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357 mag vs 40 S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by ORHunter79, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    I'd like to know what the members of THR think of these two.

    Specifically, which has more stopping power in a small package, i.e. snub 357 like the Ruger LCR vs Glock 27.

    Reason I'm asking is because, I currently carry a G27 but thought about switching over to the LCR.

    Thanks.
     
  2. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Both are fully capable of the task if you are. Other than that it's just personal preference.
     
  3. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    I'd not worry much about cartridge. Think about if you like revolver or auto and which one you run better.

    There is a lot to be said for a 357 revolver in terms of versatility though.
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    First of all, I doubt there is any noticeable difference between a wound channel either would make. However the .357 Magnum performance is usually listed for that out of a long (up to 8 3/8 inches) barrel, and you are looking at using it in a much shorter length. Muzzle flash and blast won't buy you anything.

    I would suggest that before you buy a .357 LCR you shoot one that's loaded with Magnum cartridges. You may get an unpleasant surprise.

    Ultimately what stops a lethal attack is not the particular cartridge you use, but if or when the bullet hits and disables a critical organ in the attacker's body. Short of that they can keep doing whatever they are - at least for a short time.

    I have no interest in an LCR chambered in .357 Magnum. The .38 Special version is another matter.
     
  5. wildehond

    wildehond Member

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    I carried 4" 357 revolver as CCW for few years. I loved it. Simple and easy to use. The one thing that you should remember however it that the .357 mag does have quite a blast and a serious flame from a shorter barrel. So you have to be aware of that in a confined space like room or a car.

    I currently carry Glock 22 in 40S&W. A bit lighter to carry. The 40S&W with 180gr hollow points does have less of a blast and flash.

    I would not feel 'under-gunned' with either. If you like the weapon you carry you will be more likely to carry and shoot it. Which will mean you will more likely have it with you if you ever need it and know how to shoot it. That is the most important issue.
     
  6. Davidfl

    Davidfl Member

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    if you get the lcr in 357 mag you can load with 38+p

    i was looking to get a lcr in 357 mag
     
  7. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Why?


    If it's purely to have a carry gun in Magnum flavor, save some cash and buy an OEM Glock 33 barrel. .357 Sig is and it isn't whatever it could be, but as far as a 9mm/.357 cartridge in that size envelope goes, you will be much better off with the Sig. Only giving up a half inch of barrel over the commonly accepted 'standard' length for the cartridge, still holds twice as many rounds as the revolver, and most importantly it costs under $150.

    Honestly though, I'd stick with the 27 as is. The 33 barrel would be a fun thing to have, double up the caliber selection for it, but unless you find that it shoots better or you find the shooting characteristics more pleasant, I'd rather have the heavier weight .40 bullets flying out of the muzzle end.
     
  8. skoro

    skoro Member

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    The 357 definitely has more mustard. But either one will work well if you do your part. As a revolver guy myself, I'd be hesitant to fire full house 357 ammo out of a light snub like the LCR. The gun could take it, but my hand wouldn't last very long that way. Nasty 357 loads out of my full size Model 13 are harsher than I like.

    I'm a wimp.
     
  9. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    My 2.25 sp101 is about as light as I wanna go with a 357.

    I would rather carry a g27 than the 357 LCR, at least loaded with magnums.
     
  10. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

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    If you are looking to make a dirrect ballistic comparison, such as 150gr in each cartridge, or 135gr in .40 Vs. 140gr in .357 - then the results are pretty much a wash.

    You're not going to get much more than 1,000 fps from your short-tube .357, no matter what brand ammo you buy. The .40 hovers right around that same mark with all but the heaviest bullet weights. In fact, when you compare 150gr pills across the board, the velocity and energy numbers are essentially the same in 2"-3" tubes.

    Where the .357 really starts to shine is when you get up to a 4" barrel - that is where the published crony numbers show that the revolvers extra case capacity gives you noticeable velocity gains over a .40 in the same length tube.

    BUT - Since this discussion is about short tubes and carry guns, I can't see how the .357s extra capacity is any tangible advantage. What I DO see is the disadvantage of loosing 4+1 rounds of ammunition in comparison to your current pistol.
     
  11. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    Thank you all for the responses. Seems like the mutual response is, in short barrels, there is no advantage in either.

    I have a .357 in a 2.25" barrel (security six) which I guess I will sell for another .357 for a longer barrel since the .357 seems to be created for longer barrels.

    Since there is no different in ballistic performance in "short" guns, I guess I will stick to my G27 since it holds more ammo.

    Great info, thank you!
     
  12. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    before making any sales based solely on ballistics, check out www.bbti.com, that's the Ballistics By The Inch website. Also Brassfetcher usually uses shorter barreled guns for at least some of their tests.

