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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If have 357 magnum revolver but practice with 38 special will the aim / sights / point of impact be the same when shooting full power 357 magnum rounds?
 

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Bullseye target competition Yes. Defensive shooting, not enough to make a difference. The Adrenaline dump would effect your aim much more than the difference in loads.
 

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Different bullets have different point of impact. All 357 mag rounds don't even have the same point of impact. Even bullets with the same weight and velocity can have other design features that impact point of impact.
 

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I practice with .38's trigger but always run at least one cylinder of social (.357) sometimes more. A drill we did on my last tactical team (Yes we used revolvers I'm dating myself). Run flat out to the seven yard line draw and fire as fast as you think you can. The "group" that results is not flattering but resembles what high stress can do to you.
 

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I didn't notice much difference... on the first shot.

On the follow up shots, point of aim was still pretty much the same, but I found it was much harder and slower to get back on target for follow up shots when shooting .357 instead of .38 in my S&W 640 snubbie.

I usually carry .38s in it, with one "Hail Mary" .357 on the 5th shot, for that reason.
 

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At typical defensive distances I cannot see there being a significant difference that would be cause for concern. I would make sure that both loads shoot as close as possible and call it a day. Splitting hairs in this case really is not worth it. As long as your carry round hits where you point, that what matters. When I had a 357, i carried 38's mainly because I shot them so much better to the point it was very noticeable on my targets. All the power in the world does me no good if i cant put it in the kill zone.
 

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I carry .38+p's in my mod 60 or SP shoots to point of aim at 25 feet easy for follow up shots use big dot on front of snubs.
 

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Pretty much been said. I can't ad but to say play with it and see what you get. If the first one IS 357 and you're on target, the rest is academic. But there ain't no flys on a 38 or a +p. Good luck.
 

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Given the same bullet grain, .38 special should shoot a tad lower than a similar weight .357, but, as stated earlier, not enough to make a practical difference. If you intend to carry .357 rounds in your revolver for self defense, you may wish to consider practicing with these rounds at least part of the time because the difference in muzzle blast and recoil between these and .38's can be substantial, and can profoundly affect your shooting ability. A friend of mine who is a retired police officer told be about a policy in his department which allowed officers to qualify using .38 special ammunition even if they carried full house .357's as duty ammunition. When the policy was changed to require them to qualify with what they carry daily, many of the officers needed to retrain their shooting techniques in order to qualify with the magnum ammunition. I know that the price of .357 can be a deterrent to regular practice, but, in my opinion, it is advisable to work in at least a couple of cylinder fulls each range session.
 

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Train with what you shoot.
 

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At typical defensive distances I cannot see there being a significant difference that would be cause for concern. I would make sure that both loads shoot as close as possible and call it a day. Splitting hairs in this case really is not worth it. As long as your carry round hits where you point, that what matters. When I had a 357, i carried 38's mainly because I shot them so much better to the point it was very noticeable on my targets. All the power in the world does me no good if i cant put it in the kill zone.
^^^This^^^
 

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Depends on the ammo. It is possible to get .38 spl that will shoot to the same point of aim to a specific .357 load. Ammo is not generic as some people think. There are variations within every caliber and part of the fun is finding the right combo to use. But as one poster stated, the differences usually will not matter much for self defense at average self defense distances.
 

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I didn't notice much difference... on the first shot.

On the follow up shots, point of aim was still pretty much the same, but I found it was much harder and slower to get back on target for follow up shots when shooting .357 instead of .38 in my S&W 640 snubbie.

I usually carry .38s in it, with one "Hail Mary" .357 on the 5th shot, for that reason.

Just something to mentally chew on. If you can effectively draw and score with your first shot you might consider moving that hail mary full house 357 into the first round fired position. A solid hit from a .357 magnum is historically one of the best one shot man stoppers around. May not need the other four 38s and if you do the big damage is done on your first shot.
 

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Just something to mentally chew on. If you can effectively draw and score with your first shot you might consider moving that hail mary full house 357 into the first round fired position. A solid hit from a .357 magnum is historically one of the best one shot man stoppers around. May not need the other four 38s and if you do the big damage is done on your first shot.
That's a good thought, though I see one argument against it - muzzle flash. If it's dark and the .357 fireball is going to kill your night vision, perhaps better to save it for last, then your eyes may have time to re-adjust while loading.
 

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Between .38+P & .357.... at 50 yrds or anything past that, the difference is enough you really need to compensate for it. Up to that point, there will be some difference, but not enough to be concerned about. Also depends upon the barrel length of the handgun. A 3" barrel it's going to be different than out of a 6 " barrel.
 
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That's a good thought, though I see one argument against it - muzzle flash. If it's dark and the .357 fireball is going to kill your night vision, perhaps better to save it for last, then your eyes may have time to re-adjust while loading.
True that to a point. 357 will give you a bigger flash but 38 is going to give a decent flash of its own. Sort of a trade off. Either isnt going to improve your night vision. 357 will be brighter. Just for me myself and I personally if im putting off my first shot at 5 yards or less I want the round going first that is the most likely to end things on the first shot. 357 mag isnt the hammer of Thor but it has a pretty decent history of putting folks down with one shot if you do your part.
Course if muzzle flash is really a worry for the OP all Op has to do is rotate that little wheel when the sun starts down and put the 38s first :smile:

BTW anybody know where one can buy an assault version of the Hammer of Thor??? I cant find one anyplace:tongue:
 

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Ghost1958, if your looking for the assault version of the Hammer of Thor its called the Ruger Gp100. I own one and love it. After you run out of rounds you can use it as a hammer to club someone.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good points. I probably should have mentioned I'm primarly talking about more common self defense situation distances but also interested in differences for the occational long shot.
Thanks everybody.
 

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Good points. I probably should have mentioned I'm primarly talking about more common self defense situation distances but also interested in differences for the occational long shot.
Thanks everybody.
There will be some difference, the degree to which will vary depending on ammunition. Most, if not all, 357's are rifled around the 158 grain weight. I know this because I have spoken to manufacturers like Ruger and presented that question to them specifically, and they have not only confirmed this but have told me the load they use to test their 357's at the factory (Ruger uses American Eagle 158 grainers). The velocity differences will affect your elevation probably more so than anything else. Any given 158 grain 38 Special, for example, will stay in the barrel longer than a 158 grain 357 Magnum. So the 38 Spl is in the barrel longer in the recoil cycle, hence the muzzle is rising longer before the round exits the barrel than a 357 would. The point of impact change is most noticeable at 25 yards, but can be seen in as little as 12-15 yards in my own experience. At normal combat distances (0 to 10 feet per may police academy days) you will not really notice the difference.

In 38 Special I like the 158 grain +P Semi-Wadcutter HP for most any chore. I also like the 158 JHP's in 357 Magnum due to the fact I shoot them better than the lighter loads. Outside of these grain weights I like the 145 grain Silvertips and the PMC 150 grain Starfire load. All produce accuracy levels at 1 yard to 25 yards that are entirely acceptable in my experience with them. This gives me a wider range of capability in engagement of threats at distances and behind barriers (IMO).
 
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