Light weight .357


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4season
March 25, 2013, 04:30 PM
I have been thinking about getting a snubnose for carrying in dress clothes. Something small enough for pocket or ankle carry. At first I was thinking about a pocket 380 but I already have a Makarov in 380 and the smaller pocket 380's have horrible triggers and no sights. So I started looking at revolvers. I have handled both the Ruger LCR and Taurus polymer framed guns but they were both in 38 instead of 357. Of the 2 I liked the Taurus better because of the sights and also like the DA or SA option. I also would like to handle a S&W 360 but have yet to find one although they cost a bit more. I have handled several other 38's in both 5 and 6 round and find them either too bulky or with horrible grips and a total lack of sights. Am I missing a real good option out there?

So what other guns are in this category? 5 shot 357 fully loaded under 2 lbs, good sights and preferably both DA/SA.

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J.R.W.
March 25, 2013, 04:58 PM
Smith 340pd. Brutal to shoot, a dream to carry.

Naybor
March 25, 2013, 05:00 PM
At least take a look at a Ruger SP101

critter
March 25, 2013, 06:03 PM
I have a S&W 337 in .38 special. Lil sucker weighs about 12 oz. Shooting +P in it is ALL I WANT. .357 out of something like that would be BRUTAL I'd suspect. Certainly follow-up shots would not be very close together time-wise I'd think. LOTS of practice would be needed.

Something like a S&W 28 Highway Patrolman would be more comfortable.

BTW, I'm used to my FA in .454. Different ball game.

savit260
March 25, 2013, 06:09 PM
Do yourself a favor and shoot one with some mid range or better .357 Magnums before you buy a lightweight.

They can be brutal to shoot.

If you aren't going to ever put .357s in them, there are some very good choices in .38 Special.

A group of experienced shooters all took turns shooting one of the Scandium S&W J frames with full house .357's at our local range, and we all decided that the word that best described them was "stupid". The recoil is fierce. No one really wanted to shoot it again.

Haven't tried the 357 LCR yet, but it's got a good bit more weight to deal with the recoil than the lightest S&W's.

jstein650
March 25, 2013, 06:17 PM
This is just another affirmation, but... I've shot handguns from .22 to .44 to 45-70, and don't really consider myself 'recoil shy'. An airweight 2" S&W with +p 38's is the only gun I can say actually 'hurt'!

kludge
March 25, 2013, 06:23 PM
Smith 340pd. Brutal to shoot, a dream to carry.

Yup. Brutal as in I'd rather shoot my .454 Casull. In fact, my actual words to my buddy after shooting the first two rounds were, "I don't like that at all."

Then he said, "Those were the Specials."

Then I shot the magnums. Never again.

I can think of no better reason than the 340PD to own a Ruger SP101. Magnum loads are not a problem.

J.R.W.
March 25, 2013, 07:28 PM
I can think of no better reason than the 340PD to own a Ruger SP101. Magnum loads are not a problem.

Truth. The one I had is LONG gone and the SP101 lives in the nightstand. For a small .357 I think the 3" SP is one of the best options around.

4season
March 25, 2013, 08:00 PM
I figured I would get a bunch of recoil related responses to this so let me be clear.

I don't care about recoil. I have shot plenty of what most people consider "painful" guns and have never had a problem. I should also add that I roll my own ammo and can load down for practice. I plan on carrying full power 357 loads so I will shoot a few to check point of impact at the range, then practice with a low power load with the same POI. I know when I am hunting and there is fur in the scope I never feel recoil so I can imagine that in a self defense situation the adrenaline will be much higher so 5 shots that feel like a baseball bat impact to the palm of my hand will go unnoticed. I don't expect any handgun that weighs in under 24 oz to be fun to shoot, but I don't want to strap a 2lb weight to my ankle and walk around in dress pants either.

beag_nut
March 25, 2013, 08:40 PM
It's really easy to check out the websites of the makers to see how much a revolver weighs. If that's your criteria, then you need no further guidance.
The SP101 snubby weighs just over 1 1/2 pounds.

