What's the diff?

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  1. #1
    Member Array Skippys's Avatar
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    What's the diff?

    What's the difference between a Gold Dot .357mag for short barrel and a Gold Dot .38 +P?
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    38's fit into a 357 but 357 don't fit into a 38

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Simply the amount of powder and velocity. the .357 holds more powder in the cartridge therefore can reach higher velocities.

    If you want to carry for a snub, I recommend one of two loads:

    1. 158 gr. LSWCHP 38 +P the "fbi load"

    2. 135gr Speer Gold Dot for SB 38+P ( my choice )

    While .357 magnum is a potent load, out of the snubs there has been failed expansion and over penetration due to the failed expansion, hence due to the short barrel. The above two loads have been tested to expand consistently and penetrate to within the standards set by the FBI to cause maximum organ and tissue damage. Opinions may vary but that is mine based on what I have read and what I have seen. I realized that sometimes more velocity isn't the answer, finding the harmony between penetration and expansion is.

    Here is a good read by the late Stephen A. Camp:

    38 Snub Vs. .357 Snub


    and more by an industry expert that researches ballistics and it's affects for LEO agencies and the Military

    BUG's: .380 ACP vs. .38 Sp

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skippys View Post
    What's the difference between a Gold Dot .357mag for short barrel and a Gold Dot .38 +P?
    about 200 fps coming out of the barrel, and about twice the psi.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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    Member Array Skippys's Avatar
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    Perhaps I should have clarified my question. I have a .357 S&W m60 with 2 1/8" barrel. I know 38's fit into a 357 but 357 don't fit into a 38.

    My question is more about the difference in ballistics from a snub. The GD short barrel .357s shoot and handle almost identically as +P loads.

    I hope it's not a dumb question. Just wondering.
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skippys View Post
    Perhaps I should have clarified my question. I have a .357 S&W m60 with 2 1/8" barrel. I know 38's fit into a 357 but 357 don't fit into a 38.

    My question is more about the difference in ballistics from a snub. The GD short barrel .357s shoot and handle almost identically as +P loads.

    I hope it's not a dumb question. Just wondering.
    Did you even bother to read the links I posted?
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    Member Array NCMedic8617's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skippys View Post
    What's the difference between a Gold Dot .357mag for short barrel and a Gold Dot .38 +P?
    Alot more recoil and muzzle flash.... Not much else...

    Sent from this... Using that...

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    New Member Array UCBearcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skippys View Post
    Perhaps I should have clarified my question. I have a .357 S&W m60 with 2 1/8" barrel. I know 38's fit into a 357 but 357 don't fit into a 38.

    My question is more about the difference in ballistics from a snub. The GD short barrel .357s shoot and handle almost identically as +P loads.

    I hope it's not a dumb question. Just wondering.
    It is not a dumb question. I apologize for my compatriots who might be making you think that it is.

    Against 2 legged enemies, the .38 will do just fine. A .357 is not needed.

    The .357 really shines when you put it in a four inch or longer barrel. It becomes even more important against four legged foes.
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    New Member Array Martin55's Avatar
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    Friends, glad to know you.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    .38 special ammo that Federal only used to sell to law enforcement. However it is hard to find. Site below has it on order.
    PISTOL AMMUNITION - Assorted Carry Ammo - FEDERAL PREMIUM .38 125GR NYCLAD HP - (P38M) - 20 ROUNDS

    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. The Federal Nyclad Ammunition for the .38 Special nylon coating allows the bullet to reliably expand at low velocities.....
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    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    Simply the amount of powder and velocity. the .357 holds more powder in the cartridge therefore can reach higher velocities.

    If you want to carry for a snub, I recommend one of two loads:

    1. 158 gr. LSWCHP 38 +P the "fbi load"

    2. 135gr Speer Gold Dot for SB 38+P ( my choice )

    While .357 magnum is a potent load, out of the snubs there has been failed expansion and over penetration due to the failed expansion, hence due to the short barrel. The above two loads have been tested to expand consistently and penetrate to within the standards set by the FBI to cause maximum organ and tissue damage. Opinions may vary but that is mine based on what I have read and what I have seen. I realized that sometimes more velocity isn't the answer, finding the harmony between penetration and expansion is.

    Here is a good read by the late Stephen A. Camp:

    38 Snub Vs. .357 Snub


    and more by an industry expert that researches ballistics and it's affects for LEO agencies and the Military

    BUG's: .380 ACP vs. .38 Sp
    Those seem to be really good articles.

