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.38 Smith&Wesson Special

One of the all time great revolver cartridges, the .38 Smith & Wesson Special was introduced in 1902. For many years, a revolver in .38 Special represented the classic sidearm for lawmen, but it is now rapidly losing ground to various high capacity autoloaders chambered in 9mm Parabellum. Even so, a man who can actually place six shots from his .38 will always be more effective then another who sprays 15 9mm bullets all over the landscape. In its favor, some experts believe the relatively new +P loadings of the .38 Special make it a much better cartridge for self defense use than the 9mm Parabellum can ever be, especially when its loaded with bullets weighing 150 grains and more. In addition to being one of our most useful revolver cartridges for self defense applications, the .38 Special is also one of the most accurate handgun cartridges ever designed. When loaded with top quality cast or swaged bullets at 700 to 800 fps and fired in a heavy barrel revolver, the old .38 is capable of punching tiny groups in paper targets with the best of them.Recent accuracy tests with 3.0 grains of HP38 behind the Speer, Bull-X, and Hornady 148 grain Hollow base wadcutter bullets produced 12 shot groups of less than 2 inches at 50 yards from a custom Jarett PPC revolver fired in a ransome rest. 

This text is based on information from “Cartridges of the World”, Hodgdon reloading manual, the cartridge designer and/or own resources.

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Show all 13 loads

To narrow your search, choose the desired bullet weight, bullet name, or powder.

    Bullet weight: Bullet name: Powder:    
115 grs
125 grs
148 grs
150 grs
158 grs
Accurate No 5
Alliant Blue Dot
Alliant Bullseye
Alliant Green Dot
Alliant Red Dot
Alliant Unique
IMR Trail Boss
Vihtavuori N310
Vihtavuori N320

  Not yet verified user loads
ID: Bullet weight: Bullet name: Powder:
216 195 grs
Lyman 358430 Bullseye
218 158 grs
Rucker RNFP IMR 700-X
235 110 grs
Speer Hollow points Blue dot
363 148 grs
Hornady HBWC Bullseye
399 158 grs
LSW Unique
405 140 grs
Rainier TCJFP Universal Clays
414 125 grs
Bull-X Bullseye
465 105 grs
Lee Vithavuori N310
468 148 grs
Lee Cast wad cutter Hodgdon Clays
559 158 grs
LED RN vihtavuori n 340
623 148 grs
148 DEWC Red Dot
630 158 grs
RNL Bullseye
666 125 grs
LSW Bullseye
667 125 grs
HSH - Plated FP Bullseye
668 125 grs
Berry's Mfg - Plated FP Bullseye
669 125 grs
HSH - Lead FP (SWC) Bullseye
670 135 grs
Lyman Cast Semi Wad Cutter Red Dot
704 148 grs
Wadcutter Titegroup
728 158 grs
Speer Lead Semi Wad Cutter Unique
729 158 grs
Speer Lead Semi Wad Cutter Unique
730 158 grs
Speer Lead Semi Wad Cutter Bullseye
840 158 grs
Georgia Arms L38E LRNFP Trail Boss
850 125 grs
FMJ Trail Boss
1601 148 grs
Zero Bullet HBWC Bullseye
1845 148 grs
Hornady HBWC Bullseye
23286 125 grs
Lee cast flat nose Vectan BA10
23287 160 grs
cast saeco # 382 titewad
23361 110 grs
Hornady XTP Unique
24801 158 grs
Hornady XTP Lil Gun
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