Pros: Good, cheap target ammo.
Cons: Will impact below the point of aim for many revolvers.
The .38 Special revolver has been a workhorse for American shooters for generations. It has served as a police revolver, "nightstand gun" and a general use target gun.
Even with the ascendency of the automatic pistol, the classic wheelgun still has fans who appreciate its reliability and ease of use.
This review is of the American Eagle .38 Special 130 gr FMJ load. The American Eagle brand name is the low cost ammunition manufactured by Federal and sold in a red box. American Eagle ammunition generally gives good performance for value priced ammunition.
The American Eagle brand ammunition is all brass cased and uses standard Boxer primers. This allows the empty cases to be reloaded by the home reloader.
This is a target load best suited for informal target shooting or "plinking" and general revolver practice. The full metal jacket prevents the lead bullet from leaving lead deposits in the barrel of your revolver.
While I've found the American Eagle .38 Special 130 grain cartridge to have acceptable accuracy for informal target shooting, I wouldn't recommend it for serious competitive shooting, like that done in NRA Bullseye competition.
The only downside to this particular load is the bullet weight. This is a 130 grain projectile and most fixed sight revolvers are sighted in at the factory for the heavier 158 grain round. This means that the lighter bullet will generally impact below the point of aim when compared to the heavier round. In practice I've noticed that the 130 grain standard pressure loads tend to hit about 3" or 4" inches below point of aim at 25 yards. At closer ranges, of course, the difference is not as noticeable.
Unlike other value priced .38 Special amm, I have never had problems with failures to fire when using the American Eagle ammuniiton. I assume that the primers are more sensitive then those used on some other brands, but that is speculation on my part. I just know that this ammo works and provides good value for the money for general target shooting.
Here are some of my other ammo reviews.
Personal defense revolver ammunition:
Speer .38 Special +P 135 gr GD SB - Ammo for snub revolvers
Blazer .357 Magnum 158 gr JHP's for target shooting with "Magnum Force."
Winchester .38 Special +P 125 gr Silvertip ammo is not for Werewolves
Winchester .38 Special 110 gr Silvertip ammo is a good standard pressure load
Target revolver ammunition:
American Eagle .38 Special 158 gr LRN ammo
Winchester .38 Special 130 gr FMJ ammo - You can do better
Personal defense ammo for semi-auto pistols:
Winchester Ranger SXT RA9TA 9mm Luger 127 gr +P+ is a top defensive load
Federal C9BP 9x19mm 115 gr JHP is a great standard pressure defensive load
Winchester 9mm Luger 115 gr Silvertip is a good standard pressure load
Winchester .45 ACP JHP's for target shooting or self defense
Economical target ammo:
Blazer 9mm pistol ammo: Blaze away with cheap bulk ammo for target practice
Winchester White Box 9mm 115 gr FMJ ammo is good, cheap target ammo
Remington UMC Mega Pak 9mm ammo is good bulk ammo
Blazer Brass 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, cheap ammo for shooters on a budget
Sellier & Bellot 9mm Luger ammunition - An OK plinking round
Federal American Eagle 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, economical bulk target ammo
Winchester White Box 9mm FMJ ammo is 50 rounds of good, cheap practice ammo
American Eagle 9mm 147gr FMJ FP for target shooting
Winchester Win Clean 9mm bulk ammo for lead free target shooting
American Eagle 9mm 147 gr TMJ ammo reduces the risk of heavy metal poisoning
Blazer .45 Auto pistol ammo for 1911 pistols or other .45 ACP guns
American Eagle .45 Auto (.45 ACP) for the classic American 1911 pistol
The Winchester .45 ACP 230 gr FMJ load is a good budget ammo choice
Blazer Brass .45 ACP 230 gr ammo is good, inexpensive fodder for semi-auto pistols
American Eagle .45 ACP 230 gr TMJ ammo reduces toxic chemical exposure
9x18mm Makarov FMJ ammo by American Eagle for the pistol of the Russian Bear
Wolf Military Classic 9x18mm Makarov ammo - Avoid at all costs
Winchester Super-X .22 LR target ammo for .22 plinking