ok im sorry i just cant stand the .38 special

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by JcashMan, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. JcashMan

    JcashMan New Member

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    Hunting light whitetail deer in north GA with my dad a couple years back with an sks. The first shot hit what i thought was a vital area and the animal went down. on approaching the deer however i discovered the round went low and an unfortunate "finishing shot" :( was called for. the sks was out do to malfunctioning of cheap ammo:mad: the only other weapon i carried was a six-shot .38 special caliber taurus revolver with a four inch barrel. It took all six to the head to finish the buck. All shots were to the head and were stopped by the skull. This is not something i enjoyed at all:(
    i had a previous bias toward the .38 special after hearing about FBI and police officers losing thier life because of its lack of power. Ok so if theres any die hard wheelgun fans that can sell me on the .38 special have at it.
    i do conceed that the new handguns and ammo selections like +p and +p+
    can be much better. But i think that using an older but well made colt or
    smith in standard .38 special in defense of your life would be a mistake
    whatcha got revolver folks?:)

    thanks for input y'all
     
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    That's why the .357 became so successful.
     

  3. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    You can send the .38 to me!! I'll take good care of it! I need a back-up gun. :D
     
  4. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    The .38 special is great to practice with in my .357s.

    As far as the buck experience. Sorry that happened, but you could never expect a .38 to take down a large animal, this also goes for any of the popular handgun cartridges. (9mm, .40, .45 ACP) There's just not enough velocity to penetrate through hide, fat, bone, etc.

    The typical .38 special round is usually 158 grains, 800 fps, ~225 ft-lbs of energy. All slightly less than a 9mm (but very close) and less than HALF of the ft-lbs of energy of the .357 with similar bullet.

    Would I trust my life to a .38 special? Yes. Many people do with the .380 and it's much weaker.

    Now with out coming off like an @ss. Two things here. . . Shooting an animal with an SKS is (borderline) suitable, but only if you are using a proper hunting cartridge and are a good shot with the gun. The SKS is not regarded as a standard hunting rifle, because of it's accuracy (lack of) and the 7.62 X 39 is most closely related to our 30-30, definitely good enough, but not the typical characteristics that come to mind when choosing a hunting cartridge.
    Second. . . I wouldn't dream of carrying 9mm in the woods as a side arm for a bear encounter or what you had to deal with. So why would you carry a .38 special?

    No offense at all brother, but it kinda sounds like ya'll either weren't fully prepared to take an animal or you just weren't experienced with the firearms you were using and had limited knowledge of their capabilities.

    When I go camping. (Bear country around here) I take a .44 mag loaded with Hornady's 255 grain Leverevolution hunting cartridges and a .357 for a backup.

    So my friend. . . you can't blame the .38 special for not doing a job it wasn't designed to do. You should have had a more suitable side arm or just shot the poor buck with the SKS again. Either way I'm sorry that happened. :(
     
  5. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Well, IMHO sir it sounds like to me you got close enough to the buck, I am thinking shot placement would have helped greatly, like maybe a round to the eye, which leads straight to the brain. A shot to the ear canal would have worked as well.

    Size of the bullet does not matter as much, as it does as where you put it.

    Personally, I would have had no less than a .357 caliber for a BUG for hunting and a nice, sharp, fixed blade knife, oh...and that would have been another option.

    Jack
     
  6. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    I saw my buddy have a 40 S&W deflect off a does skull attempting a coup de grace after it got hit by a car.
    Probably a freak occurrence, maybe he shot at too shallow of an angle.:confused:
    230gr 45acp brought a quick end to her suffering.
     
  7. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    If needed, I prefer a knife to finish off a wounded animal (yeah, I know, big surprise).

    While I'm a huge fan of the .357, I wouldn't dismiss the .38 special so easily. There are lots of different loads, some are good and some suck for SD. In my country, we're limited to round nose lead bullets in our .38s (for self defense use) and those are quite bad (just read some of the Cirillo horror stories about them), but modern .38 +p ammo with good hollow points is a very decent choice for personal protection.
     
  8. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Well I do carry a .38 spl during the summer and I have no concerns of it being not enough gun. But then I don't plan on shooting the BG in the skull.

    So let me get this straight, your first mistake was entering the woods with questionable ammo. Mistake #2 was shot placement, followed by an inop rifle. Then mistake #4 was reaching for a hunting BUG chambered in .38 spl. Then using this poor choice to end a crippled dear by aiming at the head, firing with no results, but emptied the gun? Does that put you in the woods sans weapon? Oops!

    I think your final mistake was to come to us with this complaint.

    I'd stay out of the woods until you upgrade your arsenal!
     
