Feeding a J Frame for Concealed Carry


PDA






J-Bar
April 24, 2014, 10:27 PM
I am not trying to start any arguments, please. I know the debating points for and against carrying a 5-shot .38 Special; they have been given in numerous threads.

I would simply appreciate knowing from those of you who carry a .38 Special revolver what ammo you use. If you care to give reasons for your choice that will also be appreciated.

Thanks for your opinions and expertise.

If you enjoyed reading about "Feeding a J Frame for Concealed Carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
chicharrones
April 24, 2014, 10:33 PM
My Taurus 85UL (J frame copy) is loaded with plain jane Winchester 125 grain JHP +P ammo. http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/winchester-usa-jhp-38-special-p-125-grain-handgun-ammunition/pid-149953

It is a bit of a fire breathing hand slapper in that alloy framed revolver with hard plastic Crimson Trace grip.

Ron James
April 24, 2014, 10:47 PM
When I did carry my Model 36, I used regular 38 special { any brand that was on sale } for practice and for carry any good quality +p. I really didn't care about the hype of which is best or the deadliest or best Zombie Killer. I figured if 5 rounds of quality hollow points couldn't do the job perhaps I needed to be somewhere else, right away. :) JMO.

LT.Diver
April 24, 2014, 10:48 PM
125 gr jhp reloads for mine.

Comrade Mike
April 24, 2014, 10:50 PM
Wad Cutters in my Chief Special.

Mr. Happy
April 24, 2014, 10:50 PM
In my S&W 340 PD, 4 rounds of Critical Defense .38+p, and the fifth round is a .357!

If I have to shoot that 5th round, it might as well knock me out with the recoil.

MedWheeler
April 24, 2014, 10:52 PM
Mine reside in the safe, but they're loaded for occasional carry. I don't try to get much out of a snubby in the way of expansion, so I go with plain-old Remington-UMC 125-grain FNEB rounds. These are flat-tipped solid rounds with a copper jacket that does not cover the flat surface of the nose.

If I carried them more often, I'd look maybe for some Speer Gold-Dot Short-Barrel ammo. These are a +P 135-grain JHP designed to burn its powder at the rate that maximizes its "push" behind the bullet before the bullet leaves the barrel.

Husker_Fan
April 24, 2014, 10:57 PM
I know the 135 grain Gold Dot load is popular and optimized for short barrels. However, I carry the 125 grain Remington Golden Saber +p load in my model 38. I've only seen the Gold Dot load in a store twice, but Golden Sabers seem readily available and come in as a close second on most reviews I've read.

They are a handful and not enjoyable to shoot for practice. I mostly shoot my reloaded wad cutters for practice with a cylinder of carry ammo from time to time.

MR.G
April 24, 2014, 11:13 PM
I like a +P 158 GR lead SWHP. Federal Nyclad, Winchester, and Remington all shoot good in my J frames.

Willie Sutton
April 24, 2014, 11:15 PM
158 grain hard cast Keith semi-wadcutter. It's the old standby. Is there really anything better? Pack a light hollow point full of cookie-cut denim or leather jacket material and let me know how it penetrates. But a solid hard 158 is going to get thru, and that flat meplat is going to really hurt....


Willie

.

460Kodiak
April 24, 2014, 11:17 PM
135 gr +p gold dots in town

110 gr +p Corbons in a city where I REALLY don't want over penetration

When I had a JFrame that is. Now carried in a Ruger SP101

In the woods , 158 gr Speer gold dots .357

greenmtnguy
April 24, 2014, 11:35 PM
My S&W 642-1 gets fed a variety of things, but the usual SD carry ammo in it is the Remington +P 125 grain hollowpoint, product code R38S2. That is as light in projectile weight as I want to go with 38 special for any type of SD shooting. It is quite snappy in this light of a revolver, but it groups well and shoots pretty close to POA despite the light bullet and higher MV. I'd also consider the 135gr Gold Dots, but often they are hard to find in the stores I visit.

Tony_the_tiger
April 24, 2014, 11:52 PM
135 Gold Dots or 150 Buffalo Bore Hardcast Wadcutters.

119er
April 25, 2014, 12:28 AM
Either Buffalo Bore Heavy 125gr 38SPL+P or Hornady Critical Defense in mine currently. I'd like to try some of the Speer Short Barrel ammo as well. Critical Defense isn't too bad for recoil but the Buffalo Bore is not fun at all. Not that it is meant to be.

Water-Man
April 25, 2014, 12:31 AM
I carry an LCR loaded with Cor-Bon DPX Barnes 110gr. +P.

ArchAngelCD
April 25, 2014, 12:46 AM
I am not trying to start any arguments, please. I know the debating points for and against carrying a 5-shot .38 Special; they have been given in numerous threads.

I would simply appreciate knowing from those of you who carry a .38 Special revolver what ammo you use. If you care to give reasons for your choice that will also be appreciated.

Thanks for your opinions and expertise.
The current J frame I'm carrying is scary accurate when firing Speer 135gr Short Barrel .38 Special +P ammo. I use a Safariland Comp I Speedloader or Bianchi Speed Strip for reloads.

In my older M36 I shoot nothing but the FBI Load because that's what is extremely accurate in that revolver. I use the same reloading equipment.

rcmodel
April 25, 2014, 12:49 AM
158 grain hard cast Keith semi-wadcutter. It's the old standbySame here, for 50 years.

Yes it's slow.
But it will just keep plodding along through thick, thin, fat, and bones.
While punching out a full dia .360" hole, for blood to squirt out, and air to suck in.

In all the wrong places.

110 HP bullets in a .38 snub, IF they expand, have all the attributes of the drag-chute on a fuel dragster.
They start out fast, open up, and stop faster without going as far!

The other thing is, my older J-Frames were factory sighted with 158 grain bullets.
So, they shoot where the sights are pointed.
A they don't with light fast bullets.

rc

Lucky Derby
April 25, 2014, 12:52 AM
Federal Niclad at the moment in my M38. Normally BB 158gr LSWCHP+P. My wife's M342 is almost always loaded with the Gold Dot short barrel load.

conw
April 25, 2014, 12:53 AM
Buffalo bore standard pressure 20c 158gr LSWC HP.

Reasons: fairly easy to find in stock, low flash, designed for short barrels, hits where I aim my LCR. Looks old school too :)

Twiki357
April 25, 2014, 02:53 AM
Cast 158 grain Semi Wad-Cutter in a Model 37.

postalnut25
April 25, 2014, 04:39 AM
135 grain Gold Dot +P

Hometeached1
April 25, 2014, 06:37 AM
I tend to carry 135gr+p Gold Dot in my 642. Sometimes 125gr+p Gold Dot. Would carry Federal Niclad or 158gr+p "FBI load".
The reasons I use these is based on the recommendation of many people more knowledgeable than me on the subject and seeing how well they shoot/handle out of the snubbie I use.

