38 Special

If you are a firearms enthusiast, then you are likely familiar with the 38 Special. It is a classic revolver cartridge that has been a favorite among shooters for decades. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the history, ballistics, uses, and popular firearms chambered in 38 Special.

The History of the 38 Special

The 38 Special cartridge was introduced by Smith & Wesson in 1898. It quickly gained popularity due to its versatility and effectiveness. Originally designed for revolvers, it has stood the test of time and remains a popular choice for both law enforcement and civilian use.

Ballistics and Performance

The 38 Special typically fires a bullet weighing 125 grains at a velocity of around 800 feet per second. This combination offers a good balance of manageable recoil and effective stopping power, making it suitable for self-defense and target shooting.

Uses of the 38 Special

One of the primary uses of the 38 Special is for self-defense. Its manageable recoil and proven stopping power make it a popular choice for concealed carry and home defense. Additionally, it is also used in competitive shooting sports due to its accuracy and reliability.

Popular Firearms Chambered in 38 Special

Several iconic firearms have been chambered in 38 Special, including the Smith & Wesson Model 10 and the Colt Detective Special. These revolvers have earned a reputation for their durability and smooth shooting characteristics.

Choosing the Right Ammunition

When selecting ammunition for your 38 Special revolver, it’s essential to consider your intended use. For self-defense, hollow point bullets are a popular choice due to their ability to expand upon impact, creating larger wound channels. For target shooting, full metal jacket bullets are a cost-effective option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The History Behind The 38 Special Caliber?

The 38 Special caliber was developed by Smith & Wesson in 1898, known for its accuracy and versatility.

What Are The Common Uses Of A 38 Special Revolver?

The 38 Special revolver is commonly used for self-defense, target shooting, and law enforcement purposes.

How Does The 38 Special Caliber Compare To Other Calibers?

The 38 Special caliber is known for its manageable recoil and accuracy, making it popular among shooters.

Can A 38 Special Revolver Be Used For Concealed Carry?

Yes, the compact size and reliability of 38 Special revolvers make them suitable for concealed carry.


The 38 Special has cemented its place in firearms history as a reliable and versatile cartridge. Whether you are a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of firearms, the 38 Special offers a timeless appeal that continues to endure.

For more information on firearms, ammunition, and shooting sports, stay tuned to our blog for the latest updates and insights.

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