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For personal carry, is there a significant of a difference between a 38+P and 357 Magnum with regard to stopping the treat? I know the difference of the recoil especially when at the range and multiple shots, but for the personal threat, is it worthwhile to invest in the 357 or is the 38 enough?
 

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Many that have a .357 platform choose to carry .38+p rounds in their revolver for defensive use. In short barrels, the flash and negatives of the .357 outweigh the positives. The .357 is one of the gold standards in terms of defensive rounds, and out of a 3 or 4" barrel, it's probably the better round. For lightweight snubs that many choose to carry, .38+p is a really good round these days, especially the Speer 135gr+p short barrel Gold Dots.

Personally, I decided to go with a strictly .38 platform when picking a snub years ago, and went with a 642. There are a lot of opinions on this, and I'm sure this thread will take off.
 

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This is often a touchy subject but I will say, for me, .38sp wad cutters in short barrel pistols is my normal carry. Exception being perhaps Hornady CD stuff or Federal Premium Personal Defense Ammunition 38 Special +P 129 Grain Hydra-Shok Jacketed Hollow Point.

Firing into a wet metro-size phone book I see the best all in all results with wad cutters when using a S&W 442. I have not shot the 340 however.
 

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The attached is by Stephen A. Camp. Rest his soul, he was one I trusted implicitly with firearm reviews.

New Page 1
 

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All those that want to be shot with a 357 instead of a 38 special please raise you hand. All those that want to be shot with a 38 special instead of a 357 please raise your hand. Seems the hand count is about the same on both sides of that question. Does that help?
It did me I shoot the slowest biggest 38 special bullet I can find in my 442.
R
 

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Yes there is a difference

Yes there is a difference. Even out of a short barrel. I have both 642 and 360M&P ( Bobbed Hammer ). Size is the same. Even though the PD is lighter than the 442 airweight it only matters on paper. In your pocket or hand you will not feel a real difference. I have both and there is about 2 ounces difference. Both are really lightweight and disappear. Here is what is better about the PD. You can fire 357 or 38+p or 38 wadcutters. All the crap about the extra muzzle flash is very overplayed. Yes it is louder and brighter( at night ). It's not like the +p rounds are quite or night vision friendly. Don't worry about what you read. The difference will not incapacitate you or make you wet your pants. The sights on the 340PD are replaceable and much larger and easier to acquire. The 442 has a Black ramp that's ok. My 360M&P has a Big Tritium front sight that is far superior to the fiber optic on the 340pd. You could install the big dot tritium on the 340PD. The main reasons people shoot 38+P is A. They do not have a 357 J frame and can't shoot 357's. B. They have a 357 J frame and have fired 357's and have realized that +P rounds hurt less to fire. No one uses the +P because it is more effective than a 357. You may hear crap about follow up shots being faster. Neither of these guns are real fun to fire off alot of rounds. The 11 ounce 357 will be alot less fun than a 13.5 ounce 38 +P. But the 38 in a airweight revolver still kicks pretty good.
 

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If you get the pd model with the titanium cylinder keep in mind you aren't suppose to shoot less than a 120 grain bullet.

I bought my 360pd and my dad's 340pd by more chance than research. It was a deal I couldn't pass up.

They aren't fun to shoot a bunch due to the small size and light weight... but they are very comfortable to carry since loaded up the revolver only weighs 13 ounces.
 

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Great thread, I am a snubbie junkie an carry either a SP101 with +ps 38 or my S&WMOD mod 60 ported with .357 for pocket carry for a fast run to the store I throw my S&WMOD 642 ported .38+ps in my pocket the flash crap I keep hearing about is ridiculous I shoot mine all the time have no problems with to much flash an mine is ported keeps muzzle flip down easy to stay on target for follow ups keep speed strip in pocket never feel under gunned. Love snubbies


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The 357 mag is by far, according to my chronograph, more powerful from a snub nose than a 38 spl.
 

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More powerful doesn't always mean more practically effective. Only hits count. You'll practice more with a .38 spl than a .357 magnum from a airweight snubby so you'll naturally have a higher probability of hits. You'll also have faster split-times (follow-up shots) and be less effected by the shock & awe (recoil & muzzle flash) of the magnum. We won't definitively settle this debate today but, IMHO, the compromise in caliber "power" is favorable to the increased likelihood of a miss. And that likelihood increases with every shot. If you never imagine yourself missing & believe one shot stops all fights, then the hot-loaded .357 magnums is perfect for you. Me, I'm goin' with less juice & more control.
 
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More powerful doesn't always mean more practically effective. Only hits count. You'll practice more with a .38 spl than a .357 magnum from a airweight snubby so you'll naturally have a higher probability of hits. You'll also have faster split-times (follow-up shots) and be less effected by the shock & awe (recoil & muzzle flash) of the magnum. We won't definitively settle this debate today but, IMHO, the compromise in caliber "power" is favorable to the increased likelihood of a miss. And that likelihood increases with every shot. If you never imagine yourself missing & believe one shot stops all fights, then the hot-loaded .357 magnums is perfect for you. Me, I'm goin' with less juice & more control.
^^^This, IMO^^^
 

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In short barrels, the flash and negatives of the .357 outweigh the positives.
I wish I had $1 for every time I hear that wives tale.

More powerful doesn't always mean more practically effective. Only hits count. You'll practice more with a .38 spl than a .357 magnum from a airweight snubby so you'll naturally have a higher probability of hits. You'll also have faster split-times (follow-up shots) and be less effected by the shock & awe (recoil & muzzle flash) of the magnum. We won't definitively settle this debate today but, IMHO, the compromise in caliber "power" is favorable to the increased likelihood of a miss. And that likelihood increases with every shot. If you never imagine yourself missing & believe one shot stops all fights, then the hot-loaded .357 magnums is perfect for you. Me, I'm goin' with less juice & more control.
Everything you state is very dependent on skill level. A man has got to know his limitations.......
 

