Self-defense rounds for .38 spl that's not +p

Discussion in 'Shooting & Fireams Training / Skills' started by Stone, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Today I learned (with joy) that my landlady owns a revolver for SD. (She has some ... um, issues, is a hard core democrat, and I was worried that if she or her husband ever became aware that I'm carrying a 9mm, I'd be kicked out.)

    However, she seems to know little about it, and keeps it loaded with FMJ ball ammo. So, I'm coaching her on better ammo, and we'll go to a range soon to shoot it (and mine).

    I owned .38 spl for years: SW 642 air weight. But it was rated +p, so I carried Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. But that round comes only in +p, and her revolver is an older service revolver, not rated for +p.

    I'm curious if any here use an older non+p revolver in .38 spl, and if so, what you recommend for SD rounds.

    This Hornady seems a good contender.

    http://www.hornady.com/store/38-Special-125-gr-XTP-American-Gunner/
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  2. Medicth

    Medicth Member

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  3. Stone

    Stone Member

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    That indeed looks like a better round than what I posted above. Thanks.

    Fortunately for her, she's a big woman, so no need to consider a lighter round.
     
  4. Baldcutnut

    Baldcutnut Member

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    What length barrel ? If it's a snub nose the +P is the way to go.
     
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  5. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Agreed, but it's not a snub. I haven't seen it yet, but she assures me it's not a snub. She called it "an older service revolver". I suspect it's a 3" or 4" barrel.
     
  6. JAD

    JAD Member

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    This is what my wife's 642 Airweight is loaded with. It is a great round for more comfortable shooting but not ball ammo.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I'm curious, JAD: why 90 gr instead of 110?
     
  8. Medicth

    Medicth Member

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    lower recoil for the wife?
     
  9. .357 mag

    .357 mag Member

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    My wife uses standard pressure 158 grain with hornandy XTP bullets.
     
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  10. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    Yes if you are going non +P go heavy. I am a bit out of the market at the moment but I recall most of the big makers did a 158/148 load. Depending on the revolver it may be just fine with +Ps, even if a bit older.
     
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  11. JAD

    JAD Member

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    I have no idea. My ballistics knowledge is crap. I read a review on these rounds a few years ago and it sounded like it might be worth a try for my wife, especially in light firearms (or my wife's hands). I tried it first and thought it was a good round. Very accurate and definitely lighter recoil. She found it "acceptable". Translated that means it is not too bad for her to hold the gun and pull the trigger.:)

    Give a box a try and you might like them in that 642. I also have the 442. I like both pistols. I keep one dedicated to just her lockbox and it is the one she practices with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
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  12. C99c

    C99c Member

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    Identify the gun first, then start looking at ammo. "Old Service Revolver" could be a 20 yr old Ruger or a 70 yr old Colt or an RG from somewhere in between.

    Big differences in what will work best between the many possibilities.
     
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  13. Stone

    Stone Member

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    JAD, did you ever hang out on THR with this user name? Just a guess.

    For the record, this is not for my revolver .. long ago sold (9 mm pistol @ 4 o'clock),
    but for the land lady ( a misnomer ... more like a viking bitch)

     
  14. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    For years I carried 110gn Winchester +Ps in both J and K Frame Smiths, not a bad little round, then the issue became 147gn +Ps. We did have some 110gn Silvertips that were not +P specifically for issue with the J frames and for people who found the +Ps to stout in a small revolver. They were quite mild to use. Not sure if they are still available.

    As noted, first point of business is identifying the revolver. If it is old and currently loaded with FMJ it needs to be conclusively ID'ed as .38Special not 38S&W or similar.
     
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  15. .357 mag

    .357 mag Member

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    It's basically a .380 load in a .38 package. Nothing wrong with that. .380 does just fine.
     
  16. JAD

    JAD Member

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    @Stone - No I never hung out at THR. The only other forum that I am registered on is a Toyota 4Runner forum that I haven't visited in months. When it comes to the internet I guess my bubble is very tiny.
     
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  17. Wisdom

    Wisdom Member

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    Since you mentioned shes a Democrat, I would steer her toward rat shot.
     
  18. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    140 grain Speer JHP over 8 grains Blue Dot. In my 4 and 6 inch .38 specials, the load is accurate, adequate.
     
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  19. Blake G

    Blake G Member

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    Get a couple boxes of 148 gr wadcutter and have her shoot at least part of a box so she knows what to expect and you can see what she's capable of. Low recoil, low cost and remarkably effective...
     
  20. Stone

    Stone Member

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    ^ That's a great idea. I'll suggest it to her. I'm actually on the way out of here this week, moving to a different town. But she can do it on her own.
     
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