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Posted: 8/19/2017 4:47:14 PM EDT
I have two 38 special revolvers that I have just recently purchased. I do not want plus P loads.
One is a J frame PC my wife will carry. The other is a Colt Detective built in 1995 so shooting Plus P loads in that gun in quantity does not seem advisable.

So given the above info for defensive carry rounds what do you 38 revolver guys think will give the best penetration and expansion?
I will want to buy a few hundred rounds that I can stock for both guns.

I am thinking Speer Gold Dots might be a good choice but since these are my first 38 revolvers I wanted input from the guys who know.
Thanks
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 4:48:14 PM EDT
[#1]
I carry Gold Dot Short Barrel in my 642.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 4:52:16 PM EDT
[#2]
I bought these.

Link Posted: 8/19/2017 4:56:38 PM EDT
[#3]
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 4:57:49 PM EDT
[#4]
No +P.  Gold dot the best one so far.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 4:58:07 PM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Was going to recommend this but OP said no +P.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 4:59:29 PM EDT
[#6]
135gr speer gold dot
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:01:25 PM EDT
[#7]
Are Federal Nyclads still available?
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:04:53 PM EDT
[#8]
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:05:30 PM EDT
[#9]
S&W J frame from the 70's is my alternative carry . I carry federal hydra shoks in it and in the light weight Colt commander I usually carry.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:05:37 PM EDT
[#10]
Gold dots or golden sabers is what I use.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:10:10 PM EDT
[#11]
There's nothing wrong with shooting some +p in a 95 Detective Special.  Older standard pressure ammo is usually hotter than today's +p offerings.

I use 135 short barrel gold dots in my j frame.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:10:57 PM EDT
[#12]
I'm not a ballistics expert, but Hornady claims their Critical Defense is designed for short barrels and seems to get good reviews.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:11:42 PM EDT
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
135gr speer gold dot
View Quote
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:12:29 PM EDT
[#14]
I like Hornady Critical Defense for my J-Frame Smith.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:16:31 PM EDT
[#15]
Buffalo Bore for fireball supremacy...
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:19:50 PM EDT
[#16]
OP you do want +P loads for carry. Just shoot standard pressure for the bulk of your training.
Ive ran a bunch of these in my 442. I'm sweet on the Speer load but the Winchester is good too.

Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:20:48 PM EDT
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Are Federal Nyclads still available?
View Quote
This is what I carry in my model 37.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:28:34 PM EDT
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Are Federal Nyclads still available?
View Quote
Nope, I'm not sure exactly when they discontinued it, 90s or early 2000s I guess.

I read that Federal was going to start making it again, then the big scare/hoarding/shortage hit and I haven't heard anything about it since.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:29:07 PM EDT
[#19]
http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/revolver-ballistics-test/
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:40:25 PM EDT
[#20]
Speer Gold Dot 135 +P SB is probably the "best" round.

I carry 148 grain WCS, yeah it doesn't expand, but its low recoil, hits dead on to the sights, and is easy to shoot.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:42:45 PM EDT
[#21]
Winchester Ranger or Gold Dots.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:45:22 PM EDT
[#22]
158gr lead SWC hollow points by Win, Fed, or Rem
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 5:58:45 PM EDT
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
158gr lead SWC hollow points by Win, Fed, or Rem
View Quote
I was going to suggest this, but they're +P
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:00:53 PM EDT
[#24]
Man how times have changed.  Where are all the promotions for "FANGFACE!"  Ammo?

Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:04:43 PM EDT
[#25]
Funny, Colt advertised their revolvers to be capable of handling the old .38-44 loads, and those were much hotter than today's +p.

That was in the 1930s, I would think that 1990s steel would be even  stronger.

The ideal short barrel .38 Spl standard pressure load would probably be a standard pressure, (as opposed to mid-range), wad-cutter.

