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Best STANDARD Pressure 38 Special Self Defense Ammo

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by jaktime, Jun 24, 2012.

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  1. jaktime

    jaktime Member

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    I have a s&w 342 airlite Ti that I carry with corbon 110gr +P ammo.
    This stuff is BRUTAL to say the least out of a 12oz revolver (I wouldn't expect any less from corbon) even if it is rated for the +P stuff. So my question is what brand of NON +P ammo would you use and the reason why. Which bullet weight is better?, with a 12oz gun I was hoping to stay as light as possible to keep the recoil down. I've also read a little about the solid copper rounds, would it be better to go with a copper solid than a conventional round the uses jacketed or bonded bullets since I want to stay as light as possible on the bullet weight? The only note on the gun is
    " jacketed bullets only" no mention of bullet weights of any kind. Will I really loose that much performance from a
    1 7/8" barrel between the standard pressure vs. the +P rated stuff ?
    Thanks
    J
     
  2. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    If I were you, I'd try the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel, even though it is a +P load. Then, if it is still too hot, I would (and I do) handload the same bullet to standard pressure for the .38 Spl. (that's what I use in my Charter Mag Pug).
    I would never have gotten such a ligthweight revolver in the first place, especially after seeing what my brother-in-law goes through with his Airweight. But handloading allows one to downsize the velocity, which is a good thing in this situation.
     
  3. skt239

    skt239 Member

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    I had a 342PD and everything I shot out if it had a good amount of slap to it. I started out carrying Federal Hydra's but switched to Hornandy 125gr JHP standard pressure. While they are a bit stout, they will be much more manageable than the Corbons. Btw, you're not getting any bullet pulling with the 110 gr?
     
  4. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Federal Gold Medal 148 Grain HBWC.

    Sometimes hard for hollow points to open up with standard pressure velocities. The 148s are super accurate and shoot to point of aim in my Ruger LCR.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  5. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    125gr Federal Nyclad JHPs are my standard 642 carry load.
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I agree if you're looking for a good standard pressure .38 Special load give the 125gr Federal Nyclad round a try. It's street proven and time tested. It works! (and it's available again)
     
  7. jaktime

    jaktime Member

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    Beag: I bought this gun for summertime carry, I can easily throw it in the pocket of my shorts and not even notice it there. When clothing allows I either go with my sp101 or even a full size 1911. I do agree the trade is increased recoil because of the light weight... but then I'm hoping I never have to use it.
    Skt : Believe it or not no I do not get bullet pull with corbon, they have a pretty hard crimp on them.
    The ammo is actually pretty accurate too.
    Thanks for the replies!! I see that the nyclad is a lead bullet, is the lead coated with something, is it a hard coating or something soft like you would find on a 22 long rifle round? I'm guessing the reason it says " jacketed bullets only " is to reduce the bullet pull from the recoil of such a light revolver?
    J
     
  8. critter

    critter Member

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    Interesting discussion. I have a 337 Ti and have not yet 'settled' on a load. Working on it.
    Wife also uses a Ruger LCR. Same deal.
     
  9. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    I use regular pressure 158 grain LSWC-HP or 158 grain SJSP or 148 grain full Wadcutter. Heavy for caliber and the momentum they carry works best for me.?....YMMV
     
  10. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    yes

    I opine that one should carry a gun that does not require emasculating the already weak ammo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  11. Creature

    Creature Member

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    I am very fond of this stuff:

    large_110_20c-250-cb.jpg
     
  12. pete950

    pete950 Member

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    Standard pressure WC or SWC is what I like.
     
  13. jaktime

    jaktime Member

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    Does anyone have any experience with the standard pressure 110gr hydra-shock ammo?
    They do have a pretty large hollow point opening, I was hoping to get some feed back on these also if possible too. I also want to pose this question, now that we are moving out of the era of light/fast and into the era of slow/deep, would Winchester 38spl +P 95gr STHP be considered to lite in order to penetrate deep enough to get to "vital" organs or do you think they would be good enough to get the job done? I'm guessing the recoil would be "easier" on the hand since the projectile is only 95gr, an old friend gave me a few boxes of these way back when & yes you are reading correctly they are Winchester 38spl +P 95gr Silver Tip Hollow Point 50 round box
    I know I'm kind of veering off my topic with the mention of the 95gr STHP's, for that I'm sorry I just wanted to see if anyone knew anything about the performance wise
    Thanks again
    J
     
  14. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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  15. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I carry factory wadcutters in a j frame size gun. Easy on you and gun and the bullet is already in a shape a hollowpoint has to expand a bit to get to.
     
