S&W Model 60: .357 or .38 +p for self defense?

S&W Model 60: .357 or .38 +p for self defense?

This is a discussion on S&W Model 60: .357 or .38 +p for self defense? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I carry a S&W Model 60 steel j-frame chambered for .357. I have practiced and become proficient (and confident) with Speer GD .38 +p for ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

Thread: S&W Model 60: .357 or .38 +p for self defense?

  1. #1
    New Member Array Sunset's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    8

    S&W Model 60: .357 or .38 +p for self defense?

    I carry a S&W Model 60 steel j-frame chambered for .357. I have practiced and become proficient (and confident) with Speer GD .38 +p for short barrels. I have also shot regular .357 rounds with not really that much more recoil or inaccuracy/follow up shots.

    Here's my question: should I consider a quality HP .357 self defense round? Since my revolver only holds 5 rounds I need to make each one count (shot placement is key, I know). I also am concerned about over penetration and the higher likelihood that a .357 will go through a target.

    Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.


  2. #2
    Member Array Leadslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Fla
    Posts
    253
    If your comfortable go with the .357 , if not stay with the .38 either way I wouldn't feel undergunned necessarily. My own preference is carry as much gun as you can shoot quickly and accurately.
    Can't be that much of an over penetration issue difference between a 38 +P and a .357 from a snubbie.


    A LTTLE TRAINING IS A DANGEROUS THING ....

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    2,073
    Leadslingers got it right. Go with what you use best. The difference wouldn't help if you can't place your shots as well. If you can the .357 might give you a little more punch but a healthy fireball as well!
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,843
    I have owned a Mod 60 snubbie,in .38 Special,for quite a few years now. I have put hundreds of rds thru it during my years as a small arms instructor in the military.

    I gotta say that i would consider the .38Special NON +P round a good SD round.(w/ the correct bullet)

    I got so I could accomplish a great "double tap" either DA, or fairly quick and accurate,single action,using my weak hand thumb to recock.

    Only five shots ?? That will take care of five BG's,right ?? -----

  5. #5
    Administrator
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Off Of The X
    Posts
    35,484
    The .357 gives you the slight versatility advantage of using either .38 or .357 ammo but, agreed not much advantage to .357 over .38+P or +P+ in a snub.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,843
    This is what I tell people that are trying to decide weather to shoot >>.357mag full power,fast light bullet,heavy bullet,.38+P+,+P,or NON +P loadings.

    If you have the opportunity, try all against a clock and a good COM target. This, at the range monitored by a close friend.

    Speed vs. good solid hits. Some people are truly amazed. Weigh the differences.

    Remember .....a very close miss counts for zip. As could the time between shots in a real life situation. ------

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Parts Unknown
    Posts
    3,836
    i carry 38sp +p+ hydro shok in my model 60, but it is the old 38sp model gun. i would carry either the +p+ or a good 357 mag ammo in your gun. but for the range i would go with 148gr wad cutter ammo. i would only shoot some full loads to see how i and the gun handles it.

  8. #8
    Member Array DonWorsham's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    35

    The Correct bullet

    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ View Post
    I gotta say that i would consider the .38Special NON +P round a good SD round.(w/ the correct bullet)
    And the correct bullet would be?????
    _Don_

  9. #9
    Member Array ka0azs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Dayton Ohio
    Posts
    103
    I go with the above advice to use what you're most profficent/comfortable shooting.

    I use the old FBI/Chicago load (.38spl 158gr Lead Semi-Wadcutter Hollow Point (LSWCHP) +p) in my 4" S&W Mod 19. Federal brand at the moment.
    Randy
    NRA Life Member

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South of North, North of South
    Posts
    654
    If you can shoot 357 with no problem, and place follow up shots with no problem, then carry 357. If you do have any reservations with 357, carry the 38 and be happy, as it is a good round too.

  11. #11
    New Member Array EDinFL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    11
    Sorry to hi-jack but what about the 135 gr. Speer Gold Dot .357 short barrel load?

  12. #12
    New Member Array Sunset's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    8
    EDinFL, that's a good recommendation - .357 Speer GD's for short barrels. Is there an appreciably greater chance of over penetration with this round than with the .38 +p Speer GD for short barrels?

  13. #13
    CCH
    CCH is offline
    New Member Array CCH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    12
    You might try the Remington 125 gr. GS .357 load. It's quite comfortable in my 60 (3" bbl. version). By the way, I've never understood the concept that the .357 is no better than a .38 in a short barreled revolver. Although a .357 load is going to drop off, I don't see how it's going to drop 400 fps or more (full power loads) to become equivalent to .38 +P. Conversely shouldn't those .38 loads be stepping along at close to magnum velocities in a 4" or longer barrel? I haven't compared .38 and .357 loads side by side over a chronograph but a moderate load of Unique behind a 158 grain SWC generates around 1,150 fps in my 60 which is a pretty big jump up from .38 +P loads. Note that this is not a full power load but it still has a 250 fps advantage over .38 +P 158 SWCLHP loads. However this is moot if you can't shoot the chosen load well. That's why I've settled on the GS load. It seems to be a reasonable compromise of power and controllability for me.

