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Old January 30, 2014, 05:30 AM   #76
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38 special for self defense

I used to carry 38 spl model 10 at work for protection. That was issued from the dept. I also carried a back up.
Now I only use 38spl for target practice. It's not that I don't think it's adequate, it is! I just choose .45acp for that over anything in a pistol. Although I carry a 380 at times as primary and sometimes as backup. Depends on weather and dress. I do feel a little under gunned with the 380, but not defenseless.
38dpl has become a range/ plinking round or Shotshells for snakes( copperheads). And collector value.
My wife uses a S&W 38spl revolver though.
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Old January 30, 2014, 12:07 PM   #77
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Back "in the Old Days" the .36 caliber Black Poqdwe revolver was deemed adequate for Police work and Colt even buit a special Police revolver around the load! It was good enough for the likes of Wild Bill and other noteworthy characters.
Fast forward to 1899 and S&W built revolvers around the then new .38 Long/Special. Then, untill the 1970's when the modern high capacity semi-auto 9mms became the standard for Police and self defense work.
Howrver, the venerable standard .38 Specisl outpreforms the old BP C&B loads qith the old standard 158 gr bullet moving out of a 4" revolver at over 200 FP of energy with good penetration, No it didn't knock opponents down likw a .45 Long Colt but proved more than acceptable foe Law enforcers and civillians alike to stop Hostile actions!
Todey we have even more potent loads of +p and +P+, also light, fadt low presure ,38 spec loads for standard .38 revolvers,
Just as the .36 C&B Black Powder loads worked, the nodern .38 Special loads work even BETTER!!! It was considered state of the art in carry guns for self defense and Police work.
You can count on tidays modern ammo to guarantee powerfull anti-personell loads more than capable of stopping a gunfight.
Thw real question should be one of proper shot placememu and quick reliable shooting practices Even with a .44 mag, a poor hit or miss and undesireable and
uneffective in stopping gunfight!
With the basic 158 gr LRN is plenty food enough to stop an opponent with a good solid hit! Good shooting being Paramount!
The .38 Special is effective as a fighting cartrige/caliber even today!
I depend on it with complete confidence
The caliber and an array of easilly portable/ concealment revolvers on the market,
Ammo is BETTER than ever and with pratice and skill, you ARE well helled with it!
My well researched and practiced opnion...
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Old January 31, 2014, 02:02 AM   #78
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There is nothing wrong with it. ITs accurate, its not that hard to get used to. New ammunition is improving quite a bit for short barrels.

Every post in here has not been about the actual power of 38 special versus any other cartridge. we all seem to have another handgun in a more powerful caliber.

What each post has thumped into the reader is that, yes its enouhg, but all handguns regardless of caliber need to be used well on target. That means each shot hits the target.

I got into a small fight with a wannabe cop i work with,he touts the new training standard of "5 minutes to shoot 2 whole magazines into a paper plate"

that its alla bout accuracy and precision. Yet back in the olden times it was draw revovler, fire, reload and fire again into a target in 1 minute. Look at the hit count compared to then ..
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Old February 2, 2014, 09:00 AM   #79
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I'm not a huge fan of .38s for carry -- sold my Smith 637 last year -- but I keep a Taurus 617, 7-shot .357 steel snubbie in my living room, loaded with Hornady +p Critical Defense rounds. I believe I'm well-defended with that combination, getting too old to deal with recoil from .357s and the .38s are accurate, easy to shoot and I bet they'd hurt if you were on the receiving end. Accuracy uber alles ...
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Old February 4, 2014, 02:24 AM   #80
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I agree with naysayers, that for concealabity, round count, and power, it's there are better choices.
But for reliability in function and ballistics, which for me is the deciding factor, the .38 is my choice of carry.
The great-grandson of Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen.
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Old February 4, 2014, 05:49 PM   #81
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I have a Ruger SP-101 .38 SPL 3" (1989 manufacture 570-05xxx) that has had the cylinder reamed for Rem 125 gr. hollow-points back in the day before the elongated frames/cylinders. It still has the short factory grips and it is a brute to shoot with the .357 rounds. I have it loaded for SD with Federal HydraShok .38 129 gr. JHP +P rounds (I'm old-school) which are much easier to control.

The .38+P round from a short barrel works about as well as the .357 round.

Last edited by AKexpat; February 4, 2014 at 06:03 PM.
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Old February 5, 2014, 12:31 PM   #82
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I handload the Lyman #358439 hollowpoint Keith style bullet at +P velocity of 962 fps with the bullets cast at 10 BHN . They open very well out to 50 yards which is the farthest I have tested them and are an extremely accurate bullet out of my K-14 . I have fortunately not had to proof them on an actual BAD GUY but am quite confident they will suffice when needed to get the job done . Second shot or more recovery is much faster and accurate in double action rapid fire shooting for me with this .38 than the heavier handguns I have tried this with . Add the adreneline factor those who have actually been in a gunfight speak of and I think I would prefer to use a load that was more prone to be accurate to start with in rapid fire mode and give up a little bit of that extra energy from the heavier calibres . Go with what you feel most comfortable with . You should have confidence in what you are shooting to protect you and your loved ones lives as there may well not be any time to mull this over should the pooh hit the fan .

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Old February 5, 2014, 03:25 PM   #83
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The 38 Special is simply unfashionable at present, that's all. Bill Jordan said it best, it's the most powerful caliber the average man can hope to master.
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