.38 Special or .357 Magnum for self defense?


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shephard19
September 9, 2009, 11:02 PM
It seems to me that many people use .38 Special in revolvers that were designed for .357 Magnum for self defense because of the greater controllability of the former. Given the choice which do you use or would you use for self defense?

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Blue Brick
September 9, 2009, 11:07 PM
38 Special.

jackslayer
September 9, 2009, 11:12 PM
I think you could go over post after post after post to find a general consensus on what you should use. To save you some time, go .357 as long as you can handle it effectively. As many will tell you, the most important thing is that the bullet hits the BG. If you can do that with .357 use it. If not, train so that you can. probably with 125 grain bullets, although some swear by 158's.

jaholder1971
September 9, 2009, 11:17 PM
Either will do the job nicely, however the .357 is more effective and more versatile.

freakshow10mm
September 9, 2009, 11:25 PM
Special people, magnum bears.

content
September 9, 2009, 11:59 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // I agree, It's as much about how confident you are with firearm as the bullet.

.357 in airweight, ouch not for me // .38 in airweight, tough to practice with but doable.(Is that a word?)

I am most confident with my S&W L-frame 6'' 357 and prefer to carry it with 6 Corbon 125grJHP

After renting /borrowing ;; posting poll here on Sp101/686.... After 1 month + to make sure of choice .. Have ordered a S&W 638 airweight bodyguard .38+P, no key.

But that is just me and my way of doing things.
I'm looking foward to the light weight but powerful 5 shot 638 at least getting me back to my truck and the 6'' .357 ;- )

. I will probably use a 110 gr. JHP but need to test several loads to see what new revolver likes.

Fly'nBuff
September 10, 2009, 12:04 AM
.357 in the L-Frames.
.38 +P in the J-Frames.

mesinge2
September 10, 2009, 12:19 AM
.357 in the L-Frames.
.38 +P in the J-Frames.

+ 1 Fly'nBuff

sig228
September 10, 2009, 12:19 AM
In my j-frame:

First two shots .38 +P
Next three .357

Mix and match.

DNS
September 10, 2009, 12:24 AM
I'll vote for .38 special in a J frame. Mike

blutarsky
September 10, 2009, 12:25 AM
personally, i keep my revolver (3" gp100) loaded with a good quality 38spl +p for home defense. primarily because if it came to it i'd rather shoot those indoors than a hot .357 in an enclosed space in the middle of the night.

gglass
September 10, 2009, 12:32 AM
Here are some 4" barrel tests done by BrassFetcher.com

.38 Special (various)
http://www.brassfetcher.com/Various%20.38%20Special%20from%20a%204%20inch%20revolver.html

.357 Magnum (Gold Dot)
http://www.brassfetcher.com/Speer%20125%20grain%20Gold%20Dot%20hollowpoint.html

Draw your own conclusions, but both calibers easily exceed FBI penetration standards. I suppose that you could give the edge to the .357 if you plan on shooting through auto glass.

content
September 10, 2009, 12:44 AM
Hello friends and neighbors \\ Thanks gglass ;; so much for the 110 gr /// Which of the .38 rounds would you use in a 638 airlight? Fed 147gr hyd shock +P+ or one of th BB ?

JAV8000
September 10, 2009, 02:26 AM
Double Tap 125 gr. .38+P for my 638.

kanook
September 10, 2009, 12:41 PM
from a recent hunt I discovered that a .357 158 SJsP at point blank (using a bangstick) didn't penetrate a gator skull. So I thought that my angle was off , reloaded and tried again. Still went boing. The third was further back in the neck and that worked.

Now on the second gator (my wifes 7' 7") I remember the 357 problem and used 38 special FMJ first to see if it was better. The stick went bang and the gator is in the freezer.

