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Old July 7, 2012, 07:31 PM   #151
Seven High
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The .38spl round did fairly well for a PDW during the Vietnam War. The round was a 130 grain fmj. Kind of anemic but it worked.
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Old July 8, 2012, 07:06 AM   #152
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It can:
Give enjoyment to countless shooters, young and old, at the range plinking cans and target shooting.
Give piece of mind to arthritic older citizens, not able to manipulate a bottom-feeder, who live alone or not alone when things go bump in the night.
Make a bad guys' night go bad in a hurry.
It can't:
Convert closed-minded individuals who believe nothing but what they shoot will do in any situation.
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Old July 8, 2012, 11:04 AM   #153
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Now move to the police departments who were using the .38 Special in ANY loading, since the military pretty much abandoned the caliber for most uses.
LOTS of complaints back then of it not doing it's job after multiple solid torso hits. The .357 Magnum was supposed to be the savior of the .38 Special, but the police trained on .38 Wadcutters and carried the .357 magnum loads. Bad idea. The difference in recoil and muzzle flash was so great that after the first shot the cop was pretty much blinded and useless. Plus the only really good performance was with the 125 grain bullet.
Not only are you way off the original question, you are so far out in left field it is scary. The 357 was designed to penetrate car doors and kill bad guys hiding in the cars made in the 1930's (Steel). The reputation of the 357 Magnum as a fight stopper was made way before 125 grain JHP's made the scene some 50 years later. Cops blinded and useless from firing magnums? Please.
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Old July 8, 2012, 01:12 PM   #154
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Hey Nanuk,
Quote:
Cops blinded and useless from firing magnums? Please.
This why all of us magnum shooters walk around with white sticks and dark glasses. Haven't you noticed?
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Old July 8, 2012, 02:45 PM   #155
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I'm inexperienced compared to most of you, but I have opinions on the .38 Special. Here's my input to the OP's question:

The .38 Special can:

Be really fun to shoot
Be very accurate
Kill small game
Kill larger game (it's been done)
Kill rattlesnakes (I've done it several times)
Kill humans
Hurt like hell according to my co-worker who was shot with one
Make you feel more secure when it's in the nightstand

The 38 Special can't:

Cause as much damage as a .357 or .44 Magnum or bigger magnum calibers
Hurt your hand as much as a magnum load (unless you have severe physical limitations)
Guarantee safety against any and all species of angry, crazed animals that want to kill you

I don't know why the .38 gets disrespected. Seems like a fine cartridge to me. That being said, I also own a .357, a .45, a .270, a 12 ga., and a 7.62x54. Draw any conclusions you wish.
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Old July 8, 2012, 07:28 PM   #156
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This why all of us magnum shooters walk around with white sticks and dark glasses.
Don't forget hearing loss and broken wrists, which were also touted as risks when I started shooting Magnums in my teenage years.

Still, the .38 is the load I always come back to, and it may be my favorite handgun load.
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Old July 9, 2012, 12:07 AM   #157
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Example: Would you consider a weapon that produces 1323 Ft Lbs of energy and zips along at 3100FPS as having impressive lethality?? Be careful before answering, it's a trick question
What would be REALLY impressive would be to get that 62 grain bullet going 3100 f/sec out of a revolver...... this being The Rvolver Forum and all..... hell, I can't get them to go that fast out a 16" barrelled AR without wrecking the brass.....


Anyhoo, the .38 special is just about the easiest round to reload ..... I have loaded far more of them than any other cartridge.
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Old July 9, 2012, 01:06 AM   #158
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Quote:
"Also a Model 10 S&W with a 4 inch pencil barrel loaded weighs less than a Glock 19 empty. Pick them up side by side some day in a gun store or a show and see for yourself. Of course round count also makes a difference."
Can someone confirm this with an actual Model 10?

I just weighed my pre-Model 10 (4" pencil barrel) with six rounds loaded, and it came in at 34.6 ounces. An unloaded Glock 19 weighs 21 ounces, so the S&W is nearly a pound *heavier* than the unloaded Glock.
According to the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson an M&P (pre model 10) with a 4" barrel unloaded with the factory stocks weighs 29.5 ounces. The Glock 19 unloaded weighs 21 ounces.

