The mighty 38 spl - Page 6

The mighty 38 spl

This is a discussion on The mighty 38 spl within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'd even go so far to say that there is less real difference in application between the .357 Magnum and the .38 Special than most ...

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  1. #76
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    I'd even go so far to say that there is less real difference in application between the .357 Magnum and the .38 Special than most would like to think. Good as the .357 Magnum is, the .38 Special revolver is no slouch unless one deliberately restricts it to wimpy loads. It's easy to do better with the .38 Special.

    The only person I've ever seen shot was with a .357 Magnum so I have no basis for comparison. I've seen the .38 Special perform in the field though for many years and it's quite reliable, even on largish critters.
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  2. #77
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    Just went through a box of 50 .38spl on Friday when I rented the Chiappa Arms Rhino 50DS. I haven't had experience with any others but the Rhino was totally awesome with firing the .38spl. I was hitting my targets quite well and, with the Rhino, it was like shooting a .22 as far as recoil goes and with no muzzle flip. Don't know what the .357 Magnum rounds would feel like through it but I am now interested in buying the Rhino and would be shooting .38spl much more often for sure.

    Cool thread.

    EDIT: Had to add a pic.

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  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    The 38 is not special.

    It does not hold a candle to the 357 magnum. The Winchester 125 Grain Magnum clocks 1250 FPS out of a 640 Pro, I would say that is a significant gain over the 850 FPS you get from a standard velocity 38 special in a snubby. Before somebody starts whining about blast and recoil, stay on the porch if you can't handle it. I have seen real people shot with both, the 38 is not impressive. I have never been attacked by a block of gelatin.

    If I was going to limit myself to 5 shots, why in the world would I also limit myself to 1/2 of the energy?
    For one you can get some pretty respectable performance from the .38 SPL with the right ammo such as this
    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=109

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=108

    So it isn't quite as signifigant as you think. You also need to think about women and elderly folks, they too have the right to CC and some just can't deal with the recoil of a fly weight snubbie. I know that I too wouldn't like the abuse of firing a .357 from a fly weight revolver either. The .357 is a good cartridge but it isn't all that. In order to really take advantage of it's attributes it needs to be housed in a gun with at least a 4" barrel as it really needs as much velocity as it can get. I have no use for the .357 mag at all, if I can't accomplish the task at hand with a .38 SPL then it's time to pull out the .41 mag. Which is a lot more capable than the little .357 maggie, even with a toned down load pushing a 215gr bullet along at 1050fps. If I can't get it done with the .41 mag then I should have used a long gun in the first place.

    Regardless no other handgun cartridge matches the all out versatility of the .38 SPL, as glockman10mm stated you are in the minority here. BTW great thread glockman.

  4. #79
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    Nothing like a good old fashioned candle shoot out. Yah, really, like shoot out the candle. I'm not kidding.
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  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by 336A View Post
    For one you can get some pretty respectable performance from the .38 SPL with the right ammo such as this
    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=109

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=108

    So it isn't quite as signifigant as you think. You also need to think about women and elderly folks, they too have the right to CC and some just can't deal with the recoil of a fly weight snubbie. I know that I too wouldn't like the abuse of firing a .357 from a fly weight revolver either. The .357 is a good cartridge but it isn't all that. In order to really take advantage of it's attributes it needs to be housed in a gun with at least a 4" barrel as it really needs as much velocity as it can get. I have no use for the .357 mag at all, if I can't accomplish the task at hand with a .38 SPL then it's time to pull out the .41 mag. Which is a lot more capable than the little .357 maggie, even with a toned down load pushing a 215gr bullet along at 1050fps. If I can't get it done with the .41 mag then I should have used a long gun in the first place.

