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.38 special loads for a gunfight?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mixed Nuts, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    Mixed Nuts - in your post about the "gorilla", I might be inclined to shoot him in the thigh in an attempt to cripple him and end his ability to follow me.
    You don't need to "kill" someone to stop the fight, but you DO have to be able to shoot with a certain degree of accuracy for either torso or leg(s).
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    No harm done. I'm usually not sensitive, bad night I guess.

    Peace...
     
  4. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

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    If you're going to use deadly force, use deadly force. Aiming on purpose for an extremity makes a good case for it not being a deadly force issue but a case of maiming for a prosecutor, and, further, the thigh is home to some rather large arteries that will bleed a person out in minutes. Recently here, a man was shot in the head, and another was shot in the leg. The man shot in the head will recover; the man shot in the leg died near the scene. http://www.newson6.com/story/38345314/police-investigating-after-man-shot-killed-at-tulsa-bar
     
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  5. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents worth about a "gunfight". First and most important, you got to be able to hit your target. A hit with a .22 short is better than a miss with a .44mag. 2nd on my list is being able to be able to follow up the first shot with accurate 2nd, 3rd etc. A perfect example of this presented itself over the weekend at my backyard range. There is a young mid 20's kid who is getting into guns and has bought a few from me. Looking for a carry gun and his choice was a 2.5" .357 mag. Of course when I was young, I would have had to have a magnum as well. I gave him a 2.5" model 66 loaded with 140 grain JCP that were loaded pretty much like you would buy off the shelf. The goal was to bring gun up and shoot 5 rounds in less than 5 seconds and hit center mass at 7 yards. He was about 75% on first shot and only once got any of the other 4 in the kill zone. The recoil and muzzle blast make back up shots nearly impossible for the novice shooter. Add the rush and nervousness that would be a part of a real gunfight and the average shooter is screwed. Even a skilled shooter can have problems with follow up shots with a lightweight magnum gun. I then had him run the same drill with my carry gun which is a 3" Model 64 K Frame loaded with Remington Golden Saber +P which by the way gave very impressive results on the luckygunner test. The difference was night and day. Recoil with the GS bullet is very manageable and after a few tries, he was getting 3 or 4 in the kill zone and shooting faster than with the magnum. There are so many theories out there about which bullet performs the best NONE of them perform if they done hit the target.
     
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  6. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Accuracy is King, penetration is queen, all other qualities are fluff and hype in a 38 Special.
     
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  7. styles

    styles Member

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    I carry a 642 in my pocket and I used to shoot lswc at the range and carry lswc-hp, but now I don’t even bother with hp ammo. The lswc are good [email protected] fps
    Roll your own with rim rock and starline or buy the Remington 1000 pack. I like a heavy +p dose of aa#2 or lovex.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  8. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I use nothing but the 158gr. LSW-HP FBI load.
     
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    The problem with the Treasury Load in a snub is the round is closer to a low level magnum. That's a lot of pressure in a j frame. After blowing out a few cylinders in j frames my agency said only in 357 magnums (although a 38 spl k frame is okay IMO).

    Amother issue was the Treasury Load worked well if it was just a soft target. If the bullet had to penetrate something first it just didn't have the oomph to give adequate penetration or expansion even after penetrating light comcealment.
     
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  10. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    A lot of participants of this forum are very well informed on this subject. I have read several threads on SD ammo selection and performance here , all very informative and well intended. I must admit , though , all the information on penetration and expansion makes my eyes blur over after a time. I carry a 60 no dash , 1 7/8" barrel most of the time , otherwise a 3" J frame. Should I have the same load for each of the two barrels ; if so what would that be? What about winter clothing - different load to penetrate that barrier? 5 foot range vs 30 feet?

    Those three little words which men find so hard to say--- I ... Don't ..... Know.