Ed Lovette's book "the snubbie revolver" is a very good read and covers ammo selection among other things, I would highly recommend it.

Zeke/PA
April 25, 2014, 07:00 AM
135 grain Gold Dot +P
Me too! I often carry a speed loader also.
For practice, I shoot a 158 Grain Semi-Wadcutter reload.

stu1ritter
April 25, 2014, 07:01 AM
I was using the 135 gr. GD short barrel for my CCW revolvers but since buying the mold I've been carrying this in front of a stout +P loading.
Stu

http://imageshack.com/a/img838/1899/qow5.jpg

StrawHat
April 25, 2014, 07:15 AM
Cast wadcutters at faster than target speeds.

TRX
April 25, 2014, 08:19 AM
Taurus 85 Ultralight, standard 125gr Blazer ammo. Taurus' web site recommends not using +P ammunition, so I don't.

MartinS
April 25, 2014, 09:44 AM
Stu, simple, elemental and it hurts just to look at it. Who made that mold?

Creature
April 25, 2014, 09:56 AM
158gr LSWCHP standard pressure Buffalo Bore.

Good medicine for bad men.

Deaf Smith
April 25, 2014, 10:10 AM
I use J's alot.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186648&d=1374526933


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=197045&d=1396793705

Centennials and Bodyguards are my favorites.

Loads?

I use Cor-Bon 158gt LSWHP (and I'll use Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWHPs, the 850 fps load when I run out of Cor-Bons!)

Yes there are others but these to real good. And my handloads, again 158gr LSWCs, mimic the loads and allow me to do alot of cheap practice.

And folks, it's the SKILL that matters most, not the gun nor the load used.

Deaf

340PD
April 25, 2014, 10:16 AM
135gr. Gold Dots in a 340pd

stu1ritter
April 25, 2014, 10:25 AM
MartinS;

Tom at Accurate molds. It is his 36-155W and is also available in a tumble lube version 36-155WT.
He makes them in most calibers. I call it my trash can bullet. I also have it in .44.
Stu

antiquus
April 25, 2014, 12:20 PM
Reloads are Federal 158gr HPSWC or Hornady Critical Defense in 110gr or 125gr.

The first cylinder full are either 125gr HP's in front of 6 grains of Unique, or more likely 148gr wadcutters in front of 5.3gr of Unique.

Hometeached1
April 25, 2014, 01:11 PM
True Deaf, very true. It's fun talking about the different loads, kind of Ford, Dodge or Chevy.

km101
April 25, 2014, 07:11 PM
Speer 135gr. Gold Dots in my model 60. It shoots to point of aim at 15 yds.

SAWBONES
April 25, 2014, 09:17 PM
Depends on the gun and what it "likes".

The older all-steel Smiths all seem to be sighted in for the 158gr+P LSWCHP. The Remington load is better than the Winchester, so that's what's in my 649.

The lightweight alloy guns seem to do better with lighter loads. The 340PD is most accurate with the Gold Dot short barrel 135gr .38 Special+P JHP in my hands.

Cocked & Locked
April 26, 2014, 07:24 AM
158 grain cast SWC's

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486409/406769715.jpg

Willie Sutton
April 26, 2014, 09:24 AM
^^ Perfect trio, showing class & taste in all three objects shown.


Willie

.

RealGun
April 26, 2014, 09:45 AM
125 gr XTP from Double Tap makes an angry little 637.

My new model 60 Pro Series will see reloads in .357 Magnum of 5.3 gr HP-38 and 125 gr XTP, std primers.

*Kemosabe*
April 26, 2014, 10:20 AM
Personally I carry the 135 gr. Gold Dots in my J-frame.

However, when I hired on as a LEO in 1971 and I wasnít into reloading, I knew a LEO that loaded hollow based wad cutters upside down and he filled the cavity with Brasso.

It was nasty looking -- not a flying ashtray, but a flying trash can! He said the Brasso was a petroleum distillate that would cause peritonitis and complicate or prevent recovery.

I have no idea of itís effectiveness or anything about the Brasso bit. I think the only thing complicated would be the possible criminal and civil proceedings against you.

Anyone here know about this loading with or without the Brasso?

george29
April 26, 2014, 10:47 AM
Hornady 125 gr JHP

psp7304
April 26, 2014, 10:48 AM
135 gr +p Gold Dot

chicharrones
April 26, 2014, 11:51 AM
However, when I hired on as a LEO in 1971 and I wasn’t into reloading, I knew a LEO that loaded hollow based wad cutters upside down and he filled the cavity with Brasso.

It was nasty looking -- not a flying ashtray, but a flying trash can! He said the Brasso was a petroleum distillate that would cause peritonitis and complicate or prevent recovery.

I have no idea of it’s effectiveness or anything about the Brasso bit. I think the only thing complicated would be the possible criminal and civil proceedings against you.



Yeah, stopping someone with a bullet would be different than trying to make a survivor of a shooting die eventually. Seems like poisoning.

I've never heard of using Brasso like that. Interesting.

chicharrones
April 26, 2014, 12:20 PM
Taurus 85 Ultralight, standard 125gr Blazer ammo. Taurus' web site recommends not using +P ammunition, so I don't.

It's hard to say. Some years, Taurus' info says no +P. Other years it's okay.

Right now, the website shows the 85 UltraLites are +P rated. Yet, the owners manual gives an interpretation that might contradict that.

http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=868&category=Revolver&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=

http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=843&category=Revolver&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=

Resist Evil
April 26, 2014, 12:30 PM
I'm happy to use the Speer Gold Dots 135 grain for short barrels in my S&W 342 Airlite Ti.

GRIZ22
April 26, 2014, 02:03 PM
I use factory 148 wadcutters or std velocity 158 SWC in J frame guns. +P in a short barrel gun doesn't give you much more as far velocity and the recoil and muzzle blast don't help controllability.

Reversed hollow base wadcutters expand well...when they expand. I experimented with these back in the 70s with both cast and swaged bullets. About half the time they would either pack up (shedding the lip of the base sometimes) or not expand well at all. As far as adding the Brasso, I'm more interested in stopping the BG now than having him die from infection 2 weeks from now.

fastbolt
April 26, 2014, 03:34 PM
I have 7 J-frames at present, and have carried one or another of my growing collection since the early 80's.

While I used to put more emphasis on the ammunition than the guns, nowadays it's pretty much my skillset and abilities to effectively use them that get the primary attention.

