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Old October 27, 2012, 05:16 AM   #26
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In the days before the .38 Special became popular, so I'm told,
The wounds that I saw on real people were shallow and the soft lead did not deform.
gunshot wounds from 38 S&W, 32 Long Colt were described this way. 32 acps & .380s & 9mm GSWs were described differently because those bullets were mostly round nose jacketed bullets yeilding excellent penetration on people.

If I were packing a .38 Special and was limited to standard pressures, then it would be a very hard cast 158 or 148 semi-wadcutter. Hitting your target is number 1. But without penetration whats the use? Cover those two bases first, then we will talk about magic bullets.
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Old October 27, 2012, 05:51 AM   #27
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I rendered first aid to a fellow who'd had an AD that put a .38 Special bullet through his thigh.
He'd thought he was about to be car jacked and had placed a cocked snubby on his lap. When he pulled away while trying to keep an eye on the gang of suspicious characters he hit a speed bump and the revolver fired when he tried to grab for it as it slipped from his lap.
(yeah he was not too bright)

The bullet went straight through with minimal damage, both entrance and exit wounds were not much bigger than bore size.

Looking at the wound while he was standing it looked like the bullet must have passed through the femur, but since he was seated and leaning forwards when the gun went off it may have missed the bone.

Personally I'd prefer that a pistol bullet make its way to the spine from any angle. A wound that leaves mascerated flesh only a few inches deep won't put a man or dangerous animal down as quickly as any impact on the spine.
Best of both worlds is a bullet that does expand creating a large temporary cavity yet still holds together and reaches the spine.
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Old October 27, 2012, 06:26 AM   #28
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I use hornady critical defense 110 standard velocity. It's a good round with velocity running about 900 fps from 2 inch and with approximaetly 12 inches of penetration. This round will expand to about .48 diameter. Accuracy is good and much better recovery time.
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Old October 27, 2012, 08:28 AM   #29
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"I would like to see that"
Me too, but Brass Fetcher took down most of their test results/videos so the link is no longer active. Here is testing confirming the same result from Brasstard web site article entitled "In Review:.38 Special Ammo Testing
For sure the Buffalo Bore wadcutter will "blow through two feet of ballistic gelatin."
Here is link to article, "Wicked Wadcutters" date 9-24-2010 from website that also supports the use of wad cutters due to low recoil, impressive straight line penetration, and inherent accuracy.
That someone took a shot from a .38 in the left pelvic area means nothing and that would be the definition of poor shot placement. Put a wadcutter between the shirt pocket, as noted in the article, and the bad guy is a "goner." Use what you want, but I take a well placed shot from a hard cast wadcutter which goes through a vital area completely over an expanding bullet which may or may not expand and stops short of the "boiler room." There are stories of bad guys taking all six from a .357 and staying in the fight. Shot placement is what is key, as always.
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