This in-stock .38 special ammunition for sale is a rimmed, centerfire round that was originally designed by Smith & Wesson at the end of the 19th century. .38 special ammo is most commonly used by revolver shooters today but the caliber has a rich history as it was the standard sidearm for most American police departments from the 1920’s to the early 1990’s and was also very common for soldiers to carry in World War I.
Despite the “.38 special” name, the cartridge itself is .357-.358 inches. The “.38” in the caliber title refers to the approximate diameter of the loaded brass case. .38 Special ammunition can be safely fired in revolvers chambered for .357 Magnum. However, you should know, the longer and more powerful .357 Magnum cartridge typically won’t fit in the chamber of a firearm designed to fire .38 Special ammunition.
There are several variations of .38 special ammunition including .38 short Colt, .38 long colt, .38 S&W special, and .38 special +P. Not all of these variations can safely be used in a firearm chambered for .38 Special so be sure to check with our customer service team or read your owner’s manual before ordering a non-standard round if you’re unsure. Bullets typically range from between 110 to 200 grain with corresponding velocities from as fast at 980 feet per second to 679 feet per second.
With history footed firmly in black powder technology, .38 special is an extremely low-pressure cartridge. In fact, at 17,000 PSI, it’s one of the lowest pressure rounds in use today. The 38 special was Introduced as a replacement and step-up from the .38 Long Colt, which proved inadequate for stopping Moro warriors during the Philippine-American War.
Despite the low pressure, there are thousands of hunters and target shooters that love .38 special rounds because of its accuracy and lack of harsh recoil. In fact, it's one of these most popular self-defense loads we sell at AmmoForSale.com --- but there are more modern rounds that have dethroned it as the "king of self-defense." One of those more modern rounds is 9mm Luger. To see how they stack up, check out our 38 SPL vs. 9mm comparison article here.