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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:25:12 PM EST
I like the idea of .357 revolvers but, most of the snub nose wheel guns I see are chambered in .38 +P.

Is there a difference in actual round performance between the two in such a short barrel?

My thought was I'd like to have a .357 snub to go along with a GP100 and a lever gun but, I don't want to pay the premium if .38 is just as good or if the difference is negligible.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:27:04 PM EST
If you don't hit em' , you'll burn em' and blind em'.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:29:51 PM EST
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:31:28 PM EST
.38 +P is not "as good", but is good, and plenty for a snubby.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:31:43 PM EST
There's a thread floating around here that showed that it does make a difference.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:32:15 PM EST
In a snubby........don't really care. Would rather have the lower recoil and muzzle blast/flash of the .38spl in a gun like that anyhow.....I'd rather hit em than try to blind them........it's a gun not a flashlight.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:34:35 PM EST
"More information from Doctor Roberts: "With few exceptions, such as the Speer 135 gr +P JHP and Barnes XPB, the vast majority of .38 Sp JHP's fail to expand when fired from 2" barrels in the 4 layer denim test. [...] There is no reason to go with .357 mag in a J-frame, as the significantly larger muzzle blast and flash, and harsher recoil of the .357 Magnum does not result in substantially improved terminal performance compared to the more controllable .38 Special bullets when fired from 2” barrels."

From http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:35:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2011 12:44:19 PM EST by Panta_Rei]
There's a thread floating around here that showed that it does make a difference.


I'm curious. From experience shooting snubbies there was was no discernable difference in penetration in my very unscientific setting. Short barrel snub-nosed magnums are quite inefficient.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:38:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2011 12:39:51 PM EST by shade_1313]
.357 snubbies tend to be steel framed, and the additional weight makes them MUCH more pleasant to fire .38 through.

Most of the .38 snubbies that I've seen lately have been lightweights.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:40:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By shade_1313:
.357 snubbies tend to be steel framed, and the additional weight makes them MUCH more pleasant to fire .38 through.

Most of the .38 snubbies that I've seen lately have been lightweights.


This alone might be worth the extra money
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:42:23 PM EST
I just use the Speer 135 gr gold dot short barrel loads in my j-frame for self defense/concealed carry when I use my 649-2 for CCW.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:44:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2011 12:47:37 PM EST by Shadow4Golf]
Buffalo Bore offers a 'short barrel' standard pressure and +P loading for .38 Special and Speer has a full line of Gold Dot short barrel expansion ammo
http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=1
http://le.atk.com/general/speerproducts/handgun/golddotshortbarrel.aspx

I've got an old run of Winchester 147gn +P that I currently use in my J frames. I stick to standard pressure loads only in my 2d gen Colt Cobra, mostly 158 LSWC. Once I'm getting towards the need to replace my carry ammo, I'll be stocking up on the previously listed Buffalo Bore Standard Heavy and Speer +P 135 GDHP-SB.h
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:44:48 PM EST
Easier to shoot, and you always have the option of using .357 or .38+p.
My carry gun (outside of MD) is a steel 5-shot .357, loaded with .38+Ps.

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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:46:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:
There's a thread floating around here that showed that it does make a difference.


I'm curious. From experience shooting snubbies there was was no discernable difference in penetration in my very unscientific setting. Short barrel snub-nosed magnums are quite inefficient.

http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=994398

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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:48:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2011 12:57:35 PM EST by mr_camera_man]
I had read a few threads elsewhere that showed a ~400FPS difference between some .38+P and .357 loads. Some .357 loads marked on the box as 1500FPS were getting over 1200FPS out of a snubbie. This is why I chose to keep my 360 loaded with 125gr .357 Critical Defense... great velocity, and guaranteed expansion. I'd load .357 Silvertips if I could find them locally, online, or anywhere.

BRB, off to find some links.

