Recommendations for .38 spl plinkers-NOT TULammo

Mar 25, 2013
So I picked up some TulAmmo steel cased 38 spl of course super cheap, 1,500 rounds. I was looking for something to practice shooting from the hip and other defensive shooting scenarios. I loaded 5 up into the cylinder of my 340pd and they felt like a .357 almost. All 5 cases were stuck in the cylinder. Had to hammer them out with a wooden dowel. So needless to say I’m not using the rest for that gun.

What I would find ideally are some cheap, brass, lead cast ‘cowboy’ loads that are easy on the gun and easy on my hand after many rounds at the range.

I’m now skeptical of all cheap ammo but I’m sure Someone here can recommend something that fits the bill.

Seriously, it doesn’t have to be match grade, jacketed, burn clean or anything. Just go bang and extract the way it’s supposed to, and be on the lighter end of things.

Also to clarify, I’m not asking for tips on where to find cheap ammo, I have found plenty. What I am looking for is some direction with regards to which ammo to stay away from, and which might come recommended by another hide member, based on my description, so I don’t go blowing another $300 for stuff I can’t use.

Anyone got a lead?
Dec 19, 2017
Winchester White box......or Remington Green/white box are probably the cheapest "decent" ammo youll find
Any thoughts on the Speer Lawman 158 TMJ? Luckygunner has it for $335-345/case depending if it's +P or not...

I just picked up 3 100 packs of the WWB FMJ from Bass Pro, with discount GCs and the rebate it's pretty cheap for plinking, but the rebate is only good on so much ($50 back?). Couldn't tell you how it shoots til I hopefully take my 360J to the range Sunday. The Speer looks good to me (cheap 'n' decent) although I have no idea why I personally would want a case to shoot out of my snubby.
Dec 14, 2008
I buy 99% of my plinking ammo from ive used their 9mm, 38 special, 45acp, and .223. it has all worked well, you never know what brass youll get. sometimes mixed headstamp, some times all the same. I've gotten some 223 all lake city brass, some 45 all nickel.


Confused Coffee Drinker
Feb 13, 2012
It is easy to get into reloading for the .38/.357 platform

A single stage press as dies won’t set you back much.

I use to load 147 grain HBWC as a light plinking load. Extremely accurate - using 700x

Reloading give you the ability to load to the minimum so leading is avoided and recoil is light.

If TUL is getting stuck, I wonder if you are shooting a ruger?
If you load once fired brass and point the muzzle up, will the shells fall out? If you load live Ammo and turn the muzzle slowly from down to up, and what point to shells start to slide out of the cylinder?

If the cylinders are rough, consider polishing them or having them polished by a smith

Check the forcing cones on the cylinders to make sure you don’t have excessive lead buildup.

You can also polish the cylinders if extraction is rough.

Most brass cased Ammo is fine to use... I have never used brass cased Ammo and had any issues with extraction

S+B was cheap the last time I picked up .38 Ammo
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Confused Coffee Drinker
Feb 13, 2012
On a side note, when I hear someone speak about shooting from the hip.... instead of shooting from count 3....

Have you taken any courses from shooting from concealment?

I’ll admit, I’ve have one friend shoot his support hand while doing what you described.

Stay safe

Vodoun daVinci

Sergeant of the Hide
Dec 17, 2017
I'll second the option of reloading - .38 Special on a single stage is actually fun for me. I'm shooting 125 gr. plated target hollow points (Berry's) and after 100 rounds the gun is so clean you can wipe it down and put it away. Plus I can hand load to match any recoil/velocity requirements *and* it runs around $7 per 50 rounds with recycled brass.

Great ammo for cheap. So cheap it pays for the press, dies, bullets, primers, and propellant.