I have never recommended a .38 special snub – particularly a light weight model – as a primary carry sidearm to a new shooter. A short barreled anything is designed as a belly gun for short range engagements. While partial to modern military firearms and their civilian counterparts, he holds a special place in his heart for the greatest battle implement ever devised and other WW2 rifles. These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market. Messy, sure, but again, the bullet may not be immediately disabling. 2. Just my experience. The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice. BTW, only buy inexpensive overcoats if your working. Might I suggest you take lessons? mgkdrgn . Very effective . They aren’t called “belly guns” without reason. Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo. I have been active in a number of shooting competitions throughout the years including IMSA, PSAA, IPSC, and IDPA. They are accurate. Kojak and crocker use to keep NYC clean with those old smitty .38 wheelie snubbies remember that? The .38 Special was originally sized for a case full of blackpowder under the bullet. One of the technical specifics included for each cartridge is the maximum average pressure (MAP). Reloading revolvers under time pressure is a drag and not fast. JHP, 158 gr. My EDC (every day… Read more », The only way to use the snub nose is like the S&W I got for my wife to have as a bedroom gun. Yes, there are ways to partially mitigate this. I would never dream of driving a 2″ trim nail with a sledge hammer. But the fact of the matter is that given equal amounts of practice, a magazine-fed firearm is vastly faster to reload than a revolver. You will likely never “limp wrist” a revolver. Worst case scenario, reloading without a speed loader is akin to playing a life-or-death version of Operation with advanced Parkinson's Disease; your hands will tremble uncontrollably while you fumble to load slippery cartridges into a free-spinning cylinder – and if you fail you might die. JHP (WC= WadCutter, SWC= Semi-WadCutter, HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose), (JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point and if GC indicated, means Gas Check at bottom of lead bullet) Loads for .38 special: It requires many hours of practice, and few newbies are willing and/or able to dedicate that kind of time. Lester Dent also wrote the Doc Savage series, under the name Kenneth Robeson. That’s extra time. They are accurate as all get out. WC, 158 gr. 2. . Terminal ballistics with premium loads are actually quite good, esp. A carefully aimed anything is always better than a spray and pray anything else. And one of the most popular cartridges- if not the most popular cartridge- for those revolvers is the .38 Special. Reliable. The magum’s weight has its trade off, but +P’s recoil is tame. Thank you, Mr. Grant for this article. It was a pocket gun. However, if bullet design is less than optimum, some of these offerings do not expand and instead act like full-metal-jacket ammunition--particularly when passing through clothing--and occasionally will overpenetrate. Why? The .38 Special's MAP is 17,000 psi, whereas for the .38 Special +P it is 20,000 psi. Think about that for a moment. The comment section is going to be flooded with readers talking about how fast they can reload their favorite wheel gun. Anything big/heavy enough to -significantly- reduce recoil is going to be too big/heavy to carry. If you can hit a human size target from a yard or less away, it doesn’t matter what you use. NYPD records prove the effectiveness of 38spl +p 158gn swc Bullet.