Quantcast

THE FBI, .38, 9mm: What goes......

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by UncleEd, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    N. Georgia
    ....around seems to truly come around.

    Reading parts of a book "Guns of the FBI"
    in which the author (retired special agent)
    covers the revolvers and then most recently
    the autos.

    In the heyday of the revolver, the "FBI Load"
    which is a 158 grain lead hollow point semi
    wad cutter bullet, performed quite well. This
    load was also sometimes called the "Chicago
    Load" or the "St. Louis Load,."

    After the FBI tried the 10mm and then the .40
    S&W, it returned to the 9 mm in Glocks. The
    load basically chosen is a subsonic 147 grain
    hollow point.

    And with that I smiled since the 9mm load really
    duplicates what the .38 load used to be.

    The decision to return to the 9mm was its ease of
    handling and also that after studies, it was
    concluded that actual real terminal ballistics in
    handgun cartridges varies very little be they
    magnums, big bores or mid bores.

    Placement is the key.

    Also hit rates usually are around 30 percent or
    less in gun battles.

    So, now the FBI has what is basically a .38 that
    holds something like 17 or 15 rounds instead of
    the usual 6 in revolvers.
     
    jstert, easy, JayZee and 4 others like this.
  2. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    2,863
    Location:
    Southern California
    JR24 and DR505 like this.
  3. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    N. Georgia
    You may be correct as of now. The book was referring to a 2015
    choice which was a 147 grain Speer Gold Dot standard velocity
    with a polymer insert in the hollow point. It was labeled the G2
    and was at the time restricted to law enforcement only.

    Standard velocity was meant to be subsonic.
     
    Pat Riot likes this.
  4. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    Within the lightning
    Back in 2018 the FBI split its ammunition contracts among 3 companies.
    https://www.guns.com/news/2018/04/30/fbi-divides-35m-contract-to-three-ammo-companies

    Winchester got 9mm & .40 contracts (still need .40 ammunition during the transition).
    https://thinkingafield.org/2018/05/fbi-9mm-contract-awarded-to-winchester-ammunition.html

    Hornady got a contract for 9mm.
    https://www.americanrifleman.org/ar...r-of-the-week-hornady-wins-fbi-9-mm-contract/

    Vista (Federal) got a contract for 9mm training ammunition.
    https://www.ammoland.com/2018/04/fb...al-premium-training-ammunition/#axzz6ccWntCek

    It's not uncommon for major LE/Gov contracts to be awarded to more than one ammo company. Nowadays it makes sense to have more than one pipeline for duty & training ammo, since you can't predict production and supply issues down the road.

    The state ammo contract here in CA was awarded to both Federal and Speer (both part of the Vista umbrella).
     
    Pat Riot likes this.
  5. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    2,863
    Location:
    Southern California
    Ah, okay. Thank you. I thought I had missed something. :)


    Thanks. Good info. :thumbup:
     
  6. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    990
    Location:
    ‘Merica!
    IIRC, that was a Plus-P loading.

    Sam
     
  7. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2019
    Messages:
    318
    I bet a 147 or 134 grain modern hollowpoint expands better and more reliably than the 158gr .38 lead bullets of old..... and all things being equal I’d rather have an approx .50-.60 sized hole than a neat .38 hole, if I had to choose between them.

    That being said, from a recoil standpoint I bet they’re very similar. 9mm/.38 seems to be a practical sweet spot in terms of controllability with a realistically practical amount of training, and “enough” stopping power, particularly when optimized through modern bullet technology.

    Too, in the old days if .38 was criticized it often fell down when things like shooting through car doors was considered. But older cars were built a lot more stoutly than modern cars, with thicker steel. So it’s probably not as much of a concern for modern 9mm as it may have been for the older .38s.
     
    qwert65 and horsey300 like this.
  8. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    12,190
    Steel barrier testing is included in the FBI protocol.
     
    Alte Schule and Mosin77 like this.
  9. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2019
    Messages:
    318
    IIRC that Hornady Critical Duty alluded to above is supposed to be quite effective at barrier penetration.
     
  10. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,963
    Location:
    Colorado Front Range
    Don't forget about the 147 gr JHP .38 Special +P+ utilized for the Model 13 during the .40 cal transition period. I have have some of the Federal Hydra-Shok version and always looking for the Winchester version.
     
  11. DR505

    DR505 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    Idaho
    Right before I retired I was issued a Glock 19M and Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain ammo. As an FI, I can tell you that the firearms qualification failure rate dropped considerably with the switch back to 9mm. That also can be partly accounted for by the change to the qualification course. In the old course it started at 25 yards with 18 rounds. If you dropped more than 10 of those 18 you failed. The new course started at 3 yards and had far fewer longer range shots...if you did well earlier in the course you could miss all your 25 yards shots and still pass.
     
    qwert65 likes this.
  12. golden

    golden Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,526
    The recoil question and the fact that many law enforcement agencies ignored it when adopting the .40 S&W was one of the reasons that they are now switching to the 9m.m. I was issued the .40 S&W and my agency went the two different guns, the BERETTA 96D Brigadier (these very accurate guns wore out after one decade of shooting the very powerful ammo we used) and the H&K P-2000. The H&K lasted longer, but was designed for harder recoil and ours had a plastic ring around the spring to help cushion the blow. Still, we went though three different types of ammo to cut the recoil.
    We started with a .357 magnum like 155 grain jhp at 1200 fps, then after the BERETTA'S were gone, we adopted the 135 grain jhp at 1200 fps, basically a 9m.m. +P load and ended with the FEDERAL 180 grain HST jhp. This 1010 fps load depended on the high performance of the HST bullet to offset the lack of velocity and it worked well, but still recoiled more than a 9m.m.

    Using high performance 9m.m. bullets like the bonded hollow points, I think the 9m.m. is the best compromise.
    The .38 Special ruled the police market for decades because in a 2 pound mid size revolver, like the S&W model 10 or 15, it was a great compromise between power, control, practical accuracy (what the average shooter can do with it as opposed to what a nationally ranked target shooter can) and being comfortable to carry all day. THE ONLY REAL PROBLEM WAS THAT IT DID NOT STOP RELIABLY!

    Jim
     
    JR24 and Kleanbore like this.
  13. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    1,029
    I like the Buckeye SD loads ( my loads)
    40 S&W 180gr HST
    38spl 130gr HST
    357 Mag 125gr FTX
    10mm 180 GD UW
    45 acp 230 gr Golden Saber
    9mm 115gr +P Rem
    380acp 90gr XTP UW

    They are alot of variables when any agency picks a load .... being that agents come in different sizes and skill sets
     
    Riomouse911 likes this.
  14. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,618
    Location:
    Ca.
    True that! As with just about everything, one size doesn’t fit all. There are a lot of compromises, especially with large agencies with a wide variety of people working there.

    A quality 9mm +P load like the HST/Golden Saber/SXT/Critical Duty in a mid-sized auto loader will serve agents/officers/deputies well across a vast spectrum of body and hand sizes, gun skills and work assignments.

    Stay safe.
     
    JR24 likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice