357 ammo choice


April 11, 2013, 11:01 AM
With the recent ammo shortages, I'm not going to go out and be buying ammunition any time soon. In conjunction with a recent firearm purchase, I'm going to be moving my old Dan Wesson Model 14 (6" bbl, 6-shot 357) to take up more or less permanent residence in my truck as a vehicle gun. I have two ammo choices: .38spl +P 125gr JHP and .357 158gr hard cast flat nose.
Keeping in mind it's a 6" barrel, and going to be kept in my truck, which of these would you load it with and why? I will also almost certainly have either a 9mm or .380 subcompact on my person.

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April 11, 2013, 11:14 AM
If my main concern was defending myself against the two legged variety I'd choose the JHP. If it was the woods where I was worried about larger 4 legged critters I'd go with the 357 hardcast.

However, since you said you're carrying a 9mm on your person, I would probably carry a 9mm JHP in that and perhaps the 357 hard cast in the revovler. Nice to have options.

April 11, 2013, 11:18 AM
Well, I wouldn't want to shoot a .357 inside a truck cab.
The blast would be ear shattering.

So, I'd probably go with the .38 Spl loads.

On the other hand, if you get in a running gun battle with gang bangers?
The Hard cast will shoot through more car doors.


April 11, 2013, 11:27 AM
I'd hate to relegate a fine Dan wesson to truck gun status. That's what they make snubs and fantastic plastic for. But if you must, I'd go hard cast. Your 9mm will handle 2 legged threats and the hard cast will take care of just about everything else

April 11, 2013, 12:42 PM
I'd choose the one that most closely matched the sight's POA.

April 11, 2013, 02:00 PM
RC is right...at least put a set of foam plugs in the case with that DW.
I shoot a 158gr hardcast wnfp over a moderate load of Unique for everything from deer hunting to paper punching.

April 11, 2013, 05:26 PM
If I had to choose between my ears and my life I would probably pick my life. If .38 special packed enough punch they wouldnt have invented .357. If you are calling on this gun to save your life do yourself the favor of loading some appropriate .357 defense ammo.

April 12, 2013, 05:51 AM
If .38 special packed enough punch they wouldnt have invented .357.
I'm sorry but I can't agree with that statement and here's another. If the .38 Special was such a poor round it would be still in use after over 100 years. The .38 Special may be weak when trying to stop a heavy animal but man isn't all that hard to kill. The .38 Special, especially with modern bullets is a very capable round, street proven and is well suited for SD.

April 12, 2013, 06:18 AM
Save up and buy a different gun for the truck.

April 14, 2013, 12:28 PM
If I had to choose between my ears and my life I would probably pick my life.

Yea, me too. But if you are gonna use your truck gun to dispatch a varmit because it's making a mess on your hay stored in the barn 4 miles from your home(typical truck gun use), you're gonna want your earplugs.

April 14, 2013, 02:03 PM
"If .38 special packed enough punch they wouldnt have invented .357."
The .357 was developed from the .38-44 Heavy Duty and only exists because of a need to lengthen the case to prevent the much higher pressure cartridge from being used in weaker .38 Special revolvers. It wasn't intended to be a self defense round, but a hunting round in long-barreled full-size revolvers and was later adopted by law enforcement.

April 14, 2013, 02:29 PM
I use my earplugs when shooting any handgun, even my Single Six. Protect them ears!

April 14, 2013, 06:47 PM
.38 Spl was never lacking in power, what it was lacking was good bullet design.
That was a LONG time ago.
Buffalo Bore 158 grain SWCHP +P will do anything you ask if it, from a SD standpoint.

What are the odds of getting into a protracted, running, vehicular gun battle with gangbangers/zombies/vampires/werewolves/Martians?

April 14, 2013, 10:07 PM
The 38 spl is perfectly capable of dispatching any 2 legged vermin that it would be required to. A wise man once said that the debate between self defense calibers is far less as important as good technique and proper shot placement. Put 2 to the center mass armpit level and 99.9 percent of threats are incapacitated regardless of caliber.

April 15, 2013, 02:48 AM
I am hoping that Dan Wesson is a real beater, Mister ;)

April 15, 2013, 09:28 AM
Thanks to all, I think I'll stick with the .38 and leave the .357's for any camping trips I may take in the future.

And in answer to a few: yes the DW is not in great (aesthetic) condition. Still shoots great and the action feels good, but it's ugly right now. It's 70's era Dan Wesson, and my mother kept it for quite some time after dad died before handing it down to me. Not only does she know nothing of firearms, but she's quite literally scared of them so it basically sat in a box in the humid Georgia weather for years. By the time it got to me there was heavy pitting, so I scraped together what little I had at the time and sent it off for an emergency parkerizing to hold it over. Now that money isn't such a big issue anymore, later this year (next on my list) I'm going to send it off and get a true spa treatment, probably hard chrome.

It's hard to see the pitting due to the poor picture and the texture of the park job, but most of the pits are along the top of the frame and barrel:

April 15, 2013, 01:30 PM
To bad someone let a real DW go to hell. But even still its probably a better shooter than most any new revolver thats not a DW. Soak it well in a clp or kroil and it will make a very accurate truck gun. Good hot heavy hardcast can shoot thru both doors in a vehical??
158gr sp or hps would be better for all around use but what ever you have will do.

Blue Ridge Blueing owner use to do DW blueing if you want to try to make it look like new again. And EWKarms has most thing you may want to upgrade or change for your DW.

April 15, 2013, 01:34 PM
That is one of the roughest dan wessons I have ever seen. Most DW's are nicely polished and blued. That thing looks like it was parkerized in a cast iron pot. I would not hesitate to use it for a truck gun.

April 15, 2013, 06:54 PM
g one put that'n up here before. IIRC it is parked. Should still serve you very well if all that barrel isn't too unwieldy inside a truck cab. It's certainly a good candidate to lauch fire breathing HCGC, go with 180 gr. Buffalo Bores if you are hunting automobiles, however rc is dead right about selection, and I couldn't agree more with ArchAngel CD also, he gets a +1 from me (there's a surprise for ya ArchAngel!).

A "pork chop" in cast iron skillet. Good imagery Freak. Mmmm...pork chops!

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