Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Help with 38 Snub ammo

    Hey guys so I have a ruger LCR 38+p. This is my “take it everywhere” gun. I carry a GLOCK 19 for more densely populated areas (malls, city, etc) and a GLOCK 26 in lesser populated areas. The LCR is my “I need to run out for an errand” gun because I realized a small gun with only 5 rounds is better than none at all. However 38 special isn’t a very powerful round out of a snub and there is my problem

    There don’t seem to be any standard pressure cartridges out there that penetrate and expand reliably and well out of a snubnose (if you know of some please let me know). This leaves me with +p ammo which is a lot snappier to shoot, and more expensive than regular 38 as well to train with. This leaves me carrying either Critical Defense 110gr +p or Golden Saber 125gr +p, both of which are pretty expensive to shoot and train with regularly.

    Im looking to see if there is any standard pressure ammo out there that will be good for concealed carry, and if not, what weight standard pressure round would “feel” like a 110-125+p so I could get a similar effect when practicing at the range. No point shooting soft shooting ammo at the range and carrying hot stuff for defense and not being able to manage it.

    I found a great deal on Tula 130gr FMJ training ammo for it but I doubt this will give me a similar feel to either the 110 or 125gr +p.

    Help me out gang, is there any answer to my dilemma, or should I abandon what some call an outdated cartridge?

  2. #2
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    jersey shore, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by cleanneon98 View Post
    Hey guys so I have a ruger LCR 38+p. This is my “take it everywhere” gun. I carry a GLOCK 19 for more densely populated areas (malls, city, etc) and a GLOCK 26 in lesser populated areas. The LCR is my “I need to run out for an errand” gun because I realized a small gun with only 5 rounds is better than none at all. However 38 special isn’t a very powerful round out of a snub and there is my problem

    There don’t seem to be any standard pressure cartridges out there that penetrate and expand reliably and well out of a snubnose (if you know of some please let me know). This leaves me with +p ammo which is a lot snappier to shoot, and more expensive than regular 38 as well to train with. This leaves me carrying either Critical Defense 110gr +p or Golden Saber 125gr +p, both of which are pretty expensive to shoot and train with regularly.

    Im looking to see if there is any standard pressure ammo out there that will be good for concealed carry, and if not, what weight standard pressure round would “feel” like a 110-125+p so I could get a similar effect when practicing at the range. No point shooting soft shooting ammo at the range and carrying hot stuff for defense and not being able to manage it.

    I found a great deal on Tula 130gr FMJ training ammo for it but I doubt this will give me a similar feel to either the 110 or 125gr +p.

    Help me out gang, is there any answer to my dilemma, or should I abandon what some call an outdated cartridge?
    I see no reason not to use the softer cheap stuff for training. That's what most people do, since it's cheaper. Just run a box or two of your carry ammo every so often if you want. Reality is in an actual "oh shit" situation where you do have to draw and fire, your not going to notice recoil much at all. If you're comfortable with the LCR and are willing to have it with you when you need it, that's the most important thing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    I agree with R L.
    The intent of a self defense gun is to "break contact" not to duke it out with multiple armed opponents. Pick one of the major brands that penetrates well in gel tests (penetration is more important that expansion) and shoot a couple of boxes of it so you know where it hits in relation to your fixed sights. Practice as much as you can (target transitions, drawing and shooting etc) and be happy.
    Join the groups protecting your rights from the fools trying to take them from you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Levittown, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    Google Lehigh Defense 38 special. Here is a gel test video:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Lehi...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    I can share an LCR experience as a warning. I installed Crimson Trace laser grips on (my wife's) LCR and the recoil now bites pretty hard with non-plus-P ammo.

    There will always be a trade-off in terminal energy with a shorter barreled handgun, as you already acknowledge. There will always be an increase in perceived recoil as the gun gets lighter in weight (and the cartridges gain p's).

    Handguns are primarily for close-proximity engagements. Decide on a realistic defender shooting distance and shoot anything that will group in the target. The "real $tuff" for carry need not be $hot in practice beyond experiencing them. Concern for follow-up shots regarding recoil/muzzle flip will level off.

    Practicing with carry ammo became a must do (for police officers) when some lawyer questioned an officer's competence in a police shooting and made much ado about nothing when he prevailed (jury bought it).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    The Federal 130 grain HST expand and penetrate well from a snub. They are non +P as well.

    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/rev...llistics-test/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    According to Mas Ayoob the gold standard for a 38 snub is the 135gr Gold Dot +P short barrel. Snubs have pretty stout recoil regardless of standard or +p...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    I still carry Federal 125gr Nyclad HPs.
    I don't speak English , I talk American!

  8. #8
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    Nov 2008
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    Oley, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by abner13 View Post
    I still carry Federal 125gr Nyclad HPs.
    Best rounds for a .38 Special... I use them also... Federal does not reliably manufacture them, so they may be hard to find.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    All the above is true.

    A snub nose revolver is a "Belly" gun. If you can't touch his belly with it there's a chance you are gonna miss.

    It is superb for that function since they are all double actions, which means nobody can push a slide out of battery and render it inoperative.

    Use cheap ammo to practice practice and practice until you know where the bullet is going to hit at 10'. THEN switch to the expensive stuff and adjust accordingly.

    Me, I load my own.
    American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help with 38 Snub ammo

    Although the author's focus is on cast and the "FBI" load decent information is presented about some defensive snubby loads.
    http://www.grantcunningham.com/2011/...rge-wadcutter/

    "Today’s best .38 Special hollowpoint load by a major US manufacturer is probably the Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P. Richmond PD issues this load to officers who carry .38 snubs off-duty and they have history on a number of officer involved shootings where it performed well.
    The lead “FBI load” is still produced by Winchester (X38SPD) and Remington (R38S12), if you can find them, and will perform well and expand even from 2 inch barrels. No argument there. Federal discontinued the 38G, but their 147-gr. JHP +P+ law enforcement load gives similar performance and gives 900 f.p.s. from a 2 inch Ruger SP101, if you can find any."
    It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.

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