  9. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    Very well said, Cane. Not even sure of shooting a buck in the head unless I know (no matter the round) is gonna kill it and not harm the rattlers...
     
  10. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Well, since we're going that route. . . I'd have to agree that just about every decision you made that day was terrible and it sounds like you and your Dad weren't raised around guns like most of us.

    If you had an interest in hunting, you should have researched how/where to shoot a deer in a humane manner, practiced your @ss off before hand and taken reliable ammo in powerful weapons.
     
  11. wolfdog

    wolfdog New Member

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    Sks with good hunting ammo is plenty for whitetail if you know your limits, been there and have done that.And it sounds like you bought your 38 special ammo same place you bought your 7.62x39 ammo. I have never finished off a deer with 38, but I have killed a few pigs with one, and they were on the hoof not wounded. For deer I have finished one that was hit by a car, with a 22 long rifle out of a pistol, and a couple that I shot with buckshot with a knife.
     
  12. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Have administered coup de grace to deer with .22 LR pistol, and dropped a bull Hereford with a .38 Special Super Vel from a 4" Model 10. The SKS with proper ammo and shot placement is more than adequate for deer.

    I do deer hunt with a .357- but that one has a 10 inch bbl, and heavy handload solids. But for personal defense, in most settings, I carry a Mdl 36 in .38 Special, loaded w/ Golden Sabers. But if I am ever attacked by a deer, I may have a problem. :p
     
  13. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    This is a joke post right? I agree an sks with the right ammo will kill a deer. But I am sure you were not using said ammo but using cheap mil surp ammo which is FMJ and glides threw a body like a red hot knife through butter.

    I think you might have been better off turning the gun on yourself as to save the rest of the responsible shooters and hunters out there having to defend your ignorant butt from non-hunters and shooters.

    Sorry I can handle stupid (They just can't help it) you were ignorant of just about everything needed to go to the field and harvest a deer. These are the people I can't stand.
     
  14. lukeisme

    lukeisme New Member

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    I am not sure about the 7.62x39 but thats just because here in CO we use things like a 30-06. As far as the 38 special I carried one for years as a truck gun and have finsihed off more then one muley in a human manor. I only 2 years ago went to a 9mm as a tuck gun.(I travel back roads in the mountains a lot and see a lot of deer hit). I wonder if it is just the ammo you were using or angle that you were shooting on. I know that when its a head shot you need to be upclose and personal on the flat with the skull to do it quicky and humanly. Sorry for the bad experience for you and the animal both!! I know that all hunters want to respect the animal and strive for the best quick kill possible.
     
  15. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I hate to pound on you since everyone else has done an excellent job, but... you made some bad choices. .38 SPL is a good weapon, but not for what you did. You really should have had at least a .357 Magnum. I carry a .44 Magnum (when I hunt) and one shot would have taken care of business.

    I conceal carry a .38 SPL often and it's perfect this.
     
  16. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    38 spec killin badguys since 1902.

    HUH must be something good about it to be around for 108 years. I dunno just me.
     
  17. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I dunno either Tango... I guess that just ain't enough provin' time.
     
  18. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    What I did this last hunting season(knowing I am unexperienced)is a took more than enough gun for the game(whitetail).I went out with a newly aquired .444 marlin.I got a shot at a big doe-I took the shot and missed the vitals by about 2 feet!I hit near the spine above the stomach and she went down instantly.Did I need a finishing shot?-No!She was eyes glazed over within 90 seconds of the shot.As for using a .38 for a headshot-the .38 is just too slow of a round to do that.You would be way better off using a .22 mag revolver because it has the velocity you need to crack the skull-but at the same time,the .38 is a better man stopper than the .22 mag.
     
  19. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Not much of a deer hunter but I have killed some deer. One wounded spike w/a broken leg was dispatched with an aluminum PR-24 (side handle baton). One good shot behind the ear and he was kaput. Another (pregnant doe) had been "dispatched" by another officer who called for the road crew to pick up the carcass. When they got there, she was still alive. The first shot from a .40 Gold Dot had apparently stunned her but glanced off the skull likely from a poor angle and inexperienced officer. One shot to the base of the skull with a .38 Spl 158 gr SWC finished her off mercifully. The sad part was to see the near term fawn moving around inside her after her death. Robo no like to see suffering.:(
     
  20. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Dear lord that's awful. :(

    Thank god I've never hit a deer. I've hit 2 cats and had to finish them and I lost sleep over that. I don't even really like cats. Couldn't imagine anything more than that.

    I guess I got a big soft spot for the furry kinds. People, eh. . .