wheelyfun66
March 25, 2013, 08:44 PM
I am not an overly "tough" guy, don't have lumberjack hands, and am not a masochist.....BUT, my S&W 340 M&P feels FINE to me when shooting 158gr .357magnum loads....
Granted, I will not shoot it more than 24 rounds at a time, but...it really and truly does NOT hurt me to shoot it.
I grip the revolver really high, and induce adrenaline by jumping "off the X" and drawing from under concealment garment, shooting on the move, etc...

http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/IMG_0667.jpg
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/043.jpg
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/041.jpg

Sergei Mosin
March 25, 2013, 10:23 PM
I must confess that I don't see the appeal of DA/SA on a pocket revolver. The exposed hammer can snag on the draw and defensive shooting with such a weapon is most likely going to be in DA anyway. I suppose some folks might want to do slow-fire target shooting or plinking with their snub, but longer barrels are better suited to that task. Besides, the DA trigger on my .357 LCR is pretty good - better than on my SP101 or GP100 (which I do use for both DA and SA shooting.)

Clippers
March 26, 2013, 12:00 AM
I really enjoy shooting my SP101 snubnose 357, don't overlook it.

VA27
March 26, 2013, 01:27 AM
The airweight Smiths are fun to carry. The SP101 is fun to shoot. For HD/CC get the Smith and load it with factory wadcutter. For all around use (HD/CC or trail) get the 4" SP101.

788Ham
March 26, 2013, 01:31 AM
I've got the 3" SP 101 in .357, shoot .38's mostly. I had a smith polish and de-burr the insides, polish the trigger, lighten the hammer strut spring from factory #14 to #12 lb., now the smoothest revolver action I have, other than my #15 and my Python. Give the SP 101 a look.

firesky101
March 26, 2013, 04:02 AM
I have shot quite a few snub nosed .357's. The most tolerable one to me is the KLCR. Maybe the polymer frame flexes and spreads out the impulse, I don't have the high speed camera to see. But it is certainly more enjoyable to shoot then I thought it would be. And yes as others have said the 340PD is brutal. I put one cylinder through a friends, my hand ached for nearly a week, and I had some nasty bruising in the web of my hand.

Bob79
March 26, 2013, 05:01 AM
I have previously owned, and shot a S&W Airlite with 357 mag rounds. And like others have stated, it truly is BRUTAL. I also am not "recoil shy", and this is the only gun/ammo combo that actually hurt my hand after shooting only a few rounds.

Then if you look at the ballistics of a 357 round out of a 2" barrel vs a good 38+P round, there isn't all that much difference. Yes I know 357 will be faster and have more energy. But it isn't that much, and when you factor in recoil, its not a good trade off. Most of the 357 guns cost more as well.

The Ruger LCR in 357 may be OK because I believe its something like 17+ ounces, and the grip is pretty good on that gun. But the 12-13 ounce S&W Airlites/M&P guns are just nasty.

In my experience, the S&W Airweight line is an extremely good set up. The cost is relatively lower, and the weight of the gun with Hogue Bantams is about 14.5 ozs. They are chambered for 38 +P, and the Speer 135 +P short barrel is one excellent, and hard hitting 38 round. The CorBon 38 +P ammo is also pretty hard hitting, and of course there is Buffalo Bore.

If at all possible I would HIGHLY suggest you try and find someone with a lightweight 357 you can actually shoot at the range and see how it goes.

CZ223
March 26, 2013, 07:20 AM
S&W Ladysmith model 60 for a backup gun. It is not what I would consider heavy though I doubt I could carry it in a pants pocket. I could definitely carry it in a jacket pocket. I have only put 5 rounds of 357 through it so far but it didn't bother me at all. Shooting dollar a round ammo did, however.:eek: I have had a model 36, a 637-2 38 special and a Ruger SP101 in 357 and they were all worse to shoot than this. The only fault that could be found with it is that the double action trigger was stagey while the single action pull was great. I dropped it at my local gunsmith yesterday and will have it back in a week.:D

kludge
March 26, 2013, 11:55 AM
I figured I would get a bunch of recoil related responses to this so let me be clear.

