A lightweight .38 Special ammo choice that won’t punish you would be the Hornady Critical Defense, or Critical Defense Lite.
How resistant to recoil are you? The smallest have diminished capacity, five shots vs. six. They are easy to shoot, but they will not deliver performance like the stouter loads. These longer barrels, driving their bullets faster, will generate more expansion and do so with less muzzle blast and recoil. Smith & Wesson made a bazillion .38 Special Model 10s, most with tapered five-inch barrels.
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Submit Products for Review; Ammo Tests; Wednesday, March 26, 2014. It was an all-stainless S&W Model 60, a police trade-in backup gun. Thank you!
Just remember we can't get something for nothing.
Primary law enforcement service cartridge from 1920s to 1990s.
What if we move up? 158-gr. Wadcutters are an anomaly.
I & II; Gun Digest Big Fat Book of the .45 ACP, Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Gun Digest Book of the AK and SKS, Gun Digest Book of the Glock and Gunsmithing: Pistols and Revolvers, among other titles. They are easy to shoot, but they will not deliver performance like the stouter loads.
My thoughts on this came from testing the Hornady Critical Defense ammo in a .38 snubbie. Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first... With the introduction of the XD-M Elite line of pistols, Springfield Armory one-ups itself. ©2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. This is a new approach, and we see it working in the .38 Special. Disclosure: These links are affiliate links. The Black Hills load exceeds the FBI minimum and risks exiting a block of gelatin.
It is super-soft to shoot, but the extra velocity can cause it to hit low, below your usual point of aim, due to barrel lift timing differences. $71.46 brownells.com.
Hornady FTX (l.) delivers mild recoil, expansion and penetration. A super-soft load to shoot, if you were arming someone who was really recoil sensitive, using wadcutters might be a viable approach.
That's a combination difficult to dislike for a house gun. You get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get. M36.
A Ruger LCR weighs 13 ounces while the Model 60 is a relative heavyweight at 19 ounces. They took the old reversed hollow-base wadcutter, put a jacket on it, tuned the jacket for consistent expansion, and then loaded it to normal .38 Special performance, not wadcutter performance. You need the barrel length to get all the velocity the extra pressure promises. Then, sometime in the 1960s, when so many other things changed, the .38 Special cartridge became something to look down upon, mock and even disrespect.
The 110-grain standard-pressure loads ran just under 1,000 fps, and the +P loads ran just over that mark.
Choosing .38 Special Ammo For Self-Defense. Get the latest news and reviews from Gundigest.com. A .38 with a barrel of four inches or longer can serve well as a house gun.
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To break 800 fps and approach 850 in a compact .380, you have to settle for 95 grains of bullet weight. However, the velocity loss means marginal expansion at best, and while the nose shows some signs of starting to open, it isn't the classic mushroom shape. Now, the lack of expansion and the modest velocity of the heavyweights may be of concern to some. The heavyweights top out at the normal for .38 Special weight, 158 grains. I know, it sounds like the most basic common-sense advice you’ve ever heard. A long time ago, a cop friend told me to carry it with Speer Gold Dot HP 135 gr ammo. But, if you want the benefits of extra pressure you need extra barrel length. One 115-grain load—a 115-grain +P+—topped 1,200 fps but that was absolutely no fun to shoot. You can have jacketed hollow points, all-lead or lead hollow points.
Get 12 Issues a year of the country's best firearms writing. If you're like most, you were somewhat. As a house gun or a nightstand gun, a "too big to carry" .38 can be a useful tool and a comforting one, too. While the performance of the .38 measures up to our 9mm expectations, the hue and cry goes up: "It doesn't hold enough ammo." And for a long time it was a caliber rather well thought of.
These are 110-grain bullets and they do not get to 1,000 fps out of a 2-inch barrel. Smith & Wesson .38 Special $415.56 guns.com. Hornady Critical Defense 38 Special 110 Grain - Clothing and Clear Gel Tests As a follow up to our test of the +P version of this load last week, this week we look at Hornady Critical Defense 38 Special 110 grain FTX in standard pressure format. Hornady FTX (l.) delivers mild recoil, expansion and penetration.
SWC $29.99 brownells.com. Before you snort in derision, that's from a barrel just shy of two inches long.
Short-barreled revolvers are harder to shoot, kick more and deliver less performance than those that are bigger. Why? This handgun lives up to what Ruger wanted to build: a solid, dependable, easy-racking carry/home defense pistol at a better-than-reasonable price. From the looks of your chart, my cop friend was in the ballpark. Pressure is all. Out of a three-inch barreled 9mm, 115s typically go the same speed that 110s do out of a snubbie revolver: just over 1,000 fps. I now have a M637 Airweight. While the .38 Special Gold Dots would fail the FBI barrier tests—and I do not know of any .38 Special load that passes those—it exceeds the FBI minimum 12 inches in bare gel.
All Rights Reserved. Editor's Notes: This article is an excerpt from Choosing Handgun Ammo: The Facts That Matter Most for Self-Defense by Patrick Sweeney. Hotter loads are generally easier to shoot out of larger revolvers. Taurus introduces the compact version of their wildly successful 9mm pistol; the G3. Be honest with yourself on this one, because no one else is going to take the recoil hit for you. One aspect of a .38 Special revolver that people might have forgotten is accuracy. The performance of the Honey Badger, a solid copper, fluted bullet at less than robust recoil, seems to have been made for the .38 Special. Jacketed bullets or lead?
So far I've been considering the performance of the .38 Special in ultra-compact carry guns. In +P form (r.) the FTX delivers more expansion and penetration—but at the cost of more recoil. The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all... Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? What is your carry need? You do, however have a few choices to make, choices that will determine your path in life. The .38 was invented in the late 19th century, given up for dead in the latter half of the 20th, and resurrected by the time the 21st rolled around. | Caribou Media Group earns a commission from qualifying purchases.
Curious about this, I tried some other loads as well in the Model 60. A 9mm will match the 100-grain weight, even best it, with 115-grain bullets. First off, no .380 load in existence uses a bullet of 110 grains. The next step up in weight was Speer Gold Dots, 135 grains and +P pressure.
And as a final bonus, when it comes to reloading, the .38 Special is king.
You will now and then read of a reloader or a competition shooter who only loads in new or. If you walk into a gun shop and its sells ammo, it will have .38 Special ammo of some kind on the shelf. Rugers are legion, and the medium-size wheelguns are in the mid-30s when you tote up the ounces. However, a quick flip through my chrono logbook shows me that 115 is not a laser beam bullet out of a compact 9mm that you'd expect.
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