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Posted: 9/12/2004 5:36:25 PM EDT
I know most, if not all 357s will chamber a 38 spl, but: How do the three stack up against each other for recoil, stopping power, and the other important factors in a small carry gun--2-3" bbl? Reason is that my state requires qualification with caliber AND action for any CCW guns, so if I buy a 357, I can qualify with 38 also, just don't know if I really need a 357, or will +P do the job? Please feel free to speak loudly, I am a revolver newbie.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:21:11 AM EDT
If you can qual with more than one caliber, it would probably be a good idea to just borrow as many different caliber guns and get it on your permit. Then you can choose what you want to carry withou being too restricted.

I use .38 special +p, and I'm comfortable with that. I just shot that ammo (to rotate it out) in a three-gun match this weekend and had no issues with recoil. It was more than what I parctice with, but not enough to make any difference. I've shot the snubbie .357's and they were just a little too much for me, and I like to practice with something similar to what I'm carrying. I know I'm not going to shoot .357 out fo a 2" enough to be good with it. .38's I shoot out of it every couple of weeks. A 3" barrel isn't too bad though. My daily carry is a 2" Colt Detective Special.

I'd say you're fine with .38+P, but I'd rather have the options open for other calibers. Borrow some guns and get it done.

Link Posted: 9/15/2004 7:49:18 PM EDT
Thanks Ross, the idea to borrow is already in the works, I was just wondering what the word was like as far as .357 mag and .38 +P. Sounds like I might just go with +P from the posts I've read and talking to other gun owners here. Thanks
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:54:37 AM EDT
In terms of ballistics, there is a significant difference between the .38 +p and the .357 mag. I shoot all 3 loads out of my revolver and it is almost like shooting a different gun going from even the hotter +P loads to the .357 magnum cartridges.

This info was taken from the Remington website - there are a lot of different sources for this info, but this is a pretty good guideline and really demonstrates the differences on paper.

.38 spl +P 125 grain JHP Muzzle Velocity = 975 fps Muzzle Energy = 264 ft/lbs

.357 mag 125 grain JHP Muzzle Velocity = 1450 fps Muzzle Engergy = 583 ft/lbs

Obviously, there are a lot of other factors that go into caliber choice for a carry weapon such as confidence in the caliber, ability to handle recoil, muzzle blast, noise, etc. that go beyond velocity or energy. Personally, I would not subject my hand to the torture of shooting full house magnum loads out of a 2" snubbie, nor would I feel confident that I could hit anything with it past 5 yds. I shoot a 4" revolver and the recoil is very manageable in that size, but it doesn't make a great carry gun. This may be more info than you wanted. Hopefully it helps out some.
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