I don't care about recoil. I have shot plenty of what most people consider "painful" guns and have never had a problem.

Still, this is one of those guns that you truly should "try before you buy."

sixgunner455
March 26, 2013, 12:15 PM
Well, go right ahead and buy that Airlite. If the .357 hurts (it probably will, but some people do it anyway), you can just forget that it has chambers long enough for the manly man .357 and load it with .38 Specials.

Or you can save some money and buy a 642, or a 637 if you really want an exposed hammer on it. To me, they have a better balance of power/weight/recoil. My .357 is a heavy barreled K-frame.

savit260
March 26, 2013, 12:31 PM
S&W Ladysmith model 60 for a backup gun. It is not what I would consider heavy though I doubt I could carry it in a pants pocket. I could definitely carry it in a jacket pocket. I have only put 5 rounds of 357 through it so far but it didn't bother me at all.

Keep in mind that model 60 weighs nearly twice as much (21.2oz vs 11.4 oz) as the ultra light weight J frames.

BIG difference in the amount of recoil.

340PD
March 26, 2013, 02:59 PM
Recoil is very subjective. I think the 340pd is the best snubbie out there. Personally I carry it with Speer gold dots short barrel 135 gr loads, but if I felt the need, .357 is no problem. It is not a range gun, but easily the most comfortable, powerful, pocket gun I have ever carried.
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t320/gnystrom_photos/340pd.jpg

buffytvs
March 26, 2013, 04:05 PM
I have the Taurus 605 Poly Pro in .357 I like the semi shroud on the hammer as it reduces snagging quite a bit while still offering SA. I have fired 110gr to 158gr handloads through it, some that were really hot. I find the recoil stout but not unpleasant, with the caveat that you really need to make sure you have the proper grip. I have been able to hold respectable groupings at 10-15yds. The downside to the firearm is it is a Taurus and out of the box issues tend to happen. This firearm was no exception as the headspace was out of spec for 3 cylinders due to high spots on the ejection star. A couple hours with a fine file fixed it, but still a downside.

fatcpa
March 26, 2013, 04:48 PM
Ruger LCR 357. Hogue handler grips make it tolerable to shoot.

Certaindeaf
March 26, 2013, 05:00 PM
How about a 22 ounce .44 magnum? S&W 329PD

scaatylobo
March 26, 2013, 05:34 PM
I am 65 now and I see a HUGE difference between what I shoot and tolerate now as compared to 10 or 20 years past.

I now own a S&W 442 and its 14 oz and I happily shoot +P .38's in it and LOVE the snag free design.

I own a S&W 360 and will not shoot magnums out of it without a glove,but it shoots +P very well and its in my pocket as I pen this.

I have an SP101 with the 3" barrel and while its easy to shoot with magnums,its a bit weighty and I would [ and do ] carry a Glock 23 in place of it.

I also have a S&W 387 [ 7 shot Ti .357 ] and its a pleasure to shoot and yes - it is gtg with magnums too.It has a 'L' frame with round butt 'K' frame grip.

The revolver is a BUG except in the house or when I am down the use of a limb [ just had shoulder replaced ].

Good luck with your search and I hope you get to shoot any under consideration.

WardenWolf
March 26, 2013, 05:38 PM
Your search for a shootable compact revolver should begin and end with Ruger. An SP101 with a Hogue boot grip is pleasant, and an LC357 should be fine as well. My father has a Smith & Wesson Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard in .38 Special. Before we put a boot grip on it, that thing was just unpleasant to shoot.

Certaindeaf
March 26, 2013, 05:46 PM
I remember an old FBI man saying "You want it to kick!". May God rest his soul.

Bill4282
March 26, 2013, 06:15 PM
If you want a 2" snubbie, look at Gold Dot short barrel ammo. Same velocity as a 4" barrel.

