enough is enough?


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j1
October 1, 2012, 12:46 PM
This must be the place. Don't most here think that the 38 special in plus P configuration to be enough for self defense in a snub nosed revolver. Many seem to think that the 357 is better. It seems to me that the 357 just results in overpenetration doing no more damage to the person being shot.

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CoRoMo
October 1, 2012, 12:50 PM
You won't get a steady stream of consistent answers on this. People have differing opinions. Just accept that and decide what you like/want/need.

ps
In your sig-line... his last name is spelled 'Whelen'.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 1, 2012, 12:54 PM
I think my .38 642 with Speer 135g Gold Dot HP for Short Barrels has plenty of wollup! I suppose if one is shooting a bad guy that weighs 500+ pounds, there may be a "tiny-issue" - however, other than that, with good shot placement, I see no problems.

In fact my gun barrel is 1 7/8" long and that is what they have for the subject test barrel with the velocities printed right on the box of Speer 135g.

For those who think MORE is better, I can always use my 500 Magnum with 275g Barnes XPB Solid Copper Hollow Points.

Noah
October 1, 2012, 01:00 PM
I have no guns in either chambering. I have never even shot a centerfire revolver. I appreciate your sympathy.

From my personal knowledge, bias, and past research, it is my opinion that in a sub 3" barrel for a CC gun, .38 plus P is better than .357 Mag. Less kick, similar energy in the short barrel.

For a barrel 4" or up, I say .357 beats .38 plus P.

moxie
October 1, 2012, 01:01 PM
I think .38 Spl. +P is "enough" in that it is a good compromise between power and controllability, and as such that's what I carry in my LCR.

I think the .357 mag is "better" in terms of performance, but in a light carry piece is, for me, not as controllable as I like. I think a .357 mag will bring more energy to bear on the target as well as penetrate more deeply.

mesinge2
October 1, 2012, 01:05 PM
I think .38 Spl. +P is "enough" in that it is a good compromise between power and controllability, and as such that's what I carry in my LCR.

I think the .357 mag is "better" in terms of performance, but in a light carry piece is, for me, not as controllable as I like. I think a .357 mag will bring more energy to bear on the target as well as penetrate more deeply.

Exactly what I was going to say and as I can't say it any better I'll just quote moxie (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8433204#post8433204). :D

788Ham
October 1, 2012, 01:06 PM
Well, that and the fact, depending on the powder used in the .38 spl., the flash and the "ROAR" of the .357 will quite a bit more indeed in close quarters. But as has been mentioned, since you've read all other quotes, shot placement means everything in self defense, shooting holes in his jacket don't mean squat!

j1
October 1, 2012, 01:15 PM
Gentlemen I am amazed at how quickly new posts occured, thank you.

Cro Ro Mo thank you very much and my signature line has been corrected.

Talking about more penetration I am obese and think that twelve inchs is more than enough penetration Speer makes a product especially for 38 Special snub nosed revolvers and it penetrates ballistic gelatin about fourteen inches. That makes it a shoot through in my eyes. There is actually more danger than good in penetrating more. There is a post on u Tube about this product which I will post here if I can find it.

Found it and here is the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k890Rio2oBY

Hereis another link to Remington

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRe6BzIqu6U

DocRx
October 1, 2012, 01:17 PM
Very similar ballistic results from numerous tests posted, I think either the Speer Gold Dot 125gr in .357mag or almost any 125gr for SD (if you can control/manage the recoil for second shot-if needed) or the Speer Gold Dot 135gr+P SB in .38spl will give you more than adequate results when deployed. Accuracy and reliability are more important to me. If it doesn't go "bang", and then where you want it to go, nothing is going to help you. Moxie did very well for an explanation, I also carry a Ruger KLCR .357mag/.38spl, loaded with Speer Gold Dot 135gr+P SB and feel very comfortable.

Guillermo
October 1, 2012, 01:27 PM
if you can shoot a .357 fast and accurate, by all means, do so

I am better with a .38 so that is what I carry

You will get varying opinions based on the shooter. Ultimately only your skill matters.

460Kodiak
October 1, 2012, 01:32 PM
I suppose if one is shooting a bad guy that weighs 500+ pounds, there may be a "tiny-issue" - however

LOL! Just run away from a guy that size, don't shoot him! He won't be able to catch you!

A bear on the other hand..... well I'd carry more than a 38.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 1, 2012, 01:53 PM
The Speer Gold Dot for Short Barrels, +P, I also like because it happens to hit point of aim rather well out of my 642 (which has fixed sights) - when shooting at a distance of 21 feet.

I like that load so much, I ended up duplicating it to the best of my ability by buying the 135g Gold Dot HP's from Speer. With my Shooting-Chrony f1, I ended up with almost identical velocities when all was said and done.

I realize I may be using a different powder and primer, however I am using the Speer Nickel-Plated 38 Special +P Brass I purchased new. So, at least they look identical as well!

MCgunner
October 1, 2012, 02:04 PM
Maybe so with a round nose bullet. Try shooting something. I have shot a lot of trapped hogs, some with .357. The .357 is definitely more impressive than the .38 special in any iteration. I've shot 'em with 3" .357 and 3" .38 with the same 140 JHP, 1400 fps in the .357, 1000 fps in the .38.....apples and apples. No question in MY mind which is better. I've seen both in action.

I've killed hogs in hunting situations with the .357, deer, too, and this with a 165 Keith style SWC. I'd never pick the .38 special as a hunting round.

The .357 has other problems for self defense, but I shoot it well. If you can't shoot the .357, if you're scared of it, you're better off with the .38. I do carry the .38 and think it's plenty for defense even in a 2" pocket gun, just know that the .357 ballistically is in another league.

ArchAngelCD
October 1, 2012, 02:25 PM
IMO current .38 Special +P ammo is no more than standard .38 special ammo from a time long gone. I feel .38 Special ammo is just fine for SD and that's what I carry.

