Federal Premium Ammunition will be re-introducing the Nyclad in .38 Special at the 2009 SHOT Show according to the folks at the Pro Arms Podcast. During a show on “snub nosed” revolvers, one of the participants made the announcement.
The Nyclad line of ammunition was developed several decades ago and became popular as one of Federal’s self defense lines of cartridges. The .38 Special self defense load was a 125 grain, standard pressure round that featured a soft-lead bullet with a very deep hollow point. The bullet was coated in a jacket of polymer, similar to nylon, that allowed the bullet to reliably expand all even low velocities.
Many experts feel the 125 grain Nyclad hollow point was the best standard pressure cartridge loaded for the .38 Special. It offered excellent expansion with a relatively light recoil in even the lightest of revolver frames. My own informal testing seemed good out of a model 642 Smith and Wesson (1 7/8″ barrel), and Evan Marshall’s research tended to show good results in the street.
Until Federal confirms or denies this information, it is merely a juicy rumor at this point. I have seen a lot of people snap up the remaining old-stock of Nyclad whenever it has shown up at AmmoMan and other places. I suspect it will sell very well if re-introduced.
Update: Federal did re-introduce the Nyclad. More information is in this post: Federal Nyclad Ammunition in .38 Special Reintroduced at 2009 SHOT Show.
The re-introduced Nyclad is a .38 Special load that uses a 125 grain hollow point bullet. The load is rated at 830 fps, which is in line with the original Nyclad load. Federal designed this load for reliable expansion at low velocity. While it would not be my first choice for personal protection, it is a great choice for anyone who carries a .38 and needs a low recoil load due to injury or infirmity.
Check out this video showing how well this load performs in gel through the denim test.