What Round for a 2'' 357 snubby?


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Chaplain Major
November 23, 2010, 12:55 AM
Hello all, writing from Afghanistan, home in December!

Alright, here is my question, I just bought a 357 SS Rossi 6 shot revolver with a 2 inch barrel. When I carry this for personal protection, it seems that I should carry a heavy grain bullet with a hot load to maximize the potential of the short barrel. Is this right? My reasoning is that a heavy bullet will make more use of the powder in that it will respond slower than a lighter grain bullet, and receive more energy before leaving the barrel. I know I have not said this with any technical understanding so please be kind. :-)
God bless and thanks for your answers.
Dave

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springwalk
November 23, 2010, 01:01 AM
2" .357 is a novelty. You need at least 4", ideally 6" to reach the potential of the .357. I had a .357 S&W airlight and all it did was kick the heck out of me with alot of blast.

wvshooter
November 23, 2010, 01:11 AM
When I carry this for personal protection, it seems that I should carry a heavy grain bullet


The bullet your looking for is 125 grains. Going with a heavy grain bullet would be a mistake. A JHP self defense round in 125 grains is going to have a muzzle velocity of something like 12 to 13 hundred fps. or more. It's the speed that makes the 357 the best self defense caliber out there.

Oh no, I did it. Now we're going to hear from all the 45acp guys.


BTW, for what it's worth I carry 40 caliber so I don't have a dog in this fight.

wvshooter
November 23, 2010, 01:23 AM
2" .357 is a novelty. You need at least 4", ideally 6" to reach the potential of the .357. I had a .357 S&W airlight and all it did was kick the heck out of me with alot of blast.


Not sure why you would call a 2" 357 a novelty. I think "novelty" means something that is a little unusual. 357 magnums with 2" barrels are lots of things but unusual isn't one of them. Also the original poster's gun is not an airlight. His Rossi is the same as my own and it is all steel. An all steel gun is easy to control even with the 2" barrel.

Smith, Ruger, Charter Arms, Rossi and a bunch of other companies make all steel 357's with 2" barrels. They are all very capable in the personal protection role.

wvshooter
November 23, 2010, 01:28 AM
Sorry, I forgot.

I know you're not vacationing over there so let me extend a great big THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE!!!

Stay safe.

Chaplain Major
November 23, 2010, 01:33 AM
Noticed your from Charleston, I'm from Ritchie County so, I'll be back there for Christmas.

So...not more energy down range with a heavier bullet in this short barrel?

340PD
November 23, 2010, 09:32 AM
Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. 38 sp. +P is especially made for short barrel firearms.

If you need more than that you should have brought a rifle to the fight.

Water-Man
November 23, 2010, 09:48 AM
Buffalo Bore makes Tactical Short Barrel ammo for .357Mag that I would recommend.

Kleanbore
November 23, 2010, 09:53 AM
For civilians, the advantage that a .357 Magnum load in such a firearm offers over a .38 Special--penetration--would be helpful against animals, while the disadvantage--recoil--works against the ability to hit very quickly with follow-up shots.

For LEO usage, that penetration my prove useful against someone behind plate glass, for example.

For a very long time I looked at anergy figures. The FBI has concluded, however, that energy transfer has very little to do with wounding effectiveness in a handgun; that the one shot stop is a rarity; and that what stops humans (in addition to a psychological reaction) is what is damaged (nerves, tendons, CNS, bones). They have concluded that penetration is key, and that all other things being equal, a larger bullet is better. The penetration of the .38 Special is quite adequate, and controllability for the second or third shot (think "tap-tap") is much better.

Also, you should think twice before shooting a short-barelled Magnum indoors.

I have a three-inch J-Magnum Model 60, and I keep Specials in it. For camping and trail use I might well buy some Magnum loads, however.

I hope this proves helpful, Captain Major, and thanks for your service.

LRS_Ranger
November 23, 2010, 10:22 AM
OK, time for facts:

I love it when people say that in a snubby a 357 just has more blast with not much ballistic advantage. I've heard this a few times, where does this keep coming from? Complete BS. For example, according to my Speer manual #14, a .38+P is running a 110gr at a max of 976FPS, and a 135gr at 882FPS. This is the short barrel data using a S&W M15 with a 2 inch barrel. Contrast that with the .357 data, which is pushing a 135 gr at a max of 1258 out of a S&W Model 19 with a 2.5 inch barrel. Yea, I know there's an extra .5 inches on there, but there is also almost 400FPS of velocity gain, using the same bullet. The .357 is far from a novelty, and though it does have a good amount of muzzle blast, it also packs a healthy wallop. Bear in mind that you can always use .38's if you want.

