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38 spl +p soft lead bullets for self defense

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by klutchless, Jul 14, 2011.

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  1. klutchless

    klutchless Member

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    I was at the range today shooting my EAA 38 and a older gentlemen came over and asked what I carry in it.I told him Hornady critical defense.His response was it was a waste of money and that a soft lead bullet loaded in the +p range was just as effective and that I shouldn't get caught in such trends.I'm not new to shooting or terminal ballistics and have killed a few deer with a semi jacketed soft point 357 but never had a one hit quitter until I switched to a semi jacketed hollowpoint. He said that's different out of a six inch barrel than out of a two inch and a hollow point won't expand anyway so the best you can hope for is bullet deformation which soft lead has the highest ability to do.My question is if it has the vilocity to deform a bullet shouldn't it expand a hollowpoint.
     
  2. DougW

    DougW Member

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    He may be talking about the old Federal 9BP load (if my memory works a little bit), which was a 158gr semi hollow point lead bullet. It was the FBI load back in the day of the Miami shoot out (again, I think) and was always an effective round. Even the Winchester Silvertips (which I keep in one of my .357's) was an effective round from the practical reports of shootings and the study done by Ed Sannow (sp).
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  3. joeq

    joeq Member

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    No, a lot of hollow points will not expand out of a snub nose. I carry Buffalo Bores 158 grain LSWCHP +P load. It does a legit 1000 fps out of a snubbie and I really like it. Like Doug said, this is the "FBI load" and is still carried by a ton of people. Another good one is the 135 grain gold dot short barrel load.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  4. klutchless

    klutchless Member

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    So hornady critical defense out of a 2 inch is all hype?It seemed to blow decent 'exit wounds' through water jugs definatly going to look for some buffalo bore .I thought they just made bullets for my cap and ball revolvers.He was refering to a plain semi wadcutter soft lead bullrt like what I shoot into targets.
     
  5. Bojangles7

    Bojangles7 Member

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    That's what I carry.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    No, Doug, 9BP is Federal 9mm plain JHP, not Hydrashok or HS2. Plain but accurate and reliable, I stay with it instead of burning money to test the Bullet Of The Month.

    I don't know the stock number(s) of the various .38 lead hollowpoints. Nearly everybody makes one. It isn't glamorous, it just works. Maybe the latest rubbernose is, too; but I just don't care enough to try to find out.
     
  7. MikeNice

    MikeNice Member

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    I carry the Federal LE 158gr+P LSWC-HP. It has put down 130lb feral dogs. It has also passed my personal testing in water. Through four layers of heavy cotton the round achieved FBI level performance numbers. It also expanded reliably.

    I carry a Taurus 85b3. So, I have a three inch barrel instead of a two inch barrel. That might make a little difference. I say order a box or two from SG Ammo and test it out.

    Of course you could just run some back yard testing on what you carry. If it works it works. Don't just take some random old man's word.
     
  8. silversport

    silversport Member

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    and nearly all the bigs make it (or at least did)...sometimes called the Chicago Load, FBI Load, St. Louis Load...you get the idea...l-o-n-g track record of positive results...not saying it's better but should do you just fine in guns that can use it...
    Bill
     
  9. joeq

    joeq Member

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    Without doing my own testing, I can't answer that. I know a lot of rounds are Hype. For instance, Winchester's 130 grain PDX1 is probably carried by a lot of people now. After watching this video on youtube I wouldn't carry it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VSb8_ClcVQ&feature=channel_video_title

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od1LgsHdLmc&feature=relmfu

    You should check out this guy's testing on all calibers. His video's are really good. I know you're interested in how the 38 special critical defense works, I did find a test using 380ACP, you might check it out just to see how the FTX bullet works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H9M6cZGd18&feature=channel_video_title
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  10. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Here's another "random old man" who says it works. ;)
     
  11. hermannr

    hermannr Member

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    I also use Buffalo Bore 158 gr, however, I do have a 6" barrel and get very good action out of it. Most very definately supersonic+ out of a 6", you can hear it.
     
  12. Murcielago

    Murcielago Member

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    My only misgiving about the Buffalo Bore +P 158gr is that it is PUNISHMENT out of an airweight snubbie.
     
  13. Jac

    Jac Member

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    The "problem" with the newer premium defense ammo in .38 Special is not that it won't expand... there've been a lot of huge strides in bullet design lately. But, they're all pretty new, so they're not *proven in the field* to reliably expand at snub velocities.

    Whereas the FBI load has a record as a stopper and a killer that belies it's "paper performance". (I'm paraphrasing what someone else said about it; probably the late Stephen Camp)
     
  14. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    all-copper Barnes .38 Specials do, indeed, expand out of a .38 snub

    so do Speer 135 grain Gold Dot's

    There are many old wood choppers out there who'll tell you a chainsaw won't do the job of a sharp axe.

    Then when you actually fire it up it confuses the heck out of them.
     
  15. joeq

    joeq Member

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    I use it in my 442 and don't mind it. It's accurate and I can still get back on target quickly. Anyone recoil sensitive should stay away from the +P Buffalo Bore, they have a standard pressure load using the same bullet.
     
  16. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    A soft lead bullet at high velocitys will lead your barrel. Just stick with jacketed bullets if you want a big bang out of your gun. Just be sure you are proficient shooting hot loads out of your SD gun. chris3
     
  17. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    I doubt it. But their .38 it is not a short-barrel-specific load; the listed velocities are out of a 4-in barrel. A 2-in barrel might reduce the muzzle velocity for a +P 110 .38 by about 100 fps, and increase flash and blast.

    Not sure what the older gentlemen mean by "soft lead." Usually the softest lead out there in commercial bullets was thought to be the standard-pressure Nyclad (the nylon coating was meant to reduce barrel leading from the soft lead). But I understand that the +P loading used a harder alloy (this is old info, from Marshall and Sanow's Handgun Stopping Power book).
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  18. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I have the Federal "FBI" load in all of my .38 and .357 revolvers. It's accurate and controllable. As stated by others, the "FBI" load has a good reputation for stops.
     
  19. joeq

    joeq Member

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    Buffalo Bore's LSWCHP is gas checked. I have had no leading at all.
     
  20. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    [​IMG]

    they expand out of a .38 snub
     
  21. klutchless

    klutchless Member

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    His reference to soft lead was that of cast lead bullets in the semi wadcutter style.It is actually what I reload to shoot at the range.
     
  22. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Thanks.

    I would hesitate to use non-HP .38 loads for defense, and would not plan to use hand-loaded ammo for that purpose. His mileage varies.
     
  23. antiquus

    antiquus Member

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    Well there was about 100 years of data that said a 158gr .38 slug kills bad guys dead. I tend to agree with the old guy, they work fine.

    Much more important than which bullet is placement of course. Also, penetration though barriers, arms, etc might be better with lead slugs or FMJ than with HP's. The .38 does not have a reputation of overpenetrating even with FMJ, unlike the more powerful rounds.

    HP's are important to avoid overpenetration with 9mm, .357's, .40, all should be using HP's to reduce overpenetration. I know this forum thinks man-stopping is the reason for HP's wide use in law enforcement, but I think differently, I think it's the threat of lawsuits from bystanders that drives HP adoption. I also think gelatin is a very even and repeatable was to rank bullet capabilities, but a block of totally uniform ballistic gelatin is a damn sight different than any body.
     
  24. klutchless

    klutchless Member

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    I went out today and did some backyard test and a soft cast 38 went through two 4x4 yard timbers at 15 yards . A second test proved it penitrated through two water jugs and stopped in the third.In contrast the critical defense went through both 4x4 and took a chunk the size of my fist out with it.the second shot went through two water jugs entering the third.the first two jugs had almost split in two when the bullet expanded.So they have the same penitration just one expands and one didn't.I'm making gelatin now to test.
     
  25. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I'm not too picky on my carry loads myself. I DO carry Hornady Critical Defense in my LCP at the moment, but have carried FMJ in that gun plenty of times. My home defense gun is my S&W Mod 64 which has some 158gr LSWC handloads in it because, well, that's what I have on hand right now.

    To me, for the most part, a bullet is a bullet. As long as they're accurate and reliable in the gun I don't get too caught up in name brands or "premium" bullets.
     
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