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9mm vs 38 special

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by EL COLONEL, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. EL COLONEL

    EL COLONEL

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    Ok guys of the two listed above which is a better man stopper? Thanks....:dunno:
     
  2. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    .38sp.

    I can't pass one at the shop without stopping and buying the damn thing.
     

  3. copo9560

    copo9560

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    9 mm. 357 Mag beats both and can also shoot 38 for practice.
     
  4. Metal Angel

    Metal Angel

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    Don't let the brass deceive you. .38 special is much lower pressure and is somewhere between 9mm and .380acp for stopping power. It will do the job though.
     
  5. EL COLONEL

    EL COLONEL

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    Ok 1 for 9mm and one for 38 . Anybody else ?
     
  6. Decguns

    Decguns

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    The 38 Special started out life as a black powder cartridge; hence the overly large case for something that tops out at 17,000 psi. It's really more in the 380 ACP power bracket which is 21,500 psi. But the 38 Spcl can use heavier projectiles.

    The 9MM works at 35,000 psi. Many of the +P+ 124 grain loadings are just 100-150fps slower than the 357 Magnum's 125gr loads which is also in the 35,000 psi realm. The 357 Magnum benefitting from a much larger case capacity to hold a lot more powder. While most commercial 9MM offerings are loaded on the wimpy side of 1180fps , the cartridge really can zing projo's when loaded to the limit.
     
  7. snubfan

    snubfan Giant Member

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    They have both killed a lot of people over the last century and will probably continue to do so over the next century. On paper the 9MM does have an advantage but in the end, a well placed .38 with the best SD ammo vs. a well placed 9MM with the best SD ammo are probably going to have near identical results in the real world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  8. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

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    Hands down the 9x19mm cartridge beats the .38Spl.
     
  9. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

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    Too close to matter. I choose 9mm platforms over .38 platforms though.
     
  10. rich52us

    rich52us

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    I believe with modern ammo, the 9MM is somewhat better than the .38 Special. Both are still pistol cartridges and not real "manstoppers." I carried .38Spec. for over 20 years because that's what I was required to carry. What really sets the 9MM ahead of the .38 is the pistols it's chambered in. Better ergonomics, capacity, reloads, shootability and carryability (if that's a word lol). So I carry 9MM pistols now. Just my opinion.
     
  11. Brucev

    Brucev

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    I've used both for over 20 years. They are both fine rounds. I prefer the .38 Special. Why? Heavier bullet. And when fired in S&W J and K frame revolvers, the .38 Special far outclasses just about any service grade semi-auto pistol. If someone is concerned that the .38 Special is not "hot" enough, they need only look at Buffalo Bore ammunition. Those folks load .38 Special ammo that will do anything that needs to be done while staying well within SAAMI standards. A 158 gr. SWC at 1,200 FPS is a very effective load. Cool.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  12. cphilip

    cphilip

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    This is true. When comparing standard loads. In fact the best .380 loads beat the standard .38 spcl loads by just a hair.

    Of course when comparing non standard the options go up for 8
    38 special if the gun can handle plus P loads but... lets stick to comparing standard loads. In that case the .380 is about the same as standard load .38 special. And you can get the 9mm long in even more variations of loads so... it depends.
     
  13. bac1023

    bac1023

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    The two are very close. At SAAMI standards, the 9mm puts out more energy. However, the 38 Special can be loaded hot.
     
  14. EL COLONEL

    EL COLONEL

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  15. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    :rofl:

    Okay. That works.
     
  16. BFN

    BFN

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    Usually, 9mm, unless the higher case capacity 38sp is loaded to its potential. Buffalo Bore has 38 sp 158gr LSWCHP +P 1000 FPS from a 2" barrel.
     
  17. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    Both great cartridges with advantages of their own. 9mm has a velocity advantage while .38 can go with a heavier bullet. You must choose which you think you need. I prefer the 9mm.
     
  18. LASTRESORT20

    LASTRESORT20 LongTerm-Guy

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  19. barth

    barth six barrels

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    Speer GDHP from a 4" barrel -
    38 +P 125 gr === 945 fps 248 E
    9mm +P 124 gr =1220 fps 410 E

    no contest
     
  20. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    A lot depends on what barrel length .38 we're talking about. 124gr @ 1200 fps from a Glock 19 or 135gr @ 850 fps from a snubby. The choice is obvious.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012