As far as recoil, it doesn't really recoil that bad. It's all perspective. If you shoot a 9mm, it will be a little more than you are used to. If you shoot a .44 mag, the 357 will be a piece of cake. IMO it doesn't buck up as much, it just slaps your palm pretty good. I don't think that follow up shots are that hard, even with full house loads. In fact, I don't ever shoot .38's, they are just not as much fun. Don't get suckered in by the "357 in a snubby is stupid" crowd.

Water-Man
November 23, 2010, 10:41 AM
Some folks just can't handle a .357 Mag so they claim using .38 is the way to go. :(

EnsignJimmy
November 23, 2010, 11:10 AM
Some folks just can't handle a .357 Mag so they claim using .38 is the way to go. :(
To be perfectly fair, a full-house .357 load out of a lightweight snubby produces an unpleasant level of recoil, thunder, and lightning. It's not everybody's cup of tea, and at the ranges you'd typically use a concealed snubby, the guy on the other end may not care one way or the other what the name of the cartridge that just poked a couple .357" holes in him was called.

It all comes down to "shoot what you're comfortable with, because a shot on-target is better than one passing over his head."

Hello all, writing from Afghanistan, home in December!

Alright, here is my question, I just bought a 357 SS Rossi 6 shot revolver with a 2 inch barrel. When I carry this for personal protection, it seems that I should carry a heavy grain bullet with a hot load to maximize the potential of the short barrel. Is this right? My reasoning is that a heavy bullet will make more use of the powder in that it will respond slower than a lighter grain bullet, and receive more energy before leaving the barrel. I know I have not said this with any technical understanding so please be kind. :-)
God bless and thanks for your answers.
Dave
Tried this experiment. I once thought I'd try to replicate the ballistics of a 180 grain .40 S&W load out of my 2.25" Ruger SP-101 using a Hornady 180 grain bullet. I came pretty close, but the recoil of the heavier bullet was much less pleasant than that of a standard 125 grain load. And the faster 125 grain still carried more energy and had similar momentum.

So, in short order, I went back to carrying standard Gold Dots in my SP-101.

Water-Man
November 23, 2010, 11:38 AM
Like I said...

krazykeny
November 23, 2010, 11:39 AM
E.E.A Windicator with 2 inch barrel.
Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. 38 sp. +P is especially made for short barrel firearms.
.

motorcycle-charlie
November 23, 2010, 12:00 PM
i would say to try out a few different loads to see what you can shoot the best. forget numbers. go for shot placement and follow up shots. forget ballistics. they will all do the trick nothing will bounce off of an attacker. i also want to thank you for your service and wish you a safe return home.

Gary A
November 23, 2010, 12:15 PM
I'm certainly no expert pistolero, but I rely on snubby .357s and generally use Speer 135 grain .38+P but also Speer 135 grain .357 SB loads. Beyond that, I like 158 grain .38 Special LSWCHP+Ps and would also use medium velocity .357 loads like Remington's Golden Saber or even plain vanilla medium velocity 110 grain loads from Winchester or Remington. I would use heavy loads like 158 grain .357s but, frankly, the recoil diminishes my accuracy and shot to shot times more than I am comfortable with. I have little or no use for the full-velocity 125 grain .357 loads because even though they are certainly effective and will make 1200+ fps from a two inch barrel, their recoil, blast, report, etc. are all too much. Just too much of everything.

The .38+P loads are very easy to shoot and the medium velocity 125-135 grain loads are just a tad harder to shoot but they are all effective loads. If I ever get better with the heavy for caliber .357 loads, that is what I would use. People can keep the 125s, as far as I'm concerned.

God Bless you and bring you home safely.

