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Old January 19, 2014, 03:24 PM   #51
AK103K
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I wonder how much of this is actually gun driven as well?

I seem to remember that Ayoob had some numbers a while back on revolver hit ratios with supposedly "trained" cops, and they were pretty dismal, something like 25%, which isnt good, especially when you only have 5 or 6 rounds on board. Those ratios jumped up when the cops started switching to autos. I realize the number of rounds fired also jumped up, but actual hits also seemed to be better.

Perhaps this more about perception, and has more to with the results of "misses" than it does with hits.

I dont think theres really a lot of difference between modern loads of the various realistic calibers, but shootabilty does make a big difference, especially if youre not willing to put in the effort to get good with what you carry. Unfortunately, many, if not most of the favored "carry" .38s, come in packages that require a good bit of constant work to be proficient with them, and are equally unfortunate to be brutal to shoot enough to achieve that.
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Old January 19, 2014, 03:55 PM   #52
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I don't think people are constructed any different today then they were at the conception of the 38SP back in the late 1800's.
And it's done an adequate job for all these years.

Guess it will work till the super-humans come along.
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Old January 19, 2014, 04:01 PM   #53
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the .38spl LHP+p by Remington has a proven street record. not bal-gel, not lab reports, not back yard tests, not hear say, not third hand stories but real life street records, even from snubbies.

shot placement trumps all, and with good shot placement a properly designed and applied .38spl round will do the job.

at times I have to wonder if an OP is asking because they really are lacking the knowledge or trying to get under the skin of those with fragile egos....

is it the best or the worst? no. yet some will always chime in with how a .50cal desert eagle is better or how a Tommy gun carries more rounds..... neither answer the question asked.
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Old January 19, 2014, 06:34 PM   #54
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Guess it will work till the super-humans come along.
Antibiotics may have played a part in that, too.
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Old January 19, 2014, 06:42 PM   #55
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The notion that the 38 Special is inadequate for self defense seems to have started in the 1960s with the spread of drug use, and the RNL bullet is a poor choice, but like the 22lr, beats feet, fists and foul language.
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Old January 19, 2014, 07:36 PM   #56
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.38 Spl. 158 gr LSWC in duty gun and off duty guns for close to forty years. I'm still here. tom.
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Old January 21, 2014, 11:38 PM   #57
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Yes indeed!

The .38S&W Special is an ideal round for protection Heavy or light fast moving H/P's M/E is adequate to incapacitate, with center mass hits Penetration is good through heavy clothing and the cartrige is still small enough that you can carry 100 rounds without a lot of troubles
A wide variety of loads provide serious "social" loadings all the way to light paper punching loads When handloaded good hunting ammo can be assembled as well as inexpensive pratice ammo too!
For more than 100 years it's been a preferred choice for self defense! WHy? because it works!
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Old January 22, 2014, 06:51 AM   #58
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I believe that you should chamber what the gun was made to shoot. If you choose to carry a .357 Magnum then the loads in the gun should be .357 Magnum. Much "hay" is made of shelling out hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a "magnum" chambering only to load it with WEAK "standard" loads. For example, why buy a .357 Magnum if you're only going to stick +P .38spl ammo in it? Why spend the cash on a .44 Mag if you're going to stick .44 spl ammo in it?
If I'm carrying a .44 MAGNUM you can be sure it's loaded with MAGNUM ammo! Same with the .357 Magnum.

Despite what so many "experts" will proclaim, the average handgun is marginal for putting a human down. A .44 special delivering 400 lb-ft is nowhere near a .44 Magnum delivering 1,000 lb-ft.

As for the nonsense about "flash and blast" bear in mind that the FLASH of a magnum round being loosed is GREATER and therefore more disorienting on the MUZZLE side of the gun! If you the shooter can be disoriented by flash and blast, IMAGINE how the person on the receiving side is going to feel?

The bottom line is: If you buy a .357 Magnum then LOAD IT WITH .357 Magnum ammo! If you buy a .44 Magnum then load it with full magnum ammo!
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Old January 22, 2014, 07:01 AM   #59
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The .38 spl from a 1.8" barrel is pretty close to the .380 ACP...and in many loadings superior.
Yes a .357 Magnum beats the .38 spl everyday including Sunday, but it does so with a recoil penalty that many cannot accept.

Any way you slice it, cartridges delivering less than 350 lb-ft of KE are marginal at best, but the trade-off between concealment and power is why we choose to carry a less powerful gun.
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Old January 22, 2014, 07:37 AM   #60
Don P
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+P ammunition is not necessary in a .38 Special.
Beat me to it Bill. Absolutely correct and IMO poppy cock to +P ammo. 38/357 if you think the 38 is wimpy then carry 357. Again in my opinion the +P market is just that a marketing gimmick. Oh boy that +P is getting and extra 100-200 fps, it's sooooo much better.
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Old January 22, 2014, 06:14 PM   #61
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Yes, I carry a .38 special and have for over 40 years.
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Old January 22, 2014, 08:32 PM   #62
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But, but,..... regular .38s bounce off winter clothes!
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Old January 24, 2014, 10:34 PM   #63
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642 daily carry

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/DSCF0463.jpg


http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/P1290011.jpg
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Old January 24, 2014, 10:45 PM   #64
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Today, I got a new 357 snub nose. I shot some 38's out of it today, and despite what everyone else says. I think it'd be a good round for self defense. It's got a pretty good little pop to it, and it penetrates just fine. I think the 357 is better but the 38 will do the job. These weren't even +p either. I shot a tree point blank and it went a good few inches into the wood. Anyone wanna share your thoughts? Do you think it's good for self defense?

