Freedom Munitions .38 Special XDEF Ammunition

Revolver fans have a new option in their search for ammo.

posted on June 9, 2023
Freedom Munitions .38 Special XDEF Ammunition

Freedom Munitions is expanding its XDEF line of defensive pistol ammunition with the introduction of a new .38 Special caliber offering for .38 and .357 Magnum revolvers (and certain Coonan semi-automatic pistols).

The .38 Special cartridge has been around for over a century, and got its start as a blackpowder round, but was quickly adapted to modern smokeless propellants at the turn of the 20th century. For generations, this was the go-to revolver cartridge, seeing service in both world wars (and countless actions) and was a staple in law enforcement in the United States until departments migrated over to semi-auto handguns. At the same time, it was also the staple of civilian shooters and gun owners. Guns like the new Taurus 856 TORO mounted optics revolver or the Taurus Executive Grade have somewhat sparked some new interest in these guns and the caliber.

Freedom Munitions XDEF cartridges are engineered from scratch for optimal penetration and weight retention qualities. Freedom Munitions loads these cartridges with bonded, expanding jacketed hollowpoint bullets. In the case of the new .38 Special XDEF load, the bullet can penetrate approximately 13 to 15 inches through clear ballistic gelatin and retain 99 percent of its original mass. Measured from a 6-inch test barrel, the Freedom Munitions .38 Special XDEF cartridge clocks in with a muzzle velocity of 925 feet per second.

In real world applications, one's choice of defensive revolver most likely has a barrel length shorter than 6 inches, so it is important to vet the cartridge through your chosen firearm before you trust your life to it, as expansion, especially in .38 Special, can be affected by varying barrel lengths and the attendant change in muzzle velocity.

These defensive revolver cartridges are loaded with brass casings and ship in boxes of 50 rounds, rather than the 20- or 25-round boxes commonly seen for defensive-cartridge packaging. A box of 50 cartridges retails for $33. For more information please visit


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