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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've fired many .38 spl. and .38 spl.+P from a .38 spl. revolver and have felt little difference in recoil. My question...is there any significant difference in recoil between the .38 spl. +P and the .357 mag. when fired from a .357 revolver. If so, how much? I'll find out for myself soon, just wanted to know what to expect. Thanks.
(in question is the snubby revolver)
 

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I tried both loads out of an SP-101, and there wasn't as much difference as I expected. Some, but not much.

I guess it would depend on the individual loads, though.
 

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My question...is there any significant difference in recoil between the .38 spl. +P and the .357 mag. when fired from a .357 revolver.
Yes. I've shot only a couple cylinders worth of .357 through my Taurus 605. It's painful.
 

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I have to agree with Grady regarding the SP101. I thought the 357 would have a much heavier recoil, it was definitely more than the +P but not as bad as I was expecting. I think if you shoot 357 out of a S&W J frame it could be a whole different experience.
 

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Depends on the gun. With my hefty SP-101, not too much difference but definitely noticeable.
With the S&W 340M&P that only weighs 13 ounces, BIG difference.
 

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In an airweight the difference is painful. In a SS Smith it's better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have to agree with Grady regarding the SP101. I thought the 357 would have a much heavier recoil, it was definitely more than the +P but not as bad as I was expecting. I think if you shoot 357 out of a S&W J frame it could be a whole different experience.
Are you saying that there would be a lot more recoil from a S&W 60 in stainless than the SP101? If so, why?
 

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Kinetic energy and The theory of relativity, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Heavy revolver and less gunpowder equals less recoil.
 

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In my M&P 340CT +P ammo is MUCH less punishing! :image035:
 

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Grain weight, pressure of the load and the frame of the gun all factor into the precieved recoil.
Some people are more recoil shy than others as well.
A full house .357 magnum load in an airweight frame is hard on the hand, not enough that I would hesitate to use if for defense, but enough that I don't really want to fire 100 rounds in a range session.
Compare that to a heavier large frame gun like my 686+ with a 3 inch barrel, 100 rounds of .357 magnun is nothing for a day at the range.
Another comparison is a model 36 snubbie, still a steel frame but smaller and lighter. Although it doesn't fire a .357 round there is a noticable difference in a standard pressure .38 Spl compared to a +P round, noticable for me but not unconfortable to shoot.
A good bit of difference can be seen between 2 different guns shooting the same ammo. My Ruger GP100 with a 6 inch barrel soaks up a lot more recoil than the 3 inch 686. But again that depends on the indvidual shooter as well.
I have a Model 29 .44 magnum that I just enjoy shooting, 100 rounds of .44 magnum ammo doesn't bother me at all, hubby is done after about 12 rounds, but he can shoot 100 rounds of .45 ACP tthrew his 1911 and it doesn't bother him.
All in all it comes down to what you feel comfortable shooting and what you shoot best. Try a few different rounds an shoot what you feel most comfortable with and don't concentrate on recoil, if it doesn't bother you. If you are recoil shy, shoot a lighter faster load, especially with a snubbie that doesn't build as much velocity due to a short barrel, you'll get better penetration with some loads better expansion as well.
When I carry my Model 36 snubbie I load it with Federal Nyclad rounds at 125 grains. Not at all hard to shoot and rated one of the better rounds for defense with a short barrel .38 spl. Another highly rated defense round for the .38 snubbies is the CorBon DPX 110 grain hollowpoint rounds. Either of these are a good choice for defensive round for a .357 as well.
 

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For me the recoil of a .357 vs. a .38 in my Ruger SP101 isn't much if any differance between .38,.38+P and .357 magnum. now my S&W M&P 340 J-frame that weighs 13oz well thats another story altogether. I have to say theres a big differance in felt recoil between ..38 and .357 in this gun BUT nowhere near the recoil some would have you believe. I have to say after owning and shooting one of these little J-frames the recoil of this gun is seriously over rated.
 

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I have S&W340 PD. I can shoot this with 38spl or 38 +p for hundreds of round with out problem, but 357. I DON'T want shoot full load 357 mag more than 10 round from it. There is no fun at all. It's wrose more than S&W500.
 

