What Is The Best .38 Special For Self Defense?

What Is The Best .38 Special For Self Defense?

When it comes to self-defense, what .38 Special ammo will do the trick? Our bulk ammunition online specialists discuss what you should know about .38 Special ammo.

  • First developed in the 1890s
  • Served as primary lawman weapon from 1920 to 1990
  • Snubbiess offer about 100FPS muzzle velocity
  • +P ammo doesn’t work well outside of snubbiess
  • PolyCase ammo and copper solids deliver amazing penetration
  • .38 Special Revolvers can be highly accurate
There are however several choices to make when determining what .38 to go with. Shorter barrels offer less performance and have more kick, for example, snubbiess deliver 100FPS off of standard value, and more if it is a lighter-weight bullet. On the other hand, medium-size revolvers, six shot wheelguns, and those with 3 or 4-inch barrels are much easier to shoot but are less easy to conceal. So you have to determine how much you want to sacrifice concealability for recoil, blast and overall difficulty of shooting.

It is important to remember that the shorter the barrel is the harder to shoot. 

Ammo choices for a .38 Special breaks down on a 3-point scale:

  • Lightweight or heavy bullets
  • Lead or jacketed bullets
  • +P or standard pressure

The combination of more velocity and more weight nets a better performance but also more recoil. So How Do We Pick?

It is important to determine what your carry need is. The first question to ask is how much do you have to conceal and how compact do you need the gun to be? Next question, is it a primary gun or a backup gun? Next, determine how well you can handle recoil. This question is important because a lot of people, especially men want to believe they can handle anything, but remember, only you will be taking the recoil hit, so be honest with yourself. Once you know the answers to these questions, just carry the largest .38 revolver that you can comfortably conceal and carry and use the strongest load that you can comfortably shoot. I know this sounds like the most basic advice ever, but believe us, it works.

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