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Posted: 6/2/2003 7:16:09 PM EDT
I have a Ruger .357 with a 2 3/4" barrel. Am I correct to assume that with .357 cartridges, a vast majority of the charge is still burning long after the bullet has left the muzzle? I'm trying to decide if it's worth loading it with .357 cartridges, or if I should stick with .38 or .38+p. My goal is to have the highest muzzle energy. Recoil is not an issue. All the amunition sites I could find campare their ballistics based on a 6" barrel, but none list how much energy is lost with the shorter barrels.

TIA, Tom
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 7:23:00 PM EDT
I think so. Shoot it at night and you tell me! Typically your 9mm and .40 Smith are the best option when short barrel is required.

I can't beleive how short they make .45 ACPs. How much of the cartridge to you want to waste anyway? Even in a 5" barrel they only achieve about 850 fps. Anything slower than that and you could practically jump out of the way of the bullet!
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 12:05:34 AM EDT
General rule of thumb is a handgun rd loses approx 50/fps per inch on each inch below a 4" barrel. IOW, a 2" would lose 100/fps.

Given that general spec, a .357 is still far superior to the .38spl, IMO. HP performance may be a concern though, given the speed loss.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 2:04:59 AM EDT
yes
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:53:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By markm:
I think so. Shoot it at night and you tell me! Typically your 9mm and .40 Smith are the best option when short barrel is required.

I can't beleive how short they make .45 ACPs. How much of the cartridge to you want to waste anyway? Even in a 5" barrel they only achieve about 850 fps. Anything slower than that and you could practically jump out of the way of the bullet!



markm hits the nail on the head.

The .357 is powerful enough that, even with a fair amount of lost velocity, it's still a good stopper.

The 9mm and even the .40S&W are naturals for short barreled pistols because the powder used in commercial loadings results in relatively high chamber pressures and fast burn times. Therefore, not much energy is lost with shorter barrels.

By contrast, 45 ACP barrel lengths less than Commander length experience a significant decrease in velocity. The very short barreled 45s have a nice looking big bore but the terminal ballistics of approximately a 38 special fired from a 4" barrel.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 1:35:01 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies. I have 9's, 40's and 45's for "regular" use. I don't generally rely on the short .357, but I've been looking at getting a couple more wheel guns and my curiosity got the best of me.

Thanks again, Tom
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