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.38 Special defensive ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Taffnevy, Aug 27, 2011.

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  1. Taffnevy

    Taffnevy Member

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    What's the best?
     
  2. Super Sneaky Steve

    Super Sneaky Steve Member

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    Buffalo Bore Heavy .38 special +P by far the best! Not for the faint of heart or weak wristed wussies.
     
  3. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    I think it depends on barrel length. I use Remington R38S12 +P 158gr. LSWCHP in barrels 2-1/2" and shorter. I'm undecided for longer barrels.
     
  4. bikemutt
    • Contributing Member

    bikemutt Member

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    Hornady Critical Defense.

    Can't say I've ever used it, hope I never do. But it's available and affordable enough to touch a few rounds from time to time for practice.
     
  5. Taffnevy

    Taffnevy Member

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    I just picked up one of the S&W Model 10 police trade-ins from Buds. Can that safely handle +P?
     
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I've been using the old standby 158gr Winchester LSWCHP +P, and I think it will work. :)
     
  7. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Member

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    I use handloads or whatever's cheap for 90% of my shooting, but my defensive ammo is Cor-Bon .38+p DPX.
     
  8. 16shells

    16shells Member

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    Often the "best" is gun dependent. The 158gr by Remington and Buffulo Bore (both mentioned in previous posts) are accurate in my snub nosed LCR and SP101. Your particular weapon might prefer something different.
     
  9. jon86

    jon86 Member

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    I carry these. With luck, I will never know if they work well. Also try the speer gold dot short barrel 135 grain +p.
     
  10. GP100Wii

    GP100Wii Member

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    I keep the federal Hydrashok stored for this purpose.
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    There is no such thing as "the best ammo" because every gun is different. What shoots well in my revolver may group like a shotshell pattern for you. Most SD ammo made today is made with a high quality bullet that will do what it was designed to do. Find the ammo you can shoot well and stick with it... (I usually shoot the Remington FBI Load mentioned several times above)
     
  12. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    "Hornady Critical Defense.

    Can't say I've ever used it, hope I never do. But it's available and affordable enough to touch a few rounds from time to time for practice."


    Must agree with bikemutt. My J-Frame is loaded with them now, and I've used the rifle version (Leverevolution) for Deer hunting.

    LD45
     
  13. Jonah71

    Jonah71 Member

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    Same here. I even carry some in one of my 9mm's.
     
  14. Dogguy

    Dogguy Member

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    While I'm one of those people who doesn't believe there's a "best" anything, I can't believe no one has yet mentioned Speer 135 gr. +P Gold Dots. While they were specifically developed for maximum performance in snubbies, it apparently performs just as well in longer barrels. According to some sources, the GDHP's performance has been on a par with the longtime favorite .38 Special FBI load (158 gr +P SWCHP).

    For a standard pressure .38 Special, the Federal 125 gr. Nyclad HP (AKA "Chief's Special") has a pretty good reputation.

    But, again, I don't think these loads or any other load would be the best under all circumstances. There are too many variables involved in self defense situations for anything to be 100% all the time. Shoot the load that you and your gun shoots the best.
     
  15. skoro

    skoro Member

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    The one you can fire most accurately and effectively from the firearm you carry. Seems to me there are quite a few good SD rounds on the market and any of them will do the trick, if needed. Experiment and see which works best for you.

    Gold Dot
    Golden Saber
    Winchester PDX
    Hornady Critical Defense
    the trusty ol' FBI load

    And then there's "designer" ammo from Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, and Cor Bon.

    It's all good. The best is what works for you.
     
  16. Pict

    Pict Member

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    I dig 125gn Nyclad in the snubbies. Hydrashock in longer barrels.
     
  17. Heavies

    Heavies Member

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    Do you folks like the +P or the regular load. I have been keeping my newly acquired 65-3 loaded with the standard pressure. I really like the way it shoots and very manageable recoil.

    I tried the 140 grain .357 magnum load and it is very fun out doors, but in the home I think it would be way, way too much. I'd end up deaf and blind if I had to use it. Not to mention the neighbors might catch slugs.:eek:
     
  18. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I've been using the old standby 158gr Winchester LSWCHP +P
     
  19. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    Buffalo Bore 158 gr LSWCHP +P

    Nothing better in .38 Special.
     
  20. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I think it's all good except for 158 grain FMJ and LRN.

    I mostly use 158 grain soft lead hollowpoints, and sometimes 148 grain DEWC's or 125 grain JHP's.
     
  21. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I regularly practice with both Hornady Critical Defense (in regular pressure, not +P) and Federal Nyclad, and I normally carry five of either in my 642 and ten more in speed strips. If those ever get two expensive to allow sufficient practice I'll shift to home-loaded 125gr SWCs or JHPs.
     
  22. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    This. I like the Remmy due to having a couple of shorter tubes in my collection. Any maker's version of the old 158 LSWHP+P in 4" will do for my needs though.

    @taffnevy: that 10 from buds will run more +P than most shooters will. I have put thousands of +P (including at least a thousand of this old corbon +P+ version of the 158 load at 1000fps that they used to sell) out of the stainless version, and it's tighter than I am at this point, by a fair margin. The buffalo bore "heavy" load in absurd abundance *might* get to your 10 over the years, but unless you have a trust funder's finances and spare time, you can't kill your K with big box +P loads. JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  23. masterofchaos

    masterofchaos Member

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    Taffnevy - I was looking at an S&W Model 10 yesterday and specially asked if it took +P. This gun was circa 1950s, and the salesman replied "No." Stick with hollow point .38. I just bought HORNADY CRITICAL DEFENSE HANDGUN AMMO .38 SPCL 110GR CD/25 @ $16.99 each from Cabelas for my 1969 Colt Cobra 38 Spec.
     
  24. Warp

    Warp Member

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    [​IMG]


    Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP +P. And, if you are like me, some slightly larger soft rubber grips that cover the backstrap. It still fits in my shorts pockets alright but can show a little of the bottom of the grip. It's all worth it since it no longer hurts to shoot. (for an airweight or lighter snub nose, that is)


    Failing that any of the "FBI load" 158 semi wadcutters. Or the Speer 135 +P short barrel Gold Dot
     
  25. SemperFi10mm

    SemperFi10mm Member

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    +1 for critical defense...
     
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