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Old January 8, 2013, 09:43 PM   #57
Jim March
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,413
The 38Spl out of a 2" barrel is very marginal. You have to be VERY picky about your ammo.

In standard pressure I trust the Buffalo Bore hollowpoints. Their full wadcutter loaded full power has merit too. The Hornady Critical Defense standard pressure are...not *terrible* but I'm not sure I fully trust 'em.

In +P it's a bit better. Winchester's 130gr JHP is OK. Speer's 135gr is good. Remmie's 158+P plain lead hollowpoint works. Buffalo Bore's +P stuff is awesome, with their 158 reigning supreme - but it's not for the lighter guns. The Hornady Critical Defense in 38+P has merit. And...that's really getting towards the end of the list!

If it's not one of those, it's likely to fail to that point (except for the plain lead 158 lead hollowpoints based on the "Keith type" and the SOLE full-power wadcutter by Buffalo Bore) you're shooting crap.

Same with the 380 - you need to be really picky. The 9mm has developed to a point where there's fewer bad loads but still some. The 357Mag, 40S&W and 45ACP, it's actually hard to go wrong, but you can.
Jim March
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