    Regardless no other handgun cartridge matches the all out versatility of the .38 SPL, as glockman10mm stated you are in the minority here. BTW great thread glockman.
    Now you are cherry picking. If you pick the best, the 38 just cannot compete. Who said shoot it in a light weight gun? All of my Magnums are steel. A handgun, any handgun is a compromise. I also believe in upping the ante if the 357 is not enough - to the 44 magnum.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I reckon your entitled to your opinion...but it seems you are in a minority.
    Its lonely at the top.
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  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doghandler View Post
    Nothing like a good old fashioned candle shoot out. Yah, really, like shoot out the candle. I'm not kidding.
    When I was a kid we used to light matches with 22's.
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  8. #83
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    I had a friend in high school who put a 351 in a Pinto. It was cool, except he kept tearing out rear ends.

    Seems the problem was, even though the engine changed, it was still a Pinto.

    The 357 mag was one of my top cartridges. But when I need a magnum, I reach for the 44.
    The problem with the 357 mag in a j frame is not the trouble shooting it,rather it's the platform. I can't see a j frame, holding up to a steady diet of the same ammo that would loosen the k frame revolvers.
    And I'd hate to see that forcing cone after a while!

    In regard to the power level of the 38 vs the 357, with a little 2400, mag primer, and adjustment of seating depth of a 125 grn bullet, I think I could get close to 1250 fps.

    Yes, the 38 spl, offers all that you need. With calibers like the 44 spl and 45 Colt, the 357 magnum is really not even relevant.
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  9. #84
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    The .38 has nothing to be ashamed of. It may have faded a bit with the 357 only because it can fire both.
    I often carry a light weight .38 and never feel under gunned. I have a old 669 357 six inch that I shoot .38's in most of the time.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    Now you are cherry picking. If you pick the best, the 38 just cannot compete. Who said shoot it in a light weight gun? All of my Magnums are steel. A handgun, any handgun is a compromise. I also believe in upping the ante if the 357 is not enough - to the 44 magnum.
    And "cherry-picking" is wrong why exactly? This forum is full to the brim with folks "cherry-picking" for top loads for handguns chambered for other favored cartridges. The .38 Special deserves the same consideration when choosing loads. You would deliberately restrict .38 Special performance through quoting the paper ballistics of some of the more feeble loads available for it and disparaging any suggestions of more performance oriented ammunition.

    Could that be considered to be "reverse cherry-picking?"
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  11. #86
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    I don't see why the .357 deserves any hate. I love my .357 revolvers. I shoot .38 Special out of them all day, and they'll surely take several lifetimes of that. If you want more power, well there you have it. The gun will still take it. That being said, I personally don't think the tradeoff on the magnums is worth it if the barrel is shorter than 4". For those who think it is worth it, more power to you. I say you can't beat a 4" .357 Magnum in a revolver.

  12. #87
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    I had a friend in high school who put a 351 in a Pinto. It was cool, except he kept tearing out rear ends.

    Seems the problem was, even though the engine changed, it was still a Pinto.
    I had a friend did it with a 302, which brings what to the conversation?

    The problem with the 357 mag in a j frame is not the trouble shooting it,rather it's the platform. I can't see a j frame, holding up to a steady diet of the same ammo that would loosen the k frame revolvers. And I'd hate to see that forcing cone after a while!
    According to my gunsmith friend the J frame is quite a bit stronger than the K frame, due to thicker steel in critical areas. My 13-4 is about 25 years old and has digested thousands of magnums, how many damaged ones have you actually SEEN?

    In regard to the power level of the 38 vs the 357, with a little 2400, mag primer, and adjustment of seating depth of a 125 grn bullet, I think I could get close to 1250 fps.

    Yes, the 38 spl, offers all that you need. With calibers like the 44 spl and 45 Colt, the 357 magnum is really not even relevant.
    Now you are just being silly, I can do the same thing with a 357 and get 1600 fps. Unless you are loading Ruger only loads in the 45 Colt, the 357 eclipses both it and the 44 Special by quite a margin. If the 45 Colt was all that why did we need the 357 mag in the 1930's to kill mobsters in cars? Face it, the older black powder era cartridges are anemic and will remain so for the most part because there are so many older weaker guns that cannot safely handle the pressure.