BUT, that's what they make so many flavors. Not everyone likes Vanilla but sometimes Rocky Road is too much...

oldbear
October 1, 2012, 02:26 PM
I load 38 special +P ammo in my two short barreled revolvers, and feel comfortable with it. In my go to revolvers which are 4” & 5” I load hefty .357 magnum ammo only.

mesinge2
October 1, 2012, 02:34 PM
I actually like the 135 grain 357 Magnum Speer GD Short barrel ammo. It clocks out of a 2" barrel at 990fps so it rates between the 38+P and a full 357 all with minimal flash and recoil.

hso
October 1, 2012, 02:54 PM
It seems to me that the 357 just results in overpenetration doing no more damage to the person being shot.

That hasn't been proven.

mdauben
October 1, 2012, 02:59 PM
This must be the place. Don't most here think that the 38 special in plus P configuration to be enough for self defense in a snub nosed revolver. Many seem to think that the 357 is better. It seems to me that the 357 just results in overpenetration doing no more damage to the person being shot.

I think depends on the specific bullets and loads involved. AFAIK, the velocity of +P .38 specials put them right on the threshold of reliable expansion. The extra velocity of the .357 can dramatically incread the chances of bullet expansion, which acutally reduced the chance of overpenetration.

Vern Humphrey
October 1, 2012, 05:07 PM
The answer is simple. Take your favorite Snubbie, and a 50 round box of full charge .357s to the range. Shoot up the whole box in practice.

Do that once a week for a year, and come back and tell us how enjoyable it was.

Most snubbies can be downright painful to shoot with full charge loads. That gives you a choice -- either shoot .38 Special in them, or develop bad shooting habits by trying to grit out those .357s.

David E
October 1, 2012, 05:23 PM
I have never even shot a centerfire revolver.

From my personal knowledge....

Which is what, exactly?

Guillermo
October 1, 2012, 05:26 PM
Which is what, exactly?

Literally laughing out loud

Good question!!!

snooperman
October 1, 2012, 05:40 PM
I also hunt with a .357 magnum Ruger Blackhawk here on my farmland with the 180gr bullet and 158 gr bullet and have taken many ,many, deer and wild boar. It kills quickly with proper shot placement. I also carry a Colt magnum carry in 357 magnum for CCW. Depending on my dress attire I also carry the Colt Agent in 38 special. Once, not too long ago, I was riding my Mule around the farm and came across a wild bore in my large potato patch having a good meal. I dismounted and leaned across the saddle and shot him once through the side of his chest with the little 38 wadcutter and he immediately slumped to the ground and died quickly. SHOT PLACEMENT is most important. My 2 cents.

Guillermo
October 1, 2012, 05:53 PM
SHOT PLACEMENT is most important

^^^^

this

henry-ctc
October 1, 2012, 07:05 PM
I was given a 6" 357 revolver by a friend who could no longer use it. He also gave me 50 rounds handloaded by him.

I went to the range and filled the cylinder with his 357 rds. My first shot, 25 yards, no rest, was in the center of the X. Yes. I swear it. The rest of the rounds in the wheel didnīt even hit the target.

I think 357 is not for me. Iīve spent some thousand rounds trough that revolver, but never again a 357. Most of them 158 grs LSWC over 5 grs of Unique (A +p load) and full WC 148 grains (A very mild one).

Tony_the_tiger
October 1, 2012, 07:12 PM
Trooper Coates put 5 rounds of .357 magnum into center of mass of an assailant, and did not stop the threat. The assailant was able to crawl away and lived through abdominal surgery after fatally wounding the officer. The rounds failed to penetrate to his vitals.

.38 special is probably fine for most defense situations. It is not appropriate for all defense situations. Neither is .357. Although most would agree this is a freak situation.

One benefit of a .357 snub is you can put your most accurate .38 rounds as your first two shots, then put one of those too powerful, over-penetrating, loud useless flash bang magnum rounds in in case you need something extra. Your life might depend on it.

Vern Humphrey
October 1, 2012, 07:19 PM
I was given a 6" 357 revolver by a friend who could no longer use it. He also gave me 50 rounds handloaded by him.

I went to the range and filled the cylinder with his 357 rds. My first shot, 25 yards, no rest, was in the center of the X. Yes. I swear it. The rest of the rounds in the wheel didnīt even hit the target.

I think 357 is not for me. Iīve spent some thousand rounds trough that revolver, but never again a 357. Most of them 158 grs LSWC over 5 grs of Unique (A +p load) and full WC 148 grains (A very mild one).
Were you wearing hearing protection?

For the .357 and similar cartridges, I wear ear plugs with ear muffs over them. Much of the pain of shooting a .357 -- in a full-size revolver -- is the assault it makes on your ears.

Another issue is grips. I have a Colt New Service revolver, and these revolvers can be loaded to .45 ACP +P levels (around 21,000 PSI, about 50% above SAAMI standards.) The old-fashioned grips on this revolver let the trigger guard rap my knuckles every shot. I whittled and sanded a set of "Magna-style" stocks out of a piece of scrap walnut and that has made a big difference.

Guillermo
October 1, 2012, 07:28 PM
The rest of the rounds in the wheel didnīt even hit the target

What could be the reason for that?

BSA1
October 1, 2012, 07:56 PM
I am very glad that I get most of my information from actually shooting guns on the range and not from reading the Internet. Unfortunately with the Internet anyone can post on a topic without ever having any experience with the topic.

Vern has it dead right. The primary advantage to J-frame revolvers is their lightweight and small size for easy concealed carry. They also have a small grip frame to enhance concealability however this actually works against use of hot loads as the grip is too small for most shooters, especially males. The small grip makes it hard to control the recoil. Larger grips fit the hand better and helps to improve control. The tradeoff is loss of concealability and rubber grips can be tacky and cause clothes to cling to them thus printing the gun.

