Shooting .38 +p out of .357

This is a discussion on Shooting .38 +p out of .357 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Fellow CCers, Currently I only have semi autos. I have heard that you can shoot .38, 38 +p and .357 out of a .357 chambered ...

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Thread: Shooting .38 +p out of .357

  1. #1
    Member Array glock45's Avatar
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    Shooting .38 +p out of .357

    Fellow CCers,

    Currently I only have semi autos. I have heard that you can shoot .38, 38 +p and .357 out of a .357 chambered revolver. I found this in another thread: "However, with a .357 you can shoot any .38, .38+ P or .357 round, so don't buy a .38 .. buy a .357 and shoot them all. "

    My wife is leaning toward a snubbie with CT laser as a CCW. However, I want to be able to carry it if I need to or be able to use it as a backup weapon at home.

    She would practice with .38 ammo and carry it with .38 +p. However, I like .357 mag so if I am carrying it (because my G30sf is not appropriate for the occasion) it would be with .357 mag ammo.

    Now, can I really do that? Have a .357 but shoot mostly .38 and .38 +p ammo?? Or is there a little difference in the cartridges that wouldn't make this a good option?

    Is the .357 a lot heavier? This would make a difference for my wife when carrying.

    Look forward to your comments...

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  3. #2
    Member Array johnstuf's Avatar
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    Shooting .38 +P out of .357

    In my experience, yes you can, For years I had a S&W Model 19-3 .357. For practice we shot .38 wad cutters and for duty carry either .38 Special, .38+P or .357 Magnums.

    Never should have sold it!

    Just my .02.

    Safe and sane shooting everyone,

    johnstuf
    Last edited by johnstuf; December 14th, 2008 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Additional info - There are lightweight .357's, however the kick will be greater

  4. #3
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quite a bit of difference in 38spl and 357mag. I imagine even more so with any short barrelled revolver and in close quarters. I used to shoot mainly .357 loads with my former Colt Trooper MKIV, but that had a 5 3/4" barrel. The .357 makes a real flame thrower in low light or even on a cloudy day. I've shot 38spl through it on occasion, but mainly due to the cheaper price. That was some 8-9 years ago, and I've never contemplated the revolver or .357mag for carry or self preservation. The 357mag is fun to shoot though, and if I still had mine, it would be used for the sole purpose of range/fun. You can shoot 38spl in any wheelgun chambered for .357mag. I figure the 38spl+P would be for those who don't have a .357mag revolver, but a 38spl revolver. I also don't figure the 38spl+P touching the .357mag in performance.

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    The only issue you might really have mechanically is a lead/carbon ring in the chambers that would prevent the .357 cartridges from going all the way in. All you need to do to fix that is use something like a Lewis Lead Remover to get that ring out.
    As far as the weight goes, you can get very light revolvers that are fun to carry but not so much fun to shoot. The lighter the gun, the greater the felt recoil. If you are comfortable with the level of recoil out of a lightweight, great! If not you are going to be doing some kind of compromise. Either a heavier gun or a lighter bullet or lower velocity. Sometimes physics can be a
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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Excessive amounts of .38 special and .38 special +p shooting in a .357 cylinder can lead to buildup of powder fouling in the throat of the cylinder. If you don't clean thoroughly before you shoot .357 magnums it may lead to issues with ejection and chambering.

  7. #6
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    You can put issues of lead foulding and buildup worries aside. I have shot 1000's and 1000's of 38 rounds out of a .357 and still shot .357 rounds occassionally. If you clean and properly maintain the firearm it is simply not an issue. Use a bronze brush in the cylinders - buildup is not an issue.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    Yes, you can shoot .38spl. and .38spl+p's out of a .357Mag, and it is perfectly safe with no issues at all. I just clean mine regular, nothing special, and I've never had a problem at all with .357Mag rounds fitting after shooting .38s.

