How do y'all feel about .38 for CCW/deffense? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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SGT278ACR
08-17-2012, 09:37
I carry a Glock 26 for CCW, but am thinking about getting a Taurus 85 Ultralite .38 for my wife (ideal because she's not that gun savvy) or maybe for me just to have as an alternative choice for my CCW. Academy Sports has them for $279. Pretty affordable for a a simple CCW. What are your opinions about .38 for CCW? Thanks in a advance for the input/advice.:wavey:

glock_19guy1983
08-17-2012, 09:40
Its been sending pieces of **** to the dirt nap for over 100 years. Nuff said

Bren
08-17-2012, 09:43
I carry it, but I don't have the greatest confidence. if you are using a 5-shot .38, get good ammo.

ronin.45
08-17-2012, 09:52
I don't currently have a .38, but I've carried one with confidence in the past. Loaded properly it is more than sufficient.

4 glocks
08-17-2012, 10:08
I like Speer Gold Dot 135g +P SB

thisaway
08-17-2012, 10:18
With good ammo, a .38 is sufficient. The new Taurus models usually feature good factory grips, too.

dbak
08-17-2012, 10:18
Trust the round, not that gun

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ViennaGambit
08-17-2012, 10:22
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have your wife shoot a .38 snubby first.

They are not pleasant or manageable for a lot of guys, let alone women. They hurt to shoot +P and require a very decent amount of training to become proficient with.

A .38 snubby is NOT a beginners gun.

ViennaGambit
08-17-2012, 10:25
With that said, some non +P buffalo bore semi wadcutter hollow points will do the trick nicely.

ca survivor
08-17-2012, 10:26
Trust the round, not that gun

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agree + 1

firefighter4215
08-17-2012, 10:30
I like Speer Gold Dot 135g +P SB

Me too.

mac66
08-17-2012, 10:34
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have your wife shoot a .38 snubby first.

They are not pleasant or manageable for a lot of guys, let alone women. They hurt to shoot +P and require a very decent amount of training to become proficient with.

A .38 snubby is NOT a beginners gun.

This.

A Taurus is not the one I would choose.

janice6
08-17-2012, 10:35
My wife carries a .38 cal (among others) and she shoots it well. She is 73 years old and can't rack a slide on a semi-auto.

It's very effective when properly applied.

cowboywannabe
08-17-2012, 10:49
a .38spl is a good round though reduced in power from a 2" bbl it can still get the job done well with +p ammo. for your non gun savvy wife id recommend a softer shooting load (non +p).

im in no way a fan of a built in lock on a gun so i can not recommend the current taurus line up, but some people dont have an problem with the built in lock so $279 is a steal on a new gun.

dakrat
08-17-2012, 10:54
if she can shoot it and hit the target, why not? much emphasis on "hitting the target".

wirenut
08-17-2012, 11:33
lots of good points and advice.

WoodenPlank
08-17-2012, 11:38
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have your wife shoot a .38 snubby first.

They are not pleasant or manageable for a lot of guys, let alone women. They hurt to shoot +P and require a very decent amount of training to become proficient with.

A .38 snubby is NOT a beginners gun.

This.

A Taurus is not the one I would choose.

Both of these.

OP, I would suggest looking at S&W, preferably in a (smaller) K-frame, or a J-frame with some kind of oversized grips. A compact, snub nosed 38 can definitely SUCK in terms of recoil with good .38 defense ammo, but the slightly larger grip of a K frame can help with that. I have an older Taurus .357 (can't remember model - 2" barrel with K-frame sized grips) that is still a handful with .38 loads, but it's MUCH easier than my old 442 J frame was.

There is also the option of the ported J frame in .38 Special - it definitely helps with muzzle climb, but the muzzle blast can be quite nasty, and it is NOT a gun to be fired in a close-contact scenario.

FLglockdude
08-17-2012, 11:38
Find someone or somewhere that will let her shoot it first. A lightweight small frame revolver is not a beginners gun. They are hard to shoot accurately and have a lot of recoil.

