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Snub Nose .38 Special...Critial Defense or Nyclad?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Southern Shooter, Sep 20, 2012.

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  1. Southern Shooter

    Southern Shooter Member

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    I have an ultra-lite Taurus M85 revolver with the 2" barrel that I like to carry concealed. This winter, I will be in an area of the country that tends to bundle up well once the snow starts to fall. The two .38 Special ammos that I will have easy access to are the Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain NON +P and the Federal Nyclad 125 grain NON +P. Whichever I use it needs to perform through thick winter clothing.

    Which one would you choose to carry in the gun and why?

    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Either will work just fine.
     
  3. Mac Attack

    Mac Attack Member

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    I am the heavier is better crowd when it comes to.38 special. I carry Buffalo Bore .on +P 158 gr LSWCHPs in my Colt Detective Special. Before I settled on BB ammo I tried various make and weight defensive ammo but settled on BB because of their solid ballistic tests, recommendation online and found they shot better groups for me. Do some research and you will find the 158 gr BB matches the old FBI .38 Special load that worked for decades as a reliable manstopper.
     
  4. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Those are only only two factory .38SPL loads I still buy, or would if I could find Nyclads for a decent price. Any decent factory 110 or 125gr HP will work if budget constraints are in play.
     
  5. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    I can't shoot 'groups' in a featherweight.

    My bride has Nyclad in her Cobra. I have Rem 158 Lead HP +P in my Airweight revolver. Both have Birami Hip Grips and a Tyler Grip adapter. The 158s aren't fun to shoot, but will make it through a tempered glass storm door or side window of an auto. Nyclad is kinda 'iffey' on penetration.

    salty
     
  6. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Considering the Nyclad is scarce as hens' teeth, you better go with the Hornady load. Their newest stuff, per American Rifleman, is supposed to be really good.

    Q
     
  7. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Being gun guys (and gals) we tend to over-think things.

    I think my Diamondback is loaded with Hornady 110 now.

    But remember...if you need it there is virtually no chance that any good round will "do the job" better than the next. It is ALL about shot placement.
     
  8. skt239

    skt239 Member

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    I would go with the CD, it's a more current design and easy to find.
     
  9. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements. If penetration is your concern, run from the Hornaday.:eek:

    LD
     
  10. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    And to add, Critical Duty is intended to be fired from "duty" sized handguns, not compact and subcompacts.
     
  11. Hapworth

    Hapworth Member

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  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't like using a light bullet in the .38 Special so of the 2 rounds you listed I would go with the 125gr Nyclad ammo. But, if the 110gr load is more accurate in your revolver that would change my mind.

    The best bullet in the world will do you no good unless you make good hits.
     
  13. Okie45

    Okie45 Member

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    Just load both rounds, alternate every other round, spin the cylinder, and close it. Play ammo roulette with the bad guys. Actually, both rounds will serve you well, just load the one you shoot best with. You can argue all day that one "may" not penetrate deep enough, or one "may" not expand due to the clothes, but I seriously doubt typical winter clothing will keep either round from doing its job if you do yours.
     
  14. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    I heard this tripe as well, their marketing guru would have you think you'd need a federal permit to use their duty ammo!:D

    LD
     
  15. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Unlike Critical Defense, the core of Critical Duty is made of hardened lead, which requires a higher velocity to achieve reliable expansion, and which is why it's meant to be fired from full size handguns.
     
  16. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Critical Duty in .38Spl.?
     
  17. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    I'd go with the Speer 135 gr +P short barrel load before either of the choices you listed. Second choice would probably be Nyclad.
     
  18. ironhead7544

    ironhead7544 Member

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    If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing with a snub, I would go with the Buffalo Bore full wadcutters. These are loaded hotter than the factory soft wadcutters. The Buffalo Bore 158gr SWCHPGC would also be good but HP bullets have been known to plug up and not expand.
     
  19. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    The CD I got shoots POA in my Charter at 20 feet.
     
  20. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    As I've said on numerous threads, all of Hornaday's ammo with the exception of their Critical Duty round, fails to meet minimum FBI penetration requirements. If penetration is your concern, run from the Hornaday.

    Please post links(s) or better yet your actual test results supporting this conclusion.

    And to add, Critical Duty is intended to be fired from "duty" sized handguns, not compact and subcompacts.

    Thank goodness I don’t get my information from the Internet. I actually test ammunition in actual firearms in real world outside conditions.

    I did a side by side comparison test of Hydra-Shock +P and Critical Defense +P out of a Taurus 85 2” barrel revolver. I fired through four layers of heavy jean demin and four layers on cotton shirt that covered a three foot deep water barrel. This represents heavy dress for summertime.

    Half of the Hydra-Shoks expanded 100%. The other half expanded partway into a oblong shape. All of the Critical Defense expanded 100%.

    I know from previous tests the deep penetration of the 158 lead semi-wadcutter also known as the FBI load.

    Remember that some JHP's will fail to expand after the nose cavity fills up with material.

    Until you actually test your ammunition in your gun all of the information, including mine, you read should be treated as a lie.

    p.s. Shooting things is fun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  21. cleardiddion

    cleardiddion Member

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    Depending on the availability of the ammo in your area would dictate what you carry.

    Personally, I can find Nyclads fairly easily in my area for a decent price so that's what I have stoked in my J frame.
     
  22. 1911Jeeper

    1911Jeeper Member

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    Since the OP is talking about self defense and not about defeating barriers to apprehend felons, the FBI argument is as useless as the one about Mil-Spec AR-15's.

    Simple facts are, heavy clothing tends to clog hollow points and prevent expansion. Critical Defense loads appear to solve that issue.

    If The CD rounds are reliable and accurate in your firearms, you should have no concerns with their performance.
     
  23. F-111 John

    F-111 John Member

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    Some actual ballistics tests for .38 spl from a snub nose from TNOutdoors9. He uses ballistics media and 4 layers of denim:

    Based on these tests, the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel would be my choice.
     
  24. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    You need only look to Hornaday itself, the Critical Duty round was developed because their other rounds failed FBI criteria and many departments would not allow their use. On a personal note, I attempted to dispatch an injured Deer on the roadside, and a point blank shot behind it's ear failed to penetrate the skull with my 1911. I still stand by my statement that their products are light and under powered.

    LD
     
  25. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    If I knew I would be up against heavy clothing, I wouldn't bring a snub. That's why I carry a 3" .357 or a full size 1911 in winter.

    I know not everyone can afford multiple guns, but if you have a different gun to bring, I would. I only carry my 38 snub in summer. When I wear heavier clothing for winter, I carry something bigger, just like I don't wear winter boots all summer.

    Different tools for different needs.

    But..... if that's the only gun you can bring, then a heavier bullet is probably a good idea with heavy clothes in play.
     
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