    The only draw back I can see for you from your post is the weight of the gun for your wife. If you get a .357Magnum Snubbie for CCW that is heavy enough to want to shoot it at all, much less decent with full power loads, it will be a steel frame at with at least a 2 inch barrel, and that'd probably still going to be to light to shoot comfortably. I know many people (all men by chance) that carry an airwieght S&W 360 .357Mag with the little rubber half-grips, but any I've ever talked to(including me), doesn't like shooting it with Magnum loads. I'm not saying they can't do it, I'm just saying it ain't fun. Any honest owner of one of the airweight Magnum snubbies will tell you this, if he is comfortable enough in his manhood to admit it!

    If you want to get her a truly light snub for CCW, a .38+P airweight is probally your best choice, and even these can be a handle full for a lady (and men) with +P ammo. Wieght wise these are in the 12oz range, a steel frame for Magnum loads (IMHO) would have to be at bare minimum 20+ozs (the more the better) with a full grip. That weight don't sound like much difference, but may be a pretty big difference for her depending on how she carries it.

    If she is ok with the added weight, your idea is fine, practice/plink with .38s, she can carry .38+Ps, and you can carry .357Mags if you want, all done safely from the gun be able to do it standpoint.

    If the weight matters, then stick with a lightweight .38.

    That's my .01 (deflation)

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chooie View Post
    Excessive amounts of .38 special and .38 special +p shooting in a .357 cylinder can lead to buildup of powder fouling in the throat of the cylinder. If you don't clean thoroughly before you shoot .357 magnums it may lead to issues with ejection and chambering.
    Like I said, IF. Thorough cleaning alleviates this problem.

  10. #9
    Member Array Superheat's Avatar
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    I would steer her toward a 642 or 442 smith or something heavier to try. Look at the crimson trace 405 grips there is a cushion in the grip. very nice. I was a little confused at your post. To be sure, you can NOT shoot .357 in a .38. The case is, I believe .1" longer and won't even fit. I believe you will find no restrictions on shooting 38+p's in a .357. So If she has a +p and you carry a .357 JUST MAKE YOUR RELOADS YOU CARRY +P so if you need to go to it everyone can use it. Or just all get .357 and she can find a load that is comfortable to shoot.
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    Member Array glock45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devone6 View Post
    Yes, you can shoot .38spl. and .38spl+p's out of a .357Mag, and it is perfectly safe with no issues at all. I just clean mine regular, nothing special, and I've never had a problem at all with .357Mag rounds fitting after shooting .38s.

    The only draw back I can see for you from your post is the weight of the gun for your wife. If you get a .357Magnum Snubbie for CCW that is heavy enough to want to shoot it at all, much less decent with full power loads, it will be a steel frame at with at least a 2 inch barrel, and that'd probably still going to be to light to shoot comfortably. I know many people (all men by chance) that carry an airwieght S&W 360 .357Mag with the little rubber half-grips, but any I've ever talked to(including me), doesn't like shooting it with Magnum loads. I'm not saying they can't do it, I'm just saying it ain't fun. Any honest owner of one of the airweight Magnum snubbies will tell you this, if he is comfortable enough in his manhood to admit it!

    If you want to get her a truly light snub for CCW, a .38+P airweight is probally your best choice, and even these can be a handle full for a lady (and men) with +P ammo. Wieght wise these are in the 12oz range, a steel frame for Magnum loads (IMHO) would have to be at bare minimum 20+ozs (the more the better) with a full grip. That weight don't sound like much difference, but may be a pretty big difference for her depending on how she carries it.

    If she is ok with the added weight, your idea is fine, practice/plink with .38s, she can carry .38+Ps, and you can carry .357Mags if you want, all done safely from the gun be able to do it standpoint.

    If the weight matters, then stick with a lightweight .38.