  14. #14
    New Member Array keith11235's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    7
    I have a 15 oz 38 spl +p S&W aluminum airweight snubbie with Crimson Trace 405 lasergrips(midsized grips with cushioned backstrap) and a 24 oz .357 Taurus steel snubbie.

    Over the past two years I bought several different cartridges based on the specs, then went to see how they actually felt at the range. One of the key issues for me at the range was how fast I could make accurate followup shots.

    Here is what I found from lightest to hottest in my S&W .38 spl airweight snubbie:

    Winchester white box FMJ 130 gr target load (which I have used for practice for several years). This is my standard for very easy to control fast strings of 5 shots. Recoil is very mild and follow up shots are almost as fast as I can pull the trigger.

    Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135 gr +p. Published muzzle velocity is 850 fps or so from a 2" snubbie. Modest recoil, but definitely more than the WWB. With some effort I can shoot this almost as fast at the Winchester at least for the first few cylinders. This has been my standard carry load since I discovered it a year ago or so.

    Remington 158 gr +p LSWHP. I haven't seen muzzle velocity data from a snubbie - I'd guess it would be somewhere around 750 - 800 fps, as the 4" barrel gives 890. This is what I carried before the Gold Dot Short Barrel came out. Haven't shot this for a while, so I don't remember exactly how controllable the recoil was. I think it was slightly slower to get back on target than the Gold Dot, but not by much.

    After carrying the 135 gr Gold Dot for about 8 months, I decided to try two hotter rounds from Buffalo bore:

    Buffalo Bore 125 gr +p. Gold Dot bullet. 1050 fps from 2" snubbie. Medium hard recoil for me, slower follow up shots than the 135 gr Gold Dot, but not out of the question for carry, particularly if I can improve it a bit. At 21' the bullet impacts about 1-2 inches higher than the Gold Dot.

    Buffalo Bore 158 gr +p LSWHP. 1000 fps from 2" snubbie. Substantial kick, slow recovery. At 21' the bullet impact is 3-4" above the Gold Dot. I would not carry this in a light weight snubbie. I have shot it from a steel S&W K-frame model 10 and it is not a problem though.

    Based on this testing I am somewhere between the Gold Dot Short Barrel 135 gr and the Buffalo Bore 125 gr for my aluminum snubbie. I am not sure whether there is enough difference between these two in performance to worry about, but I am going to practice a bit more with the Buffalo Bore and see if I can develope faster follow up shots. If not, I will stay with the Gold Dot and be very content.

    I have done much less experimentation with the steel Taurus. I have tried 4 or 5 full power .357 loads from this gun (including Federal Hydra-Shoks and several 158 gr FMJ and LSW) and do not like it much. Followup shots are quite slow. Maybe if I changed the stock rubber grips to something that absorbed more recoil it would be better. The Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135 gr .357 was much milder than the other .357 loads I tried. If I recall correctly, it was rather similar to the Buffalo Bore .38 spl 158 gr +p. Interestingly, they both have the same 1000 fps muzzle velocity from a 2-inch barrel. Given the Buffalo Bore's greater bullet weight, I wonder whether it would recoil harder than the Gold Dot .357. I will have to try them side by side.

    I like aluminum snubbies for their ease of carry and I think the Gold Dot .38 spl 135 gr ammo gives the right balance between power and controllability. When I want to carry something harder hitting than the .38, I take a .40 steel Kahr MK40 auto. At least for now, I find the .40 auto much easier to control than a similar weight steel snubbie with full power .357 ammo.

    Th

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mt Airy, NC
    Posts
    2,156
    As already said shoot what you are most accurate with. Either 38 or 357 I highly suggest the Hydro Shoks I use them in all my CCW guns.
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!
    NCHornet

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Win Model 70 or Savage Model 16
    By chains1240 in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: December 24th, 2009, 12:15 PM
  2. Are S&W model 10 and model 64 +P rated
    By searcher 45 in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: November 20th, 2009, 08:46 PM
  3. Size of S&W Model 60 (357) vs Model 36 (38spl) & Ruger SP101
    By batpot in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: February 13th, 2009, 09:12 PM
  4. LMS Defense Home Defense - Defensive Medical COMBO / Yuba City, CA / March 8-10, 2008
    By Tony Siciliano in forum Defensive Carry & Tactical Training
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 6th, 2008, 12:55 PM
  5. Advantages of s&w model 625 over model 1917
    By pmaenner in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: July 5th, 2006, 03:13 PM

Search tags for this page

38 p for self defence
,

38 p for self defense

,
best ammo for s&w 60
,

best ammo for s&w model 60

,
lswhp
,
s&w 60-4
,
s&w model 60 ammo
,
s&w model 60 for personal defense
,
s&w model 60 for self defense
,

s&w model 60 p

,

s&w model 60-4

,
smith model 60 self defense
Click on a term to search for related topics.