.38 Special vs. .357 in Snubby
This is a discussion on .38 Special vs. .357 in Snubby within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've got the 340M&P and wouldn't trade it for anything. I shoot .357's in it they do have significant advantage power wise over .38+p's. They ...
January 28th, 2009 03:45 PM
I've got the 340M&P and wouldn't trade it for anything. I shoot .357's in it they do have significant advantage power wise over .38+p's. They are, however, slower for follow up shots. You make your choices.
One can always shoot (as I do) reduced power .357 mag stuff and still gain a significant advantage over the .38spl. guns. I, myself, have chosen the 125gr. DPX rounds. Golden Sabre would probably be another good choice. They both kick a lot less than full house stuff.
Having said all that - money is not a big issue for me. Obviously it is for you. If you choose your ammo well (like Gold Dot 135's for short barrels) a .38+p gun would be a fine choice. You'd shoot it better and give up only a little in performance IMO.
Couldn't go wrong either way IMO.
January 28th, 2009 04:04 PM
Not sure where you're getting the $200 to $300 difference between 38 and 357. Looking at the Taurus website I see the CIA Model 850 in .38spl and the CIA Model 650 in .357 MAG and they both have a MSRP of $411. And both are within an ounce of each other in weight. That's a no brainer to me. Taurus is a good quality gun. I have a 606 6rd. .357 mag. It's what I carry in the woods. You know, cougars and such. Wouldn't shoot a bear. That'll just piss it off.
As always... IMHO
Kimber Ultra Carry II, Glock G23 & G36, Kahr PM9, Winchester 1300 Defender 12gauge pump
(my favorite but hard to hide)
January 28th, 2009 04:15 PM
If it ain't fun - don't do it
There is a certain trade-off between 1) gun weight & size, 2) cartridge power, and 3) recoil. You can have the plus side of any two of these, but not all three. I like to carry a small light pistol, and I don't want to deal with bad recoil, so my compromise is a 642 with 38 spl. - that's 2 of the 3. If I wanted the extra power of the .357 magnum, I think I would go with a larger heavier steel frame revolver. But again, that is still just 2 of the 3. Can you tell I don't like a lot of recoil?
January 28th, 2009 04:57 PM
The Gold dot load seems plenty potent..but if your man enough to shoot .357 full house loads out of a light weight like an M&P 340...go for it.
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January 28th, 2009 05:09 PM
.357 Mag is unlikely to give you any significant benifit in a 2 inch barrel revolver over a .38 special.
The tale of the chrono says different.
All things being equal, here's the breakdown between 38+P loads and the 357's out of the snubs:
Federal .38 Special 129-grain Hydrashok +P 846 fps
Winchester .38 Special 158-grain LSWCHP +P 858 fps
Remington .357 Magnum 125-grain SJHP (Full-house load) 1243 fps
The notion that the .357 is so inefficient in the two-inch guns that it's no more effective than a hot .38 Special just doesn't seem to be true. While neither is at its best in the snub, the magnum is the more potent of the two with most ammo.
I carry a S+W 60 no dash out of that snub at with a Buffalo Boreloading here:
Very hard cast 150gr. WAD CUTTER bullet — 868 fps (251 ft. lbs.)from S&W mod. 60, 2 inch barrel.
January 28th, 2009 06:55 PM
I like the bigger flash & flames out of a .357!!!
S&W M&P .40 Compact
Para Ordnance 18.9 9mm
Wesson Mod 15 .357
Ruger GP100 .357
Remington 870 Express 12ga
January 29th, 2009 02:10 AM
My two cents.
I fire probably a hundred 158 grain .357 blazer rounds out of my M&P 340 .357 per week. I have a CT grip with the padding on the back. I can fire that gun all day without any problems. I am not big, 5'8" 170 pounds or so. My dad is a big guy and carries a .454 casul out hunting - he has no problem putting 20-30 of the big bear stopper rounds through it. He does however not enjoy firing 5 rounds out of my .357 - it hurts his wrists. its different for every one - some people handle it better than others. I ONLY fire .357 out of mine and keep some .38 spec. around the house so my wife can shoot it.
I like being able to fire .38 spec, 38 +P. .357 mag, and .38 super out of the same gun.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
January 29th, 2009 02:16 AM
The nicest J Frame I have ever owned is my S&W M&P 340 CT. But I don't carry .357 in it, I carry Gold Dot 135gr .38 +P.
ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!
"A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
January 29th, 2009 02:50 AM
I know you wanted to leave recoil out of the equation, but I cannot. You need to practice with what you carry, and if you can't shoot it in practice, you shouldn't be carrying it on the street.
Originally Posted by bgglock
The smallest and lightest .357 Magnum that I will shoot is the 2 1/4" Ruger SP101. My J-Frame is a 38 Special with Gold Dot 135 Grain JHP's. In my .357 Magnums I shoot, carry and use .357 Magnum 125 Grain JHP's or SJHP's by Black Hills, Federal or Remington. That's the original "Full House" load.
That's my 0.02 on the matter. Take care and stay safe.
January 29th, 2009 02:56 AM
YOU must be the lightweight
Originally Posted by Brigadier
I don't find .357 from SP101 objectionable at all. I rather like what I describe a solid feel of power.
And .38's are like .22's out of it.
But for me, it's unfortunately too heavy and slightly too big for pocket carry.
January 29th, 2009 03:41 PM
No, no lightweight here.
Originally Posted by OhShoot
I can shoot a .44 Mag with full power loads all day. I didn't care for the high pressure muzzle blast from the short barrel of the SP101.
January 29th, 2009 05:37 PM
You'd love my ported Taurus 606.
Originally Posted by Thek9
SE Texas Patriot Guard Rider, NRA Patron, TSRA Life Member
January 29th, 2009 06:51 PM
When 357mags where invented,they have been know to down moose,elk,and even Grizzly bear.There is better for bear.But 357mags won't piss them off.It would ruin anyone or anythings day.IF you live after the shot?
January 29th, 2009 07:42 PM
I'm not a big fan of the snubbie 357s, but make no mistake about it, there is a significant increase in performance between a 357 and a 38 from a short barrel. Take a look at Ballistics by the Inch and check out their results. (Though they don't say it, if you look at the photo of the ammo they tested, you see it is all +P) Granted, these are from a closed breech (Thomson/Center Encore) firearm and not a revolver with a barrel/cylinder gap, but I think the results would extrapolate across the change in format. In comparing same brand, same bullet weights, you'll see that the 357 gains as much as 250 fps over the 38. You'll also notice that the 357 loses a higher percentage of its velocity between a 4" and 2" barrel than the 38 does, but it does still outperform the 38 by a significant amount.
So, to the question -- Is the performance of a .357 magnum significantly better than a .38 Special +P, I say yes. Whether the performance increase is worth the recoil increase is something you have to answer for yourself.
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January 29th, 2009 09:19 PM
I'm rather curious about whether or not the difference in performance between a .357 magnum and a .38 in actual terminal performance still justifies a slower follow-up. I know at least one wound ballistics expert who doesn't seem to think so, and recommends as a backup a .38 snubby loaded with full wadcutters. When one considers how unreliable all handgun rounds are, I think my questioning of "is it actually better" is justified.
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