The 357 magnum is a powerful round. It is load, has sharp recoil and big muzzle flash. It takes practice to master it even out of K-frame revolvers. When I say master it I mean being able to place all of your shots within the 10 ring at 7 yards, not those 12" pie plate groups that shooters like to post bragging on their shooting ability.

As Vern says...go shoot a box out of magnums out of snubbie. Then do it rapid fire...go ahead I'll allow you you to do it two handed weaver stance. Now do it one handed, as fast as you can, no cheating such as using shooting gloves. Try it indoors on the range. Oh all the rounds need to hit the kill zone in a group that can be covered with your hand.

A few can master the magnum in a snubbie. Most of mere mortals will be content with 38+p's and work on shot placement.

jmr40
October 1, 2012, 07:57 PM
Based on my research and chronograpy work I've decided a 357 with a barrel less than 4" long is pretty useless unless your goal is to just make a lot of noise. Compare some of the results of 357, 38 and 9mm from various barrel lengths here.

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/calibers.html

In a nutshell a 38+p from a 2" or so barrel is not that much slower than 357 mags from the same length barrels. In fact a 9mm+p from a comparably sized auto will outperform short barreled 357's.

David E
October 1, 2012, 08:05 PM
What could be the reason for that?

His first shot was perfect, proving the gun and load liked each other. But then he knew what blast, flash and kick awaited him for each successive shot. My guess is the other 5 shots were yanked low left.

skidder
October 1, 2012, 08:06 PM
357 mag ammo from a snub is going to give you an impressive fireball. This impressive display of pyrotechnics is caused by the powder burn rate . Most velocity specs for ammunition manufactures is based on 6" barrel revolvers. To achieve these higher velocities they use a slower burning powder. This allows more powder with a better distribution of pressure without exceeding the 357 magnums 35,000 psi. That is why some powders have a ceiling of 6 gr. and others can go to 14 grs (the pressure is more concentrated on the faster powders). For this reason my snub gets a different load than my 6" 357 mag. By changing powders I can achieve the same velocity without wasting powder and lighting up the night sky. This also applies to 38 ammo and barrel length.

I guess what I'm trying to say is choose your ammo correctly. Every situation is different and not all barrel lengths are the same. If you don't reload, read up on what's the best for your "38 shorty" or your "8" magnum".

Tony_the_tiger
October 1, 2012, 08:07 PM
In a nutshell a 38+p from a 2" or so barrel is not that much slower than 357 mags from the same length barrels.

I respectfully disagree. .357 rounds offer a statistically significant ballistic advantage to .38 special + P rounds, in most factory loadings, even when shot out of a snub.

An average .38 ranges from 110 - 158 grains in weight and between 900 - 1100 ft/s in a snub.

In comparison, an average .357 ranges from 125 - 180 grains in weight and between 1100 - 1300 in a snub.

Whether those differences will offer an advantage in self-defense, who can say? All things being equal, give me the .357.

Of course all things are rarely equal. I probably wouldn't shoot .357 in anything lighter than a steel 640 or SP101. On the other hand my GP100 never gets .38 anymore because its potential is so much greater with .357, and because cleaning out .38 crud rings in the cylinder is no fun.

The scandium/aluminum/titanium J and L frames really shine with low pressure special rounds.

That said, I enjoy .38 and carry it from time to time. The corbon dpx, buffalo barnes x, speer gold dot 135, and buffalo 158 SLWCHP are the way to go.

Guillermo
October 1, 2012, 10:56 PM
My guess is the other 5 shots were yanked low left.

someone suggested that he might not be shooting without "ears on"...I didn't want to assume that anyone would be so foolish.

Shooting without hearing protection is just...well...I can't say it or a moderator will ding me.

Vern Humphrey
October 1, 2012, 11:37 PM
Quote:
My guess is the other 5 shots were yanked low left.
someone suggested that he might not be shooting without "ears on"...I didn't want to assume that anyone would be so foolish.

Shooting without hearing protection is just...well...I can't say it or a moderator will ding me.
While I agree that no one should shoot without hearing protection, I see it all the time.

And I agree with the guess that the shots that missed went low and left -- and we know what causes that. So clearly something is causing a lot of flinching. The primary cause of flinching is pain -- either through the ears or through the hand.

Guillermo
October 2, 2012, 12:37 AM
While I agree that no one should shoot without hearing protection, I see it all the time

I am not sure that I would trust anyone with a firearm that does not wear ear protection.

That lack of judgment is stunning.

R.W.Dale
October 2, 2012, 12:50 AM
One of the main considerations with 38 is unlike its brethren 44spl and 45lc from that era its not a big bore cartridge that can yield satisfactory terminal results sans expansion. This is exastorbated by the fact you're shooting it in a 2"barrel. If very careful bullet selection is made this can be overcome somewhat but at the expense of not meeting FBI penatration minimums in many cases.

A 38 that doesn't expand due to the low MV of a snubby will almost always out penatrate a 357 mag bullet that expands due to having more energy to put into that expansion.

I personally think 38 is OK and a step up from 380acp but its not in the same class as 9mm or 357 wich operate at 100% more pressure.

If one wants a snub nosed revolver that puts out near 357 performance without the obnoxious blast and flash full house 357's tend to make check out a revolver in 9mm. Other options are midrange magnum loads like Remington's 125 golden saber wich sacrifice a couple hundred fps for the sake of controllability yet still do much more than even 38+p

More 38 ballistics from snubbies here

http://www.snubnose.info/docs/snubby_ballistics.htm



posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

HKGuns
October 2, 2012, 10:55 AM
I'll take a contrarian view to the question posed.