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Yes, there is, if out of a short barrel (2-3") .357. Out of larger one, you may not feel the difference. Easy to tell, load some 38 +p's in the gun, and some 357's. You'll know when the .357's shoot vs the 38 +p's. In mine, the .38 +p's.... go boom... the .357's go BOOM !! LOL

Now, out of a 6" and a 7 1/2 " barrel... NO... I can tell no difference what-so-ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I cannot understand why anyone would buy a .357 revolver if they don't shoot .357 rounds in it, and don't plan on shooting .357 rounds in it. Everyone says to shoot .38 spl. or .38 spl. +P because there's less recoil. Okay, why then don't these people buy a .38 spl. +P revolver instead of the .357 revolver if they never plan on shooting any magnum loads? Just doesn't make sense to me. :confused:
 

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Buying a revolver chambered for 357 mag does give you that option, even if you rarely exercise it. As you've heard, many shoot 38 spl for fun and practice, then carry 38 +P or 357 for protection. 38 spl being cheaper, too.
I usually shoot several rounds of 38 then one cylinder of 357 at practice.

Thankfully, I've never been there, but in a real firefight it's over in seconds, and I understand you don't notice recoil even with a snubbie.
 

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I cannot understand why anyone would buy a .357 revolver if they don't shoot .357 rounds in it, and don't plan on shooting .357 rounds in it. Everyone says to shoot .38 spl. or .38 spl. +P because there's less recoil. Okay, why then don't these people buy a .38 spl. +P revolver instead of the .357 revolver if they never plan on shooting any magnum loads? Just doesn't make sense to me. :confused:
I'm with you on that thought too Bart. Like I mentioned, recoil just doesn't bother me, other people can be really bothered by it, and find that the .357 is just too much for them.
At least the option is there to use the .357 rounds if you choose. Many people opt for the airweight J-frames because they are very light and easy to carry, then find out that the light frame is not substantial enough to tame the recoil of a .357 round.
I'm not one of those people, I actually prefer to carry a heavier gun, my 686+ does weigh around 3 pounds without ammo, and a lot of people just don't want to carry something that heavy for hours on end. It goes back to the each to his own thing. For me a larger heavier revolver is just more accurate than a lighter weight gun, and for me shot placement rules above round count and caliber, any day. I carry a Kimber .45ACP during the warmer months, only for the concealability, but it's not my favorite gun for accuracy. I refuse to carry anything I can't shoot consistent 3" groups with(that leaves out hubby's Glock 19) and leaves me favoring the Model 29 that I can shoot consistent 2" or smaller groups with.
It boils down to carry what you like and what you feel most comfortable with. If you are accurate with the gun and you feel it will do the job if you are ever forced to use it, that is really all that matters.:smile:
 

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There's another factor in the .357 experience - the grips. I have a Ruger SP101 (3"), a S&W M65 (3") and a S&W 640 (2"). Although the Ruger and the S&W65 weigh about the same, the standard SP101 grips provide a better feel shooting .357 than the M65 (round butt, walnut grips, with Tyler adapter) - the M65 is "harsh." The 640 (stainless steel) has rubber combat grips, and although it presents more recoil than the M65, it is not as harsh (bigger push, not as painful).
 

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Loads make an incredible difference. I shot some factory loads, 125 gn. IIRC, in my 686 2-1/2" bbl and after the first round, I knew I would empty the cylinder and that would be that. The recoil was incredible, and I'm not recoil sensitive, but I do recognize pain when I feel it.

I later shot some different .357 mag SD factory loads in my model 66, and the difference was absolutely amazing - even in the lighter, smaller gun, the recoil was nothing like the other loads.

As for why buy a .357 mag and shoot .38 spcl., one reason is because it gives one the option.

And, BTW, if there's no difference in recoil between a .38 spcl and a .357 mag, then there's no difference in energy - think about it. The same gun, two different rounds same bullet weight, produce no significant difference in recoil, how can that be? Only one answer - no significant difference in power.

There's no magic here, you accelerate a 125 gn bullet out of a given gun at a given rate of acceleration, it doesn't matter if it's a .357 round or .38 spcl round, everything is the same. Conversely, if a .357 has significantly more power, i.e. velocity for a given bullet weight, then it has a proportional greater amount of recoil.
 
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