Quick snubby question...

Quick snubby question...

This is a discussion on Quick snubby question... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've never liked revolvers much...kind of had the whole ignorant "thing of the past" mentality about them. In the last year or so though, I've ...

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Thread: Quick snubby question...

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Quick snubby question...

    I've never liked revolvers much...kind of had the whole ignorant "thing of the past" mentality about them. In the last year or so though, I've taken an interest in them, and more realised it's just a slightly different tool. So I've been looking into getting a BUG. I really like the Smith J frames. I've picked out the 340 and the 442. Both are the same, except the 340 has the scandium frame that's a few ounces lighter. It also says .357Mag/.38+P. The 442 says .38+P.

    I know the .357 Mag is a higher pressure load than the .38+P, so I take it the 442 is not safe to shoot with .357 Mag? Is the .38+P an effective round for a BUG? I keep hearing mostly nothing but negativity about it, other than it's cheaper and easier to shoot. I know that either round is not going to be as effective as my .40 S&W, so basically, is it really worth the extra $500 to be able to shoot .357 Mag over .38+P? I know I could save the money and get the 640, but it weighs almost twice as much, and I don't want to carry that much extra weight. Thanks for any advice!
    -Ryan

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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array randy7601's Avatar
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    357 Magnum will not work in the 442. I don't even think they will fit, the 357 magnum is longer than the 38 special.

    The 340 M&P is a bear to shoot with 357 magnum (I have one - in fact it's in my pocket now), but in a real self-defense situation that won't matter.
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  3. #3
    Member Array cv7713's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel underpowered with a good .38+p round. However, I would choose the .357 due to the extra power. .357 is around 500 +/- ft-lb. .38+p is around 300 +/-.

    Also, you are correct... the 442 will not shoot .357 The .357 round creates almost double the pressure of a .38+p.
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  4. #4
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    I confess to feeling a bit superfluous in the past year or so. Seems that the firearms I've always taken seriously are more frequently said to be outdated these days. The polymer guns just don't speak to me though and I can't envision their supposed advantages. I've entertained the notion of the SIG P220 which I've taken on a "test drive" on occasion but haven't "pulled the trigger" on acquiring one yet. The only auto pistols I admire and consider for serious self defense are Colt .45s or else the wonderful Hi-Power.

    I still really believe in revolvers. I'm not a lawman so feel that, for personal self defense, the first shot in a scenario is far more important than the 15th shot. A quality revolver that dependably delivers an effective first shot and has the capacity for four or five reliable follow up shots makes me feel well armed indeed. I'm not taking the fight to 'em but only fending 'em off.

    In many ways there's less difference in a double action Colt or Smith & Wesson revolver from the early years of the 20th Century and the latest whiz-bang tacti-cool models of automatic pistols than is generally supposed. The design of the ammunition used in both dates to the Civil War era. Both revolver and automatic may be used to throw projectiles that strike telling blows on an assailant. Mental preparedness and shooting skills likely have more to do with successful self defense than do the minute design or functional details of various repeating handguns.

    When ray guns come into general use with their capability to be "set to stun" then the metallic cartridge arms will have been effectively eclipsed. Until then its just down to the delivery system and more importantly, the shooter behind the firearm.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array old grunt's Avatar
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    The S&W 442 IS a 38Spl NOT a 357 Mag. The 38Spl+P is an effective cartridge and an Airweight J-Frame like the 442(or its stainless brother..the 642)will be an EXCELLENT BUG(especially if you can find one WITHOUT the Lock). The 340 is a BRUTE to handle firing 357's and cost MORE because of the exotic metal. If you wnat to go the 357 route(with the ability to shoot 38Spl also)look into the HEAVIER but more robust Ruger SP101 5-shot revolver. GOOD LUCK>
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    My opinion, which is worth what you paid for it (), is that .357 Magnum is going to be pretty snappy from a J-Frame of any material. Even the relatively mild Golden Saber 125-grain loading at 1220 fps or so (probably a good measure less from a two-inch barrel) wouldn't be something I'd care to shoot much--of course, that isn't really your intention.

    I do believe that .38 Special +P can be a good stopper if you select the right load. If the sky is the limit, and if approved for your revolver, you might check out Buffalo Bore's +P loads. Less aggressive, but very similar to what the FBI carried in their three-inch Model 27s, is the Remington 158-grain HP +P load, which is a hollowpoint SWC in soft lead, so it expands fairly well at low velocity.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
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    If the 442 is chambered for .38 +P it will not chamber a .357. The gun is not built to handle the pressure the .357 round develops.
    Actually the .357 is a better SD load than the .40. The only advantage you have with the .40 is since it is designed for a semi auto pistol you generally are able to carry more rounds than in a revolver. Almost all small frame revolvers will limit you to 5 rounds in both .38 and .357.
    As far as the .38+P round. If you put it where it needs to go it will do the job for you. Most of your major manufacturers make a high quality reliable defensive load in a .38+P now.

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    I wouldn't be interested in spending the difference for the .357 Magnum as served up in a J-Frame revolver. It's just "too much of a good thing" in such small revolvers. A .357 Magnum in a J-Frame is more of a stunt than anything else in my view. Of course you know what they say about opinions...

  9. #9
    Member Array hybrid's Avatar
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    this is a hard one, I'll keep it short and simple, to me yes it's worth it to have .357 capability to most .38 spl is fine, and this is the first time I heard something bad about .38 +P, good luck in your decision.
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  10. #10
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    Had a S&W 442 Airweight for years. Loved it. If I were doing .38spl, that's the one I would have.

    If, however, you want to do .357mag, please do yourself a favor and FIRST get 5-10rds shooting experience, minimum, on the platform you choose. Personally, I think you'll find the 13oz scandium 340 in .357 brutal and painful to handle, and inaccurate as a result. If I were doing .357mag, I also would strongly consider the Ruger SP-101, simply because of the weight and ability to handle the recoil. Though, it's a larger gun and would necessitate IWB/OWB for me, instead of the pocket carry option for the 442/340.

    YMMV.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array ICTsnub's Avatar
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    Are you looking at them for primary or backup? Pocket, or belt?
    I carry a 640 most of the time, and on my belt. My brother carries a 340 IWB as a primary, and I think he's nuts. The light guns are great pocket or backup, but in a good holster/belt rig, I prefer the heavier gun.


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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I'll probably go with the 442 then. Thanks :)

    ICT...this is for a BUG only. I haven't found any type of clothing I wear that won't conceal my P229 in my VMII. Probably will be pocket carry, or weak side belt.
    -Ryan

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  13. #13
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    I have a 340 and a 642 (same as the 442, different finish). The action is smoother and the sights are better on the 340, plus it is a 357. It does hurt to shoot 357's, but not that much more than 38+p's. You are not going to want to target shoot with either loads. Is the 340 worth $300 dollars more than the 442? That's hard to answer, but I will say yes.

  14. #14
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    My latest EDC is a S&W 638 , Pocket carry, I feel that the 38+P is
    a good choice. YMMV IMHO,.
    quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Most .357's are not any higher priced than .38's of the same brand and model gun. Or, there is very little difference...... no $500 you suggest.

    Go with the .357, better / easier resale , and can shoot whatever you want in it.

    A .357 round, not as good as your .40 cal ?? I wouldn't make any bets on that one.

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