I now have a lot more respect for that old useless caliber. Your results may be different than mine, and all shooting is different too.

nathan
September 10, 2009, 01:27 PM
.38 sp easy on the wrist !

dougwx12
September 10, 2009, 01:31 PM
Home, city, or barrel <=2": .38
Woods with barrel >=3": 357

Cocked & Locked
September 10, 2009, 04:49 PM
I like .357 ammo...and lots of it.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/373123795.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701644.jpg

megatronrules
September 10, 2009, 05:09 PM
I have two .357 snubbies a Ruger SP101 and a S&W M&P 340 both are loaded with 130gr hydrashock .357's. The Ruger is easier to control obviously due to its weight but I can still make good hit COM on a man sized target a 7yards with 340 and the 340 is easier to carry to. This question has been asked countless times but to me the .357 IS the better SD round providing you can control it. That being said theres nothing wrong with .38+P either.

Virginian
September 10, 2009, 05:34 PM
357. I can see better in the dark with the muzzle flash.

content
September 10, 2009, 06:20 PM
Hello friends and neighbors /\\//\

C&L too sweet for words ,,

JAV8000 I have to try those thanks.

+1 dougwx12

Glockman17366
September 10, 2009, 06:38 PM
38 +P in the snubbies (I have a Ruger SP101, but I don't consider it a snubbie).
.357 Mag works fine in a revolver that weighs 25 oz or more, but it sucks in a light weight gun.

Zeke/PA
September 10, 2009, 06:56 PM
My concealed carry is a 638 in .38 Special of course.
I shoot it weekly using 158 Semi- Wadcutters.
I LOVE the .38 Special cartridge and I really believe that it is underated.

wditto
September 10, 2009, 07:04 PM
Cocked & Locked , what model is that there gem, and where can I get one ???thanks

Avenger29
September 10, 2009, 07:10 PM
I split the difference and go with .38Spcl +P. Good controlability, and good performance. For the lightweight J-frame type guns, I like standard .38spcl (Federal Nyclad is a favorite of mine...thankfully, reintroduced recently).

That said, I do have a policy of buying revolvers chambered in .357 instead of only .38spcl, simply because of ammunition flexibility.

skoro
September 10, 2009, 08:19 PM
I carry Gold Dot 38+P in my airweight snub. For my 4" k-frame .357 revolvers, I keep them loaded with FBI 38+P loads. I especially like the Buffalo Bore version. If I'm at my cabin in the woods, I load up with full-house magnum rounds. Too many bears and cougars active at night in that neighborhood. :scrutiny:

Ghost Walker
September 10, 2009, 08:21 PM
I own several 357 magnum revolvers. I like to roll my own ammo; and I prefer to use ONLY 357 length cases that are loaded to, more or less, +P 38 Special velocities. (Works for me!) :)

Cocked & Locked
September 10, 2009, 08:27 PM
Cocked & Locked , what model is that there gem, and where can I get one ???thanks

Its a S&W 627-PC made in 1999 for Lew Horton Dist. Co. Upon occasion one will appear on Gun Broker for sale.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701637.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701645.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/373123796.jpg

Resto Guy
September 10, 2009, 09:37 PM
Cocked and Locked, that is a fine looking handgun.

Confederate
September 10, 2009, 11:06 PM
The .357 is great for outdoor/cross country trips and rest stops at night. It penetrates cars and trucks and can really mess up a bad guy in wide spacious areas.

In homes, townhouses and apartments, you're much better off with a good .38 Spc or a Ruger .22LR auto. The .38 w/110gr JHP or so +P will not overpenetrate and will be plenty effective.

In residences I'm fearful of putting a hole in a wall and having it hit someone in the next room or apartment. If you live out in the the middle of nowhere, go for the magnum (125gr JHP), but it's packs a powerful blast.

