Best .38 Special load out of snub nose (standard pressure)?


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Cooldill
December 20, 2012, 07:19 PM
As many of you may be aware Illinois's ban on concealed carry has been rendered unconstitutional. The only gun I have at the moment, and that may be used by my mother, that's appropriate for concealed carry is a Smith and Wesson model 37 revolver in .38 special.

I have read it isn't good to shoot .38 special +p's in this gun, so I am really wondering what standard pressure .38 loadings would be the best in this revolver. I own a box and a half of Hornady Critical Defense .38 special standard pressure, would this be about as good as it gets? Or is their a better option?

Thanks, and MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :D

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35 Whelen
December 20, 2012, 08:50 PM
There are two schools of thought on defensive handgun ammunition; light and fast and heavy and slow. I happen to subscribe to the latter as I'd rather be certain that the bullet I use will penetrate heavy clothing, buttons on coats, etc. As such, I load and keep in my .38's bullets ranging from a 152 SWCHP to a 170 grs. SWC. In a standard , non +P loading the lighter bullet does well over 800 fps and the heavier around 750 fps out of the wifes 2" Charter Arms.

35W

Cfish
December 20, 2012, 09:36 PM
Check out the federal 125gr Nyclad HP.

frankmako
December 20, 2012, 10:00 PM
i would use 148gr wad cutter for range time with the gun. then i would carry a named brand 38sp +p ammo in the gun. the gun will shoot a small amount of +p without any problems. this amount can be several hundred of rounds.

MedWheeler
December 20, 2012, 11:40 PM
I'd probably carry the Nyclad or similar load during the warmer times of the year, and then switch to something with some more-assured deep penetrative ability during the Illinois winters. Maybe the old-faithful 158-grain LSWC.

Down here, when I was carrying one of my two .38 snubs, it was loaded with either a 125-grain semi-jacketed flat-tipped solid, or a 140-grain flat-tipped FMJ load, whichever I happened to grab.

Gary A
December 21, 2012, 12:13 AM
MedWheeler said
I'd probably carry the Nyclad or similar load during the warmer times of the year, and then switch to something with some more-assured deep penetrative ability during the Illinois winters. Maybe the old-faithful 158-grain LSWC.
and that is the same conclusion I came to for my old model 37.

Hapworth
December 21, 2012, 12:17 AM
Hornady Critical Defense 110gr standard pressure is a good round.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/38%20Special/38%20Special%20Bone%20Test.pdf

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

ZVP
December 21, 2012, 02:05 AM
HornidayCustom Handhun ammo. 158gr XTP bullet loaded to 38Spl pressures.
I shoot them in my Model 36,2".
HTH.
ZVP

bannockburn
December 21, 2012, 07:42 AM
I would go with 148 gr. wadcutters for practice and Federal 125 gr. Nyclads for CCW.

Remllez
December 21, 2012, 11:29 AM
148 LWC or.......158 grain LSWC or......158 grain LSWC ( HP )

KenW.
December 21, 2012, 11:59 AM
I once saw a memo from S&W posted on-line that said thier steel .38 revolvers will safely handle +P ammo, but to use it judiciously.

For target shooting use wadcutters, and for carry-defense load her up with +P. the likelihood of shooting a limited number of +P ammo will not harm your weapon.

Rail Driver
December 21, 2012, 12:27 PM
I've got a Model 36 (carbon steel instead of stainless steel, but basically the same gun) that I carry +p in. I have no issue firing +p in my gun. +p loads of today are lighter than standard pressure loads when this gun was designed and manufactured.

roaddog28
December 21, 2012, 05:15 PM
Buffalo Bore 150 gr hard cast wadcutters.
Howard

royal barnes
December 21, 2012, 08:28 PM
I like the Hornady XTP 158 grain non plus p. Manageable recoil and shoots to POA in my Agent and Cobra.

pete950
December 21, 2012, 08:32 PM
the Buffalo Bore full wadcutter with a standard 158swc for a reload!!!

Steve C
December 21, 2012, 09:30 PM
The Hornady critical defense in standard pressure is probably as good as its going to get.
Being relatively new to the market it doesn't have a street record yet but anything that does out of a .38 spl snub is pretty pathetic compared to rounds from a 4" barrel or any 9mm.

If you worry about penetration of the Hornady then use a 158gr LRN or SWC neither of which is superior to the other and figure you probably will have to hit em 2X or more CM.

Cooldill
December 22, 2012, 03:21 AM
Thanks guys, I will probably stick to the Hornadys I already have, the past few days it's been getting really hard to find ammo online, only getting worse. I ordered 1000 rounds of 124 grain 9mm from Georgia Arms yesterday only to find on their sight they are bogged down with orders today.

snooperman
December 22, 2012, 08:37 AM
In my Colt Cobra and Agent I use the 125 gr Federal Nyclad.

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