I don't worry about it.....the odds of me getting into a gunfight are slim to none based on how and where I live as well as where I choose not to go for obvious reasons.

If I were to ever be in a situation where a gunfight were likely, the odds are I wouldn't be carrying because the event I would be attending is a pistol free zone by law.

So, at the end of the day this is all just Internet arguing and hopefully none of you will have to worry about it either.

Not very technical, I know.

Vern Humphrey
October 2, 2012, 11:10 AM
I am not sure that I would trust anyone with a firearm that does not wear ear protection.

That lack of judgment is stunning.
We're from different generations -- the Army did not issue earplugs until the late '60s or early '70s (which is why so many veterans have hearning problems). I can remember seeing pistol shooters with cartridges stuck in their ears like ear plugs.

Certaindeaf
October 2, 2012, 11:28 AM
I was given a 6" 357 revolver by a friend who could no longer use it. He also gave me 50 rounds handloaded by him.

I went to the range and filled the cylinder with his 357 rds. My first shot, 25 yards, no rest, was in the center of the X. Yes. I swear it. The rest of the rounds in the wheel didnīt even hit the target.

I think 357 is not for me. Iīve spent some thousand rounds trough that revolver, but never again a 357. Most of them 158 grs LSWC over 5 grs of Unique (A +p load) and full WC 148 grains (A very mild one).
Were they lead slugs? The barrel could well have leaded up.

Guillermo
October 2, 2012, 12:25 PM
I can remember seeing pistol shooters with cartridges stuck in their ears like ear plugs.

Which is at least an attempt to address the problem


But these days, everyone knows that shooting permanently damages one's ears.
It is foolish AT BEST to shoot without ear protection.

I would question shooting with foolish people

moxie
October 2, 2012, 01:09 PM
hkguns,

You're blessed to live in such a safe place.

Out here in the rest of the world, we have restaurants (Luby's), theaters (Aurora), grocery stores (Tuscon/Gabby Giffords), and places of worship (Milwaukee/Sikh temple), to name a few places which are not gunfree zones where deranged shooters have killed and wounded large numbers of people. There are bad people out in this part of the world, many of whom disregard "gun free zone" signs. Do you really believe those signs will protect you? Virginia Tech is a gun free zone. Seung-Hui Cho chose to ignore the signs and policies and laws and killed 32, wounded 17.

I prefer to have some chance of surviving such a situation.

I think the odds are not particularly high, but neither are the odds of my house burning or being flooded. I have fire extinguishers, home insurance, and flood insurance nevertheless. I haven't had to use CPR since 1965 but I maintain my certification anyway.

Different strokes, etc.

JRWhit
October 2, 2012, 01:44 PM
There is no question that 38 can do the job. There is also no question that 357 will do it better.
It's like asking if you should use a 16 oz or a 20 oz hammer to drive a nail.
It's all about the person. Personally I think the 38 is just fine for carrying for defense and that's been pretty well established. At the range, 357 will wear you out eventually. In a stress filled SD situation, you'll say ,"what recoil?"
I would say the main advantage of a 357 out of a snubby is that if you miss the target, You still left em deaf blind and burned.:D
To each his/her own.
I have always carried 38 standard in my 2.5 because I always figured the last thing I would want is for the bullet to keep traveling beyond the target. That being said, it sounds like I need to due more research after reading in this forum that out of a snubb a 38 could fail to expand due to lower velocity. I use hornady critical defense. I'll have to check into that.

henry-ctc
October 2, 2012, 07:07 PM
I always wear eye and ear protection at the range. I was young back then, well younger than today... around thirty.

Iīm not a very tall man, and my hands are not big. Anyway I can handle a Glock 17 and a CZ 75 perfectly. And yes... the grips are factory. Thatīs a point I can easily improve.

But for someone used to 9mm the 357 is a beast.

And the reason for missing those five shots was, I admit it, the fear to feel that recoil again.

Am I a coward? No I just know what I can stand and what is, or not, suited for me.

Vern Humphrey
October 2, 2012, 07:34 PM
It's nothing to be ashamed of -- everyone has to overcome flinching, particularly when you're not ready for all that recoil.

One trick is to shoot .38 Specials in your .357 until you feel you have mastered the gun. Another one is when you shoot, don't count your shots -- shoot until you get a <click!>. That way, you'll see your reaction on that last trigger pull and learn proper follow-through.

David E
October 2, 2012, 08:41 PM
Am I a coward? No I just know what I can stand and what is, or not, suited for me.

With all due respect, you're simply a guy that needs some instruction and/or experience shooting .357 magnums.

HKGuns
October 2, 2012, 10:33 PM
Nothing to do with being a coward. Inexperience maybe, coward no....

Tony_the_tiger
October 3, 2012, 01:19 AM
The man knows what he likes and its .38, not .357. His opinion does not infer anything about him, including experience level. Lets move on with the discussion :)

Queen_of_Thunder
October 3, 2012, 10:58 AM
I'd rather have a 41 mag then anything in .357.

David E
October 3, 2012, 11:07 AM
The man knows what he likes and its .38, not .357. His opinion does not infer anything about him, including experience level.

Yes, it does, since he first said he had no clue where the remaining five shots went.

Of course , he can shoot or not shoot whatever gun or caliber he desires.

But he should be aware that a .357 in a full size all steel gun isn't that difficult. He can then decide if he wants to learn how to shoot one better.

Vern Humphrey
October 3, 2012, 01:29 PM
I'd rather have a 41 mag then anything in .357.
Personally, I prefer the .45 Colt, from the modern powder-puff loads not much more powerful than the .45 ACP right up to the "Ruger Only" levels.

David E
October 3, 2012, 03:42 PM
Vern, I'm with you.

Medium-light to medium-heavy level .44 and .45 Colt loads can do 95% of the tasks out there. And they do it with less blast, flash and kick than full house .357 loads fired from a K or even L frame.

