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Old 09-20-2017, 12:55 PM
Spencerivey101 Spencerivey101 is offline
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The new Federal 38+p Micro HST may have me changing my mind on the viability of 38 Special as a self defense cartridge. This stuff looks impressive with the velocities from a snub nose. I've never carried a revolver because I didn't want the blast of 357, and didn't trust 38s. This could change that. I imagine the velocity makes it still quite loud. But I'll consider it.

Ammo Review: Federal's spicy HST Micro .38 SPL snub nose load
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:22 PM
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Don't put the 38spl down.

If you do your part it will do it's part.

I have 1st hand knowledge about the statement I made above being fact and proven on several occasions using standard 158gr factory loads.

If between your ears there's a belief that you need a special type of ammo then you need to use it in order to have confidence in your selection.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by StakeOut View Post
Don't put the 38spl down.

If you do your part it will do it's part.

I have 1st hand knowledge about the statement I made above being fact and proven on several occasions using standard 158gr factory loads.

If between your ears there's a belief that you need a special type of ammo then you need to use it in order to have confidence in your selection.
I think the viability of 38spl swings both ways. Sometimes it's not enough, and other times it's completely sufficient. However, I would lean more towards it being sufficient in most SD loads.

I personally carry a 357mag, but I have a Detective Special that gets carried on occasion too. I don't feel under-gunned with any of them, but am more confident with the magnum for accuracy and operation, as the Detective is more a BUG gun. I like to be able to reach out a distance if necessary.

I am a firm supporter of the HST design, and believe only Winchester's Ranger HPs are equal. However, I don't care for their new micro load. If they would just come out with a regular 38spl+P and 357mag load I might get some, or just sell the bullets to load my own. I would still load them to 357mag though.

I personally load 140gr XTPs over 15gr of 2400 in 357mag brass. Gets me 1100fps out of my 2.5" Python. Not full power magnums, but better than 38spl+P with still manageable recoil.

Carry what you feel comfortable with, but I wouldn't ignore 38spl, even if HSTs aren't an option. Yet, I completely understand wanting something more too, as I'm the same way.

Last edited by iPac; 09-20-2017 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:44 PM
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Might have to try some in my 638.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:18 PM
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130 grain bullet at 1200 fps out of a Centennial?! That can't be correct. Will wait to see the results from other tests before coming to any conclusions.

p.s. Federal website lists 890 fps for this load.

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Old 09-20-2017, 03:29 PM
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Federal 158 grain HP Nyclads in 38+P will mess somebody's whole day up. Not to mention the bad sore it will create.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:45 PM
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The smaller power rounds are better than throwing stones? Lol

I have plenty of faith in them. Look at the Russian Torarev in 7.62 tokarev.
Shes one fast light weight that will put a hurtin on the receiving end. They also say they are accurate at longer distances too.

Would I carry a revolver in 38 special you bet I would. Remember it's not the power of the round it's the accuracy of the shot placement.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:16 PM
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The new HST load is certainly interesting, but I'll stick to more proven loads, like Speer's SB-GDHP or FBI loads.

FYI, in actual shootings, there's not a whole lot of difference between service calibers (.38 Special up to .45ACP) in terms of effectiveness. Pick a good, modern JHP (Google "Dr. Roberts ammo list") in whatever caliber/gun you want, and practice.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Photoman44 View Post
130 grain bullet at 1200 fps out of a Centennial?! That can't be correct. Will wait to see the results from other tests before coming to any conclusions.

p.s. Federal website lists 890 fps for this load.

Federal Premium Ammunition - Handgun
If they got those velocities from a 2" snub, their gear is seriously out-of-whack and in need of re-calibration or replacement. Federal =/= Buffalo Bore.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
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Federal 158 grain HP Nyclads in 38+P will mess somebody's whole day up. Not to mention the bad sore it will create.
That's what I have in my J frame right now !

