I voted other because I still prefer and have a small supply of the Federal 125 gr. Nyclad HP standard pressure loads available to me. These loads are right on out of my Bobbed Model 37 at up close and personal ranges and because they are standard pressure I can deliver all five of them pretty quickly and accurately.
I must admit that I'm sometimes swayed by what people in the gunwriting industry have to say, so I'm currently carrying the 135-grain Speer Gold Dot.
I also have several boxes of Winchester 125 +P JHP on hand, and one of my house guns is loaded with that. From a strictly subjective point of view, it's not as loud or "bouncy" as the Speer, but I attribute this to the difference in bullet weight.
I also have on hand several boxes of Winchester +P LSWCHP, but I find it really uncomfortable to shoot in my Airweight (M638). From an all steel M49 or M60 it's better, but the grips on the 60 don't do anything to help with recoil. The M49 usually wears a set of S&W "banana" grips, which allow for a much better hold.
The one issue that I'm most concerned with when carrying one of the pocket guns is that it's controllable. No matter what load I'm carrying, when it gets to the point that I can't hit the target, something has to give. The new Speer 135 +P is definitely hot stuff, but I can put five rounds of it on target in a relatively short time. I don't think I'd want to use it as a steady diet, though; did I mention that it's kind of "bouncy"?
Remington 158-gr +P LSWCHPs for me! I keep them in the gun and in an 18-rnd MTM ammo wallet.
But on my speed strips and speedloaders I carry Federal's 147-gr "+P+" HSs (because the jackets keep the bullets from getting mangled as they clank around on the speed strips in my pocket or SmartCarry pouch).
Hey, Erich. I don't suppose you've tried the 147 +P+ in a J frame, have you? There are warnings on the box about using it in aluminum framed guns. I've shot it in K frame Smiths and keep it full time in my bedside Ruger Speed-Six, but I'm leery of shooting it in anything smaller and/or lighter.
You know, I wonder about this stuff. First of all, my box doesn't have any such warning on it (so maybe we have different stuff). Secondly, anyone with a chrono can tell you that the ammo's not all that fast (mid-900s), although that doesn't say anything about the pressure curve.
I've shot a cylinder of my box of Fed .38 spl +P+ 147-gr HS through my Colt Agent and three different steel J-frames with no ill effects, but I'm certainly not an expert on it and if Federal warns not to use some of it in Al-framed guns that should certainly be heeded.
FWIW, I read a hypothesis over on THR (IIRC) not too long ago that the Feebies just called it +P+ because they like to have their ammo be "special" and not available to the general public. (It was worded much better than that, and it appeared to make sense to me at the time.)
To be quite honest, I am still looking for a defense load for my S&W 642.
I picked up a box of Federal Personal Defense ammunition from my dealer the other day, but I haven't starting reading up on what's available on the market.
I did get my copy of the American Rifleman last night and starting reading it after work. Apparently they have named the Speer Gold Dot .38 special ammo as their winner of the ammunition of the year award.
I hope you all can give me some kind guidance in this direction and selection of .38 special carry ammunition.
I would like to put the Speer 135 gr GDHP in my snubby, because, for lack of any ability to check it out, I like the idea of it being designed for snubbies.
If you decide to go get some, read the box carefully - Speer also makes a 125 grain GDHP as well...and guess who wasn't paying attention when he went out to get the new snubby load recently? I don't know if it is the same bullet minus 10 grains or not - as I understand it, the 135 gr designed for the NYPD has a very big opening in the hollowpoint, but with out one to compare to, I don't know if the 125 gr is the same.
Well, it looks like I'm the first to vote for the 158g SWC. I've hunted with this bullet, in differing calibers, since the early 70s and I've always been impressed how it can penetrate, and cut nice round holes, even after velocity tails off. With the reduced velocity that a snubbie produces, I feel quite comfortable using this round.