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For personal carry, is there a significant of a difference between a 38+P and 357 Magnum with regard to stopping the treat? I know the difference of the recoil especially when at the range and multiple shots, but for the personal threat, is it worthwhile to invest in the 357 or is the 38 enough?
The question is a bit unclear. Are you setting your sights on a light weight .357, or is your question more in line with the .38/357 comparison? For the latter you have your answers above.

For the former - 442 v. 340, well I can handle a 38 +P in my 642 or 637 airweights just fine. 38 +P's are even easier in my 640 or 60's. The 640 or 60's do get snappy with full house .357's, though. I cannot imagine shooting a .357 in a 340, which is lighter than my 642 or 637. I train with plinking ammo that is a ballistic match with my carry, so I know what to expect when I shoot. I'll burn 50 - 100 rounds in a session with my 642.

I cannot imagine burning 50 - 100 rounds of .357 in a 340. In a 686 L frame, sure, no problem, but not in a 340. So unless you are recoil immune, I would not invest the money in a 340 with the plan on carrying .357's, because I highly doubt you would be training rapid fire with .357's enough to become very proficient.
 

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Ok heres the lowdown on which one to get. The 357 gun can shoot both 357 and 38 in a pinch. The 38 gun just 38's. So u have the option of either or. What do I have? A smith 642 38+P. Why I got it instead? I wanted the no lock and I saw it so I grabbed it up. Kinda hard to find in my area.
 

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Great thread, I am a snubbie junkie an carry either a SP101 with +ps 38 or my S&WMOD mod 60 ported with .357 for pocket carry for a fast run to the store I throw my S&WMOD 642 ported .38+ps in my pocket the flash crap I keep hearing about is ridiculous I shoot mine all the time have no problems with to much flash an mine is ported keeps muzzle flip down easy to stay on target for follow ups keep speed strip in pocket never feel under gunned. Love snubbies


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That's a nice looking ruger u got there and holster. Where did u find that engraved SP.
 

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I own a 360. Basically the same as either model in terms of size and weight. Has a hammer (which i prefer) and different sight picture. It wasn't made for or purchased by me for range time. I've shot 38s through it and both 125 and 158 grain 357s. The 125s feel similar to 158 +P 38s. The 158 357s don't. They feel more like a full power 10mm because of the lighter weight. However, my shooting technique lightened the recoil on those full loads. Tight grip, relaxed elbow. Huge difference. I like having the option of firing both loads. Soft shooting regular 38s are great for training new shooters with a small wheelie. I carry 158s.

I also don't subscribe to the muzzle flash argument. I don't believe that an up close and uncomfortable SD situation will be affected by it.

Rather than relying on a bunch of us Internet experts, seek out those who have actually had to shoot someone in SD and see if muzzle flash or felt recoil were an issue. You may not find too many that remember anything other than trying to stay alive.
 

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I owned the 360PD, same gun with an exposed hammer. It was the easiest carrying gun I owned. It was so light, even loaded, that most people who held it did not think it was a real gun. Put it in your pocket and forget it is there. Same for belt carry. However, even shooting .38 spl out of it is no fun. Yes it is doable. Shooting mild Golden Saber .357 magnums was also doable for about two cylinders. Shooting hot .357 magnums took skin off of my hand which is the first time that has every happened in over 40 years of shooting .44 magnums and below. I sold it once and then regretted it after carrying a heavier snub nose and bought it back. Then I sold it again as I realized that since I am already a senior citizen I could shoot it less and less and therefore rarely practiced with it and some day I may really need it and not be able to shoot it well at that time. I sold it for the last time and got a .357 mag LCR instead. I could have bought the .38 LCR which is only a little over 13 ounces and half the price of the 11.5 oz.340PD and with a better trigger but I wanted a heavier gun and the .357 LCR is heavier than the Smith airweights/airlites but lighter than the other all steel models. Now I can shoot a box of any ammo the LCR takes and not have a bleeding or sore hand. If I were you I would get the .38 spl LCR. Only 2 oz. heavier than the 340PD and cost much less. The trigger is much better too and I have been shooting S&W revolvers for a verrrry long time.

I also bought the LCR in .22 magnum as a BUG or occasional primary lightweight pocket gun. With Gold Dot JHP the performance of the .22 mag is pretty impressive these days. Last time I shot it the guy in the next stall came over to ask me if I was shooting a full automatic gun. You can shoot it that fast with minimal recoil and very accurately too.
 

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Hey richard,
Its the talo version i sent to actions by t for complete action job an he jeweled cylinder ends an hammer an trigger great gun very accurate joy to shoot holster is kent hayes from hayesleather.com the guys a real artist. I have tiger stripped grips coming from gemini cant wait to see them.
 

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Many that have a .357 platform choose to carry .38+p rounds in their revolver for defensive use. In short barrels, the flash and negatives of the .357 outweigh the positives. The .357 is one of the gold standards in terms of defensive rounds, and out of a 3 or 4" barrel, it's probably the better round. For lightweight snubs that many choose to carry, .38+p is a really good round these days, especially the Speer 135gr+p short barrel Gold Dots.

Personally, I decided to go with a strictly .38 platform when picking a snub years ago, and went with a 642. There are a lot of opinions on this, and I'm sure this thread will take off.

^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^


Get some GD short barrel 135 grain .38+P and the BG is going down big time if you do your part.
 
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