Some people load two .38 rounds followed by magnums in the rest of thr chambers. You can also try that.

easyg
September 10, 2009, 11:21 PM
It seems to me that many people use .38 Special in revolvers that were designed for .357 Magnum for self defense because of the greater controllability of the former. Given the choice which do you use or would you use for self defense?
9mm :D

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/HPIM5676.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/HPIM5678.jpg

More effective than the .38 Special and more comfortable than the .357 Magnum. ;)

snooperman
September 11, 2009, 08:09 AM
I use the 38 special Gold dot +P in my Ruger SP 101 ,357 magnum and it is quite adequate. Follow-up shots with the 38 special is faster than with the ,357 magnum. Most important is shot placement, regardless of bullet size and power.

Hondo 60
September 11, 2009, 08:20 AM
Although this may seem a bit gruesome, when my neighbor committed suicide I'm glad he used a .38 spl. After leaving his temple the round hit my house on my bedroom wall.

Had he used a .357 it most likely would've penetrated all the way through the outside wall. When the coroner knocked on my door to tell me she needed to pry the slug out of my vinyl siding, I was left with the question of "How do you tell the widow that the siding needs to be replaced?"

I decided to just pay for it & forget it. And I really did forget, that happened in about 1997 or so, & I hadn't thought about it till just now. I don't think Mrs Zannacker ever knew.

MCgunner
September 11, 2009, 11:35 AM
.357 is obviously more powerful, hit hard. But, there are down sides to it indoors and low light and in recoil recovery. That's why my pocket carry is a .38+P. It's enough. I love the .357 as an outdoor round for game and humans, but as a carry, I stick with .38. Too, the big advantage of .357 over .38 is from 4" guns or longer. They still have more zap in a 2" gun, just not as much difference and the muzzle flash/bang is even worse. So, you just got to weigh all this and make up your own mind. Me, this is JMHO.

MCgunner
September 11, 2009, 11:40 AM
Oh, I do carry the nine, but not in a revolver. It's much lighter and more compact than a 9mm revolver and carries a 10 (optional 12) round magazine. It is as controllable as .38 and puts out 410 ft lbs from a 14 ounce gun. Hard to beat.

GRIZ22
September 11, 2009, 11:46 AM
Either will do in a K frame or larger.

Using magnums in a J frame introduces controllability issues far as I'm concerned. When I carried a 640 I could still max the qual course with magnums but it was what I considered too hard to maintain control. I carried +P or +P+ and I could shoot a lot faster.

You don't gain much using magnums in a 2" barrel.

Ghost Walker
September 11, 2009, 01:38 PM
Smith & Wesson does NOT recommend a steady diet of 357 magnum ammunition for, 'K' frame revolvers. If the, 'K' frames were OK with 357 magnum then the, 'L' frames would never have been invented. (So be careful!) ;)

Deanimator
September 11, 2009, 04:09 PM
Federal 158gr. +P .38 Special "FBI" load.

I can't imagine somebody being happy to be hit with that unless they were on fire or dying a painful death by cancer.

Vern Humphrey
September 11, 2009, 05:27 PM
I carried and used (twice) a Colt .357 my first tour in Viet Nam. But that gun, with its 6" barrel is a bit much for concealed carry. When I carry a revolver for self defense, it's usually my Colt Detective Special, a .38 Special.

Of all the snubbies I've shot, the Ruger SP 101 is the only one I'd use .357s in -- the rest are mostly downright painful to shoot much. My feeling is if you practice with them with .357s, you'd develop bad habits. If you are intimidated and don't practice with them, you won't perform well when the chips are down.

Onward Allusion
September 11, 2009, 05:53 PM
You said "self defense" but didn't say whether it would be home or conceal carry...

Strictly my opinion...

For home, definitely the .357 - lot's more ft lbs and you can practice with slightly cheaper .38 ammo.

For CC, I would personally pick a 6 shot .38 snubbie. I like the Taurus 856 Magnesium 6 shot. It's only 13 oz.

Gun Geezer
September 11, 2009, 09:19 PM
Smith & Wesson does NOT recommend a steady diet of 357 magnum ammunition for, 'K' frame revolvers. If the, 'K' frames were OK with 357 magnum then the, 'L' frames would never have been invented. (So be careful!) ;)
Are you saying S&W says not to shoot .357 mag in a .357 mag?

