Snub Nose .38 Special...Critial Defense or Nyclad?


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Southern Shooter
September 20, 2012, 11:21 PM
I have an ultra-lite Taurus M85 revolver with the 2" barrel that I like to carry concealed. This winter, I will be in an area of the country that tends to bundle up well once the snow starts to fall. The two .38 Special ammos that I will have easy access to are the Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain NON +P and the Federal Nyclad 125 grain NON +P. Whichever I use it needs to perform through thick winter clothing.

Which one would you choose to carry in the gun and why?

Thank you

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ColtPythonElite
September 20, 2012, 11:31 PM
Either will work just fine.

Mac Attack
September 20, 2012, 11:36 PM
I am the heavier is better crowd when it comes to.38 special. I carry Buffalo Bore .on +P 158 gr LSWCHPs in my Colt Detective Special. Before I settled on BB ammo I tried various make and weight defensive ammo but settled on BB because of their solid ballistic tests, recommendation online and found they shot better groups for me. Do some research and you will find the 158 gr BB matches the old FBI .38 Special load that worked for decades as a reliable manstopper.

beatledog7
September 20, 2012, 11:36 PM
Those are only only two factory .38SPL loads I still buy, or would if I could find Nyclads for a decent price. Any decent factory 110 or 125gr HP will work if budget constraints are in play.

saltydog452
September 21, 2012, 10:13 AM
I can't shoot 'groups' in a featherweight.

My bride has Nyclad in her Cobra. I have Rem 158 Lead HP +P in my Airweight revolver. Both have Birami Hip Grips and a Tyler Grip adapter. The 158s aren't fun to shoot, but will make it through a tempered glass storm door or side window of an auto. Nyclad is kinda 'iffey' on penetration.

salty

Quoheleth
September 21, 2012, 12:57 PM
Considering the Nyclad is scarce as hens' teeth, you better go with the Hornady load. Their newest stuff, per American Rifleman, is supposed to be really good.

Q

Guillermo
September 21, 2012, 01:31 PM
Being gun guys (and gals) we tend to over-think things.

I think my Diamondback is loaded with Hornady 110 now.

But remember...if you need it there is virtually no chance that any good round will "do the job" better than the next. It is ALL about shot placement.

skt239
September 21, 2012, 04:26 PM
I would go with the CD, it's a more current design and easy to find.

Lawdawg45
September 21, 2012, 06:40 PM
I have an ultra-lite Taurus M85 revolver with the 2" barrel that I like to carry concealed. This winter, I will be in an area of the country that tends to bundle up well once the snow starts to fall. The two .38 Special ammos that I will have easy access to are the Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain NON +P and the Federal Nyclad 125 grain NON +P. Whichever I use it needs to perform through thick winter clothing.

Which one would you choose to carry in the gun and why?

Thank you

As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements. If penetration is your concern, run from the Hornaday.:eek:

LD

Shawn Dodson
September 21, 2012, 09:04 PM
As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements.

And to add, Critical Duty is intended to be fired from "duty" sized handguns, not compact and subcompacts.

Hapworth
September 21, 2012, 09:10 PM
As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements. If penetration is your concern, run from the Hornaday.:eek:

LD
Counterpoint:

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/DocGKRData/38spl_HorndayFTX_SpeerGDHP_CorbonDPX.htm

ArchAngelCD
September 22, 2012, 02:07 AM
I don't like using a light bullet in the .38 Special so of the 2 rounds you listed I would go with the 125gr Nyclad ammo. But, if the 110gr load is more accurate in your revolver that would change my mind.

The best bullet in the world will do you no good unless you make good hits.

Okie45
September 22, 2012, 05:02 AM
Just load both rounds, alternate every other round, spin the cylinder, and close it. Play ammo roulette with the bad guys. Actually, both rounds will serve you well, just load the one you shoot best with. You can argue all day that one "may" not penetrate deep enough, or one "may" not expand due to the clothes, but I seriously doubt typical winter clothing will keep either round from doing its job if you do yours.

Lawdawg45
September 22, 2012, 07:48 AM
And to add, Critical Duty is intended to be fired from "duty" sized handguns, not compact and subcompacts.

I heard this tripe as well, their marketing guru would have you think you'd need a federal permit to use their duty ammo!:D

LD

Shawn Dodson
September 22, 2012, 10:59 AM
I heard this tripe as well, their marketing guru would have you think you'd need a federal permit to use their duty ammo!

Unlike Critical Defense, the core of Critical Duty is made of hardened lead, which requires a higher velocity to achieve reliable expansion, and which is why it's meant to be fired from full size handguns.

Water-Man
September 22, 2012, 11:13 AM
Critical Duty in .38Spl.?