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USMC03Grunt
08-17-2012, 11:41
The old .38 snub has been a CCW favorite for decades. It wasn't until recently that it lost a bit of it's status to compact autos but it will certainly get the job done.
As far as a Taurus 85, I have an 85CH DAO that has never given me a bit of problems. Granted these days it's role isn't so much for CCW but it is my primary snake gun at work loaded with 5 rounds of snakeshot fr the prairie rattlers out here.

WoodenPlank
08-17-2012, 11:51
The old .38 snub has been a CCW favorite for decades. It wasn't until recently that it lost a bit of it's status to compact autos but it will certainly get the job done.
As far as a Taurus 85, I have an 85CH DAO that has never given me a bit of problems. Granted these days it's role isn't so much for CCW but it is my primary snake gun at work loaded with 5 rounds of snakeshot fr the prairie rattlers out here.

I'm guessing your Taurus is an older model? It seems that they have had more issues with newer production than they used to.

ViennaGambit
08-17-2012, 11:55
Both of these.

OP, I would suggest looking at S&W, preferably in a (smaller) K-frame, or a J-frame with some kind of oversized grips. A compact, snub nosed 38 can definitely SUCK in terms of recoil with good .38 defense ammo, but the slightly larger grip of a K frame can help with that. I have an older Taurus .357 (can't remember model - 2" barrel with K-frame sized grips) that is still a handful with .38 loads, but it's MUCH easier than my old 442 J frame was.

There is also the option of the ported J frame in .38 Special - it definitely helps with muzzle climb, but the muzzle blast can be quite nasty, and it is NOT a gun to be fired in a close-contact scenario.

I love my 642, but depending on how she will carry, the Ruger SP101 2" is a JOY to shoot .38's out of. It definitely heavier, but its really a great gun that both of you can enjoy - it will take .357s as well for that fun factor :supergrin:

I guess a lot depends on how it will be carried (on her body or purse carry) and how much time she is willing to commit to the range...

I would say look to S&W or Ruger instead of Taurus - for 50 to 100 more you can get a gun that will last forever, IMHO.

SGT278ACR
08-17-2012, 12:28
The old .38 snub has been a CCW favorite for decades. It wasn't until recently that it lost a bit of it's status to compact autos but it will certainly get the job done.
As far as a Taurus 85, I have an 85CH DAO that has never given me a bit of problems. Granted these days it's role isn't so much for CCW but it is my primary snake gun at work loaded with 5 rounds of snakeshot fr the prairie rattlers out here.

I'm guessing your Taurus is an older model? It seems that they have had more issues with newer production than they used to.


See... I was wondering about that. In the past year or so I've heard about all the issues with Taurus', but The jist I got was that their semi autos were the problem children and their revolvers were still good to go. I actually started out with a Taurus PT709 Slim 9mm for my CCW, but found out quickly I didn't like, then made the switch to Glock 26.

USMC03Grunt
08-17-2012, 13:41
Hmm, I want to say I got the 85CH around the mid to late 90's.

GlockFish
08-17-2012, 14:06
I think carrying a 38 is great protection..... As long as you use good ammo, IMO.
Speer makes great stuff designed for short barrels. Federal makes the old FBI heavy loads. Double Tap and Buffalo Bore ammo really shines in modern 38's.

Just don't use this stuff.
http://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/extreme-shock-ammunition.jpg

Dalton Wayne
08-17-2012, 14:27
Carry a Smith & Wesson 442 everyday even open carry at work behind the counter of a C-store where I work, carry +P ammo my bug is a 9mm 9x18 mak

SGT278ACR
08-17-2012, 14:29
I think carrying a 38 is great protection..... As long as you use good ammo, IMO.
Speer makes great stuff designed for short barrels. Federal makes the old FBI heavy loads. Double Tap and Buffalo Bore ammo really shines in modern 38's.

Just don't use this stuff.
http://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/extreme-shock-ammunition.jpg

If I decide to get the .38 I was thinking Hornady Critical Defense ammo. That's what I run in my Glock 26.

