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Top .38 Special Loads for Carry

Michelle Hamilton shares her thoughts on the best .38 Special loads available for personal protection!

Top .38 Special Loads for Carry

The .38 Special remains very popular for personal protection and Michelle Hamilton shares her thoughts on the top loads for concealed carry, like this 158-grain SWCHP FBI Load, based on her testing. (Patrick Sweeney photo)

Designed in 1898, the .38 Smith & Wesson Special cartridge went on to become hugely popular. It was a staple with US LE agencies for some 70+ years, saw service with the US military in World War I, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam. Plus, it was widely embraced by sportsmen, recreational shooters, and those interested in personal protection. Today the .38 Special remains popular, especially for personal protection. Recently David Fortier prodded me to share my thoughts on what .38 Special loads I would recommend for personal protection. What follows is based upon my personal experience testing the .38 Special fired from 2 to 6-inch barrels in 10% Ordnance Gel. This is the...

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