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Posted: 12/2/2005 3:56:33 PM EDT
So , I've got a 2" .357/.38

So , Good .357 ammo by the box is pricey

So , I'm buying some cheap .38 stuff for plinkin/practice.

So , I grabbed a box of this.




Box says it gets a sizzling 760 fps ( out of a 4" barrel. )

So , remembering from my childhood , this is the stuff that used to just P.O.
Clark Kents alter ego , right?

So , would you feel COMPLETELY vulnerable if you had to use this on a BadGuy?

So , whaddya think
Link Posted: 12/2/2005 6:24:10 PM EDT
I wouldnt feel completely vulnerable, no. It is ammo, and it can be fired from a gun, so therefore it should be able to kill. I dont wanna get shot with that stuff. Besides, put the rounds were they need to go, and you'll be A OK.
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 1:52:09 PM EDT
If you're gonna use a .38 special lead bullet, I'd look around for some 158gr LSWCHP ammo. At least there is the possibility of expansion...
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 2:05:20 PM EDT
FWIW, nobody likes to get shot in the face.
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 4:55:19 PM EDT
If getting shot with that is annoying, that is an annoyance I could do without!
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 7:09:08 PM EDT
Oh... it is lead ball ammunition,
Pretty buff stuff for 1956.

Practice ammo is practice ammo.
Duty ammo is just that. Defensive/tactical .357 ammo is not very expensive.

I practice with Federal Gold Medal .38. At need it holds .357 Hydra-Shoks.
I would humbly suggest you do something similar.
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 7:10:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2005 7:11:21 PM EDT by PAEBR332]
Lee Harvey Oswald used a 158 gr. LRN to instantaneously kill officer Tippit. Oswald was killed two days later by a single 158 LRN from Jack Ruby.

Much more effective bullets are out there, but good shot placement counts for a lot.
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 7:15:26 PM EDT
lol....


looked like an enlarged pic of a box of .22 LR
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 3:38:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 3:54:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 4:37:34 AM EDT
How much is that .38 per box?

You can buy the same ammo in .357 mag for around $15 per box of 50. It is 158 gr JSP. I like the round.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:43:47 PM EDT
I think that the round nose lead bullets would be O.K.
Modern conventional wisdom is that if a bullet don'e expand, it aint any good. I don't know if that is true or not.
.38 special ammo is not the fastest round in the world, but the 158 grain load is heavy, and the round nose means it will probably penetrate fairly well. Personally, I used to carry LSWCHP in my snubby .38, but the round nose lead would probably have the same result cause the hollow points don't usually expand out of the snubbies anyway.

Just like the story of the polar bear, if that cop had hollow point ammo, and it had expanded, it might not have penetrated deep enough to kill the bear. Same thing with 9mm, ball ammo killed bunches of people during WW2 with no problem. It wasn't untill everyone started loading them with rapidly expanding HP ammo that it was found that it doesn't always penetrate deep enough. You have to balance penetration and expansion / deformation of the round. I think HP's are over rated in handgun ammo.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 5:39:38 AM EDT
The 'polar bear' is a typical 'golden BB' story.

You can find as many one-shot-stop stories to support the .25 ACP! (although I have never seen anyone posing over a polar bear with a .25 pocket pistol in hand)

There were more than enough 158gr RNL failures to cause its' decline as a viable round!

There are better loadings to be found, use them!
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:08:28 PM EDT
No, the .38Spl 158gr LRN isn't the best, or even one of the better rounds to use for self defense. When it was the issue round of most police departments for however many years, it was pretty much THE round for police and security work. I don't think anyone put a tremendous amount of thought into the issue as to effectiveness of the round.

But, having said all that, there's a lot of people taking dirt naps courtesy of a .38Spl 158gr LRN round.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 5:45:27 PM EDT
It will do far more than sting. I think that it is a correct statment that shot placment is key. The .38 in the correct hands is a deadly round indeed. Hell, a .22 auto pistol like my Rugar MK2 government model would be very deadly. Think CCI stingers with no recoil and 10 rounds pumped into somone at close range. 10 of those holes would be effective enough.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 5:47:00 PM EDT
Aim for the testicals while he is on the floor doing the 1-2 count you can run away
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 6:01:56 PM EDT
Yeah that load is on the mild side. Also remember the old police load was mostly carried in a 4" pistol. The 2" tube is be qiute a bit less power. Shoot this load in this gun for fun but try to load up and/or find a longer barrel for serious work. On the other hand that load in a 2" revolver is still way better than lots of the little mouse guns of .22 .25 or .32. Your gun is easier to hit with than lots of the little belly guns too.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 2:29:15 PM EDT
+1 what nhsport said. One thing you might consider with a 2" barrel are the Speer Gold Dots engineered for short barrels. I use them for reloading for my Smith 2" .38cal. I'm not sure which commercial loads use them. I bet Speer could tell you, they have always been very helpful when I have questions.