Sure, I tend to like to use one or another of the better designed modern hollowpoints in guns suitable for those loads, but I often can't even tell you which brand/load may be in which of the snubs at any given time. Sometimes the spare ammo in my speedloaders & speedstrips match what's in the guns, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I've even carried a couple different loads at the same time (different speedloaders/strips containing the different loads, grabbed from my drawer). The exception is my 37-2, as it only gets standard pressure loads and that narrows it down a bit in what I've bought.

I tend to prefer +P loads that run in the 125gr, 130gr, 135gr & 158gr bullet weights, and whenever I'm using up older & fresh loads at the same time for quals & training/practice, I commonly mix them up in my guns and run through the courses-of-fire & drills. My snubs exhibit similar POA/POI in my hands, using all that different ammo, out to reasonable drill distances (12 yds), and I usually don't have any problems ringing steel out to 50+ yds with any of my variety of +P loads.

Now, lots of folks have found that standard pressure 158gr LSWC or 148gr WC Match loads offer them better recoil management, controllability & accuracy in their J's (or Colt D's), and that's fine. It's all about consistently accurate rounds on the intended target, after all, right?

Now that we can select from a wide range of J options, lots of folks can better choose a weight & size that can better suit their anticipated needs, and even help them overcome the inevitable inherent disadvantages of the diminutive J-frames.

After all, some of the very attributes that make the little 5-shot snubs so appealing and useful for lawful concealed carry can also make them harder for many folks to shoot, even experienced shooters of larger revolvers.

Obviously, attention must be given to whatever the revolver manufacturers recommends in the way of ammo used in their respective products, and especially as it pertains to the ultra lightweight models (to help avoid bullet pull).

I used to look all over for specialty loads when I was younger, but nowadays I go through so much ammo for quals & training/practice that it isn't practical to limit myself to specialty or boutique loads that are more expensive than the major loads, and/or significantly more expensive.

It's just a snub .38, after all, you know. ;)

Deltaboy
April 26, 2014, 03:39 PM
My Charter Undercover loaded with Hornady Critical Defense in 110gr.

Gun Master
April 26, 2014, 04:49 PM
I carry a variety of several reliable name brand .38 Special +P JHP, for penetration and expansion, in my S&W Model 38 BodyGuard Airweight. I like that the Mod. 38 gives me the option of SA or DA, since the hammer is shrouded to keep from snagging or otherwise interfering with operation .:)

Gun Master
April 26, 2014, 05:01 PM
158 grain cast SWC's

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486409/406769715.jpg
Looks good, but would be better with a one-handed lock blade.:)

RustyShackelford
April 26, 2014, 05:32 PM
I don't own any snubs at this time, but I would buy these rounds for serious carry or back up gun(BUG) use;
Corbon DPX, Speer Gold Dot 135gr JHP +P, MagSafe SWAT, Hornady Critical Defense, Glaser Safety Slug(silver), Buffalo Bore 158gr lead SWC HP +P.
I purchased Speer Gold Dots & Buffalo Bore SWC-HPs for my Ruger .38spl GPNY revolver in the 2000s.
The Speer Gold Dot 135gr JHP +P was T&Eed by the NYPD for officers to carry in J frames & the older model 10s.
My friend loads Corbon DPX .38spl in his home protection Ruger LCR.
The Winchester Ranger T .38spl load is good too but it may no longer be sold. :(

Rusty
www.shopcorbon.com www.natchezss.com www.sgammo.com www.midwayusa.com

cfoodeat
April 26, 2014, 05:42 PM
158 grain LSWC handloads.

Tony_the_tiger
April 26, 2014, 10:42 PM
Just FYI.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=275800

RealGun
April 27, 2014, 07:06 AM
That's one of those "how many fairies will fit on the head of a pin" threads. If all that concerned, get a bigger gun.

Stainz
April 27, 2014, 07:18 AM
I did keep the Remington R38S12 +P 158gr LHPSWC load for my 642 - then added extra boxes of it, when it was available, to load all of my speedloaders and moonclips alike, whether they were for .38 or .357M. I added several boxes of 148gr LWC for my recoil-shy wife and a proposed second 642 purchase - but after shooting mine with them, she went back to the +P's in her 2" 10, which she loves to shoot. Range time is spent shooting the similar +P load made by GA Arms. Sadly, my stash of that is dwindling - and resupply is nearly impossible. Milder 158gr LSWC homebrews will have to do for the range.

Vodoun da Vinci
April 27, 2014, 08:01 AM
Ruger LCR with 110 gr. lead wad cutters hand loaded to be "brisk" but not brutal in recoil.

VooDoo

RealGun
April 27, 2014, 08:05 AM
Ruger LCR with 110 gr. lead wad cutters hand loaded to be "brisk" but not brutal in recoil.

We're talking J frames here, although the loading would not necessarily be unique among J frames and other brands. I would note that too light a bullet can go fast enough to produce leading even in a light load. I use 110 gr in .38 Special but not .357 at any load level.

Tony_the_tiger
April 27, 2014, 09:47 AM
That's one of those "how many fairies will fit on the head of a pin" threads. If all that concerned, get a bigger gun.

Not sure what you mean there. Gelatin is an imperfect testing medium, but any information about penetration is relevant to a discussion regarding handgun bullets IMHO.

RealGun
April 27, 2014, 10:03 AM
Sometimes it is difficult to contain the scope of a topic. My eyes glaze over on some of that stuff. I am grateful that some have the ability and level of interest to sort it all out and share some useful summary.

Willie Sutton
April 27, 2014, 10:23 AM
^^

The useful summary is that while the light, fast, expanding "bullet of the day" comes and goes as their commercial sales wax and wane, the 158 grain hard-cast lead semi-wadcutter loaded to a level that combines reasonable recoil with reasonable velocity for the barrel length it's shot thru stays around forever.


Just sayin'.... mebbe Elmer was onto something. And mebbe what the 158 grain SWC needs is a fancy name so the buyers can feel better about using them...


Willie

.

Resist Evil
April 27, 2014, 10:41 AM
^^

The useful summary is that while the light, fast, expanding "bullet of the day" comes and goes as their commercial sales wax and wane, the 158 grain hard-cast lead semi-wadcutter loaded to a level that combines reasonable recoil with reasonable velocity for the barrel length it's shot thru stays around forever.


Just sayin'.... mebbe Elmer was onto something. And mebbe what the 158 grain SWC needs is a fancy name so the buyers can feel better about using them...


Willie

.
Just make sure the name includes "tactical" or maybe paint them fluorescent green and call them "Zombie Wads." :rolleyes:

Tony_the_tiger
April 27, 2014, 10:57 AM
One thing I don't like about the 158 SWC design is that in the lightweight J frames such as the 442, the length of the bullet leaves very little room for error should the bullet start pulling and "jumping the crimp". One benefit of the full wadcutter design in this respect is that there is plenty of room in the cylinder such that should the bullets start to move, barring a near complete separation of the bullet from the case, it will not bind up the firearm.