351 WINCHESTER
October 3, 2012, 04:40 PM
The .357 is a violent ctg. especially in the 125 jhp loading (it's not as hot as it used to be loaded), but it's pretty hot especially from a snubby. The muzzle blast/flash and recoil from a snubbie is horiffic. The .357 looses more power from a 2" tube than the .38 or .38+P. The .357 is going to be way harder to control and I can almost guarantee you that you will delelop a flinch.

mljdeckard
October 3, 2012, 05:03 PM
I do not feel underarmed at all with good .38 defensive ammo, particularly in the smaller guns.

Jaymo
October 3, 2012, 08:06 PM
I like .38 and .357 a lot, but I prefer .44 Special, .44 Mag, and .45 Colt.

Lawdawg45
October 4, 2012, 08:13 AM
While we're beating dead horses, let's move onto the Taurus Judge, then politics!:banghead::D

LD

SaxonPig
October 4, 2012, 09:29 AM
+P is a mild target load and I would never rely on it to save my life. From a 2" barrel I get under 900 FPS with Remington 125 JHP +P. This is far too weak for reliable SD use, IMO.

In 38 Special I load the same 125 JHP to a clocked 1100 FPS from my 2" guns and I think it is adequate if not spectacular. Most times I pack a 2.5" Model 19-3 loaded with 125@1425 Magnums.

I do not find the 19 that hard to control. There is no 44 or 45 that is anywhere near as compact. The notion that a 38 loses less from a short barrel and somehow that makes it better than the 357 is total BS. The 38 STARTS OUT so much slower the comparison is ridiculous. Again, over my chronograph+p runs just under 900, my 38 loads run 1100, and my 357 runs 1425. Tell me again how the 357 doesn't work in a short barrel.

hardheart
October 4, 2012, 12:13 PM
Based on my research and chronograpy work I've decided a 357 with a barrel less than 4" long is pretty useless unless your goal is to just make a lot of noise. Compare some of the results of 357, 38 and 9mm from various barrel lengths here.

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/calibers.html

In a nutshell a 38+p from a 2" or so barrel is not that much slower than 357 mags from the same length barrels. In fact a 9mm+p from a comparably sized auto will outperform short barreled 357's.

Difference seems to be a few hundred fps between the .38 Spl +P Speer 135gr GDHP and the .357 Corbon 140gr JHP and Federal 130gr Hydrashok low recoil. The difference is even greater at 125gr.

With a 3" test barrel (no separate cylinder & gap), the 135gr .38 Spl +P is at 892 fps, 4" is 1027 fps

The 140gr Corbon - 3" 1172 fps, 4" 1394 fps; 130gr Hydrashok - 3" 1194 fps, 4" 1453 fps

Bond Defender 3" - 135gr .38 Spl +P 885 fps, 140gr .357 1160 fps, 130gr .357 1221 fps

Closest 9mm +P I see there is the 125gr Corbon, so the weight is slightly lower again, but close enough I guess. 3" test 1170 fps, 4" 1226 fps. 3" LDA Carry 9 1198 fps

I would agree that 9mm+P is closer to .357 as long as you keep to pocket pistols, but I don't think .38 Spl is ever able to match .357. The pressure is much lower while firing the same bullets from the same platforms. At any length greater than zero, the charge from the .357 is going to out-accelerate the charge from the .38. Longer barrels just increase the gulf between them.

Hunter2011
October 4, 2012, 12:54 PM
This must be the place. Don't most here think that the 38 special in plus P configuration to be enough for self defense in a snub nosed revolver. Many seem to think that the 357 is better. It seems to me that the 357 just results in overpenetration doing no more damage to the person being shot.
I have not read through all the posts on this thread, but here is my oppinion for what it is worth. Sorry if this has been mentioned elsewhere.
If you fire the same bullet at different speeds, the higher the speed, the higher the damage, and temporary wound channel will be. Not everyone will agree with my statement but let me prove it by example.
If you take a .223. Its bullet is less than three times the weight of a .38 and its diametre is much less as well. Still which one does the most damage?
Therefore I feel I am correct when I say a .357 will do more damage than a .38. When solid bullets are used, maybe not a big enough difference, but when wadcutters or HP ammo are used, .357 wins hand down and is worth the extra power.

David E
October 4, 2012, 01:20 PM
Power that misses the target is power - and time - wasted.

If I got an 11oz 357 Scandium snubby, I would not load it with Corbon magnum loads or similar.

I'd embrace if as a super light .38, with all the attributes and detriments that are found in that platform.

rswartsell
October 4, 2012, 11:33 PM
OK, I'll admit I have only scanned the previous posts and forgive me anyone whose point I have lost by doing so. I think the .38 spl. has had a very interesting and eventful life.

When it was introduced it was a powerful improvement over "police loads" of the time (.38 short and long Colt, .32's of various descriptions, .38 S&W). Then by placing in .41-.44 frames, it explored a range of pressure and power not found in "modern SAAMI" .38 spl. factory standard loads (.38/44, .38 spl. Hi-Vel, etc.). Yes, I know the .38/44 isn't exactly a .38 spl. Then Elmer Kieth and S&W in the 1930-1935 years produced the .357 magnum to solve the "power gap" by creating a load that took the .36 Colt Navy black powder (from whence all this .357 goodness began) to killing large game.

Lawyers emasculated the standard .38 spl. in the late '50-'60-'70s IMHO because of the wide variety of guns that could chamber them and the fear of liability. So by comparison and by legal fiat the .38 spl. went from wonder round to wimp. The large number of recipients at the hands of LE and others remain just as dead/disabled.

Now we have powder blending technologies to match burn rates to barrel lengths and bullet technologies to match expansion principles to velocities and hence, IMHO this cartridge is more effective than it ever has been with a modicum of research and discretion. The Speer Short Barrel Gold Dots are a fine example of this and there are many "boutique" manufacturers that are more than willing to let you explore the potential of the cartridge under the flag of "+P".

