I'm looking for opinions on what others think is the best .38 spl +P factory self-defense ammo. My concealed carry gun currently is the Model 642 S&W.
Based on recommendatons from, Barenjager, Dawei, and others, the Speer 135 Gr +P Gold Dot "Short Barrel Load' is exactly what I load to my S&W 642!Barenjager said:Awful hard to go wrong with the Speer 135 Gr +P Gold Dot "Short Barrel Load".
+1 for:Item 20A: 158gr., very soft cast, semi wad cutter, (Keith) hollow cavity, with a gas check. This bullet will mushroom violently on impact and will penetrate roughly 14 inches in human flesh. Again, this bullet is gas checked and will not lead your barrel.
S&W mod. 60, 2 inch- 1040 fps (379 ft. lbs.)
S&W mod. 66, 2.5 inch- 1059 fps (393 ft. lbs.)
Ruger SP101, 3 inch- 1143 fps (458 ft. lbs.)
S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch- 1162 fps (474 ft. lbs.)
It took a lot of trial and error for me to discover what my Colt liked best (125gr. JHPs).High performance ammo can differ from firearm to firearm... try the Gold Dots in your pistol and see how they shoot.
Back when the game was "One Shot Stopping Percentage", everyone was focusing on .357 Magnum and .45 ACP, with the premium rounds then around claimed to be around 90+%.piguy said:That Speer load is a good one, but I carry the Federal 158 LHP +P. This is the legendary Chicago police load and was the first to get the .38 off it's knees. It has been used in actual fights for many years. It clocks 800-850 in short guns, is easy on the little guns, hits close to the sights. It stops the BGs 65-70% of the time with one good hit. I like to rely on proven loads for saving those that need saving. This was my back-up combo for many years on the job. Remington and Winchester also market this load. 8)
It is also uses data that was PUBLISHED about 20 years ago. Which means the raw data was actually older by up to another decade or so.IN1894SS said:Marshall's one shot stop has been pretty well debunked. 135 Gold Dot's are a very fine choice.
I have been carrying and shooting 38 Special snubnose revolvers for 40 years. During all that time I have probably shot every 38 Special load known to man. I have thus learned a few things and will share this information with you. That doesn't make me an expert by any stretch of the imagination; it does however show I have some experience. Anyway here goes................DDS444 said:I'm looking for opinions on what others think is the best .38 spl +P factory self-defense ammo. My concealed carry gun currently is the Model 642 S&W.
That is a fair assumption.DDS444 said:Thanks for all the info fellas. ;D When I first took the gun to the range I shot just plain vanilla 158gr HSM standard pressure loads to see how it shot. These had a semi-wad cutter bullet. I was actually surprised with the accuracy of the gun, cause I figured it would take a lot more than 50 rounds to be anywhere near good with it. By the time I was finished I was shooting 2 inch groups at 10 yards which I thought was respectable for a 1 7/8 barrel. So there must be something to what you said Dawei about fixed sight snub .38s being point of aim with 158gr. loads. It did kick quite a bit more than anything else I have, at least to me. Maybe it was just a different kind of recoil coupled with the smaller grip. I shoot my 629 with out any fuss, so I figured that it wouldn't be that bad.. :lol Anyway, I will just have to go and try out a few different loadings and see what the gun likes. Does the lighter bullet in a +P recoil similar to a standard pressure .38 with 158gr. bullets?