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.38 Snubby: Feeding the Snub

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by druryj, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. druryj

    druryj Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I’ve always been happy with 158 gr lswc for a .38 snub, but there seems to be so many good Ammo choices available for short barrel guns anymore, that I just don’t know. I’m thinking the usual line-up of players would be fine actually, from Gold Dots to Fed HST; Hornady XTP to Guard Dogs; you know; those guys, the same manufacturers we use to feed our bottom feeders. I know some even like to carry a snub with regular old wadcutters in there. There's something to be said for that actually, and I'd darn sure choose them over the 130gr FMJ fodder that seems to be so prevalent. Standard pressure rounds seem to be fine for the little snubs too, I’m not so sure if the added oomph of a +P will really offer anything out of that 1 7/8” long barrel. So, I’ve got 5 each of the 158’s sitting patiently in place; 5 little boolets and a speed strip of 6 more of their buddies. Why 6? Cause I don’t wanna be Mr. Fumblefingers in time of need and drop 1, but if I am all fumbly and if I do drop one, I have a back-up round on hand. (6-1=5). Since we’re talking about Defensive Ammo for snub nose 38’s here, what do you all have in yours? I like that a revo doesn’t care about what Ammo you feed it when compared to some semi autos. (Even some that are full-semi auto). All that matters is what comes out the danger-end and how fast and how heavy it is and if it works.


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  2. HiredHand

    HiredHand Sharpshooter

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    Winchester 148gr wadcutters and Hornady Critical Defense standard pressure. Hollow points that expand out of short revolvers tend to under penetrate in gel testing. Lucky Gunner did some ballistic testing in the last year or two, they tested 38 Spl and 357 Mag out of 2” and 4” revolvers and the results were interesting. DocGKR’s teminal ballistics info is great and you can find it on the pistol-training.net forum.
     
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  3. MacFromOK

    MacFromOK Sharpshooter

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    From what I understand...

    The heavier the bullet, the more pressure the round has time to build in short barrels - simply because it takes longer to accelerate heavier objects.

    Just my two cents. YMMV. :drunk2:
     
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  4. RickN

    RickN Sharpshooter

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    I always liked 158 gr semi wadcutter hollow points. I never had to shoot anything bigger than a rabid German Shepard but they worked great for that. 2 hits and she was down.
     
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  5. druryj

    druryj Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe the 158 gr lswchp is referred to as the old "FBI Load" . I don't know what kind of wound channel they leave in their wake, nor do l know how well they penetrate in a bad guy. I have seen the tests HiredHand references, but in real life, who really knows what kind of result you'll get? I suppose, as stated in my first post, that any of the "good stuff" will be fine. I'm just curious as to what others put in their cylinders when carrying a snub nose .38 revolver or even using one bedside as a home defense gun.
     
  6. Chief Sapulpa

    Chief Sapulpa Sharpshooter

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  7. druryj

    druryj Super Moderator Staff Member

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  8. pstmstr

    pstmstr Sharpshooter

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    Buffalo makes some snub specific low flash lead loads but pretty expensive. Speer Gold Dot does as well. 135 GD JHP if I remember right. I normally carry my Glock 43 but it is kind of comforting walking thru a parking lot with a hand in my jacket around a snubby. Auto correct almost changed that to Stubby but that’s the other hand.


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  9. HiredHand

    HiredHand Sharpshooter

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    From what I’ve read and heard the real world results tend to confirm the results in ballistic gel. I believe it was after the Miami shootout that the FBI decided to take a hard look wounding and handgun ballistics.

    The Hornady FTX 38 Spl is loads more pleasant to shoot than the 357 Gold Dot short barrel loads that I was carrying. The POA/POI seems to be acceptable as well and I believe the cost is resonable.
     
  10. Old Phart

    Old Phart Sharpshooter

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    I carry the Speer Gold Dot Short-Barrel 135-grain JHP +P that is mentioned in the link above.

    "This load provides a quality jacketed hollowpoint for the new breed of lightweight handguns that could not use the lead hollowpoint. We liked this load a lot. While the performance of the load mirrors some of the 110- and 125-grain bullets, the 135-grain bullet offers greater mass. Produced 13 inches of penetration and .62-inch expansion. This load and the Buffalo Bore 125 are practically identical in performance."

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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