Remington® Handgun Ammo
MC: Metal Case
SP: Soft Point
JHP: Jacketed Hollow Point
LRN: Lead Round Nose
SJHP: Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point
LSWC: Lead Semi-Wad Cutter
LHP: Lead Hollow Point
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- 130 grn., FMJ, .38 special rounds from Winchester ('white box') and Remington (UMC)
- 158 grn., LRN, .38 special rounds from Federal (American Eagle)
- 158 grn., JSP, .357 magnum rounds from PMC and Federal (American Eagle)
I hope that helps!
This is still much lower than +P+ (30-40% higher pressure) and magnum (up to twice the pressure).
Shooting +P ammo in a handgun that is NOT rated for +P can be dangerous. Frames and barrels have been know to crack and "blow up" in a shooter's hand when using over pressure ammo.
Check your owners manual or call the manufacturer before shooting +P ammo.
I don't know what "Grain" to buy. I'm not going to use the bullets for target shooting. But, I do need something strong enough to stop an intruder if need be.
The weight of the bullet is a topic of much debate. Some will say bigger is better, but they are dead wrong. With pressure remaining constant, a lighter bullet will travel faster, penetrate farther, and expand better upon impact. In fact, the Army did tests in WWII to understand why Germans were killing our soldiers wearing helmets with head shots. They demonstrated that a .45 Auto dented the steel helmet, while the 9mm at the same distance penetrated through the front and out the rear. They concluded that velocity was most important and soon after the war began issuing 9mm handguns.
With the .38 Special you have 3 main choices, 110, 125, and 158 grain. Since I don't know if your revolver is rated for +P ammo, I will stick to comparing standard pressure ammo using Hornady as an example. Their 110 gr ammo has muzzle velocity of 1010 feet per second and energy (mass X velocity) of 249 foot-pounds. This energy is the famed "knockdown" power of the bullet.
Because heavier bullets move slower, you actually get less energy than with a lighter round. The 125 gr ammo by the same mfg. travels at only 900 fps, delivering 225 ft-lbs of energy. The numbers for 158 gr are worse, 800 fps/199 ft-lbs.
Make your purchase based on muzzle energy, NOT bullet weight. I would also recommend Hornady's Critical Defense ammo. There have been numerous tests showing how their flex tip expands more consistently, since it can't get clogged with fibers from penetrating clothing.
JHP has metal casing all the way to the opening at the point