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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,
Let me explain my situation and hopefully I'll get some advice.
I am a former LEO who passed the Pennsylvania Act 235 certification ( armed guards/security officer ). The law here is if you carry a revolver for armed security work it must be a .38 special or a .357 using .38 special ammunition. My current revolver is a Taurus 627 4" bbl .357 mag chambering.
I am looking for factory .38+P+ loads, but with a bullet weight of 125 gr. of higher as Taurus doesn't recommend shooting 110 gr. due to cylinder face erosion.
Thanks,
Rick :)
 

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Hi there kc2za,

Welcome to the H&A forum!

I would recommend the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain .38 special +p load for your sidearm. The ballistics on this round is very encouraging and it is fairly available. I suspect that you would get optimum performance from this round.

Here is a link for your interest or review:

http://www.le.atk.com/Interior.asp?section=2&page=pages/ccispeer/ccispeer_GoldDot.asp

Here is a very interesting comparison and test:

http://www.le.atk.com/pdf/SpeerTech38_135HP.pdf


Chris
 

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The Federal Hydra Shok is available in a 147 grain +P+ loading and might be the kind of load you're looking for. Federal also has the HS round in a 129-grain +P loading. There's also the tried and true 158 grain lead semi wadcutter in +P loading from Winchester and Remington (and maybe from others, but these are the only ones I'm aware of).

I'd be somewhat concerned about the Speer 135 "snub load" gaining some extra velocity from the 4" tube of your weapon, causing it to expand too fast, and thus giving less penetration. I haven't seen any test data on this, but the round was designed specifically for barrels of 2" or so.
 

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The 147-grain load to which Leland refers has demonstrated remarkable consistency (very low standard deviations from the mean) for me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you gentlemen for the suggestions. I'll take a look the the 147 grain Hydra Shok +p+ and the 129 gr. +p versions as well. I had checked the Federal website and could not find and info on the 147 gr., but I may have overlooked something.
Thank you !!
Rick
 

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Rick,

The 158 grain +P lead semi-wadcutter hollow point has a great track record, especially from 4" guns. Older technology to be sure, but certainly still among the best choices in my view.

Also, Cor-Bon makes a pretty hot 125 grain JHP for the 38 special. If memory serves, the velocity from a 4" barrel is closing in on some of the lighter-to-mid range .357 loads.

PGM
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
author=caro
I would recommend the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain .38 special +p load for your sidearm. The ballistics on this round is very encouraging and it is fairly available. I suspect that you would get optimum performance from this round.
I concur. Speer did a LOT of R&D on this round, and it is a truly impressive load out of small 38's and 357's. It is the ONLY load I now carry in my 38 snubs, if that gives you any perspective. In a 4" revolver it's even more impressive according to my tests and those of one or two close associates.

Check out the links provided in caro's post and if you've got the time to do so, go to tacticalforums.com and do a search in the Terminal Ballistics forum on 38 Special and you will find I'm not steering you into a blind alley.

Seriously, there is no better .38 Spl load out there.
 

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Doc and Chris give good advice. And I would suggest something that maybe your department would laugh at, but you can do some inexpensive ballistic testing on the various loads available that would help you make a decision.
Have you ever considered doing a wetpack test? Or if that sounds too amatuerish, how about water jug tests, or just shoot into a barrel of water and look at the results. Water jugs or wetpacks give a good comparison of penetration, which is probably most important.
It would be great if you had a way to do certified gelatin tests, but those are expensive and out of reach for most of us.
The advantage of the wetpack is you can test several rounds of different brands and loadings in the same pack, giving a good comparison firsthand.
My method and Stephen Camp's method of doing a wetpack is here someplace on the site. If you need better info, just let me know.

Thanks all, for the great suggestions.

og.....happy to moderate a fine thread like this.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Gentlemen for the suggestions. I'm going to test out the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain and the Federal 129 gr loads. I'll try a wetpack test as soon as the temps in PA get above freezing !! I'm on vacation in April and will do it then.
PGM, You are making me think of the old days with that load, but it was reliable and worked well for me in a S&W 586 4"bbl. I'll look at that as well.
Thanks again,
Rick
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
oldgranpa, I also get on ktrange as well and I will check out the wetpack info there. I have 2 KT's of my own ( P3AT and P11 ) and like them both.
I appreciate all the knowledge being shared and I am impressed by all the info.
Thank you,
Rick
 

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Thanks Gentlemen for the suggestions. I'm going to test out the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain and the Federal 129 gr loads. I'll try a wetpack test as soon as the temps in PA get above freezing !! I'm on vacation in April and will do it then.
PGM, You are making me think of the old days with that load, but it was reliable and worked well for me in a S&W 586 4"bbl. I'll look at that as well.
Thanks again,
Rick
I just use salt water in sub-freezing temps. If you don't mind the cold you don't have to wait. There's no appreciable difference in performance.

Josh <><
 
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