What's up with that non-sense?

Gun Geezer
September 11, 2009, 09:21 PM
I carried and used (twice) a Colt .357 my first tour in Viet Nam. But that gun, with its 6" barrel is a bit much for concealed carry. When I carry a revolver for self defense, it's usually my Colt Detective Special, a .38 Special.

Of all the snubbies I've shot, the Ruger SP 101 is the only one I'd use .357s in -- the rest are mostly downright painful to shoot much. My feeling is if you practice with them with .357s, you'd develop bad habits. If you are intimidated and don't practice with them, you won't perform well when the chips are down.
Ditto that. I once fired off 5 rounds of .357 mag in a snubbie. It was a Ruger if I remember right.

My hand was sore for 2 days and I had a bruise on the the meat at the base of my thumb. Dang!

btg3
September 11, 2009, 09:21 PM
In my home, in my car, or in my pocket... .38 spl +P.
In my autoloader...9mm +P.
In the woods... .357 in case of bear.

Avenger29
September 11, 2009, 10:21 PM
Are you saying S&W says not to shoot .357 mag in a .357 mag?

What's up with that non-sense?

It's not a safety issue. It's a durability issue. The K-Frames have issues after a steady diet of .357Mag.

Not a slight against the K-Frame, either. Excellent guns, just not meant for a large volume of .357 shooting.

NMGonzo
September 11, 2009, 10:30 PM
.357 on my Taurus 605

Goes BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG!

Grip tight!

Ghost Walker
September 12, 2009, 06:57 AM
Originally Posted By: Vern Humphrey
Of all the snubbies I've shot, the Ruger SP 101 is the only one I'd use 357’s in - The rest are mostly downright painful to shoot much. My feeling is if you practice with 357’s, you'll develop bad habits. If you are intimidated and don't practice with them, you won't perform well when the chips are down.

Wow, did you get that one right! Could not agree with this opinion, more. What I do whenever I’m training someone with this caliber is that, first, I start them off with anemic, ‘range ammo’ like overpriced Blazers or WWB. As the training session progresses I begin loading hotter and hotter high performance 357 rounds into the gun. The last several cylinders are always, ‘full house’ magnum ammo.

I’ve had very good success using this technique with, even, rank beginners. After an occasional comment on the increased muzzle blast and recoil, they’ll tend to continue hitting the target well. A 357 magnum Ruger SP-101 with a 3” barrel and hammer spur is the only small revolver I recommend for, BOTH, practice and EDC.

You’ve got to remember a snubby (any snubby) is NOT all that easy to hit with and, especially, at 10-12 yards. You have to know how to fire it smoothly in double action, only, and still consistently hit COM. The only complaint I’ve ever heard about this, ‘little tank’ of a revolver is that it’s too heavy; but, so far, nobody has complained about how much straighter he’s able to shoot with it. (Go figure!) :p

Originally Posted By: Steve Pearson
Are you saying S&W says not to shoot .357 mag in a .357 mag? What's up with that non-sense?

No, I’m not saying it. This is what Smith & Wesson told me when they replaced my beautiful old (Behlert customized) Model 19 - with a badly cracked forcing cone - for a brand new Model 686. I didn’t get back the cost of the custom work Austin Behlert had done for me; however, I did get a brand new, ‘L’ frame, 357 revolver entirely at the factory’s expense!

RBezona
September 12, 2009, 09:24 AM
I am not sure why people like the .38 special and think a low power cartridge is good.

My first experience with a .38 many years ago was: I was shooting at a Tamarack log
24 inches long and 6 inch diameter that was sitting on a ditch bank about shoulder high.
The .38 hit the log and bounced back landing at my feet. I took a half step and
picked the flattened slug from the dirt. Since then I have had no use for .38s. I do
not want to be killed by my own fire.

