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Old December 12, 2006, 04:26 PM   #1
Para Bellum
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Best defense load for .38 Special 2" snubby?

What would be the best defense load for a S&W Mod 60 .38 Special with a 2" barrel?
How about the Magtech 95gr solid copper hollow points?

Thanks for your advice!
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Old December 12, 2006, 08:21 PM   #2
newerguy
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Everything I own is 158 gr. LSWC or 158 gr. LSWCHP+P. If you can shoot the +P's in that little revolver, great, if not the standard pressure will do fine. Those heavy bullets don't depend as much on velocity for penetration. Many US police departments used that ammunition for their duty and off-duty revolvers for many years. I have known police officers who used both effectively in combat out of 2 inch guns.

Even with a short barrel, I'm sure those Magtechs will give you velocity, but they are going to be light on momentum as a result of their low weight.

I know you like those light all-copper bullets. Are they very popular in Europe?

Also, and this is a little off-topic, but I've always felt that Europeans felt comfortable carrying smaller, lower powered handguns than Americans. Here, no modern police department would issue a 9mm Kurtz or 7.65 pistol for general use as a primary handgun (though my father carried a .22 Magnum derringer as a backup gun in his raincoat pocket). Do you see a difference?
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Old December 12, 2006, 09:02 PM   #3
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I use 148 gr wadcutter. Minimal recoil, more than adequate penetration.
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Old December 12, 2006, 09:13 PM   #4
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Seems most of these threads are split between the 158-gr LSWC and the 135-gr Speer Gold Dot +P. I opted for the Gold Dot when I had a 60, still use it in my 642. I don't know anything about Magtech.
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Old December 12, 2006, 09:18 PM   #5
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I use the speer 135gr +p gold dots.
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Old December 12, 2006, 09:31 PM   #6
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Corbon DPX 38+P. Much less recoil than Speer GDHP. Lighter, faster and it's supposed to penetrate better.
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Old December 12, 2006, 09:34 PM   #7
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Lead bullets

I stock both the 158 lead plus p and some of the gold dots made for snubbies. The light copper bullets probably have less recoil and may be useable for defensive purposes, but I have no idea how much they penetrate or expand. Used to be there was not much advantage to light bullets in a snub, as the common hollowpoints used did not get the expansion characteristics they were designed for, due to the low muzzle velocity obtained. But now that they are designing bullets especially to expand at lower velocities, it is apparently a different situation. Same bullets in a magnum loading might blow to pieces at hi vel. The light bullets should shoot low from a snub, but at feet versus yards it might not be alot of difference. I still stick with the heavy bullets as they have a track record, and I use steel frame guns with them. Cleanup after practice will require messy and sometimes difficult lead removal from the gun. Well it is more work than with jacketed slugs. As for wadcutters, I would consider that if they were loaded to a higher speed than the common target loads, that are pretty slow.
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Old December 12, 2006, 09:36 PM   #8
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I lean toward the heavy bullets also. Ditto on the 158 LSWCHP+P. Magtech makes a standard pressure semi-jacketed hollow point at 158 grains that is spec'd a bit faster than most, 807 fps from a 4 inch barrel. It might not open from a 2 inch but it has a wider meplat than most SWCs and should move a bit faster also. In a steel model 60, though, the 135 Speer +P looks real good.
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Old December 12, 2006, 10:05 PM   #9
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Make sure what ever you choose, your gun shoots them accurately. Snubs are funny, they don't always shoot all bullets straight. I've had some loads that fly all over the place, tumble and hit sideways. Just a word of caution.
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Old December 12, 2006, 10:27 PM   #10
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I've tried 95gr rounds out of my Smith 60 snubby, and wasn't all that pleased. They all shot too low.

Winchester 125gr +P Silvertips seem to be just about right for HD. Too expensive for just plain practice. For practice I like my reloads or 148gr semi-wadcutters.
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Old December 13, 2006, 10:48 AM   #11
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+1 to skeeter. I have had no luck with anything less than 125gn.
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Old December 13, 2006, 10:56 AM   #12
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I would echo those who suggested 158 grn. LSWCHP +P's or the Speer 135 grn. GDHP's.

Regards...
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Old December 13, 2006, 11:04 AM   #13
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I like the Speer 135gr Gold Dot load. Low recoil, low flash, hits to POA in my M37, available (unlike some of the more exotic loads or the better of the 158gr LSWC-HP loads). My second choice would be Winchester's WB 125gr HP load. However, the muzzleflash is much higher with it.

Chris
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Old December 13, 2006, 03:48 PM   #14
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I use Nyclad +Ps and 158gr. LSWC +Ps mostly; both in hollowpoint configuration.
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Old December 15, 2006, 03:37 PM   #15
Para Bellum
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Quote:
Those heavy bullets don't depend as much on velocity for penetration...Even with a short barrel, I'm sure those Magtechs will give you velocity, but they are going to be light on momentum as a result of their low weight.
That's what I assume also and why I'm sceptical of light bullets in short barrels and weak calibers.