Sniper X
November 23, 2010, 12:45 PM
I still can't see why people poopoo the .38spl +p! man, I shoot 158gr +p out of my model 10, and usually in the 4 .357mag revolvers I own. I even have six of them right now in my daily carry 2.5in Python. i also do shoot .357mag in all of them save for he model 10 for obvious reasons, but even when I carry the old 10 I don't feel undergunned! I have read a lot about the abilities of the .38spl +P rounds and bullets and they have great performance for carry in a CCW revolver even with a 2.5in barrel.

eldon519
November 23, 2010, 12:46 PM
I think it's just a process to find the right round for you, and keep trying them, preferably in speed shooting drills. It's clear a .357 magnum will always have a ballistic advantage over a .38 Special, but will it have a tactical (I hate that word) advantage? If you never practice it might not. In a double-tap, two weaker rounds on target might be better than one more powerful round on target and one with a 50% chance of shooting off into the wild blue yonder. If you practice a lot, maybe you can bring your speed of follow up and accuracy more in line between the two rounds. In my experience, heavier bullets do produce less blast, and their penetration depth is a little less dependent on velocity, so I personally think that wouldn't be a bad place to start.

Sniper X
November 23, 2010, 12:47 PM
I made up a saying a while back.
The man who needs more than a .357 needs a Desert Eagle.

Kleanbore
November 23, 2010, 01:00 PM
As I mentioned above, the .357 Magnum would provide an advantage where a lot of penetration is needed (against animals, or in LEO applications). That additional penetration can also be a disadvantage.

And so can the recoil and blast. Anyone who has had any training in high performance defensive pistol shooting knows that one of the main drills is to hit multiple close range targets multiple time each very rapidly. That big bang in the shooter's hand may sound impressive and it may be satisfying, but if the bullet doesn't happen to hit anything important, and it is very likely that it will not, the defender is than totally reliant on how quickly he can hit with one or more follow up shots.

Here's a pretty good post on the subject from a couple of years ago.

Excerpts:

"I don't think the bad guy will notice the difference between a 357 and a 38 +p but you will...."

I WISH EVERYONE WHO WAS GOING TO CARRY CONCEALED WAS FORCED TO SHOOT A FEW BOWLING PIN MATCHES, or shoot some IDPA or ICORE matches!

You'll learn that too powerful a load in a handgun that's too light will make you LOSE when you go up against other competitors . . . or against thugs too.

Those flame-throwing, hard-kicking .357 snubbies ... take MUCH longer between rounds to get the subsequent shots off! And yes, you'll have a much poorer chance to walk away from a real fight....


http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5075948&postcount=28

The point he makes is that the wound channel is the same, that penetration with the .38 is adequate (more won't help) and that the deciding factor is the speed of follow up shots.

That post was an eye opener to me. I might add that I read that long before I had studied Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness by FBI Special Agent Urey Patrick. Anyone who believes that the power of a .357 Magnum load will provide a measurable advantage in a self defense shooting should make it a point to study that report.

In the course I took earlier this year, one of the drills was to shoot twice at each of three torso plates at seven yards, reload, and repeat the process. The instructors could do that in just a tad over four seconds. That's six shots, a reload, and six more shots, all hits, on three targets in just over four seconds. They were using service sized semi-autos.

As noted in the post linked here, too much bang would serve only to impede in that exercise.

speedway
November 23, 2010, 01:13 PM
I have 5 Corbon JHP's in my Smith 640-1 in my pocket right now.

engineer88
November 23, 2010, 02:50 PM
I might be a little crazy, but here is what I carry and why. I carry the gold dot short barrel. 38 for all my reloads (ammo commonality) and in my .357 revolvers I carry the short barrel gold dots in .357 in the revolver itself.


A lot of people scoff at the only 100 fps or so increase with the. 357 version of the gold dots, but my first few rounds should be the best I have to offer. So every bit counts since those first few are usully the most important. Now in a lot of cases, (especially with my higher cap autos) my reload is fmj. This is in case I needed penetration I can switch to it (think woods walking) and because if I get to a reload in a fight I will be shocked and it is a very, very bad day that a couple of my rounds expanding a bit better will not solve.

Also, people looking for twenty inches of penetration and crap, why?! Who the heck do you know that is that thick from boob to spine? Maybe an adult entertainer? Heck a fat dood like me is not that thick and if I was a "meth addict" I would not be the old fat man I am. Civilian concern over penetration should lean more towards over-penetration, not the other way around. Besides you want the bullet to dump all that energy into your assailint. /rant off

125-135 grains with a properly designed bullet is more than adequate at 800-1000 fps. In fact with modern bullet designs the 1200-1400fps that used to be reuired to open up hollow points is no longer necessary. Why do you think 9mm is so touted now? The bullet technology (partly in combination with advancements in powder mind you) has made the round more viable.


