Variation: Shooting 38+P in a 340PD/SC?

Variation: Shooting 38+P in a 340PD/SC?

This is a discussion on Variation: Shooting 38+P in a 340PD/SC? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Greetings! I was referred to this forum several weeks ago by a knowledgeable Cult of the P7 board member, and have been really enjoying the ...

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Thread: Variation: Shooting 38+P in a 340PD/SC?

  1. #1
    Member Array dkk73's Avatar
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    Variation: Shooting 38+P in a 340PD/SC?

    Greetings! I was referred to this forum several weeks ago by a knowledgeable Cult of the P7 board member, and have been really enjoying the great info ever since.

    I'm imminently in the market for a lightweight snubby pocket gun, either 38 or 357, and have been reading the numerous 340PD threads. At this point, I'm almost certainly going to choose S&W (since I keep finding some bad experiences posted about Taurus' small lightweight guns).

    Sorry to bring up a variation on an old theme, but I'd really appreciate any experiences with this:

    For those of you who have or have used the 340 lightweight J-frames, are they really worse than a 642 or 442 for shooting 38/38+P?

    The reason I ask is that weight is key for me (so the 640 is not likely a choice, though it's otherwise great). I'm undecided on ultimately carrying 38 vs. 357 loads (depends on how it goes at the range), but don't want to trade later or buy two guns. So I think it may be worth the extra $ getting a 340PD/SC/M&P instead of trying to change my mind later.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array kavity's Avatar
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    I have a 642 and the recoil isn't as bad as people make it seem. :shrug:

    When I first shot it I expected it to try and jump out of my hands but it wasn't bad at all. +P rounds kick more, obviously, but its still incredibly manageable. I will admit that you don't want to be putting hundreds of rounds through it in one day at the range.

    edit: I guess I read your post wrong. I don't have any experience with the 340 guns, so I can't help you with that. Also, .357 comming out of a snubby isn't going to be THAT much of a difference compared to a .38 +P...but it would be cool to hae the option between the 2.

  3. #3
    Member Array orangehole's Avatar
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    The 442/642 is easier to shoot then the 11-13oz Scandium J frames. I find even +p 38's to be fairly punnishing to shoot in the scandium framed J. I definitely would not want to fire full blown 357mags in a scandium J. Now the 640 is a ***** cat compared to the others. You cant go wrong with any of the above models but there is a sacrifice to be made by dropping overall firearm weight.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array NY27's Avatar
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    I had a 340PD and it was not fun with .357 mags. .38 +p rounds were not bad to shoot. The 340PD is 12 oz, so I would gather that a 15oz 642 or 442 would be even better with .38 +p.

    Honestly the recoil of the .357 mags probably wouldn't be as noticable when the SHTF.

    I actually sold my 340PD because I really didn't like the internal lock. I am currently keeping my eyes peeled for a prelock 442. Or even a 342 (10 oz .38) if I could find one.
    Police Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Carbine Rifle and Taser Instructor
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  5. #5
    Member Array dkk73's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys.

    It is interesting that the extra 3 oz seems to make a difference in recoil. I wonder if the frame is also stiffer with the Scandium blend, or something like that that changes the dynamics of shooting.

    What about durability? It seems as if the 340PD/SC, even if used for 38/38+P would be more durable. Maybe this is a marginal consideration.

    Hmmm... Mixed reviews on the 340PD/SC overall, but uniformly positive reviews of the 442/642. I'm just trying to weigh the value of having both caliber options up front, vs. maybe buying a 2nd gun later. I suppose I could get the 642/442 and an SP101 in 357, and come out somewhere near the same cost. Right now it looks like a 340SC would be $600 used, vs. a new 642 or 442 for $380. I take it the 442 and 642 would be equal to each other in durability (true?).

    Appreciate the advice. Never knew looking for a snubby revolver could be so complicated!

    Agreed, I also am assuming that 357 recoil wouldn't "bother" me if I was shooting in earnest. Interesting that I have widely read advice to (1) practice with what you carry, but (2) shoot .22LR or light loads to avoid "training in" a flinch. My take on this is to mix it up, and shoot primarily lighter loads but regularly practice with carry loads. Of course, this is assuming that I wasn't blown backwards into the bench and knocked out with each practice shot. Of course, maybe some of the things I've reading have been exaggerated. ;)

  6. #6
    Member Array balin's Avatar
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    I love to carry my 340pd, now shooting mag's out of it is not a pleasure. If I fired off a box or 2 of the +P's my hand might be sore , but I usually don't fire that many rounds off. 3 cylinders of mag's has been my limit and my hand ached some for a few days. That said I would not get rid of it as it serves it's pupose.

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    Member Array Coach's Avatar
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    Please excuse the analogy, but I'll compare it to baseball.
    It hurts when you run into the wall and make "the catch".
    It hurts when you slide into 2nd and break up a double play.
    It hurts when you dive into the hole to stop a base hit.
    It hurts when you collide with the catcher, too.
    But...you win the game.
    Shooting 357 and +P in a 340 is not pleasant,
    but it's the gun you can always have with you,
    to...win the game.
    I repeat, it's an analogy.
    A gunfight is not a game...it's life and death,
    or should I have said life OR death?
    I LOVE my 340 PD.

    coach

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    Member Array rscalzo's Avatar
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    When I picked up my 340PD, I thought the dealer forgot to put it in the box. It is that light. Full power loads are a handful. I don't prescribe to the carry 357, practice with low power but many do. In real life, you won't remember the recoil but you better be accurate.