Lt Scott 14
08-17-2012, 14:47
Back in the old days, a snubnose was your graduation gift as you completed the LEO Academy. My wife bought me a S&W Airweight, mod 37. Had it for a long time till the 442 (Airweight Centennial) came out, traded off the worn M37, and 10yrs later still have and carry it. It is my gallon of milk/bread gun at 10pm at the local store.

38s will do their job, you need to practice and do yours. Try a couple of loads, my favorite is 125 gr Nyclads. Gold Dots are also a great snubbie load. My main CCW is a G19, and the 442 is my BUG. Yep still carry 2 after 24yrs of LE work!
Good luck.

M2 Carbine
08-17-2012, 14:57
Ultralite .38 for my wife (ideal because she's not that gun savvy)
The 38 round is OK.
The gun is OK but not for someone that is "not gun savvy".
But people (ladies) can be taught to shoot the small revolvers well and very quickly.

Example, this young lady had never touched a gun before in her life, up to an hour before this picture was taken.
Yet here she is shooting the 3 inch 38 J Frame S&W while on the move, and seldom missing.
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Lindsey-2.jpg

Her target.
One miss over the shoulder and two near misses, while on the move.
Then I told her, five shots in the head, DA or SA, your choice.
Two hands, 10 yards. Take your time, misses are not tolerated.
She made a smiley face with the five bullets, 4 bullets touching.
Bare in mind the girl had never touched a gun in her life up to an hour and a half before.
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Lindseyandbuck.jpg

The small 38 is a fine carry gun but it, or any gun, is only as good as the person carrying it.
Never settle for "not gun savvy".

My ladies could always outshoot my friends, and me too sometimes.:supergrin:

257 roberts
08-17-2012, 15:13
Back in the old days, a snubnose was your graduation gift as you completed the LEO Academy. My wife bought me a S&W Airweight, mod 37. Had it for a long time till the 442 (Airweight Centennial) came out, traded off the worn M37, and 10yrs later still have and carry it. It is my gallon of milk/bread gun at 10pm at the local store.

38s will do their job, you need to practice and do yours. Try a couple of loads, my favorite is 125 gr Nyclads. Gold Dots are also a great snubbie load. My main CCW is a G19, and the 442 is my BUG. Yep still carry 2 after 24yrs of LE work!
Good luck.
I too carried a 37,also the 36 in the 2" and 3" models, 60 and now carry a 442 with 125gr Nyclads....be safe and thank you for your service

Bruce M
08-17-2012, 16:50
I would feel a bit more comfortable with a S&W revolver than with a Taurus. But that might just be me.

MLittle
08-17-2012, 17:06
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have your wife shoot a .38 snubby first.

They are not pleasant or manageable for a lot of guys, let alone women. They hurt to shoot +P and require a very decent amount of training to become proficient with.

A .38 snubby is NOT a beginners gun.

I agree with this......

If you are seriously looking for a handgun for your wife, please take the time to take her to a local range where you can test fire guns. Worst case scenerio is that you buy that ultralight pocket 38 and it hurts her hand when she shoots it. If she is new to handguns, you may never get her back to the range again. I'm not new to guns and have 8 revolvers. My LEAST favorite handgun to shoot is a Smith and Wesson 642. Not pleasant in the least and best carried by someone with a lot of experience. And I haven't even mentioned the difficulty in shooting one well....takes lots of practice.

I'm not against revolvers for a new shooter, but not one of the 13oz wonders. If I were going to recommend a revolver for a new shooter, it would be the 25oz stainless Ruger SP-101 357mag revolver, but would recommend she stick with 38spl rounds.

Nestor
08-17-2012, 17:12
Snubby isn't exactly the easiest weapon out there to master.
Now, 3-4 inch barrel would be so much better for a new shooter. While I'm a HUGE revolver fan, for a woman who's new to the guns in general I would strongly recommend some serious training before going with any light or short .38
Buck gave some good example here - as usual :)

Berto
08-17-2012, 19:15
If she isn't going to carry the gun, look into a K frame .38sp like the model 10 or 64.
They are still pretty common on the used gun market, can fit anyone's hands and are much easier to shoot than the J frames/model 85 Taurus.

Nothing wrong with .38sp, it's plenty proven.

