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Old 02-28-2013, 20:31   #1
capnjim01
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38 special

need recommendations for a 2 inch Charter Arms defense load.
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Old 02-28-2013, 20:35   #2
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I am fan of the 158 Gn SWCHP. It's been doing the job pretty well for a long time and really doesn't require a magic velocity or lab conditions or targets to work. It is "too dumb" to fail.
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Old 02-28-2013, 21:02   #3
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Speer Gold Dot 135gr. +P load. It's considered the "Modern Gold Standard" for snubbies in this caliber.
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Old 02-28-2013, 22:47   #4
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I carry Gold Dot 135g+P short barrel in my snubbie. I think its the best snubbie load out there.

If I couldn't get that I would carry the FBI load, 158g LSWCHP+P. After that the Nyclad. Both are proven loads in the snubbie.
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Old 02-28-2013, 23:22   #5
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Speer Gold Dot 135gr Short Barrel GDHP in my Bodyguard .38.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:56   #6
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Penetration is vital with .38 Snubbies. I'd go with the 158gr SWC-HP.
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:52   #7
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The .38 is a weak,anemic cartridge regardless of what load you carry.
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Old 03-01-2013, 17:08   #8
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The .38 is a weak,anemic cartridge regardless of what load you carry.
You surely under-rate the .38 Special cartridge. I wouldn't want to be shot by any .38 spl round.
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Old 03-01-2013, 17:53   #9
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The .38 is a weak,anemic cartridge regardless of what load you carry.


I can think of more that might have agreed with that, before they got some personal experience, and now? Well, they aren't saying much.
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Old 03-01-2013, 18:10   #10
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Remington Golden Saber HP 125+P
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Old 03-01-2013, 18:12   #11
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Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. Short barrel.
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Old 03-01-2013, 18:22   #12
SCmasterblaster
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Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. Short barrel.
Why do they call it short barrel? Is it loaded with a faster-burning powder?
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Old 03-01-2013, 20:32   #13
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Originally Posted by Jade Falcon View Post
Speer Gold Dot 135gr. +P load. It's considered the "Modern Gold Standard" for snubbies in this caliber.
I am with you on this Jade. I saw a video with a jell test of the round and it was awesome.
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Old 03-01-2013, 20:39   #14
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Why do they call it short barrel? Is it loaded with a faster-burning powder?
No. Like all Speer short barrel loads, it is designed to open up at the lower velocities that shorter barrels cause.
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Old 03-01-2013, 22:50   #15
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I respect and understand the choices made above, I don't disagree with them but for my situation I selected the Buffalo Bore 38Spc standard pressure Barnes 110gr TAC-XP to shoot out of my Airlite PD. Runs 1000fps. I did a lot of testing and think this is the best load for me in my situation.
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Old 03-01-2013, 23:10   #16
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I carry Gold Dot 135g+P short barrel in my snubbie. I think its the best snubbie load out there.

If I couldn't get that I would carry the FBI load, 158g LSWCHP+P. After that the Nyclad. Both are proven loads in the snubbie.
This and in this order.
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Old 03-02-2013, 17:45   #17
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My first choice is the Rem. 158gr lead SWC HP +P. I've chronographed it at 844.5 from a 2".

I also like the Buffalo Bore offering with the same type & weight bullet. Mine is a non +P & I've chronographed it at 867 from a 2"bbl.

My third choice would be the Speer 135gr GD HP +P. I think Massad is big on this loading.

While the .38 Special isn't as powerful as some, don't fall for the old "the .38 Special isn't powerful enough, being hyped by some. There are a number of big Police agencies that used it successfully for years. It's not my first choice, but I'm not unarmed with a .38 & good ammo.
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Old 03-02-2013, 21:54   #18
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Good info Frank. With a proper load the 38 Special will get the job done. The NYPD has had good results with the Speer 135 grain Gold Dot. And the 158 LSWCHP has been a top choice for many years.
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Old 03-02-2013, 23:52   #19
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.38spl has been giving bad guys the big dirt nap for nearly a century. It seems to favor heavier rounds at the velocities it produces. More modern ammo might be preferable though. I don't think you can ever go wrong with Hornady Critical Defense.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:23   #20
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The .38 is a weak,anemic cartridge regardless of what load you carry.
You don't know much about the 38 special do you? For starters, it is .357, not .38......and it seems you know even less about ballistics.
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