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  1. #1

    Default Any experience with these .38 Special loads for self-defense?

    Does anyone here have any experience, or any information, on the use of 148 grain full wadcutter or 200 grain Super Police loads in .38 Special, particularly out of a 2" J-Frame?

    J

  2. #2
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    No experience with either for self defense. I do know that the 148 full wadcutter will not penetrate a 55 gallon drum from a snubby 6 inches away. It works great on paper, for which it was designed. I haven't seen the 200 grain load in like 40 years. They still make that WWII workhorse?

    My experience in a 2 inch snubby is any number of 125 grain plus P 38 special ammo. It works. It is what my local department uses. And what they told me to use when I had a badge.

  3. #3
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    In the early 1970's there was a hollow point wadcutter with a post in the bullet. I believe the bullet was a 146 grain. At 650 fps you get less penetration but great expansion. I hand-loaded them but don't remember the data because as I said, it was back in the 70's lol.

  4. #4
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    We used to carry a plus p plus 115 round when we carried the revolver for DOE. It was a HOT round (someone said it was also called the treasury round). We shot them out of the 686 S&W revolver. It would rock your world, especially in an indoor range. Would have been better with a 357 round but word had it that "they" were scared of the magnum name.
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  5. #5
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    I used to reload inverted 148 gr hollow based wadcutters with 3 1/2 grains of Bullseye. as a BUG defense load. They keyholed some in .38 at 25 yards. I tried some in a .357 load and they pretty much fell apart.

    Back to the .38 load, It would do gaping 3/4 inch perfect mushrooms in wet newsprint or phone books. I do not recall penetration levels but do recall 158 roundnose lead was near double. We never thought of multilevel denim testing to see how bad it clogged but then it would be the same as a solid wadcutter.

    When we were doing on the farm cattle slaughter, I shot them in the head .38 or 9MM. Saying it killed quickly does not mean much as you drew an imaginary "X" right eye to left ear and vice versa and shot there. A .22 was almost 100% effective. the centerfires never had a runaway.

    No two legged vermin were harmed in testing.

    Choirboy

  6. #6
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    Backwards bullet loading and using target wadcutters for self defense are methods people used before ammunition manufacturers developed short barrel .38 spcl loads for defensive purposes.

    When I worked for Barnes Bullets 10 years ago, they developed an all copper 110 grn bullet that would expand reliably at 950 FPS. This allowed for standard pressure loads from 2” barrels with .66” expansion and 12” cloth covered gel expansion. That load is in my wife’s 642. Some loaders do a +P version of this load that penetrates even deeper. Check out Buffalo Bore’s two loadings. It ain’t cheap, but it is effective with reliable performance even from short barrels.

    https://www.gun-tests.com/gunreport_detail/9588.html Failure of petals to open is a very rare occurrence, especially at 1000 FPS+ velocities. Corbon no longer loads this bullet to my knowledge. Not sure why this happened in this test. Notice comparative velocity, weight retention and depth of penetration. Barnes lab testing showed these results too. I bet the Buffalo Bore stuff performs at least this well.

    There are other good low velocity expanding loads loads out there now also. Update and upgrade.
    “Men of energy of character must have enemies; because there are two sides to every question, and taking one with decision, and acting on it with effect, those who take the other will of course be hostile in proportion as they feel that effect.” —Thomas Jefferson (1817)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpagary View Post
    In the early 1970's there was a hollow point wadcutter with a post in the bullet..
    Youre talking about HYDROSHOCKs. I know they are loaded in 9 and 45, so my guess is they are available in 38. They were "supposed" to be good; but then I was the guy who carried Glassers, Black Talons, and backward loaded wadcutters. I think we also used a drill to make hollow points from solid lead bullets back then (or at least enlarge the tiny cavity in some factory HPs)

    When it comes to a snubby in 38, I figure its better than harsh words and itll work at bad breath range better than a kick in the shin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanNobody View Post
    Does anyone here have any experience, or any information, on the use of 148 grain full wadcutter or 200 grain Super Police loads in .38 Special, particularly out of a 2" J-Frame?

    J
    I suspect that a 200 grain super police load in a j-frame would be an experience you might not want to repeat. What was advocated by some was a .38 spl version of the british webley 38-200 load. In a .38 smith and wesson case load a 200 grain bullet at a less than 700 fps second. This was copied from the british and their two hundred grain bullet was not very well stabilized and was supposed to tumble when fired in the webley service revolver.

    At the end of the First World War, the British military decided that the .455 calibre gun and cartridge was too large for modern military use and—after numerous tests and extensive trials—that a pistol in .38 calibre firing a 200-grain (13 g) bullet would be just as effective as the .455 for stopping an enemy. Muzzle velocity 620 ft/s (190 m/s)
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    Here's a good list of tests for review. https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/rev...llistics-test/

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