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Feeding a J Frame for Concealed Carry

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by J-Bar, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. J-Bar

    J-Bar Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. chicharrones

    chicharrones Well-Known Member

  3. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. LT.Diver

    LT.Diver member

    125 gr jhp reloads for mine.
  5. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Well-Known Member

    Wad Cutters in my Chief Special.
  6. Mr. Happy

    Mr. Happy Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. MR.G

    MR.G Well-Known Member

    I like a +P 158 GR lead SWHP. Federal Nyclad, Winchester, and Remington all shoot good in my J frames.
  10. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Well-Known Member

    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....


  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Well-Known Member

    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
  12. greenmtnguy

    greenmtnguy Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Well-Known Member

    135 Gold Dots or 150 Buffalo Bore Hardcast Wadcutters.
  14. 119er

    119er Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    I carry an LCR loaded with Cor-Bon DPX Barnes 110gr. +P.
  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Same 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.

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  18. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    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 :)
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  20. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Well-Known Member

    Cast 158 grain Semi Wad-Cutter in a Model 37.

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