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38 Special Ammo for Sale

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The 38 Special Ammo, commonly known as .38 Smith & Wesson Special, .38 Spl, or .38 Spc, is a rimmed centerfire cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson.

The 38 Special Ammo was the standard cartridge used by most United States police departments from the 1920s through the 1990s. Also, it was a popular sidearm cartridge used in the hands of United States military personnel in World War I, World War II, Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In other regions, it’s recognized by its metric code 9×29.5mmR or (9.1x29mmR).

The cartridge is known for its accuracy and easy recoil control; the 38 Special Ammo remains one of the most sought-after revolver cartridges over 100 years after its release. It is used for recreational shooting, target shooting in formal competitions, personal defense, and small game hunting.

38 Special Ammo Overview

38 Special Ammo was designed and made available in 1898 to improve the .38 Long Colt, which, as a military-issued cartridge, was found to have the insufficient stopping power to withstand the attacks against Filipino Muslim warriors during the Philippine-American War. The .38 Special was initially loaded with black powder when it was first introduced. However, the cartridge’s popularity led manufacturers to introduce smoking powder loads within one year of its launch.

Despite its name, the caliber for this 38 Special Ammo cartridge is actually .357 inches (36 caliber/9.07 mm) in size, as the “.38” refers to the approximate diameter of the brass case. The reason for this was that the first 38-caliber cartridge, called the .38 Short Colt, was made to convert .36-caliber caps-and-ball Navy revolvers with untapered cylindrical firing chambers with roughly 0.374-inch (9.5 millimeters) diameter. They required fired bullets that were heeled, the exposed part of which was the same size that the cartridge’s casing.

Except for case length, the .38 Special is the same as other rounds, including the .38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, and .357 Magnum. This almost identicality of three rounds permits the 38 Special Ammo rounds to be safely fired from revolvers equipped with .357 Magnum. This means the .38 Special, and revolvers are designed to offer a distinct range of capabilities.

However, the more significant and more potent .357 Magnum cartridge is not chambered and fired in guns specifically designed for .38 Special (e.g., the various versions of the Smith & Wesson Model 10) and are not explicitly designed to handle the significantly increased pressure of magnum rounds. Each .38 Special and .357 Magnum can be chambered in Colt New Army revolvers in 38 Long Colt due to their straight walls. However, it is not recommended to do this in any way because the risk of pressure levels can be three times that of what the New Army is designed to endure.

38 Special Ammo Performance

Due to its black-powder heritage, the 38 Special Ammo is a low-pressure cartridge, one of the lowest cartridges in usage today, with 17,500 psi. In modern terms, this .38 Special fires a medium-sized bullet with comparatively low velocity.

For example, in the case of load targets, the 148-gram (9.6 grams) bullet travels at just 690 ft/s (210 milliseconds). The closest equivalents can be found in those of the .380 ACP, which fires significantly lighter bullets, but slightly slower than the majority of .38 Special loads. The 9x19mm Parabellum shoots a bit lighter bullet which is quicker, and it’s the .38 Super fires the same bullet significantly more quickly. These cartridges are generally found in semi-automatic pistols.

The high-pressure .38 Special +P load fired at 22,000 psi provides around 20% greater muzzle power than conventional pressure loads and places between .380 ACP and the 9mm Parabellum; similar to the one from the 9x18mm Makarov.

Some manufacturers’ +P loads designed for this cartridge may reach greater energy levels than this, especially when fired from longer barrels that produce energies within the range of 9mm Parabellum. They are not generally suggested for revolvers with older models or revolvers that aren’t specifically “+P” rated.