Edit:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38vs357snub.htm shows the classic "full-house" Remington 125gr .357 at 1243FPS out of a 2.5" S&W M19. Then again, the same page shows Cor-Bon .38 +p+ 115gr. sizzling along at 1188FPS out of a 642.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:49:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By HKUSP45C:
I like the idea of .357 revolvers but, most of the snub nose wheel guns I see are chambered in .38 +P.

Is there a difference in actual round performance between the two in such a short barrel?

My thought was I'd like to have a .357 snub to go along with a GP100 and a lever gun but, I don't want to pay the premium if .38 is just as good or if the difference is negligible.

This is why I went with the S&W 642. I can appreciate getting a .357 snub to dampen the recoil of .38 +P, but to shoot full house .357 out of it seems like waste or even a loss of performance due to excessive recoil, etc.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 12:56:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2011 12:57:51 PM EST by 3rdpig]
Originally Posted By HKUSP45C:
Originally Posted By shade_1313:
.357 snubbies tend to be steel framed, and the additional weight makes them MUCH more pleasant to fire .38 through.

Most of the .38 snubbies that I've seen lately have been lightweights.


This alone might be worth the extra money


I've got a half dozen snubbies, Colt Detective Special, S&W 38 airweight bodyguard, Ruger SP-101, etc, etc. By far the most comfortable one to shoot is the heaviest one, the SP-101. It's a pussycat with even the hottest 38+P and it's falls well short of "brutal" with full house 357. Try that in a scandium S&W 357 snubby and you'll start carrying the emergency number for an orthopedic surgeon in your wallet. The SP-101 is also the least pleasant to carry due to it's weight.

For me a snubby is a BUG, which means it needs to be light and either pocketable or carried in an ankle holster. A heavy gun like an SP-101 is, IMO, not a good choice for that. And due to it's 5 shot design, it's not really a good main carry piece either in these days of mob violence.

I think if I really wanted a snubby as a main carry gun, one carried in a holster, I'd find or make a 3" S&W K frame 357. But to be brutally honest, I'd still take a Glock 26 over it any day. Or better yet, a Glock 29.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:02:05 PM EST
In one S&W M640-1 I clocked .357 125gr Remington Golden Saber loads at about 1100 fps. From the same gun .38 Special +P Golden Saber 125gr loads clocked 900 fps. The Golden Saber .357 is not a full power blow-the-doors-off load. It might be different in a different gun.

http://bitmaps-misc.blogspot.com/
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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:04:06 PM EST
I carry my Taurus 605 with Hornady .357 158gr JHP. Makes one hell of a boom. It definitely kicks a bit. I can control it though. I shot some Remington Golden Sabre +P out of the 605 after shooting 50 rounds of the Hornady and it felt like I was shooting a pellet gun lol.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:06:56 PM EST
i've always carried 125 gr .357 silver tips in my 2" snub, they aren't too painful and ive heard they will expand? who knows tho?
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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:11:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By SGB:
Only in that you can use .357 if .38 is unavailable.

A big +1

You can always shoot .38+P outta the .357, but if all you have is .357, your .38 is a paper weight.

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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:12:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
i've always carried 125 gr .357 silver tips in my 2" snub, they aren't too painful and ive heard they will expand? who knows tho?

Wow, there went post 15000!
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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:17:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By shade_1313:
.357 snubbies tend to be steel framed, and the additional weight makes them MUCH more pleasant to fire .38 through.

Most of the .38 snubbies that I've seen lately have been lightweights.


I fired a .357 snubbie made of scandium once.

Once. Literally. I just handed it back and said thanks, and ow.

The gun weighed less than the five cartridges.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:49:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2011 1:51:54 PM EST by 1911greg]
Originally Posted By Stegadeth:

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
i've always carried 125 gr .357 silver tips in my 2" snub, they aren't too painful and ive heard they will expand? who knows tho?

Wow, there went post 15000!


wow, kinda a pointless post huh, i kinda remember testing the silvertip into some water filled milk containers. Guess I will have to do it again.
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Posted: 8/18/2011 1:50:32 PM EST
Shoot it at night and let us know!!!

It would be a bit more controllable with the +P
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