As to penetration, I appreciate the consideration of the topic given here:

http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae269/kiwirat33/fbisample_zpsbc277feb.jpg

Hence, given the variability of self defense situations (differences in height and weight, thickness of clothing, potential barriers, animal vs. human, and unknown variables), using a larger, heavier, and harder bullet with a full caliber sharp and wide meplat can increase penetration and the diameter of the "permanent" wound cavity. This may serve to mitigate the reduction of the firearm's effectiveness from short barrels, in direct contrast to bullets designed to meet the minimum FBI penetration standard. Just one point of view.

Stainz
April 27, 2014, 11:48 AM
Does anyone know of a commercial 148gr full wadcutter round loaded to +P level? I've stayed with the 'FBI load', the +P 158gr LHPSWC, for years in my 642, etc. I downgraded, recoil-wise, to the ZERO target loads in 148gr LWC, but my boxes of $7.49/50, sale price at a local store, such reloads from <2yr ago (Ah, the 'good old days'!) have evaporated. I have plenty of my homebrew 158gr LSWC, but I like to 'carry' commercial ammo for protection.

I guess I am still recalling a discussion elsewhere - and some time ago - re the penetration of semiwadcutters leaving a wound channel similar to a round nosed bullet. That is, the smaller meplat and taper tending to spread it's way through the gelatin in tests - some even closing behind the SWC, albeit not as much as with the RN bullet. The full wadcutter, on the other hand, shears a full diameter wound channel.

Stainz

J-Bar
April 27, 2014, 12:10 PM
I don't disagree with the quoted statement about rapid blood loss being incapacitating, and everyone understands that damage to the central nervous system, if that is what the bullet hits, will also be incapacitating.

I would like to point out, based on a lot of years of hunting experience, in addition to treating injured animals as a practicing veterinarian that pneumothorax is also rapidly incapacitating. Damaging the lungs, even if a major blood vessel or other organ is missed, will allow air to accumulate between the inner body wall and the outer surface of the lungs. This collapses the lungs resulting in rapid suffocation. This is a major reason a double lung shot with either bullet or arrow is so effective in bringing the animal down quickly. How long can you hold your breath?

Just another argument for using the chest as a target...the lungs are a large target.

Thanks to everyone so far for all the good comments. I appreciate it.

Hometeached1
April 27, 2014, 12:24 PM
On the subject of shot placement, I've read that Jim Cirillo and the NYPD stakeout squad really favored shots to the pelvis. Now this was in part to having really lame ammo, but still is very interesting given that it is much bigger area than COM and therefor easier to hit. Just some food for thought.

J-Bar
April 27, 2014, 12:30 PM
Can you explain why one would prefer a pelvic hit with " lame ammo"? I had not heard that before.

Hometeached1
April 27, 2014, 12:56 PM
Can you explain why one would prefer a pelvic hit with " lame ammo"? I had not heard that before.
They had .38 Spl. standard pressure 158gr. ball ammo which killed, but did not always "stop" the criminal quickly. With the pelvic shot there are two main arteries which leads to faster blood loss and you can not physically stand with a broken pelvis so they are less capable of moving and will be easier to hit again if needed and is also suppose to be extremely painful. It's not as good as a shot to the lower brain, but not the worst either.

Although Fackler does say it is the worst place to aim for.

chicharrones
April 27, 2014, 01:00 PM
I would simply appreciate knowing from those of you who carry a .38 Special revolver what ammo you use. If you care to give reasons for your choice that will also be appreciated.

Ruger LCR with 110 gr. lead wad cutters hand loaded to be "brisk" but not brutal in recoil.

We're talking J frames here . . .

But, hmmm.

Tony_the_tiger
April 27, 2014, 01:28 PM
My write up on the gold dot 135. I'll be doing one for the Buffalo-Bore 150 Wadcutter sooner rather than later in similar format.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=729442

Hometeached1
April 27, 2014, 02:24 PM
Tony, that's a very good write up. Thanks for posting it.

Cooldill
April 27, 2014, 03:25 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRe6BzIqu6U

No mystery meat, just one excellent cartridge out of snub length bbls. .38 special +P. It is even available today from sources online, unlike many other good .38 loads that are just impossible to find.

RealGun
April 27, 2014, 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by J-Bar
I would simply appreciate knowing from those of you who carry a .38 Special revolver what ammo you use. If you care to give reasons for your choice that will also be appreciated.


Originally Posted by Vodoun da Vinci
Ruger LCR with 110 gr. lead wad cutters hand loaded to be "brisk" but not brutal in recoil.

Originally Posted by RealGun
We're talking J frames here . . .

But, hmmm.

Nothing compared to the scope creep that followed. Note that his ".38 Special revolvers" are not necessarily J frames. What are we discussing? What is the scope? Just sayin', but the thread becomes impossible to follow at some point.

Cooldill
April 27, 2014, 04:29 PM
I like to use Remington Golden Saber 125 grain .38 special +P HPJ (High-Performance Jacket).

Penetration of 13.75" in FBI calibrated ballistics gelatin with 4 layer of IWB recommended denim. Consistent expansion of approx. .60-.65" with near 100% weight retention.

I WOULD probably use the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain .38 Special +P Short-Barrel load in my S&W 642-1, that is IF I could find any of it. Both locally and on the net, I haven't been able to find the Speer load in a long time.

The Remington load however, is available both locally and on the net, and really it's performance is every bit as good as the Speer load IMHO. This opinion was formulated from viewing multiple gel block tests of both loads in videos and forums all throughout the internet.

JMHO.

YMMV.

RustyShackelford
April 28, 2014, 06:51 AM
To my knowledge(which includes reading the late Jim Cirello's own articles) a NYPD Surgeon recommended the members of Cirello's special stake-out detail aim for the human pelvis(pelvic girdle).
This was to immobilize the violent subject & to cause injuries if the felon/robber had body armor(bullet-proof vest).

RS

stu1ritter
April 28, 2014, 08:31 AM
The pelvis also receives blood from a large artery and a pelvic hit would cause large internal bleeding to occur.

Stu

RealGun
April 28, 2014, 08:37 AM
Does anyone know of a commercial 148gr full wadcutter round loaded to +P level? I've stayed with the 'FBI load', the +P 158gr LHPSWC, for years in my 642, etc. I downgraded, recoil-wise, to the ZERO target loads in 148gr LWC, but my boxes of $7.49/50, sale price at a local store, such reloads from <2yr ago (Ah, the 'good old days'!) have evaporated. I have plenty of my homebrew 158gr LSWC, but I like to 'carry' commercial ammo for protection.

