1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best non +P .38 Sp. HD

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by hansolo, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. hansolo

    hansolo Member In Memoriam

    I have an older S&W .38 Special...the factory warns against +P, even for HD. I have Fed. 110g Personal Def. HPs in it now...got a better load(cannot be +P!!!)? I would only shoot a few to get the feel, so price doesn't matter.

  2. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Well-Known Member

    Try the Federal Personal Defense Hydra-Shock JHP 110 grain. High energy, low recoil. 1000 FPS muzzle velocity. Good expansion. Good stuff. 13 bucks for 20. Not cheap, but even though my SP101 will take .38 +P, I load it with this stuff for my night stand gun.
  3. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Well-Known Member

    Ooops, that is what you are using. You answered your own question! It will do the job!
  4. hansolo

    hansolo Member In Memoriam

    Thanks! I am amazed when I get it right the first time:what:

    I'm thinking about getting a 12 guage for HD...but for now, my S&W wheelgun has been 100% reliable.
  5. MJRW

    MJRW Well-Known Member

    That's my home defense load as well for my Ruger GP-100 and SW 686 (if need be), both 4".
  6. bpisler

    bpisler Well-Known Member

    If you can find the federal 125gr nyclad would be a decent load and winchester makes a non +P silvertip.Because they're all low on the power scale i would pick the most accurate one to use.
  7. ruger357

    ruger357 Well-Known Member

    I also use the Federal Hydra Shocks.
  8. tbeb

    tbeb Well-Known Member

    I think Federal non +P Nyclad 125 gr. lead hollowpoint is the best.
    ammoman.com may have some ($25 for box of 50).

    Hornady has a non +P 125 JHP that's as fast as +P 125 gr. JHP's. It penetrates more and expands less, in ordnance gelatin tests anyhow, than the above Nyclad. Test expansion is around
    450". Can't remember exact penetration numbers but pretty sure they were about 50% deeper.
  9. Felonious Monk

    Felonious Monk Well-Known Member


    aka RBCD in .38 special. 1705fps, 385 fpe. And it's NOT a +P.
    I stoke my "non +P" Rossi snub with it and it's great.

    For some performance results vs. Gold Dot 125gr +P JHP rounds, click here.
    (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the image)
  10. Kentucky Rifle

    Kentucky Rifle Member In Memoriam

    Felonious Monk

    I just bought some new RBCD .38 Special non +P "Tactical" and Roscoe told me the stats are even better now!

  11. sm

    sm member

    148 gr Win. target WC
    110 gr Win. STHP
    158 gr Win. LSWC

    Always worked with accuracy(POA/POI) out of a couple of J frames and an older K frame. 4" K really did well with 158 gr HBSWC , these were reloads though.
  12. Jeff OTMG

    Jeff OTMG Well-Known Member

  13. gbelleh

    gbelleh Well-Known Member

    I have Federal 110 gr. Hydra-Shoks for my Taurus 85UL if I ever decide to use it for defense. It seems to be good, accurate ammo.
  14. foghornl

    foghornl Well-Known Member

    The Fed 110-Gr 'Personal Defense Load' [NOT +P] is what I use in my RG brand 38 snubby. Accurate, and not much muzzle flip/flame. Will do the job, till I can grab up the M-1.
  15. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Well-Known Member

    Non +P .38s

    The only non +P .38 Spl. round that I could find that would expand reliably from a snubbie (back when it was my primary CCW) is the Nyclad 125 gr. from Federal. When I first started using them, they were made by Smith & Wesson and marketed as the "Chief's Special" load.

    Federal bought the rights to the design and expanded the line considerably. I've used them in .38 Spl. (standard and +P) and 9x19. They've given me very good accuracy and have proven to be extremely reliable.

    My little Star Mdl. 43 likes the 124 gr. 9mms better than anything else. When I heard that they might be discontinued, I bought all of the remaining stock that I could locate. Still my preferred carry load in the Star, although I'll admit to using 124 gr. Hydra-shoks to conserve my dwindling supply.

    For K-Frames and +P rated snubbies, the old "FBI" load of a 158 gr. lead SWCHP at +P pressures is still hard to beat. Street-proven through many years of service with LEAs and easy to find. Once again, the Federal Nyclad version is my personal favorite. Clean-up is easier, as "leading" is eliminated from the equation.

    Unless your revolver is very old, or has an alloy frame, I wouldn't worry too much about using +P loads for "social work". Practice with standard pressure loads, and use just enough of the +Ps to identify any differences in POI.
  16. hansolo

    hansolo Member In Memoriam

    Before I knew better, I ran some +P through my 1957 vintage MP
    .38 Special. I emailed S&W with the serial #: they got back within minutes..."DO NOT fire any high presssure loads...your revolver was not designed for these presssures" :uhoh:

    You know, I didn't have a KB when firing these few +P in blissful ignorance, so you may be giving good advice, as these "mankillers" would be called upon to do the job only in a life/death scenario.
  17. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Well-Known Member

    Might try a middle-weight Winchester SXT meself..............
  18. chaim

    chaim Well-Known Member

    A 12 ga and .38spl or .357mag revolver are a great HD combo, not the mention the smile you'll get on your face when you shoot off that 12ga (I loved my Mossberg). I can't wait until I finally get a new one (soon, I keep telling myself that I'll be doing it soon).

    Anyway, in answer to your question I used to use the 110gr in my snubs but for a 4" and no +P I think I'd rather have more mass. In regular pressure .38spl I like 158gr LSWC or SWCHP if you can get the SWCHPs and I like the 125gr HPs (lighter weight for more velocity than 158s but more mass than the 110s). Another consideration, use the 125gr or 158gr LRN or 148gr WC for practice and load up the +Ps for HD. While the older pencil barrel M10s weren't made for +P I think the worry is that you'll cause the gun to loosen up too much, not KB on you, with regular use. You already have an idea what it will be like having already shot with it. If the +Ps make you feel comfortable go ahead and load them (but limit your practice to very occasionally if at all) for HD because they'll work if you need them and you won't be shooting it that often in defense (hopefully).
  19. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Well-Known Member

    Consider the 20 gauge Win 1300 defender in lieu of a 12 gauge for home defense. Almost the same stopping power and much less recoil. I compare and contrast, for home defense, the .38 versus the .357 revolver the same way I contrast the 20 against the 12 gauge shotgun.
  20. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Well-Known Member

    here ya go tbeb...

    not sure if your revolver is a snubbie or not, But maybe this will help. .38 subbie test

Share This Page