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Old August 23, 2012, 12:59 PM   #51
Webleymkv
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Since the model 37 is not for use with +P ammo I have looked some more and found a new Smith snub nose 38 that is for +P ammo and its $100.00 more.
Just how important is +P ammo for CC in a snub nose 38 ? I mean a $100.00 is a good chunk of money to me as I am retired.
Is +P ammo that much better or necessary ?
The issue with standard pressure .38 Specials is that it is difficult to get a hollowpoint bullet at high enough velocity to reliably expand while staying under the 17,000psi pressure limit without using a light-for-caliber bullet. Because of this, most standard pressure .38 Special hollowpoint loadings use rather light 110gr bullets which may expand reliably, but have problems of their own. The problem with light-for-caliber bullets is that even though they may expand, they often give undewhelming penetration.

.38 +P, however, has a higher 20,000psi pressure limit which allows the use of heavier 125-158gr bullets that have enough momentum to penetrate adequately at high enough velocity to reliably expand.

In a standard pressure .38 Special, the best choices are probably either Hornady's 110gr Critical Defense or Buffalo Bore's 158gr LSWCHP offering as those seem to be the only two that can both expand reliably and penetrate close to the FBI's 12" minimum. Be aware, however, that the Buffalo Bore loading will likely have very stout recoil in a gun as light as a M37 an will not likely be easy or pleasant to shoot. If those loadings are not available, there's actually a lot to be said for a good old fashioned 148gr HBWC loadings as, while expansion will be minimal, they do penetrate well and recoil very lightly.

In .38 +P, there are several good options. My two favorites are Speer 135gr Short Barrel Gold Dot and Remington 158gr LSWCHP. The Remington is my loading of choice for my all-steel M36, but I might consider the Speer loading for a lightweight snub because its jacketed bullet is less likely to jump crimp under recoil than the swaged lead bullet of the Remington LSWCHP.
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Old August 23, 2012, 05:08 PM   #52
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a S&W snub nose "J" frame .38 special with DEWC will make a great CCW.
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Old August 24, 2012, 05:17 PM   #53
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Webleymkv - What is your take on the 125 grain Nyclad?
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Old August 24, 2012, 05:43 PM   #54
Webleymkv
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Webleymkv - What is your take on the 125 grain Nyclad?
While it's better than most of the 110gr JHP's like Winchester Silvertip and Federal Hydra-Shok, its penetration is still a bit shallower than I'd prefer in the tests I've seen (usually about 10"). Also, in an older snub, it would likely shoot at least a few inches lower than point of aim at any distance greater than a few yards because most older .38 Spl revolver had their sights regulated for 158gr bullets (that's the standard weight for both .38 Spl and .357 Mag). Overall, I'd rate it as very close to a 148gr HBWC loading with probably a slight edge to the wadcutter for penetration and POI.
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Old August 24, 2012, 07:23 PM   #55
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The 130gr FMJ is close to point of impact as the Nyclad and makes good range ammo.
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Old August 24, 2012, 11:02 PM   #56
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I see I will clearly be in the minority with my choice however.

I have recently built an ankle rig for my SP101 stubby/spurless and even in a day long ware period, it simply isn't there most of the time.

I looked at what was available commercially for ankle rigs, and just didn't like what was available.

After a bit more use, I'd like to send it to a friend at Simply Rugged holsters ( look them up on the net) and have him look to refining it a bit more.

I am right handed, so this holster is on the left leg and the SP101 rides on the inside of the leg.

A belt or pocket holster might be nice, but not during Summer and lighter clothes.

Have used the holster off and on for a few weeks, and no one is picking up on it.

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Old August 25, 2012, 08:00 AM   #57
Webleymkv
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The 130gr FMJ is close to point of impact as the Nyclad and makes good range ammo.
I can believe that. I've also found that 130gr FMJ (I tried Winchester) shoots very close to the same POI as Speer 135gr Gold Dots and would also make a good practice counterpart to that. However, all of those loadings will still shoot lower than POA in a revolver with sights regulated for 158gr bullets, they'll just all shoot about the same amount low.
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:02 AM   #58
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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Considering that a self defense shooting will take place, or maybe better said SHOULD take place up close and personal. Likely 20' or much less --------

---------if you can get your shots into a saucer sized area, and do it rapidly, that is all you needed. Almost all firearms with almost all ammo will do that.

What your CCW firearm does at 50' or 25yds is totally un-important as you are now, in almost all cases, well beyond the self defense distance.

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Old August 25, 2012, 09:48 AM   #59
Webleymkv
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Considering that a self defense shooting will take place, or maybe better said SHOULD take place up close and personal. Likely 20' or much less --------

---------if you can get your shots into a saucer sized area, and do it rapidly, that is all you needed. Almost all firearms with almost all ammo will do that.

