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  1. #1
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    .38 spl defense loads??

    Hello.
    Was wondering? I use el cheapo ammo for practice, but want decent for carry.
    Is the Federal brand +p 129 grain Hyro shok loads any good? Just trying to find good self defense ammo to carry. Tnx, HG

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  3. #2
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    I am sure the Hydra-Shok load will do just fine. I personally use the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain +P, and the old FBI load is said to work very well too.

    How long is the barrel of your .38?

  4. #3
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Check out the offerings from Buffalo Bore. Their +p lead SWC is a killer...

    PhilR.

  5. #4
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    What do you all think you are trying to kill with that +P ammo? People have used simple wadcutters for self defense quite sucessfully in .38 Special revolvers. The Federal low recoil, self defense rounds are also excellent. Why do you perceive the necessity for +P?

    You should use for self defense what you shoot for practice. There can be a great deal of difference in practicing with FMJ loads or something similar, and shooting high powered rounds in a panic situation if you have not practiced sufficiently with them. Find someone that you can shoot, practice with it and then carry that in your firearm.

  6. #5
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teuthis View Post
    What do you all think you are trying to kill with that +P ammo?

    Why do you perceive the necessity for +P?

    The type of loads being discussed are typically used for self-defense. This means killing/wounding/shooting humans.

    The necessity for +p is for the same reason why no police force or military unit in this country uses .38sp. Yes, regular .38 has killed people before, just as .25acp and .22lr and a few airguns have in the past, and if .38 special was the only thing we could buy, then we would all use it. But it is not a greatly reliable stopper, and since a more powerful round is available, there is no reason not to use it (unless of course one cannot handle it in the first place).

    IOW, the reason why the need for more power is the same reason why many choose to carry .40s&w, .357, .45acp, .357Sig, 10mm, etc..

    A lot of those successful stops w/.38 were with standard issue sidearms. Today, hardly anyone carries such a pistol, and the great majority of .38's carried are short barrel revos. Standard .38sp is not very powerful out of a short barrel, and going to a more powerful load will allow a person to put more energy into the target. This is very important when one is trying to defend themselves.....

    PhilR.

  7. #6
    Tuefelhunden is offline Member
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    I tend to like the Winchester Silver Tips in my Air Weight but there are a lot of good choices.

  8. #7
    Gregg1LE's Avatar
    Gregg1LE is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptarmigan View Post
    I personally use the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain +P
    They pack a punch in a 642, but I use them as well.

  9. #8
    Bob Wright's Avatar
    Bob Wright is offline Senior Member
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    My own choice has been the .38 Special +P Federal Nyclad 158gr. SWC. Don't think I can get these now, but still have a few.

    Why +P? The old .38 Special RN bullet often didn't penetrate deeply enough, especially in winter time when heavy clothing might be worn. And, the RN bullets often deflected when hitting bone, causing only superficial wounds that allowed the assailant to continue his rampage until put down by something more substantial.

    Bob Wright

  10. #9
    dannyb is offline Junior Member
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    My basic philosophy is to practice with the round that I'm going to use in a defense situation. That way I have no surprises due to change in recoil and ballistics to contend with. If +P rounds are too expensive, then practice with and keep .357 in the cylinder (provided that it's a .357 of course).

  11. #10
    clanger's Avatar
    clanger is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wright View Post
    Why +P? The old .38 Special RN bullet often didn't penetrate deeply enough, especially in winter time when heavy clothing might be worn. And, the RN bullets often deflected when hitting bone, causing only superficial wounds that allowed the assailant to continue his rampage until put down by something more substantial.

    Bob Wright
    Bingo!

    wRight as usual.

    *

    And-

    Use both hot and reduced loads.
    Save some wear on your rig and use reduced loads for practice, but, make sure you know how to use and are fimiliar with the full-house/hot stuff.

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