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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys, my wife isn't good enough with a semi auto and she doesn't like shooting my 9 even when I help here. I won't hand her my 45 ACP and my 357 mag is out of the question. What I'm left with is my 357 being fed with 38s or 38 +P's. I'm looking for help with a good 38 round, any suggestions?
 

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Speer Gold Dot 125 gr .38+P. Gaping HP, 100% weight retention for adequate penetration and manageable recoil.
 

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My own current favorite is the Federal +P .38 Special with the 158gr. NyClad hollow point bullet. But I don't think these are still made. I really liked the old Winchester +P 158gr. JHP.

Bob Wright
 

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The Nyclad was a very good bullet for this app. I do not think they are making it any more. 158 gr +p may be a bit much for a recoil sensitive lady. don't want to scare her off.
 

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My own take on the 110~125 gr. JHP is their inability to penetrate deep enough at times. They often expand too fast and stop before reaching vital organs. This especially true in cold weather when heavy clothing might have to be penetrated.

Bob Wright
 

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Robo got it right again! Possibly THE BEST .38 defense load currently being loaded.
I have a .38 Special Ruger SP-101 3" barrel, I bought the +P gold dot 135 gr bullets today. I have read a lot of good things about those bullets.

Do you have any experience with buffalo bore ammo? From what I have read the 158 gr +P bullet packs one hell of a punch based on the statistics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Anyone have any experience with Hornady's Critical Defense?
 

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Had the same issue with my wife. I keep Speer Gold Dot 125gr 38+p in our Ruger Service Six 357mag. This load works quite well for her.
 

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The Speer Gold Dot will do for light weight 38s. The best 38 defense load is the Remington plus p 158 grain semi wad cutter hp. I believe they are a little softer than Winchester and Federal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My wife shot 130gr FMJ Reminton's this past weekend. She shot a 4" group at 10 yards. I"m going to load hers with 125 +p Gold Dots. With the laser grip she'll be fine. Than you for the input and any input further would be appreciated.
 

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Never thought I would have owned a .38 Special until I won one at a Friends of the NRA benefit. Had the same problem finding a suitable self defense round that my GF could control. I carry Corbon's in my HK .40 and paired my S&W Hamerless J frame (sporting NRA logo'd Crimson Trace laser grips) with the 38 Special+P 110gr DPX. Definately the girlfriend's favorite weapon. Recoil does not seem to bother her, but the 8-9 pound trigger pull does.

The bullet on these Corbon loads is from Barnes. Supposed to retain 100% of it's weight on impact. Hopefully, that will never have to be tested.
 

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Hornady is making a new hollowpoint handgun bullet that is designed to defeat clothing with a plastic tip and then expand with devastating effect. Check it out.
 

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The following is from a 1996 Guns & Ammo article titled "Street-Stoppers". Unlike computers, ammo and ballsitics tests don't become obsolete!


For quite some time, the 158gr. lead hollow-point was the top street load at 78%. This load did, indeed outperform the 110gr.JHP(+P+) against car bodies. More recently, the top .38 Special load was the Cor-Bon 115 gr. JHP (+P+) with an impressive 83% one-shot record. This was an update to the Police-only "Treasury" load and it was available to all shooters. Winchester and the St. Louis Police invented this SWC lead HP circa 1972. While the hyper-velocity 110 gr. (+P+) load produced mostly spectacular results and occasionally dismal results, the St. Louis lead hollow-point was much more consistent. These loads produced 77 to 78% one-shot stops regardless of clothing, car bodies, or other barriers. This load remains as one of history's best loads from duty-length revolvers. However this reputation does not carry over to shorter-barreled guns. The velocity loss from snub-nose barrel lengths must be made up by going to lighter bullets. This explains the growing popularity and street success of the 125 gr. JHP's, led by the Federal (+P) version. This load expands to .69 cal. and penetrates 12.2 inches of calibrated gelatin. These JHP's produce 73% one-shot stops.
 

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I have shot the Hornady critical defense 38+P at the range. Very accurate at 15 to 20 yards with LCR, LOL and you can feel the power.
 

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Anymore all I use is Hornady Critical Defense . Great ammo .
 

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speer +p or maybe even try the new Critical Defense rounds that are out there. I heard that they are a pretty decent hitting round and expand uniformly and reliably.
 
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