CajunBass
08-17-2012, 19:29
I've carried a lot of guns over the last several years. I've finally settled on what I think is the one I'm going to stuck with.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/100_0413.jpg

A Smith & Wesson, Model 12-2, airweight, with a 2" barrel. Six shots of 38 special, and a lightweight aluminum frame. Recoil isn't bad at all, mostly because of the full sized grips. I tried a "J" frame sized snubbie and that little beast beat my knuckles bloody, and that was with wadcutters, not high performance ammo. With bigger grips it wasn't as bad, but if I was going to have bigger grips, I might as well have a bigger gun.

My wife likes shooting the Model 12 too, but she no longer carries. If she did, I'm sure I'd lose it.

12131
08-17-2012, 19:47
Not a revolver guy, but if I had to do it, it's still much better than my empty hand.

rv4driver
08-17-2012, 19:53
I bought my wife a Smith 637. She hated it. Wouldn't carry it. I carried it for a while until I replaced it with something else. Traded it. Have her try it, it won't do any good if she won't carry it. Hey, she might love it, but find out for sure before buying.

Indianashooter
08-17-2012, 20:06
I carry a Smith 642 4 days of the week and a G19 the rest (do to what I have to wear to work). Currently carrying Critical Defense (for 'short barrel') in it and they are dead on. There not plus p, so the recoil isn't bad.

barth
08-17-2012, 20:20
A snubbie 38 with Speer GDHP 135 gr +P Short Barrel ammo is a fine choice.
*FBI Test Events—The 38 Spl +P 135 Grain GDHP*
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg13/scaled.php?server=13&filename=failzbt.jpg&res=landing
http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/large/493/493508.jpg

RottnJP
08-17-2012, 21:12
I agree with this......

If you are seriously looking for a handgun for your wife, please take the time to take her to a local range where you can test fire guns. Worst case scenerio is that you buy that ultralight pocket 38 and it hurts her hand when she shoots it. If she is new to handguns, you may never get her back to the range again. I'm not new to guns and have 8 revolvers. My LEAST favorite handgun to shoot is a Smith and Wesson 642. Not pleasant in the least and best carried by someone with a lot of experience. And I haven't even mentioned the difficulty in shooting one well....takes lots of practice.

I'm not against revolvers for a new shooter, but not one of the 13oz wonders. If I were going to recommend a revolver for a new shooter, it would be the 25oz stainless Ruger SP-101 357mag revolver, but would recommend she stick with 38spl rounds.

^THIS.

I wince at the thought of introducing someone to shooting with an air-weight snub. Don't do it if you want her to enjoy shooting, or at least practice enough to become proficient.

Get a Ruger SP101, or smith K-frame, 2.5" or 3" bbl, pachmayr grip, and you're good to go. That extra weight will be great for making standard .38's pleasant to train with.

Don't cheap out on the gun. Just think about how much ammo you use over the course of a handgun's life- Ammo cost far outweighs the initial purchase price in the life-cycle cost equation, yet people will save $50 or $100 bucks and get a sub-par pistol they're stuck with for life, or until they take a loss trading it away. :dunno:

ETA: To answer the question re: .38: Not ideal, IMO, but in a proper loading it'll do just fine. I put a properly loaded .38 on par with a properly loaded 9mm- "Good enough."

hogship
08-17-2012, 21:29
I carry a Glock 26 for CCW, but am thinking about getting a Taurus 85 Ultralite .38 for my wife (ideal because she's not that gun savvy) or maybe for me just to have as an alternative choice for my CCW. Academy Sports has them for $279. Pretty affordable for a a simple CCW. What are your opinions about .38 for CCW? Thanks in a advance for the input/advice.:wavey:

Get her what you have.........spend a little time teaching her. The G26 is very easy to learn on, even for someone not very gun savvy. You can show her everything she needs to know in an afternoon.

You will feel more comfortable knowing she has more shots.....and, so will she!

ooc

VinnieD
08-17-2012, 23:15
The .38 is a fine round. It's been getting the job done for a century. A nice hefty round that performs well, and is easy to control. My advice is not to start with a snub nose. Start with a full size revolver to get the feel of it and work your way down to snubs and 5 shots. Get a feel for the way the round performs, and build good shooting habits. Once those are ingrained, a little extra recoil won't cause nearly as much trouble.