Ultimatly the slower you can move a bullet and still get the cavity to open and get the necessary penetration, the less chance of collateral damage. For law enforcement and military this may not be as important, but to me it sure is. There is my two copper. :)

stonecutter2
November 23, 2010, 03:28 PM
Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. 38 sp. +P is especially made for short barrel firearms.

If you need more than that you should have brought a rifle to the fight.
These are what I keep in my S&W Model 19 2 1/2" snubby for home defense. I shot .357 rounds through it, and just decided that in the confines of my house I didn't need 357's penetration nor the louder report from the round in an enclosed area - i want to avoid anything blasting through walls into the neighbor's house. If a bad guy decides to try to get to us while we're holed up in the bathroom, the 38+P blasting through the hollow core door should hopefully persuade them to reconsider. When carrying for personal protection, I imagine you'll want to consider how much your rounds are going to penetrate or pass through your target, and what's beyond the bad guy.

And thanks to the OP for their service to our country! God bless you and those you serve with!

FLAvalanche
November 23, 2010, 03:49 PM
Why is everyone talking about LIGHTWEIGHT snubbies. Did anyone other than wvshooter actually read the OP's post? He doesn't have a lightweight snubbie. His snubbie is all steel and quite built for it's size.

Chaplain, enjoy your snubbie. It's a nice piece. One thing you will need to pay attention to with that Rossi is the set screw on the right hand side of the frame. If you haven't already, loc-tite that guy in or it WILL come loose and get lost.

And there is no better stress removal perscription than a box of full house .357 magnum out of that pistol. It's a blast to shoot.

357 Terms
November 23, 2010, 03:52 PM
bowling pins and IDPA are a far cry from self defense shootings. Sure its fun but competing and fighting are totally different, nobody shoots back. I carry 125 grain Barnes XPB's with n110 powder and small rifle primer, not too much blast and flash. My wife would shoot them, didnt like them much. practice and you can become profecient. my sp101 with a 2.25 barrel handles these well. now an airweight is a different story

stonecutter2
November 23, 2010, 04:17 PM
Why is everyone talking about LIGHTWEIGHT snubbies. Did anyone other than wvshooter actually read the OP's post? He doesn't have a lightweight snubbie. His snubbie is all steel and quite built for it's size.

Chaplain, enjoy your snubbie. It's a nice piece. One thing you will need to pay attention to with that Rossi is the set screw on the right hand side of the frame. If you haven't already, loc-tite that guy in or it WILL come loose and get lost.

And there is no better stress removal perscription than a box of full house .357 magnum out of that pistol. It's a blast to shoot.
I responded with info on what I feed my S&W 19 2 1/2" barrel. The S&W Model 19 is not a lightweight snubby. It's all steel and is a K frame revolver.

Deputy25
November 23, 2010, 05:49 PM
I had occasion to use a 2" .357 to defend myself once. I was using 125gr magnums, I was indoors, and it worked as advertised.

Kleanbore
November 23, 2010, 06:02 PM
Posted by 357 Terms:bowling pins and IDPA are a far cry from self defense shootings. Sure its fun but competing and fighting are totally different, nobody shoots back.Of course.

However, IDPA is intended to teach and develop the skills needed for self defense.

Specifically, the purpose is to develop the skills necessary to make very fast multiple hits on multiple targets, while moving. From that standpoint, there are very strong similarities, and if you cannot develop and practice those skills, you are at a disadvantage.

Further, as S&Wfan pointed out two years ago, your choice of weapon and load can put you at a disadvantage in IDPA-like shooting, and if it does that, it can put you at a disadvantage in a self defense encounter.

Now, that post was about those very light scandium J frames. The OP has a somewhat heavier revolver. Perhaps he could do better at pins and IDPA; I don't know.

Regardless, as S&Wfan also pointed out, "you don't need a .357". He is, of course, talking about civilian carry not involving animal encounters.

