We recently discussed the ins and outs of .38 Special ammunition for snubby revolvers here in these pages, and described the challenges involved with trying to make the most special of revolver cartridges perform from abbreviated barrels, which rob velocity and energy from the bullet. As a moderate energy level cartridge, the .38 Special doesn’t have a surplus of energy that it can afford to lose, and when you shoot it in the small guns, it can lose just enough energy to have a dramatic effect on terminal performance. Continue reading “The .38 Special Hydra-Shok Deep Journey”
I encountered this dud round in the middle of a shooting competition at the range recently. Even though it’s from one of those bottom feeders—Eek!—it provides a good opportunity to make a few observations that are universal in nature, and not related to any particular weapon type.
If you’re like most shooters these days, your interest in the revolver as a defensive weapon centers around small frame guns that are easily carried and concealed. Continue reading “.38 Snubby Ammo”
I admit it, I’m a bullet nerd. I’ve always been fascinated by ballistics, and particularly terminal ballistics. I enjoy learning about how bullets do their work, and studying the minutiae of expansion, penetration, retained weight, permanent and temporary cavities, testing protocols, and all the numerical measures of bullet performance. Continue reading “Wadcutters For Self Defense”
In the post-war heyday of the revolver, it was common for police and armed citizens to load a different kind of ammunition for practice than they did for duty or defense. In the police community, for example, many officers shot their training and qualifications with soft-recoiling, 148 grain, .38 Special wadcutters, and loaded more powerful .38 Special or .357 Magnum ammunition for duty, and a legion of armed citizens without badges did the same. Continue reading “Training With Light Loads”
It’s not too often that I get to shoot up a car, but it has happened a few times in my career. What is really rare is getting to shoot up a nice, clean car, and being the only one shooting it. I had this opportunity about a year ago as part of a military exercise I was working on. I can’t get into too much detail, but there was a requirement for a shot-up car and I was lucky enough to be asked to fulfill the requirement. This isn’t one of those articles about shooting cars filled with gelatin blocks and there aren’t any real insights to be gained here – just some fun pictures! Continue reading “Shooting Cars with a .357 Magnum”
I know I’m not the first person to write about selecting duty or carry ammunition. In all honesty, this probably isn’t the first article this week on the topic. However, when I wrote about filing my front sight a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that this was an important step. Before I get too far down the road from that article, I want to address my criteria for choosing defensive carry ammunition, and how I settled on the .357 Short Barrel Gold Dot. Continue reading “Choosing Defensive Carry Ammunition”
There are two sides of the debate over shooting and carrying .357 Magnum ammunition in a small revolver. Both sides seem to be a bit dogmatic in their position, and I’ve been confronted with this a couple of times recently. I carry a J-Frame revolver as my primary defensive arm, and I carry it loaded with ammunition headstamped “.357 MAG”. I am a man who can appreciate a little nuance and I generally shy away from generalizations, so here are my thoughts.
WARNING: I’m about to take a hard right into revolver-geek territory. Proceed with caution. Continue reading “Ammunition for Small .357 Magnum Revolvers”