Selecting Defensive Revolver Ammunition


Things to Remember:

.38spl/.357mag

Penetration Recovered Diameter Recovered Weight
Bare Gelatin 13.1″ 0.56″ 134.5gr
4-layer denim 13.6″ 0.53″ 134.1gr
Auto windshield 9.4″ 0.51″ 129.6gr

More information from Doctor Roberts: “With few exceptions, such as the Speer 135 gr +P JHP and Barnes XPB, the vast majority of .38 Sp JHP’s fail to expand when fired from 2″ barrels in the 4 layer denim test.  […]   There is no reason to go with .357 mag in a J-frame, as the significantly larger muzzle blast and flash, and harsher recoil of the .357 Magnum does not result in substantially improved terminal performance compared to the more controllable .38 Special bullets when fired from 2” barrels.

  • Corbon 110 gr JHP DPX
Penetration Recovered Diameter Recovered Weight
Bare Gelatin 13.0″ 0.52″ 109.5gr
4-layer denim 12.4″ 0.52″ 109.7gr

Also look at loads using the Barnes DPX bullet as loaded by Federal. Please be aware that Federal lists the “Barnes expander” under their “Vital-Shok” handgun hunting section, while the inferior Hydra-Shok is listed for personal defense. Then again, it’s questionable why one would want the extra recoil/muzzle blast of the .357mag when the .38spl load works just as well.

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Posted in Concealed Carry, Handguns
2 comments on “Selecting Defensive Revolver Ammunition
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