.380 vs 9mm: Recoil Among the most blatant arguments for the .380 ACP is the caliber is much milder. https://www.ammoland.com/2020/10/dangy-dagger-9mm-round-defeats-level-3a-body-armor/. In the case of .38 Super, the average shooters don’t exactly have plenty of choices. And the minor disadvantage of the 9mm LCR is that it requires moon clips for a practical reload. If I accomplish that much, I figure I did pretty darn good. The .38 Special is probably the most common revolver cartridge in use today, and is certainly the most carried, frequently in pistols that will accommodate .357 Magnum rounds. If you happen to be a shooter that only desires solid, no-nonsense performance then you should choose the Luger round.
To have a winner, I would need to make it so that the cartridges have some real and discernible differences in a similar field.
What I was going to type!
If you can carry it, why not? That’s right, it’s pretty much already faded into history. G-19 for serious carry. About .38 Super, as it contains more powder than the 9x19mm round, its kick a bit harder in most cases. The .38 Long Colt, a standard military issue revolver cartridge adopted by the US Army back in 1892, was being used in the Philippine American War. I’ve owned and carried both. In general, a 9mm pistol will be able to fire similar sized bullets slightly faster. Anything that gives them more power to control us. The.38/44 158-grain load was a bit more brisk, at about 1,100 fps, which is about 200 fps faster than modern 147-grain 9mm. display: none !important; Since the two cartridges share so many virtues, some wonder which is best between .38 vs 9mm. We have 3 weeks to return it, if I decide the 9mm would be my best option. I took my daughter out to the range and we shot it with 9mm. The .38 Special (or .38 Special +P) JHP is no slouch by any standard, and very capable for its intended roles as standard FBI ballistic tests reveal. Even accounting for loss of velocity due to cylinder gap, it’s still not even close. The 9×19 has twice the MAP of the .38 Special in original loads, so of course the 9×19 will win on velocity in a canonical loading. And, while a revolver has a capacity of just five to six rounds, a huge range of modern 9mm pistols can reach a single magazine capacity of 15 plus rounds. Even when you load up the 9mm with the lightest weight possible, you still get past the 12 inch FBI penetration requirements, if you use controlled expansion type bullets.
substantially more reliable than semi-automatics. The two are so close that there’s no real advantage unless you own other guns in one cartridge or another, which makes it a battle of logistics, not ballistics.
This is darn interesting….TTAG should review it as this round may be the Creedmoor of pistol ammo. Also the coonan 357 full size with a change of the recoil spring will supposedly cycle .38. The virtues of the .38 Special are that it's effective in a self-defense capacity in service-size pistols. The heavier bullet has the potential to be more potent at causing damage to a target. Yes, I know that modern autos are great, but the revolver doesn’t need recoil to operate and instead is powered by your finger. All too often there’s a mental disconnect between the numbers and reality, and in many cases the numbers are skewed to make one cartridge look “better” than another it ostensibly competes against. After reading your article, I would like to add, its a very informative article. You are welcome to disagree. On the other hand, the semi-rimmed nature of .38 Super could cause several feeding issues in certain types of magazines. According to the MV and ME charts it looks like about a toss-up. Ruger makes an excellent revolver, but a cylinder jam makes for a gunsmith level problem, two hands aren’t enough to “unstuck” that issue. More importantly, I have seen photos of bullet wounds from hardcast bullets with large, flat meplats (which are very close to full wadcutter profile) and those bullets made “pretty huge holes” in the affected game animals. For concealed carry, a snub-nosed revolver is ideal to stash away and go about your business.
Recoil is moderate, which likewise makes the 9mm easy for most shooters to handle and therefore be accurate with, which is exactly why the FBI switched to 9mm a few years ago. A comparison of velocity of .38 Special bullets with different weight and type: A 9mm fires bullets with velocity ranging between 1200 and 1430 feet per second depending on the model. At the end of the day, both the .38 Special and 9mm have a place in the modern carry scene. however, 38SPL has a case capacity of 23.4 grams H2O while 9mm has a case capacity of 13.3 grams H2O. The extra zing makes the 9mm far more suited to use with hollowpoint ammunition, as modern 9mm JHPs expand easily and reliably. Cool, I looked over the data you linked, and 9mm still beats .38 special with 9mm being the top performer for penetration, expansion, and velocity out of a 3.5″ barrel. Therefore, regarding performance, most firearm experts conclude that .38 Super is the one come out on top in 9mm vs. .38 Super.
And, this is mainly due to the type of guns that chamber it. Actually, I think the 4 inch 38 revolver probably has closed to 1 in. Diffen.com. The .38 Special is, almost universally, a revolver cartridge (though it can be used successfully in some lever action rifles). It’s a different story with .38 Super as while many shooters still shoot it, the round itself see limited uses. Why not have both? That’s arguably the most important reason most folks won’t use them for defense purposes–they want to carry autoloaders.
The interesting part of this debate is that there isn’t a very clear way to look at these rounds next to each other without talking about their host guns. In this review, we’ll reopen an age-old debate to find any distinguishing performance factors between the very popular 9mm and .38 Special rounds. There are many, many variations of this, as both cartridges have a wide projectile weight range and velocities.
The other possible advantage may be the ability to reload with moon clips.
Now do a comparison between .375H&H and 9.3X64. Found a good backcountry load for the 38 LCR x 3″
The idea behind the cartridge was to use a very powerful yet more volatile, high-pressure, and smoke-free powder. If I’m wrong, please advise.
I carried a snub as my primary for several decades until I bought an LCP. Therefore, regarding performance, most firearm experts conclude that.38 Super is the one come out on top in 9mm vs..38 Super. You see, revolver rounds typically need a little more barrel length and velocity to get good expansion from JHP rounds. There’s always .38+P, and with a 5in.
All three cartridges have much higher chamber pressures than the 38 special +P so Ruger beefed up the frame and cylinder for these guns. Back in the 1920s, a number of guys - among them Elmer Keith - started stuffing more and more powder in .38 Special cases, eventually leading to the development of .38/44, also known as .38 HV, a hot .38 Special for use in S&W N-frame revolvers. The best self defense/police load in 38 has long been the 158 gr. Handloading .38 Super also helps control cost and solve availability issues. Comparing .380 pocket pistols to .38 snubbies would seem more reasonable. There are just too many exciting options on the table in terms of the pistols and some revolvers that can chamber this cartridge. “A disadvantage (of revolvers) to automatics is that they can have more complicated stoppages that require both hands to clear.” Single action. Snubbie revolvers, as a result, have a track record of poor performance in this regard, at least until Speer and other companies started making short-barrel loads that performed a little better. The 38 is always gonna be more reliable. We mentioned that revolvers can be more reliable due to less moving parts and that they don’t rely on recoil. Gotta monkey with the loaded and partially spent moon clip, or replace it with a full one and place the partial in your pocket, for later messing around.
I’ve only looked at the mountains of ballistic test data available for both calibers….
9mm vs. .40 S&W is a real discussion because the two offer very different things in a guns that are externally identical, like the G19/G23.