By the way, next I fired at it with my .44 magnum and the log was sent flying 8 feet
across the ditch.

btg3
September 12, 2009, 10:00 AM
I do not want to be killed by my own fire.

Yayup, I never shoot any caliber that might ricochet :rolleyes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuZNMPP4rnU

gglass
September 12, 2009, 11:49 AM
I am not sure why people like the .38 special and think a low power cartridge is good.

My first experience with a .38 many years ago was: I was shooting at a Tamarack log
24 inches long and 6 inch diameter that was sitting on a ditch bank about shoulder high.
The .38 hit the log and bounced back landing at my feet. I took a half step and
picked the flattened slug from the dirt. Since then I have had no use for .38s. I do
not want to be killed by my own fire.

By the way, next I fired at it with my .44 magnum and the log was sent flying 8 feet
across the ditch.

That is simply the most subjective and unscientific response to OP's question yet... Congratulations!

Let's put on our thinking caps for a second and review some real-world statistics accumulated by the FBI.

The link below shows the numbers of law enforcement officers killed nationwide with firearms between 1995 and 2004. The numbers are "highly" skewed towards the most popular calibers being carried today, and in that regard the results cannot indicate a caliber's true effectiveness compared to another. What one can deduce from these stats, is that the .38 Special (number 2 on the list) is NO SLOUCH... Especially when you consider that these stats were accumulated in the days of bullet resistant vests. Another interesting statistic (Not shown) is that the .38 Special has killed more police offers than any other caliber from 1900 to present day.

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/killed/2004/table34.htm

I do agree however, that if I am ever attacked by a log, I would much rather have a .44 Magnum in hand.

RBezona
September 13, 2009, 08:55 AM
I believe it was Will Rogers who said: " There are lies, damn lies and statistics".
Because more people are killed by .38 does not mean it is the best cartridge,
maybe just the most used.

gglass,
I am sure you realize my log reference was just an example of relative power of the
to guns, but you chose to try to belittle with it.
that speaks for itself.
A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with merely and argument.

riverdog
September 13, 2009, 09:04 AM
.357 in the L/N-Frames, Ruger GP-100.
.38 +P in the J/K-Frames.

That said, my primary PD/CCW piece is 9mm.

gglass
September 13, 2009, 09:14 PM
I believe it was Will Rogers who said: " There are lies, damn lies and statistics".
Because more people are killed by .38 does not mean it is the best cartridge,
maybe just the most used.

gglass,
I am sure you realize my log reference was just an example of relative power of the
to guns, but you chose to try to belittle with it.
that speaks for itself.
A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with merely and argument.

RBezona,

If it seems that I was overly harsh, you were not mistaken. I chose to bring both experience and facts to bear, after reading your opening sentence.
I am not sure why people like the .38 special and think a low power cartridge is good.
I took this to mean that you were impugning (or belittling) the the better judgement of more than half of those who have responded to the OP's question. That question being, ".38 Special or .357 Magnum for self defense?". I suppose that I could just respond by saying, "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?". I would have to say that my response to the OP's question was much closer to the proverbial target than your own.

I never once referred to the .38 Special as the "best cartridge", and merely offered a statistical frame of reference to show that it is indeed a real man stopper. I also admitted, in my initial response, that the numbers were skewed to the popularity of given calibers. The point, even skewed by the .38 Special's ubiquity, remains unchanged... The .38 Special is a real man stopper!

I did take exception to your log reference, as the log is in no way analogous to human flesh. It is also my "real-world" experience that even skilled shooters have a hard time with follow-up shots with a powerful cartridge like the .44 Magnum. Yet, even a modestly practiced shooter can quickly and easily reacquire a target with the more tame .38 Special.



Have a great day!

