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  #1  
Old 03-04-2024, 11:27 AM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Default Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?

Looking to stock-up on some .38 Special (Non +P) 158 gr FMJ range ammo. I want something at the standard 158 gr / 755 fps / 200 fpe performance level, NOT something that actually yields higher values. I know that some of the Euro loadings may list as standard pressure, but actually give +P velocities. Thoughts? I don't really want a loading that has a reputation for hard primers, true duds, large velocity variations, etc. Thanks!

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Old 03-04-2024, 12:24 PM
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Most standard 158 lead ammo is pretty high in cost, these days.

The 130's arecheaper but not what you are asking for.

I will not pay the price for lead that my stores are asking for.

Best deal right now is Armscor 158 FMJ, box of 50 for $23 plus tax.
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Old 03-04-2024, 01:24 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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I've been using Remington 130 grain leadless range ammo...cleanest ammo I've ever used and accuracy is maybe not match accurate but very good nonetheless.
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Old 03-04-2024, 02:05 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Check out SGAmmo, they have a couple different brands at $22.95 for 158gr fmj. Of course it's even cheaper by the case and free shipping.

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Old 03-04-2024, 02:27 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Older revolvers are pretty soft and so using lead bullets will wear things a lot less than FMJ and might even save you some money. Of course, I gather some ranges require jacketed bullets, if so then your hands are tied.
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Old 03-04-2024, 03:33 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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I've been using Norma standard pressure 158gr. FMJ with no issues. Bought a bunch of it from normashooting dot com when it was on sale.
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Old 03-04-2024, 03:41 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZGrand View Post
I've been using Norma standard pressure 158gr. FMJ with no issues. Bought a bunch of it from normashooting dot com when it was on sale.
What does it chronograph out of your guns? From the box, it indicates as being pretty warm (900+ fps)
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Old 03-04-2024, 06:17 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Magtech is the only one I know of with specs close to the classic 755/200 speed/power ratio. That's for both the LRN and the LSWC. PPU also makes the same cartridges, but they are European and the load is 900fps.
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Old 03-04-2024, 06:37 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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I was just on ammoseek.com looking for about the same thing except I was looking for LRN, leaded round nose, which I prefer for my older pre-Victory. They have lots of choices there of various brands of ammo. SG Ammo is also listed as one of the vendors.
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Old 03-04-2024, 07:25 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .455_Hunter View Post
What does it chronograph out of your guns? From the box, it indicates as being pretty warm (900+ fps)
Well, I don't have a chronograph, so I don't really know.
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Old 03-04-2024, 09:35 PM
alwslate alwslate is offline
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .455_Hunter View Post
What does it chronograph out of your guns? From the box, it indicates as being pretty warm (900+ fps)
Yeah 900+ fps. Maybe out of an 8" test barrel. Probably about 750 fps out of a 4" revolver.
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Old 03-04-2024, 09:42 PM
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This is one subject where there is no "best", merely what you prefer based on your expectations and desires! Any .38 Special ammunition will do exactly the same thing in a range scenario, put holes in paper targets! How accurately this happens is mostly a reflection of your individual shooting ability, and not the gun or ammunition.

Don't worry about the performance figures either advertised or indicated on the packaging, it is extremely rare for any ammunition in any caliber to deliver these performance levels in actual firearms. There are many reasons for this. There is nothing "magic" about .38 Special ammunition at 750 FPS +/- or 200 FPE! If you do not own a chronograph you will never know what velocity your gun produces, and it doesn't matter!!!
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Old 03-04-2024, 10:55 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
This is one subject where there is no "best", merely what you prefer based on your expectations and desires! Any .38 Special ammunition will do exactly the same thing in a range scenario, put holes in paper targets! How accurately this happens is mostly a reflection of your individual shooting ability, and not the gun or ammunition.

Don't worry about the performance figures either advertised or indicated on the packaging, it is extremely rare for any ammunition in any caliber to deliver these performance levels in actual firearms. There are many reasons for this. There is nothing "magic" about .38 Special ammunition at 750 FPS +/- or 200 FPE! If you do not own a chronograph you will never know what velocity your gun produces, and it doesn't matter!!!
I appreciate your thoughts, but they are completely erroneous and simplistic in this situation. I am looking for this loading because in shoots to POA with the fixed sights revolvers in question, which were intended to fire 158 gr at 755 fps- the "standard" loading of the time. The 130s shoot low, regardless of the interwebz. The higher velocity 158s can vary, and definitely produce more recoil. And so you know, the 4" vented catalog ballistics are usually reasonably close to what you get out a quality Smith, Colt or Ruger 4" .38 revolver. I do own a chronograph, and have been shooting .38 Special for over 30 years, so none of this is "new". I want FMJ for ease of clean-up and not dealing with lead residue in the bore and everyplace else for family shooting sessions.

It may just come down to me executing my own testing with a box of each before making a 1000 round commitment. I figured I would at least ask here first about people's direct experiences with such ammo. That may or may not have been a good idea.