So what I said earlier about the Model 10 with a 4" pencil barrel loaded weighing less than the G19 unloaded was wrong. It just feels that way when you hold them side by side. This is because, in my opinion, of the way the weight is distributed. In the Model 10 with the light weight pencil barrel, the weight is directly over the hand. In the unloaded G19 the weight is forward in the muzzle. The center of the guns weight changes as it is loaded with a full mag and changes again as the mag is empty.

Since 16 ounces equals a pound I figure it may be safe to say that the loaded Model 10 is in the neighborhood of weight of the loaded G19. Which doesn't mean much at all though, well other than round count, speed of reload, etc.

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Old July 9, 2012, 07:08 AM   #159
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But how much does the Glock weigh when loaded?
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Old July 9, 2012, 08:50 AM   #160
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I don't have any ammo here at work, but one internet source lists .44 ounces for a 124 gr 9 mm round. I'll check when I get home and update this post if I find that's wildly wrong.

So, 16 rounds in the Glock would weigh just over 7 ounces. Add that to the 21-ounce unloaded weight, and you get 28 ounces, which is still less than the unloaded Model 10.

I agree that the weight distribution and density makes a difference in how heavy a gun "feels", though. Back when I had my Glock 19, it never felt *that* much lighter than my pre-Model 10.
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Old July 9, 2012, 10:12 AM   #161
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Cut to the chase

What can it do? It can make it possible for you to defend the lives of you and your loved ones, should the need arise.

What can't it do? It can't do a damned thing on it's own. You have to be willing to become proficient with it. But I guess the same holds true with any weapon.

That's my $.02 worth.
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Old July 9, 2012, 11:35 AM   #162
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Let's take a peek at what Glock says about the weight of it's guns.

http://us.glock.com/products/model/g19

Glock claims the G19 loaded weighs 30.16 ounces. That may vary a bit depending on round count. The pencil barreled 4" S&W weighs 29.5 ounces and will vary some depending on stocks.

So the loaded G19, to no ones surprise, weighs either a bit more or within a couple of ounces of the M&P. Loaded though and the steel M&P goes over the weight of the G19 by a bit. The stocks, Pachmyers rubber grips for example, may increase that as well.

My mistake and the mistake of two other shooters at a local gunatorium recently was based on picking up both guns empty side by side and holding them and subjectively weighing them. We all agreed and were surprised that the M10 felt lighter than the G19. Still feels lighter but that is just balance. I don't think this point is particular to Glocks. Some of the polymer framed guns, depending on barrel length, have a certain muzzle heavy feel to them when unloaded. The balance point of the gun will shift when a full mag is inserted. But a bull barrel on the M10 and it will feel a good bit heavier than the G19.

I don't recall why I made this point to begin with.

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Last edited by tipoc; July 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM.
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Old July 9, 2012, 01:29 PM   #163
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hole size

So, this is my first post here, but I felt I should interject a little bit of info. I have been in emergency medicine for 10+ years in the Minneapolis area. Now people keep saying that .45, .44 mag, .40, 9mm are all better than a .38 because they make a bigger hole and I have to say, the most tore up gun shot victims when it comes to a hand gun is usually a .22 or .38 sometimes because the bullet doesn't have enough force to leave the body and will bounce around tearing up everything from the chest to the gut. Do they die immediately? No, but they don't usually have a great day. Do they get knocked down immediatly? Not usually, but they don't usually continue their fight either. I carry a Glock 21 in the winter when it is easier to conceal and a .38 sp or .380in the summer for ease of concealment. I am not scared that I will come out on the bad end of a because in reality, shot placement is more important than size.

Of course the reason I rarely see people with a gun shot would from a 12 gauge is that they go to the coroner, and I'm sure they were knocked down almost immediatly which means for home defense, a 12 gauge tactical shot gun is your best bet. hell load it with 2 rounds of #8 shot followed by a couple rounds of 00 buck if needed and you should have nothing to worry about.
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Old July 9, 2012, 02:25 PM   #164
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Yep, what BigJMN said. I shoot magnums and I carry magnum loads outside the house but my bedside gun is 38spcl LSWC 158 gr. from my bed to the door boogerman is in trouble. Outside plinking or shooting small game with a centerfire the 38 spcl beats the heck out of the cost of the magnums and the 44 spcl. What can it do, it can hit a 5 gallon bucket at 200 yards and it can bust up a 2 liter bottle of water at 25 yards and a friend of mine has killed every pig but one with a 38 spcl.