Mossberg535
September 14, 2009, 01:41 AM
.38 Special or .357 Magnum for self defense?
357 Ruger sp101 with my reloads of 7 gr of Unique in 38 sp casing using a 125gr Hornady FP/XTP bullet.
Enough power to be effective, but still controllable enough for my wife to shoot the gun without jamming her wrist up like the 357 magnums do. Probably somewhere int the 38+p or +p+ range, Id think. Well, given that the 38sp recipes Ive seen were for about 5-5.5grains of Unique for the 125 JHP with the 357 being about 9.5gr of the same.
http://web77.org/shotgunhunting/Gallery/reloading/_exa/K640_large.JPG.d/medium.jpg

Avenger29
September 14, 2009, 10:18 AM
I am not sure why people like the .38 special and think a low power cartridge is good.

My first experience with a .38 many years ago was: I was shooting at a Tamarack log
24 inches long and 6 inch diameter that was sitting on a ditch bank about shoulder high.
The .38 hit the log and bounced back landing at my feet. I took a half step and
picked the flattened slug from the dirt. Since then I have had no use for .38s. I do
not want to be killed by my own fire.

By the way, next I fired at it with my .44 magnum and the log was sent flying 8 feet
across the ditch.

The .38spcl of years ago does NOT equal the modern .38spcl of today, particularly with the advanced loads that we see (like the Gold Dot short barrel loads, +P and +P+ loads, etc). There's a lot of difference between a low pressure .38spcl target load and a higher performance .38spcl defensive load.

And why, do you ask, that I carry .38spcl in my Security Six that's chambered for .357? It's because I can get hits on target faster and easier with the .38spcl than the .357 Magnum's recoil, plus anybody in the family can handle it.

No handgun is a "one shot manstopper!!", so I consider getting multiple hits far more important than trying to cram the mostest power into the smallest package. With .38spcl +P, I can get two hits in the time I could get one hit with the .357 Magnum and be back on target faster.

Mossberg535
September 14, 2009, 10:52 AM
No handgun is a "one shot manstopper!!", so I consider getting multiple hits far more important than trying to cram the mostest power into the smallest package. With .38spcl +P, I can get two hits in the time I could get one hit with the .357 Magnum and be back on target faster. definitely agree as far as a smaller gun.
My old Smith could handle magnums and was very easy to handle and stay on target, but it was a large frame with a 6" barrel with enough weight that the recoil didnt cause it to jump up out of your hand. It was way too big a gun for me to try to conceal, however, so with a gun small enough for me to conceal also comes reducing the load enough to keep it manageable.
Ive been teaching the wife to shoot two rounds center mass very quickly. If the person keeps coming after her to then empty the gun center mass and then run if possible.

I read a story many years ago about a large attacker who was shot point blank with a 12 ga with buck shot who was actually able to kill his victim before the man collapsed and died from his wounds. Better to shoot and keep in a position away from an attacker if possible or even run if they are wounded and we can escape without having to fire again.

wilkersk
September 15, 2009, 01:31 AM
from a recent hunt I discovered that a .357 158 SJsP at point blank (using a bangstick) didn't penetrate a gator skull. So I thought that my angle was off , reloaded and tried again. Still went boing. The third was further back in the neck and that worked.

Now on the second gator (my wifes 7' 7") I remember the 357 problem and used 38 special FMJ first to see if it was better. The stick went bang and the gator is in the freezer.

I now have a lot more respect for that old useless caliber. Your results may be different than mine, and all shooting is different too.

I've heard that some .357 magnum loads have been known to fail to penetrate a car windshield. I read about this some years ago (When Magnum Force was still in the theatres).

Nowdays, there's a similiar argument against the 147gr 9X19 "defensive" loads.

riverdog
September 15, 2009, 08:49 AM
I've heard that some .357 magnum loads have been known to fail to penetrate a car windshield. I read about this some years ago (When Magnum Force was still in the theatres).

Nowdays, there's a similiar argument against the 147gr 9X19 "defensive" loads. Are any 9x19 defensive loads able to reliably penetrate a car windshield? As I recall that's one of the reasons .40 S&W was adopted.