Godsgunman
March 26, 2013, 06:34 PM
I would say I'm not recoil sensitive as I consider shooting 000 buck and slugs out of a Taurus judge fun. I shot the Ruger LCR a couple months back with .38 spl target loads, shot about 5 rounds and said "no thanks". I have a Taurus 65 with 3" barrel and mainly shoot full house .357 loads with no problem and can follow up pretty quickly. These airweight things aren't for me, no real advantages that I see to them but to each his own. Good luck! Make sure to shoot before you buy if you can.

mdauben
March 27, 2013, 12:29 PM
Your search for a shootable compact revolver should begin and end with Ruger. An SP101 with a Hogue boot grip is pleasant, and an LC357 should be fine as well.
The S&W Model 60 is a steel j-frame that weighs approximatly the same as the SP101 (26oz versus 24.5oz) and with a good set of grips is just as shootable. IMO. ;)

BigG
March 27, 2013, 01:04 PM
I got a DAO Airlight Smith - must be the 340 Model. It shoots ok. Not the end of the world to touch off though you will probably notice. ;)

Macchina
March 27, 2013, 08:31 PM
I was trying to decide between the LCR in .38 or .357: Most everyone who owns one answers this question with: "buy the .357 and shoot .38 +P in it, that's what I do". My conclusion: skip a step, save $100, and get the lighter 38 +p to start with.

I once shot a friends 340 with mid-range Federal .357's: it was like nothing else. I own a 4.2" SP101 and load a .357 +P ;) load with H110 and 158g XTP's and it's a .22 in comparison to the 340.

If I was going to buy a small .357 to shoot .357 out of, I would start with looking at a 2" or 3" SP101. I love my 4.2" and with a couple hours of my time, I have the trigger twice as smooth as that 340.

HKGuns
March 27, 2013, 08:47 PM
http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v76/p1434639194-5.jpg

scaatylobo
March 27, 2013, 10:28 PM
that is a real beauty [ in case you didnt notice = lol ] and I am drooling.

Just got my 'grail' gun,a S&W 13 with 3" barrel and now I am hankering for one of those !.

bigwheel
March 27, 2013, 11:18 PM
Well lets see where to start. Nobody has yet to explain to me the wisdom of trying to lug around a lumpy wheel gun in the concealed frame of mind..so I am getting the wrong impression to start with. Then as Bob 79 already said the concept of the .357 Snubby has been disproven ad infinitum. Only increase available over .38 special is in the field of muzzle blast and unburned powder. Somebody needs to go buy a Sig P 226 .40 and forget all this nonsense. Thanks.

Sergei Mosin
March 27, 2013, 11:19 PM
I was trying to decide between the LCR in .38 or .357: Most everyone who owns one answers this question with: "buy the .357 and shoot .38 +P in it, that's what I do". My conclusion: skip a step, save $100, and get the lighter 38 +p to start with.

I agreed with you...right up until I found a slightly used .357 model for about the price of a new .38 Special. Having fired both, I much prefer the heavier .357 - it's much more pleasant to shoot .38 (or .38 +P) rounds in the .357 than in the .38 model and I have found that shooting magnum loads in that little gun is a real blast.

Deaf Smith
March 27, 2013, 11:27 PM
My preferred pair is a Glock sub-compact and S&W J .38.

It can be the Glock 26 or 27 or 33 and just about any 2 inch snub J .38.

Like these two.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=181955&d=1364437650

Deaf

Sergei Mosin
March 27, 2013, 11:42 PM
Well lets see where to start. Nobody has yet to explain to me the wisdom of trying to lug around a lumpy wheel gun in the concealed frame of mind..so I am getting the wrong impression to start with. Then as Bob 79 already said the concept of the .357 Snubby has been disproven ad infinitum. Only increase available over .38 special is in the field of muzzle blast and unburned powder. Somebody needs to go buy a Sig P 226 .40 and forget all this nonsense. Thanks.

