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.38 ammo ?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by 635 G, May 28, 2011.

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  1. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Just got a S&W air weight, I'm not a hand gun shooter @ all. Looking for advice for personal defense ammo.

    I go to the range a few times a year to check out the Crimson Trace & the gun function. I live in a condo & I'm concerned about over penetration.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  2. Jimmyc

    Jimmyc TS Member

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    Phil,
    Any good hollow point will do well. Nyclads are pretty good. Just don't go +p if your worried about penetration.
    Jimmy
     
  3. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    There's nothing like a good old-fashioned wadcutter target load for low noise, little to no muzzle flash, light recoil and almost no chance of the bullet passing through your target and the walls behind it. I would not want to fire a full-power load with a short-barreled revolver in a dark room - you'd be momentarily blind and deaf after the first shot, so you'll have to make it count!

    Ed
     
  4. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    635G, I had that same little revolver. The light weight makes it somewhat hard to control heavy recoil. Federal makes a .38 110 gr hollow point self defense load that is very controlable and shoots accurately in your pistol. As a second choice, Remingtion makes a personal defense 125 gr hollow point that also works well. The pistol will shoot 158 grain hollow points, but the added recoil really twists the gun in your hand, taking time to correct your grip so that you can get a second shot. The light hollow points I suggested will not penetrate a windshield, but if you are trying to chase after bad guys, a pocket snub nose is the wrong tool.
     
  5. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy TS Member

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    There used to be a few fragmenting .38 special loads around. I still have six of the Glaser safety slugs. If you can still find them they would be an excellent choice. Other companies made them but I can't recall a name. They were very pricey. 6 of them cost as much as box of regular hollow points but they had an excellent record of one shot stops.
     
  6. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    I'm with Ed's continued wisdom. The difficulty in finding wadcutter/target loads may vex you some however. Loading your own can be the best fix.....breakemall
     
  7. Allen-MX8

    Allen-MX8 Member

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    Check out Hornady's "Critical Defense" ammo. I keep my S&W .38 spl revolvers loaded with them. (That is the ones I have in my house in select locations and/or for carry).

    Regards, Allen
     
  8. Dr. Dirt

    Dr. Dirt TS Member

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    What AvragEd said but when out of your home I suggest Speer Gold Dot 135gr. 38 spl+p very good load.
     
  9. Dr. Dirt

    Dr. Dirt TS Member

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    Also I would NOT use handloads. If you have to defend yourself if push comes to shove and you are in court the lawyers will try to burn you for useing HOT? handloads I use factory ammo only.
     
  10. deercreek

    deercreek Well-Known Member

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    This has been a big discussion recently in my household and with my friends. My wife's carry gun is a M-642. The JHP +P's are just too much for her to handle. I myself do not like the violent snap in the hand. I am going to do a test with some full wadcutter target loads and some standard SWC loads and see how that goes. One must be able to shoot one handed, and one handed with the weak hand too. Don't forget about the need to shoot wounded too. I would much rather have less bullet energy and be able to actually place the bullet where needed rather than shooting something so powerful it deters the ability to do so. Anyway, one of my buddies made the point clear, standard lead loads have been taking lives for years without problems.
     
  11. Claydotter

    Claydotter Active Member

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    I`m with Dr. Dirt.

    The Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. "Short Barrel" loads are quite good. These are about the limit that you can realistically shoot in these small lightweight guns.

    Regards, Pete
     
  12. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I raise my hand to second the Hornady Critical defense...watched tests...extra powerful in 38 with perfect penetration and expansion even when passing through heavy clotheing but never exited...hits hard and stays put in the target...to me thats perfect..I have it in Hi-Power 40cal in the nightstand and also used the 357Mag in my Marlin rifle to destroy my groundhogs who love my backyard
     
  13. RENOSTEVE

    RENOSTEVE Member

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    Second for Speer Gold Dot SB, start with the above link and when you are finished there go to Parts II & III. A very friendly informational blog (ammo, holsters, cleaning, maintenance, etc.) surrounding the S&W X42 J frames.
     
  14. neofight

    neofight TS Member

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    Looks like you got plenty of help on the loads, be sure you have a good set of comfy grips, really helps.My wife has the same gun and we finally popped the wood grips and put on a set of Pachmayrs. It made a big difference in the comfort department.
     
  15. neofight

    neofight TS Member

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    Looks like you got plenty of help on the loads, be sure you have a good set of comfy grips, really helps.My wife has the same gun and we finally popped the wood grips and put on a set of Pachmayrs. It made a big difference in the comfort department.
     
  16. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    Please pattern the load you intend to use. Some of the +P 110gr and MagSafe offerings will pattern well below point-of-aim.

    Taurus 851 Ultra-Lite Titanium .38+P Speer Gold Dot 125 JHP; 2 hand unsupported hold at 7 yds. with Pachmayr Compac Grips TR-C

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Claysmoke27

    Claysmoke27 Member

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    +1 on the Nyclads. I have kept them in my Model 49 Bodyguard since the 80s.
     
  18. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    any brand name, lightweight defense bullet will do nicely: they're all the same. good luck with it
     
  19. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Wadcutter loads are readily available at MidwayUSA - cheap, too. Fiocchis are on backorder right now, but they're only $20 for a box of 50 and they shoot well for me. The brass is very reloadable - consistent case length and no primer pocket issues.

    Ed
     
  20. BT99

    BT99 Member

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    Now that the ammo question is settled, I'll add something else. I speak
    from almost 30 years of being a LEO. IF you must use the handgun, make sure the doer is dead. Then there is only one version of what happened, yours.
    Remember that you feared for your life and where is my attorney.
     
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