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Best No. +P ammo for S&W 640 Centennial

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mikey5oh, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Mikey5oh

    Mikey5oh Member

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    Hi all, Suggestions for the best defense Non +P round for a Smith and Wesson 640 Centennial.

    Thanks
     
  2. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    Buffalo Bore wadcutter.
     
  3. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    Are you looking for something that is low recoil?
     
  4. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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  5. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

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    Buffalo Bore or Underwood Ammo standard pressure wadcutters and sem-wadcutter hollow points. Anything's better than nothing though.
     
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Be warned... BB stuff is not fun to shoot in a J frame even in their non +p flavors. Maybe it’s better in 640s than aluminum frames though.
     
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  7. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Winchester Defend, 130 grain, has gotten some good reviews. It did pretty well in the Lucky Gunner tests. https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/revolver-ballistics-test/. The 640 Centennial is noted to be a very strong J-frame. Is your reason for using standard pressure for concerns about the revolver or concern about recoil? Some of the earlier Model 640s were factory marked “+P+” and it was chosen as the base for the first J-frame .357 because if its inherent strength. Aside from the Winchester Defend ammo, I favor plain 158 semi-wadcutters in standard pressure.
     
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  8. fordtrucks

    fordtrucks Member

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    Wadcutter. Check luckygunner’s reviews and data set on the 38.
     
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  9. fordtrucks

    fordtrucks Member

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  10. SpangledHatch

    SpangledHatch Member

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    Another Buffalo Bore option...

    Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 Special Ammo
    125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point - (900 fps/M.E. 225 ft. lbs.)


    ITEM 20E

    These are loaded with Speer Gold Dots.

    I occasionally carry a mid-70s Mod. 60 and feel very comfortable with these rounds.
     
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  11. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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  12. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    I have switched to the Federal 130 HST Micro which IS +p rated but does not recoil as bad as the 158 grain loads and the 642 is plenty stout ! This load is devastating in the recent testing i've done and just does nt blast and roar and kick as
    others I used before.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  13. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Like Gordon, I carry the .38 spl +P Federal 130 HST Micro loaded in my S&W 637 EDC. It does well in the Gel tests and the Federal HST's have a good reputation so they seem to be one of the better options. The only down side I find with them is they are difficult to reload quickly as the short bullet is like a Wadcutter and doesn't align with the chambers as easy as a longer nosed bullet does, so my reloads in Safariland speed loaders are Remington Golden Sabers.

    I don't find the recoil of +P ammo to be difficult to control in the air weight. But my perspective on recoil has changed after shooting a S&W 500 a couple years ago and don't find anything I own having much recoil compared to that.
     
  14. Wishoot

    Wishoot Member

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    I was using 135gr +p Gold Dots, but accuracy suffered.

    I switched to 110gr Hornady FTX's and really like what I see. Very easy to shoot out of my J-Frame, accurate and quick follow up shots..
     
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  15. tbob38
    • Contributing Member

    tbob38 Contributing Member

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    I've done the same.
     
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  16. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    It is perhaps worth noting that the OP asked about a *640* Centennial, not a 642 or other airweight. The 640 has always been a steel-framed revolver, heavier and stronger than 642s. It could have been a typo, I suppose. Even the older, .38 only 640 Centennials are plenty strong enough for any current plus P loads, so I assume recoil might be the issue.
     
  17. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I wondered why the OP wanted non +P ammo and just thought it for lower recoil. Since his gun is rated for real 38 Special ammo it will easily handle the +P loads that are at best the same as original 38 Special loads. Reducing bullet weight goes a long way towards reducing recoil.
     
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  18. 94045

    94045 Member

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    Federal HST Micro 130 gr if you can find it.
    It's +P but designed for reduced recoil.
     
  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    My standard reload for my 357 Magnum guns is 158 grain SWC loaded to about 950 fps in a 4" barreled guns. They shoot great in my 3" Model 60-15. They should do nicely in a 357 Magnum Model 640.

    I use Unique powder but any number of similar powders would work well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  20. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    Non +P .38spl generally has a problem: HP variants don't open at velocities 2" bbls generate. And those that do don't penetrate enough.

    I would suggest:
    * Fed Gold Match 148gr wadcutter for mildest recoil
    * Rem 158gr LSWC for reloads or primary load a bit more peppy that tgt wadcutters
    * Buff Bore/Underwood 158gr hard cast full wadcutter for critter defense or more vigorous anti-people performance. Velocity and recoil gets sporty.
     
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  21. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Standard velocity HBWC. Bullet is already in an efficient shape and has adequate penetration.
     
  22. Mikey5oh

    Mikey5oh Member

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    Hi Gary, you are correct. I am speaking about the 640 Centennial. Recoil isn’t my concern. The reason I’m inquiring about Standard Pressure ammo is because although the 640 is a steel framed gun, S&W state’s that they don’t advise shooting +P Ammo thru any of their guns made prior to 1997. They also stated that the gun was not tested for +P. On the other hand, I’ve heard people state otherwise.. basically what you said. It’s strong enough to handle +P ammunition.
     
  23. Mikey5oh

    Mikey5oh Member

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    I was carrying Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. +P but was told by S&W that even though the 640 is a steel framed gun, they don’t advise putting +P thru it. They told me that the gun wasn’t tested for +P ammo and that I should use Standard Pressure. They also told me to stay away from Buffalo Bore & Underwood ammo because they don’t meet SAAMI specs and are too hot. Im hearing different things from different people..
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  24. Mikey5oh

    Mikey5oh Member

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    Hey Thomas, the reason why I was inquiring about Standard Pressure ammunition is because i was told by S&W that the 640 Centennial wasn’t rated for +P ammunition. I’m hearing different things from different people. The NYPD had us shoot 135 gr Speer Gold Dots +Ps thru them even though someone from S&W told me that +P’s shouldn’t be used in any gun made prior to 1997. I bought mine in 1990.
     
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  25. Mikey5oh

    Mikey5oh Member

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    Hey Gary, recoil isn’t my concern.. damage to the revolver is. I was told by S&W that the 640 although very strong shouldn’t have +P ammo thru it. They told me that the gun is rated for Standard Pressure. That confused my because I purchased the gun in 1990 while working for the NYPD and the department issued us Speer Gold Dot 135 gr +P ammunition. Very surprised that they would go against what the company recommended.
     
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