38 Special?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by steve4102, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    My wife wants her carry gun to be a small 38 Special revolver (pink). :rolleyes: At present I do not load for the 38, so I need to order dies and components. She is a little recoil sensitive, so I would like to start her off with some loads that are on the mild side.
    I plan on loading lead bullets mostly, so, What bullet design do you recommend to start and more important, what bullet weight for mild recoil loads?

  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I don't load light bullets for any of my guns, but I am told that the light bullets will produce less recoil. Recently I did buy some of the "Low Recoil" SD ammo for the wife. After shooting both the low recoil, and standard +P ammo, she said she could not tell the difference. So I tried them both, and I couldn't tell the difference. Maybe you should try this little test yourself. Have the wife shoot both loads, and you try them too!

  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Ya, but, but, it's pink.:bleh:
  4. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I understand! Just let her shoot the gun. You don't really have to.
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    For starting and for practice, I suggest plain old "target wadcutters". I also think they make a fine "in the house defensive" ammo.

    Get or make her some real stuff for actual carry, as if she needs to shoot somebody, recoil will be the last thing on her mind.

    Me, personally, I load 4.0 of Unique under s 158 SWC for practice and starting beginners off, and 5.0 under the same bullet for carry. My ammo boxes are marked "wussy" and "social".
  6. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    My wife wanted a personal carry with minimal recoil. Instead of buying her a 38 Special, I bought her a lady Smith, moedl 60 .357 magnum. The .357's tend to have a little more weight than the 38's (but not so much weight that it is hard to carry) so that will help with recoil. Now she practices with the 38's, but packs the .357's. By shooting the 38's in her gun, there is even less recoil. So, if your wife still wants to pack the 38's for less recoil, the heavier gun will help with that. Hope that makes sense. Have a good day everyone.
  7. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    A classic .38 target load will serve you well. Swaged lead 148 grain wadcutter bullet (Speer or Hornady work for me) and 2.7 grains of Bullseye.

    A cast lead 148 grain WC can be substituted, and other powder (WW 231, Red Dot, TrailBoss, etc.) will work just as well as the Bullseye.

    For indoor shooting I like Berry's or Rainier's plated wadcutter bullets. They shoot a lot cleaner than plain lead.

    Good luck. - the other Steve
  8. oldgunfan

    oldgunfan Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    2nd what oneida steve said magnus makes a good swaged 148grn LHBWC 2.6grns of titegroup is a good one, 125grn golddot with 5.7grns of W231 is a good man stopper. about the pink I feel your pain, I have to get my girl one too. gggeeerrrr
  9. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    My daughter likes the pink gun thing, but fortunately for me, she is raised and out of the house (she can buy her own now) and my wife isn't into pink at all. She actually likes the rosewood grips. However, I must say. If all I had in my hand was a .357 mag with pink grips and a criminal was in my home faced with it, I then wonder,,,, would he really care about the color then. One can wonder. I am new to this forum, and you guys are alright in my book.
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Some years back I was in my gun-pusher's, and this guy was in selling a used gun. "Used", as in "pre-owned", but if it had been shot, it hadn't been shot much.

    He had bought it for his wife, and she did not want no "yucky" gun. And he was just too damn macho to shoot a "LadySmith". So, I got a, for all practical purposes, brand new S&W 642 38 special for around 250. I gave it to my daughter, but if she had not wanted it, I'd have been quite happy to shoot the hell out of it.
  11. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    My for what it's worth...

    Load some inverted hollow base wad cutters, the hollow base forward.
    Use loading data for the same weight bullet, 148 grs, only with a flat base and load relatively light. Make certain to seat them flush with the case mouth.
    They aren't good for any range and splat out on two layers of sheet rock.

    These will ease the transition to more useful loadings.

    231 or HP38 or Bullseye or any quick burning powder can and will get the job done.

    My X didn't and still doesn't like any guns. My daughter carries a 45. Be grateful you have an intelligent wife.

    Careful enjoyment,

  12. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Thanks guys. Looks like I may have a lot of range work ahead of me. Notice the right hand, left eye and of course the grip.

  13. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry New Member

    Dec 26, 2011
    Wadcutters or light cheap ammo for practice, and some good 110's or 125's in hollow point for business (factory loads, so you can't be blamed for cooking up man killer ammo :rolleyes: )...

    As to the pink gun...

    I think I'd opt for a standard blued revolver. The pink color might cause a perp to think it's a toy, and instead of backing down he might try his luck, so to speak.

  14. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    Can we assume that the lady is right handed with the left eye as her control eye?
    A 'cup n saucer' hold is far from the worst out there. At least she won't be getting her thumb nipped when she fires an auto.

    I am right handed and my left eye is my control eye. Boy did I get some razzing when I rocked my head over the stock to shoot riot guns when going through the FBI Firearms Instructor course.

    Have her bring the muzzle up and try to cover the target with the front sight, then level everything out and slowly squeeze. She will do fine, just give her some time and encouragement.

    Be safe,

  15. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    My "in house" load is 148 gr. double ended cast wadcutters over a med. to stiff load of W231. Easy shooting, not heavy recoil in my 2" .38. Plenty of full front meplat for tissue damage an not a lot of house to house penetration. I keep my.38 stuffed with these and handy in my bedroom (I also drop it in my back pocket for comfort...).

    I used to load HBWC backwards and it was the "thing" in the '80s but I read a lengthy report and the hollow based, soft wadcutters were not accurate past 7 yards and the cavity would either collapse or get plugged with clothing, etc., 90% of the time and act as a solid.
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