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Good .38 Super Self-Defense Loads?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Deanimator, Jul 30, 2011.

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  1. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Does anyone have any recommendations for good commercial .38 Super self-defense loads? I'm only interested in JHPs.

    I carry 147gr. Winchester White Box in my 9x19mms. I'm not a fan of very light bullets, so I'd like something 124gr. or heavier.

    I'm looking for something to carry in a 5" RIA M1911.

    Thanks.
     
  2. khegglie

    khegglie Member

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    what loads are available in your area?
     
  3. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    No clue. This isn't a good area for quality selection in gun stores. I was expecting to have to order online.
     
  4. hank327

    hank327 Member

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    The most commonly available 38 Super JHP load suitable for self defense is the Winchester Silvertip 125 grain +P. IIRC, it is the ballistic equivalent of the 124 grn 9mm +P loads. Corbon also has JHP 38 Super loads available. They have a 115 grain JHP and a 125 JHP both loaded to +P velocities. The Corbon 125 grn load runs about 1325 fps out of a 5" barrel so that puts it pretty close to 357 Sig velocities. Corbon uses what appears to be Sierra JHP bullets and they are the truncated cone style. Some pistols have problems reliably feeding these style bullets. The Winchester Silvertips have a more tapered bullet and in my experience feed very reliably.

    I don't know of anyone commercially loading the 38 Super with a JHP heavier than 125 grains. In fact, other than Winchester and Corbon, I don't know of anyone else that offers a 38 Super JHP.
     
  5. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Thanks.
     
  6. classcpl

    classcpl Member

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    Double Tap ammunition offers 115, 125 and 147 grain JHP loads for the 38 Super. They also offer a Barnes 115 grain TAC-XP solid copper HP load at an advertised 1425 FPS from a "1911."


    Hope that helps.
     
  7. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I have shot Silvertips. They load well. They go bang. Silvertips are an old technology, though. One of the members here did a ballistic gellatin test with it a few years back.


    Ballistic gelatin test results : .38 Super 125gr +P Winchester Silvertip

    Not a lot in the way of factory hollow points. Most folks, including me, handload for it. I prefer something 124 grain and above myself.

    The only other major "house" I know loading a hollow point for it besides those already mentioned is Wilson Combat. They use a 125 grain Hornady XTP, going a bit faster than the Silvertip load, perhaps 100 fps faster depending on what your barrel & chamber will push it.

    I think it's a MidwayUSA exclusive, though.

    Wilson Combat Ammunition 38 Super 124 Grain Hornady XTP Jacketed Hollow Point Box of 20

    Hornady XTPs aren't the newest technology, either. But they load well. Wilson's shop is loading them a bit faster. I've shot groundhogs with them, and it makes quite a mess coming out the other end. They've all dropped dead right there.

    I've had loading problems with the Sierra 125 gr bullet in the past. I think Cor-bon is still using it. Another old technology bullet.


    Of all the choices available, if I didn't handload, I'd get the XTP load.
     
  8. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I don't carry handloads, but I load all of my practice ammunition.

    Thanks for the information.
     
  9. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I don't know of a 147 JHP factory load in the .38 super, but maybe there is one. The Cor-Bon 124gr @ 1350fps is about the hottest. I load my own, and I get a 147 to about 1250, and that is pretty close to a factory .357 with a 158 from a similar barrel. If you really like the Super and want a good 147 load, you'll have to reconsider handloads.
     
  10. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, that's pretty stompin'. Supported barrel and small rifle primer territory stompin'.
     
  11. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    I encourage you to drop by the site I link to below...

    http://www.38super.net/Pages/Factory2.html

    As you scroll down the page there is a review of hp ammunition. Any of those will work. Some perhaps a bit more than others.

    tipoc
     
  12. Lucky 7

    Lucky 7 Member

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    I use CorBon DPX in my Witness Match or 9x23 from Winchester (get an extra round in the double stack mags). Both are wicked little rounds that easily reach out to 100 yards if you do your part (I know, outside the realm of SD shoots but it is a skill shooters should have).

    Regards,
    Lucky
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  13. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    I use Georgia Arms 125gr gold dot loads they chrono 1280fps from my LW commander 4 1/4" bbl and are very accurate. they also are cheap enough to buy 500 and actually test them.
     
  14. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    I don't pack a Super but I like the caliber and own a couple of guns in 38 Super.

    If you must have a factory load that Double Tap 115 at 1425 exactly matches my own load that I think is great for the caliber. Makes it near 357 Magnum levels in energy and with the Super you don't need a heavier bullet which is primarily for deeper penetration. The 115 will go as deep as you need.

    We love photos... here's one of my Supers.


    standard.jpg
     
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