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  1. #1
    netmaker is offline Junior Member
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    Taurus .38 Special +P 5 shot Polymer frame

    This is the first snub nose and/or .38 Special I have ever owned.
    What is a reliable and SAFE round for home defense ? I do not want any barrel pressure ruptures.
    I am ignorant about the new loads and this +P.

    1. Bullet weight
    2. Bullet type
    3. Amount of powder


    This is NOT a range gun. Its a conceal carry weapon and hopefully only has to be taken out to sight in and "get the feel for".

    * Does store bought or hand loaded make a difference ? ?

    Thank you for any comments

  2. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Judging by your questions, you are a new shooter.
    If you're going to carry it, you had better practice enough to become accurate and effective with it. It is not enough to merely "sight in and 'get the feel for.'"

    It has been my own experience that the easiest-to-shoot .38 Special loads are those with heavy bullets, fired at relatively slow speeds. You might try 158-grain-bullet loads, specifically. I suggest lead-bullet loads for practice, and best-quality hollow-point semi-jacketed or jacketed bullets for self-defense.
    You need concern yourself only with the weight and type of the bullet, since there is a limit to the pressure that even a +P gun can withstand. That automatically takes care of the amount and type of powder involved.
    I suggest against the use of +P loads, since this "feature" increases the painful part of recoil, while delivering insufficient improvement in effectiveness to make the pain worthwhile.

    Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to purchase in-bulk handloads (usually sold in paper bags, or in reused boxes) because you cannot be sure that the ammunition was properly and carefully handled by the loader. Buy "name-brand" ammunition because its manufacturer is a known source, with a well-known ability to produce high-quality products. (But avoid all Russian-made and steel-case ammunition as you would the plague.)
    Do not use a friend's handloads, unless you are absolutely certain of his reloading ability and his personal sense of quality control.

  3. #3
    kerrycork is offline Junior Member
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    I agree with Steve M1911A1, thers no worthwhile advantage to .38 spl.+p.

  4. #4
    paratrooper is online now Senior Member
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    Ditto to what's been said about hand loads.

    I've shot some, but they were range ammo only. I don't make it a habit, cause I don't trust anyone other than myself, and I don't reload. So, that pretty much rules out shooting reloads.

  5. #5
    netmaker is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you kindly for the information.

    I am not a new shooter, having been raised and drilled with firearms by a skinny little WWII Marine sargeant since age 10.
    I have been a target shooter for the past 50 odd years. My weapons of choice have been the Ruger Mark II and the 9 shot .22 mag. Hi-Standard.

    The .22's I have are seriouly accurate on any range. But they lack stopping power and are too bulky for conceal carry. I am a new shooter with this pistol though. It is my first pistol ever with a barrel under 5".

    Handloads were mentioned by a local gunsmith. I do not know his reloading skill level, only that he has been doing this for years and has a good reputation with law enforcement personel in the community. I do appreciate what you all are saying about "hot loads".

    On two separate gun ranges , 10 years apart, i witnessed a .357 explode with a"hot load" and a 1911 .45 explode when one round was a dud and apparently stuck in the barrel.the next shot was a catastrophe. Both cases sent the shooters to the hospital. Your warnings are very well taken and appreciated.

    So, in this case, you all are advising a slower, heavier lead for this lightweight polymer framed .38, correct?
    and, you are advising staying away from the +P loads as the extra speed in not worth the accuracy or the recoil?

    thank you all for your time.

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    ...It's good to hear that you're experienced.
    Since that's the case, practice your presentations from the holster.
    Self-defense shooting is very unlike bullseye work. It's more "quick and dirty," rather than careful and deliberate. Ten yards is long range. The width of a room is the more normal distance.

  7. #7
    netmaker is offline Junior Member
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    Understood and thank you again.

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