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Posted: 10/2/2014 11:14:15 AM EST
I got another article published. Here's an excerpt:

Most of us who have been shooting for a while know that jacketed hollow point ammunition is vastly preferred for a defensive handgun. Pistols and revolvers do not produce enough velocity for the stretch cavity to contribute to wounding the way it does in many rifles so the size of the wound is dependent on the size of the projectile. The wider the bullet gets, the larger the hole is. JHP ammunition is designed to begin expanding shortly after impact to create a wider wound channel. With a larger frontal area, the bullet also slows quickly and therefore presents less risk to people that might be beyond your attacker. Many of us also choose a small revolver for concealed carry because, although they are difficult to master, a small revolver is simple and light weight making it very convenient to slip in a pocket. Let’s face it; we aren’t likely to need a gun. If we do need a gun, we probably won’t have to fire it. If we do have to fire it, the bad guy probably won’t be farther away than we can smell him and we probably won’t have to shoot more than once or twice. That makes a short barrel .38 Special a very reasonable choice. It’s also perfectly reasonable to just pick a quality JHP from one of the four or five big names and be done with it. Or is it?

We live in a golden age when it comes to defensive ammunition design. There are quite a few very well designed, high performance bullet designs out there. Gone are the days when there was great merit to the respective sides in the ancient 9mm vs. .45 ACP debate. Loaded with modern JHP ammunition, both 9mm and .45 perform very well, as does .40 S&W and .357 Sig. HST, Gold Dot, SXT, Ranger, PDX1, XTP, and Golden Saber all deliver very good accuracy and terminal performance and the difference between the top and bottom performers among that crowd is negligible. So why not just choose any one of them and hit the road? Everybody knows Speer Gold Dot is a top performer so if you’re carrying a 2” .38 spl grab a box of the 135 gr +P short barrel load and put it out of your mind, right? Not quite. As it turns out, .38 spl is right on the edge of the performance envelope. Some of those loads will work okay, but not through denim, or they’ll expand just fine when fired through denim in warm weather but cold weather lowers the velocity just enough to prevent expansion. The ammunition makers aren’t exactly lying to us; it’s just that the test protocol can’t always be robust enough to cover every situation. Take that highly regarded 135 gr Gold Dot load, for example. ATK (the parent company for Speer and Federal) gives test results for all their defensive ammunition on their website: http://le.atk.com/wound_ballistics/ The results listed for that 135 gr load indicate that it fails to meet the 12” minimum when fired into bare gel or through the FBI heavy clothing standard and it barely begins to expand when fired through the IWBA heavy clothing standard. In my own informal testing of the load, I accidentally discovered that cold weather can prevent it from gaining enough velocity to expand. I later confirmed that in a separate test.
View Quote


The rest is here, if you're interested.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:17:48 AM EST
A heavier bullet, moving slower, from a short barrel doesn't penetrate/expand well?!?!

My surprised face
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:26:26 AM EST
I've got 125 gr +p Golden Sabers in my 642. I might need to pick up some FBI loads though.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:29:44 AM EST
who would have known?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:33:55 AM EST
Cheat sheets?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:39:41 AM EST
158gr lead HP. If it expands then great, if not you are still GTG penetration wise.

Light bullets in a .38 spl snubby has been a known fail for years.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:52:22 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Muerte:
Cheat sheets?
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Until something else is tested, use Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (53921) in your snub-nose .38, and don't rely on it to be effective through windshield glass.

«tc2k11»
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:56:38 AM EST
Where's the food?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:00:54 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tc2k11:

Until something else is tested, use Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (53921) in your snub-nose .38, and don't rely on it to be effective through windshield glass.

«tc2k11»
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tc2k11:
Originally Posted By Muerte:
Cheat sheets?

Until something else is tested, use Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (53921) in your snub-nose .38, and don't rely on it to be effective through windshield glass.

«tc2k11»


If you carry it close to the body. If it is carried on the ankle, in a purse, glove box, etc., it might get cold enough during cold weather to prevent expansion when fired through heavy clothing. Doc Roberts, the source of much of the recommendations in the "best choices" post, recommends the 135 gr Speer load because it tends to expand more reliably than most other loads, not because it is a proven, consistent performer like .40 S&W 180 gr Gold Dot or HST. He also recommends the 110 gr DPX load and 148 gr wad cutter. He does advise that the "FBI load" may have trouble with heavy clothing but I don't believe he tested the Buffalo Bore flavor, which is very hot.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:02:18 PM EST
158grn wad cutters. I like throwing cylinders at people.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:05:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CPT_CAVEMAN:
Where's the food?
View Quote


Just for you, I'll fire up the way back machine and fine a pic including our 638.

