Author Topic: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W  (Read 4165 times)

primacord2257

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Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« on: January 18, 2008, 12:31:21 pm »
Just came across your web site. Love the show.  I have 2 carry weapons. One is a 9mm and the other is a detective S&W .38.
Question I have that maybe someone can help me with is what  ammo has the best stopping power for the .38?

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Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« on: January 18, 2008, 12:31:21 pm »

ismram

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008, 01:49:07 pm »
Just came across your web site. Love the show.  I have 2 carry weapons. One is a 9mm and the other is a detective S&W .38.
Question I have that maybe someone can help me with is what  ammo has the best stopping power for the .38?
Try Speer gold dot 135 +P's They are made for short barrel guns. The knock down power is just short of a 357 out of the same length barrel.
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ellis4538

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 01:53:18 pm »
How old is your S&W?  Is it rated for +p?  If so have you fired and +p in it?  On another post many people spoke highly of the Speer Gold Dot but it depends on the answers to the above questions.  Go back to page 10 and read the posts under expanding full metal jacket for more.
Used to be "The only thing to FEAR was FEAR ITSELF", nowadays "The only thing to FEAR is GETTING CAUGHT!"

ismram

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 02:10:05 pm »
How old is your S&W?  Is it rated for +p?  If so have you fired and +p in it?  On another post many people spoke highly of the Speer Gold Dot but it depends on the answers to the above questions.  Go back to page 10 and read the posts under expanding full metal jacket for more.
Good point! I should have asked if his gun was rated for +P. Sometimes I need to be corrected "Just ask my wife!". :o
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clayflingythingy

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2008, 07:38:55 pm »
primacord,

Is your gun chambered for 38 S&W or 38 S&W Special, AKA 38 Special?

Smith produced the Terrier until the '70s I believe and it was chambered in 38 S&W, not Special.

primacord2257

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2008, 05:56:35 am »
Thank you guys for responding. The information is very helpful. The gun is a S&W, J frame, 5 Shot Detective witha 2" Barrel. I purchased the gun from a private owner (family friend) back in 1988. How would I go about finding out if the gun was rated for +P ammo?

primacord2257

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2008, 06:05:31 am »
It is a S&W .38 Special.

clayflingythingy

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2008, 08:13:29 am »
It will say 38 Special +P on the barrel. The gun is not a "Detective" either as I don't think Smith ever used that term. If it has a hammer it is a Chiefs Special. If the hammer has a shroud it is a Bodyguard. If it has an interneral hammer it is an Centennial.

If it doesn't say 38 Special +P on the barrel I would be leary of shooting +P ammo in the gun even in small amounts. Federal, Remington, and Winchester all have 110 grain JHP's at standard pressure for such guns. Problem is the 110 grain bullet will probably shoot low as the odds are the gun was sighted in with 158 grain bullets. If the 110 JHP's shoot low try a 158 grain standard SWC (HP, if you can find it) or a 148 grain wadcutter bullet.

Some will advocate carrying the gun with +P and doing all your practice with standard ammo and that is one thing to consider. I have never been comfortable with that.

If you haven't been practicing with your Chief I would suggest limiting practice session to 20-25 rounds. I start off with a cylinder full of +P and do the rest of the session with standard ammo. I reload, but if you don't the 100 pak of Winchester sold at Wal Mart is good practice ammo. The cylinder latch will likely abrade your thumb so either wear shooting gloves or use a bandaid with the wound pad facing the cylinder latch BEFORE you start shooting.

If you are an experienced J frame shooter please forgive the above since I couldn't tell from your original post.

One last thought, there is no bullet that will make any handgun a hammer of Thor. I don't get hung up on one bullet as being the perfect bullet for self defense. I will load my guns with Golden Saber, Gold Dot, Hydra Shok, Silvertip, etc. I don't pay attention to internet reports about bullets where some guy shot wet newspapers or water jugs as I judge the chance of my being attacked by an alien water jug as pretty low. Choose any of the premium SD loads avaialble and you haven't "gone wrong".


Rastus

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2008, 08:33:16 am »
......One last thought, there is no bullet that will make any handgun a hammer of Thor. I don't get hung up on one bullet as being the perfect bullet for self defense. I will load my guns with Golden Saber, Gold Dot, Hydra Shok, Silvertip, etc. I don't pay attention to internet reports about bullets where some guy shot wet newspapers or water jugs as I judge the chance of my being attacked by an alien water jug as pretty low. Choose any of the premium SD loads avaialble and you haven't "gone wrong".

Claythingyflingy is exactly right.  There is no "Hammer of Thor" out there....the bad guys don't fall in real life like in the movies.

I've spoken with Jim Scoutten (did I say that here?) and some LEO's...the do recommend the Speer Gold Dot for .38's.  Some contacts from USSA recommend Expanding Full Metal Jacket for .45's...etc, etc.?

Breath, relax, aim...squeeze.  Bullet going downrange where it's supposed to go....better than any particular brand.
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2HOW

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Re: Ammo with best stopping power for .38 S&W
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2008, 09:13:07 am »
I beg to differ, but it will not say +p on the barrel. I have a old model 649 .38 spl unlike the new models .38/.357 its a .38 only, but I called S&W and they said it was rated for +ps . I would call or email them. OTOH I have never found that a few +ps would hurt a well made revolver in good shape.
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