    That's my .01 (deflation)
    Excellent post. Great info... I guess she will decide ..Hope she doesn't mind the extra weight.
    Regarding cleaning, can you guys ellaborate a bit more?
    I am used to cleaning my Glocks but your comments give me the impression that the cleaning would have to be totally different for the snubby shooting lead... Suggestions on brush/tools and solvent/oil?

  12. #11
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    Just clean the cylinders like you clean the barrel. With a bore bush and everthing

    If you do this you will be fine
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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  13. #12
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    Couple thoughts:
    I don't EDC my Ruger SP101, but I did for a while, and keep .357 in it always.

    Heck yeah, there's quite a big diff between .38, even .38 +p and .357 mag. which is really sort a mystery round, meaning it usually over-performs in a way that doesn't necessarily make ballistic sense. Anyway, it's a heck of a wallop.

    And yeah, with cheapest .357 rounds, the noise and flash are most impressive
    But really, with a quality SD round containing flash suppressant, it's not much if any worse than .38 in the flash regard.
    .357 Golden Saber is nice stuff, much less flame and noise, a mid velocity with 125 gr. load that has a hi-tech bullet efficiency beyond simple velocity+weight.

    And this ".38 fouling up the cylinder so .357 won't go", well, I'm sure it would happen eventually, but I've shot 100 .38 dirty cheapo WWB with the Ruger any number of times, then a few cylinders' worth of .357's afterwards, no probs. And of course I clean my pieces after shooting, always.

    Anyway, I'll admit that it is a little slower to get back on target with .357 than .38+, but my take is that .357 has significantly better odds of not needing a second one. I know there's no magic stopper bullet short of a RPG or something, but a quality .357 HP is indeed formidable and something to consider in this era of multiple homeboy assailants and you with 5 shots.

    - OS

  14. #13
    Member Array Chris Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    You can put issues of lead foulding and buildup worries aside. I have shot 1000's and 1000's of 38 rounds out of a .357 and still shot .357 rounds occassionally. If you clean and properly maintain the firearm it is simply not an issue. Use a bronze brush in the cylinders - buildup is not an issue.
    +1

    I have had the exact same experience with mine also. Clean it thoroughly after shooting and there should be no buildup of any kind.

    Chris

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    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devone6 View Post
    If you want to get her a truly light snub for CCW, a .38+P airweight is probally your best choice, and even these can be a handle full for a lady (and men) with +P ammo.
    +1. 38 spl +P in a lightweight snub is hard to beat, very easy to carry. As others have stated, .357 in a snub isn't fun to shoot.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I'm the one you are "quoting" in the OP.... so you know my sentiments... LOL.

    I've shot revolvers for about 40 yrs..... any .38 spl, .38 spl + P , or .357 will shoot in a .357 gun. The .38 spl will tend to leave more powder burn on the front of the wheel..... so clean it good after shooting it with .38's.... I always clean it well so it's no issue for me. You can shoot these in FMJ or HP, etc. I do not know if you can shoot a straight old .38 ammo (no special) , but I don't know that those even exist out there any more.... I haven't seen them for years.

    Some examples :

    Taurus 617 Manual : You can use .38 Special ammunition in all Taurus revolvers chambered for .357 Magnum

    Smith & Wesson; Model: 327 Night Guard, Product Code: 163422,
    Caliber: .357 Magnum®/ .38 S&W Special

    Smith & Wesson (lady's model) , Model: 60LS
    Caliber: .357MAG/.38+P

    I have no issues shooting 2" barrel .357 with a .357 mag bullet in it with a ribber grip. Real rapid fire is easier with a .38 spl or + P.

    I can't imagine why anyone would buy a .38 revolver, when they can buy a .357 revolver at the same price... resale is easier if you ever want to sell it, and the barrel is built to handle the .357 ammo, so you know it's going to hold up well to any .38 spl +P's. I have not seen any weight difference between a .357 & .38 of the same models.... only in comparison to the light weight / air-weights.

    I wouldn't recommend an airweight... as they seem to have more recoil than a standard to me.

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