Hillbilly eggs benedict. Biscuit with homemade gravy topped with over medium egg, sharp Tillamook cheddar, and cock sauce.

Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:14:08 PM EST
All this after the FBI thread?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:17:13 PM EST
That's why I carry an FN49. Sure, you have to walk with a limp and with the stock in your armpit, but if someone wearing denim in the winter gets froggy, you know it will deliver.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:19:15 PM EST
That the classic "snub-nosed .38special" is NOT a guaranteed man stopper is hardly a "secret".

Some loads are better than others under different conditions but in the end, it is what it is...still better than just carrying pocket lint.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:22:33 PM EST
Maybe .357 snubbies aren't the folly many here proclaim them to be.

My M&P 340CT, IMO, is the best snubbie available, hands down. .38/.357, highly corrosion resistant, highly portable, tritium front sight, CT grips, super light weight, no lock, incredibly reliable.

Nobody said it'd be fun to shoot, nor a good range gun....but as far as effective? Hands down the best snubbie out there.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:24:49 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Makarov:
That the classic "snub-nosed .38special" is NOT a guaranteed man stopper is hardly a "secret".

Some loads are better than others under different conditions but in the end, it is what it is...still better than just carrying pocket lint.
View Quote



Pretty much this. I know what I have in my pocket when I choose to go that route.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:25:19 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By M4:
Maybe .357 snubbies aren't the folly many here proclaim them to be.

My M&P 340CT, IMO, is the best snubbie available, hands down. .38/.357, highly corrosion resistant, highly portable, tritium front sight, CT grips, super light weight, no lock, incredibly reliable.

Nobody said it'd be fun to shoot, nor a good range gun....but as far as effective? Hands down the best snubbie out there.
View Quote



Love my M&P 340
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:26:54 PM EST
Thats why my snubby is a .357 mag. I can handle it and everything I have seen shows it has more power out of the snubby.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:28:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 12:43:59 PM EST by LightningII]
When I carry a snub I've always used the Remington FBI load. I read an Ayoob article where he stated that Remington used the softest lead, winchester the hardest.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:30:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 2:49:33 PM EST by CPT_CAVEMAN]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bluefalcon:


Just for you, I'll fire up the way back machine and fine a pic including our 638.

Hillbilly eggs benedict. Biscuit with homemade gravy topped with over medium egg, sharp Tillamook cheddar, and cock sauce.

http://i61.tinypic.com/jt9swm.jpg
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Originally Posted By bluefalcon:
Originally Posted By CPT_CAVEMAN:
Where's the food?


Just for you, I'll fire up the way back machine and fine a pic including our 638.

Hillbilly eggs benedict. Biscuit with homemade gravy topped with over medium egg, sharp Tillamook cheddar, and cock sauce.

http://i61.tinypic.com/jt9swm.jpg


Thanks

I was always under the impression that snubbys were always a last resort weapon and not ideal for defense. I mean even if the round expands how much energy is it going to have?

Anyone who thinks a snubby is ideal deserves what they get.

Great write up. I didn't know what you talked about, but it doesn't surprise me.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:31:24 PM EST
I still carry 158g +P LSWCHP when I carry my snubby. *shrug*
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:31:41 PM EST
This doesn't surprise me, but then most people aren't ammo nerds so I get who it's aimed at.

I am jelly that you're getting stuff published.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:40:03 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CPT_CAVEMAN:


Thanks

I
was always under the impression that snubbys were always a last resort weapon and not ideal for defense. I mean even if the round expands how much energy is it going to have?

Anyone who thinks a snubby is ideal deserves what they get.

Great write up. I didn't know what you talked about, but it doesn't surprise me.
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Originally Posted By CPT_CAVEMAN:
Originally Posted By bluefalcon:
Originally Posted By CPT_CAVEMAN:
Where's the food?


Just for you, I'll fire up the way back machine and fine a pic including our 638.

Hillbilly eggs benedict. Biscuit with homemade gravy topped with over medium egg, sharp Tillamook cheddar, and cock sauce.

http://i61.tinypic.com/jt9swm.jpg


Thanks

I
was always under the impression that snubbys were always a last resort weapon and not ideal for defense. I mean even if the round expands how much energy is it going to have?

Anyone who thinks a snubby is ideal deserves what they get.

