Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mikey5oh, Dec 4, 2019.
Hi all, Suggestions for the best defense Non +P round for a Smith and Wesson 640 Centennial.
Buffalo Bore wadcutter.
Are you looking for something that is low recoil?
+P sorry, but what I carry in a 642
https://www.speer-ammo.com/products...=0&facets=computed_skucaliber_s=38 Special +P
Buffalo Bore or Underwood Ammo standard pressure wadcutters and sem-wadcutter hollow points. Anything's better than nothing though.
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.
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.
Wadcutter. Check luckygunner’s reviews and data set on the 38.
Here’s the link on the lucky gunner site for 38/357. Check the wadcutters he tested.
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.)
These are loaded with Speer Gold Dots.
I occasionally carry a mid-70s Mod. 60 and feel very comfortable with these rounds.
I would just get anyones 38 Special SWC 158gr loads. Its so watered down now that it shouldn't be too bad on recoil. It will be a little hotter than 148gr WC loads but not by a whole lot. If you are looking for light recoil with reduced power loads the hollow point will most likely not expand anyway so it makes no sense to spend the extra money for them. Something like these
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.
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.
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..
I've done the same.
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.
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.
Federal HST Micro 130 gr if you can find it.
It's +P but designed for reduced recoil.
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.
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.
Standard velocity HBWC. Bullet is already in an efficient shape and has adequate penetration.
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