The bottom line of this screed is that, IMHO again, the .38 spl. with a good weapon and some effort in matching the ammo to the same can be a very fine solution to the defense against humans problem. Bigger and more powerful is always more impressive but not always more wise. Otherwise we would all need tactical nukes. Yes, enough IS enough. Do your homework to find your own line of what is enough. Many of us feel pretty good with a well chosen .38 spl. gun/ammo combination.

Vern Humphrey
October 5, 2012, 05:05 PM
The bottom line of this screed is that, IMHO again, the .38 spl. with a good weapon and some effort in matching the ammo to the same can be a very fine solution to the defense against humans problem. Bigger and more powerful is always more impressive but not always more wise. Otherwise we would all need tactical nukes. Yes, enough IS enough. Do your homework to find your own line of what is enough. Many of us feel pretty good with a well chosen .38 spl. gun/ammo combination.
In a true snub-nosed revolver (not a cut-down full frame), you have basically three choices:

1. Use full charge .357s and develop an incurable flinch -- and miss when the chips or down.

2. Use full charge .357s and don't practice -- and miss when the chips or down.

3. Use a good .38 Special round, practice, and come home alive.

R.W.Dale
October 5, 2012, 06:16 PM
In a true snub-nosed revolver (not a cut-down full frame), you have basically three choices:

1. Use full charge .357s and develop an incurable flinch -- and miss when the chips or down.

2. Use full charge .357s and don't practice -- and miss when the chips or down.

3. Use a good .38 Special round, practice, and come home alive.

Not all snub nosed revolvers are 38's or 357's folks have no problem mastering 44spl or 45lc snubbies that will kick just as much as all but the lightests 357's with the most powerful loads. I personally shoot the living pee out of a 9mm snubby that greatly outpaces even the hottest 38 loads

There's also a multitude of "midrange magnum" SD loads that tame down 357 a great deal yes still vastly outperform 38

But to assert that a 15k psi 38 load moving a 158g lswc out at a pokey 800fps is the ONLY loading that folks can control a snub with or even shoot a great deal is just pure opinionated hyperbole. If your assessment were factual we'd all ditch 38's for 32's for even less recoil and moar ammo.




posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

Vern Humphrey
October 5, 2012, 07:29 PM
Not all snub nosed revolvers are 38's or 357's folks have no problem mastering 44spl or 45lc snubbies that will kick just as much as all but the lightests 357's with the most powerful loads. I personally shoot the living pee out of a 9mm snubby that greatly outpaces even the hottest 38 loads
How many 12 to 18 ounce revolvers are chambered in .44 Special and .45 Colt?

You note that I specifically exempted full-frame, short-barreled revolvers from the "snubbie" category -- for a good reason. They're quite bulky and generally negate any advantage of carrying a snubbie

There's also a multitude of "midrange magnum" SD loads that tame down 357 a great deal yes still vastly outperform 38
Yes -- and they are slightly less painful to shoot in those flea-weight revolvers.
But to assert that a 15k psi 38 load moving a 158g lswc out at a pokey 800fps is the ONLY loading that folks can control a snub with or even shoot a great deal is just pure opinionated hyperbole.
Who asserted that?

If your assessment were factual we'd all ditch 38's for 32's for even less recoil and moar ammo.
Reminds me of the argument that a deer can't tell the difference between a .300 Win Mag and a .30-06. And he can't tell the difference between a .30-06 and a .270. And he can't tell the difference between a .270 and a .243. And he can't tell the difference between a .243 and a .223. And he can't tell the difference between a .223 and a .22 Hornet. And he can't tell the difference between a .22 Hornet and a .22 WMR. And he can't tell the difference between a .22 WMR and a .22 LR.

So, obviously a .22 LR is just as good for deer as a .300 Win Mag.:p

Schneider
October 5, 2012, 08:27 PM
The .38 special? Yes. A standard-pressure load, heavy wadcutter is effective enough a killer -- more effective than lighter bullet, jacketed +P loads if, according to less popular research, sheer size and depth of the permanent wound-cavity are the desirable factors for more quickly effecting incapacitation.

Guillermo
October 5, 2012, 08:41 PM
rswartsell

good post

splithoof
October 6, 2012, 02:02 AM
For what it's worth, my experience of dealing with folks who have been on the wrong side of the muzzle tells me that the .38 Special will certainly kill you, and many times very quickly. I think we spend far too much time arguing about which load/gun/model is "best", and not nearly enough time in practice for an event we neither know when may happen, nor how it will play out, or if we may survive.

rswartsell
October 6, 2012, 03:27 AM
Thanks Guillermo,

BUT, I think you are feeding my EGO! Next thing you know, could be me buying a portable bench grinder and going Fitz crazy! God forbid.:neener:

JRWhit
October 6, 2012, 08:51 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXFoaszcciM

This may be useful. Note that the 357 cartridge is specifically designed for the short barrel. Other testing with 357 shows that hotter loads used for hunting and SD for a full frame revolver , do not expand in target when fired from a snub nose revolver.

Also note; I'm not sure why felt compelled to show 9mm results from a Glock 17, considering the longer barrel I don't quite see it as apples to apples. No matter what you prefer it is still a comparison made between two different platforms. How many people do you see strapping a glock 17 to there ankle?

JRWhit
October 6, 2012, 08:55 AM
Those are the results, However, I choose the 38 when carrying. Notice the 357 carrying on past the target. If you use those for SD just make sure you ask the target to move to a position where there is solid backing.:D

SaxonPig
October 6, 2012, 09:10 AM
Schneider- I notion of using a full wadcutters for SD was dismissed at least 30 years ago. Simply not effective. The JHP is the way to go for several good reasons.

j1
October 6, 2012, 09:32 AM
Gentlemen there were numerous excellent posts, thank you all. I cannot load 38 for part of the cylinder and 357 for the other part as my snub nose is a 38 not a 357. I shoot my reloads of lead bullets for practice and either 125 or 135 grain commercial plus P in my carry load.

