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  #1  
Old 04-17-2010, 10:46 PM
Barry711 Barry711 is offline
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Default .38 non +P

I just picked up a 2" model 36, (ser#AAY0XXX) which I was told was manufactured in 1982 or 1983. Since its not +P rated, I am looking for a self defense ammunition recommendation. I was thinking that the Gold Dot 125gr GDHP (non +P) may be the right choice.

Thanks for any other suggestions.

(I usually keep the Gold Dot short barrel 135 +P in my 642-1, which is +P rated)
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:08 PM
Dragon88 Dragon88 is offline
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For standard pressure, I would go with the Gold Dot load or this:

Buffalo Bore Ammunition 38 Special 158 Grain Lead Semi-Wadcutter Hollow Point Box of 20 - MidwayUSA
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2010, 12:25 AM
GatorFarmer GatorFarmer is offline
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Steel frame gun from the 80s... I'd use +P in it. People certainly did at the time. If you read the old gun mags, even J frames from the 50s and 60s were being loaded with things like handloads that were cratering the primers, taken at the time as a sign of when pressure was a tad too much... I've certainly used +P ammunition in guns of even older vintage. Revolvers that were stamped as .38 "+P" for a caliber designation are a relatively new thing. And yes, I realize that S&W have told different people different things over the years about using +P in the steel frame Js.

Federal reintroduced the Nyclad for those interested in standard pressure HP ammunition. It's been a popular choice for years. Others simply use wadcutters or semi wadcutters.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2010, 01:16 AM
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I don't know if they still offer it but Federal has their Personal Defense 129 Grn standard pressure load that was very well received. Most of us that have carried the older J-frames have used +P loads with no ill effects. A large amount of shooting them will lead to premature wear eventually, but a modest amount shouldn't cause problems. Just sight it in with them and do most of your practice with non +P and use them for carry and you should be fine.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry711 View Post
I just picked up a 2" model 36, (ser#AAY0XXX) which I was told was manufactured in 1982 or 1983. Since its not +P rated, I am looking for a self defense ammunition recommendation. I was thinking that the Gold Dot 125gr GDHP (non +P) may be the right choice.

Thanks for any other suggestions.

(I usually keep the Gold Dot short barrel 135 +P in my 642-1, which is +P rated)
Your choices in standard pressure 38 Special ammunition are...

Hornady® 110gr

Hornady® 125gr

Hornady® 158gr

Federal® Hydra-Shok® 110gr JHP

Federal® Nyclad™ 125gr HP

Buffalo Bore® 158gr LSWCHPGC

IMHO the last choice provided is THE ABSOLUTE BEST; my wife & I carry in this load in our J frame 38's.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2010, 12:06 PM
Skeeziks Skeeziks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry711 View Post
I just picked up a 2" model 36, (ser#AAY0XXX) which I was told was manufactured in 1982 or 1983. Since its not +P rated, I am looking for a self defense ammunition recommendation. I was thinking that the Gold Dot 125gr GDHP (non +P) may be the right choice.
Speer does not offer a non +P Gold Dot load.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2010, 12:32 PM
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Yes they do go to the ATK LE web sight and its right there and it is also for sale at ammunition to go.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:18 PM
Skeeziks Skeeziks is offline
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My bad. I forgot about the LE ammo. I was looking in my Speer catalog at the time and they don't have it listed in there. Sorry.
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2010, 03:31 PM
sureshotbob sureshotbob is offline
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All I use in my carry gun's is the Buffalo Bore 158 gr. lead semi wadcutter hollow point standard pressure in my alloy and steel J frame's and K frame's. And it is my favorite .38 spec. load.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:39 PM
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Based on advice here, I practice with non +P in guns from that era but would not hesitate to put in +P for self-defense loads. Firing some of these should not tax the gun unduly if you consider how these were made. I second the recommendation of the the Buffalo Bore 158 gr. load as well.
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  #11  
Old 05-03-2010, 03:43 PM
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I have used the standard non +P Federal Nyclads in my 642 No Dash Airweight & not only were they very accurate but muzzle flash was reduced & recoil impulse was reduced..
I think alot of this is because of the nylon coated bullets instead of being copper jacketed..
Thanks DAN/DC7 for the Nyclads
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2010, 05:04 PM
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Federal Nyclad 125 gr

