View Full Version : 38 Special +P Self defense ammo

August 22, 2005, 09:12 PM
I recently purchased a S&W 637 (38 Special +P) and I was curious what would be a good defensive round to use? Thanks.

August 22, 2005, 09:25 PM
Speer Gold Dot
Remington Golden Saber
Federal HydroShok

Try 'em. You'll like 'em. :D

August 22, 2005, 09:59 PM
Winchester +P 158 grain lead SWCHP.

August 22, 2005, 10:24 PM
I would go with a lead bullet in a wide meplat configuration such as the Remington Express R38S14. The wide meplat and heavy weight carry terrific shock effect. Indeed, there are numberous annecdotes of one-shot stops with wadcutter target ammunition because of that fact, though I would want a bit more velocity for greater penetrating momentum. Even better would be a hard cast LBT design, but you get mixed reviews about how vulnerable to civil suits handloads leave you after even a justifiable defensive shooting.

I wouldn't put great emphasis on hollow points because, at pistol velocities, many fail to expand, especially after the hollow clogs with clothing. Also, the temporary cavities created by pistol ammunition energy levels don't often stress tissues beyond their elastic limits, liver and other delicate tissues being exceptions. I can't remember which of the ammunition stopping power factions related that, despite TV crime drama hype, real coroners can't usually see any difference between a wound channel created by a solid handgun bullet and one created by a hollow point.

Just my two cents worth.