.38 Special Ammo

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by Rhuga, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Rhuga

    Rhuga Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    Henderson, Nevada
    Which is the better ammo for a .38 Special with a 4" barrel:
    Starfire or any hollow point ammo?

    I think I know what fps means for hitting power and penetration (the higher the fps the better the penetration, hitting power, and effective range). But, what does the grain amount of the slug have to do with anything? Does a heavier slug tend to make the bullet go slower and maybe have a tumbling effect? -or-
    What grain of hollow point bullet is the best for personnel defense?
  2. user

    user Active Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Northern piedmont of Va. and Middle of Nowhere, We
    I don't think there's much of a difference between PMC's "Starfire" or Federal's "Hydrashock"; I think Remington's "Gold Sabre" is a little underpowered and Hornady's "XTP" is a little overpowered. But they all function pretty much the same way. The big advantage PMC has is that (even though it's made in Korea and shipped over here) it's cheaper - maybe it's because everyone else has to pay them for the use of the patent on the ribbed or pleated design of the semi-jacketed hollow point bullets.

    I prefer a bullet weight of 125 grains, myself. It's a toss-up between heavier-bullet recoil and lighter-bullet flatter trajectory. A heavier bullet loses kinetic energy more slowly upon impact, but a lighter bullet's got more K due to higher initial velocity. Either will crush human bone at fifty yards, and will thus work just fine at normal defensive range.
  3. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    NW Louisiana
    The FBI has done studies on the effectiveness of different bullets, weights and velocities...the last stuff I saw was the Speer Gold-Dot was #1 and the Golden Saber at #2...But that may have been for the .45ACP, I dont remember....Surprisingly, Cor-Bon was well down the list..

    Go with the 125g, in my opinion...you may noodle around the FBI website amongst the files on Elvis and Aliens from Mars, you prob should find the latest research..
  4. Josh Smith

    Josh Smith Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Wabash IN

    The best stuff I've tested for the .38spl is the Speer Gold Dot 135grn Short Barrel load and the dead soft 158grn LSWC+P load.

    Snub or 4" doesn't seem to matter.


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