In .38 spl and .357 mag....I stay with the traditional 158gr bullet...( and I reload so its easy for me to tailor some reloads in .38 spl for some of the younger grandkids...)
but in .38 spl ...I don't like the 125 grain bullets..they tend to have a faster muzzle velocity up around 900 fps..or a little faster / and in .38spl in the 158gr I like the muzzle velocity for the kids down around 750 fps...for a much gentler recoil / softer shooting round. My reloads in .38 spl are between 725 and 750 fps.
If I was going to buy .38 spl ammo ...I'd probably look at MagTech ammo - they make a number of jacketed bullet commercial rounds in .38spl with the 158gr bullet.
I also tailor the grips to the younger kids...on a K frame / they start shooting a model 18 in .22 ( 4" ), then I move them up to a model 10 4" in .38 spl (K frame)....or a model 19 or 66 4" and keep them in the .38 spl ...until they get enough upper body and hand strength to handle a softer .357 mag round. I have some round butt K frames / and the round butt grips tend to fit smaller hands...and I have a variety of grips for the SQ butt K frames too ...some wood, with finger grooves - the rubber Hogue grips - the standard K frame wood target grips..etc...
same way I break the young kids into semi-autos ....Browning Buckmark in .22 / maybe a conversion kit on a 1911 / then a Sig 239 in 9mm or a 4" alloy frame 1911 in a 9mm...just let them transition thru the guns as they get comfortable. All kids want to shoot the biggest and heaviest gun they can ...but they have to earn it...( standard T-2 targets at 15 or 21 Feet )...5 nice shots out of 6, on target somewhere in the 7" circle before they move up.
They know when they're ready ...its a sense of pride for them / and they appreciate that I can tailor loads that are best for them to accomplish their goals. A lot of new shooters are ruined in this hobby ...by going to big calibers, or heavy recoil rounds, too fast. I saw it Sunday at my range...guy was making his wife shoot a tactical shotgun - and she hated it more every time she pulled the trigger. He wasn't doing her any favors. Same thing with young kids..
Last edited by BigJimP; March 26, 2013 at 11:36 AM.