Federal Premium Ammunition re-introduced the Nyclad in .38 Special at the 2009 SHOT Show. Available only in .38 Special, the Nyclad round is a standard-pressure, self-defense load with a nylon clad 125 grain soft lead hollow point. The nylon coating allows the bullet to reliably expand at low velocities, unlike traditional copper jacketed hollow points which normally require faster velocities in the .355-.357 bullet size range.
The .38 Special loading pushes the 125 grain hollow point at 830 fps for a muzzle energy of 191 ft-lbs. While this may not seem like a real “manstopper,” keep in mind that the Nyclad proved to be excellent in its class. For a firearm not designed to handle +P pressures, or for someone that is especially recoil sensitive (such as someone who is arthritic), this is a mild recoiling cartridge that will reliably expand.
The Nyclad line of ammunition was developed several decades ago and made its way into one of Federal’s self defense lines of cartridges. The original .38 Special self defense load was a 125 grain, standard pressure round that featured a soft-lead bullet with a very deep hollow point. It appears that the new Nyclad ammunition will be a close copy of the original.
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.