38 Special ammo for wife/me

Discussion in 'Caliber Zone' started by JonB, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. JonB

    JonB Guest

    I just bought a 3" Ruger SP101 for me and my wife, and I am eager to take them to the range (my wife and the gun).

    I bought a couple of boxes of Blazer Brass for now, but I am looking for ammo recommendations. I'm looking for any ideas on the following, or anything else that you would recommend.

    1. Low cost, low recoil practice ammo.
    2. Lower recoil self defense ammo for my wife.
    3. Higher recoil ammo for me, in case I decide to carry it occasionally. I don't want something too awful, but I figure I can handle a little more than my wife. The gun can take .357.

  2. [​IMG]

    Is this the pistol you just bought? This is the one that I shot yesterday, and if yours is as light as this S&W, the recoil with .357 ammo is going to kill your hand.... I took a chunk off my right ring finger from the edge of my wedding band on my left hand. That thing's got so much recoil it's stupid.


    Here's the review for the S&W


  3. JonB

    JonB Guest

    Yup, except mine is a 3". I'm sure it's not as light as the S&W, but I'm still wondering if I would do better with a 38 spl +p round. Maybe I'll start with that and work up to the .357.
  4. I shoot a TON of 38 special ammo. I mostly load my own, or use blazer brass or Winchester White Box (aka WWB) when I don't have any loads ready to go. .38special are cheaper and easier to shoot then .357. I still shoot mags but prefer 38specials for the reasons listed above. A .38 special defensive round is more then suffice if your using it for home protection. Power isn't everything. There's over penetration, time to second shot (yes misses are possible) and what if that miss hit's a thin outer wall or window, do you have neighbors nearby, or kids in another room, how about spouse hiding in bedroom? This is why I stick to defensive rounds for home defence like Federal Hydrashoks and Speer Gold Dots. They are pricey, but you need really only shoot a couple cylinders of them as you do not have to worry about the rounds cycling. As you can tell the 38/357 wheel gun is among my favorites out there. Only thing I prefer over one is a .45acp 1911.
  5. I recommend taking a look at buying a nice starter reloading setup like the Anniversary kit from Lee and some components and brewing your own up.

    Factory ammo is limited in scope, with hand loading, you can do what you want and get the expected results.

    Taurus does allude to one of the reasons why the cops quit carrying 357mags and started carrying 38specials, the over penetration.

    The 357mag is a great round but can easily over penetrate.

    I don't think that the Ruger you bought is going to be as light as the Smith.
  6. Personally, I fell in love with both of Taurus' revolvers, the tracker and the Ultra light .38. I have really never been a big fan of wheel guns due to lack of ammo capacity, but those are some sweet shooting guns....

    On a side note, I don't know what it is about a hammerless revolver, but I absolutely hate the way they look. They just don't look finished to me.

    Oh, and btw, the S&W linked above weighs in at 12 ounces unloaded.... That thing actually hurt pretty bad... shooting all 5 rounds was torture. With .38's it was really pleasant though.
  7. JonB

    JonB Guest

    I have to agree with you there. Plus, I like the option of single action.
  8. Gramps

    Gramps Guest

    The 642 is my warm weather, with other people, choice for carry. I load a very light blend for practice. I can shoot several boxes of these and no missing digits. Learning the trigger and how to make repeatable hits is very important with a little one like these. I always finish practice with a cylinder of full power carry ammo.

    This weapon hides easily and does not catch on clothing when drawing. I spent 2 weeks at a camp with several anti`s and none ever knew I carry even with shorts and a tee. Speer Gold Dot or Win Ranger complete the package. Can`t tell the difference at 7 yds.
  9. HPHooked

    HPHooked Member

    Reloading for target practice is a great way to get proficient with your weapon. However, shooting a perp with reloads can give an anti-firearm prosecutor reason to press for a murder charge instead of a justifiable homicide charge. He might contend that you intentionally loaded the ammo to be more lethal than factory ammo. :evil:

    Also, by keeping factory ammo in the weapon for HD/SD, the CSI folks can request a sample from the manufacturer for ballistic testing. They cannot do this with evidence which is what all of your reloads become in a shooting incident. Another thing is that if the perp or it's family file a law suite, the ammo makers lawyers will help in the defense by pointing out that their product performed as advertised and is well within SAAMI limits.:D

    Just my 2 cents after listening to a lot of LEO's in Texas and Montana. 8) :D
  10. GlockMan

    GlockMan Member


    Speer Short Barrel .38spl 135gr GoldDot +P H/P
    Corbon DPX .38spl Copper H/P

    Both will expand form 2" and 3" .38spl barrels but penetration may not reach the 12" minimum set by the FBI. Both will also have some recoil in lighter weight revolvers but that Ruger with its extra weight should handle it nicely. I carry SafeStop 148gr FMJ Full Wad-Cutters in my S&W Model 637 as it will hold its cutting sharp edges and penetrate deeply.
  11. Ari

    Ari Guest

    That is the type of round I have been studying for the 38 spec... 148gr Wad-Cutter... I was reading about the 200gr 38 S&W that the Britts used to shoot in WWII. I see where they were easy shooting and I would think the 200 gr would give the 12 inch penetration needed.. So I was thinking about loading something like that for the 38 Spec and doing some testing. But for now moving the wife to 148gr WC
  12. GlockMan

    GlockMan Member


    The old 200gr lead round nose was the worst performing .38spl load ever developed. The 148gr HARD CAST Full Wad-Cutter pushed at 800 to 850FPS should do nicely. Just make sure the wad-cutter has a blunt sharp edge and not the ones that have a tamper.
  13. JonB

    JonB Guest

    That's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. Thanks.
  14. azcarbine

    azcarbine Guest

    You might want to stay away from .357's for defense in such a short barrel. The flame & blast coming out would screw up your night vision after the 1st shot, PLUS the recoil! G man's choices are right on as well as the old FBI load of +P 158 grain semiwadcutter hollowpoint. Its slow but the 158 grains makes the penetration and its REAL soft lead so it expands. Thats what I carry in my snubby.
  15. Ari

    Ari Guest

    Big +1