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New to 38spl

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Psa1m144, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Psa1m144

    Psa1m144 Silverdale, Washington New Member

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    I just purchased a 1983 Colt Agent. This is the first revolver I have ever purchased with the intent of using it for carry purposes. It's going to be my BUG, I plan on changing the grips and getting an ankle holster.

    I just fired it for my first time on Tuesday and I'm really pleased, it is very accurate. I think the gun was fired a total of 4 times before the original owner put it in storage(for almost 30 years).

    Just wondering if anyone had any suggestions on the hollow-points out there for 38spl +p, maybe someone has a brand that works best in their Colt Agent? According to Colt, this gun can handle 1000rds of +p ammo before needing to be inspected, so in an effort not to stress the gun more than necessary I can't afford to try every type.

    (sorry about the poor picture quality, I spend all my money on guns not cameras :D)
    IMG_20120202_214110.jpg
    IMG_20120202_214048.jpg
     
  2. jakk586

    jakk586 Astoria, Or Active Member

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    Sweet gun. Hot ticket right now are the Speer 135gr gold dot short barrel load. I also like the Remington 125gr SJHP load. I use either in my S&W 642.
     
  3. wombat

    wombat Kirkland, WA Member

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    Nice to see an older Colt back in use!

    Take a look at Buffalo Bore - Heavy .38 Special +P Ammo - 158 gr. L.S.W.C.H.P. --G.C. SKU 20A/20. That's my carry load, although it's a S&W 642. I've used just a few of these +P rounds at the range just for the feel.
    For range use, I use Remington UMC 130gr. Will be trying Buffalo Bore's 158 gr. Soft Lead SWC-HC for range shortly. One persons opinion remember.

    +1 with jakk586, the Speer Gold Dots are very good to shoot (I had a 342PD at the time) for both range and for personal defense - a very good choice. Same brand saves $$$.
    Later for carry with the 342, I did switch to Glaser Safety Slugs. Try the Speer, you will be pleased and are more likely to find these at the local gunshop/range than Buffalo Bore (Cabela's).

    After 1000 rounds of +P, your Colt should be off to a smith or back to Colt for inspection.
    Make sure that ejector rod is in good working mechanical condition.

    I wonder if anyone at Colt these days remembers the Colt 38 Agent? Or only the Cobra ...
     
  4. Psa1m144

    Psa1m144 Silverdale, Washington New Member

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    Thanks for the input, the speer gold dots and the buffalo bore heavy were actually what I was looking at. I really like the ballistics of the buffalo bore but like you said I'm having trouble finding them, even midway doesn't carry them. The ejector rod works great, the gun is basically in mint condition...it's almost a shame to shoot it :) but I can't help myself, that is what it was made for.

    I may give Colt a call just for the heck of it to see if they still service these guns, just out of curiosity and future reference.
     
  5. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Clackamas County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You know, you might consider not getting on +p bandwagon so quickly with the older Colts that were not, quite frankly, designed for high pressure loads.

    The .38's in the era of the Colt Agent, Cobra and Detective Special were designed around the standard 158 gr SWC, as are the sights.

    Consider instead a load similar to this one for defensive use: Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Hvy .38 Spl (Non + P) Pistol & Handgun Ammunition

    You can shoot whatever you want for practice, but I prefer to stick with cheaper 158 gr SWC's solids in factory reloads for ordinary cheap practice fare. But, with any gun, it is still necessary to practice regularly with your actual defensive load. So running the risk of overstressing the frame with high pressure loads is something you might think about.

    If you really feel that a lower pressure load is somehow inadequate, then think about stepping up to a lightweight .357 snubby.

    You might also consider dumping the factory grips for something like these D frame boot-grips from Badger, especially if you are thinking ankle carry. The length of those original factory stocks will be a real pain with ankle carry or with pocket carry. They are much more hand-filling than the original and they will facilitate easier and more accurate quick shooting for most people, especially for short bobbed grips. If for some reason you want to stick with the originals, then get a Tyler T grip to supplement at least some of their deficiencies.

    Colt Pistol Grips
     
  6. wombat

    wombat Kirkland, WA Member

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    +1 with Natty;make sure it's ammo made for the short barrel 38. And changing the grips can make it easier to shoot and hold.

    I order Buffalo Bore direct from their website; great service and speedy shipping.
    Buffalo Bore Short Barrel

    Standard Pressure Short Barrel Low Flash Heavy .38 Special Ammo - 158 gr. Soft Lead SWC-HC (850fps/M.E. 253 ft. lbs.)
    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=110

    I've got 2 of these boxes on the way:
    38 SPL +P BUFFALO-BARNES LEAD-FREE 110 gr. BARNES TAC-XP @ 1,125 fps
    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=293

    Speer Short Barrel
    Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 38 Special +P 135gr. (860 fps/M.E.222 ft. lbs)
    http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/detail.aspx?loadNo=23921

    tnoutdoors ammo review on you tube
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLED7C307FC0D5B236&feature=plcp

    Lastly, go to you tube and have a watch of the ammo review vids by tnoutdoors ... like hickok45, these guys make you tube enjoyable.
    .38 Special and .380 ACP Ammo Tests - YouTube
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  7. Psa1m144

    Psa1m144 Silverdale, Washington New Member

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    As I mentioned in the original post, I am planning on changing the grips. The paperwork that came with the gun (original manual) states that the gun can handle 1000 rds of +p ammo before any concern is warranted.

    edit: I could be mistaken, but the earlier models without the ejector shroud were not rated for any +p use
     
  8. 2Z4

    2Z4 Milwaukie Active Member

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    Another vote for 135 grain Gold Dot. Everything I've read and tests I've seen say the Gold Dot is about the best out there for a snubnose. I will say shooting an airweight with +P is painful, hopefully your gun is different. If I had another pistol with that grip profile I would get a Tyler T-Grip for it.
     
  9. nitestocker

    nitestocker woodland washington Well-Known Member

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    ( Take a look at Buffalo Bore - Heavy .38 Special +P Ammo - 158 gr. L.S.W.C.H.P }


    I second these. they are very good rounds ive used them in my taurus 651 and my wife's colt diamondback