76shuvlinoff
October 6, 2012, 10:31 AM
My wife's bedside 4" SP101 is loaded with 158 gr LRN 38s. This combo works for her and after attempts with .357 loads the choice was the 38s or a .22. It's a helluva lot better than nuthin'

lobo9er
October 6, 2012, 10:31 AM
ballistics by the inch.
357 mag
http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html
158 gr, 3inch barrel - 1122-1154 fps

38 special
http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/38special.html
135gr speer gold dot, 3 inch barrel - 885-892 fps

mavracer
October 6, 2012, 10:39 AM
Haven't read all the responses but here gos.
Don't most here think that the 38 special in plus P configuration to be enough for self defense in a snub nosed revolver.
Yes, it is in most of the time.
Many seem to think that the 357 is better.
It may be if you need more power, but it has more recoil so a second shot may not be as quick, as with just about every thing CCW related there are trade offs and every things a compramise.
It seems to me that the 357 just results in overpenetration doing no more damage to the person being shot.
I'd suggest you shoot some reactive targets and you'll soon learn your wrong.

Vern Humphrey
October 6, 2012, 11:10 AM
Quote:
It seems to me that the 357 just results in overpenetration doing no more damage to the person being shot.

I'd suggest you shoot some reactive targets and you'll soon learn your wrong.
Non sequitor. Results on a reactive target is no indication of how a round will do in flesh and bone.

Guillermo
October 6, 2012, 11:19 AM
could be me buying a portable bench grinder and going Fitz crazy!


the crazy coon-ass is not a new phenomenon

But it can be avoided if you travel to Texas on a regular basis.

Somehow it calms the craziness.

mesinge2
October 6, 2012, 11:19 AM
http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/mesinge2/Misc/beatingadeadhorse.jpg

Vern Humphrey
October 6, 2012, 11:26 AM
the crazy coon-ass is not a new phenomenon

But it can be avoided if you travel to Texas on a regular basis.

Somehow it calms the craziness.
You know what they say in Louisiana?

"What's the difference getween a coon ass and a horse's ass? The Sabine River.":p

(BTW, I'm a native-born Texan.)

Guillermo
October 6, 2012, 11:53 AM
Vern...ouch!!!!
:eek:

The Sabine River

at least we pronounce it right

"sa bine" not "say been"

David E
October 6, 2012, 11:54 AM
My wife's bedside 4" SP101 is loaded with 158 gr LRN 38s.

Why not load it with hollowpoints? Non +P if necessary. The 158 RNL was called the "widow maker" for a reason.

bluethunder1962
October 6, 2012, 12:37 PM
I love the357. But 38 spec or plus p are great for defence. It is all you need

mavracer
October 6, 2012, 01:31 PM
Non sequitor. Results on a reactive target is no indication of how a round will do in flesh and bone.
Um flesh and bone is a reactive target too, I'd definatly reccomend hunting with both rounds.;)

Why not load it with hollowpoints? Non +P if necessary. The 158 RNL was called the "widow maker" for a reason.
Or at least SWCs or full wadcutters.

Schneider
October 6, 2012, 04:12 PM
Schneider- I notion of using a full wadcutters for SD was dismissed at least 30 years ago. Simply not effective. The JHP is the way to go for several good reasons.

Dismissed by whom? Gun writers?

rswartsell
October 8, 2012, 12:59 AM
Somehow it calms the craziness

Guillermo,

That strategy worked so well for Jack Ruby, Charles Whitman, John Wesley Hardin, et. al. that I regularly cross the border to Caddo Lake and get the soothing effects of Marshall, Jefferson and of course Tyler. I'm sure I am a better man for it. In the interest of full disclosure though I am a recent "coon-ass" (2 years). The debilitating effects haven't had that long to work.

I am a true son of Washington County Virginia, the bustling metropolis of Mendota to be precise. So I will thank you all to address me by the time honored title of "Hillbilly", more accurate than coon-ass as long as I am regularly anitdoting Lone Star influence.

As far as crazy? Well, Hillbilly is pretty powerful (as in that's gonna leave a mark) and you can judge by studyin' up on Popcorn Sutton. That's really my neck of the woods.:D

Rexster
October 8, 2012, 09:10 PM
My (close family member) works for a very large M.E.'s office, and has seen what the Speer .357 Mag 135-grain Short Barrel can do to a human body, and more importantly how it behaved at the death scene. As I recall, penetration of the torso was complete, with the exiting bullet having very little energy, so it barely dinged what it hit afterward. The decedent ceased movement immediately, and died instantly, with little bleeding.

Schneider
October 9, 2012, 06:56 AM
died instantly, with little bleeding.

Laughable.

This shows why anecdotal material is universally rejected by serious men. Anything goes, without anything to show.

Guillermo
October 9, 2012, 11:39 AM
Paddle Faster...I hear rswartsell's banjo!!! :what:

rswartsell
October 9, 2012, 08:38 PM
LMAO, thats a good'n thar Tex.

P.S. Where I come from mental therapy consists of some of Popcorn's sippin' whiskey, high speed bluegrass and a roll with the local tarnished angels. No wonder the region has such a stellar reputation for well adjusted intellectuals and spritual lights.

Rexster
October 10, 2012, 09:47 PM
Dear Schneider, with respect, my above account was not anecdotal. This family member is an M.D., and blood spatter evidence is a science. Please note I said family member, not relative.