    I have decided to take all of the guesswork out of this situation. My future carry load will be the old standard 148 gr. lead wad cutters. In the - God forbid - unlikely event that I need to discharge my revolver in self defense I will not know exactly how that bullet will penetrate or how it will expand , but I do know that it will pack a punch. I am certain that I would not want to be on the receiving end of one of those projectiles.

    Some might say that I have copped out. Maybe so , maybe not , but I have one less thing to figure out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  11. Steel Hayes

    Steel Hayes Member

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    C23FF7FD-DCAE-482B-A930-C42B85434831.jpeg I’ve tried a lot of specialty SD ammo, each one acting totally different between my 2” and “3 revolvers, some I liked and others I didn’t.
    There is one constant, train with what you’d shoot with(I’ve heard that said here several times), for both barrels and practice shooting, I use Underwood, cheap enough to practice with and my opinion, good enough to use for SD if it comes to that.
     
  12. Stumper

    Stumper Member

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    Griz22, I have never before heard of "blowing out" a J frame cylinder. It is noteworthy that J frames have more steel around the case than K frames. While there is no industry standard for +P+ I seem to recall that max pressure for the "Treasury Load" was either 22,500 or 23,500CUP.
     
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  13. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    I think I will go the Waveski route, wadcutters. $27 i can get a Lee mold and cast my own for the price of a box of SD ammo.
     
  14. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Yes Stumper but I've seen it happen on several steel j frames. While there may be more steel around the cartridge in a j frame I would surmise that the larger mass of the cylinder of the k frame contributes more strength. Otherwise k frames would let loose with lighter loads than a j frame. I carried Treasury Loads in a 2" Model 64 with no ill effects.

    Your pressure figures for Treasury Loads look correct.
     
  15. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    You are correct in one way for sure. "There is no perfect load for every situation"' Ironically, my carry guns and yours are basically the same at least as far as barrel length. My favorite carry is a K Frame with 3" Barrel. On occasion, I will carry a 1 7/8" J Frame Model 60. After reading countless threads on several forums, watching videos till my head hurt and reading numerous reports and test, and spending many hours testing (girlfriend calls it playing) with a bunch of factory and handloaded ammo, I chose Remington Golden Saber +P 125gr as my carry ammo and would also do so if I was to carry a 4 or 6 inch gun. I also chose this over my own loads of the same bullet which I tried with 5-6 different powders. There are a bunch of reasons, but the most important ones are: The luckygunner.com test was very impressive. Not only the results with the Golden Saber, but their test was more intensive than any other I've ever seen especially since it showed actual results from 2" Barrels. I also with my very unscientific testing got several different bullets to perform as well with expansion, but penetration suffered. Also I got plenty to penetrate, but expansion suffered. And, I saw basically the same results from both length barrels. Also even though its a +P Load, the GS has a very manageable recoil. Last, it is very accurate in every gun I tried it in from 1 7/8" all the way to my 8 3/8". Not trying to change your mind on what you have chosen by any means, but I have been as confused as you seem to have been and now I'm 100% confident in my defense choice which I think mentally would help a lot if I ever get into a defensive situation.
     
  16. Venom007

    Venom007 member

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    Hollow tips or wadcutters.
     
  17. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

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    This is good for my needs, I shoot well with them and I am comfortable they will serve me well for my needs.
    I prefer Federal HST Micro Chronograph


    I feel very comfortable with this load, penetration test
     
  18. 2ndamd

    2ndamd Member

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    Me too
    (No hash tag implied)

    I like Buffalo Bore 158 grn LSWCHP +p and Speer GDHP 135 grn +p as others have mentoned. But, now I load the Federal 130 grn +p micro HST.

    I am gething good results and recoil is very manageable.
     
  19. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    I shoot Buffalo Bore 150 grain hardcast wadcutters out of the snubs.

    I found the velocity of the Speer .38 + P 135 Grain Gold Dot Hollowpoints (SBGDHP below) to be a bit short of what is advertised. I found the 110 Barnes TAC-XP loads from multiple makers to be snappy and with a tendency to keyhole.