Quote:
I know you like those light all-copper bullets. Are they very popular in Europe?
where I live, in Austria, only jacketed hollowpoints are illegal. So solid copper HPs are ok (DPX, Magtech etc). EFMJ and EMB are also illegal. I prefer the EMB because it's simply perfect. 500 m/sec, 650 joule, easy to shoot, AP on hard targets and vastly expanding in soft targets. But for that little gun (for a relative of mine, I carry a Glock 26 in 9x19mm if it ought to be small), I can't get EMBs or EFMJs because the don't make them for the .38...

Quote:
Also, and this is a little off-topic, but I've always felt that Europeans felt comfortable carrying smaller, lower powered handguns than Americans. Here, no modern police department would issue a 9mm Kurtz or 7.65 pistol for general use as a primary handgun (though my father carried a .22 Magnum derringer as a backup gun in his raincoat pocket). Do you see a difference?
Neither in Austria. When you US Guys used .38 lead bullets, we had the Walther PPK. But when both sides started thinking. We went for 9x19mm and you for .357 Mag, .45 and then 9x19mm, .40 and .357 Sig. I don't see a big difference. Maybe the fact that you prefer wider diameter and sacrifice hard target penetration for it, when you go for .40 and .45 instead of 9x19mm. But since I consider all these calibers as fine and strong (.40, .45, 9x19, .357 Mag/Sig, 7,62x25 Tokarev) I don't see such a big difference....

I guess I'll get some old books and try out what I can get and post the tests on the web.... we'll see in a few weeks.

Thanks, guys, PB
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Old December 15, 2006, 09:15 PM   #16
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I'm one of the 158 grain guys. I don't believe you're going to get expansion from a snubby. I also believe that if you want to get any penetration you need a hard lead or full metal jacket bullet. Just my opinion and my practice.
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Old December 15, 2006, 10:28 PM   #17
Stephen A. Camp
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Hello. If interested, here are some informal test results and chronograph information on some ammunition from the snub 38's:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/3...r%20LSWCHP.htm

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/3...mmo%20Test.htm

Best.
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Old December 16, 2006, 12:14 AM   #18
elwaine
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Quote:
What would be the best defense load for a S&W Mod 60 .38 Special with a 2" barrel?
The one that you can shoot the best with.

I'm not kidding. Several studies have shown that shot placement - not caliber or number of rounds - is the number one factor in stopping a BG.

BTW, for what it's worth, in the past Masaad Ayoob has cautioned against using Mag Tech. He said they lack quality control and he prefers Glasser IF you want to shoot those special types of expensive, defensive ammo. The problem with any of those expensive rounds is that few of us can afford to shoot enough of them during practice sessions to be sure where they hit and how well we do with them.

Practice, practice, practice... that's the key. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet. It's up to you - and not what you load your gun with.
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Old December 16, 2006, 07:11 PM   #19
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if you can find a box or two of the old Federal NyClad 125 grain HP, that is, I believe, the best snubbie cartridge ever.
They have been discontinued for a couple of years now. I stocked up.
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Old December 17, 2006, 07:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
The one that you can shoot the best with.

I'm not kidding. Several studies have shown that shot placement - not caliber or number of rounds - is the number one factor in stopping a BG.

BTW, for what it's worth, in the past Masaad Ayoob has cautioned against using Mag Tech. He said they lack quality control and he prefers Glasser IF you want to shoot those special types of expensive, defensive ammo. The problem with any of those expensive rounds is that few of us can afford to shoot enough of them during practice sessions to be sure where they hit and how well we do with them.

Practice, practice, practice... that's the key. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet. It's up to you - and not what you load your gun with.
What he said.
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Old December 17, 2006, 09:52 AM   #21
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Best defense load for .38 Special 2" snubby?

Although I used this load in a 6" Security Six for other reasons, maybe the group could comment on loading the hollow based wadcutter backwards? It would take a while to find my old notes, but the load was slow moving, in the 500 FPS range. At least I thought at the time, expansion would be greater/adaquate.

I used this as the primary HD load when I lived in an apartment. I didn't want the round going through too many walls. Not sure that would have been true at all, but that was the thought at the time.
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Old December 17, 2006, 01:16 PM   #22
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I'm using the Speer Gold Dots, .38 special +P, 135 grain, GDHP, item number 23921. The hollow point cavity is so big, it looks like an ashtray. Speer claims to have developed it specifically for 2" barreled revolvers.
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Old December 26, 2006, 06:39 PM   #23
45reloader
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Who stocks the Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P

I'm seeing a round close to this but it's not listed as a HP


I think this is the LSWCHP ever one is talking about.But Reminton list it as this-
*Remington Express Ammunition 38 Special +P 158 Grain Lead Hollow Point*

The LHP round has a box number of R38S12.

Maybe this is the round?
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Old December 26, 2006, 06:45 PM   #24
Doug.38PR
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what .45reloader said
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Old December 26, 2006, 09:53 PM   #25
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sorry for the double post
.
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Last edited by kymasabe; December 27, 2006 at 09:06 PM.
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