38 special question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by defjon, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Recently did an order and my requested load of a 158 grain jhp was out of stock.

    Owner asked if 125s were okay and I said sure, thinking they were also jhp but they were actually jacketed SOFT points.

    Not a big deal, even with shipping it's less than 30 per box and in my area 38s have ballooned to over 40 per box with taxes and that's for lead round nose.

    The jsp were clocking about 950 fps which is pretty decent...but what would you say a 125 gr jsp would be good for?

    The lead seems pretty soft, and I expect it would flatten pretty good...

    My woods walking 38 load is usually 158 grain flat points , 148 gr hc wadcutters, or occasionally 110 grain critical defense hps.

    I have 158 hardcast plus p as well that I'd consider loading if I only had my 38 in bigger predator country for some reason.
     
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  2. tubeshooter
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    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    Should do nicely out of a carbine, I would think.
    I kind of prefer JSP out of them over hollow points anyway.
    Should hit small game like a thunderbolt (no, not Remington).


    If it was all I had to load up with for defense, I wouldn't be too worried.
    The price looks good.
    If 158s were giving 950, I would think the 125s should be good for 1000 (no guarantee).
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
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  3. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I would carry the JSP over fmj for anything above target shooting like small game hunting, defense, etc. The wouldn’t be my first choice for most .38 handgun applications because the velocities aren’t very high, but they’re better than others like fmj, IMHO.

    I dont have any jsp in .38/.357, only in .41 and .44 calibers. At magnum handgun velocities they seem to mushroom a bit when they hit stuff, but not like the bullets you see in SD ammo gel tests. But at rifle velocity they’re much more impressive. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  4. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Man, I just missed out on a Rossi r92 357 carbine. It was stainless with the carbine 16 inch barrel.

    Best I've found is 725 out the door, it I hesitated and it was gone. In my mind still a 500-550 dollar rifle..
     
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  5. tubeshooter
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    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    I don't know that I've ever seen .38 Special JSP out on the shelf, but I see plenty of it in .357 Mag (or used to, anyway) and I like the performance.

    Although I don't expect that level of expansion with .38, it should do somewhat better than FMJ I would guess. I am guessing maybe a small gain in velocity from a carbine, but much less than .357 provides.


    The pricing on carbines is kind of high right now. I grabbed a Henry for $799 plus tax recently and of course I wish it were a little cheaper but I was okay with the price for nowadays.
     
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  6. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    What are you shooting that you get 950 fps from a .38Spl. 158 grain? That's well up into +P+ territory. I'd say the JSP's would be good rounds for general use. The jacket keeps the barrel from lead fouling, the soft point should penetrate a bit better than a JHP, due to less expansion. 950-1000 fps, depending on what powders you use, would be in the realm of a 125 grain +P load.
     
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  7. defjon

    defjon Member

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    The 38s jsps I got are 125 grain. Never picked these up in 38. I do have some 158 gr 357 mag jsps and I've loaded those in my model 60 in the back country.
     
  8. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I know the Federal .38 Special +P 125 gr JSP was a duty load for a few LE agencies back in the 80's timeframe.
     
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  9. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    What's it like, shooting .357's out of a J-frame? I have a M66-1 2-1/2" (K frame ) and that thing is a beast with magnum loads. Quite a fireball.
     
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  10. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    I have a 640-1, a j-frame 357. I carry 38+P in it.

    I have fired 2 cylinders of full-house 158gr 357 mag in it. I would just as soon not do it on a regular basis.

    A serious handful.
     
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  11. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I think it depends a lot on who made the bullet.
     
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  12. defjon

    defjon Member

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    The model 60 is all steel but still pretty svelte. With the longer grips on and a fully 3 finger grip, it's not fun but not too painful. Mine is the two inch model, but a no lock.

    With the boot grips it's wearing for pocket carry, I shot two cylinders- 10 rounds and was done. just to verify grouping/function/ crimp jump. It's definitely a "whack".

    But I used to also stay in practice with a 357 lcr, and even a 340 pd. Compared to those the 60 ain't so bad. It's all relative.
     
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  13. Hal

    Hal Member

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    Once upon a time - there existed no such thing as a 'jacketed hollow point". - that worked.
    The JSP was the most popular method to get some controlled expansion working.

    Just remember - expansion, just for the sake of making the nose of the bullet wider is useless - and usually worse than useless.
    The expansion has to be controlled - it has to happen at the right time and in the right place.
     