    I found 158 grain loads to "jump the crimp" a bit in these firearms and felt their extended length in the cylinder combined with this presented a potential reliability issue on stout loads.

    The Buffalo Bore 150 (HCWC below) rounds have a tight standard deviation out of both of my J frames and they shoot to point of aim without much jump. I expect they will penetrate well and that is my working premise for use. I do not expect to ever use another load in J frames unless I get lead poisoning or the load is discontinued.

    kC3i97U.jpg

    hDEcFED.jpg

    jaeEA9d.jpg

    In larger firearms (S&W K Frame Model 19) I favor the Buffalo Bore .38 + P Outdoorsman 158 grain "keith" style hardcast SWC - way too much for aluminum/ti/scandi frames but nice in good steel. Of course the 19 is a .357 and can handle more.

    The 150 hardcast round gives me a good idea about where the hole goes.

    FYI: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...uffalo-bore-150gr-hard-cast-wadcutter.275800/
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    BRI Ballistic Research Incorporated. Looks like Winchester bought them out at some point.
     
  21. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Actually the BRI slugs were the first of the modern sabot slugs from way back. The 12 gauge was a .50 cal and we thought they were going to be THE THING. Later folks insisted these BRI slugs were intended for rifled shotguns.....but when they came out practically no one had a rifled shotgun and they were marketed for smooth bore guns and magazine and annual articles appeared extoling their virtues in smooth bore guns. I liked them, but they cost about twice what garden variety fosters did in those days and almost as much as a Benneke so...…

    I have a few laying about I believe one in the BRI blue shell and the rest in Winchester red

    The BRI slug had a metplat smaller than .50 cal so something of an aerodynamic nose and a long wasp waist.

    The slug I am talking about was much more like an actual diablo pellet, short and stubby compared to the BRI slug.

    I believe Lee makes a mold for a more traditional looking slug that is to be loaded a shot wad. The slug has a sort of web inside the hollow base to allow it to be spun should the shell be fired in a rifled barrel.

    As the BRI tended to be made of a harder lead than your typical foster slug, there was some speculation that they might be better at penetrating hard targets than fosters....naturally the Movie and TV industry immediately turned this into armor piercing shot gun rounds.....

    You want weird shotgun rounds? Research what the French were doing with the 12 gauge in the 70's and 80's. The actually did make 12 gauge AP rounds and rounds that were meant to penitrate car glass and light building materials like doors and deliver a chemical agent like CS or DM.

    Their Arcane pistol ammo gave me the heebie geebies, think copper/ bronze hardened pointed projectile and Plus P loadings. Met a tank commander that based on ARCANE's claims carried a .44 magnum revolver loaded with them incase a Soviet BMP or BTR60P got too close. He was convince the Arcane ammo would penitrate the turrets of either.

    The French are strange people when it comes to arms and munitions

    -kBob

    -kBob
     
  22. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    DoubleTap also makes a 148 grain wadcutter. I also am a proponent of the wadcutter/semi-wadcutter. In addition to deep penetration and the ability to penetrate bone, I suspect that lower-pressure loads must make easier to hear and think if you are forced to fire indoors. I can't imagine firing .357 indoors - it must really rock the inner ear. I also reload a 158 grain hardcast semi-wadcutter that is pretty low-pressure, for this specific purpose.
     
  23. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    I've had to shoot a pitbull before with a semi wadcutter, the results were enough to convince me of its effectiveness. I have never fired a .357 indoors, but I have fired a .44 magnum and that was not a fun experience, I still get ringing in my left ear and this was years ago.
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm just curious, has anyone advocating for Buffalo Bore and Underwood actually sent their ammo over a chrono from the gun they intend to carry them in? Results? High of lower that advertised? (no embellishing please)
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You know the old saying, "A 9mm (or .38) may expand, but a .45 will never shrink."
     
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