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Old 09-20-2017, 05:43 PM
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Federal claims 890 FPS and the review got right under 1,200. That's a huge discrepancy. They blew right past 9mm performance and landed in .357 Magnum territory from a 2" barrel. Something is amiss.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:40 PM
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Bullet placement is more important than any other factor.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:38 PM
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I carried my issued thirty-eight for all but the last seven years of my career and had to use it on more than one occassion. Our issued load was the old +P FBI 158 grain hollow point and it worked. My EDC continues to be a J frame and doubt that will change. Modern auto loaders make sense for todays LEOs but I'm okay w/the little revolver for my needs.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:54 PM
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Old Cop-

A Dallas officer used his issued Model 64 and lead HP ammo (FBI load) to kill six men with no problems.

A detective checked on performance of the issued .357 load, Winchester's 145 grain Silvertip. He is a rather squeamish guy and wouldn't go into details or get photos, but he said it was very impressive, almost overkill.

I don't think there's such a thing as overkill when someone is trying to murder you, but agree that placement is always a key factor.

Shouldn't this topic be in the Ammo forum?

Last edited by Texas Star; 09-20-2017 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:43 PM
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Remember,you don't know what the bad guy has in his/her gun and how good/lucky they are so you need to be better and hit your target(s)with the most number of rounds in the shortest amount of time.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:53 PM
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Don't know why but mrgunsngear on youtube got less velocity out of 4" revolver than the snub tested.Nice expansion if it will do that in a couple pieces of denim and gel test.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
Federal claims 890 FPS and the review got right under 1,200. That's a huge discrepancy. They blew right past 9mm performance and landed in .357 Magnum territory from a 2" barrel. Something is amiss.
First guess would be that the chrono pickups were close enough whilst testing the snub that they registered the shockwave of the muzzle blast (1200fps is a little fast for usual speed of sound in air, but close enough) rather than the bullet crossing.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:44 AM
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Just a hair over 800 FPS through my 2-inch Colt DS, at 15 feet from muzzle.
Penetrated two one-gallon water jugs completely (blew up the first), travelled far enough through the third to dent the far wall.
Recovered fully intact, no fragmentation, perfectly mushroomed, in the third jug.

Usable 25-yard accuracy through a snub.

Good load.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:53 AM
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A lot of bias against the .38 Special is based on old loads that used round nose lead bullets and comparison between it and other newer rounds, such as the .357 magnum. Just transitioning to hollow point bullets designed to expand at handgun velocities greatly improved the 38's performance. But as in all arguments about caliber performance, the whole thing boils down to shot placement. Many people, especially ladies and older people more sensitive to recoil, will do better with a round that doesn't cause them to flinch or wish they'd never dropped the hammer. A person who can put 10 shots of a .22 in an inch at 25 yards is far better off than one who can't hit the target with a 44 magnum, IMHO. So if a .38 Special is one's choice for protection and the proper ammo is used, I see no issues.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
The new HST load is certainly interesting, but I'll stick to more proven loads, like Speer's SB-GDHP or FBI loads.
Never not Speer Gold Dot. I always considered HST to be a second-tier choice.

The review isn't very good at all. And not just for the obviously erroneous chronograph results:

Quote:
In accuracy tests, we used a U.S. Treasury LTR-II target and rapid-fired 15 rounds at 7, 15 and 25 yards using a two-handed grip that resulted in 13 out of 15 “in the blue” on the transition target, with the two lost rounds coming in at the 25-yard mark.
I'm puzzled as to what exactly the point of this "accuracy test" is. Rapid fire? A single target? A single gun? And "good enough" is "well, all but two of them hit a human silhouette"?

---

In other news, .38 Spl has probably laid low as many stateside bad guys as any other service cartridge, given its widespread use and long life. I see no reason why it should be considered insufficient today.

The only real "problem" with .38 Spl is that a snubby only holds 5-6 rounds, whereas a compact pistol can be expected to hold upwards of 10.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:54 AM
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Rule #1-- Have a gun.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:14 AM
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Gee whiz, all these civvies who think they need hi-cap semis. Five or six not enough! Does anyone sell a 100 round drum for my FiveseveN?

