Planning to carry .38sp in my .357 and why

This is a discussion on Planning to carry .38sp in my .357 and why within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As I become comfortable with my S&W 686 4", I have decided to make it my primary carry when I decide what holster to get. ...

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Thread: Planning to carry .38sp in my .357 and why

  1. #1
    Member Array Biomortis's Avatar
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    Planning to carry .38sp in my .357 and why

    As I become comfortable with my S&W 686 4", I have decided to make it my primary carry when I decide what holster to get. After spending some time at the range though, I have decided that my carry ammo will probably be .38sp instead of .357 magnums but not because of any handling or recoil issues. I am trying to go easy on my ears.

    My reasoning is that most likely, if I have to defend myself, its going to be inside my store. When shooting the .38sp, they feel like a pellet gun compared to the .357 not to mention the shock wave I feel on my face. Having excellent hearing is vital to my job and I can't walk around all day with ear plugs in.

    I am confident enough with my shot placement that the .38 rounds will be sufficient while reducing the likelihood of permanent hearing damage. Any thoughts?
    Glock 22 (G2) & 27 (G3)
    S&W 686 .357 4" Stainless Pre-lock
    Ruger 10/22
    Marlin Model 65 .22LR - 1968
    Remington Model 31 16ga - 1932
    Remington 1900 12ga - 1904

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    Any self defense boils down to what you feel comfortable with.
    When I count on my Model 66 for defense, which is only within the confines of home, I keep .357 Magnum jhp's in it, and shoot a cylinder or two of those through it every time I take it to the range. But most of my range time with that gun is with the .38 specials. I believe there was some discussion around here some time ago that pointed out that continuous, often and large amounts of .357 magnum rounds is not really recommended.
    JMHO.
    I'm in favor of gun control -- I think every citizen should have control of a gun.
    1 Thess. 5:16-18

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    Ex Member Array Kerby's Avatar
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    You thought it out and have your answer, I could not agree more...

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Reasonable logic with real and practical application. My carry revolver is a M64 38spl loaded with heavy bullets. The 38spl has been doing it for a long time, and is only getting better. You are well armed sir.

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    How many times a year do you have to discharge your firearm in self defense without ear plugs? I would rather have the faster bullets.

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    Member Array rks2's Avatar
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    My girlfriends has Ruger SP101 and at practice, she use .38special but for personal defense, she uses .357 Magnum. Because, she probably will shoot just once or twice.
    Got Sig? SP2022

    If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?

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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    I sometimes carry a S&W Mod. 36 but after reading the article on the FBI Miami Shootout 1986....I'm thinkin' it's like throw out those 38 Cal. rounds. The old addage "In A GUN FIGHT YOU"LL WANT THE BIGGEST GUN YOU CAN FIND" seems to be right on.....
    I also carry a Combat Commander .45ACP most of the time but I certainly wouldn't discount the .357 Mag. because your concerned about hearing.......I'm thinkin' your main concern would be to
    "Stop The Threat....Now"......else you might not be hearing anything else ......period.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Both the .38 and .357 are loud enough to harm unprotected hearing. In a gunfight I doubt it will matter, but if it gives you confidence or prevents you flinching then go to it.
    Try not to screw up so bad they name the screw up after you. (Station 15 saying)

    NRA Certifed Instructor

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Its your choice , so you must do what you feel best.
    Some points for consideration.
    A revolver is a lower capacity weapon.
    A revolver will be slower with followup shots, in that they are all DA.
    A revolver is slower to reload.
    I don't consider the above to be disqualifing factors, but...in light of them I want the best possible effect from each round. That to me indicates the .357 mag round over the .38 special.
    As previously mentioned, the amount of unprotected shooting, will in all probability be extremely limited.
    When I carry a revolver it is loaded with .357 mag loads for the reasons indicated.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Member Array zip777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    How many times a year do you have to discharge your firearm in self defense without ear plugs? I would rather have the faster bullets.
    Agree 100%. I will add I even shoot more accurately with .38 than .357 at 25 feet...significantly better...but most SD situations are less than 15 where I would be point shooting and I know I can group well with either bullet.

    I tend to practice most with the .38 rounds and run a few rounds of .357 thru her right before I leave so I can feel the difference. Even if you need to squeeze off 5 rounds in a SD situation once a year (and if so you might want to sell your store if it's that dangerous) I don't think you would have significant hearing damage either way.

    When very young I once shot 100...that's right 100 rounds of 16 gauge skeet shooting with no protection. Although VERY stupid - and me ears did ring for 6 months - my hearing is still good. 100 rounds out of a shotgun vs 5 out of a pistol?? Personally I wouldn't sweat it.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ghettokracker71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Its your choice , so you must do what you feel best.
    Some points for consideration.
    A revolver is a lower capacity weapon.
    A revolver will be slower with followup shots, in that they are all DA.
    A revolver is slower to reload.
    I don't consider the above to be disqualifing factors, but...in light of them I want the best possible effect from each round. That to me indicates the .357 mag round over the .38 special.
    As previously mentioned, the amount of unprotected shooting, will in all probability be extremely limited.
    When I carry a revolver it is loaded with .357 mag loads for the reasons indicated.
    Agreed. Unfortunately personally I couldn't afford an M&P340 , and didn't realize how inexpensive the Taurus .357MAG snubbies were, so I have a S&W 442 which is "only" a .38SP+p, but I carry +p for this reason.

    I have thought about selling it for a .357MAG for the reasons you mention, Guantes.


    "To blame a gun for a mans decision is to foolishly attribute free will to an inanimate object"- Colion Noir.

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    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    Wife and I like .38+P in my (uh her) M605 .357 snubbie. It bangs hard but not like the .357 ammo.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. PSALM 144:1

    I CLING to my guns and my Bible.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Here is a web site that may help you solidify your decisions based on the hearing impact. The difference may or may not be enough for the loss of performance.

    http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml

    I admire you for determining what is most important to you and sticking by it. Good logic from what I see.

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    Member Array zip777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Its your choice , so you must do what you feel best.
    Some points for consideration.
    A revolver is a lower capacity weapon.
    A revolver will be slower with followup shots, in that they are all DA.
    A revolver is slower to reload.
    I don't consider the above to be disqualifing factors, but...in light of them I want the best possible effect from each round. That to me indicates the .357 mag round over the .38 special.
    As previously mentioned, the amount of unprotected shooting, will in all probability be extremely limited.
    When I carry a revolver it is loaded with .357 mag loads for the reasons indicated.
    I missed this response the first time around. EXCELLENT perspective. You have 5 shots for the most part. At 0 to 15 feet that should be sufficient....but you will be moving...you will be less than calm (unless VERY highly trained)...so if you only hit 2 of 5 in this scenario MAKE SURE THEY COUNT.

    Again... .357 is my choice as well.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I don't agree at all, in an SD situation you want what's most effective. Period. Your hearing is not going to disappear or be harmed in "ONE" situation of shooting the gun with .357's in it. If that were true, I would have been deaf by the time I was 12 yrs old... being around them all of the time when people didn't know what hearing protection was. If the .38's don't stop them, (read other thread on UNG being found Not Guilty ... shot a guy several times point blank range... and the other guy was still fighting and did not die either) .... you may get killed, but your hearing will be good.

    But, it's your choice .,.... and you do what feels good to you, as it's your life. Mine , is always loaded with .357's.

    I'ld rather put the advantage to my side and be alive , even if later I'm yelling "HUH? " a lot.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

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