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38 Special Ammo ?

This is a discussion on 38 Special Ammo ? within the Single Action Revolvers forums, part of the Handgun Forum category; As some may remember, I have my eyes on a Vaquero. Decided to definitely go with the 357/38 and would like to start collecting some ...


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Old 12-28-2015, 03:28 PM   #1
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38 Special Ammo ?

As some may remember, I have my eyes on a Vaquero. Decided to definitely go with the 357/38 and would like to start collecting some Ammo for it.

Right now I'm only interested in 38 Special Ammo and I'll be wanting about 90% of it in Round Nose (Plicking, Practicing) and about 10% in Hollow Point.

With 22LR's I know what to get and what to stay away from.

For comparison, I'm a CCI Mini-Mag fan, lol.

What would you all suggest and what is your personal favorite?
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:59 PM   #2
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For a reasonably priced plinking and practice round, we like the Federal American Eagle 130 grain loads. The Winchester White Box 130s are also good. We try to stay with the 130 grain stuff for the sake of keeping roughy the same POI. There can be quite a difference in POI when you jump from the 110 grain loads on up through the 158s. If you're going Vaquero, makes sense to pick one load.

On our Vaquero, we did have to file down the front sight a bit to get the sights regulated for our shooting distance, once we picked a load. Apparently, this is normal for the Vaquero, though. Have heard that it's by design.

For serious self-defense factory rounds, I've always used he Hornady Critical Defense +P. Has always shot well in any of our 357/38s. Cheap, it is not, but then none of the premium SD ammo is.

Last edited by north country gal; 12-28-2015 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:10 PM   #3
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These guns are 38 special and are 7/8 size of the 45 Colt SA . These guns are made perfect in fit , finish and are smooth as glass from the factory .

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Old 12-28-2015, 06:16 PM   #4
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The 38 Special is probably the most reloaded cartridge. You may want to get a reloading manual and read up and consider making your own ammo. You can get what you need in the used market for a fraction of new. Just MHO.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:58 PM   #5
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Appreciate the replies.

The Federal American Eagle 130 does sound pretty good. I'll check out the Winchesters too.

I probably will get into Reloading someday, but I'll at least save what I can now to have something to work with, whenever that day arrives.

TGR, they all look good. I sure do like that Bond Arms 38.
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:16 PM   #6
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For a self defense load, I like anything that is 158 gr lead semi-wadcutter hollow point. Plus P if possible.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:56 PM   #7
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This company has good prices on practice ammo and they also load Hornady XTP bullets at good prices.

I have purchased a lot of 9mm, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum ammo from them. For serious use I load Federal 129 grain Hydroshok or Federal or Winchester FBI loads (158 grain lead semi-wadcutter hollow points with +P loads). Always fire a decent amount of any load you might depend on. Revolvers can surprise you. I have a S&W Mod 638 that will jam up after a couple of cylinders of any lead bullets. That is why I use the Hydroshoks in it. In any other revolver I prefer the FBI loads.

https://www.freedommunitions.com/category-s/1830.htm
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:00 PM   #8
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"Reman" means they are used cases. They may be mixed headstamps but they are clean and well processed. For a slightly higher price they offer "new" and these are in new cases with matching headstamps.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist View Post
Revolvers can surprise you. I have a S&W Mod 638 that will jam up after a couple of cylinders of any lead bullets. That is why I use the Hydroshoks in it. In any other revolver I prefer the FBI loads.
Revolver NEVER jam up
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:20 AM   #10
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I am down to 3 semi auto's, two of which will handle anything I have thrown their way. I have owned probably 20 different revolvers over the years and have had two problems: the first was a broken roll pin from production that was interfering with the hammer travel and causing light strikes with my NAA 22 Mag. Once I found it and got it out of there it functioned just fine. The other was a 1970 Ruger Security Six that the crane was backing out and locking it up. A little Loctite solved that problem. That is the only two problems I have had with revolvers malfunctioning with 10's of thousands of rounds downrange. I had a 1911 that would jam up more in a single mag than all my revolvers combined over the past 40 years. Does that mean they are all perfect? Of course not, Mac's example of one with tight tolerances is a good one but I clean after every range trip and haven't experienced issues that some of the whiners have had on other forums. I typically run my firearms stock with the exception of sights or grips and I will smooth out the burrs if necessary.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:33 AM   #11
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I'd rather not drag out that old dead horse of a debate and beat on it, so I'll just say that I have owned every type of handgun there is - single action and double action revolvers, semi autos and specialty pistols of all types. Regardless of type, have had one or two that needed help or that never should have left the factory. There's no such thing as a foolproof gun design. I carry both revolvers and semi autos for self-defense, but only those individual guns that have a proven track record of reliability, as in actual range testing with a wide variety of ammo. It ain't rocket science. .

Back to the 38 loads -
We have a local that reloads new components and he uses teflon/moly coated lead bullets in some loads. They really do work to reduce or eliminate leading if you have a gun that leads up, fast.

As far as the cartridge, itself, the 38 Special is actually a very versatile cartridge. Have known several guys over the years that used a 38 revolver for rabbit and small game hunting. No, the bullet doesn't tear up a lot of meat. Usually just passes right on through and doesn't damage much more meat than a 22.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:47 PM   #12
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The 638 ties up because lead shavings and fouling get between the cylinder and the base pin. This will start to drag after one or two cylinder fulls. By a couple more it will be impossible to pull it through DA. It seems to be from sloppy fit of the barrel /cylinder gap and the gas ring at the front of the cylinder. I ordered this new through a dealer. At the same time I ordered a 696 in .44 Spec. It came with an excessive gap, the barrel turned past center, and a catch in the DA pull.

I have had or worked on several S&W revolvers that were defective. I encountered a couple of the early Mod 66 stainless K frames that had sharp edges that were digging into the ratchet surfaces and or the trigger surfaces they were supposed to slide over. This seemed to be from inadequate finishing on the stainless parts as I did not see it on blued or nickeled parts which get finished before blueing or plating. I have had two Ruger single actions that tended to lose the cylinder pin when the plunger unscrewed and three that had parts break from normal use. My Single ten had a part break, jamming the action after less than an hour of working the action. I bought three new Taurus revolvers and dumped them as used though they were unfired when I saw how flimsy and unfinished the action parts were.

I have had bad autos and revolvers, but as NCG said, I will not trust any gun until I have proven it well with the particular load I will carry.
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:52 AM   #13
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Uberti/ Cimarron SA ...... I've owned 9 + of them and every one of them the fit , finish and they all worked perfect and with the new spring designed for Colt SA and is in all Uberti for the last 8 yrs . Uberti SA guns will never break .

The 10 + Glocks I've owned and took in trade in my life I've NEVER had one jam or fail to feed no matter any type ammo I shot in them and you can run 100,000 rds in them and not break or wear out . They maybe ugly but they shoot 1st time every time with any ammo .
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Old 12-30-2015, 04:39 AM   #14
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That "spring" u speak of tgr, the piece of spring steel in the frame under the cylinder? "Lever main spring" I guess is the proper name I just looked up

Last edited by Dennis H; 12-30-2015 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis H View Post
That "spring" u speak of tgr, the piece of spring steel in the frame under the cylinder? "Lever main spring" I guess is the proper name I just looked up
There is 3 part that make them unbreakable .





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Old 12-30-2015, 08:57 AM   #16
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I use the Federal 130 grain FMJ as practice ammo in my LCR-357. Carry ammo is Hornady XTP hollow points in 125 grain. I get the same POI with either.
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