With the steel-frame revolver and practice, good shooting may be done. We liked this load a lot. Make: Winchester Lead SWCHP

This Buffalo Bore load offered an excellent balance of expansion and penetration with 13 inches of penetration and .62 inch expansion. However, hammerless snubbies and revolvers with bobbed or shrouded hammers exist to prevent the gun from snagging on clothing, a primary concern in the days before semi-automatic pistols. Just the same, we prefer the heavier bullets. They were very successful in their goals and this .38 Special self-defense ammo consistently performed very well in tests from both short-barrel and long-barrel revolvers. This was another case of the Gold Dot bullet giving excellent performance. Recovered Bullet Weight: 134.0 grains Gun Tests has been independently reviewing firearms since 1989.

Recovered Bullet Diameter: 0.610″ Make: Speer JHP GD +P Bullet Weight: 110 grains When properly cast, lead HPs expanded well.

Recently, the increased interest in the carrying of defensive handguns has brought us improved munitions for the .38 Special. Oldtimers might call the snubby a “belly gun,” “bulldog revolver” or “pocket gun,” designed for concealed carry. Here’s a look at eight modern loads that when fired from a snub-nose revolver should deliver the FBI’s minimum of 12 inches of penetration. The Critical Defense bullet is designed to expand even after hitting heavy clothing or thick outer garments. Because the recoil is so great that a lead bullet could strip the crimp and move forward to tie the handgun up. Pros and cons exist for each. One of our raters made an interesting comment: Why push the bullet 100 fps faster with more recoil and blast, when the FTX will plump up this well at just over 900 fps? Since the 1990s, concealed carrying is more popular than ever, only further igniting the argument. Barrel Length: 2.0″ It is used by permission only. If you want an expanding bullet that will penetrate very deep, this load is likely one of the best options. Co. Gold Cup Trophy O5072XE 9mm Luger, Christensen Arms Ridgeline 801-06015-00 6.5 PRC, Bergara Premier Mountain 2.0 BPR28-65PRC 6.5 PRC, Winchester SXP Marine Defender 512268395 12 Gauge, Twelve 22 Long Rifle Cartridges, Shot From a Rifle This Round, 9mm Barrel Lengths Compared In Range Performance Testing, 12-Gauge Mini Shells from Federal, Aguila, and Nobel, Twenty 22 Rimfire Loads Go Head to Head at the Range, Quick-Release Extended Scope Mounts For Carbines & Rifles, Hands-On: Galco’s FasTrax PAC Reinvents the Fanny Pack, BATFE Reclassifies ‘Honey Badger’ AR Pistols as SBRs, PROOF Research Introduces the $8500 Conviction Ti Long-Range Precision Tactical Rifle, Stevens’ Push On Guns Underscores Importance Of High Court Nominees, Delaware State Police Unit Chooses SIG Sauer SIG516 as Duty Rifle. The .357 Magnum delivers a maximum average pressure of 35,000 PSI, with an average penetration of more than 16 inches. Caliber: .38 Special Ballistics and testing standards didn’t exist when the weapons were manufactured, so there is a chance of miscalculating what one can handle. However, it is clear that the ballistics of both rounds perform well in a snubby, especially when it comes to self-defense. And, of course, it would offer the option of .357 Magnum ammo. The Glaser did what it is designed to do, fragmented in a few inches of resistance. In that case, either handgun will do. The materials include polymer and lightweight metal alloys, such as titanium, instead of the old school carbon steel, stainless steel. It will for sure shoot through any attacker, so overpenetration concerns exist. Recovered Bullet Weight: 110.0 grains The 38 snub is still the most popular backup handgun and the one that makes the most sense. This mostly applies to older revolvers, but some newer 38 Specials are not +P rated. If we carefully maximize load selection, the 38 Special should get us through the night. Velocity: 865 FPS

This is the original frangible personal defense load. It is fine to consider the ballistic differences between all calibers, but when it gets to brass tacks, the snubnose 38 Special revolver is a handgun that all of us know and use. Monday, July 20, 2020, When the question of self-defense with a .38 Special comes up, the first thing we must acknowledge is that any gun is better than no gun. Distance From Muzzle: 20′, Firearm: S&W M60 by Richard Mann - While terminal performance and reaching safety are paramount, statistics show that the probability of actually firing a handgun in a self-defense situation is small. Loads designated as +P are available at 20,000 psi, but not all .38 Special revolvers are strong enough for a steady diet of +P ammo. I am certain someone will question our B rating, but here is the logic. Added to that, metal fatigue, substandard materials, and unseen cracks can pose a real danger to the shooter that wants to experiment with modern ammo. Recovered Bullet Weight: 124.7 grains

This load would be ideal for general-purpose use in a steel-frame 4-inch-barrel 38 Special, but for most of us, this load was simply is too much. The Black Hills load was the most accurate loading tested. As a rule the ammunition is tested for ballistic effect and not for the recoil factor in different handguns, although we consider power factor important. Make: Winchester JHP +P Recovered Bullet Weight: 107.0 grains

Distance From Muzzle: 20′, Firearm: Colt Diamondback The all-copper bullet, it is claimed, is soft in the nose for expansion while the shank holds together for penetration. Also had the greatest penetration among the 100- to 125-grain JHPs and the least expansion. For more information on Snubnose ammo ballistics please see the information below: Firearm: Colt Diamondback Keep in mind, all .357 Magnum revolvers can chamber and fire .38 Special and .38 Special +P loads safely. However, the recoil of the +P load, which is the better of the two, is a bit stiff from compact revolvers. This round kicked too much for most of us to use well in a snubnose revolver.

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