Great write up. I didn't know what you talked about, but it doesn't surprise me.


Nation of convenience. We carry concealed handguns because it's inconvenient to deal with hurt liberal feelings and the cops they involve. We carry small handguns because it's inconvenient to conceal an AR in our pants.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:42:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 12:43:55 PM EST by bluefalcon]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XMM:
I still carry 158g +P LSWCHP when I carry my snubby. *shrug*
View Quote


Me too. Specifically, the Buffalo Bore load mentioned in the article. That stuff is HOT and it was able to expand even when I got it really good and cold before shooting through four layers of denim.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:44:20 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 53vortec:
This doesn't surprise me, but then most people aren't ammo nerds so I get who it's aimed at.

I am jelly that you're getting stuff published.
View Quote


Well, to be fair, it's only a blog.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:47:35 PM EST
A hard cast SWC "Keith" bullet , heavy for caliber, and moving at lower velocities is going to impress the hell out of whatever it hits. high velocity is not always where "it's" at.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 12:47:35 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By M4:
Maybe .357 snubbies aren't the folly many here proclaim them to be.

View Quote
My M&P 340CT, IMO, is the best snubbie available, hands down. .38/.357, highly corrosion resistant, highly portable, tritium front sight, CT grips, super light weight, no lock, incredibly reliable.

Nobody said it'd be fun to shoot, nor a good range gun....but as far as effective? Hands down the best snubbie out there.

From a short barrel... .357 doesn't buy you much more velocity than .38 +P ... and if it does, it's probably at the cost of concussion, blast, flash, recoil, and the reduction in "shootability" that accompanies those things. All that firepower does no good if you can't place the bullets where they need to go.

Not saying it's bad... but it might not be the "best" for everyone.

My BUG/NPE gun is .32 ACP Kel-Tec, and I stuff it with 73gr FMJ... I know its not as effective as a bigger gun, but I can shoot it fairly accurately, pretty fast, and it holds 8 shots. I've been thinking about finding a J-frame in .38 or .327 for a wintertime coat pocket gun... but I can't currently justify one. Sometimes it sucks being an adult. So I'll stick with my G19/P-32 setup for now.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 1:27:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 1:28:54 PM EST by Ragin_Cajun]
Their dirty little secret is that I can't hit a barn with them from inside the barn


I've chrono'd Gold Dot 124gr+P out of the teeny little barrel of my G26, and surprisingly it's supersonic and within about 40fps of the fullsize G17
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 1:44:40 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By gwitness:
A hard cast SWC "Keith" bullet , heavy for caliber, and moving at lower velocities is going to impress the hell out of whatever it hits. high velocity is not always where "it's" at.
View Quote


Beyond SWC, Buffalo Bore makes this interesting round:

Link Posted: 10/2/2014 1:53:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XMM:
I still carry 158g +P LSWCHP when I carry my snubby. *shrug*
View Quote


Same here.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 2:03:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 53vortec:


Beyond SWC, Buffalo Bore makes this interesting round:

https://www.buffalobore.com/images/products/large_111_20d-250-cb.jpg
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Originally Posted By 53vortec:
Originally Posted By gwitness:
A hard cast SWC "Keith" bullet , heavy for caliber, and moving at lower velocities is going to impress the hell out of whatever it hits. high velocity is not always where "it's" at.


Beyond SWC, Buffalo Bore makes this interesting round:

https://www.buffalobore.com/images/products/large_111_20d-250-cb.jpg


hmmmmmm...I'll have to get some of those for my own reloading amusement...
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 2:18:18 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AirRaceFan:


Same here.
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Originally Posted By AirRaceFan:
Originally Posted By XMM:
I still carry 158g +P LSWCHP when I carry my snubby. *shrug*


Same here.


me too... those BB rounds make an impression for sure.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 2:42:24 PM EST
Looks like I'm better off leaving the Smith Airweight at home, and just carrying a pocket full of marbles to throw.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 3:17:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 3:17:46 PM EST by M4]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WesDesRat:
My M&P 340CT, IMO, is the best snubbie available, hands down. .38/.357, highly corrosion resistant, highly portable, tritium front sight, CT grips, super light weight, no lock, incredibly reliable.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WesDesRat:
Originally Posted By M4:
Maybe .357 snubbies aren't the folly many here proclaim them to be.

My M&P 340CT, IMO, is the best snubbie available, hands down. .38/.357, highly corrosion resistant, highly portable, tritium front sight, CT grips, super light weight, no lock, incredibly reliable.