    And "cherry-picking" is wrong why exactly? This forum is full to the brim with folks "cherry-picking" for top loads for handguns chambered for other favored cartridges. The .38 Special deserves the same consideration when choosing loads. You would deliberately restrict .38 Special performance through quoting the paper ballistics of some of the more feeble loads available for it and disparaging any suggestions of more performance oriented ammunition.
    Absolutely not, my point being that sure you can load a 38 Special up to 1100 FPS in a snubby but at the same time the 357 gives you 1600 fps. I see that as a HUGE gain in power. Compare apples to apples and you have an accurate comparison. Compare the best BB 38 special to the best BB 357 and see where we end up.

    I am not saying there is anything wrong with the 38 Special, there just is nothing special, it is no powerhouse by any stretch of imagination.
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  13. #88
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    I guess it went over your big green head. The analogy of the car with the big engine was a tongue in cheek comparison to a 357 in a snub j frame.

    If you say you are getting 1600 fps from a 357, in a snub, or even a 4 inch, with factory loads, I'm thinking you are exposed to too high of an elevation.

    How does a 357 eclipse a big bore revolver? Are you speaking strictly of velocities? I would be very interested in knowing what brings you to that conclusion.

    And, as to your starelent about using the cartridge to kill mobsters in cars, you are only telling half the story. Hint; what did Frank Hamer have on him during the B&Clyde ambush?

    Sure, faster projectiles penetrated better due to speed. But experienced people know there is way more to it than speed.

    The 357 is a great cartridge, properly loaded. But you will pay big money, for those who produce anything resembling the real deal.
    But it's a fact, anything that needs doing, from mild to wild, can be done with a 38spl.
    The limiting factor is the knowledge of the user.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Hint; what did Frank Hamer have on him during the B&Clyde ambush?
    A Colt Super .38 ACP, "Old Lucky" a C engraved Single Action Army .45 Colt, and his Model 8 Remington.
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  15. #90
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    I guess it went over your big green head. The analogy of the car with the big engine was a tongue in cheek comparison to a 357 in a snub j frame.
    Oh and I thought the analogy was you can stuff more powder in it, but it is still a 38 Special.

    If you say you are getting 1600 fps from a 357, in a snub, or even a 4 inch, with factory loads, I'm thinking you are exposed to too high of an elevation.
    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=103

    Ok, my bad, only 1476 fps.

    How does a 357 eclipse a big bore revolver? Are you speaking strictly of velocities? I would be very interested in knowing what brings you to that conclusion.
    If you stick with industry standard loads the 357 mag has more energy (velocity) and a better sectional density. Out of a snub nose revolver in 44 special even BB loads are about 1100 FPS, that is quite a load and I would be very happy with that as a carry load. I guess we could call that a wash.

    And, as to your statement about using the cartridge to kill mobsters in cars, you are only telling half the story. Hint; what did Frank Hamer have on him during the B&Clyde ambush?

    Sure, faster projectiles penetrated better due to speed.
    My Grandfather was a cop in Milwaukee, WI during those times (1920's-1930's) and he carried a 45 Colt and a 30-06 (for getting into cars). At that time the 45 Colt WAS king of the hill.

    But experienced people know there is way more to it than speed.
    This statement means what? You are all giddy stating that the 158 grain LSWC 38 Special is a powerhouse, but I counter with no, but the same bullet at loaded as a magnum is and you try to defend you point beyond all silliness. You allude that you have the experience and I, or anyone who disagrees with you are the neophyte.

    The 357 is a great cartridge, properly loaded. But you will pay big money, for those who produce anything resembling the real deal.
    It is, and not really. Why not the same standard you put on the 38 Special?
    But it's a fact, anything that needs doing, from mild to wild, can be done with a 38spl.
    The limiting factor is the knowledge of the user.
    You are defending your position beyond all rational thought. Anything a 38 Special can do a 357 Magnum can do it better. I really like how you and 336A throw in other calibers to try and disparage the 357 Magnum. The beauty of a 357 mag revolver is I can shoot powder puff 38 loads all day and then load some barn burners, it is tremendously more adaptable.
    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.

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