What your CCW firearm does at 50' or 25yds is totally un-important as you are now, in almost all cases, well beyond the self defense distance.
Just because most self-defense shooting take place at short distances does not mean that I will never have to defend myself at greater distance. Now, I don't shoot my J-Frame at 50-100 yards (though I do shoot some of my other handguns at that distance) but I don't think that training out to 30 yards is unreasonable. Training at greater distance does not hinder my ability to shoot at closer ranges, so I really have nothing to lose.

Also, even at what I consider to be short range, the difference in POI between 158gr bullets and 130gr bullets is still significant. From my M36, 130gr bullets hit 3-4" below the point of aim at 15 yards (the shortest range at my local facility). While 3-4" probably wouldn't be enough to make you miss the target all together, it could very well be enough to be the difference between hitting something vital or not.

Now, there are ways that someone could compensate for the difference in POI such as modification of the sights or simple "Kentucky Windage," but I find simply using ammunition which shoots to the sights to be the simplest and easiest solution.
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Old August 25, 2012, 12:27 PM   #60
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Not meaning to rile up all you Smith lovers, but I've got a couple of snubby's that fill the bill for me.

1. A Charter Bulldog in 44 Special



2. A Taurus Model 85 in 38 Special with the gold trim and Rosewood grips.



Both shoot very well and do just fine when I need to keep one out of sight.
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Old August 25, 2012, 02:25 PM   #61
Webleymkv
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Not meaning to rile up all you Smith lovers
Oh, just because I like Smiths, it doesn't mean that I don't dabble with other brands here and there as well. Prior to my M36, this was my pocket revolver:


Colt Cobra .38 Special
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Old August 25, 2012, 02:45 PM   #62
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Another +P that's worthy of consideration for a .38 snub is the Corbon DPX 110gr. Barnes.
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Old August 25, 2012, 03:11 PM   #63
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Since I reload all my own ammo, what would be a good self defense load for a non +P 38 snub nose ?
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Old August 25, 2012, 03:17 PM   #64
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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Speer Gold Dot is one of the good ones to look at.

They - Speer - load a line of ammo with powder selected to provide optimum proformance in stubbies.

You might search for a powder to equal that effort.

Clearly, it must be one of the "fast" powders. Maybe even Bullseye???

CDOC
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:38 AM   #65
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I've been carrying concealed now for about five years. I've carried a S&W J-frame, various sub-compact 9mms and a sub-compact .45. For warm weather carry, in my humble opinion, the small .38s can't be beat. I use an Uncle Mikes inside the pocket holster for my early 80s Model 60.

It's simple, reliable and convenient. I agree with those who say you should practice with it but I think that also to be true of any firearm you regularly carry. The bad guys are basically cowards, who seek a victim, they believe won't fight back. If I can get off 2 rounds in a self-defense confrontation, the overwhelming majority of criminals will take off running like they have seen a ghost.

The modern day self-defense rounds in .38 special are more than adequate to get the job done. I am intrigued by Buffalo Bore's, 150gr Hard Cast Wad cutters. You don't ever have to be concerned about these not opening up hollow point style because the bad guy is hit with a flat surfaced wad cutter that "hammers" its way through living tissue and bone. BB claims 251 fps of energy at the muzzle out of a 2 inch barrel.

I wouldn't recommend using less powerful target wad cutters for self-defense, but these BB wad-cutters are designed specifically for that purpose. The BB web site references former NYPD officer Jim Carillo, who used self-defense powered .38 wad cutters in real life shoot outs and found them to be highly effective man stoppers.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php...t_detail&p=111

Last edited by Rifleman1952; September 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM.
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Old September 11, 2012, 10:32 AM   #66
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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I just strapped generation #2 of my ankle rig on a few minutes ago.

Completed it yesterday evening and did the hot water soak before putting the handgun in place and and strapping it on.

Took it off for bed time, and after it dried over night it seems to be doing fine this morning.

Do not like the looks of those rigs which have a garter type elastic strap placed above the calf which holds the holster up, nor do I like the looks of those which have a wide streachie band around the leg to hold them in place.

So far, so good with this second version, so will wear it for a few days, complete with the RUGER SP101 stubby/spurless and see what I think then.

With generation #1, what I did find was that while this wheel gun is not the lightest one on the market, it was simply not a weight or bulk issue when in place.

I fully realise that there are autos which are flatter and might carry a bit better, but trust is an important issue in personal carry, and my trust factor in a quality wheel gun is about 1,000% higher then with the smaller auto, or even the bigger ones for that matter.

5 shots of +P .38s or .357s which are 100% sure of going out the end of barrel have a much higher satisfaction level then 5, 6, 7 or ?? shots which may or may not.

Sorry auto lovers, even though I have a good .45 auto, I have yet to be totally sure it will be there when I need it.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Last edited by Crusty Deary Ol'Coot; September 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM.
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Old September 17, 2012, 12:44 AM   #67
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Love them 38 snubbies. My carry 38 is a Colt Agent 6 shot. R Rear pocket in my jeans and a shirttail to cover it nicely.
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