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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you tote in your little 38 snubby?

I am using 148 grain wad cutters, factory 700 fps. No +p's or any of that fancy stuff.
 

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I'm currently keeping Speer Gold Dot 135gr.+P GDHP in my 2inch S&W642. From what I've read, this round was specifically designed for short barrel snubbies. Interesting review/description is at http://www.thegunzone.com/speer135jhp38sp.html.

I was surprised in that I didn't think it kicked much more than the two other types of target ammo I've shot through the gun. The others that I've shot through that gun are WWB 130 gr. FMJ and Federal Red box 158 gr. lead round nose.
 

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158 grain Federal Hydrashock .357 magnums.

Well, this little 10 ounce scandium alloy snubbie will shoot either .38 or .357. Makes a nice orange basketball at the muzzle with every shot. If my 100 pound wife can handle it, so can you. Conceals just about anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I picked my ammunition due to the IWBA findings that the wad cutter out of a J-Frame was the only .38 Special Ammunition that passed the three layer denim and ballistic gelatin test. None of the hollow points penetrated to the required mnimum.

2-inch .38 snubs
There seems to be no JHP bullet cartridge that is capable of providing a reasonable balance of adequate penetration and reliable expansion. A bullet that expands will not penetrate deeply enough, whereas a bullet that does not expand will probably overpenetrate.

As a result, we feel the best cartridge for .38 snubbies is the 148 grain wadcutter target load. (MacPherson, Duncan: Bullet Penetration, Ballistic Publications, El Segundo, California, 1994. p. 247, Figure 10-2 Cylinder Bullet Penetration Depth.) The sharp-edged shoulder of the full wadcutter design provides the best penetration and wounding efficiency for this gun/cartridge combination.

Speer offers a total metal jacket (FMJ) 148 grain wadcutter in its Lawman line of ammunition. As opposed to a lead wadcutter, the shoulder of the Speer copper-jacketed bullet is more likely to retain its sharp shoulder on impact. The downside of the Speer bullet is the less sensitive "Cleanfire primer" which may not provide reliable cartridge ignition in guns that have had trigger work, a lighter mainspring installed, or bobbed hammer.

Speer .38 Special 135 grain Gold Dot JHP (sample non-production load):

Test Gun S&W M60 Barrel Length 2.0 Velocity796 fps Bare Gelatin
Denim Covered Gelatin

Penetration 10 inches and a .62 diameter
 

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snubby

what I have is loaded into the Taurus. 4 magsafes and 1 glaser (house load)....
but the lil' ruger ? corbon's..... 8)
 

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I have some Remington 110gr JHPs in mine. It's got a pretty good pop to it. I went with the lighter bullet to help with velocity. I keep the same ammo in a model 13 for mrs38.
 

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Federal 129gr JHP +p (in my Taurus 85)

Federal 158gr JHP 357 Mag (S&W 649) I know you didn't ask about .357's but I had to volunteer! :D
 

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Not Fussy

I'm not fussy. I carry a Glaser Safety Slug as the first up-and-coming round, and the other 4 are some premium 125-grain hollowpoint, +P rated. I realize that IF I get proper mushrooming from the bullet, I will be giving up penetration, perhaps down to as little as 5" if the bullet opens up quickly to .75 caliber or so. On the other hand, I know that in real life, many hollowpoints that expand well in gelatin don't expand in the field, so then the penetration will be much better.

There's nothing wrong with 148 grain wadcutters for defense. I used to load my mom's home defense gun with them, back when she was recoil-shy. (Eventually she worked her way up to full-power loads). I would rather use wadcutters moving at around 900 f.p.s. compared to the standard 700 fps that is intended for 50-foot target shooting, but still it's a decent-sized hunk of lead that will make a nice deep hole in somebody, cutting many body structures that a RNL would just push aside.
 

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Cor-Bon 125 Grain +p load.

Though I want to get my hands on some 115 grain.
 

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Well, I don't have a .38 SPL snub nose, but I do have a Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum with a 6 inch barrel that I like to sport around like Dirty Harry from time to time. I keep it loaded with Remington 125Gr. Golden Sabers.

As for my other pistols

In both my Ruger P89 and Glock 19 9mm, I also keep Remington Golden Sabers. I use the 124Gr. +P load in them.

For my Bersa Thunder .380ACP I use a combination of Remington 102Gr. Golden Sabers and Corbon 90Gr. +P JHP.

For my Springfield Armory M1911, I use Winchester Ranger Talons 230Gr. I have yet to find and use Remington Golden Sabers for this gun.

As you could probably tell, I am most partial to Remington Golden Sabers. I have used many other types, but have found the Remingtons to be the most consistent in accuracy, penetration, and expansion. Also feed reliability in the automatic pistols is top notch.
 

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ICP_Juggalo said:
Well, I don't have a .38 SPL snub nose, but I do have a Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum with a 6 inch barrel that I like to sport around like Dirty Harry from time to time.
Dirty Harry carried a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. It could blow your head "clean off."

How long has it been since you have seen that movie, anyway?
 

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But did he load five rounds or six? Do you remember? Well? Do ya feel lucky? Well? Do ya, Punk!?
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Dirty Harry carried a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. It could blow your head "clean off."

How long has it been since you have seen that movie, anyway?
Hmmm.. like, Never.

I do know one thing about that movie... The writer, John Milius, is on the BOD of the NRA.
 

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that is THE classic movie to buy. At wallyworld at under $10.
You will not be disappointed.... :D
 
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