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dennis strapon
Advanced Member

USA
1107 Posts

Posted - September 14 2018 :  1:57:16 PM  Show Profile  Send dennis strapon an AOL message  Send dennis strapon a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I have heard from several folks that the 135 gr G.D. load by Speer has not been expanding very well. I went to the 125 gr. G.D. load by Underwood ammo. The expansion is much better.Anyone have any other suggestions for a .38 snub. I an fond of the 158 gr. SWCHP +P load also. Thanks, Dennis.

dennis R. strapon

Evan
Administrator

34394 Posts

Posted - September 14 2018 :  2:26:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't who told you that. All the report I'v heard have been positive. I think too many people have unreasonable expectations. Nothing out of a .38 snub will expand to .90 caliber!

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
3415 Posts

Posted - September 14 2018 :  2:53:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
+1! IIRC, the load was developed by Speer at the request of NYPD. All reports indicate that NYPD is very happy with the load's performance.
I carry it.

A snubby needs the 'best it can get'... and the 135 GD+P seems to be working in the 'real world'.


Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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miragetex
Junior Member

USA
106 Posts

Posted - September 14 2018 :  5:31:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you can consider a fast light bullet load, Super Vel offers a .38 Special "super snub" 90 gr. JHP load they advertise at 1300 fps from a 1 7/8" S&W. I haven't tested it, but I've tested several Super Vel loads and they all meet or exceed advertised velocities. Peter Pi knows what he's doing.
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5452 Posts

Posted - September 14 2018 :  7:08:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also trust the Gold Dot Short Barrel load, in my pocket snubby and a 2.75" Security Six; that is based on the NYPD's reported numerous successes with it.

As to that light, fast Super Vel load, I'm wondering if that high velocity will cause shallow penetration and too-soon expansion. Waiting for some street reports, and tests by somebody trustworthy. IF they work as well as expected, I'll be wanting to try some. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
If pro-gunners are as murderous as anti-gunners claim, why are there so many anti-gunners still running their mouths?
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jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
5331 Posts

Posted - September 14 2018 :  8:35:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The more I read and the more online tests I watch the less sure I am about anything having to do with guns and calibers that ride along the lower edge of the velocity/expansion envelope.

If the bullet expands, it may not penetrate "deeply enough". If it fails to expand, penetration will generally be quite adequate. I've never been motivated enough to do the math on relative tissue destruction between an expanded marginally penetrating bullet (8-12 inches) vs. a minimally or unexpanded bullet that penetrates 16 inches or more. Not to mention the deeper vital structures the greater penetrating bullet may encounter.

We carry .38 snubs for reasons other than their superb and predictable stopping power. Even the best loads may or may not perform as desired in any given situation. We need to accept that fact plus the guns' limited round counts and place our shots accordingly. And resolve to carry "more gun" when and where we can.

Jeff

jle3030
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gw
Advanced Member

4492 Posts

Posted - September 14 2018 :  9:00:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
good point, if need more out of a .38 snub maybe I need more gun

not different ammo....

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5286 Posts

Posted - September 15 2018 :  12:36:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jle3030

The more I read and the more online tests I watch the less sure I am about anything having to do with guns and calibers that ride along the lower edge of the velocity/expansion envelope.

If the bullet expands, it may not penetrate "deeply enough". If it fails to expand, penetration will generally be quite adequate. I've never been motivated enough to do the math on relative tissue destruction between an expanded marginally penetrating bullet (8-12 inches) vs. a minimally or unexpanded bullet that penetrates 16 inches or more. Not to mention the deeper vital structures the greater penetrating bullet may encounter.

We carry .38 snubs for reasons other than their superb and predictable stopping power. Even the best loads may or may not perform as desired in any given situation. We need to accept that fact plus the guns' limited round counts and place our shots accordingly. And resolve to carry "more gun" when and where we can.

Jeff


If the only sure stop is hitting the CNS— brain or spine— it seems to me that penetration should be our primary concern.

