Dear Ralph:

Thank you for the very kind note and the words on the blog.

Regarding you great questions:

[Are] hollow point is really worth it

I don’t count on them expanding either. Not out of short barrels, but I still use them in most (90%) of my self-defense guns because 1) they might help in a fight and 2) they are less ricochet prone making them safer for others down range. 

My guns seem to shoot better with the lighter bullets.

After reliability my #1 demand for a round is accuracy.  I would rather know I can hit with a .38 that is accurate but is not well regarded as a fight stopper than fight with a round that is famous as a fight stopper but is inaccurate. It is that whole “a hit with a .22 beats a miss with a .44” thing.

Is the +P ammo worth it? 

Only if A) you are accurate with it and B) you enjoy shooting with it and C) you feel it gives you disproportional fight stopping ability and D) you can afford to train with the round often.

For me the answer to most of those questions is “no” – so for the most part I stick with standard pressure. There are some exceptions. In the winter when I am wearing a heavier coat over a bigger, heavier snub I will often go for the +P – but that is a specialized situation.

Buffalo says that they have a round just made for the 2″ snubbies.

Almost all my self-defense ammo is Buffalo Bore. I find that have something that will be very accurate out of each one of me snubbies.  I use wad-cutters for my wife’s gun. Non +P hollow points in my light weight Colts and AirWeight Smiths. I sometimes use their +P lead hollow points in the bad weather (see above.) For almost all my reloads I carry their non +P jacket hollow points. I can load them into any of my snubs and the ojive jacket makes them fast to reload.

Any thoughts on their 158-gr HP rounds? 

I love their +p and non +P lead hollow point. Again I put accuracy on the top of the “what ammo must-do” list only after reliable. In my snub I find they are reliable, accurate, have a low muzzle flash but they are a little expensive for some. Always test ammo first out of your gun with your shooting skills. Never go with what gun writer “X’ said or wrote until you test it personally. Chances are that neither he nor his shooting skills will be riding with you when the fight starts.

My cheep practice target is a expired 12 ga shotgun shell

You have empty 12-gauge shells to practice on?!? – You rich guys have everything!

Is there a hammer shield available for my Charter Arms?

Yes. The hammer shroud for the J-frame S&W will generally fit if your Charter Arm’s snub if it is a five shot .38/.357.

Would it be worth replacing the hammer with a bobbed one and making the gun DAO? 

I prefer the shroud over the bobbed spur. I also require a DAO hammer on all my self-defense snubs. But remember that buying the shroud, paying the gunsmith to attach it and paying to have the hammer rendered DAO can add up quickly.

Charter Arms used to offer a DAO/bobbed hammer for some of their guns.  You could call them about installing/buying a factory part but again the cost to the FedEx shipping to and from can add up quickly too.  I might consider a local gunsmith and price the cost for bobbed the spur and rendering the hammer DAO.

I hope that info helped.

Let me know if I missed any items.


Michael de Bethencourt