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Old 06-03-2018, 07:17 PM
Gulfcowboy Gulfcowboy is offline
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Hello I recently purchased a 638, and I'm searching for a plus P to carry with it. I've been practicing with it and firing plus P rounds and believe I'm pretty proficient with it. This gun has become my primary concealed carry pistol. Any suggestions on what I should carry it with? I've been looking at federal micro hst 38 special. Also on another note I am also looking for speed loaders and pouches any suggestions in that area would be much appreciated.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:26 PM
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It’s getting harder to find, but I like the Corbon DPX +P for my 342 Ti. I use speed strips because I like how they lay flat in your pocket.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:26 PM
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Speedloaders I recommend the Safariland Comp-I for the 5 shot J frame, and their concealable carrier which is a metal spring steel holder is very secure on the belt.

For the 638 any 158 grn LSWC or SWC-HP +P will do well, as you need the penetration and its hard for hollowpoints to consistently expand in flesh.

The HSTs do show very good potential!
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:32 PM
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Second vote for the speer Gold Dot in +p for the J frame
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:35 PM
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If you wish to hit close to point of aim, stick with 158 grain bullets. I've seen some of the lightweight 110 and 125 grain bullets strike six inches or more below point of aim at handgun distances. There are exceptions to everything, however, so they may be worth a try.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:44 PM
Gulfcowboy Gulfcowboy is offline
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Thanks for all the replies. I really enjoy carrying and shooting this gun. I stayed away from it for a number of years, because all the post that I saw that said it was hard and uncomfortable to shoot. I find this not to be true at least for me. In fact i like it more than my sheild.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:54 PM
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I don't think there's a "best" round....just gotta try a few (or a lot ) of different loads and find what is controllable and accurate in your gun.

Accuracy is the one variable you can't skimp on! Only hits count.....any .38+p defense round from a reputable maker should work well if you put it where it will do some good.

I've tried a large pile of them and pretty much settled on Win. Ranger 130grn. They are noticeably more accurate than other rounds in my revolvers. (except my M36, it likes 158grn swchp must be an age thing )
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:13 PM
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I love the 135 grain Gold Dots but you cant find them anywhere. I bought a bunch of just the bullets at first when they came out but cant find them anymore. Check out WW Defender 130 grain HP. Highly rated by Lucky Gunner that tested a bunch of defensive ammo. A lot of Federal loads wont mushroom in there tests. To bad im telling you about this round as Winchester just ended a 25% rebate on Ammo
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:19 PM
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It appears that Target Sports still has the Speer 135gr +P short barrel load in stock. Price listed is $19.99 for the 50 round box. Heck, that is a plinking ammo price these days. I bought 6 boxes a few weeks back.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:41 PM
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I currently use the 135gr Gold Dot +P in the 64-2 and 340 M&P that I carry on and off duty. Finding that load can be difficult, but it does turn up. If I remember correctly it was the last load NYPD used in their .38's.

Before the Gold Dot ammo I used the FBI load (158gr LSWCHP+P) in my revolvers. I switched to the Gold Dot around 2012, mainly because I was having a hard time finding factory FBI loads, while the Gold Dots were readily available at my local cop shop. I would feel well protected with either .38 load.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:23 PM
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It depends on what your gun likes. The 642 I had liked the Speer Gold Dot 135gr+p short bbl load. My other snub nose likes Winchester white box 125gr+p best followed by the
130 gr+p Winchester Bonded. The Speer comes in third.
Any of the above loads are excellent self defense loads for any length bbl that you can get 50 round boxes online for $20 to $25/box. Some companies even give free shipping depending on $’s spent.

Be SAFE and shoot often!
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:31 PM
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IMO accuracy is most important because the best performing bullet in redwood will do you no good unless you hit the target. That said, I suggest you carry the ammo that is most accurate in your gun. Any doubt different in performance won't matter since most name brand SD ammo these days will do a good job.

I carry several different I frame revolvers at times. My M442 shoots very well with 135gr Speer short barrel .38 Special +P ammo So that's what I carry. My M36 just loves the FBI load and that's what it gets lol.

There are plenty of good choices out there, find the one your gun likes. I would stay away from the "boutique" ammo because I don't feel the additional cost is worth it but you may disagree.
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:12 PM
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I survived three deadly force encounters using the old FBI +P loading, 158 grain lead hollow point, so I know that works. It’s carried in my Model 340PD to this day.
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlawler View Post
Its getting harder to find, but I like the Corbon DPX +P for my 342 Ti.

