woods walking defense load for .38 spl snub [Archive] - Glock Talk

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kmrcstintn
11-26-2012, 00:56
first let me say this...I am under financial crisis and have to use what I have on hand (S&W 642) and have already sold several other CCW handguns (Beretta Nano, Ruger SP101); with that said...I am seeking opinions for a load to use in my S&W 642 for woods walking (hiking paths where people walk, ride bike, walk dogs, etc) and hunting (CCW during archery seasons per PA law); I have a handful of different loads on-hand to consider, but not sure which one would best serve me...

Mastercast.net 158gr hardened lead semiwadcutter solid non +p bulk reloads

CCI Blazer (aluminum cased) 125gr jacketed hollowpoint +p's

Federal Nyclad 125gr nylon coated lead hollowpoint non +p's

a very small stash of Remington 158gr lead semiwadcutter hollowpoint +p's (heard a rumor these were dropped fron production & I haven't seen any locally in nearly 2 years)

if you recommend something different, please remember it might take several weeks/months to buy enough for accuracy testing since I have to budget for anything I don't have and would buy a bit at a time...

thanks

collim1
11-26-2012, 01:08
The 158g LSWCHP+P is a great load from a snub. Second to that the Nyclad is a good load also.

Either one of those will be a good load from a snub. If you run across some Gold Dot 135g+P Short Barrel pick them up if you can they are a great snub load.

I often carry my snub when hunting because it fits in the pocket of my coveralls and is easy to carry that way without a belt on.

NMPOPS
11-26-2012, 01:57
I'd go with your Mastercraft load. A good cast lead SWC is hard to beat!

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BuckyP
11-26-2012, 06:58
The 158g LSWCHP+P is a great load from a snub.


This is a good load for general defense, but I would be concerned about penetration on some of the tougher 4 legged threats. :dunno:

SCmasterblaster
11-26-2012, 12:13
Either of the +p loads you mentioned would work well. My condolences on your situation.

390ish
11-26-2012, 13:17
Go with the mastercast. I reload the hornady 158 swaged hollowpoint swc to plus p level and it shoots to point of aim.

Poohgyrr
11-26-2012, 13:18
For what it is worth, I'd also consider how well I can shoot those different loads. The Airweight J's (like your 642) have more recoil and can be more difficult to put rounds on target than the steel framed revolvers.

SCmasterblaster
11-26-2012, 14:21
For what it is worth, I'd also consider how well I can shoot those different loads. The Airweight J's (like your 642) have more recoil and can be more difficult to put rounds on target than the steel framed revolvers.

True. The +p 158gr loads will try to twist the little revolver out of your hand.

unit1069
11-26-2012, 17:15
If you run across some Gold Dot 135g+P Short Barrel pick them up if you can they are a great snub load.

I've never owned a .38 Special but I understand this is as good a self-defense round for that caliber as there is against human predators, a far greater danger in the woods than animals.

SCmasterblaster
11-26-2012, 18:15
http://www.handloads.org/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=0

collim1
11-26-2012, 18:56
I've never owned a .38 Special but I understand this is as good a self-defense round for that caliber as there is against human predators, a far greater danger in the woods than animals.

This is a good load for general defense, but I would be concerned about penetration on some of the tougher 4 legged threats. :dunno:

In my area two legged critters are the only ones I fear. I would not expect anything from a snub .38 to handle a large 4 legged predator.


A +P hardcast wadcutter is prolly the only choice, and it would be marginal at best.

Deputydave
11-26-2012, 19:10
The 158g LSWCHP+P is a great load from a snub. Second to that the Nyclad is a good load also.

Either one of those will be a good load from a snub. If you run across some Gold Dot 135g+P Short Barrel pick them up if you can they are a great snub load.

I often carry my snub when hunting because it fits in the pocket of my coveralls and is easy to carry that way without a belt on.

I'd go with your Mastercraft load. A good cast lead SWC is hard to beat!

If your main concern is two-legged critters i.e. bad guys then the 158 LSWCHP+P is a good choice. This is a heavy-for-caliber round that will get very good penetration. They are accurate as well. The recoil will be crisp, but I'd take that trade off in this caliber.

If your concern runs more towards four-legged critters i.e. rabid dog etc then the Mastercraft would be the way to go. Expansion isn't as much of a consideration as penetration on animals. Particularly if it is a larger animal.

If you have a speed loader, perhaps load with a cylinder full of Mastercraft and have th LSWCHP in the speed loader.