The following articles include velocities of bullets fired from a snubby revolver.

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38vs357snub.htm

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Feedingthe38Snub.htm

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/H...%20Special.htm

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

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/can_less_be_more.htm

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/3...r%20LSWCHP.htm
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Old January 24, 2014, 10:50 PM   #65
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I prefer 357 Magnum for defense over 38 Special. I see no point in using a cartridge that sends a 125 grain bullet at a lower velocity than 124 grain bullet from 9x19mm. For me, "revolver" means "Magnum". If it did not, I would use only semi-automatic pistols.
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Old January 26, 2014, 08:15 AM   #66
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tom -

I doubt anyone would argue that the 38spl is superior to the 357. To do so would be foolish. In my case, I load my 357 HD revolvers with Buffalo Bore's 38+P FBI rounds because the few times I've fired 357s in an enclosed area, my hearing suffered for quite awhile, even though I was wearing ear plugs. The 38+P is a few steps down the loudness ladder and has less muzzle blast to boot. So it's what I like for my personal situation. Each of us has to evaluate our own circumstances and prepare accordingly. The 357 is probably one of the best SD cartridges available. But I feel the 38+P would serve well if needed to stop a home invader.
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Old January 26, 2014, 08:22 AM   #67
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Not only is the .38 Special adequate for SD, it is, or was for a very long time, the standard, by which the other SD handgun cartridges were judged.
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Old January 26, 2014, 11:21 AM   #68
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38 Special for me, is all I need. I remember My uncle carried one for years when I was a kid. When I left the peoples republic of NYC in 2004, the first gun I bought was a S&W model 36 J Frame made in 1981,and that's my regular constant carry. I also have a model 10, and I recently acquired a SS Model 60 38 for $200.00 . I have other calibers, but I always stick with the good old 38 special.
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Old January 28, 2014, 09:33 AM   #69
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Whenever this topic comes up, and it often does, I remember what my old firearms instructor told us when I went on "the job" many years ago.
he said, "You can easily double the stopping power of the .38 Spl. issue load. Pull the damned trigger again"
Only caliber I ever carried in uniform. S & W Mod 10. When I got out of uniform, S & W Mod 37. Today, S & W 642. (Gave my son my 37. Dumbest thing I ever did.)
Good hits count. Misses get you dead. There is NOTHING wrong with the old .38 Spl. as a defense round, as long as you can hit with it.
Nuff said.
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Old January 28, 2014, 06:33 PM   #70
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I feel confident with my 642 as my CCW. I wouldn't want to get hit with one!

That said, if I'm home, the GP-100 is coming out with 357 HP ammo in it.
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Old January 28, 2014, 07:18 PM   #71
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I have two j frame .357's, one with a 2" and one a 3" barrel. I doubt I will ever shoot a .357 in either one of them. I look at them as very durable 38's. I know there are those who do shoot .357's in them, but I have a GP100 for that. I think the 38 Special has some very viable loads on the factory market. I have found several that I like a lot, and that's what I carry and shoot in them. jben
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Old January 28, 2014, 07:24 PM   #72
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I look at them (2" & 3" J-frame 357's) as very durable 38's.
^^ Exactly. ^^ +1
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Old January 29, 2014, 08:36 AM   #73
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I have been carrying a .38 Special revolver as a CCW piece for many years. This little Model 60 is a favorite. I make two different loads for this one, a 158 gr LSWC over SR4756 powder, and a Sierra 140 gr JHP over Blue Dot.
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Old January 29, 2014, 02:59 PM   #74
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.38 Special Out Of A .357 For Defense

Yeah, I'm OK with the .38 Special; but I must confess my heavy preference for the .357 Magnum. OK, there, I have confessed it, now to the topic.
I fell in love with the .38, when I held a snub-nose in a gun store. I liked the gun, it was as handy as all get out.
I loaded it with NyClad because of, its big fat Hollow Point.

I figured that if I ever really got in too deep; that I was going to press the gun into my attacker. Yes, I know, that sounds gruesome. But it would work, and I would keep all of my original human parts, in working order.
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Old January 29, 2014, 10:13 PM   #75
Deaf Smith
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38 special for self defense
David,

If you can shoot, and shoot very well, even a .22 will do for SD.

If you can't hit the broad side of a barn, then even a 20 shot 9mm won't help.

Funny thing is just yesterday I handled a Colt 'Army Special' .38. 5 inch barrel, nickel plated (original nickel at that) and it locked tight.

I'm sure with standard pressure 158gr LSWHPs it will do a fine job if you can shoot strait.

Oh, and I use a S&W 640-1 .357 snub with Buffalo Bore DPX .357 'low recoil' ammo in it for summer use. Power is about like a +p .38 (but from a 2 1/4 inch snub.)

I am quite comfortable with it. But then I practice weekly. And my practice isn't target shooting.

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