I carry a 638 with Hornady critical defense.
This is a discussion on Which Snubbie for carry? .38 Special or .357 Mag? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We have the 340.....with .357 Mag. it's a Knucklebuster....
We have the 340.....with .357 Mag. it's a Knucklebuster.
I carry a 638 with Hornady critical defense.
I'm also on the .357 Mag bandwagon. I love having the option of using .38 +P, and especially like the cost savings at the range, but carrying the beefier .357 Mags in it the rest of the time.
Only one opinion but scrap the idea of the .357 Magnum in a snub as totally unnecessary. The revolvers and ammunition are priced higher and they don't afford enough extra "oomph" to matter when top .38 Special loads are used. What they do supply is more concussive report and heavier recoil. A great many here on the Forum buy the .357 Magnum snubs but admit to carrying .38 Special in them. Just review former threads on the subject. The Smith & Wesson Models 442 and 642 are both popular and worthwhile and they are priced right in today's market. The 6-shot, steel-framed Colt Detective Special in .38 Special, though discontinued, is the best snub of all and worth it even if it has to be purchased as a used gun.
The .357 Magnum was developed for full-powered loads that substantially exceeded the performance of the .38 Special and was intended for large revolvers. It was not intended to be housed in small, light, weenie, revolvers or used in watered-down, "-P" loadings which have become popular with some shooters.
The combination of very short barrel and weak loadings make it a .357 Magnum in name only and a .38 Special in actual performance.
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I carried Smith .38 snubs for years loaded with +p ammo and recently bought a Smith 340M&P for carry. I tried several different .357 rounds and all were brutal. Accurate follow up shots were very difficult. I have gone back to a Colt Agent revolver loaded with Federal 125 Nyclads. IMHO the Colt snubs are the Cadillacs of small revolvers. Follow up shots are easy and I can keep everything in a fist size group at 7 yards as quickly as I can crank them out. Shot placement has always been the key especially with snubbies.
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I chose the LCR 38 mainly because I wanted less weight but also I read that the 357 would be a beast to shoot. I carry +P.
I carry a S&W 2" Airweight, in .38 special. I bought this as an off duty weapon in 1970, it's an old friend.
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357 gives you the option to shoot either 357 or 38 so I voted 357.
But, the 38 varieties are going to be lighter and easier to carry so it really can be a toss up.
I have thought about getting an LCR but may opt for the 38 because it would be lighter and easier to pocket carry.
I'd really like to see an LCR offered in 9mm.
I ocassionally carry a S&W 19-5 snubbie. It is a pocket rocket and twice as loud! The 357 snubbie is the most practical choice of the 2 calibers mentioned.
This is personal preference, not advice.
My 6" Smith 686+ with trigger job by an S&W gunsmith is the sweetest shooting thing I own. But I carry an LCR or a 38-3. More comfortable than a .357 snub for me, and less print, on my skinny frame. I don't see an advantage, for me, in a .357 under 3", and a 3" one would be even less comfortable and would print worse. Not to mention being hard to find and therefore expensive.
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Light weight snubbies make great pocket Roscoes. I sometimes carry one with 110gr 38 spl DPX or 125gr 357 DPX. Out of the same 357 gun, I notice more recoil from the 357 offerings than from any 38 Spl or 38+P's. Therefore, I believe that the 357 will be more effective.
Heavier guns require less practice to control; they are much more satisfying on the range, but they don't like pocket carry. They would rather ride in a holster. A longer bbl and good heft serve well for a house gun, plinking, or hunting. Anything small and light for carry comfort will require dedication for mastery. An inexpensive 642 airweight 38 or my 12 oz 340PD 357 makes little difference in the work you have to put into training.
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357 is a bit larger and heavy may be an issue for some. It can fire all 38's and 357 and when you shoot 38's in a 357 it pretty tame.
38 is smaller lighter easier to conceal and carry for some, the 38 will get the job done. Over all 38 cost a little less.
Depends on what fits you and your needs.
Nothing like the very small S&W 638 airweight with the shrouded hammer. can shoot Plus P 38 spec. hides anywhere, shoots sa or da