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What 38 Special Ammo would you suggest?

Mustangs Rule

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I am planning a road trip soon, yes "Gulp" at the gas prices and I will be taking my old S and W Model 15 Combat Masterpiece with me as my only firearm.

I have some factory ammo, probably 15-20 years old, Remington 125 +P, Hornady 125 38 Special ( claims 900'/sec and Federal Premium with hydro shock 129 grain + P.

Any thoughts about what is best or suggestions about newer better choices assuming I could get it.

I have hardly fired a revolver in 15 years

Thank you
 

Derek44

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North Central Washington
I am planning a road trip soon, yes "Gulp" at the gas prices and I will be taking my old S and W Model 15 Combat Masterpiece with me as my only firearm.

I have some factory ammo, probably 15-20 years old, Remington 125 +P, Hornady 125 38 Special ( claims 900'/sec and Federal Premium with hydro shock 129 grain + P.

Any thoughts about what is best or suggestions about newer better choices assuming I could get it.

I have hardly fired a revolver in 15 years

Thank you
Mine is consistently loaded with the hydro shok. Never had to use it so can’t speak to effectiveness, but I do know in my 2 1/2” Taurus, it shoots relatively accurate out to about 35 yds. I’d say any plus p would suffice for self defense and emergencies
 

Mustangs Rule

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Mine is consistently loaded with the hydro shok. Never had to use it so can’t speak to effectiveness, but I do know in my 2 1/2” Taurus, it shoots relatively accurate out to about 35 yds. I’d say any plus p would suffice for self defense and emergencies
I bought the hydro shock Federal +P cause I heard good things, but that was long ago.

Thank you
 

mtmuley

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I think the 125 grain bullet was the choice of LE when the .357 was a duty gun. I use mine in the woods so it is loaded with 180 grain Buffalo Bore hardcasts. Oops. Missed the
38 Special part. mtmuley
 

Jasher

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Speer gold dot is probably the best defense ammo out there. Federal hydo shok isn't very far behind
 

Redman

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Either that you mentioned would be my choice. For a self defense round against humans you don't want the bullet coming out to go into someone or something else.
 

F250

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The 129 gr. hydro-shock +P. Results shouldn't be a lot different than a .357 Mag. load. Shot many injured deer with those Hydro - Shocks. It is a stopper !
 

Laelkhunter

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The 158 grain wad cutter was the go to in the .38 special years ago.
I think you meant "semi-wadcutter". The wadcutter was 148 grains, designed basically as a target load, and the bullet was loaded flush with the mouth of case. Although, sometimes the hollowbase wadcutters were loaded backwards so the large gaping hollowbase was facing forward. This combined with the soft bullet material made for a really decent bullet that expanded real well, but wasn't accurate as it tended to tumble after 15 yards. Very effective for close range though. The standard loaded wadcutter was extremely accurate capable of tiny groups at 50 yards out of quality match handguns. I had a S&W model 52 that shot wadcutters only, and out of a Ransom rest would shoot 3/4" groups at 50 yards with the Federal Gold Medal Match .38 Special 148 wadcutter.
We carried the 158 grain lead round nose (Winchester) in the .38 when I was with the PD. We eventually progressed to the Remington 125 +P, the one with the scalloped looking jacket. It was not as effective as the 125 Super Vel but was a little more effective than the 158. We were required to carry the ammo they issued to us.
 
Last edited:

Don Fischer

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I think you need to sshoot some and find out what you handle best. My favorite bullet in 38 was that 148gr wadcutter with 2.5 grs Bullseye. I don't figure I can stop anyone I can't hit!
 

Straight Arrow

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I keep 38 birdshot in mine. Often it's handy for upland birds. If ever for self defense, the perpetrator will never see or perhaps procreate again, but it won't be murder.
Rifle can be shot accurately ... but a short barreled pistol needs scatter-shot for this relatively unsteady hand.
 

Laelkhunter

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I keep 38 birdshot in mine. Often it's handy for upland birds. If ever for self defense, the perpetrator will never see or perhaps procreate again, but it won't be murder.
Rifle can be shot accurately ... but a short barreled pistol needs scatter-shot for this relatively unsteady hand.
Not sure I agree with that. If you don't have justification to take his life, you don't have justification to permanently maim or disable him.
 

Straight Arrow

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Not sure I agree with that. If you don't have justification to take his life, you don't have justification to permanently maim or disable him.
At that traumatic juncture I probably wouldn't give a rat's a$$ either way!

This old Vet has come to "If you don't need to take a life ... why plan on doing so?"
 

mtmuley

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Yes ... but this thread has mostly addressed self defense not hunting with a handgun.
Check reading comprehension ... or did you merely want to be condescending and/or start an argument?
Don't be an a$$.
Ok. So if you carry for self defense, you would rather wound an assailant than end the threat? Litigation either way. If my life is compromised, I'm not shooting to wound. I pray I am never in the situation. Wasn't being an ass either. Get a grip. mtmuley
 

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