In other news I just picked up a very nice 686 (at a very nice price) from the LGS. Owner said he got it in trade for a plus
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:46 AM
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Gee whiz, all these civvies who think they need hi-cap semis. Five or six not enough! Does anyone sell a 100 round drum for my FiveseveN?

In other news I just picked up a very nice 686 (at a very nice price) from the LGS. Owner said he got it in trade for a plus
I never heard anyone complain of having too much ammo after having to use a gun in self defense. And why do you need 5 or 6 when 1 or 2 will do? Guess more of that hi-cap stuff!

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Old 09-21-2017, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoman44 View Post
130 grain bullet at 1200 fps out of a Centennial?! That can't be correct. Will wait to see the results from other tests before coming to any conclusions.

p.s. Federal website lists 890 fps for this load.

Federal Premium Ammunition - Handgun
And that's 890 fps out of a 4" bbl..
38 Spl at almost 1200 fps out of 1 7/8" bbl. is smoke and mirror stuff, IMO.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:29 PM
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Forgot to mention that recoil was quite mild, too.
I would not hesitate to carry this load in a snub, on the few occasions when I do carry one.

I don't consider it a "second tier", just an alternative.

Re accuracy, best five-shot group off a rest through the Colt at 25 yards was 3 1/8 inches.
When I test for accuracy, it's ALWAYS off a rest at a bull's-eye target at a measured distance.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:00 PM
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Actually Rule One of gunfighting is "Make every possible effort to avoid gunfights." Rule Two is "Have a gun."

For the last eighteen years I've carried a .38 Special J-frame loaded with the old FBI load or its Buffalo Bore equivalent. The loading has a long history of effectiveness from two- and four-inch barrels. In the wildly unlikely event that I were forced to shoot someone, I figure it and the J-frame and I would certainly have a fighting chance.

The important consideration is still avoiding situations in which I'd need to test that.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:04 PM
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Incidentally, the writer of that review is waiting for another batch of ammo from Federal to re-test through his chrono system.

The 1195 figure is way off.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
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I never heard anyone complain of having too much ammo after having to use a gun in self defense. And why do you need 5 or 6 when 1 or 2 will do? Guess more of that hi-cap stuff!

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Couple of times I still had 3 in a J after a shoot. I am not saying don't have more ammo, just that IMHO CCW holders wildly overestimate the amount they would ever under any circumstances use. If someone decides they need a G17 and two spare 33 round mags, they just might be less likley to carry it 100% of the time, whereas carrying a 351c 100% (or a 642 with LHBWCs) because its what like 11.6 (19) ounces or something would serve them better.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:49 PM
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And that's 890 fps out of a 4" bbl..
38 Spl at almost 1200 fps out of 1 7/8" bbl. is smoke and mirror stuff, IMO.
Less friction out of the shorter tube. Also, hollow base is filled with solid fuel rocket propellant.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:16 PM
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Where are you guys finding this ammo?
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StakeOut View Post
Don't put the 38spl down.

If you do your part it will do it's part.

I have 1st hand knowledge about the statement I made above being fact and proven on several occasions using standard 158gr factory loads.

If between your ears there's a belief that you need a special type of ammo then you need to use it in order to have confidence in your selection.
I agree. I have never heard of the .38 Special failing to penetrate a Carhartt jacket like the 9mm did when fired by the NYPD.

There are plenty of good .38 Special SD loads available today. I'm not sure the HST ammo is any different than any other SD wadcutter load.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:41 PM
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I agree. I have never heard of the .38 Special failing to penetrate a Carhartt jacket like the 9mm did when fired by the NYPD.
That is NOT what happened. The bullet penetrated through the knife-wielder's torso, exiting the body with enough energy to break the skin but not enough to go through the jacket. In other words, the bullet worked the way it was supposed to.