If you re-read the OP, you'll find that he was looking at pocket or ankle carry. If you can carry a P226 in your pocket, great, but I can't. (Talk about lumpy...!)

.357 Magnum ammo is more powerful than .38 Special, even +P, even out of a snub. It's not much of an advantage, but I'll take all I can get.

aliveisalive
March 28, 2013, 03:21 AM
Love my sp101. Did not like my mod 60 pro that HK posted.

460Kodiak
March 28, 2013, 02:59 PM
I would also throw the SP101 into the ring for consideration.

But have you looked at the Springfield XDs? Not as classy as a revolver to be sure, but 6 shots of .45 acp in an easily comtrolable gun is nothing to overlook. It's about the same length as my J frame, and it is narrower.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=174898&d=1353266311

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=174899&d=1353266366

Certaindeaf
March 28, 2013, 03:24 PM
The J-frame is perhaps thicker only through the cylinder.. about 1.5" long.. depending on grips.

Kleanbore
March 28, 2013, 03:29 PM
I remember an old FBI man saying "You want it to kick!". May God rest his soul.Well, you do not.

If you may have to shoot through automobile bodies or body armor plate glass, or shoot dangerous animals, you may need to shoot something that kicks. Otherwise, it is silly to trade controllability in rapid fire for unnecessary penetration.

Certaindeaf
March 28, 2013, 03:31 PM
Who said you can't control something that kicks?

savit260
March 28, 2013, 07:59 PM
The S&W Model 60 is a steel j-frame that weighs approximatly the same as the SP101 (26oz versus 24.5oz) and with a good set of grips is just as shootable. IMO.

S&W's website lists the 2" model 60 at 22.6 oz. Not a huge difference, but enough to notice.

The one place IMO, that the Ruger has it all over the J frames is ergonomics. Speaking only for myself, I find the trigger reach really cramped on J frames, and not so bad on the SP-101's and Colt D frames.

hunterwinco
March 28, 2013, 09:49 PM
I carry a Ruger LCR357 and its a pretty easy snubbie to shoot 38 or 357. I carry it often in my front jacket pocket if Im out for a walk etc. One advantage to the wheel gun over my Glock is that it can be fired without even taking it out of the pocket.;)

Bushpilot
March 29, 2013, 09:10 AM
I figured I would get a bunch of recoil related responses to this so let me be clear.

I don't care about recoil. I have shot plenty of what most people consider "painful" guns and have never had a problem. I should also add that I roll my own ammo and can load down for practice. I plan on carrying full power 357 loads

The fact is, other than lots of extra recoil and muzzle blast, you're not getting any significant increases in velocity by shooting 357 mag out of a 2" barrel over a 38 special or 9mm... Actually, out of 2 inches of barrel or less, 357 mag has absolutely nothing on a 9mm. 357 mag requires at least 3"- 4" of barrel length in order to turn that extra powder into velocity.

4season
March 29, 2013, 09:49 AM
The fact is, other than lots of extra recoil and muzzle blast, you're not getting any significant increases in velocity by shooting 357 mag out of a 2" barrel over a 38 special or 9mm... Actually, out of 2 inches of barrel or less, 357 mag has absolutely nothing on a 9mm. 357 mag requires at least 3"- 4" of barrel length in order to turn that extra powder into velocity.
Why does this keep being stated as fact? I guess it really depends on what you call significant. If there was no gain in velocity between the same weight bullet for 38 to 357 there would be no difference in recoil as well. Simple matter of physics. The more energy coming out of the barrel the more energy is coming back at you in the form of recoil. Sure when the barrel is this short they are all within a few hundred fps of each other but at the speeds we are talking about that can be 10-25% more energy. I know most 357 factory loads are built for 6 inch barrels but there are some factory loads that are designed for snub-nose. And if you hand load you can simply pick a faster burning powder to gain your speed faster.

