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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After doing a search and not really finding a definitive answer, What is the recommended ammo to carry for SD? I bought some Blazers when I bought the gun just to have something to put through it. Also, do you recommend cleaning it before shooting? If so with what? and lubricating with what? The manual isn't very specific about either question/ Finally, what should I lubricate?

Thanks for suffering through a newbys questions for the 100th time.

Steve
 

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Pick what is available in your area and shoot a couple boxes of it to make sure it functions 100%, if not find another brand. I have 100% function with Hornady Critical Defense, and it shoots where I point it.
 

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With all these questions, You Tube will be your best friend. Starting off, yes, clean the gun before shooting it and lube it up after you get it clean. Use Gun Scrubber or CLP for cleaning. Field strip it and clean the bottom/insides of the slide and also the inside of the frame. A toothbrush can be used to scrub. Clean the barrel too, When you think you have it clean, you can spray it down with Breakfree brake cleaner - non-clorinated - to remove anything you brushed up while cleaning. Use a compressor, if you have one, to dry it, or use rags. Now you need to apply a litttle oil to the inside moving parts, but not the firing pin channel. You can use dry lube on it, but not wet. Add a little layer of oil to the barrel and use your finger to spread it evenly around it. You can use grease or oil on the slide and frame rails. Rem Oil is recommended and I prefer grease on the rails. Search You Tube for cleaning a semi-auto handgun. What you learn from that can be applied to your gun. Any self defense ammo (hollow points) can be used - your choice.
 

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Reading the topic of your thread, my first reaction was "bullets"! Sorry I'll leave now.
 

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About ammo for your 738, in May of 2011 a friend and I did a really informal "test" of 4 different .380 cartridges to see what happened to the bullets when going through 3 different layers of "media". We wanted to see how much expansion took place with the bullets going through 1 layer of plush carpet, 4 layers of heavy cotton, and finally a plastic bucket full of sand (I did tell you that this was informal).

We tested 102gr Remington Golden Sabers (flying at 870 fps), 90gr Hornady Critical Defense (moving along at 884 fps), Fiocchi 90 gr XTP (at 835fps), and finally good old WallyWorld 95gr Winchester Flat Nose (at 848 fps).

Unfortunately, my friend forgot to tell me (before I eagerly began searching for bullets) that the sand that he filled the bucket with was used cat litter, which made the bullet retrieval really interesting.

Anyway, here are the results of the "testing", which made me confident of my choice of self defense ammo to use in my 738.

The Golden Sabers penetrated into the KittyKrap bucket 8" with absolutely no expansion since the hollowpoint was plugged with the carpet fibers. The Fiocchi XTP hollowpoints penetrated 6" with no expansion (also because of carpet fiber plugging again). The Winchester FMJ flat points also penetrated 6" with no deformation of the bullets.

The only round that expanded from .380 to .474" was the Hornady Critical Defense, but had the least penetration (4-6"). So, for penetration through heavy clothing or excessive muscle or fat tissue, I'd use the heavier (yet fast-moving) Remington Golden Sabers or Fiocchi 90gr XTP (which moves slower, but also has excellent penetration).

In our crude tests the only round that expanded was the Hornady Critical Defense, and although some would argue not to mix ammo brands in a magazine, I stagger the Critical Defense for expansion with the Golden Saber for penetration.

Again, this "testing" was done with no (if any) degree of technical accuracy, and YMMV in your choice of ammo. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. I haven't owned a hand gun in some time and wanted to see if there was something better out there than what I had used before, especially with a small gun where the tolerances are much closer. I did find a very good Youtube video for stripping and cleaning the tcp but the author never really mentioned brand names. I did see a Hoppes label for cleaning pads. I wanted to carry the ammo that the gun likes best and would provide the best results in deterrence. My Dad always taught me theat there is no shame in asking something you don't know, so I thought I would ask someone who has been there and done that. I'm finding this forum has some very knowledeable people who are willing to share that knowledge.

Thanks to all..
 

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(Insert standard "I am not an expert" line here) Penetration is critical, second only to shot placement. The type of round that will get you the best penetration in .380 is FMJ, not JHP. Over penetration with .380 is not an issue. I know this will create some controversy so do some research and make an informed decision that you will be comfortable with.
 

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(Insert standard "I am not an expert" line here) Penetration is critical, second only to shot placement. The type of round that will get you the best penetration in .380 is FMJ, not JHP. Over penetration with .380 is not an issue. I know this will create some controversy so do some research and make an informed decision that you will be comfortable with.
Controversy without a doubt, this video is interesting. Like Hawkeye said I am no expert. I know these youtube videos are not 100% conclusive and there are many variables to consider, I do find his testing interesting and he does a better job then I could ever do. He has many test in .380 as well as other calibers.

 
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