    My thinking is, if you can stand the few extra ounces and you intend on carrying 38 Special loads, go for the less expensive model. Better yet, see if you can try one out before you purchase.
    Richard Scalzo, Capt.
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    Retired !!!!

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    Member Array dkk73's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for the additional feedback. I am trying to find out by searching here and at the Terminal Effects forum how much of an advantage/disadvantage the .357 loads will be for me... Seems that there is not a clear consensus on cost/benefit, though all agree they are not fun. Interesting that they recommend a wadcutter load since expansion is unreliable out of snubbies! Hmmm... Buying a 340PD and shooting 38 wadcutters out of it would make me feel less than frugal. Does anyone feel that the ruckus of a .357 actually has a positive "shock and awe" effect in these guns?

    What is helpful is to learn from a practice standpoint is that even the 38+P sounds are decidedly less pleasant out of the gun. Again, I'd probably have to shoot a higher mix of target loads if flinch turns out to be a problem.

    It really is light and seems well-engineered, though, and beats the heck out of a P3AT. Hmmm... money. :)

    No one around here has one to rent, but I will call the nearby metro area and check. Good suggestion!

  10. #10
    New Member Array stinx's Avatar
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    I carry a 340 PD everyday. to and from work and also as my back up weapon. I carry Gold Dot 125 grain plus p ammo in it. I have never felt the need for magnum loads. The gold dots, while not pleasant are tolarable to shot.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array surprise's Avatar
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    I carry the S&W 360PD (.357 Mag). I emptied 70 full power rounds and about 30 38+p today at the local range. I can fire 125,135,142 grain, but the 153 grains I could only shoot four of 5 and set pistol down.
    I agree this gun is more than most would want to fire. I however use it because I enjoy its ergonomics with stock hogue grip, and small size carries Everywhere I go.
    First time at range with it I accidently chose some hot loads and was very inaccurate. I am now much more confident with it from practice. I have pistols that shoot easier, but they cant go where I go.

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    Member Array Piglet's Avatar
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    dkk73,

    In a thread (not mine) reviewing the 340SC a while back, I posted my reasons for choosing the scandium/titanium Airlites over the aluminum/steel Airweights. I copied my post below, maybe it'll be of some interest.

    Have you considered putting a tritium sight up front? To me, one of the great advantages of the shrouded barrels on these guns is the ability to easily install aftermarket sights (not that there is a huge selection for the J-frames, but there are a couple).

    Countless times I have heard people extol the Airweight series .38 +P guns as the best carry J-frames, or anyway the best value out there. I agree that revolvers like the 642 and 442 are wonderful snubs, but the issue of replacement sights tips the balance for me in favor of the .357 scandium/titanium models (I do acknowledge that the tritium-sighted M&P 340 is now out, essentially making it an Airweight .357).

    Sounds as though your impressions of the .357 round from this gun are about on par with many others'. Too much, at least for confident defensive work.

    This brings up something else. An argument made by the "642 club" in favor of the Airweights over the Airlites concerns, of course, the caliber issue. When someone is considering a 340 or one of its brethren, frequently there will be a flurry of sober, and sometimes histrionic, admonitions about how "it is impossible to fire .357 out of it anyway, so why not save money and get an Airweight?". From when I first started researching the 340PD, let alone using it, I've never regarded it as a .357 - simply as a very strong .38 +P that happens to have the additional enticement of being several ounces lighter than a 642 or 442. This is not to mention the sight issue already discussed.

    With the above three improvements on the Airweights - weight, strength and night sight capability - the choice was a no-brainer in my case. It just seems that not many people attach the same importance to these issues, particularly sights.

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    When the bad guy is running at you with a tire iron raised over his head and ready to split some serious skull wide open- you'll be too focused to bothered by the recoil and your hand won't hurt at all.
    And if you do your part...your head won't be hurting either.

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array surprise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
    dkk73,

    it is impossible to fire .357 out of it anyway, so why not save money and get an Airweight?".
    Just so others know, this is only his opinion. I know from personal experience that it is truly capable to handle magnum rounds. Not for everyone though. Read my earlier post above/\

  15. #15
    Member Array Piglet's Avatar
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    surprise said:

    Just so others know, this is only his opinion.
    By "his" opinion, do you mean mine (Piglet's)?

    If so, a glance at the quoted portion of my post will show that I was referencing others' opinions on the feasibility of firing Magnums through the Airlite series. This is clear from the way in which I begin the paragraph:

    An argument made by the "642 club"...
    (And yes, I should have said "An argument often made by the 642 club", because I'm sure not all of them hold that position).

    My opinion/position was this:

    Sounds as though your impressions of the .357 round from this gun are about on par with many others'. Too much, at least for confident defensive work.
    ...I've never regarded it as a .357 - simply as a very strong .38 +P...
    These statements cannot be construed to say that I think it's impossible, or even difficult, to fire .357 in the gun.

    The first quote describes the impressions of that thread's OP and also the impressions, as I understood them, of "many others" regarding .357 Magnum in the 340.

    The second quote only describes what caliber I intend to fire in it.

    Neither one makes any declaration that it is difficult or impossible for the shooting population as a whole to handle .357 out of that gun.

    surprise also said:

    I know from personal experience that it is truly capable to handle magnum rounds.
    Never doubted it for a moment. The question wasn't what the gun is capable of handling, but what the shooter is.

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