Best 38 Special Ammo 2020: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Sellier & Bellot 2. FMJ 357 Mag 3. Fiocchi Designed
Sellier & Bellot 158 Grain Best 38 Special AmmoTula 50 rounds 158 Grain FMJ 357 MagFiocchi Designed 142 Grain FMJ 357 Mag 1000 Rounds

Over the years, many changes have been introduced to the bullet designs and types. With new features and compatibility levels, you can see several variations in the ammos. However, one particular ammo that has been the same all through these years is the .38 cartridge.

This kind of bullet is best suited for the revolvers or short hand guns, and they are mainly known for their extra long cartridge and high grain number. Because of these two primary reasons, you can now look into more than a handful of best 38 special ammo in the market.


Now as we said, there are a lot of different ammos having the size of .38 caliber. Each of these ammos are known for their special features like high accuracy, reliability, and high impact penetration.

Considering this, we have discussed here some of the top best 38 special ammos that you can try for your revolver or simple handguns. Later, you will also come to know what factors you must consider while buying these ammos.

So, without wasting time, let’s dig into the ammunition details of some of the best options available out there!

Top 11 Best 38 Special Ammo 2020

1. Sellier & Bellot 158 Grain FMJ 357 Mag

Sellier & Bellot 158 Grain Best 38 Special AmmoComing from the Czech Republic, Sellier & Bellot is one of the leading manufacturers of ammos in varying ballistic coefficient and calibers of the bullets.

This particular mag is one of the most preferred one in the entire market, all thanks to the amazing features that it entails. The bullet has a full metal jacket style, where the core is made from lead while the outer harder shell material is brass.

It has a muzzle velocity of around twelve hundred feet per second, which is indeed quite impressive. The bullet has a caliber force of .357, which has been marked as one of the most powerful and lethal ammos in the market, specifically for range shooting.

The gliding action of the bullet in the air is clean and prompt, which sometimes makes it ideal for hunting and target practice in the wild.


  • Clean and accurate range shots
  • Higher levels of muzzle force and degree
  • Full jacket structure prevents damage in the inner lead component
  • Consistent shot patterns


  • Difficult to gain accuracy beyond thirty yards of shooting

2. Tula 50 rounds 158 Grain FMJ 357 Mag

Tula 50 rounds 158 Grain FMJ 357 MagThe 357 mag is one of the fastest and fiercest ammo bullets available till date. This is why special attention is given to all the bullets that are manufactured with this caliber, including this one from TulAmmo.

The company is based in Russia and has been designing different kinds of bullets for hunters and range shooters since almost a century. This particular bullet is one of the best 38 special ammos in the entire market.

The external jacket is made from a combination of both steel and copper which makes it one of the sturdiest 38 caliber ammos. The combination of the jacket elements protects the inner core lead material greatly and avoids fouling of the cartridge.

Also, due to the presence of the bimetal, the bullet will attract the magnets. Another prime feature of the ammo is its muzzle speed, which accounts for around thirteen hundred feet a second.


  • High grain content for heavier bullet structure
  • Integrated double metal full jacket cover style
  • Non corrosive outer body to increase longevity
  • Higher muzzle velocity for better penetration
  • Can be used for self defense, hunting, and range practicing


  • Price can be a problem for normal shooters
  • Not suitable for indoor range practicing

3. Fiocchi Designed 142 Grain FMJ 357 Mag 1000 Rounds

Fiocchi Designed 142 Grain FMJ 357 Mag 1000 RoundsAnother popular name in the ammunition market is that of the Fiocchi company. It has its operating base in Italy, which makes it quite famous. After all, the Italian police is said to have perfection in almost every kind of ammos. Now, coming to this bullet package, its features and advantages have made it one of the best 38 special ammos in the market.

The structure of the bullets resembles a truncated cone, which helps the range and target shooters to make more consistent and prominent holes. If you want to buy this ammo round package for hunting, this will be quite economical, all thanks to its reasonable price and higher penetration power.

The holes created by the truncated cone leaves a devastating trail, and hence are suitable for larger prey hunting. It has an incredible muzzle speed which accounts to fifteen hundred feet per second- an amazing number for long-distance shots.


  • Full jacket metal body to protect the inner core material
  • Long caliber bullet with brass casings
  • A money saver package with a thousand rounds
  • Increased muzzle velocity to provide more penetration power
  • Best for long-range shooting


  • Not quite good for home defense due to high penetration power
  • Recoil sometimes becomes unmanageable

4. 38 Special 50 Rounds Federal American Eagle 130 Grain FMJ

38 Special 50 Rounds Federal American Eagle 130 Grain FMJThe Federal American Eagle is quite a reputed brand in the entire ammunition market, because of which ignoring their 375 mag will be foolish. This is why this particular bullet provides an unforgettable experience to the hunters without fail. The lightweight nature of the bullet is due to the reduced grain value of its mag.

The casing is made from a hardy material that protects the inner lead material, thereby preventing the fouling of the bullet. This is indeed a perfect choice for recreation target shootings and self defense in the range shooting arenas. The casing has anti-corrosive property, which keeps the lead safe and hence prevents the spread of toxicity in the core element.