Expansion is ‘the icing on the cake’; but like you say, only if it doesn’t come at the cost of inadequate penetration.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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ironhead7544
New Member

USA
53 Posts

Posted - September 15 2018 :  08:53:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The 2" 38 Special is a compromise in size. I would go with the Super Vel as the snubs need all the speed it can get. Also, Evan uses it.
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arty
Junior Member

115 Posts

Posted - September 15 2018 :  10:25:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would check for bullet crimp jump in a very light gun. This can be a problem with the Remington LHP in light guns. Personally, I want accuracy and reliability from any revolver, and if it is a 17 oz model, I want to be able to shoot it reasonably well with one hand. The 38 loads that I prefer include the 135 Gold Dot, 125 Golden Saber, and 130 gr HST. I am an (old) novice, so I would listen to the better advice you are getting from the folks on the forum.
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
3415 Posts

Posted - September 15 2018 :  10:47:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't sneer at any of the three loads you prefer. I like the 135 GD, but would certainly carry the other two.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on September 15 2018 10:48:46 AM
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Evan
Administrator

34394 Posts

Posted - September 15 2018 :  7:09:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think that the best thing as a result of my three books, it that there is a lot of really good loads out there. NYPD are carrying GD 135 gr in snubs and other revolvers and it works as good as one can expect. The SV load? Meets the factory reported velocity and since there are not gangs of gelatin preying on people, I'd just relax!

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5452 Posts

Posted - September 15 2018 :  10:16:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A question occurs, re: the 135gr Gold Dot load--- how would it fare out of a 6" barrel, considering it's designed for a short barrel? Too much added velocity for it to do its job? Would the 'standard' 125gr be a better choice? Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
If pro-gunners are as murderous as anti-gunners claim, why are there so many anti-gunners still running their mouths?
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gw
Advanced Member

4492 Posts

Posted - September 16 2018 :  01:06:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

A question occurs, re: the 135gr Gold Dot load--- how would it fare out of a 6" barrel, considering it's designed for a short barrel? Too much added velocity for it to do its job? Would the 'standard' 125gr be a better choice? Ace



the 135gr load is the authorized ammo for the NYPD 4 inch barrel gun

there is one 135gr SB component bullet for reloading listed by SPEER Item #4014

Makes you think the .38 special and .357 magnum SB ammo uses the same bullet

that bullet driven up to 1200 fps performs well in gelatin test

if anything penatration and expansion is more consistant at higher velocity

if gelatin tests matter, the 135gr SB load seems to work better out of longer barrels

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
5331 Posts

Posted - September 16 2018 :  09:21:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

A question occurs, re: the 135gr Gold Dot load--- how would it fare out of a 6" barrel, considering it's designed for a short barrel? Too much added velocity for it to do its job? Would the 'standard' 125gr be a better choice? Ace

Lucky Gunner tested popular .38 and .357 loads from 2" and 4" barrels. The 135gr Gold Dot SB expanded to an average of .44 from the 2", with one bullet failing to expand at all. The others showed nose deformation and threshold expansion. The bullets from the 4" barrel looked better, but still were not fully expanded at .53 inches. Both penetrated to 13.3 and 13.6 inches, except for the non/minimal expanding shots that went deeper, but still didn't exceed 18".

Eyeballing the results it looked to me like the Gold Dot bullets could have benefitted from a 6" barrel to expand fully. Would the extra velocity needed to fully expand the bullets overcome the tendency to slow down and penetrate less? I couldn't say.

The photography is excellent. giving excellent visual documentation.

Takeaways:
There's no free lunch.

Most .38 Special loads are an iffy proposition from a 2" barrel through a denim barrier.

The famed FBI loads are not for snubbies.

.357 Magnums from 2" snubbies are a whole 'nuther animal. If the shooter is up to it. That's a different subject entirely.

Jeff


jle3030
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arty
Junior Member

115 Posts

Posted - September 16 2018 :  10:41:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I asked Speer about the135 gr 357 SB magnum load, and they don't recommend it out of 6" barrels for anything other than varmints. They said that the bullets are likely to break up at too high velocities. I didn't ask about the 38 load, but I would guess it should be fine.
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heavyweight
Senior Member

USA
828 Posts

Posted - September 17 2018 :  09:39:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I carried the 135 gr. GD until Federal came out with the HST. I'm fond of it and Buffalo Bore 110 gr. +P SCHP.
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CW2 Ralph Long
Average Member

USA
394 Posts

Posted - December 03 2018 :  11:46:27 PM  Show Profile  Click to see CW2 Ralph Long's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
A couple of years ago I discovered a 105 FPS extreme spread in the Speer 135 grain +P short barrel load in my Colt Agent and about an 90 FPS spread from a 4" S&W Combat Masterpiece; fired six rounds through each on different occasions. This fairly extreme spread appeared in two different lot numbers. The low velocity in the 2" gun was 778 FPS. I shot it through my "hillbilly" clothing barrier of T-Shirt, Sweatshirt and a layer of "overhaul" denim into milk jugs full of water. None of the bullets expanded at a velocity less than 825 FPS. All the 4" in rounds went 890 or faster. Half the rounds from the Agent did not expand at all. I recently saw results of the Lucky Gunner test of this Speer load in 2" and 4" revolvers. It was pretty consistent with what I got.