I guess I am still recalling a discussion elsewhere - and some time ago - re the penetration of semiwadcutters leaving a wound channel similar to a round nosed bullet. That is, the smaller meplat and taper tending to spread it's way through the gelatin in tests - some even closing behind the SWC, albeit not as much as with the RN bullet. The full wadcutter, on the other hand, shears a full diameter wound channel.

Stainz

I believe you might do well by upping the velocity with a 125 gr hollow point such as the XTP. The velocity will aid the expansion of the hollow point. I believe you might find that in ammo designed for short barrels. From what I have seen, you won't do much in wadcutters without making your own ammo.

HexHead
April 28, 2014, 08:52 AM
As far as adding the Brasso, I'm more interested in stopping the BG now than having him die from infection 2 weeks from now.

Of course, if he dies two weeks later, he won't be able to testify against you.

I use 110gr Hornady Critical Defense, but I'm switching over to plated 148gr double ended wadcutters.

RealGun
April 28, 2014, 10:17 AM
When "stopping the threat" becomes "stopping this and all future threats". Seems like there is a dose of malice between the two.

RustyShackelford
April 29, 2014, 03:59 PM
Post 74 makes a valid point but in a critical incident, time is a factor.
A handgun round that hits a artery or causes severe blood loss will not always "drop" an attacker/violent thug.
They can still return fire or be aggressive.
Lower torso hits are good, but be fully ready to fire or aim for the head(T zone) if required to stop the threat.
Handgun calibers(.38spl/.380acp to the .44magnum/.50GI/.50AE) are notorious for failing to cause immediate results in lethal force events.

As posted, shot placement/marksmanship is critical but so is carrying potent ammunition. ;)

ACP
April 29, 2014, 07:59 PM
158-grain lead semi wadcutter hollow point +P (LSWCHP+P) in my Airweights

DBR
April 29, 2014, 11:51 PM
The Cirello (sp) articles I have read said the stake out squad preferred the M1 carbine. They often only had partial head targets and they had problems with bullets skirting the scalp and failing to stop. Jim concluded the full wad cutter profile worked best for their purposes and even had a patent on a design that would feed a full wadcutter in a 1911. Remember, the stake out squad was selected from the NYPD pistol team. They could hit what they shot at.

I agree 100% with "Tony the tiger": full wadcutters in the gun; 135gr Speer GD in the reloads. I prefer the Buffalo Bore Hard Cast WC as my primary load. Just like the snubby is "five for sure" the WC is penetration for sure. If I were to use 158gr semi-wadcutters, I would load them base first. They make a pretty good WC: nose first, high speed video shows them to act like round nose.

The actual effective target area in the pelvis is very small. If available, the best target is the chest area above the nipples. It is where the important plumbing is. It also most likely to be the available target area in a dynamic confrontation from any angle.

Cocked & Locked
April 30, 2014, 06:44 AM
This thread is starting to make me feel a little BLUE. :uhoh:


http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486409/407327454.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486409/399682928.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486409/399682927.jpg

StrawHat
April 30, 2014, 06:53 AM
This thread is starting to make me feel a little BLUE. :uhoh:


Me too,

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc194/StrawHat/SWM36-1001.jpg (http://s214.photobucket.com/user/StrawHat/media/SWM36-1001.jpg.html)

Hometeached1
April 30, 2014, 07:58 AM
C&L nice J's and Nyclads.

Hullraiser
April 30, 2014, 08:31 AM
My wife's S&W 642 will handle +P but it's loaded with defense low-recoil HP. I forget the brand, federal I believe.
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/05/01/za8ytu9a.jpg
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/05/01/na2ytajy.jpg

J-Bar
April 30, 2014, 10:01 AM
You guys are cruel! Those are beautiful.

benzy2
April 30, 2014, 11:41 AM
The Hornady 158gr XTP in standard 38 special power is my choice. It has minimal recoil which I find very important. I am far faster with a standard pressure load than a +p and that speed is one of, if not the top priority for myself. They also penetrate well. Something to the tune of 18-19" of gel with 4 layers of denim. Penetration is either the top priority or just behind recoil/shot splits. This round out of a snub does both very well.

It expands but only minimally. It comes out of all testing media that I've seen as a flattened face that slightly expanded out. That gives nearly the same frontal profile of a wadcutter, but at a slightly wider diameter and in a package that reloads fast. Overall, it hits my main priorities best for a snub load. And it's one of the cheaper defensive loads at around $20/25.

FuzzyBunny
April 30, 2014, 11:46 AM
Any opinion on the Winchester 38spl
110gr Jacketed-Controlled Expansion loaded to the U.S Treasury Department specs?
15-20% higher than +p at 23,500 C.U.P. in a stainless Model 60 38spl.

Not sure they make them anymore and just have 300 rounds left so I practice with 38spl LRN.

The 110gr I put in for carry as a BUG.

FuzzyBunny
April 30, 2014, 11:55 PM
Someone toss me a bone here. Please.

benzy2
May 1, 2014, 12:49 AM
Fuzzybunny, I'd shoot it if I had it but it probably wouldn't be my first choice.

Guessing on your load, I'd say its the load brassfetcher lists under Winchester 110 gr +p+. It expands very very well but penetration is short. I'd rather a bit more penetration at the expense of expansion. I also have a feeling, without ever shooting a +p+ out of an airweight, that recoil would be quite significant. Overall, it's not my dream round, but if that's what I had in plenty, it's what I'd load up, carry, and practice with.

kp
May 1, 2014, 01:51 AM
Currently, 135 gr +P Gold Dots.

kilibreaux
May 1, 2014, 02:31 AM
Currently carrying Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 special +P 130 grain JHP in a S&W M-642-1 PRO loaded into moon clips.
While it SEEMS like there are many "different" rounds to choose from in the .38 Spl, the truth is they're all very close...chose whatever you find for a decent price.

FuzzyBunny
May 1, 2014, 07:54 AM
Thanks Benzy2

I shoot the 158ge LRN very well at coke cans out to 50 yds.
This being a BUG it will probably be fired so close it more than likely will set both our clothes on fire. Plus that +p+ stuff is hard on the old girl but she loves the regular loads.

Ky Larry
May 1, 2014, 08:54 AM
My wife likes Speer 140gr JHP's in her (mine) Colt Det. Spl. I have heard that .38 Spl's with fixed sights were factory sighted with 158gr lead bullets but I don't know this for a fact.

RealGun
May 1, 2014, 10:11 AM
My J frames are a Performance Center Wyatt Deep Cover 637 and a Model 60 Pro Series. I also have a Ruger SP101 that requires similar feeding, all of them rather rude to shoot with full power ammo.

Seeking mostly subsonic but also welcoming controlled recoil, I just bought Gold Dot 130 gr Short Barrel for the .357 and Winchester Defend and Train 130 gr JHP for the 38 Special 637. Both coming from TargetSportsUSA, one of the vendors that has controlled inventory and can tell you what's in or out of stock.