Claims Carhartt Jacket Stopped NYPD Bullets Were False

NYPD says police bullets didn’t bounce off knife-wielding psycho - NY Daily News
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
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First guess would be that the chrono pickups were close enough whilst testing the snub that they registered the shockwave of the muzzle blast (1200fps is a little fast for usual speed of sound in air, but close enough) rather than the bullet crossing.
I ran into that same situation a few months ago, shooting some loads over my chronograph. I simply backed up a few more feet and solved that problem. I was getting velocities close to double what they should have been, if I remember correctly.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:18 PM
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Will definitely need to look into this load in my 442.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:24 PM
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What I find funny are guys who poopoo the .38 Spl as a defensive load, THEN rave about how great the 147 grain 9mm is as a defensive load.

Think about that one for a minute.

A 9mm loaded to .38 Spl velocities is somehow magic, yet a .38 is garbage?
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:27 PM
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What I find funny are guys who poopoo the .38 Spl as a defensive load, THEN rave about how great the 147 grain 9mm is as a defensive load.

Think about that one for a minute.

A 9mm loaded to .38 Spl velocities is somehow magic, yet a .38 is garbage?
BTW, anyone who was on the SOU is a good person to listen to (Cough, StakeOut, Cough).

I just read that review. Those sure look like upside down HBWCs. Hmmmm.
They also remind me of the original Hydra Shok bullet.
I think I need to buy some to test, though I'm still a big fan of the FBI and Treasury loads.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:41 PM
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What I find funny are guys who poopoo the .38 Spl as a defensive load, THEN rave about how great the 147 grain 9mm is as a defensive load.

Think about that one for a minute.

A 9mm loaded to .38 Spl velocities is somehow magic, yet a .38 is garbage?
It's the 9s round nose, so much more, ahem, effective than a WC, ahem, or SWC, ahem, cough, cough.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:48 AM
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It's not an upside down hollow-based wadcutter.
Jacketed & specifically designed for this application.
Denis
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
That is NOT what happened. The bullet penetrated through the knife-wielder's torso, exiting the body with enough energy to break the skin but not enough to go through the jacket. In other words, the bullet worked the way it was supposed to.

Claims Carhartt Jacket Stopped NYPD Bullets Were False

NYPD says police bullets didn’t bounce off knife-wielding psycho - NY Daily News
I read your link to the Daily News articles.

The knife was described as "huge" and an "eight-inch knife." You'd think it had an eight-inch blade. The photo showed a Spyderco Endure or something that looks like one. It has a four-inch blade!

This is another example of how the liberal press hypes anything weapon-related. Of course, they like to add drama to sensationalize a story, anyway. BTW, as a Journalism major, I was taught to do this. Accuracy isn't as important as selling newspapers or increasing TV ratings!

Mind you, I think the shooting was warranted. A four-inch blade is potentially lethal. But they made the knife sound twice as large as it was.

To top it off, they did a very poor job of explaining that the bullets penetrated the body of the decedent (I'm not going to call him a "victim") before impacting the REAR of the coat ON EXIT!

The two officers who fired shot the man nine times before he dropped and expired. The member who posted above that only 2-3 shots are required may want to reflect on that. I've read about numerous cases where multiple shots were required. Granted, such articles almost never reveal where each shot struck the target. Placement in a vital zone is crucial. I know of a grizzly bear shot six times with a .357, but only one bullet hit where it needed to, killing the bear.

Last edited by Texas Star; 09-22-2017 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpris View Post
It's not an upside down hollow-based wadcutter.
Jacketed & specifically designed for this application.
Denis
I don't think Jaymo was saying it was an upside down HBWC. But the basic design looks to have a lot of the same attributes as an upside down HBWC. Huge cavity and loaded flush with the case mouth. I can see where their inspiration came from.
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpris View Post
It's not an upside down hollow-based wadcutter.
Jacketed & specifically designed for this application.
Denis
Denis-

I haven't yet seen this ammo, but descriptions suggest an appearance sort of like the USAF PGU-12 round, but HP. Is that the case?