    I carry Federal Hydra-Shoks (.357 mag) in my 2" .357. That is, until I manage to find some PMC Gold Starfires in .357Mag. (I already carry those in my reload mags for my 1911.)
    "Rock and load, lock and roll... what's it matter? FIRE!!"

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    Please take everything I say with at least one grain of salt- I am a very sarcastic person with a very dry sense of humor.

  13. #12
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    You guys are way too technical for me.....! :-)

    Actually, someone should start a discussion on NOT using 38 +P in specific older weapons. Causes big problems since they were not designed for it.

    But then again, this is a Blog, not school (though most of us who observe and listen, learn lots). Thanks for the (good) info provided.
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  14. #13
    Member Array dnilson's Avatar
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    I've been told that the +P load is, power wise, roughly half way between a regular .38 and a .357. I have a Ruger SP101, .357 mag. I've fired all three rounds and found the recoil from the +P round to be roughly in between the regular .38 and the .357. Is that what you meant? Of course, I'm sure you know this only applies to revolvers and NOT autos. Also, you MUST make sure your weapon is designed to shoot the +P load. The only way to know for sure is to call the manufacturer.
    Pistols: Glock 21SF, 30SF, 36, Colt 1911 Govt. (all .45 ACP), S&W M&P Shield (9 mm), S&W M&P (.22)
    Revolvers: Ruger SP 101 (.357mag/.38SP), Taurus Judge (.410 Gauge/.45 LC)
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  15. #14
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    The .38 Special +P ammunition is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. It does offer a smidgen more performance in a revolver and I carry .38 Special +P in my revolvers. It simply isn't as destructive or even detrimental to quality revolvers as folks fear it will be. SAAMI standards for +P .38 Special only provides for a couple thousand PSI over standard velocity fare, and is far, far below .357 Magnum pressures.

    I've got a .380 ACP so am not interested in any light-bullet .38 Special loads, whether +P or standard. The so called "FBI Load" consisting of a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet loaded to the slightly enhanced performance levels of +P gets the most out of a .38 Special revolver, even the snubs in my view. One is only guaranteed the diameter of the bullet as it exits the muzzle and I don't wish to sacrifice bullet weight and the full caliber sharp shoulder of the SWC shape for a lightweight jacketed bullet that only scarcely exceeds the velocity of the 158 grain load and might or might not expand in the "all-important" blue jean covered jello. Expansion is gravy when served up with a good hit but I'm no expansion junkie, preferring an attempt to achieve straight line penetration above all.

    The 135 grain Speer Gold Dot might have some merit, has a good reputation on forums, and would be fun to chronograph test but at this point I'm not interested enough to change out the load with which I am familiar.

    For some years Smith & Wesson advised against shooting +P in any of their revolvers made before they began model marking their revolvers, a change begun in 1957 when they adopted a numerical model naming system. I have a "cosmetically challenged" Smith & Wesson K-Frame Military & Police .38 Special that left the factory in 1904. Though ugly, this revolver is mechanically first rate. During some chronograph tests I deliberately test-fired several cylinders-full of 158 grain +P ammunition from the 108-year-old revolver with no obvious ill effects. The primers gave normal appearance, the cases extracted normally and the revolver seemed none the worse for the wear for all practical purposes. While it might be inadvisable to use such an old revolver with .38 Special +P ammunition it showed that the +P ammunition used was nominally safe, even for such an old revolver.





    Perhaps excepting for Buffalo Bore products, .38 Special +P ammunition's reputation is less fearsome than has been represented and built up over years, both in print and on forums.
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  16. #15
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    I think there are a few misconceptions about +P in older revolvers and I wanted to post up some examples.....In olden times 38 standard was a bit "hotter" than it is today.

    Using 158gr as an example

    Here you will see out of my 1958 Stoegers shooters bible:

    1958.jpg

    38 special standard 158 gr is 855 fps

    Fast forward to my 1971 Stoegers shooters bible:

    1971.jpg

    38 standard is rated at 855 and a "high speed" standard load at 1090 FPS

    and now fast forward to 2007 speer reloading manual #14:

    2007.jpg

    You can see 38 standard runs from about 708 to a max of around 967 FPS.. put it at about 750-800 FPS avg for factory ammo

    Then you look at the +P loads... run about 781 to about 1037 FPS... about 850-900 FPS average for factory ammo

    2007+p.jpg

    So the "hot loads" that were considered standard back in 1971 exceeded or met +P ratings of today and the 38 standard load of 855 FPS was right around what 38+P averages are for 158 grain today.


    That being said, I see no issue shooting a little carrying a lot of +P ammo in my 1970 colt cobra and feel that in no way will it damage my revolver unless I give it a heavy dose of shooting on a regular basis.
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