.38 Special Ammo

The .38 Special ammunition category encompasses a wide array of high-quality rounds designed for versatility and reliability across various shooting applications. Renowned for its balance of recoil, accuracy, and stopping power, the .38 Special remains a favored choice among law enforcement, recreational shooters, and self-defense practitioners. This selection offers everything from low-recoil target loads to high-performance defensive rounds, all from the industry’s most trusted brands.

Intended Use: The .38 Special is ideally suited for a broad spectrum of uses, including personal defense, target shooting, and law enforcement training. Its moderate recoil and effective stopping power make it accessible for shooters of all skill levels, while specialized loads cater to specific needs, from precision target shooting to robust self-defense applications.

Caliber/Size: Developed by Smith & Wesson in 1898, the .38 Special was originally designed to improve upon the earlier .38 Long Colt’s performance. It has since become one of the most popular and widely used revolver cartridges in the world, appreciated for its versatility and reliability in a variety of firearms, including revolvers and some lever-action rifles.

Performance Characteristics: The .38 Special is celebrated for its excellent balance of manageable recoil, accuracy, and stopping power, especially at close to medium ranges. Available in a range of loadings, from standard pressure to +P (overpressure) cartridges, shooters can select ammunition that matches their specific requirements for velocity, energy, and performance.

Material and Construction: .38 Special rounds are manufactured with high-quality materials, featuring brass casings and a variety of bullet types, such as full metal jacket (FMJ) for training, lead round nose (LRN) for target shooting, and jacketed hollow point (JHP) for self-defense. This diversity allows shooters to choose ammunition tailored to their shooting or defensive needs.

Brands and Manufacturers: Our .38 Special selection includes offerings from leading manufacturers like Federal, Atomic, Aguila, Hornady, and Remington. These brands are synonymous with quality and reliability, ensuring that shooters have access to the best possible ammunition for their firearms and applications.

A Brief History: The .38 Special has a long and storied history, serving as a standard law enforcement cartridge for much of the 20th century. Its adaptability and performance have allowed it to remain a popular choice even as newer cartridges have emerged, testament to its enduring effectiveness and reliability.


  1. Is .38 Special good for self-defense? Yes, the .38 Special is highly effective for self-defense, especially with modern defensive ammunition designed for optimal expansion and stopping power.
  2. Can .38 Special ammunition be used in .357 Magnum firearms? Absolutely, .38 Special rounds can safely and effectively be fired in firearms chambered for .357 Magnum, offering shooters a low-recoil alternative for practice and target shooting.
  3. How does .38 Special +P compare to standard .38 Special? .38 Special +P cartridges are loaded to higher pressures than standard .38 Special ammunition, resulting in increased velocity and stopping power. They should only be used in firearms rated for +P ammunition to ensure safety and optimal performance.

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