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38 Special compared to 9mm?

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by Cheseldine, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Cheseldine

    Cheseldine Texan

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    I have both calibers, and have always wondered which is better. I guess by better I mean more powerful. How do their ballistics compare?

    I would guess the 38 spl would be a little more powerful just because the case is longer? I have heard the diameter of both is the same. I know they are very different as one is mainly used in autos and the other in revolvers.

    Anyway thanks for satisfying my curiosity,

    Nathan
     
  2. unit1069

    unit1069

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    I believe the 9mm is more powerful.
     

  3. bac1023

    bac1023

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    38 special +P approaches the standard 9mm load in terms of energy.
     
  4. southernshooter

    southernshooter

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    Conventional wisdom has it that 9mm is slightly more powerful. 38 spec could be loaded up to pressures much higher though in a heavy frame 38 or a .357 mag.
     
  5. Cheseldine

    Cheseldine Texan

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    Thanks guys, that is interesting.

    So how would a +p+ 9mm through my G19 compare to a +p+ 38spl through my Colt Python?

    Is the 9mm still the one with more energy?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  6. GreyEclipse

    GreyEclipse TheGreyEclipse

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    I'm pretty sure that you don't own a G18. Typo, maybe? lol.

    Yes, the 9mill would have more energy but not my too much.
     
  7. Cheseldine

    Cheseldine Texan

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    Haha ya sorry, I definitely mistyped G18 instead of G19. The G19 that I was talking about is in my avatar.

    And thanks for the info, it is quite interesting. So the 38 spl is pretty close to the 9mm but doesn't have quite as much energy?

    ETA: And I'm looking at getting some kind of a snub nose revolver for concealed carry, and most seem to come in 38 spl, which is why I'm wondering.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  8. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

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    Look at the 9mm as bracketed by the .38 on the low end and the .357sig on the high end. 9 is somewhere in the middle.
     
  9. Cheseldine

    Cheseldine Texan

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    Would most of you guys feel comfortable carrying the 38 spl as a primary concealed carry piece? I know many think 9mm is too small...
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

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    Check an ammunition catalog, there will be lots of data on muzzle velocity and energy.
    Look around and you can probably find some made up system of power rating.

    The .38 Special came out in 1898 loaded with black powder. Smokeless loads came out the next year but have always been kept light to protect the thousands of old guns still in use. That said, a +P .38 158 grain lead hollowpoint is plenty effective. Efforts to transform it into an imitation 9mm with light jacketed bullets seldom come out as "powerful", but a lot of people depend on them because they are "modern."
     
  11. GreyEclipse

    GreyEclipse TheGreyEclipse

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    IMO...

    .45ACP is the perfect battle handgun.
    No matter what barrel length you get it stays around the same velocity.
    9mm is the perfect for versatility.
    It has the advantage of being able to be a battle handgun or a CCW.
    .38 is perfect for the CCW.
    It's for those days when you want to be a little more comfortable.

    I would feel perfectly comfortable carrying only a .38 and a knife to most places. With that said, if you think you need more then don't hesitate to bring a 9mm or even a .45, you might be happy that you did.

    .38Spl, under powered? No.
    .38Spl, under rated? Yes.

    The caliber thing is a retarded argument in which people who have the bigger caliber are always saying that theirs is the best.
    Truth is that there is no perfect no perfect caliber.

    But there is a perfect caliber for a given situation.

    .38 will do ya fine for a CCW. Not too much to worry about there.
    But if you are worried, carry something bigger and a knife, lol.
    But you shouldn't be THAT worried unless you have a feeling or know that you might be putting yourself in a bad pinch which shouldn't be a prob. :tongueout:
     
  12. pugman

    pugman

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    of either caliber...

    two to the chest and one to head will stop nearly anyone.

    buy one...buy both.

    Practice, Practice, Practice...
     
  13. american lockpicker

    american lockpicker License to Il

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    Wow I always thought the .38 was more powerful than 9mm.
     
  14. Guser

    Guser

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  15. CarlosC

    CarlosC AK Fanatic

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    I think if the OP actually owned a G-18 he would have so many cool points that he could carry a HiPoint and still be a man's man.
     
  16. GreyEclipse

    GreyEclipse TheGreyEclipse

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    :rofl: Yes sir, I believe it. lol.
     
  17. kahoys

    kahoys

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    I think either one will leave a mark.:yawn:
     
  18. R*E

    R*E

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  19. Cheseldine

    Cheseldine Texan

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  20. Cheseldine

    Cheseldine Texan

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