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Low Recoil Ammo for S&W 642 .38 Revolver

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NukeMMC
james r chapman
Jess Learning
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Low Recoil Ammo for S&W 642 .38 Revolver Empty Low Recoil Ammo for S&W 642 .38 Revolver

Post by BoCotracker 7/7/2022, 3:08 pm

I'm looking for target practice ammo for my S&W 642 +p revolver, that doesn't have a big recoil. I've been using Magtech 38 CBC SPL Short 125 gr LRN, but I'm running low. I haven't been able to find that exact ammo anywhere. Where can I find it and/or what's the best substitute that also has a similar low recoil?

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Post by NuJudge 7/7/2022, 3:29 pm

I don't think you'll find a large batch of that anywhere:  https://ammoseek.com/ammo/38-special/Magtech  

You could do searches for other ammo with that weight and shape bulet.

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Post by S148 7/7/2022, 10:10 pm

Remington .38 Short Colt.  (which is what the Magtech is)

But good luck finding it.

38 Special ammo loaded for just this purpose:

https://mattsbullets.com/ammunition/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=28&zenid=cmts0ssuvh6dledn4s9452fbs0

Another option is 38 Long Colt. It's a little more powerful than the 38 Short Colt, but has less recoil than a 38 Special.

After these your best bet is 38 Wadcutter ammo. It has more recoil than the 38 Short Colt or 38 Long Colt, however.

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Post by Jess Learning 8/2/2022, 8:20 pm

Hello All;
This is my first post ever on any forum, so if I'm doing this incorrectly I'm sorry. This topic seemed to be the best place for this information. I have seen a lot of requests lately for low recoil .38 special ammo. I have run across a new web site that sells ammo, its called Southern Defense... https://southerndefense.com/, they sell a NEW ammo by Norma it is a practice and range ammo so the recoil is light it's velocity is 968 fps according what's printed on the box, 158gr bullet that in my opinion is good practice ammo for DR, I've been getting grate groups at 25 yards. The recoil is very light and is fun to shoot, Oh and by the way I have nothing to do with Southern Defense I'm just a customer trying to pass along good information to the community. I hope this helps someone. Oh buy the way I almost forget the best part it sells for $19.98 a box of 50.

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Post by james r chapman 8/3/2022, 5:58 am

968 fps and 158 gr is extremely hot ammo.
No good info here IMHO
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Post by S148 8/3/2022, 7:41 am

Jess Learning wrote:it's velocity is 968 fps according what's printed on the box, 158gr bullet. The recoil is very light.

That is full powered ammo and does not have light recoil compared to other 38 Special ammo.

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Post by NukeMMC 8/3/2022, 8:45 am

Concur. I am running 750fps with a lead bullet and even that seems more potent than necessary.
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Post by RodJ 8/3/2022, 11:37 pm

Jess, I’m not following you correctly. This is your first post on any forum? You are very modest, because your post is very well written!!  

I’m intrigued by this ammo. What kind of groups were you getting? How many rounds and what revolver are you shooting?  Wondering if the recoil feels low because of the weight of your pistol. Also do you think it’s actually shooting 968 fps?

Please let me know the answers because I’ve been looking for good range practice ammo at a good price. Hope the shipping isn’t too bad. Since I live in Texas I might stop by and avoid shipping.

I can’t wait to hear more!

Thanks!

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Post by Jess Learning 8/4/2022, 12:27 pm

Thank You for easing my mind a bit yes this is the first post I've ever made. My gun is a S&W 686 with a 4 inch barrel and a red dot sight. My group sizes I do not measure, but I can hold the 9-10 ring on a 25 yard slow fire target at 25 yards pretty easily with elbows braced on the bench, I think the ammo is worth the money especially at todays prices, that's really all I was trying to say in my original post. Another thing I forget to say was the brass they use in this ammo to me extremely good, I use it now for reloading my wad cutter ammo and get decent groups from those,  and now to the big questions do I think it really is 968 fps NO I DO NOT, manufacturers like to juice up fps to increase sales fps sells. This is good practice ammo, and Southern Defense is a great web site their delivery is fast, my last order was shipped the same day it was ordered.

