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Anyone know of a good non +P load for my M856 .38spl? I have a 20 ct box of Remington Golden Sabers now, but I'd like to get a non +P cartridge that would work for personal protection.

I know about Buffalo Bore's SWC soft leaded cartridge. I might buy some one day if I can float a loan in order to buy it. One I'd like to get is the Federal Nyclad, but from what I can tell, it's in the same class as the Loch Ness monster. People claim to have seen it, but there is no proof of it existing.
 

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+P's are overrated in short-barreled handguns. The extra powder is mostly wasted. In .38's, I prefer 158 gr. SJHP's. Aguila makes a great SD round.

aguila38spec.jpg
 

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There are many, many great self defense rounds made today....we live in the golden age of hollowpoints. :D The Golden Saber you have is also made in a non-+P round, and does great. You can also find Gold Dot, Federal Hydra Shok, Hornady XTP, Corbon makes a couple of different loads, and I'm sure I'm forgetting at least 6 to 12 other really good ones. Just pick a load and go with it.
 

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Why not just use a 158 gr swc? Thats what my dad's department used when he was in LE. It is an effective round.
 

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I agree, the 158gr LSWC was the round for LE back in the day. Another option is the 148gr DEWC (double ended wad cutters).
 

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There are many, many great self defense rounds made today....we live in the golden age of hollowpoints. :D The Golden Saber you have is also made in a non-+P round, and does great. You can also find Gold Dot, Federal Hydra Shok, Hornady XTP, Corbon makes a couple of different loads, and I'm sure I'm forgetting at least 6 to 12 other really good ones. Just pick a load and go with it.
Thanks for your reply. I was just about to run out and check my stash. I was sure that I had non +P's .38 Golden Sabers in there but you know how it is when you get old, even when you're dead sure there's always a doubt. :)
 

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in some revolvers you cannot use +p ammo (just some info for those that don't know what their guns are rated for what ammo). can't use +p in mine. :icon_ cry: HPIM1350.JPG
 

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Recent Ammo tested from my 85UL Snubby:

Remington Golden Saber .38 Special 125gr BJHP GS38SB
Energy: 264 ft lbs / Velocity: 975

Both Buffalo Bore rounds are Std Pressure, Short Barrel, Low Flash

Buffalo Bore .38 Special 125 Grain Gold Dot HP
Energy: 225 ft lbs / Velocity: 900 fps

Buffalo Bore .38 Special 158 Grain Soft Lead SWC-HC
Energy: 256 ft lbs / Velocity: 854 fps


Shooting Experience:

The Remington Golden Saber recoil was stout but not uncomfortable. The report and muzzle blast was extensive.

The recoil of both Buffalo Bore rounds were slightly less stout than the Rem GS but the report and muzzle blast was noticeably less.

I currently carry a mix of the BB rounds in my 85 for CC. They both feel nearly identical regarding felt recoil so it is smooth shooting the mixed loads in a 5 shot string.

My thoughts are the 158gr will penetrate deeper and expand less while the 125 will expand more and penetrate less.
 

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In 38 I'd (personally) stick with the +P.
 

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I use Hornady Critical Defense non +p 110 grain loads in my 850 and they work great. Hornady used to make a great 140 grain(hence my user name) but they no longer offer it. They do have 158 & 125 grain non +p loads that will work just fine. Imo +p is a waste in anything less than a 4" barrel.
 

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My wife currently keeps Golden Sabers in her 85 but I've been trying to locate Hornady Critical Defense in .38 SPL. I use that as my main defensive round in 9mm and am quite satisfied with it. Of course, I have Golden Sabers and Gold Dots, also, in 9mm and any of the 3 make me feel comfy. As far as +P, I consider it a waste in short barrel guns but I won't pass up a deal on it.
 

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The Golden Saber has been my go to round in 9mm and .38. I have traditionally used outdoor ranges and the report & muzzle blast are not as obvious as in an indoor range. An indoor range opened about half a block from my house so I have been trying out over the last few months. The .38 normally is not one of the guns that turns heads at the range but the Golden Saber +P's are the exception. When I was shooting them at the indoor range recently, everyone definitely took notice. Can you say "cannon"? The "pow" normally heard out my snubbie turned to a "BOOM" with the GS's.

I still love the GS round but had to rethink using as my primary for the snubbie after my experience with them indoors.
 

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Anyone know of a good non +P load for my M856 .38spl? I have a 20 ct box of Remington Golden Sabers now, but I'd like to get a non +P cartridge that would work for personal protection.

I know about Buffalo Bore's SWC soft leaded cartridge. I might buy some one day if I can float a loan in order to buy it. One I'd like to get is the Federal Nyclad, but from what I can tell, it's in the same class as the Loch Ness monster. People claim to have seen it, but there is no proof of it existing.
My recommendations, all of which are Standard Pressure loads; are..........
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=110
Federal® Premium 38 Special 110gr JHP
Federal® Premium 38 Special 125gr Nyclad™ HP
Hornady® 38 Special 90 gr FTX® Critical Defense® LITE
Hornady® 38 Special 110 gr FTX® Critical Defense®
Magtech® 38 Special 95gr Copper HP
Magtech® 38 Special 158gr SJHP
Magtech® 158gr SWC

 

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I still love the GS round but had to rethink using as my primary for the snubbie after my experience with them indoors.

Yea, the Golden Sabers are definitely a triple purpose round, especially out of a short barrel. You can shoot the perp, deafen him or incinerate him with the muzzle flash.
 
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