38 Special +P 110gr DPX
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:26 PM
Gulfcowboy Gulfcowboy is offline
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Im definitely going to try the old 158gr fbi load, because it served the law enforcement well for so long. You gotta tip your hat to that round. The gold dot 135 gr. Looks promising as well. Im also going get a Safariland speedloader and pouch. I really appreciate everybody taking their time to give me these great suggestions.
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old cop View Post
I survived three deadly force encounters using the old FBI +P loading, 158 grain lead hollow point, so I know that works. Its carried in my Model 340PD to this day.
Such a bullet, plain flat nose or hollowpoint in the .38 Special is never a bad choice if it's reasonably accurate and you can consistently hit with it. Too many obsess over expansion, muzzle velocity, penetration, and other secondary textbook factors.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulfcowboy View Post
Hello I recently purchased a 638, and I'm searching for a plus P to carry with it. I've been practicing with it and firing plus P rounds and believe I'm pretty proficient with it. This gun has become my primary concealed carry pistol. Any suggestions on what I should carry it with? I've been looking at federal micro hst 38 special. Also on another note I am also looking for speed loaders and pouches any suggestions in that area would be much appreciated.
I had the cylinder lock up on my 642 three or four years ago, not long after I got it. I sent it back to S&W. During the process, I ended up calling one of the tech's. While I had him on the phone, I asked him what ammo J Frames were "calibrated" to. He said 158 gr standard pressure or 135 gr +P point of aim at 21 feet. No way to know how knowledgeable he was, but it seems pretty close with my 642.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulfcowboy View Post
Hello I recently purchased a 638, and I'm searching for a plus P to carry with it. I've been practicing with it and firing plus P rounds and believe I'm pretty proficient with it. This gun has become my primary concealed carry pistol. Any suggestions on what I should carry it with? I've been looking at federal micro hst 38 special. Also on another note I am also looking for speed loaders and pouches any suggestions in that area would be much appreciated.
WELCOME TO THE FORUM, Gulfcowboy. IMHO--ONE OF THE VERY BEST ROUNDS FOR SD, IS THE SPEER, GOLD DOT, .38SPL+P. ITS A 135GR, BONDED SJHP, DESIGNED FOR SHORT BARRELS, AND LOW FLASH.....

ITS THE AMMO ISSUED BY THE NYPD, TO ALL ITS OFFICERS WHO CARRY REVOLVERS. SPEER ALSO MARKETS A 135GR TMJ "LAWMAN" ROUND, WHICH IS DESIGNED TO BE A TRAINING/PRACTICE ROUND FOR THE GOLD DOT. THAT DEPT HAS AMASSED A GOOD RECORD, ON THE STREETS, WITH THIS AMMO.....

YOU CAN CHECK OUT SEVERAL TESTS OF IT ON YOU TUBE. BOTH THE GOLD DOT, AND THE TMJ LAWMAN ARE AVAILABLE IN 50 ROUND BOXES. I USUALLY PURCHASE IT ONLINE, FROM AMMUNITION DEPOT.......

.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlawler View Post
Its getting harder to find, but I like the Corbon DPX +P for my 342 Ti. I use speed strips because I like how they lay flat in your pocket.
I would be very careful with 110gr ammo, S&W specifically warns against using it in their AirLite revolvers. They are extremely susceptible to bullet pull which could lock up the revolver when you most need it.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:02 PM
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Nothing wrong with the Speer 135 grain GDHP however I believe the Buffalo Bore #20A is even better.

The 158 grain LSWCHP-GC bullet leaves a 2" Chief's Special at 1025 fps - confirmed many times with my Chrony. Not only is it about 200 fps faster than the GDHP, but it is 23 grains heavier. IMO it is about the best you can get in +P .38 Spl. if you can handle the stout recoil. Not too bad, but you'll definitely know it's something different!

The BB is also really accurate, about the most consistent load I've ever shot, and I've never had one single hitch with them.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:54 PM
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Winchester still makes an oldie but a goldie that's reasonably priced at about .80 per round:
38 Special +P 158 Grain Lead Hollow Point Semi-Wadcutter


Winchester Super-X Ammo 38 Special +P 158 Grain Lead Hollow Point
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
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Nothing wrong with the Speer 135 grain GDHP however I believe the Buffalo Bore #20A is even better.

The 158 grain LSWCHP-GC bullet leaves a 2" Chief's Special at 1025 fps - confirmed many times with my Chrony. Not only is it about 200 fps faster than the GDHP, but it is 23 grains heavier. IMO it is about the best you can get in +P .38 Spl. if you can handle the stout recoil. Not too bad, but you'll definitely know it's something different!

The BB is also really accurate, about the most consistent load I've ever shot, and I've never had one single hitch with them.
BB is thee premium ammo. It is a step up from the FBI original FBI loading. It is also made in +P. This load will not be comfortable in a J frame. My carry is Buffalo Bore LSWC 158 hp standard pressure in my 638. Item 20C/20 158gr Soft Cast LSWHP-GC 850fps these are low flash for short barrel revolvers.
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