That seems to be very difficult for a lot of people to accept. Many of those of us who have never shot anyone, who may have shot water jugs, and who have read a lot of old books and articles, long assumed that the bigger the bang in one's hand, the better the results in a self defense encounter. I bought a .45 ACP pistol about a year and a half ago; everyone knows the legend and the folklore. Imagine my utter disbelief when posts started showing up stating that the .45 ACP isn't really all that more effective than a hot 9MM. The evidence seems to be pretty strong, however. What really got my attention, however, was Patrick Sweeney's comment that the reason the Army wanted a .45 at the turn of the last century was the need to take down horses. It had never occurred to me that the original Model 1911 was intended as a cavalry weapon!

So, unless one is using an anemic load, it comes down to how well he can shoot--not at the range in slow fire, but in something that resembles IDPA practice.

...practice and you can become proficient...

Until I took an advanced pistol course earlier this year, the only handgun shooting I had been regularly doing was at a target range; I looked at group size, and my speed in presentation, speed in moving from one target to another (essentially, same skill as need for tracking a moving target), and making extremely fast second and third shots remained untested and undeveloped. I was "proficient" at the range, but I didn't have the right skills. Thing is, I didn't know it.

I sure learned a lot from that experience. One thing was what to practice and how. Another was that some guns just don't meet my needs, either from the standpoint of "shootability" or capacity or both .

I heartily recommend that everyone try to attend something similar.

Claude Clay
November 23, 2010, 06:15 PM
ballisticsbytheinch.com has your answer.

125gr 38 +p is what i carry in a 2" revolver
velocity is the same as a 357. both are around 900 fps.
cylinder gap and chamber tightness means YMMV

788Ham
November 23, 2010, 06:23 PM
Chaplain,

I'm going to extend a heartfelt Thank You to you for your service. Please be safe until you hit the mainland !! Enjoy your .357, no matter how short it is, as short as you are in time also. OOHHRRAAHH ! :cool:

Walkalong
November 23, 2010, 06:42 PM
Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammunition 357 Magnum 135 Grain (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=121256)

Much easier to manage than full tilt boogie .357 ammo but with plenty of oomph. Plus you can buy the bullet (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=320047) and reload your own for cheaper practice.

L-Frame
November 23, 2010, 06:49 PM
I carry Buffalo Bore 158 +P 38's in my short barrel guns. Legitimate 1000 fps from a 2 inch barrel and 1100 fps from a 3". Recoil and noise is nowhere near full 125/158 magnum range but still delivers quite a punch from a heavy round.

ironhead7544
November 23, 2010, 07:42 PM
Thank you for your service. In the 357 snubbie I prefer the 110 grain 357 loads. Recoil is light compared to other loads and velocity is high enough for good bullet performance. Id pick the CorBon load as I have shot varmints with that bullet. Makes a nasty wound. The short barrel loads are probably good but I dont have any experience with them. Just my .02.

Marvin KNox
November 24, 2010, 02:37 PM
I've enjoyed and respected Mr. Camp's writings and thoughts over the years.
He has a few things to say about the .357 vs. .38spl. controversy.

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38vs357snub.htm

I wanted just a little more from my snubs than the 38 offered. I didn't want to punish myself or cut my second and third shot capabilities down too much either. I went with these and have been very happy.

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Corbon%20357%20Magnum%20125%20gr%20DPX%20Ammo.htm

A couple of other options are found in this fine article by mister Camp.

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/can_less_be_more.htm

There is an advantage to .357 over .38 spl. in a snub if you don't go too far with it. Pretty soon you cut down your accuracy because of recoil and also end up with a whole lot of wasted powder and muzzle flash IMO.

These seem to be right there on the threshhold for me and I'm a happy camper. I practice with any old .38sp. I have on hand.

I also have a reload that replicates the DPX close enough for practice and cost a lot less to shoot.

joneb
November 24, 2010, 11:12 PM
I just bought a 357 SS Rossi 6 shot revolver with a 2 inch barrel.
Is this a fixed sight gun ? I have found a considerable difference with POA and POI with different loads through my revolvers.

orionengnr
November 25, 2010, 12:16 AM
There is a lot of wisdom in post #34. :)
Stephen Camp is a very understated, yet very knowledgeable individual ...IMHO.

Go to his site, read a bit of what he says, and see if you agree. If not, I will certainly not be offended.
And (although I cannot speak for him) I doubt that he will be either.

Happy Thanksgiving, and best wishes to all.
Rich

357 Terms
November 25, 2010, 05:34 AM
Thanks for the links to those Camp articles KNox. Great info

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