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  • .38 S&W

    I am trying to get department approval to carry a .38 S&W as a BUG. Does anyone have info on how this round compares to the .38 Special and .380 rounds?

  • #2
    The .38 S&W is a weak round. It used to be standard, but when it wasn't good enough, they developed ther 38 special. From there they went to the .357. From what I've heard, a .380 is a better round than the .38S&W.
    Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater

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    • #3
      Trust me and do not go with the .38 S&W as a BUG. It is a low power round with terrible Kinetic Energy. You will be placeing your life in jeopardy if you use this as a BUG. I don't know of any gun company's that have made this type of weapon in over 50 or 60 years. I would suggest that their is a very good reason for this, that is that it won't stop anyone and that it is totaly inefective.

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      • #4
        Ok...So much for that idea. Thanks for the info.

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        • #5
          Plus, the only commercial ammo I have seen is round nose lead! We used to call the .38 SPL round nose lead the:
          "Stop, or I will wrinkle your suit!"
          round.
          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
          John Stuart Mill

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JoeCop79
            I am trying to get department approval to carry a .38 S&W as a BUG. Does anyone have info on how this round compares to the .38 Special and .380 rounds?
            Most of our guys carry the S&W 640. It's a hammerless .357, however we carry .38 +P+ rounds. It's a hotter round for what its worth.

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            • #7
              The plain jane .38 S&W was developed in the late 1800's. It replaced the .45 Colt cartridge used by the military. when the U.S. military got involved in the Philipine Moro insurrection in the late 1890's, alot of the Officers that were using the .38 S&W were KIA by the natives with the bolo knives,even after putting all 6 in the "ten ring". The Gov't had to bring out and issue the 1873 model P colt single action in good old .45. if in fact , your pistol is a .38 spl, you're good to go for a BUG with the right ammo, if it's a S&W. 38, you're better off retiring it and get something that will be effective.

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              • #8
                I've heard of using .357s with Corbon +P+ and HydraShok +P+ (Notice that magic +P+) to pump the round up to something effective, usually in Florida because security officers were restricted in carrying only .357's with .38 ammo, or .38 revolvers with .38 Special.

                Not sure how the .38 Special +P+ rounds work, I read that even Black Talons failed to open effectively due to the low kenetic energy potential. Corbons, at least, are supposed to hit like .357, but will melt .38 S&W non heavy barrels.

                Unfournately, the only melted barrel I saw was from an old Rossi on the firing range, the guy put 75 +P+ for qualification into it, and the barrel appeared to have a detectable "slant" downwards a little. We blamed it on cheap metal, though, and retired his weapon on the spot.
                N. A. Corbier
                Moderator, SecurityInfoWatch Forums
                Visiting Commando Leader

                If you work in private security, feel free to register on Officer.com's sister site for security, forums.securityinfowatch.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nacorbier
                  I've heard of using .357s with Corbon +P+ and HydraShok +P+ (Notice that magic +P+) to pump the round up to something effective, usually in Florida because security officers were restricted in carrying only .357's with .38 ammo, or .38 revolvers with .38 Special.

                  Not sure how the .38 Special +P+ rounds work, I read that even Black Talons failed to open effectively due to the low kenetic energy potential. Corbons, at least, are supposed to hit like .357, but will melt .38 S&W non heavy barrels.

                  Unfournately, the only melted barrel I saw was from an old Rossi on the firing range, the guy put 75 +P+ for qualification into it, and the barrel appeared to have a detectable "slant" downwards a little. We blamed it on cheap metal, though, and retired his weapon on the spot.
                  The .38 S&W is NOT compatible with the .38 Special!!!!
                  Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nacorbier
                    I've heard of using .357s with Corbon +P+ and HydraShok +P+ (Notice that magic +P+) to pump the round up to something effective, usually in Florida because security officers were restricted in carrying only .357's with .38 ammo, or .38 revolvers with .38 Special.

                    Not sure how the .38 Special +P+ rounds work, I read that even Black Talons failed to open effectively due to the low kenetic energy potential. Corbons, at least, are supposed to hit like .357, but will melt .38 S&W non heavy barrels.

                    Unfournately, the only melted barrel I saw was from an old Rossi on the firing range, the guy put 75 +P+ for qualification into it, and the barrel appeared to have a detectable "slant" downwards a little. We blamed it on cheap metal, though, and retired his weapon on the spot.
                    Thats why we carry the 640 model. Its a .357 mag. It has no problem handling the hotter +P+ round. It also has an internal hammer to easily carry in ur pocket.

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                    • #11
                      Smith & Wesson .38

                      Originally posted by Delta784
                      The .38 S&W is NOT compatible with the .38 Special!!!!
                      The above is 100% correct!.....the rounds don't fit a .38 Special Revolver!

                      The usual substitution is the .38 Special Round and .38 Special Plus P
                      in a .357 Revolver which is fine if you want a stronger action revolver loaded with a less powerful (but still effective) round than it was designed for.

                      Just a suggestion, Any back up piece should be one that you can qualify with and loaded with approved ammo....normally that would be your duty round. If you're talking about an off-duty piece then you have to also be careful about travelling in a state that might prohibit HP ammo.

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                      • #12
                        Yep, 38 S&W not so good for back up or just about anything any more. It was not so good "back in the day" either.

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