Tested -- .38 special Federal Nyclad...
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2010, 05:52 PM
Skeeziks Skeeziks is offline
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The 125-gr. Nyclad HP is a great bullet. But it's too bad that Federal loads it on the weak side. I wonder how it would perform at a higher velocity. I have a feeling they might have to harden it up a bit but I think it would be devastating!
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2010, 07:19 PM
flop-shank flop-shank is offline
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They shouldn't have to harden it with the nylon coating to prevent leading. There used to be a +P version.
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2010, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flop-shank View Post
They shouldn't have to harden it with the nylon coating to prevent leading. There used to be a +P version.
Not talking about leading....talking about hardening up the lead if the current bullet is too soft to hold together at a much higher vel.
The current load is pretty anemic. 830 fps. sounds pretty good at first, but that's probably out of a 4" bbl.
I would like to see the Nyclad come out of a 2" at 925 fps.
Wasn't the old +P a 158-grainer?
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  #16  
Old 05-04-2010, 08:23 PM
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.38 special 148gr DEWC
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  #17  
Old 05-04-2010, 09:10 PM
flop-shank flop-shank is offline
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Skeeziks, I don't recall what all was in the line up, but my recollection is that there was a 125 gr. +P.
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  #18  
Old 05-04-2010, 09:22 PM
cocojo cocojo is offline
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Those gold dots will not open up they are designed for a four inch gun. Try either new Critical defense hornady 110 non +p or federal 125 nyclads non +P.
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  #19  
Old 05-05-2010, 12:11 AM
Skeeziks Skeeziks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocojo View Post
Those gold dots will not open up they are designed for a four inch gun.
Are you referring to the Gold Dot Short Barrel 135-gr. +P load?
Or are you referring to the 125-gr. non +P ?
I assume you meant the latter?

Last edited by Skeeziks; 05-05-2010 at 11:22 AM.
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  #20  
Old 05-08-2010, 04:03 PM
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I am refering to the non +P 125 law enforcement ammunition. the 135 +P's will work they are designed for that gun but the 125's are not. You asked for non +P ammo and that's what I am refering to. Hornady 110's critical defense and Fed 125 nyclads work very well that's what I use in my older colt's. Check out "best choices for defense ammo" and go to 38 special. The critical defense will penetrate a bit better than the nyclads by about an inch. 10 inches v 11.5 or so. Either round will do a good job. The nyclads have a decent track record.
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  #21  
Old 05-08-2010, 05:54 PM
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I would, and do use Federal Nyclad standard pressure .38 Special ammo in my older M36.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:09 AM
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I chose to get the Federal 125gr Nyclad lead hollowpoint as my standard pressure round in my 442; my second choice would be Hornady 110gr Critical Defense polymer tipped jhp in non +p
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  #23  
Old 05-24-2010, 10:31 AM
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Practice with whatever is cheap.

If you are ever in a position that you are shooting for your, or your's protection from grave threat you will want the most powerful round made for the caliber. I mean commercial load, not what any of us could mix up on our trusty presses. Excessive wear and tear on the weapon is the last concern of the rational.

Regards,

Tam 3
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  #24  
Old 05-24-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeeziks View Post
Not talking about leading....talking about hardening up the lead if the current bullet is too soft to hold together at a much higher vel.
The current load is pretty anemic. 830 fps. sounds pretty good at first, but that's probably out of a 4" bbl.
I would like to see the Nyclad come out of a 2" at 925 fps.
Wasn't the old +P a 158-grainer?
The 830fps is from a 2" barrel. The previous lineup of Federal® Nyclad™ 38 Special ammunition was.........

• 125gr HP Standard Pressure
• 158gr RN Standard Pressure
• 125gr HP +P
• 158gr SWCHP +P
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  #25  
Old 05-24-2010, 02:59 PM
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In my pre +P I have the BB 148/150 hard cast full WC. There are interesting articles on the advantages of the WC. However, after reviewing many posts on this site I'm going to change to BB 158gr. SWCHP GC +P. I'm not planning on shooting but 5 (10?) rounds out of it. Recoil will not be insignificant. I know, I won't notice it under stress. But, I will notice how long it takes me for my 2nd shot.....

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  #26  
Old 05-28-2010, 09:33 PM
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The Speer Gold Dot 125gr load is a good one. I find it to be very accurate and easy to shoot in my Airweights.

.38 Special Ammunition Performance Data

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  #27  
Old 08-18-2010, 09:04 PM
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Several may laugh at this ....
I shoot Black Hills Factory 38 Special 115 grain CAS loads to pratice in my pre +P
J Frame Mod 36.
Primarly because I shoot same in my CAS guns.

my Carry load is :
Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain
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  #28  
Old 08-21-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major 2 View Post
Several may laugh at this ....
I shoot Black Hills Factory 38 Special 115 grain CAS loads to pratice in my pre +P
J Frame Mod 36.
Primarly because I shoot same in my CAS guns.

my Carry load is :
Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain
Nothing wrong with that!
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  #29  
Old 08-21-2010, 01:59 PM
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If you want a hollow point try the Buffalo Boar 158 LSWHP non +P or their standard hard cast full wadcutter.

You will get the penitration you need with the wadcutter.


Pete
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