  16. Rampant_Colt

    Rampant_Colt Member

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    Federal 125gr Nyclad
    Federal110gr Hydra-Shok
    W-W 125gr Silvertip
    Hornady 125gr & 158gr XTP
    Hornady 110gr Critical Defense
    Black Hills 125gr JHP
     
  17. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    ^^This.

    135 grain at 860fps isn't that bad at all in the recoil, even though it's +P.

    It is a proven load in actual shootings and in gelatin testing. There are are other choices, but none as proven, over and over again.

    Purchased here in 50 round boxes, its downright affordable too.
     
  18. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    Lots of good suggestions. I but I have a recommendation. Buffalo Bores 150 gr cast wadcutter. Works well at low velocities.
    Howard
     
  19. CDawg

    CDawg Member

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    Nyclad 125gr HP or Buffalo Bore 158gr SWC-HC, whichever the weapon and shooter shoots best. I'm sure there are other rounds that work well, but these are what I've used for a while now in non +P rated weapons and I don't see any reason to change. They are low flash, soft lead and large hollow points with very controlable recoil for quick follow up shots. Accuracy has been consistently good in everything I've launched them from.
     
  20. Hapworth

    Hapworth Member

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    Many good rounds suggested here, but sticking with your original concern that the CorBon's are nasty out of the 12oz. 342 and subsequent request for non +P rounds, I think your options become limited.

    The Speer GD 135 grain SB is undoubtably a champ, and though +P, out of a 64 snubby I find it to be positively mild shooting, but my guess is you'll have a similar issue with it as the CorBon.

    The Buffalo Bore 158 LSWHC, even in standard pressure, is a hot round -- look at the numbers it gets; BB standard is most other manufacturers' +P. Likely it'll make the CorBon preferable by comparison, recoil-wise.

    I still think you should give both a try -- sometimes a particular gun in a particular hand just likes a round that on paper it shouldn't, and these are the three top rounds, in my opinion, for a .38 snubby; if you can make one of them work for you, I think you're well served.

    But for a softer shooting, non +P .38 defensive round, I've added Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain to my short list of snubby defensive ammo options. It's comfortable out of a 15oz. 442, accurate, and so far reliable. I was hesitant over the lighter grain and not sure that a round so easy to shoot had enough thump to do the job, but after much research the reports are consistently good regarding its expansion out of short barrels, and the penetration is adequate for most self-defense situations.

    It is not a perfect round, but it does appear to be a good enough, and for your purposes might be the best choice.
     
  21. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I used to carry a S&W Model 60 and the best load I've found for it was the old FBI load that consisted of a hard cast 158 gr HP over a healthy dose of 231 or Unique to max out at standard pressure. I've never looked, but factory ammo should be available in this load.
     
  22. Creature

    Creature Member

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    ...like the Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP standard pressure load?
     
  23. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Lee 158 grain RF bullet with 4.5 grains of Universal Clays. This bullet has a wide flat nose like a wadcutter with a sharp leading edge, and they load from a speed loader a lot faster than wadcutters or SWC's. It should shoot to point of aim, or very close to it.
     
  24. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    A standard pressure load out of a snub is not going to expand. I second the 148gr wadcutter suggestion.
     
  25. Hapworth

    Hapworth Member

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    Often true, but there are exceptions (or I wouldn't have recommended one of them).

    There's more reading on this round that reports the same, but for a start:

    http://hipowers-handguns.blogspot.com/2008/12/informal-tests-hornady-critical-defense.html

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_D...Data/38spl_HorndayFTX_SpeerGDHP_CorbonDPX.htm

    http://www.brassfetcher.com/38 Special/38 Special Bone Test.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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