These are not cheap, but I won't quibble too much on low quantities. I use reloads for practice.

Note that I don't shoot 38 Special in any 357 magnum chambers, so I look for other solutions.

J-Bar
May 1, 2014, 11:05 AM
I attempted to summarize the responses this morning. Those of you who listed just one cartridge made it easy. Those of you who listed more than one cartridge provided interesting reading, but I took the first one you mentioned as your primary choice...one vote per person, right?

Even then, the multiple bullet weight possibilities made for too many columns, so I finally just looked at brand names.

To this point, here's what the thread is saying, from most frequent on down:

Speer Gold Dot
Hornady Critical Defense
handloaded cast WC or SWC
Winchester JHP
Remington Golden Saber
...then all the other brands.

If we get a bunch of additional responses that shifts the frequency then I will attempt another summary.

This is not an attempt to end the discussion. I find it very interesting and I appreciate the response the question has prompted. So feel free to continue.

RealGun
May 1, 2014, 11:12 AM
I guess you noticed that every topic can become an excuse for more gun porn...as much about sexy grips as nice guns.:scrutiny:

J-Bar
May 1, 2014, 03:53 PM
I guess you noticed that every topic can become an excuse for more gun porn...as much about sexy grips as nice guns.:scrutiny:
Thank goodness! No complaints here!

fastbolt
May 1, 2014, 05:38 PM
I attempted to summarize the responses this morning. Those of you who listed just one cartridge made it easy. Those of you who listed more than one cartridge provided interesting reading, but I took the first one you mentioned as your primary choice...one vote per person, right?

Even then, the multiple bullet weight possibilities made for too many columns, so I finally just looked at brand names.

To this point, here's what the thread is saying, from most frequent on down:

Speer Gold Dot
Hornady Critical Defense
handloaded cast WC or SWC
Winchester JHP
Remington Golden Saber
...then all the other brands.

If we get a bunch of additional responses that shifts the frequency then I will attempt another summary.

This is not an attempt to end the discussion. I find it very interesting and I appreciate the response the question has prompted. So feel free to continue.

Interesting. You really trying to do something like make a spreadsheet of opinions and experiences?

I remember wasting a fair number of years trying to find the "best" .38 Spl loads for my first J-frame as a young cop. Time that would've been far better spent on more range time set aside for training & practice. It wasn't until I'd become a LE firearms instructor that I realized the importance of focusing more on me, than the gun ... or the ammo.

In my previous post I didn't list the specific brands of loads I presently use (and it's certainly changed over time, but more as an ebb & flow instead of leaving one load never to return to using it).

In recent months my various J-frames have been loaded with 135gr Speer GDHP +P, Winchester 130gr RA38B (also called PDX1) +P & Remington 125gr HPJ/BJHP (Golden Sabre) +P ... mostly.

Why the different loads? Just depended what box of whichever load was closest at hand when loading guns and speedstrips or speedloaders at any particular moment.

Do I have a favorite? Sure, whichever one I have the most access to at any given time. :)

Yes, I've carried different ammo in the different guns, as well as different ammo in any particular gun compared to what was being carried in some speedstrips or speedloaders I'd grabbed to put in my pocket.

I shoot all of the different ammo at the range for quals, training and practice drills, and quite often mix them to varying degrees (depending on availability of new and recycled carry loads) in my guns, pockets and speedstrips while at the range.

Now, my less frequently carried loads seem to be Speer 125gr GDHP +P and either Rem or Win 158gr LSWCHP/LHP +P ... and then there's the couple of brands of the standard pressure 110gr JHP's I set aside for my 37-2 snub, as I won't subject it to +P loads for range use.

I forget, do you even own a J-frame snub? Are you an experienced & skilled DA/DAO revolver shooter?

If the answer is no to both questions, instead of putting the cart before the horse and miring yourself down in "research" about perceived or actual ammo differences, consider getting some good training & quality trigger time in with whatever model of J you favor.

After all, the model and weight of the J you own & use may have a very real influence on your selection of ammo, as will your abilities and skillset (especially regarding recoil management, controllability & consistently demonstrated practical accuracy).

In a way, it's often easier for folks who are limited to ammo choices and selection ... depending on market availability, agency policies, etc... since it frees them from the distraction of trying to determine and evaluate any subtle distinctions in ballistic "performance", enabling them to focus more on shooter skills. ;)

Even with all the very good quality modern hollowpoint loads I have access to using in my J's, if I were required to only use standard pressure 158gr LSWC loads starting tomorrow, I'd not lose all that much in the way of sleep. (Okay, being limited to only 158gr LRN would bother me a little bit. :neener: )

J-Bar
May 1, 2014, 05:54 PM
I forget, do you even own a J-frame snub? Are you an experienced & skilled DA/DAO revolver shooter?

Wow, Fastbolt, you are even more OCD than I am! :D (No offense intended!)

I have been shooting 50 + years, recently the missus and I got our concealed carry licenses, and we both carry Js because of their size and convenience; hers is a Model 36, mine a Model 60. We both like the fact that if something nasty happened, she could grab mine and could use it instinctively.

I have cast my own bullets and reloaded all my ammo for cowboy action for many years, but will be relying on commercial ammo for the carry guns. My present inventory of "Law Enforcement Only" Federal Hydrashoks will not last forever.

My question was simply to take advantage of the expertise on this forum, from shooters who have been carrying longer than we have. I did not expect to choose an exact load from the responses, but it is comforting that experienced shooters think highly of certain brands like Speer and Hornady. We will try those in our range tests. And it has been an interesting ride. Thanks for your contribution.

RealGun
May 1, 2014, 05:57 PM
All interesting, but I think the small guns need attention to ammo detail to make them manageable and the tool of a satisfying range experience. I am not cavalier at all about using the same ammo as my bigger guns of the same caliber.

fastbolt
May 1, 2014, 06:13 PM
Wow, Fastbolt, you are even more OCD than I am! :D (No offense intended!)

I have been shooting 50 + years, recently the missus and I got our concealed carry licenses, and we both carry Js because of their size and convenience ...

... And it has been an interesting ride. Thanks for your contribution.

None taken. :)

Hey, never hurts to take a step back and take another look to see if you missed something said earlier, right? ;)

I just put the 60 year mark in my rear view mirror, myself, and sometimes I've found it's best to throttle back a bit and re-examine why someone may be asking the questions they're asking.

Who knows, but maybe they aren't asking the questions they think they're asking, or should be asking, maybe? :confused:

Just thought I'd stop and make sure I hadn't missed something that might change the comments I'd offer. ;)

FuzzyBunny
May 1, 2014, 06:58 PM
I'm not that far from 60 myself.