SCmasterblaster
11-27-2012, 09:40
Is a 148gr BBWC loaded to 800 or so FPS. Light recoil + good penetration.

Berto
11-27-2012, 14:37
I've never owned a .38 Special but I understand this is as good a self-defense round for that caliber as there is against human predators, a far greater danger in the woods than animals.


I agree. The 642 loaded with the Rem FBI load (158gr LSWCHP+P) is the best choice for any realistic threats while walking the trails in the woods.
Against humans, it's among the best. Against critters that constitute a genuine threat, as good as the other choices, at least....just remember a soft lead HP won't fare well against skulls on most critters unless it goes in an ear or eyeball.

ULVER
11-27-2012, 22:03
http://www.handgunsmag.com/2010/09/24/ammunition_hg_wickedwadcutters_200901/

kmrcstintn
11-28-2012, 10:57
http://www.handgunsmag.com/2010/09/24/ammunition_hg_wickedwadcutters_200901/

to clarify...are you recommending full wadcutters, which I don't have and can't get locally without ordering it (and the article does mention that most factory wadcutters are soft lead)??? or are you indirectly telling me to use the hardened lead semiwadcutter bulk reloads that I currently have??? thanks

DustyJacket
11-28-2012, 11:13
I am a big fan of 158gr LSWC for a .38
However, you also have to find a load that shoots to the point of aim, or you have to adjust the point of aim.

Back in the 1970s, the 4" revolvers shot 158 grain lead (and jacketed, usuall) to POI, but the 2" revolvers were set up for 110gr loads.


Hunting with a 2" - no. Not something I'd recommend. Lower velocity, short sighting radius.

Kentguy
11-28-2012, 11:25
kmrcstintn... "I have a handful of different loads on-hand to consider, but not sure which one would best serve me."

Mastercast.net 158gr hardened lead semiwadcutter solid non +p bulk reloads

:agree:

IMO given your situation and choices available, these will serve you the best. I shoot & reload 158g LSWC and if need be, would trust my life with them. :thumbsup:

AquaHull
11-28-2012, 12:30
I'd go with your Mastercraft load. A good cast lead SWC is hard to beat!

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That would be my choice, the 135 GD isn't the best for critters

Zombie Steve
11-28-2012, 13:52
I cast and load for my wife's 642... 158 grain lswc works great. I'd stick with your mastercast load if it's giving you acceptable accuracy.

SCmasterblaster
11-28-2012, 16:11
I cast and load for my wife's 642... 158 grain lswc works great. I'd stick with your mastercast load if it's giving you acceptable accuracy.

I am going to get back into casting one day. 255gr SWC 45s, 155gr LRN 9mms.

kmrcstintn
11-28-2012, 17:33
thank you all for the recommendations; to clarify then I mentioned CCW while hunting, I meant CCW for self defense, NOT hunting itself...I would carry during early & late ARCHERY seasons; I will strive to increase my allotment of FBI load incrimentally, but finances are tight and the Mastercast.net bulk loads will serve me for woods duty; thanks

JEEPX
11-29-2012, 04:25
When hiking, I carry a Ruger LCP. I like the Speer Gold Dot .38Spl 135gr+p Short Barrel load.

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SCmasterblaster
12-01-2012, 11:43
When hiking, I carry a Ruger LCP. I like the Speer Gold Dot .38Spl 135gr+p Short Barrel load.

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Great choice!

Ak.Hiker
12-02-2012, 10:11
I would load the first 2 with the FBI load followed by the hardcast load. Buffalo Bore loads a hardcast non +P full wadcutter just for snubs. Double Tap loads a 158 hardcast that runs about the same as the FBI load with a hardcast bullet. But if money is tight go with what you already have on hand.

M 7
12-02-2012, 12:00
If your main concern is two-legged critters i.e. bad guys then the 158 LSWCHP+P is a good choice. This is a heavy-for-caliber round that will get very good penetration. They are accurate as well. The recoil will be crisp, but I'd take that trade off in this caliber.

If your concern runs more towards four-legged critters i.e. rabid dog etc then the Mastercraft would be the way to go. Expansion isn't as much of a consideration as penetration on animals. Particularly if it is a larger animal.

If you have a speed loader, perhaps load with a cylinder full of Mastercraft and have th LSWCHP in the speed loader.

Well said! :cool:

USSOCOM
12-02-2012, 23:17
158gr from Buffalo Bore ammo.