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Old 03-04-2024, 11:25 PM
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I just looked at the Magtech web site, and they have a ballistics chart. It states the velocity is 755 and tested in a 4-V barrel. I would think they mean vented, therefore like a revolver's speed. I have a supply of the Magtech LSWC, and the PPU LSWC. The Magtech LSWC has the same specs as the LRN. The PPU is definitely hotter and shoots a bit low in my fixed sight Smiths. The Magtech shoots to POI.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:16 AM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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I recently chronoed Remington LRN ammo through my new Colt Cobra 2” and they ran 775 fps. PPU 158 grain LSWCHPs do 850 from the 2” Colt and a little over 900 fps from my 6” Python.
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Old 03-08-2024, 09:51 PM
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PMC I have been getting has been pretty good. May not be 158 Gr last boxes I got, but they shoot just fine. I think they're 132.

For me, finding actual 158 gr target rounds has been oddly difficult locally.
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Old 03-10-2024, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .455_Hunter View Post
The higher velocity 158s can vary, and definitely produce more recoil.
Have you noticed a consistant correlation between speed and how the point of impact shifts?

I do not have a chronograph, but have done some side by side comparisons, and had the same observation on the projectile weight; the 158 gr LRN tended to group higher than the 130 and 110 gr projectiles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer1 View Post
I recently chronoed Remington LRN ammo through my new Colt Cobra 2 and they ran 775 fps. PPU 158 grain LSWCHPs do 850 from the 2 Colt and a little over 900 fps from my 6 Python.
Thank you. Interesting. I had been wondering if PPU's website info was in any way comparable to other brands published numbers.


Have you noticed if the Remington seemed cleaner than PPU?
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Old 03-10-2024, 01:42 PM
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Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo? Best .38 Special Standard Pressure 158 gr FMJ Range Ammo?  
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I think this is what you want. I would not use this ammo for anything other than shooting tin cans, but the brass is very good and can be reloaded forever.

Federal American Eagle 38 Special 158 Grain LRN - Ammo Deals

You can reload .38 Special easily and cheaply, so save your brass, buy some primers and some Alliant Unique powder and you can load whatever you want.
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Old 03-10-2024, 02:02 PM
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"target sports usa" has just what you asked for .. made by Magtech (MG38P): 158 grain FMJ target vel. =755fps/200ftlb at the muzzle.
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Old 03-22-2024, 12:48 PM
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For recreational shooting, who cares, really? Buy what you are willing to pay for. The paper target won't know the difference.
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Old 03-23-2024, 09:00 PM
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For shooting 38 Special for fun and your not a reloader. Really any 38 Special will do, 158 LRN, 158 or 130 plated. Because most people's groups are like this.
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Old 03-23-2024, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shil View Post
For recreational shooting, who cares, really? Buy what you are willing to pay for. The paper target won't know the difference.
Very true.

I was at the Indoor Range the other day and I never see revolver shooters anymore. So I had to pay attention when a father and son came to shoot and they had grandpa's Model 19. They were shooting WWB 38 Special and of course WWB 357 Magnum. The 38 groups were just as bad as the 357 groups and that was true also with their SA and DA groups too.
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Old 03-23-2024, 10:30 PM
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That's too bad.


But for some of us, it does matter.
So if we can help each other out, then lets do so.
My groups aren't much tighter than that at 25 yards, but tight enough to show consistant shift of impact with certain ammo that seems to have a correlation with weight and velocity.

Finally got to shoot my Pre-Victory!-v_2023-04-18_comparison-r-jpg

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Old 03-24-2024, 04:55 PM
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I was the Captain of my Police Department's Pistol Team.

With a NRA Regional Championship and State Championships in three different states, I know what works. Also I highly recommend reloading and it is a great hobby too.

You know handgun shooting in 1964 is the same as 2024?
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Old 03-24-2024, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT ROCK 11B View Post
For shooting 38 Special for fun and your not a reloader. Really any 38 Special will do, 158 LRN, 158 or 130 plated. Because most people's groups are like this.
That's nice. My purpose was not selecting ammo for "most people".
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Old 03-24-2024, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
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For recreational shooting, who cares, really? Buy what you are willing to pay for. The paper target won't know the difference.
The paper target doesn't care, but the shooter should care.
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Old 03-24-2024, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT ROCK 11B View Post
I was the Captain of my Police Department's Pistol Team.

With a NRA Regional Championship and State Championships in three different states, I know what works. Also I highly recommend reloading and it is a great hobby too.

You know handgun shooting in 1964 is the same as 2024?
If you have been handgun shooting since 1964, have multiple state/regional NRA championships, plus the supposed captain of your PD shooting team, you should understand the relationship between POA/POI and how that actually does matter.

Some of the responses to this thread have been surprisingly non-sequiter.

Last edited by .455_Hunter; 03-24-2024 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 03-24-2024, 06:36 PM
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Thanks to all who provided substantive responses! I ended-up selecting the Magtech load which I found locally OTC for a reasonable price.
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Old 03-24-2024, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .455_Hunter View Post
Thanks to all who provided substantive responses! I ended-up selecting the Magtech load which I found locally OTC for a reasonable price.
That last comment would be a first around here.
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