.38 Smith & Wesson Special (.38 SW Special)
This cartridge was introduced in 1902 as a stretched, more powerful version of the older .38 SW cartridge. It quickly became very popular in USA, and during better part of the 20th century it was the most widely used revolver cartridge there, for both civilian and police applications. It was also issued to certain military personnel, most notably to USAF and USN pilots during 1950s and 1960s.
It is still quite popular and is currently produced by many ammunition manufacturers worldwide in a large number of versions, with loadings especially intended for target shooting, practice or self-defense. It must be noted that modern ‘high pressure’ rounds, usually marked with +P suffix, are NOT suitable for older revolvers, designed for standard pressure loadings.
Designation Manufacturer Bullet weight, g Muzzle velocity, m/s Muzzle energy, J Comments
JHP Remington 7.12 290 299 modern loading
JHP +P High Velocity Federal 8.36 290 346 modern high pressure loading with Hydra Shok bullet
LSWC +P Remington 10.2 270 374 modern high pressure loading