RevolvingGarbage
March 29, 2013, 10:24 AM
Sure, not much difference at all! only something like 800 FPS vs 1000-1100 for the same weight bullet.

On that note, that .38spl is giving you undue blast and flash! Why don't you know you could get nearly the same ballistics with a good .38S&W load? (Ironically, those two are much closer from a 2" gun than the .38 spl +P and the .357 mag...)

Bushpilot
March 30, 2013, 05:33 AM
Why does this keep being stated as fact? I guess it really depends on what you call significant. If there was no gain in velocity between the same weight bullet for 38 to 357 there would be no difference in recoil as well. Simple matter of physics. The more energy coming out of the barrel the more energy is coming back at you in the form of recoil. Sure when the barrel is this short they are all within a few hundred fps of each other but at the speeds we are talking about that can be 10-25% more energy.

It keeps being stated as fact because 357 mag is very inefficient in short barrels... The physics involved are not quite as simple as you suggest. Intuitively, it may seem that more recoil directly equals more performance but in reality it doesn't work out as straight forward as that. First of all, the increase in the mass of the extra propellant (and all of the burning gases produced) are added to the bullet mass in producing recoil, relative to the mass of the gun. Second, just because the short barrel isn't efficient enough to produce dramatic increases in velocity from the increased charge doesn't change that fact that you are burning more powder which increases muzzle blast and recoil. And third, if there was such a direct and proportional relationship between recoil and velocity, the snub nosed 357 in question would produce huge increases in velocity over a similar weight 38 special since it recoils more than 2X as much, but it doesn't. The actual "real world" difference varies between guns and loads but averages about 15% (about 150 fps). A 150 fps increase in velocity in exchange for 2X the recoil doesn't seem a significant enough increase to me to be worthwhile. It may even be a handicap if a second or third shot is required or if fired in a confined space. 357 mag performance compared to a 9mm, when both are fired out of a 2 inch or less barrel, is so close that it is practically identical, but with much less recoil for the 9mm. It's all about the efficiency of small cases with fast powders in short barrels as compared to larger cases with slower powders.

Sure, not much difference at all! only something like 800 FPS vs 1000-1100 for the same weight bullet.

On that note, that .38spl is giving you undue blast and flash! Why don't you know you could get nearly the same ballistics with a good .38S&W load? (Ironically, those two are much closer from a 2" gun than the .38 spl +P and the .357 mag...)

It's not usually that significant. What makes little sense to me is that you disagree when discussing 357 vs 38 special, then essentially make the same argument involving 38 special vs 38 S&W. Small capacity cases with short barrels are more efficient than larger capacity cases in short barrels.....

marano35
March 30, 2013, 10:24 AM
Get you a new or used Smith and Wesson with a concealed or shrouded hammer in a lite weight configuration. An SP101 is a fine gun but too big and heavy for ankle or pocket carry. You don't need a .357 for this role. +p .38 is more than you will want to shoot regularly in one of these guns, trust me. I mostly would use standard .38 loads in these guns. Stay away from polymer offerings and if you can find a used Smith that I have referenced even better. Shoot enuff to know that it shoots to point of aim and if it does never get rid of it and keep it clean. I carried a five shot revolver on my ankle for years and still do on occassion. I have a smith 442 and an old stainless bodyguard, love em both.

JRWhit
March 30, 2013, 10:43 AM
4season, I'll stick to your O.P. You asked about a lightweight 357 magnum. That is your choice, and I won't spend wasted time trying to talk you out of it or telling you that there is no advantage over 38. After all that wasn't your post.
I would look at the Ruger LCR now chambered in 357 magnum. The DA triggers are quite good in my opinion. For practice I would recommend 38s,NOT BECAUSE OF RECOIL, but because the light weight revolvers will not hold up to a steady diet of magnums like the heavier frame revolvers will. Not to say, don't shoot 357s in it, but if you do a lot of practice consider the life of the gun. Happy shopping.:)