I believe Buffalo Bore still loads a round like that.  That would be my standard pressure choice.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:08:59 PM EDT
[#26]
Speer Gold Dot short barrel then Winchester Ranger but if you really don't want +P then the BB 158gr.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:11:59 PM EDT
[#27]
The Colt Dick Special will easily handle +P Loads.  Personally I have mine loaded with the old FBI Load.  LSWHP.
When I sponsor Mas Ayoob that is the load he carries in the gun I loan him, he never complains about it.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:13:42 PM EDT
[#28]
Pretty much standard practice to carry +Ps in older revolvers and to practice with standard pressure. At least it was years ago when I carried an old chiefs special. I kept it loaded with the 135+P gold dots.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:13:47 PM EDT
[#29]


At least you might hit something
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:14:52 PM EDT
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Man how times have changed.  Where are all the promotions for "FANGFACE!"  Ammo?

View Quote
It can certainly trace it's roots to a proven manstopper.

RIP Jim Cirillo
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:15:59 PM EDT
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Are Federal Nyclads still available?
View Quote
They were around 7-8 years ago when I bought my last .38 revolver.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:16:35 PM EDT
[#32]
I carry Speer Gold dot SB +P in my S&W model 40 J frame, and My 3rd gen. Colt Detective Special.

I know what the point of impact is for both, If I'm going to the range then I've got reloads and less expensive ammo to shoot up, if it comes to life or death situation I like the Gold Dots.

By the way Colt came out and said that +P is fine, not a steady diet but for SD use good, the 40 is a reissue collector handgun and is approved for +P.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:19:21 PM EDT
[#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I carry Gold Dot Short Barrel in my 642.
View Quote
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:20:03 PM EDT
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The Colt Dick Special will easily handle +P Loads.  Personally I have mine loaded with the old FBI Load.  LSWHP.
When I sponsor Mas Ayoob that is the load he carries in the gun I loan him, he never complains about it.
View Quote
Still the best .38 load IMHO.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:21:05 PM EDT
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
First post nails it and all.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I carry Gold Dot Short Barrel in my 642.
First post nails it and all.
Slam dunk on that one. Gold dot all the way
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:30:45 PM EDT
[#36]
I carry Lehigh defense
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:37:27 PM EDT
[#37]
Remington 158 lead swc
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:39:03 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
i have a bunch of old Nyclad 158+p SWCHP I still use in my old 37 and 300 of the above for future use.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:55:01 PM EDT
[#39]
Lucky Gunners Ballistics for the 38Spl

When I carry my 38, I have 110gr Hornady Critical Defense. It was available at the time that I needed them, and they seem to do just fine in the test.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:10:32 PM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I carry Gold Dot Short Barrel in my 642.
View Quote
+2 {442 and 642 here}
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:12:05 PM EDT
[#41]
135 grain Gold Dot
130 grain Ranger

Both are good.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:13:11 PM EDT
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Those.

Golddot short barrel load is a 2nd choice.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:22:06 PM EDT
[#44]
Old school, stainless steel S&W 64-2. Carried one since 1978
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:24:20 PM EDT
[#45]
Gold Dot is always the answer.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:30:23 PM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Man how times have changed.  Where are all the promotions for "FANGFACE!"  Ammo?

View Quote
You mean "The worlds best, anti-terrorist, match grade munition, made with chromenitroberrilium"?
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:31:11 PM EDT
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I'm not a ballistics expert, but Hornady claims their Critical Defense is designed for short barrels and seems to get good reviews.
View Quote
Just picked up a box of these. +P, however.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 7:51:04 PM EDT
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I carry Gold Dot Short Barrel in my 642.
View Quote
This (in my 640PD).

J-
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:40:05 PM EDT
[#49]
I like the 135 grain GD gold dot short barrel.

I don't feel bad with the 158 grain grain +p

I don't carry snubbies much anymore though.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:41:16 PM EDT
[#50]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Speer Gold Dot 135 +P SB is probably the "best" round.

I carry 148 grain WCS, yeah it doesn't expand, but its low recoil, hits dead on to the sights, and is easy to shoot.
View Quote
This.
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