Blood can either be pumped out, by a still-living heart, or can drain through the effect of gravity. The decedent's heart stopped beating immediately, in this case, therefore it stopped pumping blood. The bleeding that occurred was by gravity.

I may be a layman, in medical terms, but have seen enough death scenes, while wearing a badge, and in training photos, to discuss the matter intelligently. Obviously, I cannot post scene photos on-line, even ones I take myself; I do photograph crime scenes as a designated fingerprint/picture patrol unit. This is a step "below" a CSI/CSU type of unit, but being a first responder, with a Crown Vic as an office, I get to see and hear things when the event is much fresher, and sometimes still in progress.

FWIW, the standard-pressure Federal .357 Magnum 125-grain JHP I launched, once upon a time, did indeed result in massive bleeding, as the dead-man-walking had a heart that was still pumping, and the bullet did pass through that heart. The entry wound did not close, as is typical of handgun wounds.

To this day, I still like protecting myself with .357 Mag, though I am realistic, and do not
carry the full-pressure loads in snubbies, and usually carry a somewhat moderate load
(Winchester Silvertip) in my 4" Model 19.

mavracer
October 10, 2012, 09:57 PM
Dear Schneider, respectfully, my above account was not anecdotal.
you may want to look up the definition of anecdotal.

Rexster
October 11, 2012, 06:09 AM
you may want to look up the definition of anecdotal.
OK, the Free Online Dictionary defines anecdotal as "based upon casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis."

Well, the account I typed, above, was stated to me by a respected professional in her field, who was present at the scene, conducting an investigation performed to scientific standards. Of course, one incident is simply one data point, not a complete study, but there was nothing casual about it.

I am not asking anyone to accept anything typed anonymously on the web as scientific, so what I am saying, here on THR, is indeed anecdotal.

Moreover, I am not trying to convert anyone to using the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135-grain load, in .357 Mag, .38 +P, or anything else. Anyone who wishes to use anything else, such as a full wadcutter, has my blessing. Indeed, I recently purchased a box of Buffalo Bore full wadcutter defensive .38 ammo, to see how it does in my snubbies. If I feel it suits me, I may buy more of it, and carry it in the future, especially as the Speer Short Barrel .357 is so difficult to find in stock anywhere.

Doc3402
October 11, 2012, 07:17 AM
When carrying a snubbie I always carry a .357 loaded with .357 magnum cartridges of some sort. My spare ammo is always .38 Special +P.

My daughter carries a .38 Special revolver so I want interchangeability of ammunition once our initial loads are gone.
This is something I learned way back when in my PD days and it never went away. Having a pocket full of .357 won't get you covering fire when your partner is out of ammo for his .38 Special.

Over-penetration is not now nor will it ever be a concern to me. As long as Murphy's Law is still on the books chances are pretty good that at least one round is going to miss. This is not a reflection on my abilities. It's a real life possibility when faced with the massive adrenalin dump common in fight or flight situations. Besides, tailoring my ammo to compensate for poor safety practices never sat well with me.

Vern Humphrey
October 11, 2012, 10:53 AM
OK, the Free Online Dictionary defines anecdotal as "based upon casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis."

Well, the account I typed, above, was stated to me by a respected professional in her field, who was present at the scene, conducting an investigation performed to scientific standards. Of course, one incident is simply one data point, not a complete study, but there was nothing casual about it.
That makes it anecdotal. We have no idea where that one data point lies on the regression line.

golden
October 11, 2012, 03:29 PM
J1

My first duty gun was a .357 S&W model 13. We carried 110 grain jhp in it. The 158 grain lhp +P .38 Special kicked just as hard or worse and was less effective, so why bother. Their was no problem at all with over penetration in the .357 magnum using either the 110 grain or 125 grain jhp loads.

The .357 magnum 125 grain jhp was the benchmark for stopping power when I started in law enforcement. It has been equaled by several rounds now. The downside was the brutal muzzle blast, foot long flash as seen by one of the firearms officers when I qualified on an August day and terrible noise.
We used the 110 grain load for that reason.

The 158 grain +P kicks to hard for me in the only .38 Special I still use, a 5 shot snub rose. I used to carry them off duty, but now use a SIG 232 in .380ACP.

If I needed to go back to a revolver and it was for a medium frame or larger gun, then I would go with the .357 magnum. If I carry the weight and bulk, whey not the power.
In a small frame gun, I do not want even +P. I use 125 grain NYCLAD hollow point and trade power for control and abilty to hit the target.
I shot some 125 jhp +P in a CHARTER ARMS 6 shot snubnose recently and it was painful to me. I can no longer tolerate the recoil abuse like when I was 25years old.

On the other hand, I took a female co worker shooting. She had a S&W model 66 with a 4 inch barrel. She had not fired it in years and wanted it for a house and car gun.
We started out with wadcutters and she did fine. Then 158 grain roundnose and again it was fine. We moved up to .38 Special 125 +P jhp and she still shot ok.
Last was some 110 grain jhp .357 magnum. She shot it and decided to stick with the 125 grain +P load. I concurred, since she shot as well with it as with standard velocitiy ammo.

The 158 grain lhp +P load might have a marginally better stopping power, but has more recoil in my experience and is inferior to the 110 grain .357 load.

That has been my experience from shooting all the above loads.

Jim

JRWhit
October 13, 2012, 07:23 AM
In regard to the O.P. and what I have read along this thread, enough, is clearly not enough.

Tony_the_tiger
October 13, 2012, 01:27 PM
the Speer Short Barrel .357 is so difficult to find in stock anywhere.

I've stocked up on the 50 round boxes from g&r tactical, but ATG still has the 20 round boxes in stock http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/product_info.php/pName/20rds-38-special-speer-gold-dot-short-barrel-135gr-p-hp-ammo/cName/38-special-hollow-point

Although they are a bit pricier at this count, still cheaper than some of the alternatives.

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