Sincerely;
Jess

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Post by S148 8/4/2022, 9:36 pm

Jess Learning wrote: and now to the big questions do I think it really is 968 fps NO I DO NOT, manufacturers like to juice up fps to increase sales fps sells. 

Norma ballistics are from a 6" barrel, which is why it's faster than most of US makers which list 38 Special velocity from a 4" vented barrel.

https://www.norma-ammunition.com/en-us/products/dedicated-precision/pistol-and-revolver/norma-range-and-training/norma-38-special-fmj-range-training-158-gr---620540050

In general, ammo makers don't 'juice up fps' to increase sales. This is a myth. Most I've tested run close, and sometimes faster than advertised. You have to check to see what barrel length and barrel type they used for their results. Sometimes revolver ammo is tested through a solid barrel instead of a cylinder/barrel design of a revolver. Once that is established, the speed are generally very close.

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Post by Jess Learning 8/5/2022, 12:35 am

Thank You very much for straitening me out on the myth I tried to perpetuate... only Its far from a myth, I have been shooting and reloading since the early 80's, I started in Silhouette shooting   back then when the only way to compete was to reload none of the ammo we shot than was factory made so we had to reload, I have never owned a chrono myself so I can not give you first hand information on the subject, but I have discussed this topic with a lot of people that have chronographed plenty of there own ammo one of which is a well known you tube personally, and NONE I repeat NONE have ever claimed that they could match velocity's with factory claims, just the opposite now there are a lot of good reasons why that happens and I've always assumed these were why the differences. So my conclusions are since your post has no bearing on the subject at hand I can only conclude that you are trying to attack my creditability, I gave information based on my own experience, why you would do this is beyond me I'm only trying to give the people here information on some new ammo that I have run across that I think is good practice ammo. And was thanked for it by a kiss in the rear something I do not take lightly so thank you one an all have a happy life.
Sincerely;
Jess

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Post by S148 8/5/2022, 7:49 am

I'm not trying to attack your credibility. You've never chronographed any ammo, so you don't know what the velocities are. I've chronographed tens of thousands of rounds, and am reporting my personal experience.

Here's examples on the web of handloads and factory loads that meet or exceed published ballistics;

Examples of handloads exceeding published data and nominal factory ballistics: 
https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/super-powders-for-the-38-super/99160

Examples of factory loads exceeding their own published ballistics (specifically the 357 Magnum since it is fired from a 4" barrel - the same barrel length as the factory uses):
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2021/12/10/357-sig-vs-357-magnum-which-is-more-powerful

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Post by JRV 8/5/2022, 9:44 am

I’ll preface this by saying I carry one of the lightest snub revolver setups on the market (340PD with a Hogue Bantam boot grip and one mod: a front night sight). My carry ammo and practice ammo are the same: Federal GMM wadcutters. Shoots POA/POI and recoils very lightly.

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Post by Jess Learning 8/5/2022, 3:07 pm

Hello All
This is way off topic and has gotten out of hand and I apologize to the forum for my hand in it I'm sorry it won't happen again. I've delivered my message about Norma's new 38 special ammo and that's all I intended. I really was trying to help, unfortunately the Southern Defense web site has now sold out of this ammo. Again I'm sorry for letting this move from discussion to argument, it did not get any of us anywhere, so for now good bye stay safe.

Jess

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Post by RodJ 8/5/2022, 3:29 pm

If carry ammunition, Hornady 110 FTX critical defense for my 642. Old style exposed frame wood grip on left, barami hip grip on right. Comfortable to shoot.

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Post by S148 8/5/2022, 3:57 pm

The Norma ammo is in stock at Grafs and Midway, albeit at a higher price.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1023691590

https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/82999

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Post by shanneba 8/5/2022, 4:29 pm

Midway also has a Federal 38 special 158gr lead RN load at 770fps in stock. $27.96 / 50

Federal American Eagle Ammo 38 Special 158 Grain Lead Round Nose Case (midwayusa.com)

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Post by WesG 8/5/2022, 9:26 pm

After shooting 'normal' bullseye loads in my slide mount 45, I was really surprised at the sharp recoil of WW 148 HBWC ammo in my Dad's late 60's 6" K-38. The 158 SWC wasn't much different.

Not sure what I was expecting ... but my powder puff loads in my 16-4 are much more pleasant.

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