.38+P vs. .357 Mag. Airweight Revolver

This is a discussion on .38+P vs. .357 Mag. Airweight Revolver within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have read many post about .38+P vs. .357 Mag. as defensive options in airweight revolver's, and it seems most folks prefer to load with ...

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Thread: .38+P vs. .357 Mag. Airweight Revolver

  1. #1
    Member Array sigbear's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    .38+P vs. .357 Mag. Airweight Revolver

    I have read many post about .38+P vs. .357 Mag. as defensive options in airweight revolver's, and it seems most folks prefer to load with the .38+P, because you can (without a doubt) get off 2 or 3 follow up shots faster, however, "what if" there were 2 or three BG's?, if it potentially may take 2 or 3 shots to put down ea. BG you would be in big trouble. I realize the Airweight (got one 360 w/3 1/8" brl.) with a .357 mag. load gives a nasty kick, and it ain't no range gun, but, even though your follow up shots are slower, 1 well placed shot should stop a BG in his tracks versus 2 or 3 well placed shots from a .38+P load. I just feel more comfortable with the bigger load. I always shoot 50-100 rounds of .38 for target and then the last 5 shots are .357 mag. 125gr., I shoot about 1-2" further away from center than with the .38.

    Where am I going wrong?

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Where am I going wrong?
    Well imho your first step down that road is the assumption that any handgun will stop anyone with one shot. Carry and load what you are comfortable with , just dont factor one shot stops into that comfort factor .
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    I have a Taurus 2" .357 which weighs about 24 ounces loaded.

    It's comfortable to shoot with full 158gr .357 loads.

    I also have a 14 ounce Kel-tec 9mm.
    I need a LOT more practice to shoot it well.

    Life is a series of Trade-offs
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  4. #4
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Concetrate more on what you can shoot well. A .357 can be downloaded to .38's , while a .38 can not be uploaded. Either way, you only get 5 , so make em count.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  5. #5
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    +1 to Rocky's comments....

    ...have you tried firing some .357 Mag. 110 grain JHP loads? Lighter kicking than the 125 grain JHPs.
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  6. #6
    Member Array Coach's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    You might want to try DPX from Corbon. In my 340PD, the 110 grain 38+P recoils less than any +P I've tried and their 125 grain 357 DPX is a mild load compared to other 357's in such a light gun. After much thought and experimenting, the first 2 rounds in mine are the 38+P and the next 3 are the 357. I know the first 2 can be fired quickly on target and adrenalin will absorb the 357's slightly greater recoil if they are necessary. By the way, I never tried 110 grain 357's since Smith & Wesson states right on the barrel to use a minimum bullet weight of 120 grains due to possible bullet pull. In phone conversations with Smith & Wesson, they state the minimum bullet weight applies ONLY to 357 magnum and NOT to 38 special.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    May 2006
    I think you should also chrony the .38 and .357 loads you are thinking about using. A lot of people are suprised to find out that in 2" barrels, the .357 doesn't give you near as much of an advantage as you think.

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