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Old 06-10-2018, 05:29 PM
Redstickboy Redstickboy is offline
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Default Ammunition choice?

I have a Model 637-2 Enhanced action >38 SP+P with alloy frame. What is a good critical/self defense round for this firearm? With only 5 rounds you want to get max knock-down power I would think. I have LRN, FMJ a and hollow point in two different weights.Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I will use it mostly for home defense and occasional carry.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:31 AM
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Hollow points good if you feel confident they will expand and you don't mind the recoil. 148 grain target wad cutters an option for guaranteed penetration and minimal recoil for faster follow up shots.

See luckygunner.com site for recent testing they did on various 38 rounds
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:42 AM
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I carry the Buffalo Bore standard pressure 158 grain LSWCHP in my 638. Less blast and recoil than +P ammo.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:42 AM
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I use Speer Short Barrel .38 +P 135gr. (in a 442)
Bullets recovered from critters show neat mushrooms just like the ad pictures.
As to knock-down with a stubby, don't count on it, place your shots as best you can, and be prepared to shoot again...
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:03 AM
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Don't overthink it. You'll drive yourself insane. 50% will say you made a great choice. The other 50% will say you made a bad choice. Any top-shelf +P defensive round from reliable manufacturers like Winchester, Federal, Remington, Speer, or Hornady, etc. will do the job just fine.

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Old 06-12-2018, 12:05 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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There is no such thing as "knock-down power" with any realistic handgun cartridge. You need a good hit (shot placement) and adequate penetration. Anything beyond that is nice but can not be relied upon.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:53 PM
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NYPD reported they were pleased with the results with Speer Gold Dot 135gr. 38+P. They used this in 2” and 4” Revolvers. This is Street Results. Not water or jello. I like Street Results so that’s why I picked this round. It also shoots good from my J-Frames.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:09 PM
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Try searching the self defense and ammo forums here, if you haven't already. Lots of opinions on this topic have been shared.

As for my choice...My preference is the Speer 135gr SB-GDHP +P. Like haywood, I prefer street results over gel results, and SB-GDHP have developed a good reputation. FYI, I believe Chicago PD also used the SB-GDHP.

The problem is that Speer only produces it in cycles, I believe every 3-4 months or so, so it can be difficult to find at times (I stock up when I can). If I couldn't find the SB-GDHP, I would go with the FBI load, which is also a street-proven round. My preference would be the Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP standard pressure version, which is actually at the same velocity as the original +P version by the other makers (I once fired 5 rounds of their +P version in my 642...my first thought was, "Well, I'm never going to do THAT again!" ). I would be ok with the Remington version.

If I need a low recoil load, my first choice would be Federal 125gr Nyclad, but it's been discontinued and I'm hoarding the couple of boxes I have left. I like what I've seen of Winchester's 130gr Defend JHP, but as far as I know the only results are from gel.

Of course, there's always the 148gr midrange wadcutter. Low recoil and provides adequate penetration while keeping the risk for overpenetration to a minimum.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:56 PM
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I still use some form of the old FBI +P load, 158 grain hollow point, b/c when I used it on the street it worked.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:02 PM
Redstickboy Redstickboy is offline
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Thanks for all of the quick, positive responses. I'll sort through them again and plan my strategy. I do believe in overthinking the round!!! A miscreant at 7-10 yards with Hollow point rounds should do the trick!
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:43 PM
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Redstickboy-Some companies are making rounds tailored to snubbies. SuperVel is an old name that hasn’t been mentioned. If you don’t stop an advancing bad guy with 5 rounds, hit them square on the bridge of the nose repeatedly with your 637. I’ve found stainless guns clean up nicely after a “gunfight”.......
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:47 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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I just use a box of G&W Remington 125gr 38 special +P's as my carry ammo for my mod 10 HB and 642.

Remington G&W box 130gr FMJ for target/plinking or whatevers cheaper at the time.

Most of the time I shoot my reloads at the range but that's a different topic.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:49 PM
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Default Indeedy do....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion520AZ View Post
Don't overthink it. You'll drive yourself insane. 50% will say you made a great choice. The other 50% will say you made a bad choice. Any top-shelf +P defensive round from reliable manufacturers like Winchester, Federal, Remington, Speer, or Hornady, etc. will do the job just fine.

Concealed Carry: Standard pressure .38 special ammo. - YouTube
All of these with standard loads perform very well in testing. Golden Sabers, HSTs, Gold Dots, and XPTs are my faves. I don't require 'boutique' ammo, though they are very good, I just don't feel that they are needed.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:07 AM
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FBI load. I hear that the Buffalo Bore +P load with gas check is pretty stout.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchu View Post
FBI load. I hear that the Buffalo Bore +P load with gas check is pretty stout.
It's approaching low-end .357 Magnum velocity. In a 642 it is going to be absolutely no fun to shoot, to the point of pain.

The standard pressure version will get your attention--it's the equivalent of the older +P FBI load--but not like the BB hot stuff.

It always amuses and irritates me when I see some miscreant in a movie shot with 9mm or .45 ACP and fly backward across the room.

Does not happen. Handgun knock-down power is a myth.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:22 AM
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I practice close range point and shoot with regular, everyday wadcutters. I'm surprisingly fast and just as surprisingly accurate.

I find I'm slower and less accurate with any and everything that has more "knock down" power.

Wanna guess what I carry?

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:32 AM
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Default Don't you get sick of...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shouldazagged View Post
It's approaching low-end .357 Magnum velocity. In a 642 it is going to be absolutely no fun to shoot, to the point of pain.

The standard pressure version will get your attention--it's the equivalent of the older +P FBI load--but not like the BB hot stuff.

It always amuses and irritates me when I see some miscreant in a movie shot with 9mm or .45 ACP and fly backward across the room.

Does not happen. Handgun knock-down power is a myth.
...seeing the same crud used ALL the time? How many people have been blown through skyscraper windows. Wonder why the sense of reality in this country is warped.

It's been going on a long time though. Back about the time of WWI someone said that soldiers in movies that got 'hit' threw their rifles up in the air. The real thing wasn't quite so dramatic. People would be moving forward and then kind of slump to the ground.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:39 PM
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Your LRN and FMJ bullets will be great for target practice.

The two JHP bullets did not have a brand or weight so I would
use them for target use also since most are not quality SD type bullets.

The above post have covered your questions well.........
Choose wisely.
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