If you chrono it from a four-inch barrel, please post.
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:48 AM
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Basically just a mostly-flush seated jacketed hollowpoint with a squared nose.
Jacket is very slightly curled inward at the nose, scored in 6 places to begin expansion.
Not a bonded bullet, the lead petals do not stay bound to the jacket petals as everything opens up.

I used up most of the 80 rounds I was sent, have no plans to run it through a 4-incher. Sorry.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:12 AM
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Dpris, thanks for chronographing that ammo. I saw that near 1200 FPS average, and having chronographed a fair amount of ammo in various handguns, those velocities seemed suspect to me. You saved me having to buy a box of the stuff just to satisfy my curiosity as to actual velocities.

BTW, I chronographed some Federal 124 9MM +P HST in my S&W 940 with ~2" barrel. It's performance was about what was claimed for the 38 Spcl. load at 1195 FPS average. But if believed, the 38 load would have slightly exceeded it. Just didn't seem very likely to me....
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:03 AM
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
The two officers who fired shot the man nine times before he dropped and expired. The member who posted above that only 2-3 shots are required may want to reflect on that. I've read about numerous cases where multiple shots were required. Granted, such articles almost never reveal where each shot struck the target. Placement in a vital zone is crucial. I know of a grizzly bear shot six times with a .357, but only one bullet hit where it needed to, killing the bear.
While we're dissecting this incident, keep in mind a few things.

1. Reaction time. Both officers likely fired simultaneously and quickly, probably within a couple of seconds if they each fired 4-5 rounds (I'm making some assumptions not detailed in the article, but I think they're reasonable assumptions...I'm also assuming they only fired 9 rounds; they may have fired more that missed). It's entirely likely that within that timeframe they each may have fired a round or two in the time it took their brains to perceive the threat being neutralized and deciding to stop shooting.

2. I'm going to refer to Greg Ellifritz's study on "stopping power" (An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power | Buckeye Firearms Association), covering 1800 shootings over a 10-year period. I should note that his study didn't limit results to bullet type. I'm going to specifically refer to his comparison between .38 Special and 9mm effectiveness. According to his study, .38 Special required 1.87 shots to incapacitate, while 9mm required 2.45. His hypothesis was that, basically, the 9mm can be shot faster than the .38 Special, resulting in more shots being fired within the timeframe of the incident. I think this is a sound hypothesis, given the available data. So in the time frame that someone could've fired 2-3 shots from a 642, another, similarly-skilled person could've fired 4-5 shots from a Glock 19 (even with the NYPD's NY2 trigger).

3. I remember seeing the results of a study done based on NYPD's SOP9 reports, which details their shooting incidents, comparing the number of shots fired with revolvers to the number of shots fired with double-stack semi-autos. The time span covered was extensive, involving most, if not all, of the time they carried guns. It showed that there was a signficant increase in the number of shots fired per officer per incident after the switch to semi-autos. I have seen references to similar occurrences with LE agencies making the switch from revolvers to double-stack semi-autos. A reasonable conclusion would be that more rounds were fired because there were more rounds available.

When you start digging into incidents, there are a lot of factors involved, but the average of 2-3 shots fired per incident, within a span of a few seconds, still holds true, especially for non-LE shootings. Have there been incidents requiring more shots being fired? Of course. But those are the outliers.