Bushpilot
March 30, 2013, 12:05 PM
Before you get too high up on your horse JR, this is pertinent to the discussion as the OP mentioned having previously considered 380's and 38 Special's. He dismissed the 38's because of "bulk" and "horrible grips." But, then went on to inquire about 5 shot, 2 inch, 357's, which makes no sense because they are going to be built on the same size frames and have the same grips/grip options. The OP thought about choosing a less powerful .380 but then found a more powerful 38 Special Taurus that he liked but decided not to purchase it because it wasn’t a 357. ????huh??? Which brings us to my having pointed out that he’s not getting all that much extra performance by holding out for the 357, despite all the added recoil.... Then, after you criticize for supposedly getting off topic comparing 38 and 357, you suggest he buy a 357 and shoot 38 Specials out of it, albeit for different reasons.

460Kodiak
March 30, 2013, 04:59 PM
You know, the SP101 is a bit large for ankle or pocket carry.

How about a S&W 640 pro!!!! Those are sweet little guns, and if I was in the market for a j frame, that would probably be it. In fact I've been thinking about trading my 642 towards one.

Fluted full shroud, and trijicon night sites. Check it out if you haven't.

RevolvingGarbage
March 30, 2013, 06:18 PM
...What makes little sense to me is that you disagree when discussing 357 vs 38 special, then essentially make the same argument involving 38 special vs 38 S&W. Small capacity cases with short barrels are more efficient than larger capacity cases in short barrels.....

I was actually being mostly sarcastic about the .38spl/S&W comment.

It is true that you can actually duplicate even most .357mag loads in that little tiny .38 S&W case, though you would need to fire them from a gun powerful enough to handle them.

I don't see how one can argue that the 200-300 FPS boost you get with the .357 mag even in a short barrel is not worth the extra flash (can be reduced considerably by using short barrel optimized loads) and recoil, unless one are a particularly sensitive shooter.

Bushpilot
March 30, 2013, 06:48 PM
I was actually being mostly sarcastic about the .38spl/S&W comment.

Sorry, I misinterpreted the sarcasm.. I own a couple 38 S&W’s but rarely shoot them and have never reloaded for them so I really didn’t know first hand what they are capable of or if you were being serious.

200-300 fps is significant energy-wise but I have never witnessed a 300 fps difference through my chronograph. I also don't see it when comparing the best 38 and 357 loads on "Ballistics by the Inch."

Coop45
March 30, 2013, 06:58 PM
Get a PM9 and relax with a beer.

savit260
March 30, 2013, 07:10 PM
In a lightweight snub 2"-er... I personaly don't think the moderate gain in fps and energy is worth substantialy more recoil.

In a 4" or 6" steel mid frame... YES, definitly worth the extra you get out of the .357, but in a airlite snub, not so much (required IMO)

bigwheel
March 30, 2013, 07:14 PM
If you re-read the OP, you'll find that he was looking at pocket or ankle carry. If you can carry a P226 in your pocket, great, but I can't. (Talk about lumpy...!)

.357 Magnum ammo is more powerful than .38 Special, even +P, even out of a snub. It's not much of an advantage, but I'll take all I can get.
Well thinks I read it right the first time. Now I cant figger out why anybody would want a gun on their ankle? I have seen that on TV a few times but dont think folks are supposed to do it in real life. Now how is anybody gonna walk around with a decent sized gun in their pocket? If the cheapie skates snag Mr. Sig..in warm weather it packs great like this with shirt tail out:

http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/

For dress up day you use this one:

http://www.smartcarry.com/

For coolish weather or when scooting on the Putt..the leather biker vest with inside capt kangaroo gun pockets work great.

http://coronadoleather.com/i-6741217-american-v-rider-vest.html

Course a person can wear the yankee fanny packs any old day..but it can cause low self esteem.

ScottieG59
March 30, 2013, 07:24 PM
I have a Ruger LCR and it is a great small concealable revolver. It handles +P ammo with no difficulties. Some like the ability to shoot small revolvers while they are in a coat pocket. You can be in the ready state without brandishing.

