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which 38 spl ammo

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Old 02-12-2013, 02:36 AM   #1
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Default which 38 spl ammo

okay i have a 38spl with a short barroll

whats the best ammo and why

light or hevey
fmj or lead
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:40 AM   #2
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At one time I would have said 158 gr lead SWC- go for penetration. The HP rounds that were being loaded "back in the day" just did not expand at snubby velocity.

However, there are some much better loads being made for self defense today. Personally partial to Speer and Hornady, but there are other good ones as well. Check the ammo makers websites, and look for Self Defense rounds for a snubby.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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I prefer light bullets.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:22 AM   #4
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I like to look at this page and get some real world numbers of a few different factory loads in various guns:

Then I like to go to this page and enter the numbers to get more specs like energy:
S&W 915 9mm
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Ruger MKIII 22/45 4"
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:19 AM   #5
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If the firearm is rated for +P ammo, that is where I would look for self defense ammunition.

But even then a steady diet is not good, so I would go to the store and purchase target loads for the range and self-defense for other stuff.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:21 AM   #6
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the gun is a vintage smith and wessen chief special not pluse p rated but i have seen a bunch of self defence loads advaibal in regular old 38 spl im leaning tourds the Hornady rounds 125 jackeded hollow point
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:37 AM   #7
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I have a 38. snubby, +P rating. I use Remington Golden Saber +P 125 gr HP. for carry purposes. I think for your gun, 125 gr copper jacket HP rating is fine. Do not use +P round. For target shooting, I'd suggest a 148 gr lead wad cutter round.
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