  • Non-corrosive brass material used in the outer casing
  • Best bullet ammos for recreational activities at a low price
  • Lightweight bullets due to reduced grain quantity


  • Reduced muzzle speed to around eight hundred feet per second is not that much beneficial
  • Cannot be used for wild hunting or heavy target shoots

5. Remington UMC 158 Grain LRN 50 Rounds 38 Special

Remington UMC 158 Grain LRN 50 Rounds 38 SpecialRemington is one of the most popular names in the firearm and ammunition market. Starting from bullets to chokes, the company manufactures a lot of things.

Since the demand for the best 38 special ammos is higher, the company took the initiative to create a bullet that is perfect from almost every side. For example, if you want to have the 38 caliber ammo only for close distance target shooting, this is the perfect ammo pack, since its reduced muzzle force will help you to control the shot.

This particular bullet ammo has a LRN structure lead round nose too, which means that the bullet doesn’t have an outer casing cover made from a harder material. The entire structure is made from lead and it grayish in color.

Also, it has a rounded tip with no sharp edges or conical points. The cases are reloadable, which makes it one of the perfect ammos for everyday practice sessions. After the impact, the lead bullet does expand till a decent amount without a doubt.


  • Highly cost-effective, hence good for budget minded people
  • No breaking of the shot bank with the reduced muzzle speed
  • Expandable lead nose on the bullet’s tip
  • Can be used for versatile purposes, starting from self defense to house defense and others


  • Naked lead body means higher degree of toxicity
  • Low amount of bullet speed, hence not perfect for pro players

6. Sellier & Bellot 50 Rounds 148 Gr Lead Wadcutter 38 Special

Sellier & Bellot 50 Rounds 148 Gr Lead Wadcutter 38 SpecialSellier & Bellot is certainly one of the most popular names in the world, thanks to the amazing ammunition it is providing since the past century. Their products are known for unique features and high quality. Perhaps for this reason shooters and hunters prefer the .38 bullets from Sellier & Bellot having a special technology.

The bullet’s design is based on the famous wadcutter technology, according to which the structure has an almost flat shape. This will give you an advantage for close range shooting and paper target practicing. Along with this, the muzzle velocity of the bullets is sub sonic in nature, which means that the noise produced at the time of shooting is minimal and wouldn’t cause distraction.

It has a mix of brass casing and inner lead material, which provides an average but commendable penetration power. However, the weight of the bullet is perfect, having a grain value of hundred and forty-eight.


  • Perfect ammo collection for beginners and amateur hunters
  • Best for paper target practice in shooting arena
  • Has the original wadcutter design
  • Brass casing present to avoid fouling of the bullet
  • Non-corrosive outer casing


  • Price could have been more affordable
  • Not perfect for hunting in the wild
  • Less muzzle speed to reduce impact expansion

7. Remington HTP 110 Grain SJHP 50 Rounds 357 Mag

Remington HTP 110 Grain SJHP 50 Rounds 357 MagRemington is a well-known name in the firearm market, thanks to the unique features of their ammunitions, be it the rifles, shotguns, chokes, or .357 Mag bullets. This particular bullet package has become people’s favorite, thanks to the improvised features that have made hunting and target practice more exhilarating. The bullet has the semi jacketed hollow point structure, because of which its penetration power has greatly increased to some real commendable levels.

The stopping power of the bullets upon impact is almost relevant to the normal bullets, but with an improved expansion limit. The jacket is built only partially to ensure that you can have more control over the patterns created by the bullets after impact. These features make it the best ammo for your target range practice. It has a well-improvised muzzle velocity, having the value of around thirteen hundred feet per second. With such a high velocity, you can easily practice in the wild.


  • High degree of penetration and expansion of the bullet upon impact
  • Can leave the muzzle with more than thousand feet a second
  • Appropriate ammos for both self defense and wild hunting
  • Semi-jacketed hollow point structure to make shots more precise and accurate
  • Little chances of fouling due to partial external case


  • Price could have been a little lower

8. BlazerBrass Designed 50 Rounds 357 Mag 158 Gr JHP

BlazerBrass Designed 50 Rounds 357 Mag 158 Gr JHPBlazer Brass is one of the most popular product lines of ammos from none other than the CCI brand- a reputed American brand under the parent company of ATK. So, your Mag 357 from this brand is obviously going to be super reliable and amazing. This bullet is best for practicing target shots and range shooting. You can even use them for hunting in the wild, provided you have an ultimate control over the mag.

The bullet has a jacketed hollow structure, which means that the ammo is going to expand rapidly the moment it hits its target. Since it will expand immediately, no chances of over penetration will be there, thereby making a clean and swift shot. The presence of jacket reduces any chances of bullet fouling. The muzzle velocity is incredible, having a value of around thirteen hundred feet per second.