Like I said my round choice was because I was told it performed well in very tight spaces. Thats the plan for the model 60, it is the "get the h3ll off me" backup gun. And it will set us both on fire.

If I get to that point I have had a big FAIL in 5 other steps and is a last resort. My little 60 is not for use on someone 15 yards away. But thats tactics and not bullets.

Second part of the round choice was because the 900 rounds were free!

tomrkba
May 1, 2014, 07:33 PM
I would simply appreciate knowing from those of you who carry a .38 Special revolver what ammo you use. If you care to give reasons for your choice that will also be appreciated.

Speer Gold Dots because they are known to work.

conw
May 1, 2014, 07:33 PM
I'm not that far from 60 myself.

Like I said my round choice was because I was told it performed well in very tight spaces. Thats the plan for the model 60, it is the "get the h3ll off me" backup gun. And it will set us both on fire.

If I get to that point I have had a big FAIL in 5 other steps and is a last resort. My little 60 is not for use on someone 15 yards away. But thats tactics and not bullets.

No snark intended here but I'm curious: are you saying you can't make reliable hits @ 15yds with that gun or are you saying you are (fairly) certain you won't need to?

FuzzyBunny
May 1, 2014, 09:51 PM
No snark intended here but I'm curious: are you saying you can't make reliable hits @ 15yds with that gun or are you saying you are (fairly) certain you won't need to?

With this ammo the +p treasury load I can make head shots all the time. It does not shoot to point of aim like the 158gr LRN that I shoot coke cans at. It is not my first line firearm except where I can't hide my .45

You know how the best laid plans of men are.

If the voice commands and .45 and all else fails I go for the model 60, I hope before they are on top of me. But that can happen before you know it. The +p treasury load tends to shoot an inch high at 15 yards plus a big ball of flame. I shot it once from inside a cabin at a racoon and it was like a flashbang going off. Blew a fist size hole on exit of the egg stealing coon. Lost all night vision and it rang my bell real good.

Cooldill
May 1, 2014, 10:34 PM
With my new M642-1 no-lock S&W I can make reliable 3" groups all day at 15 yards.

At 7 yards I can nearly cloverleaf groups in the head/chest area.

The gun is accurate. I'm not that great of a shooter and have only started shooting handguns seriously in the last 2 years or so.

Cooldill
May 1, 2014, 10:41 PM
Well, if you ask me, the old 158 grain lead SWC is the best self defense load for the .38 special, because that's what it was 50 years ago.

Obviously it must still be true today.

Stainz
May 2, 2014, 07:36 AM
While the Remington R38S12 'Express P&R' (Order #22300) +P 158gr LHPSWC may not be available today, a check this AM on their site reveals it hasn't been discontinued. It's softer lead opens reliably in ballistic gelatin at the 840/860 fps from the likes of my 642/2" 10. They destroy 2L pop bottles full of water impressively, too, leaving the expected small entry/large exit holes. While their recoil is brisk in the 642, it isn't a problem in my 2" 10, much less my 2 5/8" PC627 UDR. With the mission of the 642 being that of a last-ditch CCW, I feel it's recoil reduced follow-up accuracy at the typical self defense distances will be unimportant. I will be happier when I find it on the shelves again, however.

Stainz

benzy2
May 2, 2014, 05:17 PM
No snark intended here but I'm curious: are you saying you can't make reliable hits @ 15yds with that gun or are you saying you are (fairly) certain you won't need to?
Not to totally railroad this thread but are you talking a "head shot" on a card board cut out or on a person, fighting for their life, that is aware you're intent it to put a hot mess of lead (and maybe copper) through that head? Shooting a stationary piece of processed tree at a casual pace is one thing. I'd be much less confident in my ability when it comes to a moving, bobbing, running, shooting back target to make a head shot at 15 yards under such a situation.

Olderbutwiser
May 2, 2014, 06:12 PM
I used to carry 5 rds of 125 grain Remington Golden Saber +p load for Concealed Carry and felt comfortable.
I recently decided to go with a S&W Shield 9MM with 8 rd mag with jhp 115 gr rounds. Now I feel a lot more comfortable, but still use the .38 ultralite around the house. Comfortable with either one, actually.

RustyShackelford
May 2, 2014, 06:37 PM
I'd be leery of buying any new boxes of Remington Golden Saber. :uhoh:
I purchased a 20rd box of Golden Saber +P 185gr JHP .45acp that was really sub-par. $28.00 USD, too. :mad:

If I get a new snub .38spl or J frame, I'd get either Speer Gold Dot +P 135gr, Corbon DPX, MagSafe SWAT(+P), or the Winchester PDX1 .38spl load.
Any of these rounds could do well for a CC revolver/BUG.

Cooldill
May 2, 2014, 07:21 PM
I'd be leery of buying any new boxes of Remington Golden Saber.
I purchased a 20rd box of Golden Saber +P 185gr JHP .45acp that was really sub-par. $28.00 USD, too.

If I get a new snub .38spl or J frame, I'd get either Speer Gold Dot +P 135gr, Corbon DPX, MagSafe SWAT(+P), or the Winchester PDX1 .38spl load.
Any of these rounds could do well for a CC revolver/BUG.

Why were they "sub-par"?

Find me a place, either in person or online, that has Speer GD 135 gr. +P Short Barrel for sale and I will gladly buy some.

Until then, the Remington golden saber 125 +Ps are the best performing snub load out there than can actually be FOUND.

conw
May 3, 2014, 04:39 AM
Not to totally railroad this thread but are you talking a "head shot" on a card board cut out or on a person, fighting for their life, that is aware you're intent it to put a hot mess of lead (and maybe copper) through that head? Shooting a stationary piece of processed tree at a casual pace is one thing. I'd be much less confident in my ability when it comes to a moving, bobbing, running, shooting back target to make a head shot at 15 yards under such a situation.
I think perhaps you misread somewhere because the first and only mention of head shots is from the post of yours I'm currently quoting :-). That's okay though.

You do raise a good point. My answer is that getting as good as possible also gives you a very good idea of your limitations.

There are tons of different scenarios and variables that must be taken into account besides range wherever defensive use of a firearm might occur at whatever range e.g. 15 yds. I wouldn't take a shot I didn't feel confident making. I do feel confident I would know the difference.

Would I attempt an index card or smaller sized target at 15, probably not with a snub under the exact conditions you described.

Since the question wasn't really about head shots though I do think people need to consider making hits , even working toward making low probability hits, at 15 yards. As Tom givens says that's really just two car lengths away (that would actually be further if the bumpers weren't nearly touching). And again doing lots of shooting and finding your limits lets you decide responsibly whether you can make a hit.