We all have to compromise in life. I don't see the need to in this case. YMMV
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 3:02:30 PM EDT
If you are going to use a lead bullet go with a Keith style bullet. It's a semi-wad cutter design. Be aware also that those factory soft lead bullets may lead the hell out of your barrel. Soft swaged lead bullets will do that. I bought a box of Speer 158gr. lead bullets a while back. Normally my 2" Taurus is a pretty accurate little revolver. But after a cylinder or two of those loads I could barely hit the back stop. I had to use my Lewis Lead Remover to get the lead out of the bore. The bore looked like a smooth bore.
Try and find some loads using hard cast bullets. IIRC, the old "manstopper" police load used a 200gr. roundnose lead bullet. I like to find some of those. Supposedly they were very effective.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 11:01:35 AM EDT
My grandfather carried a .38 S&W snubnose for years. Best load I could find described for that one was 200gr. at 630fps.

More people are killed with .22LR than any other round.

There are better rounds out there, but better to have a gun than a dream for a cannon.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:12:44 AM EDT
Everytime I see those, I am reminded of a story from wayback where an off-duty officer was standing in line at a bank when a robbery went down. Seeing only one suspect, he immediately drew and put four of those into the chest at point blank range, wheeupon the accomplice shot the cop with a .45 and dropped him. As the 2 left the bank, the wounded bad guy used the last round in that .38 to shoot the officer in the face. Both escaped and were not found, that anyone is aware.

It beats being unarmed, but I consider it a step above a .22Mag revolver.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:11:18 PM EDT
.38 Special 158gr LRN..... Deadly ..... or just Annoying ?


Plenty of people taking a dirt nap from those. Wouldn't be my first choice of carry ammo but I sure wouldn't want to be shot by one.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 4:35:00 AM EDT
According to Evan Marshall's statistics, .38 SPL LRN is about 50% effective (for one torso shot resulting in an instant stop) about equal to 9mm ball. There is practically no difference in performance
in .38 SPL LRN from a 2" or 4"or even a 6". Either way the velocity is too low to really have a meaningful effect on preformance. The effectiveness is entirely dependent on how WELL one can shoot.

Just as .45 ACP ball is 90% as effective at 600 fps as it is a 800 fps.

in .38 SPL the LSWC -HP from a 4" is about 65% effective (about equal to .45 hardball) and the "higher peformance" modern ammo in most common calibers are 80-90% effective -at the expense of greater recoil, muzzle flash and blast. And as a rule - ALL handgun rounds that are practical for CCW/home defense are pretty anemic anyway.

I'd rather be able to make rapid, well placed follow up shots with low recoil, low flash and blast .38s
than be flash blinded and deafened by the roar of a .357 125 grain JHP with its 92-96% track record
if facing multiple attackers and/or shooting in low light conditions (the majority of most defensive instances anyway)


I'd say the .38 SPL LRN is fine and the SWCs are a little better and the big bang loads are a waste
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 4:42:59 AM EDT
Double tapping with a well worn, older K-frame heavy barreled 'Smith with standard vel loads is like rapid fire from a .22

You can put two shots really close together very very, fast and be recovered and totally ready for up
to four, follow up shots if need be within a split second.

Try that with a +P+ anything. Better still, try it under low light conditions. And remember on the practice range - we have ear protection on. Imagine a dark room w/o hearing protection. See how long it takes to get accurate follow up shots on additional targets - even one additional target - when all you can see
is a green to purple fading blur in the middle of your eyes for 30 seconds. And the other "target" is armed, too. Now, how well armed are we with "wonder rounds"?

I gave up on +P anything 20 years ago. Besides, one should practice with what is carried
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