You may also want to consider 6 shot snubs like Colt's D frame offerings and various imitations, if she has somewhere to carry it, such as a coat pocket. I wouldn't advise anyone carry in a purse given that the purse is a target of theft anyway. If a pocket gun is all she can carry, then .38 would probably be the best choice in a pocket gun. Personally I'd take a .38 over a 9mm in a gun that size, but different people shoot different guns, with varying degrees of skill. Like I said start with larger guns in the same caliber to ingrain good shooting skills, and work your way down to lighter frames.

faawrenchbndr
08-18-2012, 05:45
I carry a Glock 26 for CCW, but am thinking about getting a Taurus 85 Ultralite .38 for my wife (ideal because she's not that gun savvy) or maybe for me just to have as an alternative choice for my CCW. Academy Sports has them for $279. Pretty affordable for a a simple CCW. What are your opinions about .38 for CCW? Thanks in a advance for the input/advice.:wavey:

Spend a bit more money & buy a S&W j- frame.
I do have a lot of confidence in .38 Spec, but none in Taurus.

Bill Keith
08-18-2012, 07:03
I really like the 38 special round. It works and is accurate and not punishing to shoot like a 357 or larger caliber. I have a great fondness for the model 10 4" heavy barrel, so much so that I sought out and found the same thing in stainless, a model 64! I have a buddy who has made up a great many semiwadcutter loads for me that are reduced loads at 750 FPS. Most anyone can shoot them and that front, flat meplat is a good thing in a defense round. I don't figure that a slow round is going to open up a JHP, so I'll go for reasonable penetration and good accuracy.

Incidentally, I really appreciate M2's photos and time he takes to introduce new shooters to our sport. He does a good job AND gets to hang out with the cuties!:cool:

CBennett
08-18-2012, 07:16
Trust the round, not that gun

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BS trust the round AND that gun is JUST FINE.

CBennett
08-18-2012, 07:19
Oh and I like my Taurus CH85(and yes if I so wanted I could have a S&W instead and im a big S&W fan my first gun as a LE officer was a S&W model 28) but this one works just fine. I recommend it. If I could have nay CC revolver on the market today(non custom) id take the Ruger LCR IMO best double action trigger on the market(again non custom) ive felt.

M2 Carbine
08-18-2012, 08:00
The grip on the small guns is the important thing. With a good hand filling grip, like on CB's above, even small females can shoot the little kickers just fine.

Those little boot grips that come on a lot of the J Frame size revolvers are for carry, not for (comfortable) shooting.


The Crimson Trace laser grip on the top is a whole lot more comfortable to shoot than the "boot grip" on the bottom.

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/SWCTJframes.jpg

FireForged
08-18-2012, 09:14
The 38 has done the job plenty.. The 38 and 30/30 have probably defended more people than we can count. I carry a J frame and do not feel lacking..

Deaf Smith
08-18-2012, 09:27
How do I feel about .38s for CCW? These are all mine and all fully CCW ready.

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=226570&d=1342491926

Big Magnums!

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=225078&d=1336518690

Small Magnums!

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=222331&d=1327461558

.38s. The S&W is on this one is my second CCW gun I used for years. Replaced with a Glock 26.

Now my main carry gun is a Glock 26 (and sometimes 27 & 33) but right this second I have a S&W 642 .38 in IWB on me and about to go shopping with my wife. The 26 is in the car and I'd grab it first if I can.

I have no qualms about using revolvers but I do suggest two things.

1. Be GOOD, real GOOD,with the revolver as it only has 5/6/7 or so rounds.

2. If you can, pack two, so the second one is the 'reload' cause reloading a revolver is no easy task while under fire.

Deaf

rohanreginald
08-18-2012, 10:20
For a primary ccw gun a five shot revolver does not meet my minimum requirements. I think the 38 is a fine round I am just not comfortable with the limited round count. With the shootings you hear about at the national level a five shooter seems way under gunned. I want to be able to react to most any situation. This is where the auto loaders come into play. Set yourself up for success from the beginning get a nice semi auto in 9mm.