Nobody said it'd be fun to shoot, nor a good range gun....but as far as effective? Hands down the best snubbie out there.

From a short barrel... .357 doesn't buy you much more velocity than .38 +P ... and if it does, it's probably at the cost of concussion, blast, flash, recoil, and the reduction in "shootability" that accompanies those things. All that firepower does no good if you can't place the bullets where they need to go.

Not saying it's bad... but it might not be the "best" for everyone.

My BUG/NPE gun is .32 ACP Kel-Tec, and I stuff it with 73gr FMJ... I know its not as effective as a bigger gun, but I can shoot it fairly accurately, pretty fast, and it holds 8 shots. I've been thinking about finding a J-frame in .38 or .327 for a wintertime coat pocket gun... but I can't currently justify one. Sometimes it sucks being an adult. So I'll stick with my G19/P-32 setup for now.

Depends who you ask...

Which leads us to the question: "How much velocity do you lose for the convenience of a more compact blaster? First off, let’s forget about the mythical 1,500 fps claimed for the original magnum. I’d bet it didn’t do that from the 8?-inch S&W back in 1935, not with the powders available then, and it sure as heck didn’t do it from the 3½-inch FBI models.

Real-world magnum performance is robust, but not that robust. Yes, a 2½-inch barrel suffers in comparison with a 6½ inch, but a 140-grain bullet going 1,100 or 1,200 fps is not something any .38 Special +P can aspire to. Short barrels never slow down the .357 to the point that it becomes what some critics call a "loud .38.”

Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/reviews/hard-hitting-handful-the-357-magnum-review/#ixzz3F1L9ogxt
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 3:22:47 PM EST
Lighter gr weights in snubbies work better.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 4:44:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fatcat4620:
158grn wad cutters. I like throwing cylinders at people.
View Quote


That they are.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:35:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BeauBeaux:
Lighter gr weights in snubbies work better.
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Except for DPX, lighter bullets not recommended by Doc Roberts. Do you know of any testing indicates that lighter bullets are more effective?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:42:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 8:42:53 PM EST by danpass]
Here in pocket-carry-land-south-Florida the 5 round 642 in my pocket beats the Glock 19 with multiple mags sitting at home.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:46:12 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XMM:
I still carry 158g +P LSWCHP when I carry my snubby. *shrug*
View Quote

Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:50:49 PM EST
Wasn't the anemic performance of the .38 the reason we went to .45 in the first place?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:57:00 PM EST
I've been carrying Remington 158gr LSWCHP +Ps for a year and a half now.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only 20-something that would carry a revolver with a load like that.

Not that it matters, but mine's a LCR 357.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 8:57:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BeauBeaux:
Lighter gr weights in snubbies work better.
View Quote


Please justify that statement.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:02:59 PM EST
I carry a snub nose .38 every day. I've never been concerned about being under gunned.
But then, I'm not an operator like the vast majority of basement dwellers here.
Just a chubby, gray haired guy with a gun...
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:06:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2014 9:09:04 PM EST by tango1978]
A few years ago I put down a deer on country road that had been hit by a vehicle and had no use of its front legs or rear legs , I can't remember which two it was. I used my pocket carried 642 with 125gr WWB semi jacketed HP personal protection bullets to put it down. The bullet went into the back of the head and left a massive exit out of the front. I still carry these same loads when I carry a jframe and I have no doubts that they perform well.

These are some nasty rounds and the lead hp tips and the partial jacketed bottom core offers in my opinion the perfect balance of penetration and expansion. If interested there are several online ballistics tests that can be found online for these rounds.

ETA I think sometimes we put to much thought into a magic bullet type and not enough thought in placement, in my youth I have used a 22 to drop a buck deer.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:08:49 PM EST
How did these rounds do in the goat test?
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:10:48 PM EST
5 shot snubs are about one step above a derringer.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 9:54:11 PM EST
Good article.

I'm sort of a steel .38 J frame enthusiast.

I stick to Buffalo Bore lead rounds of various construction depending on the gun and the intended use.






Link Posted: 10/3/2014 6:32:22 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By triburst1:
5 shot snubs are about one step above a derringer.
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Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:07:35 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fatcat4620:
How did these rounds do in the goat test?
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Stirring the pot are we.......
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:11:33 AM EST
I tested a few shitty loads and one good one and now snub noses suck.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:14:02 AM EST
Lead SWC. It deforms and expands without having to overcome the integrity of a copper jacket.

Joe Friday knew what was going on.
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