Buy .38 Special Ammo: A Guide to Finding the Best Ammunition


When it comes to firearms, having the right ammunition is crucial for optimal performance. If you own a .38 Special revolver or are considering purchasing one, it’s essential to find high-quality .38 Special ammo that meets your needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors to consider when buying .38 Special ammo, the different types available, and where to find the best deals. So, let’s dive into the world of .38 Special ammunition!

Understanding .38 Special Ammo

The .38 Special is a popular revolver cartridge known for its versatility and manageable recoil. It has been in use for over a century and remains a favorite among law enforcement, self-defense enthusiasts, and target shooters. Here are some key aspects to understand about .38 Special ammo:

Bullet Types: .38 Special ammo is available in various bullet types, including Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Hollow Point (HP), and Lead Round Nose (LRN). Each bullet type serves a specific purpose, such as target shooting, self-defense, or training. Buy 38 Special Ammunition

Bullet Weights: .38 Special ammo typically comes in bullet weights ranging from 110 grains to 158 grains. Lighter bullets offer higher velocities and reduced recoil, while heavier bullets provide increased penetration and stopping power.

Standard Pressure vs. +P: .38 Special ammo is available in standard pressure and +P (overpressure) variants. +P ammo delivers higher velocities and increased energy, but it generates more recoil and may cause additional wear on the firearm.

Accuracy and Performance: The accuracy and performance of .38 Special ammo can vary depending on factors such as bullet design, powder charge, and overall quality. It’s important to test different brands and loads to find the one that works best with your revolver.

Factors to Consider When Buying .38 Special Ammo

Choosing the right .38 Special ammo involves considering several factors. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Intended Use: Identify the primary purpose for purchasing .38 Special ammo. Will you use it for self-defense, target shooting, or competition? Different loads are optimized for specific applications, so choose accordingly.

Bullet Type: Select a bullet type that aligns with your intended use. FMJ rounds are suitable for target practice, while HP rounds offer reliable expansion for self-defense. LRN bullets are often used for training and plinking.

Reputation and Quality: Look for reputable ammunition manufacturers known for producing high-quality and reliable .38 Special ammo. Research customer reviews and consider brands with a track record of consistent performance.

Price and Value: Set a budget for your ammunition purchase and consider the overall value. While it’s important to find affordable options, prioritize quality and reliability over price alone.

Availability: Check the availability of the specific .38 Special ammo you’re interested in. Some brands and loads may be more readily available than others, ensuring a consistent supply for your shooting needs.

Popular .38 Special Ammo Brands

There are several reputable brands that produce high-quality .38 Special ammo. Here are a few popular choices:

Federal Premium: Federal Premium is known for its reliable and accurate ammunition. Their Hydra-Shok and HST lines offer excellent performance for self-defense purposes.

Remington: Remington has a long-standing reputation in the ammunition industry. Their Golden Saber line provides reliable expansion and stopping power.

Winchester: Winchester offers a variety of .38 Special ammo options, including their Train & Defend series for practice and self-defense scenarios.

Hornady: Hornady is renowned for its innovative ammunition designs. Their Critical Defense line features reliable HP bullets for self-defense applications.

Remember, this is just a small selection of popular brands, and there are many other excellent choices available. It’s important to test different brands and loads to find the one that performs best in your revolver.

Where to Buy .38 Special Ammo

When it comes to purchasing .38 Special ammo, there are several reputable sources to consider:

Local Gun Shops: Visit your local gun shops or firearm dealers to explore a variety of .38 Special ammo options. The staff at these establishments can provide guidance based on your needs and preferences.

Online Retailers: Many online retailers specialize in firearms and ammunition. Ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable and licensed dealer. It’s important to follow all legal requirements and regulations when buying ammunition online.

Ammunition Manufacturers: Some ammunition manufacturers sell directly to consumers through their websites. This allows you to purchase directly from the source and ensures the authenticity and quality of the ammo.

Gun Shows: Gun shows often have a wide selection of ammunition available from various vendors. These events provide an opportunity toexplore different options and compare prices in person. However, it’s essential to verify the legitimacy and reliability of the vendors before making a purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

1. Can I use .38 Special +P ammo in my revolver?

Yes, most modern .38 Special revolvers can safely handle +P ammunition. However, it’s important to consult your firearm’s manufacturer or refer to the owner’s manual to ensure compatibility. Regularly firing +P ammo may cause increased wear on the firearm over time.

2. What is the effective range of .38 Special ammo?

The effective range of .38 Special ammo depends on various factors, including bullet type, barrel length, and shooter proficiency. Generally, .38 Special ammo is effective up to 50 yards, but its optimal range for self-defense purposes is within 25 yards.

3. Can I reload .38 Special ammo?

Yes, .38 Special ammo can be reloaded. Reloading allows shooters to customize their loads and potentially save on ammunition costs. However, reloading requires knowledge, experience, and adherence to proper safety procedures. It’s crucial to follow established reloading guidelines and use reliable components.

4. What is the difference between .38 Special and .357 Magnum?

The .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges have similar dimensions, but the .357 Magnum is longer and has a higher pressure rating. .357 Magnum ammo generates significantly more muzzle energy and velocity than .38 Special, resulting in increased recoil and stopping power. While .357 Magnum revolvers can chamber and fire .38 Special ammo, the reverse is not recommended.

5. Is .38 Special a good choice for self-defense?

Indeed, shooters widely favor .38 Special for self-defense, appreciating its manageable recoil, wide availability, and consistent performance. They commonly select Hollow Point (HP) rounds for self-defense due to their controlled expansion and heightened stopping power.


Finding the right .38 Special ammo is essential for optimal performance and achieving your shooting goals. Consider factors such as bullet type, intended use, reputation, and price when making your purchase. Explore reputable brands and sources, both online and offline, to find the best deals and ensure the authenticity of your ammunition. Remember to always prioritize safety and follow all applicable laws and regulations. Happy shooting! Buy 38 Special Ammo

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