Trebor
September 22, 2012, 12:58 PM
I'd go with the Speer 135 gr +P short barrel load before either of the choices you listed. Second choice would probably be Nyclad.

ironhead7544
September 22, 2012, 03:40 PM
If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing with a snub, I would go with the Buffalo Bore full wadcutters. These are loaded hotter than the factory soft wadcutters. The Buffalo Bore 158gr SWCHPGC would also be good but HP bullets have been known to plug up and not expand.

Deltaboy
September 22, 2012, 04:34 PM
The CD I got shoots POA in my Charter at 20 feet.

BSA1
September 23, 2012, 11:12 AM
As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements. If penetration is your concern, run from the Hornaday.

Please post links(s) or better yet your actual test results supporting this conclusion.

And to add, Critical Duty is intended to be fired from "duty" sized handguns, not compact and subcompacts.

Thank goodness I don’t get my information from the Internet. I actually test ammunition in actual firearms in real world outside conditions.

I did a side by side comparison test of Hydra-Shock +P and Critical Defense +P out of a Taurus 85 2” barrel revolver. I fired through four layers of heavy jean demin and four layers on cotton shirt that covered a three foot deep water barrel. This represents heavy dress for summertime.

Half of the Hydra-Shoks expanded 100%. The other half expanded partway into a oblong shape. All of the Critical Defense expanded 100%.

I know from previous tests the deep penetration of the 158 lead semi-wadcutter also known as the FBI load.

Remember that some JHP's will fail to expand after the nose cavity fills up with material.

Until you actually test your ammunition in your gun all of the information, including mine, you read should be treated as a lie.

p.s. Shooting things is fun.

cleardiddion
September 23, 2012, 12:49 PM
Depending on the availability of the ammo in your area would dictate what you carry.

Personally, I can find Nyclads fairly easily in my area for a decent price so that's what I have stoked in my J frame.

1911Jeeper
September 23, 2012, 01:00 PM
As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements. If penetration is your concern, run from the Hornaday

Since the OP is talking about self defense and not about defeating barriers to apprehend felons, the FBI argument is as useless as the one about Mil-Spec AR-15's.

Simple facts are, heavy clothing tends to clog hollow points and prevent expansion. Critical Defense loads appear to solve that issue.

If The CD rounds are reliable and accurate in your firearms, you should have no concerns with their performance.

F-111 John
September 23, 2012, 02:04 PM
Some actual ballistics tests for .38 spl from a snub nose from TNOutdoors9. He uses ballistics media and 4 layers of denim:


Remington Golden Sabre .38 +P 125 gr JHP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRe6BzIqu6U

Buffalo Bore .38 spl 158 gr LHPSWC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvVNtKicux4

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel .38 spl +P 135 gr JHP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k890Rio2oBY

Winchester PDX-1 .38 spl +P 130 gr JHP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od1LgsHdLmc

CorBon PowRBall .38 spl +P 100 gr JHP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zauAdVSpfa4

Based on these tests, the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel would be my choice.

Lawdawg45
September 24, 2012, 08:23 AM
As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements. If penetration is your concern, run from the Hornaday.

Please post links(s) or better yet your actual test results supporting this conclusion.

And to add, Critical Duty is intended to be fired from "duty" sized handguns, not compact and subcompacts.

Thank goodness I donít get my information from the Internet. I actually test ammunition in actual firearms in real world outside conditions.

I did a side by side comparison test of Hydra-Shock +P and Critical Defense +P out of a Taurus 85 2Ē barrel revolver. I fired through four layers of heavy jean demin and four layers on cotton shirt that covered a three foot deep water barrel. This represents heavy dress for summertime.

Half of the Hydra-Shoks expanded 100%. The other half expanded partway into a oblong shape. All of the Critical Defense expanded 100%.

I know from previous tests the deep penetration of the 158 lead semi-wadcutter also known as the FBI load.

Remember that some JHP's will fail to expand after the nose cavity fills up with material.

Until you actually test your ammunition in your gun all of the information, including mine, you read should be treated as a lie.

p.s. Shooting things is fun.

You need only look to Hornaday itself, the Critical Duty round was developed because their other rounds failed FBI criteria and many departments would not allow their use. On a personal note, I attempted to dispatch an injured Deer on the roadside, and a point blank shot behind it's ear failed to penetrate the skull with my 1911. I still stand by my statement that their products are light and under powered.

LD

460Kodiak
September 24, 2012, 10:19 AM
If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing with a snub, I would go with the Buffalo Bore full wadcutters.

If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing, I wouldn't bring a snub. That's why I carry a 3" .357 or a full size 1911 in winter.

I know not everyone can afford multiple guns, but if you have a different gun to bring, I would. I only carry my 38 snub in summer. When I wear heavier clothing for winter, I carry something bigger, just like I don't wear winter boots all summer.

Different tools for different needs.

But..... if that's the only gun you can bring, then a heavier bullet is probably a good idea with heavy clothes in play.

460Kodiak
September 24, 2012, 10:20 AM
If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing with a snub, I would go with the Buffalo Bore full wadcutters.

