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Lowest recoil 38spl cartridge?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GVMan, May 1, 2007.

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  1. GVMan

    GVMan Member

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    I was hoping to ease my wife and possible teenagers into shooting a .38spl S&W 642 snubby. Anyone know of some especially low strength ammo? Seems to be a lot of info on the best +P defensive rounds which is great but what is at the opposite end of the spectrum? I'm not against ordering of the internet but some widely available suggestions would also be helpful.
     
  2. floridaboy

    floridaboy Member

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    Any brand of mid range wadcutters. Typically 148 grs doing about 700-750 fps. Minimal recoil, and very accurate.
     
  3. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Couple that I can think of...

    Federal loads a 130-gr or so FMJ round nose. PMC had a similar load, both were nice easy on the hands shooters.

    The 148-Gr or so plain lead wadcutters are also loaded lightly.
     
  4. bp78

    bp78 Member

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    A forum member here loaded up a batch for my 642 that are downright anemic. They're very, very light and perfect for my wife to try out the 642. Factory wadcutters and LRN 158gr were too stout.

    .38 special
    2.5 gr of red dot, roughly 700fps.
    115gr wadcutter projectile
     
  5. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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  6. fiVe

    fiVe Member

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    Check out the following from Georgia Arms

    Pistol Ammo
    158gr LRN 775 fps
    158gr LSWC 775 fps
    148gr LWC 750 fps

    Cowboy Ammo
    158gr RNFP 750 fps
    125gr RNFP 750 fps
     
  7. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong guys, but the the Barnes Copper Bullet that Corbon DPX uses is larger than the norm...but very light, hence the 110 gr. +P configuration. It would seem to me that the physics of the powder moving this lighter all-copper bullet would make it faster and, since there would be less weight resistance, less recoil would be felt. Personally, I do not believe the Corbon DPX has as much felt recoil compared to any other bullet I've fired (not counting target load/wadcutters).
     
  8. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I've been happy with the low recoil of Remington UMC 130gr. FMJ.
    Also Blazer LRN 158gr.
    Both have been very consistent, and low recoil in my experience.
     
  9. Brassman

    Brassman Member

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    GVMan

    If you reload you can tailor-make some very light loads. You just have to be careful about shooting those same light loads in a 6" revolver. It's possible that you could stick a light round in the barrel, which isn't a terrible problem if you stick one and then remove it from the barrel. If you don't realize that you have stuck one and pull the trigger again, it could ruin your whole day. My choice for lightly loaded .38sp is 148gr BBWC over Win 231, extremely accurate and easily shot. I have loaded some 100gr BBWC, but I can't find any right now. It's not wise to give recipes over the internet, but I can mail them to you, if you desire.
     
  10. Headless

    Headless Member

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    I also find the DPX +P 110gr to be very mild but still performing excellently. UMC target ammo is considerably harsher.
     
  11. HornsKeith

    HornsKeith Member

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    What's the difference between pistol ammo and cowboy ammo? It seems like a 125gr moving at 750 fps would be quite the ticket for easy 642 shooting. I shot an Atlanta Arms 125gr round that I bought at a local range, but I don't know the stats on it (and the Atlanta Arms page doesn't list it either).
     
  12. Brassman

    Brassman Member

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    For SD rounds, the Federal 110gr JHP Low Recoil Hydra-shok is a good non +P carry round. That's what I have been carrying for the past couple of months. They're still pretty stout, but nowhere near as punishing as the Rem 158gr LSWHP that I normally carry. GVMAN - I don't carry my reloads, I just practice and train others with them. From a legal standpoint it's not wise to carry reloads.
     
  13. fiVe

    fiVe Member

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    Good question and good point. I was just listing the rounds offered by GA Arms that were in the 700 fps range.
     
  14. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    I lucked into 3000 rounds of 148gr SWC match ammo from my ex cop freind who ran the APD range. I have a bunch of .357s and of all the TC has the most felt recoil with the relatively light octagonal barrel, kinda snappy. With all the different .38spl or .357 I have tried this 148gr SWC shoots more like 22mag than anything else as far as recoil goes. It is very accurate and pleasureable to shoot.
     
  15. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Member

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    Hornskeith/Five: 700 fps is just too slow out of such a short barrel. Now me...I want my hollow point bullets to mushroom not imitate FMJ.
     
  16. Headless

    Headless Member

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    I don't think the OP is planning on using these for self defense - it sounded from their post like they wanted to get new shooters into shooting easily.
     
  17. GVMan

    GVMan Member

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    Yes

    Yes, I am asking about target / introductory shooting only. I appreciate the advice on the lower SD rounds though; as she might want to try that some day. I didn't think I would ever consider reloading but with the prices of ammo lately - I have started to save my brass just in case.
     
  18. Headless

    Headless Member

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    I too have started saving .38spl brass though I'm not yet set up for reloading. Figure you can't start too early, and if I never use it for reloading...well...brass prices aren't going down :p The DPX 110gr are probably the best performing 'low recoil' rounds around...amusing since they ARE +P rounds. Those light bullets just don't have the same kick/torque of the 150 grainers.
     
  19. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Every summer I start new revolver shooters with Speer plastic bullets and plastic cases. You assemble them yourself with just a primer (no reloading tools/skill needed) and a plastic bullet.

    The Speers are accurate enough for cans at 40 feet. After several cylinders of killing Pepsi cans with these plastic rounds I let the shooters try wadcutters and paper targets.

    It works for me.
     
  20. Headless

    Headless Member

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    Where do you get those? Can you re-use the casings?
     
  21. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    Federal makes a high energy low recoil 110gr hp hydra-shock for people who adore the 642. I believe they call it the personal defense round.
     
  22. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Member

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    I agree. This is a great round for anyone who wants to enjoy a .38 Spl.
     
  23. DBR

    DBR Member

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    IMHO a 642 with any real load (not rubber bullets) is not a good gun for training newbs. It is hard to shoot well. The recoil is out of proportion to its ballistic power. The sights are lousy. The trigger is heavy. (I carry one always, but I have been shooting for 50yrs)

    If you want to get new shooters enthusiastic about our sport start them with a 22lr with good sights at about 15 feet. They need to see positive results right away and not get beat up in the process. Then, transition them to revolvers with standard size guns so they can learn the basic revolver skills before they are challenged by lightweight snubbies

    On another topic: The Corbon DPX is a light bullet but goes about 1100fps from a snubby. The power factor which is a good indicator of recoil is about 121. This is the same as most standard 38spl loads out of a 4" gun.
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Not to pull this thread OT but I have to say that a Snub Nose .38 Revolver probably is a bad idea to break in a new shooter to the round. If you have a 4" all Steel revolver available, something like a Model 10, you will get better results IMO. Once they become comfortable shooting a ,38 Special in the heavier revolver you can move them to the Snub Nose and they will be better off, again, IMO.

    No matter what factory load you run through your M642 it will feel stout to a new shooter. A heavy 4" revolver will help that a lot. Also, Like someone said above, Remington 130 gr FMJ UMC ammo seems to feel light and might be a good place to start your tests. Blazer (Aluminum) also feels like a lighter load even though they claim it isn't, especially in .357 Magnum.
     
  25. M38

    M38 Member

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    I had my new 642 out to the range a week ago and tired Magtech and Black Hills blue box target wadcutters and the Black Hills POI was close to POA, the Magtech's where hitting high & to the left. Both were mild in the recoil department.
     
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