Ghost Walker
September 15, 2009, 09:20 AM
:confused: I don't think anybody really knows exactly, 'Why' the 40 was developed? Jeff Cooper used to always refer to the 40 as, 'A solution looking for a problem to solve'.

I doubt, very much, that 40 caliber will do any better on windshields than 9mm. About the best penetrator you can get in pistol ammunition is the 357 SIG; and, that's probably because of a unique combination of, both, velocity and point configuration.

Deanimator
September 15, 2009, 09:33 AM
I don't think anybody really knows exactly, 'Why' the 40 was developed?
It was created because there are those of us who can't palm a regulation basketball, but who would still like a semi-auto pistol with a double column magazine with more power than a 9x19mm.

Vern Humphrey
September 15, 2009, 09:34 AM
I don't think anybody really knows exactly, 'Why' the 40 was developed?
The story of the .40's development is simple. After the infamous Miami Shootout, the FBI decided they needed a new pistol. They chose the 10mm -- which was the latest, hotest thing. They soon found agents complained about the recoil (remember, the original hot 10mm loads were, as Jeff Cooper said, "Wrist-spraining, slide-cracking" wonders.)

So they had the cartridge downloaded. Smith and Wesson, which was working on pistols with the FBI, simply brought out a shorter case for commercial sales at the same power level the FBI was using and called it the .40 Smith and Wesson.

Mossberg535
September 16, 2009, 03:31 PM
I've heard that some .357 magnum loads have been known to fail to penetrate a car windshield. I read about this some years ago (When Magnum Force was still in the theatres).Must be some really crappy loads. Ive used a freaking pellet gun and shot thru a car windshield a number of times.

Mossberg535
September 16, 2009, 03:34 PM
The story of the .40's development is simple. After the infamous Miami Shootout, the FBI decided they needed a new pistol. They chose the 10mm -- which was the latest, hotest thing. They soon found agents complained about the recoil (remember, the original hot 10mm loads were, as Jeff Cooper said, "Wrist-spraining, slide-cracking" wonders.)

So they had the cartridge downloaded. Smith and Wesson, which was working on pistols with the FBI, simply brought out a shorter case for commercial sales at the same power level the FBI was using and called it the .40 Smith and Wesson.
I read the 40 was created because the 10mm was a bit too big for to hold onto well for female FBI agents so they needed a smaller casing/round to make the clip smaller so the grip would be a more manageable size. Course, thats just what I read on the web somewhere. Take it with a grain of salt.

madmarty
September 16, 2009, 05:29 PM
.357 is great, but I love my 20 yr old rossi 5 shot .38 2" small but mighty

NMGonzo
September 16, 2009, 07:41 PM
If they are in the car ... they would probably get away after shooting the freaking windshield!

frankiestoys
September 16, 2009, 09:11 PM
I love to shoot 357's
but i carry 38 spl+p gold dot hp :D

Ben86
September 21, 2009, 04:39 PM
It is my personal feeling that using .357 in a snuby is just not worth the extra recoil. It'll be .38+P for me and my sensitive hands. If it's a large frame revolver the requirement starts at .357.

destroyerbear
September 21, 2009, 05:21 PM
im pretty sure .357 has a greater force to it, but either one would work. S&W makes revolvers that use both rounds that would be great for defense.

The_Pretender
September 21, 2009, 08:13 PM
Honestly, the most frequent answer you find is that a 12 gauge loaded with 00 buckshot is the best home defense. No worries about bullets flying through walls and windows hurting innocent people.

As a note: I would never *ever* leave my wife with something I thought would not be enough to take a man down.

The truth is, use whatever you feel the most comfortable with. Dead is dead. I don't think a .357 would make a man any more deader than a .38. Can you hit your target every time with a .357? That's all that matters. Bullets whizzing by really fast don't seem to have the same effect as one to the chest.