If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing, I wouldn't bring a snub. That's why I carry a 3" .357 or a full size 1911 in winter.

I know not everyone can afford multiple guns, but if you have a different gun to bring, I would. I only carry my 38 snub in summer. When I wear heavier clothing for winter, I carry something bigger, just like I don't wear winter boots all summer.

Different tools for different needs.

But..... if that's the only gun you can bring, then a heavier bullet is probably a good idea with heavy clothes in play.

460Kodiak
September 24, 2012, 10:22 AM
If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing with a snub, I would go with the Buffalo Bore full wadcutters.

If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing, I wouldn't bring a snub. That's why I carry a 3" .357 or a full size 1911 in winter.

I know not everyone can afford multiple guns, but if you have a different gun to bring, I would. I only carry my 38 snub in summer. When I wear heavier clothing for winter, I carry something bigger, just like I don't wear winter boots all summer.

Different tools for different needs.

But..... if that's the only gun you can bring, then a heavier bullet is probably a good idea with heavy clothes in play.

S&Wfan
September 25, 2012, 11:23 PM
Anything will work fine in it as long as you hit the target properly.

BSA1
September 26, 2012, 10:31 AM
You need only look to Hornaday itself, the Critical Duty round was developed because their other rounds failed FBI criteria and many departments would not allow their use.

I checked the Hornady website about the Critical Defense and did not find any reference about their other rounds failing the FBI criteria.

As the Hornady website is large it would be helpful if you could post the link discussing their FBI test results.

Your statement "many departments would not allow their use" sounds subjective.

Duty ammunition is often choosen by budget minded administrators so the absence of certain brands of ammunition is not necessarily due to the actual performance.

Many smaller departments in my area "copy cat" the ammo used by larger departments. A large city (population 300,000) near where I live adopted the 147 gr. JHP in the 9mm. Most of the departments in the smaller communities also adopted it simply becasue they figured that since the big city P.D. was using it it must be the best choice.

As already discussed what does the FBI test criteria have to do with civilian use?

On a personal note, I attempted to dispatch an injured Deer on the roadside, and a point blank shot behind it's ear failed to penetrate the skull with my 1911.

I once shot a opposum right between the eyes with a 38 Special and the bullet bounced off without penetrating. Was it a result of poor bullet placement or that all 38 Special ammo is underpowered?

I still stand by my statement that their products are light and under powered.

There are lots of good choices out there for you to match your needs for the tasks you need to perform..

Lawdawg45
September 26, 2012, 11:10 AM
You need only look to Hornaday itself, the Critical Duty round was developed because their other rounds failed FBI criteria and many departments would not allow their use.

I checked the Hornady website about the Critical Defense and did not find any reference about their other rounds failing the FBI criteria.

As the Hornady website is large it would be helpful if you could post the link discussing their FBI test results.

Your statement "many departments would not allow their use" sounds subjective.

Duty ammunition is often choosen by budget minded administrators so the absence of certain brands of ammunition is not necessarily due to the actual performance.

Many smaller departments in my area "copy cat" the ammo used by larger departments. A large city (population 300,000) near where I live adopted the 147 gr. JHP in the 9mm. Most of the departments in the smaller communities also adopted it simply becasue they figured that since the big city P.D. was using it it must be the best choice.

As already discussed what does the FBI test criteria have to do with civilian use?

On a personal note, I attempted to dispatch an injured Deer on the roadside, and a point blank shot behind it's ear failed to penetrate the skull with my 1911.

I once shot a opposum right between the eyes with a 38 Special and the bullet bounced off without penetrating. Was it a result of poor bullet placement or that all 38 Special ammo is underpowered?

I still stand by my statement that their products are light and under powered.

There are lots of good choices out there for you to match your needs for the tasks you need to perform..

I totally agree with that comment, and the OP had issues with penetration through clothing, hence my comment on the Hornaday line. While he might not need the penetration requirements of LE, his issues still dictated something other than a light, under powered, gimmick round. As far as your comment on departmental choice, you're also right that economics has a part in the decision, but not in totality otherwise they'd be using PMC or Wolf. Every large agency that I know of here in Indiana uses FBI criteria as a minimum selection, then the finances come into play. Hornaday had posted a video with DownrangeTV.com a year or so ago, and skated over the FBI criteria by saying that the Critical Duty ammo was developed for LE requiring "more penetration qualities" in their ammo. I also formerly used their Leverevolution .45 Colt in my Henry rifle when Deer hunting, but soon found the published 950 FPS chrono'd at around 860 to 880. It was quickly replaced with Buffalo Bore JHP's that moved at around 1500 FPS.;)

LD

bikerdoc
September 27, 2012, 08:40 AM
An old time cop once told me Aim for the triangle between the nose and the nipple line.
easier said than done under stress, but doable with mind set and practice.
Shot placement is every thing.

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