box .38 Special +P 125 grain jacketed hollow point (personal defense) in all of my snubbies. I use their .45 ACP and .357 Magnum ammo also.

Accurate, powerful, inexpensive and reasily avialable.

Dan

wlewisiii
September 27, 2011, 11:18 PM
Buffalo Bore 158 gr LSWCHP +P for me.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=108 Though I buy it at MidwayUSA.

shaolink9
September 28, 2011, 12:20 AM
hornady critical defense.

Waywatcher
September 28, 2011, 12:27 AM
Here's a great article by the late Stephen Camp on the best 3 loads for .38 special. (http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38%20Snub%20Ammo%20Test.htm)

LawofThirds
September 28, 2011, 03:03 AM
Buffalo bore's 158g swchp +p load is a modern version of the FBI load. It does 1000fps out of a 1 7/8" and over 1100fps in a 2 1/5 S&W 19. It gives near .357mag performance at +p pressures.

Nobody else even comes close when measured in a real gun over a chrono (Double Tap is usually VERY optimistic about their loads, same with the others).

If it's too agressive, try their standard .38 loads, they're still a solid 100fps above the competition.

Mr.Blue
September 28, 2011, 03:38 AM
Do you use that Buffalo Bore +P in a non-357 frame? I would be scared firing it out of my S&W 637 Airweight. 158 grains @ over 1000 fps is strong performance for a .38spc.

45Fan
September 28, 2011, 04:14 AM
Ive only recently gotten into the 38 special arena, and so far, I have had good luck with the remington UMC brand 38 special +P 125gr SJHP load. It shoots to point of aim, and at 10 yards I can hit a quarter almost every time. Im confident that they will do the job if ever the time comes.

JRadice45
September 28, 2011, 02:38 PM
Have you tried www.ammunitiontogo.com ? I purchased 4 boxes of the Winchester 158 +p lswchp a few months ago. Be warned though - at least in both of my revolvers a Ruger 4" GP 100 & 2" S&W 640-3 this load leads pretty bad as they use swaged lead bullets. Some care during cleanup is required before you can shoot jacketed or plated ammunition.

I built practice loads to +p velocity with Speer 158 lswc hp bullets but they too were soft swaged lead and leaded up the bore quickly. I have since switched my practice ammo to Missouri Bullet Company .357 action bullets (the brinnell number is higher than their 38 bullets) loaded to +p velocity with much less leading in the Ruger. I havent noticed much of a difference in the Smith.

gunsablazin recommended the NYPD load I've been looking for and Loosedhorse mentioned the FBI load I've been looking for. I guess I've just been looking in the wrong places. No body near me (and not so near me) carry them.

Sorry, I should have stated 4" barrel.

If you guys order these on the internet, who carries them?

Super Sneaky Steve
September 28, 2011, 05:34 PM
I purchased 4 boxes of the Winchester 158 +p lswchp a few months ago. Be warned though - at least in both of my revolvers a Ruger 4" GP 100 & 2" S&W 640-3 this load leads pretty bad as they use swaged lead bullets. Some care during cleanup is required before you can shoot jacketed or plated ammunition.
The Buffalo Bore ammo is gas checked so you won't have that problem. BB is the best hands down.

trickyasafox
September 28, 2011, 07:32 PM
any 158gr LSWCHP that is soft, bonus points for +p

W.E.G.
September 28, 2011, 07:36 PM
Carry this:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=548921

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/ammunition/remington.jpg

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Train on this:
http://georgia-arms.com/cannedheat38special158grleadsemi-wadcutter500pk.aspx

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/ammunition/georgia.jpg

content
September 28, 2011, 07:39 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // ^ this X 15,is my choice also, one cylinder and two speed strips.

willypete
September 29, 2011, 02:51 AM
Why not carry AND train with this? Same cost as the LSWC, same thing out of a 4" bbl as the more expensive LSWCHP from Rem, Win, Fed, etc.

http://georgia-arms.com/38special158grleadsemi-wadcutterhollowpointp1000pk.aspx

http://georgia-arms.com/productimages/productlarge/g38e.jpg

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