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed;
if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may
come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Winston Churchill
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Evan
Administrator

34394 Posts

Posted - December 04 2018 :  5:43:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
about 30 years ago I had the temerity to contradict another gun writer who said that .38 hps would not expand from a 2" barrel, I had seen a couple of hundred that had. Anyway, he was so outraged that he threatened to sue me. I suggest a duel-banana cream pies at 600 meters!

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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840
Junior Member

USA
173 Posts

Posted - December 05 2018 :  05:37:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dennis strapon
I went to the 125 gr. G.D. load by Underwood ammo. The expansion is much better.Anyone have any other suggestions for a .38 snub. I an fond of the 158 gr. SWCHP +P load also. Thanks, Dennis.
Dennis, Sorry I am jumping in here about 3 months tardy but I have been following the replies.

Just like ammunition selection there are simply too many variables to consider, such as the particular firearm, the barrel length, and the situations when we might be called to make use of the weapon/load combination. There really isn't a "one-size-fits-all" especially for defensive applications, be it in a LE or civilian defense situation.

Due to age and health impairments and loss of strength and mobility in my right arm and both hands, I can't work the slide on most of my semi-autos and I'll be selling them. But my revolvers and I get along just fine and, like you, I have a great appreciation for a top-quality 158 gr. LSWCHP in +P attire.

My meager retirement income left me watching for some quality brand defensive loads that I could afford, and be able to buy enough to have on hand for judgment day ... when times get ugly and I'm called upon in a moment's notice to pass judgment.

I watched the responses you had, but the thread didn't draw in comments about other loadings available, so I'll share what I invested in. Like I said, I had to base it on my budget, watch for sales, and this was just a year or two ago when we still were seeing some ammunition shortages in many calibers.

Anyway, to complement the 158 LSWCHP's (until I can find a quality offering of those at a good price) I purchased the Horaday American Gunner 125 gr. XTP and Remington 125 gr SJHP +P's. So far on critters I haven't had either load let me down, but I'm not sure how these two would do for two-legged vermin.

I still trust a good 158 LSWCHP like I used to carry, but the load I issued isn't around anymore from that maker (it's been a while) and that's what I want to stock up on when I find the better offering out there.

'840'

Yes, I, too, have my semi-autos, but folks need to credit the serious versatility of a good revolver with a serviceable load.

Edited by - 840 on December 06 2018 12:52:35 AM
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Evan
Administrator

34394 Posts

Posted - December 05 2018 :  12:26:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Too much time is spent arguing about how many hollow points can dance on the head of a pin. We need to focus on hitting the darn attacker.

I've literally shot a ton of gelatin and am very unenthusiastic about what it proves.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1868 Posts

Posted - December 06 2018 :  12:29:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
840, I see that Target Sports USA has both the Remington and Federal flavors of the 158 +P LSWCHP in stock at reasonable prices. They've treated me well in the past when sgammo didn't have what I was looking for (and no, sadly, sgammo is out of stock on both).

Interestingly, when I did the Kimber K6s testing recently, I found that the 158 +P seemed to have more recoil than the 130/135 +P loads. I thought the faster speeds of the lighter loads might make them more snappy, but the slower 158s seemed to give a bigger jolt.

Mike
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khclark
Senior Member

633 Posts

Posted - December 16 2018 :  1:00:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Federal 130 grn HST “Micro” load, essentially an upside-down hollow-base wadcutter, performs well in third party tests in terms of expansion and penetratiom in “FBI testing protocol” from short-barrelled revolvers - it is designed and tweaked specifically to do so. Of course, as previously pointed out, I am not frequently attacked by gelatinous zombies wearing four denim jackets. I will miss DPX when I run out in about three years. “Come back, Corbon, come back!”

revolvers: anachronistic yet efficacious
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
3415 Posts

Posted - December 16 2018 :  2:01:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Evan

Too much time is spent arguing about how many hollow points can dance on the head of a pin. We need to focus on hitting the darn attacker.

I've literally shot a ton of gelatin and am very unenthusiastic about what it proves.



I'm a fan of Real World and, like Evan, I have never been attacked by jello. The fact that NYPD is happy with the 135 Gold Dot SB+P makes me happy to carry it. They have some Real World feedback on its performance in extremis.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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