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When did the 38Spl stop being "Enough"?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by TN.Frank, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    I know there are some of us here on the forum who feel that the good ol' 38Spl(especially in the +P loading) is more then adequate for self defense, especially out of small frame revolvers BUT it seems like many want to poo poo this neat ctg. as being under powered or just plain inadequate for a self defense round.
    LEO's use it for decades and granted, the LRN ammo they used WASN'T the best but with proper ammo this little round does a pretty good job IMHO.
    So, at what point did people start thinking that the 38Spl just wasn't good enough to get the job done for a civilian self defense round?
    glockzilla10mm likes this.
  2. ZekerMan

    ZekerMan ZekerMan

    Feb 21, 2010
    Well......its not a 10mm but the .38 will get the job done IMHO if put in the correct place. I have 3 revolvers placed around the homestead loaded with .38+P just in case.

    MSW likes this.

  3. michael e

    michael e

    Nov 20, 2010
    I still carry one, I fell it's a good round still.
    NewWaveGuy and MSW like this.
  4. That's what is in the old lady's and Mom's .357s both(S&W 686 and 66), b/c both of them can get GOOD hits w/ them.

    Works for them! :)

  5. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I actually think its better than ever with today's ammo.
    MSW likes this.
  6. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI
    I have no problem carrying a 4" K-Frame in .38 Special.
  7. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
    my only use for the .38 Special is a J frame as a BUG.
    xmanhockey7 likes this.
  8. samurairabbi

    samurairabbi Dungeon Schmuck

    Dec 31, 1998
    Indianapolis, IN
    It wasn't really the CARTRIDGE that faded from favor; it was the REVOLVER that shoots it. Starting in the late 1980's, the autoloading handgun took off in public perception, even in the 9mm caliber, because of its ammo capacity and possible rate of fire. The rimmed .38spl cartridge could not be easily adapted to such a handgun.

    Also, the 38spl is limited by its low pressure. It could not be "improved" to operate at a SUBSTANTIALLY higher pressure with different powders, because of all the handguns in that caliber still floating around. The +P variant was about all that could have been done.
    surf n turf and janice6 like this.
  9. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Ancient Member Millennium Member

    Nov 7, 1999
    Free Republic of Tejas
    People aren't any tougher these days, so the .38 is as deadly, or maybe deadlier, that it ever was. I think is has little to do with performance; sometimes things just go out of fashion. The nines and forties are just so much more coolio!

    Even though .38 Sp. isn't 'fashionable', it has served me well for many years. It's not so much that the cartridge is weak or impotent, it's that these days cops and some self-taught 'combat' shooters aren't very good shots so they depend on spray 'n pray when the going gets tough.

    Unless an adversary is a mutant or on some drug, most folks will respond to being plugged by ceasing the activity that caused the hole to be put into them. I for one still depend on the good 'ol reliable .38 much of the time. I don't feel like I'm sacrificing anything except quantity. 15 is nice, but sometime, or most times, 5 will do the job.

    So I believe it is more than 'enough'. Like money, you get the best return from bullets placed wisely, not scattered all over the landscape.

    I wouldn't normally respond to a thread like this but I was recently at my favorite indoor range, and watching the Gecko45 wannabees blasting away at three yards yielding shotgun-like patterns made me wonder if any of these young guys have a clue how bad they are? Sadly, a lot of rounds never made it onto the paper.... and won't on the bad guy either.

    canesfan likes this.
  10. Feanor


    Feb 28, 2010
    I carry .38 spl all the time, choose your ammo wisely, and it's all you will likely ever need.
    MSW likes this.
  11. pennlineman


    Feb 16, 2009
    The .38 spl has been and probably always will be my favorite cartridge. I've never been concerned with what the latest fad is though. It has stood the test of time.
  12. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
    I have no problem with the round, I don't so much like being limited to 5 shots, slow reloads, and mediocre sites.
    surf n turf, ArmoryDoc and MSW like this.
  13. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
    nice pair of wheel guns you have there, but they are .357 magnums right?
  14. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

    Jul 13, 2003
    Do You feel like some more powerful gun is needed now?
  15. Narkcop


    Jan 12, 2003
    I carry a Ruger LCR a LOT!!!! In .38spl it's just right.
  16. azbuckeye


    Jan 15, 2011
    On the beach
    I have no problem with the .38 Special and would gladly carry one. Today's selection of PD ammo gives plenty of good choices.
    MSW likes this.
  17. CDR_Glock


    Apr 1, 2010
    I have a Ruger LCR 38. I pocket carry it at times. It's an effective cartridge.

    It really depends upon where I need to go and what I need to wear.
    MSW likes this.
  18. walt cowan

    walt cowan

    Feb 18, 2005
    i carry both 10 and 38. not at the same time though.
  19. Andrewsky


    May 28, 2004
    It became obsolete in 1911.

    Here is my Model 10. It's a piece of junk.



    It's cool that's it's all wood and steel but it's outperformed in every way by any decent automatic pistol.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
    silentpoet likes this.