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Hypothetical: .38 snub non-expanding only

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by gordonagain, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. gordonagain

    gordonagain Member

    There have been a lot of threads around gun forums about defensive rounds for the .38 snub. I think it's fairly established that there are some reliable expanding rounds available in today's market. But what if... (due to bans, the hp had never been invented, whatever)... you only had non-expanding rounds to choose from for your .38 snub, what would your choice be? Would you go with a wadcutter, semi-wadcutter, or do you think lead ball would be just as good? Or do you think it really wouldn't matter? Interested to hear bullet weights you might prefer as well.

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    158g LSWCFP
    (lead semi-wadcutter flat point)
  3. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    All bullet designs have worked. And failed. If I couldn't get hollow points I would use flat nosed slugs, and if all I could get were round nose I would use those too. Making hits to vital areas is the name of the game. The hollow point was intended to minimize penetration. If it provides more stopping(killing) power thats just a bonus. There are no magic bullets.
  4. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    The round I carry in my .38 defensive gun has been out of production for years - over twenty.. Remington Multi-ball.

    That's two 000Buck balls inside a .38 case (crimped on outer ball) at around 825fps. Each 000Buck ball weighs in at 70gr, so the total load is 140gr -- about the same as a target wadcutter. Each 000Buck ball is made of dead-soft lead so it'll splatter instead of ricochet and is less likely to pass through walls inside the house (or more importantly exterior walls of your house). From my 3" barrel, the two balls will print about an inch apart at 50', AND, you get two separate wound channels!

    The book Handloading for Handgunners has load data to load your own.

    Why do I carry this instead of more modern loadings? I really don't want to have to rely on bullet expansion at .38 velocities from a snubbie.
  5. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Well-Known Member

    Full Wadcutter at 900 fps
  6. suemarkp

    suemarkp Well-Known Member

    I would have a similar answer if the definition of "non-expanding" bullet allowed soft lead. Pick a soft wadcutter or WFN of whatever weight you want, and load one or two. Lead round ball was effective in the old days because it was so soft that it easily expanded and flattened.

    If you have to use "hard cast", then I'd want something with a flat nose (wadcutter), and since even light ones penetrate well I'd probably look for a heavy and a light one (light loaded below the heavier one) and load a duplex round.
  7. wep45

    wep45 Well-Known Member

    hard cast 148gr DEWC @ 825fps.
  8. pete950

    pete950 Well-Known Member

    What I always carry 38 full double end wadcutters at 800+ fps with SWC for relaods.
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Another vote for a full wadcutter at 850-900 fps

    That would be already loaded in the gun, the reload in a speedloader would be SWC, because they help reload speed
  10. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Well-Known Member

  11. Wargarden

    Wargarden Member

    I thought loads like this were banned federally? Not the same, but isn't that alot like ( I think they atre called) Hoxie bullets? Kind of like a hollowpoint with a ball loaded into it?
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  12. NG VI

    NG VI Well-Known Member

    I am almost 100% positive they are not banned, and I've never heard of Hoxie before.

    And Winchester still makes a hollowpoint bullet with a BB in it, for the .25 Auto and maybe others.
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    158 grain LSWC or LSWC-HP.
    135 grain Speer Short-Barrel Gold-Dot.

    Anything else, except LRN, or those "magic" two ball loads.

  14. Super Sneaky Steve

    Super Sneaky Steve Well-Known Member

    How accurate are the balls?
  15. Pyro

    Pyro Well-Known Member

    I really wish Remington still made the multi-ball load.
    I've seen handloaded rounds similar, I really want to find a box in 38 Special.
  16. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Well-Known Member

    i carry my j frame smith with 158home cast swc loaded over 3.5 gr of bullseye
  17. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    LRNFP lead round nose flat point
    AKA Cowboy 11 from MBC

    Attached Files:

  18. earplug

    earplug Well-Known Member

    Lyman Copy of the Kieth 173 grain SWC

    I use a stout load of WW 231 and it shoots to the point of aim at ten yards.
    I will gladly trade expansion for penetration.
  19. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    The OP asked for non expanding bullets. Those are good choices they just don't answer the question.
  20. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

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