Personally, I use Remington .357 golden sabers. I have fairly large hands, so recoil isn't much issue for me.

Practice. Have faith. Be safe.

Prosser
September 21, 2009, 08:57 PM
It seems to me that many people use .38 Special in revolvers that were designed for .357 Magnum for self defense because of the greater controllability of the former. Given the choice which do you use or would you use for self defense?

If the revolver is so light that you can't control .357, then yes, I understand why people use .38 for defense.

I have a .357 I can't hit headshots with at 7 yards, due to the heavy trigger pull, the small CCW grips, and the weight of the revolver. I still use .357, hoping COM will do the job. Also, I'm hoping the huge flash will light the guy on fire, blind him, and deafen him at the same time. Getting a flash bang in the face can be as effective as the bullet, or more so.

It is my favorite pants pocket carry gun, but, ranks third overall, to 45 ACP, and a 9mm Kahr PM 9.

Photoman
September 22, 2009, 11:10 PM
"Given the choice which do you use or would you use for self defense?"

S&W 642, CorBon DPX, Mika pocket holster.

megatronrules
September 23, 2009, 06:01 PM
I'm very fond of the 135gr .357 Gold Dot short barrel load from speer,this is a very accurate round in my 340 M&P. I know some consider it to be just a very hot .38 special +p+ load but I have to say in my opinion its a really lightly loaded .357 magnum. In either case the god dot JHP in any caliber has proven to be a solid performer,I believe the .38+P 135gr load was created at the behest of the NYPD and all reports seem to point to this round being and excellent performer in real street shootings.

I also favor the Remington gold saber 125gr .357 magnum and the corbon DPX load in .357 looks very promising as well,although I haven't tried the corbon yet I intend to look for some at this week ends gun show. Overall I really like these "downloaded" magnums for the short barrel revolvers especially for really light snubs like my 340 M&P. They still offer more punch than a .38+P but also offer more control to the shooter. I also like Federal's 13gr hydrashocks in .357 magnum as well. but these are NOT light loads they are full power it would appear.

Old John
September 24, 2009, 03:50 PM
I have a Ruger SP101 for CCW. i usually carry Winchester 110gr. half-jacket lead hollow points. A light .357 load but half again as much FP's as a .38+p.
I have a Ruger GP100 3" for a bedside gun and occasional CCW. I carry Winchester Silvertips in it.
I practice with each of my weapons with .38's and .357's
I'm happy with my choices.;)

I would never try to tell anyone else they are wrong.
Shoot what you like.:)

gearchecker
September 25, 2009, 10:36 PM
To RBezona,
Sounds like the bounce back round was a squib.
Enough powder to get the bullet down the tube, but not enough to penetrate.
My wife will testify I had a squib load do exactly the same thing this past summer.
We both watched it bounce off the stump and drop right back in front of my feet.

Gglass is exactly right here. Excellent link, thanks!

357mag.
September 27, 2009, 08:05 PM
Nothing wrong with the 38,but i'll stick to my 357 loads for C/C.I carry a sp101 and the weight really tames the mag. recoil.As far as the mag. not offering much over the 38 in snub-guns,I do not agree.A good mag. load will out-do the 38 by 100-200fps with the same weight bullet.At hand-gun velocitys, 100-200fps is a big differnce imo.

PhrankKastle
September 27, 2009, 08:29 PM
When I had my SP101 I carried the Gold Dot short barrel .357 and found it to be very controllable. In my friends S&W 340 or 342 don't remember the exact model but was a lightweight and .357 was too snappy and after about 40 rounds downright painful for me to shoot accurately, I shudder to think what a 125 grainer would have felt like in that S&W.
So in a SP101 I'd highly recommend the GD short barrel and in my experience with an airweight I'd go with 38+P.

Palu
September 27, 2009, 08:53 PM
Currently, I prefer .38, because I am more accurate with them. Less recoil means faster follow up shots. For the woods, I'll carry .357's.

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