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  14. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    So, what's in the woods that you need protection from? Just curious.
     
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  15. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    What ammo did you buy and is the model 60 your carry gun?

    I know Remington made or maybe makes a .38 JSP. Unless it’s it’s the +P version I don’t see it running at 950 fps out of a 60.
     
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  16. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    That sounds about right for a stainless version. If you can even find the plain Jane all blued Rossi lever action 357, they start out around $520 new.

    Back to bullet selection. It has been very hard to find any type of 38 Special ammo locally where I live for quite some time now. I ended up finding some Hornady 110Gr XTP +p ammo for HD/SD use. I only shoot that ammo enough to know where the POI is compared to POA since it is quite a bit different than how 158Gr bullets shoots.
     
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  17. defjon

    defjon Member

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    You never met my ex!


    (Just joking, married to the same woman for twenty years)
     
  18. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Well, do all kinds of back country hikes. I spend a lot of time in the woods. Told the stories on here before but I've personally encountered a mountain lion and a wolf.

    Unarmed in the kitty encounter. Didn't even know it was up in the tree until I hit a stick against another tree to test it's sturdiness as a walking stick. It must've thought it was a gunshot. Dropped down thirty yards up trail and took off like it was on fire.

    Probably could have won the hundred yard dash on that one.( I mean I could have, getting out of there)

    The wolf was odd...by itself. Came crashing out of the foliage. GSD 70 lb female stared this big guy down...he looked about double her size. I had my ec9 loaded with fmjs on that one and was glad to have it.

    I love the woods and I'm more at home there than any city..I sleep my best sleep under the stars. If you spend enough time out there I think you'll want something handy. Something light as the weight adds up and something that would get the job done.

    Scariest encounters are usually some weirdos you see,.druggies maybe, though again most folk are great.

    Had one very unusual encounter and have no idea what that was. I'll be packing regardless, and not that any judgement was your intention but I wouldn't change that up for any reason.

    Great grandpa supplemented his income coon hunting a long time ago. He had some great stories.

    He always swore up and down he once encountered an African lion lol. I loved that story, I was never sure I believed him but he sure sold it..stuck to it to the last so who knows. Its a big wide world, and we have it a lot less figured out then what makes most folk comfortable.

    Gun isn't much good if it isn't on you. I find the j frame fairly unobtrusive in the pocket and vacillate between an airweight for daily carry and the sixty for travel or more off road stuff ( though I primitive camped two weeks with just the 642).

    My model sixty switch for travel happened after a road trip a few years ago that includes a bunch of shooting with some friends and family. Couldn't find any more 38s on the shelf but gander mountain happened to have unlimited mag tech 158 grain 357 jhp for a good deal, 28/50.

    I just had the 642 and I thought if I'm traveling more than 4 hours and only bringing a few boxes of ammo, maybe my carry gun should be as versatile as possible and chamber a couple of loads.

    Now for traveling and doing some shooting, a Governor gives me 410 45 acp 45 colt, model 60 gives me 357/38 and a hellcat covers 9. A small cadre and I should find something on the shelves lol.
     
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  19. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

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    Considering the unreliable expansion of a great many .38 jacketed hollow points* I'd say the best that could be relied on from a JSP at .38 Spl velocities is that it won't perform any worse than a FMJ. Now, having said that, I'd rather have a JSP or hard cast SWC for defense against large 4 legged vermin. (ref the second part of my sig line.)

    *Source: Lucky Gunner gel tests.

    Add some .410-<insert caliber here> adapters and you'll be restricted even less as to what you feed your Governor.
     
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  20. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Great point and I've signed up for a few out of stock notices on those adapters.

    They must be pretty popular. I haven't found in stock inserts that fit the governor yet.

    I bought a Hatfield 410 single shot at Walmart just for fun, and was surprised with it. It is pretty fun and robust. I got a 22 caliber insert for that one and it's pretty accurate. I keep it in a buttstock sleeve. Handle little thing
     
  21. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Hey that's the site I was looking at looks like the 22 adapters are available...hmm
     
  22. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

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    Go for it!
    I love getting other people to spend money. Then I don't feel as guilty when I spend money. :D
     
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  23. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    Be glad you never met my ex wife. Damn scary. I got rid of her in 1986. Been single ever since..
     
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