Still, my deep concealment handgun is my Kahr PM9. It handles +P ammo well and conceals as well as many 380s. The Kahr PM40 is about the same small size.

JRWhit
March 30, 2013, 09:07 PM
Before you get too high up on your horse JR, this is pertinent to the discussion as the OP mentioned having previously considered 380's and 38 Special's. He dismissed the 38's because of "bulk" and "horrible grips." But, then went on to inquire about 5 shot, 2 inch, 357's, which makes no sense because they are going to be built on the same size frames and have the same grips/grip options. The OP thought about choosing a less powerful .380 but then found a more powerful 38 Special Taurus that he liked but decided not to purchase it because it wasn’t a 357. ????huh??? Which brings us to my having pointed out that he’s not getting all that much extra performance by holding out for the 357, despite all the added recoil.... Then, after you criticize for supposedly getting off topic comparing 38 and 357, you suggest he buy a 357 and shoot 38 Specials out of it, albeit for different reasons.
I apologize Bushpilot,I had no intention of it being directed at anyone personally. It just always seems that anytime someone asks about a 357 for carry, it always turns into a back and forth about 38 being just as good and so on. The last part of the O.P. was asking for a good light weight 357 after describing his previous experience with the 38s. Sometimes I get a case of crab a$$, so I don't begrudge you for calling me out on it.

Bushpilot
March 30, 2013, 10:21 PM
Sometimes I get a case of crab a$$,

Same here JR.... Thanks for the response...

4season
March 31, 2013, 10:34 AM
Get a PM9 and relax with a beer.
I tried a PM40 and couldn't stand it. If someone will ever make a striker fired pistol with a decent trigger I will look at it. Any striker fired trigger I have ever tried just felt horrible to me. I have tried Glocks and XDs and many of the small pocket 380 and none feel right to my trigger finger.

S&Wfan
April 3, 2013, 10:39 PM
Yeah, I know this is a true "pipedream," but all this "lightest ____ caliber" stuff would sort it out real quick if folks would go out and compete at real handgun matches with those things and suddenly discover that, at speed, they suddenly couldn't hit the side of a barn from inside the barn after a round or two got touched off.

It isn't just the muzzle flip, but also the way a gun torques in one's hands while shooting carefully but REALLY fast under the pressure of a clock. Once the gun twists slightly in the grip the trigger pull changes and one begins to miss quite a bit . . . and can't understand why.

Plinking lazily at the range can yield decent groups on paper, but it all changes when you are putting out all your lead very quickly and suddenly you can't hit your target!

IF I WERE DICTATOR OF THE WORLD . . .
I'd ban gun makers from selling 10 oz. .357 revolvers. Sure . . . in a fight you won't "feel" the brutal recoil but that's not what will get you killed. You also won't understand why the other guy who is trying to kill you first isn't going down . . . when in fact you are missing badly. IMHO, gun makers are probably getting owners killed in gun fights by marketing a very, very, very poor idea. Then again, forums have this same question asked all the time . . . "What is the lightest _______," and these titanium and "scandium" pocket rockets DO sell . . . to folks that simply aren't seasoned handgun shooters.

Every product man makes is a compromise, and when it comes to handguns once you go too light on a gun-the recoil goes up and accuracy plummets under stress in double action mode. Bullet placement is everything . . . shot after shot after speedy shot until the other guy quits fighting.

IMHO, an aluminum-framed snubby like an S&W Airweight is the best compromise . . . for .38 +P and plain ol' .38 Special ammo. A STEEL framed snubby is that same level of compromise when shooting .357 Magnum ammo.

Yeah . . . take your featherweight to a handgun match and you'll lose to most everyone else in the match. It is a very sobering discovery that's best made when your life is NOT on the line for real!

Backpacker33
April 4, 2013, 12:01 AM
Go a tad larger and check out the S&W 386PD, scandium/aluminum frame, titanium cylinder. Light weight, good grip, not tough to shoot, not tough to carry or conceal.

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