    I think you are better served ballistically by a Glock 27 with a decent 180 JHP like the HST than one of the equally small revolvers with anything. I think any good .38 or .357 load is a great defense choice, but the .40 just delivers more than the .38 loads and the full-power .357 loads are a little too much for this shooter and those guns.
     
  13. threefeathers

    threefeathers Member

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    better yet, go 357 Sig and have the best of both worlds.
     
  14. golden

    golden Member

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    Try before you buy

    I second what OLD FUFF said about trying before you buy.

    I carried a 3 inch .357 magnum on duty for a while and when using the most powerful .357 load, the 125 jhp, it was a bear. It actually damaged the forcing cone of some of the service issued gun.

    Also, it was a bear to shoot. I use it in my 40 ounce L-frame S&W and it is still a challenge to shoot.

    The 110 grain jhp is much easier to control, but for power, you are in 9m.m. +P range. Not a bad place to be, but you GLOCK is already there if you are using the high velocity 135, 155 or 165 grain ammo.

    Good luck,

    Jim
     
  15. guzzi

    guzzi Member

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    Just returned from the range where I used a chrono on some 357 loads. 158gr bullet through a 6inch (686) ran about 1250. The same load through a 2.25 barrel (SP101) was about 1120. Recoil with the 6 inch was brisk, but the 2.25 inch was brutal.

    Shooting a LCR with those loads that were tested would be too much pain for me.

    I have a few 40's that I also reload for. My M&P has less recoil that my 4006 using the same loads. And no mater what I put thru the M&P it has less recoil than the 6 inch 357 tested today.
     
  16. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    When I go camping, floating, hiking, etc. I carry my 3" SP101 with the (2) "shot shells" and (3) 180 gr. hard cast Double Tap stuff. Covers me from snakes, dangerous animals in Missouri and meth-heads. Also keep a speed loader with 158 gr. JHP.

    Try getting that coverage in any auto-loader.
     
  17. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Sums it up nicely. I'd stick with what you shoot best and will carry as much as possible. Sometimes that means more than one gun (for example, Glock for IWB and LCR for pocket).
     
  18. Paris

    Paris Member

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    My personal preference is for the .40 S&W in a heavier weight however as has been stated either will do the job.
     
  19. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Yup. Glock 33.
     
  20. sirsloop

    sirsloop Member

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    I like .357 magnum but im a revolver guy so it was an easy pick. More balls = more fun! If this is gonna be for concealed carry I would do something smaller. When is the last time you shot .357 mag outta a scadium frame S&W compact. effin BRUTAL on your hands, and I'm used to shooting .500 S&W!

    .40S&W reminds me a lot of .41 Magnum. Its like the magnum guys all shoot .357, or .44 Magnum. The .41 is the red headed step child. Semi auto guys shoot 9mm, or .45ACP. .40 is the red headed step child.

    In the end 9mm, .357mag, .40S&W, .45ACP... all gets the job done. Pick the guy that you like the best and roll with it.
     
  21. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Chambering the mag in a LCR is like caging a wild animal, it doesn't work out. :)
     
  22. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Stopping power? Neither. They're both handgun rounds.

    Ballistic edge? In a short barrel, the .40 has it. .357 mag suffers pretty badly when you drop below 4". All that extra powder turns into muzzle blast and recoil, rather than velocity.

    Real world performance of the round? Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Both depend on shot placement above all, followed by proper bullet selection.

    Should you switch to the revolver? Only if you really want to, but I wouldn't. You're giving up half of your ammo capacity and increasing recoil and muzzle blast, with no gain in performance.
     
  23. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The listed velocities on 357 mag ammo is from 8" test barrels with no cylinder gap. When fired from 6-8" barrels in real guns they coma up a little short. When fired from barrels shorter than 4" they come up a LOT short. You in reality have a very loud, 5 shot 9mm. Once you get to barrrels shorter than 3" you are actually getting a lot less velocity and power than would be possible with a standard 9mm pistol.

    In a smaller gun the 40 is far far more effectve. If you were comparing 40 to a 357 with a 6" barrel they would be very equal.
     
  24. x_wrench

    x_wrench Member

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    well, in my mind, thinking about the real circumstances of having to defend you and loved ones at 3 in the morning, half awake, scared half out of your wits, with adrenaline coursing thru your veins by the gallon. i think the more shots you have available, the better your chances of actually hitting the person. there is no way to even come close to practicing this scenario. so no matter how proficient you are in broad daylight, with everything in your favor. 99% of that is going to go out the window if you are forced to defend yourself in the middle of the night.
     
  25. kludge

    kludge Member

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    My XD-40sc is like having a brace of Ruger SP101's.

    Now, I love the SP101; it's a bit more comfortable to carry, but one XD in the hand is worth two SP101's in the holsters.
     
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