So who cares about the Glock it wasn't part of the question, who cares about the 44 magnum, or the 44 spcl or the 45 colt or the 40 cal or the 10 MM, or the 9 MM, they weren't part of the question.
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Old July 9, 2012, 09:23 PM   #165
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Just some information about the military use of the .38 special. The US military used the 38 special Smith and Wesson's until the 90s when they switched out the M9 pistol. Various type of ball ammo were created for different uses by the military. I recall my father an Air Force SP complaining of the switch from revolver to M9 semi-auto.

Source Wikipedia
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Old July 9, 2012, 09:38 PM   #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJMN
Now people keep saying that .45, .44 mag, .40, 9mm are all better than a .38 because they make a bigger hole and I have to say, the most tore up gun shot victims when it comes to a hand gun is usually a .22 or .38 sometimes because the bullet doesn't have enough force to leave the body and will bounce around tearing up everything from the chest to the gut.
Welcome to The Firing Line!

Great first post. I agree with everything you said except the part about the bullets bouncing around inside the shootee. If a round had enough energy to do that it would have enough energy to pass through.
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Old July 10, 2012, 03:26 PM   #167
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Many have strong opinions about this, BUT...the .38 cal has stopped many a bad guy over the years. I personally carry either Buffalo Bore 150 gr. 38 spl Hard Cast Wadcutter OR Carbon DPX .38+P in my Ruger LCR...and I never feel under-gunned.
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Old July 11, 2012, 09:58 AM   #168
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Quote:
Quote:
When it comes to handguns, I want to use a load that gives me the maximum advantage at protecting my life and my loved ones life.

And you believe that 6 shots of .44magnum in a lightweight revolver fits that description?

I guess it does if you plan on only firing one shot. If additional shots are required, something a little more controllable will offer a huge benefit in terms of the speed and accuracy of any additional shots after the first one.

It's common for people to focus exclusively on terminal performance when choosing a defensive handgun. Terminal performance is important, but it's also important to have adequate capacity, good shootability and skill. Given that skill comes from practice, that last requirement implies that it's important to have a self-defense handgun/ammo combo that allows at least a reasonable amount of practice, both in terms of economics and ergonomics.
Quote:
Bullet design and diameter plays a more important part.

I've got to say that it's hard to take a statement like this coming from someone who clearly didn't even know the bullet diameters of the calibers under discussion until they were posted on this thread and who listed, as evidence that +P was obsolete, a number of bullet designs that are all available in factory +P ammunition.
Quote:
Muzzle energy doesn't kill people.

This is a meaningless statement. Bullets without muzzle energy don't move. Any bullet that moves has muzzle energy as a consequence of that motion. Since stationary bullets are harmless, muzzle energy is an absolute prerequisite for a bullet to be lethal.
Quote:
So how EXACTLY does more FPS = "better"???

Whether you favor energy or momentum, expansion or penetration, you need sufficient velocity to achieve it. Increasing velocity increases both energy and momentum. All else being equal and assuming a reasonable increase in velocity and proper bullet design, velocity will make expansion more reliable. All else being equal, and again assuming a reasonable increase in velocity and proper bullet design, more velocity will result in more penetration.

I guess what I'm saying is that you don't appear to have a handle on even the basics of this rather complicated topic and yet you're authoritatively making unqualified and unsupported statements about what's important and what's not important.

It's not a recipe for building credibility, but it is guaranteed to keep the discussion lively...
Quote:
My bullet and gun choice for home defense is MY business based on my own situation.

Sure, I agree. If you want to use a what is "basically a hunting caliber" (your definition from page 3) in your home defense handgun, it's your business. But it's definitely an unorthodox choice and you shouldn't be surprised to get responses indicating why it's not exactly mainstream.
This is probably the best post in this thread. Nice work John!
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Old July 11, 2012, 11:44 AM   #169
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In 5 pages of posts, I think this one is, by far, the best:

"What can it do? It can make it possible for you to defend the lives of you and your loved ones, should the need arise.

What can't it do? It can't do a damned thing on it's own. You have to be willing to become proficient with it. But I guess the same holds true with any weapon."

We've gone round and round on this subject. Maybe some ideas have been changed, but I really doubt it.

I think after five pages of good discussion, this thread has earned a break.

Thank you, everyone, for keeping it on a nice, even keel.
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