Ultimately, prepare how you want. If you want to carry a 18-shot Glock 17 with 2 spare mags, a BUG with a reload, a pair of knives, pepper spray, flashlight, etc., then more power to you. If you want to carry a 642 with a speed strip, good on you. I personally believe it's far more important to do one's best to avoid trouble, but be able to use what you have if necessary, and have contingencies if what you have isn't enough. Even a Glock runs out of ammo at some point.
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  #46  
Old 09-22-2017, 11:29 AM
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What I like about this article, is that it seems to vindicate the concept of using the inverted hollow base wadcutter for self defense. I realize that this new offering IS jacketed, but the fact remains, the idea of using the cylindrical wadcutter for self defense as advanced by handloaders almost 50 years ago (or more) is being given credibility!
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:09 PM
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I have not fired any of this ammo, but it appears to have two attributes that differentiates it from regular 150 gr lead WC's.
The first is that, at 130 gr, it is likely to shoot to point of aim for my M442, which seems to be regulated for 125 gr plus pee. My 640Pro shot to point of aim with 158 gr ammo, but I have had three Airweight Centennials that all worked best with 125 gr, so I don't think its just a fluke in this case.
The second difference, if I have read the info correctly, is that the bullets are plated/jacketed. This means that I could actually shoot this ammo at my local indoor range. Not so with lead WC's, like BB, which I also like.
I really don't have any alternate ranges that allow lead ammo, and I like to be able to shoot some of what I carry. I currently carry the Speer 135 gr SB, but I will have to think about using the Federal offering.

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Old 09-22-2017, 12:16 PM
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In 1989 unless you were on some special squad you had a 5 or six shot .38 15 to 18 rounds. Supposed to be LSWC. Department issued (range ammo) LHBWC was commonly carried as well. Everyone I knew had a backup with 5 more rounds. We qualified at 25 yards, outdoors. We had been taught to make timed deliberate shots and make each shot count.

Fast forward a few years, higher capacity magazines, less strigent qualifications, less effective rounds (fmj 9mm, even GDHP are not as effective SD shapes as full WC and SWC). Of course it takes many more rounds to stop an agressor.

Its a free country, some might decide to carry a G17 and eighty rounds, me,I have carried a M40 for 40 years, its loaded with wadcutters and I always carry 5 more, but since retiring don't usually carry more than that. A defensive handgun gets you out out of a bad situation, you should not be engaging in a running gun bsttle, unless you just joined Seal Team 6.

My lhbwcs are all loaded hb, they work really, really well that way. LDEWCs, load them upside down if you want, work about the same. Carry WCs should be lead not plated.
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Last edited by TomkinsSP; 09-22-2017 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:17 PM
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"...38 Special required 1.87 shots to incapacitate, while 9mm required 2.45."

Don't you just love statistics? Indisputable evidence that the 9mm is a superior "stopper" to the .38spl.

Out of the dozens of whitetails I've seen shot with a firearm two instances stand out. One was killed and dropped instantly to a single round from a .44 magnum handgun...and not a single drop of blood was shed. The buck was hit at the base of the antler, opening a 4" long crack. The bullet bounced off but the skull plate was fractured into several pieces. Showed me what 900 ft-lbs of energy delivered in close proximity to the central nervous system will do.

The second was hit twice with a 30/06. The first went through the boiler room at only 30 yds. The deer bolted and ran, only to be hit a second time inside 60 yds, impacting about 3" from the first shot. Nobody would deny "perfect shot placement." He ran a total of about 140 yds before dropping. I could literally have placed my forearm through the space his heart and lungs had once occupied. Was he dead from the first shot? Absolutely. Was he "incapacitated"? Eventually.
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike campbell View Post
"...38 Special required 1.87 shots to incapacitate, while 9mm required 2.45."

Don't you just love statistics? Indisputable evidence that the 9mm is a superior "stopper" to the .38spl.
You might want to actually read what I posted and the article I linked. The author stated they're about the same in terms of performance, along with the other service calibers, but that the difference in incapacitation is likely attributable to how quickly each can be fired.

I, personally, don't rely extensively on quantitative data as there are a lot of variables affecting it. I only mentioned it to point out the difference in shooting speed and how that might affect the number of rounds fired in a self defense shooting. Qualitatively, service caliber rounds all perform more or less the same. Pick the one you prefer and practice.

Whether or not you agree with me, the most important things are still: avoid trouble whenever possible, be able to use what you have if necessary, and be prepared in case what you have isn't enough.

Apologies to the OP for sidetracking the thread.
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