38 Comparisons
Cartridge Bullet weight Muzzle velocity Muzzle energy Max pressure
.38 Short Colt 135 gr (8.7 g) 777 ft/s (237 m/s) 181 ft•lbf (245 J) 7,500 CUP
.38 Long Colt 150 gr (9.7 g) 777 ft/s (237 m/s) 201 ft•lbf (273 J) 12,000 CUP
.38 S&W 158 gr (10.2 g) 767 ft/s (234 m/s) 206 ft•lbf (279 J) 14,500 psi
.38 S&W Special Wadcutter 148 gr (9.6 g) 690 ft/s (210 m/s) 156 ft•lbf (212 J) 17,500 psi
.38 S&W Special 158 gr (10.2 g) 940 ft/s (290 m/s) 310 ft•lbf (420 J) 17,500 psi
.38 Special Super Police 200 gr (13 g) 671 ft/s (205 m/s) 200 ft•lbf (271 J) 17,500 psi
.38 Special +P 158 gr (10.2 g) 1,000 ft/s (300 m/s) 351 ft•lbf (476 J) 20,000 psi
.38 Special +P+ 110 gr (7.1 g) 1,100 ft/s (340 m/s) 295 ft•lbf (400 J) 22,500 psi[26]
380 ACP 100 gr (6.5 g) 895 ft/s (273 m/s) 178 ft•lbf (241 J) 21,500 psi
9×19mm Parabellum 115 gr (7.5 g) 1,300 ft/s (400 m/s) 420 ft•lbf (570 J) 35,000 psi
9×19mm Parabellum 124 gr (8.0 g) 1,180 ft/s (360 m/s) 383 ft•lbf (520 J) 35,000 psi
9×18mm Makarov 95 gr (6.2 g) 1,050 ft/s (320 m/s) 231 ft•lbf (313 J) 23,500 psi
.38 Super 130 gr (8.4 g) 1,275 ft/s (389 m/s) 468 ft•lbf (634 J) 36,500 psi
.357 Magnum 158 gr (10.2 g) 1,349 ft/s (411 m/s) 639 ft•lbf (866 J) 35,000 psi
.357 SIG 125 gr (8.1 g) 1,450 ft/s (440 m/s) 584 ft•lbf (792 J) 40,000 psi

The above specifications for 38 loads and the .357 Magnum are acceptable for firing from a 6-inch (150-millimeter) barreled revolver. The velocity will be lower when firing the more conventional 4-inch (100-millimeter) rifles with barrels. The power (muzzle power) will naturally diminish in proportion to.

Only a few US police departments currently issue or permit the use of the 38 Special Ammo revolver as a regular-duty weapon. However, the caliber is still popular, with a few police officers using short-barreled revolvers on duty or in an undercover police investigation. The caliber is also commonly utilized in revolvers bought for home defense by civilians or concealed carry by those possessing the CCW permit.

Terminal Performance and Expansion

There are a variety of firms that make 38 Special Ammo. It is available in various sizes, from light load loads for target shooting to more defensive solid ammunition. Due to the low pressure, the case with a .38 Special cartridge and its stronger +P version can be loaded with the majority of 38 Special bullets that do not expand properly, even with hollow-point designs. This is especially true when firing from a shorter-barreled or “snub-nose revolver.

In the year 2004, Speer Bullets introduced the Gold Dot jacketed hollow-point .38 Special cartridge as a way to tackle this problem. Another option is to use hollow-point soft lead that is not a jacketed bullet, such as the one found in the FBI Load. Its 158-grain soft lead hollow-point is loaded with plus pressures and velocity, ensuring a more secure expansion of flesh that is not protected even when fired from an.22-caliber short-barreled revolver with a 2-inch.

.38 Special Handloading

The .38 Special is very popular for handloaders. Its straight walls, the headspace of the rim for firing previously fired cases, and the capability to be fired in .357 Magnum guns all contribute to its popularity. Furthermore, .38 Special Ammo’s history as a black powder cartridge, gives the capacity of a case that is capable of accommodating a variety of powders, from slow-burning (e.g., Hodgdon H-110 or Hercules 2400) to fast-burning (e.g., Alliant Bullseye which is the typical smokeless powder that is used with the cartridge).

This flexibility of powders leads directly to the versatility of the muzzle power that the handloader can achieve. So, with the proper maintenance, a sturdy revolver, and adherence to safe handloading procedures, The .38 Special can handle ammunition that ranges from light-recoiling target loads to self-defense rounds that are +P+. It’s 38 Special, loaded with high-quality lead bullets compared to standard lead, and can safely be packed to match the well-known 9x19mm Parabellum round. It is as effective in self-defense today as it was in 1898.

38 Special Ammo For Sale

Are you interested in shooting with the 38 Special Ammo? Are you looking for an online store selling ammunition that stocks 38 Special Ammo? We have various types of rifle ammunition such as .38 Special. We have 38 Special Ammo from top brands as Ammo Inc., Black Hills, and Buffalo Bore Ammunition. Shooting with .38 Special will allow you to complete your training just like professionals. Here at Firearms Site, we have .38 Special ammunition in stock and ready to ship without hassle. If you’re looking to purchase 38 Special Ammo Cartridges in bulk, worry not; we’ve got you covered. No limit to ammunition purchases is set on our site since our goal is customer satisfaction.

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