Federal Cartridge 38 Special 158 Grain LRN/50 - AE38B Reviews

Federal Cartridge 38 Special 158 Grain LRN/50 - AE38B

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American Eagle 38 Special 158 gr Lead RN: Federal Red Box for Value

Jan 10, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:38 Special, Quality, Accurate, Value Priced

Cons:None

The Bottom Line: Good target ammo for 38 revolvers. Accurate and reloadable brass cartridge cases at a reasonable price.


American Eagle 38 Special 158 gr Lead RN

These are American Eagle cartridges, the value line from Federal Cartridge Company that is favored by target shooters and plinkers.

American Eagle ammunition is made on the same production lines that Federal ammunition is, and the brass cases are marked Federal but the price is usually significantly less because the selection is limited to only cartridges that are sold in large volume, like these 38s, 9mm Luger, 45 ACP, and 5.56mm for range buffs like me who frequently target shoot. 

The American Eagle ammo is packaged in a red box and in fact is called by shooters "Federal Red Box" to distinguish it from the more pricey regular Federal ammunition that usually comes in silver boxes. It is along the same lines as the bargain priced ammunition from Winchester and Remington that are packaged in plainer boxes than their more expensive regular brand.

The 38 Special is one of the most popular chamberings in firearms used for personal protection.  Usually a pocket sized revolver is chosen like a 2 inch-barreled Smith & Wesson, Colt, Taurus, or Ruger are the most often seen brands.  These are the most popular firearms because they can be always with you in pocket or purse, just in case, if you feel the need.

The 38 Special was the most popular police firearm in America up until the adoption of autoloaders in the 1980s.  Now, uncounted 4 inch-barreled Colts and Smith & Wesson police revolvers have been sold to the public while the police carry various 9mm, 40 S&W, and .45 ACP autoloading pistols. All of these chamberings are available in American Eagle so you can take these firearms to the range too.

These cartridges come with brass cases so reloaders love them as Federal cases are very good.  The bullets are standard 158 gr Lead Round Nose which dates back to the first part of the 20th century.  The Federal autoloader ammo has full metal-jacketed bullets but these are pure soft lead as the revolver does not have any handling issues as an automatic might.  My wife told me I had issues so I've worked that word into my vocabulary as you see. ;>

This 158 gr Lead ammunition will often shoot to point of aim with a standard 38 Special revolver with fixed sights which is something you always ought to check.  Some of the high speed fancy ammo will not even get on paper because of the different bullet weights and you ought to know where your shootin arn is shootin because you may want to hit something with it.  I generally stick with the standard weight ammo in revolvers and autoloaders because of that reason.  The ballistic tables will lure some to try a higher performance loading but unless you can get it to print where the sights are looking it is not much fun to shoot.

I shot this in my Smith & Wesson Centennial snub nose 38 revolver.  The Centennial has a concealed hammer to avoid snagging on your clothing if you carry it.  I also have a larger Smith & Wesson Model 10 that I tried it in and it shoots quite well and to point of aim with fixed sights so this ammunition is loaded to factory specs.

When shooting, always wear ear protection and obey the four rules.

o All guns are loaded.
o Never point a gun at something you do not wish to destroy.
o Be sure of your back stop. Guns shoot through things.
o Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.


Recommend this product? Yes

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