2" .357 velocities?


June 3, 2011, 10:26 PM
I recently gave my brother my 3" Ruger SP101 .357 - I had promised it to him as incentive to get his CCW, and even though he protested that I didn't have to keep that promise, I did because I wanted him to have a powerful, reliable and concealable handgun.

I am thinking of replacing the SP101 with a 2" Ruger LCR .357. My question is, what kind of velocities can I expect from the 2-inch barrel with my favored Remington and Federal 125 grain .357 JHPs? Is the velocity loss from the short barrel enough to render the .357 not much better than a +P .38? I do like the added confidence that the .357 inspires.

I would appreciate thoughts from those who have shot and chrono'd .357 loads from 2" barrels. Thanks.

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June 3, 2011, 10:45 PM
Your question sounds like a recent thread -

357 Terms
June 3, 2011, 10:46 PM
A 357 mag is a 357 mag. a 38sp is a 38 sp. +p or not there is no comparison. My 2.25in sp 101 will hit 1200-1275fps with many 125gr hp's. I have never ran any +p's thru my chrony but I guarantee they wont be anywhere near that. If anyone brings up Ballistics by the inch you need to know that the chamber length is factored into the length of barrel they tested.

June 3, 2011, 10:48 PM
Check the other thread. I ain't repeating myself with my chronograph results.

June 3, 2011, 10:48 PM
I think I'd be more worried about the recoil from such a light 357. Yes you will lose some velocity but the person you shoot probably won't care. At defensive range it's still going to do the job.
And if 357 loses velocity in the short barrel would'nt the 38+P also?

June 3, 2011, 11:23 PM
Thanks. Sorry to be repetitive as to subject matter.

June 4, 2011, 08:25 AM
Search on YouTube for "snub velocity" from DocTacDad. Eyeopening experiment. The variation in even stated velocity from the factory specs and the actual chrono results, and especially the difference between the .38 and .357 was remarkable. It changed my mind.

June 4, 2011, 08:59 AM
.357 from a 2-inch barrel will always beat .38+P...even fired from a 6-inch gun.

About 90% of the velocity occurs within a half-inch of bullet travel, and even in a shorter distance with faster powders.

Think about it like this:

If we assume the rule of thumb for handgun calibers averaging 35 fps per inch of barrel gained or lost...

A 158 grain bullet fired in a 4-inch .357 revolver clocks 1250 fps is realizing just 140 fps from the 4 inches of barrel. That leaves 1110 fps unaccounted for.

If we assume that the majority of the velocity was realized in a half-inch of barrel, and the rest in the remaining 3.5 inches...which is closer to reality...we have about 125 fps coming from the barrel and about 1125 in the initial punch.

June 4, 2011, 09:04 AM
The difference between .38+P and .357 125gr load out of 4" barrel is about 400fps. I would not think that speed advantage could be eaten away by 2" of barrel length.

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