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just for fun
08-18-2012, 10:48
Taurus 85 Ultralite .38 for my wife (ideal because she's not that gun savvy) or maybe for me just to have as an alternative choice for my CCW. Academy Sports has them for $279. Pretty affordable for a a simple CCW. What are your opinions about .38 for CCW? Thanks in a advance for the input/advice.:wavey: Got one built in 97. Guesstamate (SP?) between 1k to 11/2K rounds fired! solid as a rock, granted it's not the gun that my smith is,but for half the money-I'd buy another one. If it matters mine is a 85SS, feed it Federal 125gr. nyclad. 158gr. hornady HPSWC over winchester 231 for practice and lots of it. As the man said they are not a beginers gun.

jhmayhem
08-18-2012, 15:23
The .38 spl caliber itself is decent for a CCW, but not out of an airweight for a beginner who is not avidly into firearms. If you are sticking to a revolver for your wife, I am with those that suggest one of the larger K-frame sized with a longer barrel, or if you are sticking with a snubby I'd at least go with a steel framed one. I think a beginner can become proficient shooting .38s out of a Ruger SP101 or S&W model 640 snubby very quickly. I don't know anything about Taurus revolvers, but I know there is a Taurus equivalent to a Ruger SP101 and S&W steel j-frame snubnose.

Rustin
08-18-2012, 22:29
Ruger LCR is my favorite CCW pistol.

NeverMore1701
08-18-2012, 22:31
The round is fine, I'm not so hot on the platforms that fire it though.

NEOH212
08-19-2012, 01:37
I like Speer Gold Dot 135g +P SB

+1 :thumbsup:

(This is one of the very few instances where +P actually is wroth it.)

Fox
08-19-2012, 20:30
The .38 Special is a fine cartridge, especially with handloads.

Do not buy the Taurus for a CCW piece. My advise is the check the used gun market for a revolver made by Colt or Smith & Wesson.

Fox
08-19-2012, 20:33
Get a good, used service revolver before buying a snubbie. Look for a Colt Official Police or a Smith & Wesson Model 10.

Get in lots of range time to develop skill. Then go on to a snubbie. If you bought the Colt, then seek a Detective Special. If you bought the S&W M-10, then look for a J-frame snubbie.

pineappleshooter
08-19-2012, 20:35
If I decide to get the .38 I was thinking Hornady Critical Defense ammo. That's what I run in my Glock 26.

The standard Critical Defense (non plus P) is easy to shoot out of a j frame sized gun. I carry a 442/649/Detective Special/Cobra/Chiefs Special every day and run Critical Defense through all of them.

Deaf Smith
08-19-2012, 20:42
Well here is a snubby you can bet your life on..

My 1969 Detective Special. True I pack Glocks and J .38s, but I have a beaten up Colt Cobra for practice and I surely could carry this DS!

Deaf

Narkcop
08-20-2012, 04:34
Ruger LCR is my favorite CCW pistol.YEP :agree: Nearly rust proof,SMOOTH action,light weight with easy to manage recoil as a result of grip design.

Veedubklown
08-20-2012, 18:17
Trust the round, not that gun

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Coming from someone who's actually owned one, my taurus m85 was good. It's simple, worked, and the trigger was good. Consistent clean break, SA or DA. The sights were horribly off when I got it. Sent it in to taurus, they sighted it and sent it back, true to point of aim. I could ring a 200 yard gong with it, with the right hold. Set of hogue grips, and it was fantastic. Fun to shoot, didn't hurt the hand, just all around good fun. Also carried it from time to time instead of my glock 26.

Taurus also has a fantastic warranty, regardless if you bought it new or used. I was never a fan of their millennium series, but their remakes (pt92, pt1911, S&W revolvers) have all been good in my experience.

Jade Falcon
08-20-2012, 19:55
I like Speer Gold Dot 135g +P SB

This. Right now, I'm carrying 110gr. +P Hornady Critical Defense in my 642, but I'd rather be carrying 135gr. Gold Dots.