Originally Posted by Southern Shooter:
Several of my friends and I reload for .38 Special revolvers. In each of our families, every member has a service size .38 Special revolver. So, we load up a bunch of 158 grain Semi-wadcutters for range practice. They travel on average about 850 FPS, according to our chronograph.
We were discussing emergency preparedness, food storage, and of course stocking up of ammunition. We debated this question: As a last ditch effort, would a .36 caliber, 158 grain, semi-wadcutter, traveling at 830-850 FPS, hitting center-mass, be effective as a self-defense round?
I think they'd do just fine.
Assuming that the .38 158 gr SWCs are relatively hard and suffer minimal to no deformation after impact, they should, according to the Schwartz bullet penetration model penetrate to a depth of 30.7 inches in soft tissue unless heavy bone is struck.
An added plus is that SWCs don't need to expand to work as designed so there is no need to worry about a JHP cavity being plugged, etc.