When the other poster stated he wasn't going to use the gun to make hits at 15 yds I wasn't sure whether he was not confident in himself or was operating under the belief that one needn't prepare for such "long distance" shooting (I disagree with both the premise and also the idea that 15yds is a long shot to ask of a carry gun).

conw
May 3, 2014, 04:40 AM
Double posted

OrangePwrx9
May 3, 2014, 03:28 PM
147 gr. Wadcutters, either Double-ended or bevel-base. Loaded about 10-15% hotter than what I use for target shooting, but well short of +P.

Pie-plate accuracy at 25 yards (the gun is better than I am) translates to more-than-adequate at 7 yards. Not enough recoil to develop a flinch.

I carry an older M37 Chief's Special Airweight. Don't want to beat it up.

MICHAEL T
May 4, 2014, 11:30 PM
+P 158 GR lead SWHP

Phaedrus/69
May 5, 2014, 05:37 AM
I bought a new Ruger LCR a couple weeks ago and got its matching Garrett IWB just a few days ago. I checked the fit of the gun for the holster (perfect) but I haven't carried it yet although I have run the gun at the range. My plan is to carry the LCR for CCW in warm weather, splitting time with my Beretta Nano.

The carry ammo I have right now it 129gr +P Hydra-Shok JHPs. Honestly I got the ammo because Scheel's didn't have a lot of choices, not because I feel it's "the best" round. Still, the old Hydra-Shok is a good loading so I'll carry it til I find some Gold Dots of Federal Bonded. From what I have read Remington Golden Sabres are pretty good, too.

benzy2
May 5, 2014, 09:44 PM
Conw, I certainly did misread that post. My mind was putting words where they weren't. I do appologize about that.

conw
May 5, 2014, 10:02 PM
Conw, I certainly did misread that post. My mind was putting words where they weren't. I do appologize about that.

Even if it was due to a mistake it did seem to raise a relevant point! :)

Iron Sight
May 6, 2014, 12:23 AM
Starline cases, Speer 158s, & W231 @ +P


http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/xx294/SlowWater/84e914c8bcd16a51026f87e5a592da88.jpg

skoro
May 7, 2014, 02:28 PM
what ammo you use

Mostly Speer 135gr Gold Dots, but sometimes Remington Golden Sabers.

RustyShackelford
May 7, 2014, 02:40 PM
The Golden Saber .45acp JHPs had a strange red-brown goo on the nickel cases, :uhoh:.

The Golden Saber bullets looked uneven & poor quality.
For $28.00 I expected a lot more. :mad:
I had a limited selection to pick from in the small shop; www.Route66sportinggoods.com .

I know the ammo firms & employees are stressed out/over worked, but they need to step up the game.

fastbolt
May 7, 2014, 04:54 PM
The Golden Saber .45acp JHPs had a strange red-brown goo on the nickel cases, :uhoh:.

The Golden Saber bullets looked uneven & poor quality.
For $28.00 I expected a lot more.

I remember when for some reason I used to think of the Rem HPJ/BJHP Golden Sabres would all come with pristine nickel cases and bright, shiny polished brass jackets. :scrutiny:

Then, after seeing bins of them (cases emptied and dumped into range training & duty ammo bins for ease of use), I had more than ample opportunity to see many ten's of thousands of them offer a lot of variation.

Nowadays, seeing some dark/mottled brass jackets, "stained" nickel cases and variable amounts of the case mouth sealant (black goo) having oozed out onto the bullets and case mouths being about as common as not ... it's no big deal. Kind of like how things changed when your second child arrived, and you just weren't quite so fussy about some things. ;)

Now, an occasional mangled/crushed case mouth, short-loaded powder charge, inert/hard/damaged primer or overly long trimmed case (which won't chamber and let the slide/barrel go into battery)? That's still annoying, but I've had to see pallets of cases of ammo used in order to see a handful of those things come through. (Much the same with the other major ammo companies, too.)

I don't have much in the way of the 125gr .38 +P GS loads left (from a brief period when they were available for the right price for qual ammo), but I'll continue to rotate through it for carry ammo & practice ammo until it's used up. It's a bit too costly to buy at "over the counter" prices to use in great quantities for regular practice ammo, granted, but I'd still try some to check for any signs of bullet pull in any of the Ti/Sc/PD snubs that come with a recommendation to check such things when deciding upon carry ammo. The OAL of the GS .38's seem to take up more cylinder charge hole space than some other loads.

I don't have the notes here at this desk, but I remember when I saw an attendee (cop) at a hosted gel event back about the time the Speer 135gr +P load was first released. He pulled a lint-laden 360PD from his pocket, loaded with some really grungy 125gr +P GS loads, and tried them in the same 4-layer denim/gel block test as the new Speer 135gr load had been used.

I was pleasantly surprised to see pretty similar results in the way of penetration and expansion compared to the new Speer load. Maybe if we'd fired a few hundred of each load we'd have seen less consistency for robust expansion from the GS load compared to the new Speer load. Dunno. No guarantees in these things, anyway, right? ;)

TwoWheelFiend
May 7, 2014, 09:18 PM
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=108

Drifting Fate
May 8, 2014, 01:05 AM
The 135grn Gold Dots test out so well I keep them in all of my .38 revolvers, and even keep them in my bedside .357 as they are easier to control if the GF needs it and they come about as close to bridging that magnum gap as one is going to find.

Stainz
May 8, 2014, 06:27 AM
I just ordered three boxes of Remington 'High Terminal Performance' #22301 from Midway. Reportedly a few fps more than the 22300 (Old R38S12), but still +P 158gr LHPSWC. Ill report back after shooting them in my 642 & 60 Pro. They were 'in' - so I jumped on them - $112 shipped. I spent a few $ more at a lgs for the last 22300's I found three years or more ago.

Stainz

amd6547
May 10, 2014, 09:12 AM
Other reports I have read indicated that the new Remington load is loaded to a lower velocity than the old standby 158gn +P SWCHP.
The old load is what is in my J-frame right now.

Stainz
May 10, 2014, 09:51 AM
Over the years, the original #22300 R38S12 varied lot to lot from 820-840+ fps from my 1 7/8" 642. According to Remington's site, both from a 4" barrel, they yield:

R38S12/22300 RTP38S12/22301
Muzzle 890 fps 890 fps
50yd 855 fps 872 fps
100yd 823 fps 855 fps

I don't know why they make two such similar loads, unless the HTP load wil replace the Express load. My order arrived yesterday evening. Same Ni case, headstamp, primer & sealant, and bullet, although the bullet mould may be getting old - not a smooth of a LHP. A crude knife test displayed a similarly softer lead than the now unavailable Georgia Arms version.

The older load was $40/50 over two years ago locally - plus s/t. This was $112/3 boxes - not terrible in this time. I needed something to shoot at the range... I have it!

Stainz

If you enjoyed reading about "Feeding a J Frame for Concealed Carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!