If I were to compile a list of the Top 10 38 Special loads for defensive use, Corbon's 125 grain +P 38 Special load would rank in the Top 5. Having entered the law enforcement profession at the age of 19, my career spanned the transitional period from revolvers to semi-automatics. Although now retired from the professional, I can honestly say that never felt under equipped carrying a revolver. Particularly when I was permitted to load it with this excellent offering. The standard for a vast number of departments during those years was to down load their 357 revolvers with 38 Special +P loadings. The 125 grain +P was by and large the most common here in the South. These loads almost universally had a muzzle velocity of 950 fps and hovered around 250 ft lbs of energy using a semi-jacketed hollow point. Corbon's version surpasses the old standard by around 175 fps. They also use what I feel to be a better bullet design that is more suited for snub-nose revolvers. Velocity in snub-guns is crucial, as it directly impacts expansion and terminal performance in both the 38 Special, 357 Magnum, and 9mm. My own experience with this loading shows that it groups well out of snubbies like the Ruger SP101 and Smith & Wesson's numerous offerings. Recoil is very easy to manage, and I find that this load burns very clean compared to more traditional loadings. Muzzle flash is slightly noticable but no where near magnum levels, so use in low light levels is not an issue. The down range performance is always the final judge of how suitable a round is for defensive carry. In my years of using this loading I find that it expands extremely well, has a good energy transfer, and penetrates well enough to accomplish the task at hand. As always, the choice of what you load into your defensive revolver is ultimately your own to make. I can only say that this load at the +1000 feet per second mark works extremely well and is worth your consideration. - J. W.
My first exposure to Corbon ammuntion came when I was a patrol officer for a rural sheriffs office. Like many small departments in the South back then, the individual officer was responsible for the purchase of their own fire arm and ammunition that fit the departments policy guidelines. The revolver was still an approved firearm for duty carry at the time, and having just begun a carrier in police work it was the most affordable. Being restricted by departmental policy to using the 38 Special in either a 110 to 125 grain jacketed hollow point, I set out to find the best duty load I could get for my six-shooter. It wasn't long after this undertaking that I tested Corbon's 110 and later the 125 grain JHP's. In head to head test with other manufactures I found the Corbon to be the better performer for these bullet weights. The key to their performance rest in the bullet design and velocity. A .36 caliber round (be it 38Spl, 357, or 9mm) performs at its best when pushed to higher velocities. These higher velocities cause properly designed bullets in these calibers to expand dramatically. The Border Patrol performed extensive testing during the days when the revolver was their issued sidearm, and at one point issued the 110 grain 357 magnum round to its agents. Although Corbons offering in the 110 grain 38 Special is no magnum, the combination of good bullet design and higher velocities produce performance that is well within the same playing field. Expansion is typically excellent, recoil is a little snappy but easily controlled. Accurarcy was very good with sub 2 inch groups being common. These loads also produce more foot pounds of energy than their competitors in all the calibers I have tested. This increase in energy equates to better performance at the terminal end of the defensive equation. All in all, I have excellent experience with Corbon's 38 special loads over the course many years. As always the choice of what to load into your defensive sidearm is yours to make. I can only express that this is a high quality product that has been relied upon by many professionals that I have had the priviledge to work with over the years. - J. W.
At the range last night with Sig P226R Elite. Shooting mostely 180 gr FMJ rounds. When I shifted to a single magazine of the Corbon 135 gr JHP rounds, the guy in the pistol lane next to me asked me if I was shooting .45 rounds. The recoil and report were both much higher with the Corbon rounds. Since he couldn't see what I had pre-loaded in the magazine, it was a legitimate reaction. I had quite a few rounds through the Sig when I shifted to the Corbons making it pretty warm to the touch. No feed or ejection problems with these rounds. The muzzle energy of the rounds speak for itself. - R. M.
I just got my 40 cal Taurus a few weeks ago, and I have been shooting Winchester 180 grain FMJ through it. They do a fine job in the pistol, but I wanted something with a little more snap so I tried these Corbons and I got all the snap I wanted. A buddy of mine shoots a 45 acp and says the recoil of the Corbons in the 40 resembles the kick of a 45. These are now my personal and home defense rounds. Very impressed!! - T. M.