  • Protective brass casing to reduce corrosion and bullet fouling
  • Higher muzzle speed to allow you to practice long distance shooting
  • Built with the jacketed hollow structure for better expansion
  • No chances of over penetration


  • Can be difficult to penetrate into thick surfaces
  • Bit expensive as compared to other names

9. Remington Golden Saver 25 Rounds 125 Grain JHP 357 Mag

Remington Golden Saver 25 Rounds 125 Grain JHP 357 MagAnother amazing .38 caliber ammo from Remington is the Golden Saver. It has twenty-five rounds of ammo and will help you in both hunting and tactical defense learning. The bullet is of the jacketed hollow point type, which means that you will be able to avoid cases of extra penetration upon impact with the target.

The muzzle velocity is near to twelve hundred feet a second, which is indeed super fast and will help the bullet to glide through the air easily. Dual metals have been used in the manufacturing of the case- nickel and brass.


  • Lightweight due to reduced grain quantity
  • Casing made from two different but strong metals and alloys
  • Provides high muzzle velocity for long range shooting


  • Compared to the speed, the energy of the muzzle is not so commendable

10. Remington High Terminal Performance 50 Rounds 38 Special

Remington High Terminal Performance 50 Rounds 38 SpecialIf you love Remington and want to try an amazing .38 special ammo from their collection, you got to buy these ammos for your target shooting and hunting practice sessions. The bullet has a semi jacketed hollow point structure, which is a real treasure, especially when you are considering buying an average speed bullet. With the semi-jacket, you will have more control over the shot, and hence it will be clear and mess-free.

The bullet’s design has the +P pressure feature, which will help you to gain more penetration and a perfect expansion pattern once the bullet will hit the target. The muzzle velocity is very close to a thousand feet per second, which is quite commendable for beginners and average players.


  • Bimetal casing for extra protection to the internal lead core
  • Based on the SJHP structure
  • Contains extra pressure points for further expansion and deeper penetration
  • Extremely lightweight with a hundred and ten grain


  • Muzzle energy could have been better
  • Not perfect for thinner or paper targets

11. Hornady Critical Defense 38 Special 25 Rounds

Hornady Critical Defense 38 Special 25 RoundsAnother famous name that we will discuss here is that of Hornady. It is one of the famous ammunition makers that is known to make the best 357 ammo. The structure of the bullet has an extra pressure point, which will help you to gain a better expansion and deeper penetration into the targets. This is why this particular bullet is excellent for long distance prey hunting activities.

The tip of the bullet is made with a patented soft polymer, due to which you can get consistent and trustworthy expansion patterns once the bullet hits the target. The bullets are reloadable too, and they have a reduce grain count.


  • Made from flex tip technology for consistent expansion patterns
  • Have high build-up pressure for deeper penetration
  • High muzzle force to allow smooth gliding of the bullet through air
  • Lightweight, thanks to the reduced grain


  • A little difficult to handle for beginners and amateurs

Factors To Look For When Choosing The Best 38 Special Ammo

We have discussed total eleven names here, each one having its unique feature set because of which it has become popular in the market. Now that you know some of the best options, here are a few things you must look for while buying a pack of ammo that might be perfect for you.

1. Muzzle Force And Velocity

The first thing you need to consider is the muzzle velocity of the bullet. Actually, it is the speed with which the bullet leaves the firearm. Higher the speed, more will be penetration and vice versa. But with less speed, you will have better control. So, you have to decide depending on your shooting needs and skill level.

2. Bullet Structure Type

As you can see from the above ammos, the bullets can have different structure styles. So, you need to select the structure as per your requirement. For example, if you are planning to practice on normal paper targets, you have to buy the wadcutter type bullets. Similarly, for strong ammo, you need the full jacket metal designs. For this reason, it will be better to know everything about the bullet structure types and then choose the ammos.

3. Penetration And Expansion Power

Penetration is defined as the distance the bullet will travel inside the target and the expansion power is defined by the impact radius. For the best 38 special ammos, the penetration should be medium or immediate to ensure that no over penetration is happening. Next, the expansion power should be quite incredible for preventing any messy damage to the structure.

4. Casing Jacket

Last, you have to look for the perfect casing jacket. If you want double protection, the bimetal jackets will be perfect. For normal ammos, the copper or brass jacket cover will be appropriate.

Choose The Best 38 Special Ammos Now Using This Guide!

We clearly are familiar with the dilemmas people face at the time of choosing the best 357 ammo. A single wrong decision can encourage them to make a wrong choice even after spending so much of money and effort. This is why our buying guide has been structured in a way that you will get all the information about the 38 caliber bullets you need to start practice shooting.

So, choose the best bullets and have a happy range shooting practice!


Q1. Are All .38 Caliber Ammos Offer Short Penetration Distance?

No, if the ammo is marked as +P, it will produce deeper penetration levels without overdoing it. The +P means extra compressed pressure, because of which it covers more distance inside the target.

Q2. Will A SJHP Ammo Cause Fouling In My Bullets?

Since the jacket is partially build, there are a little chance of fouling in the bullets.

Q3. What Kind Of Ammo Will I Need For Hunting?

For hunting purposes or target shooting purposes, you will need .38 ammo with greater muzzle force and velocity rating, preferably above 1000 fps.

Q4. Can I Use 38 Special Ammos For Self-Defense?

Yes, due to their great penetration power, they can be appropriate for self-defense purposes without causing any lethal harm to the attacker.