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Which is better for shooting .38 +P?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bg226, May 30, 2006.


Which is better for shooting .38 +P?

  1. 4" .357 Revolver

  2. 4" .38 SPL Revolver

  1. bg226

    bg226 Well-Known Member

    Which is better for shooting .38 Special +P and why?

    What about accuracy, velocity and reliability?
  2. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    It won't make much difference. I would prefer a 357 simply because it gives you more versatility.

    Some people say that shooting a lot of 38s in a 357 will make it harder to get 357 cartridges to fit into the cylinder, but I have never had that problem.
  3. silliman89

    silliman89 Well-Known Member

    As I understand it, so long as the gun can handle a +P round, then it makes no difference. If you're wondering about a particular gun, then you need to ask specifically. Like, "Is it safe to shoot .38 +P out of my S&W mod 64-3?"
  4. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Well-Known Member

    you'd have to try them out for yourself.
  5. atlctyslkr

    atlctyslkr Well-Known Member

    Studies have shown that 38 Specials shoot slightly less accurate and slower out of 357's. I have personally not conducted such a study but I've read it over and over again and I would tend to belive seeing this research in multiple places. The extra space in the cylinder and shooter expectation may be to blame. You can't do a blind shooting test so the world may never know.
  6. .45 Cal

    .45 Cal Well-Known Member

    At 7 yards my SP101 puts .38+P right where I point it. But, as bg226 points out, there are many more factors to consider.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    It won't matter with a quality gun.
  8. gazpacho

    gazpacho Well-Known Member

    This is probably a question best answered with a Ransom Rest. IMO the difference in accuracy is orders of magnitude lower than accuracy errors due to the human shooter.
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I just voted .38 because if I'm going to carry a .357, I'm going to stoke it with .357 125 grain JHPs. Home defense, I'll go .38, but for carry I'd want the magnum. "Either in a quality gun" is a good answer.

    Less power? Nah, BS. Less accuracy? Yeah, I've found that it can be hard to find a .357 which will be as accurate with .38s as with .357s for some reason. I have found two and latched on to 'em, though. One is a Ruger Blackhawk 6.5" and one is a Taurus M66. Either will put a good .38 or .357 load into an inch at 25 yards off sand bags. I had a Security six that was this accurate with .357 loads, but shot high and to the left with .38s (odd, but I've seen windage problems between the two in this gun and a Rossi 971) and that security six would shoot no better than 2.5" with wadcutters, even factory hollow base Remington wadcutters which tend to be extremely accurate.

    My Rossi would shoot under 2" with .38s, near an inch with factory Remington hollow base wadcutters, but 2+ with .357s. Go figure. It wasn't a bad gun, but I wanted better accuracy as I view a medium frame .357 as an outdoor carry gun more than for self defense, though it can surely do both. The Rossi was really light to carry, though, and wasn't particularly heavy in recoil.

    The Taurus 66 is supremely accurate with both good .357 and .38s, shoots either into an inch for five shots 25 yards. My buddy has a 6" Smith 686 that is equally good with either round. My Blackhawk is a friggin' laser with either round. All I have to do with my to is adjust elevation between the light and heavy loads. The Taurus shoots a hot .357 125 grain JHP to same point of aim as the .38, which is kinda cool. So, the above axiom isn't necessarily true and I've found my almost perfect .357 outdoor gun. The only thing I would wish for is stainless steel instead of the nickel finish, but not a real biggy there.

    Accuracy with one or the other load is why I didn't stick with either the Security Six or the Rossi. I'm pretty happy with what I've got now and to top it off, the Taurus has a danged fine DA and SA trigger.:D

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