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.357 Performance out of a 2" barrel

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by BlackSky, Feb 20, 2011.

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  1. BlackSky

    BlackSky Member

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    Would you lose enough velocity shooting a .357 with 2" barrel that it would make more sense to just use .38 +P's? I mean if the short barrlelputs the ballistics of the .357 down far enough that a .38 +P is right there with it then I'd think the .38 would be more appropriate as it has less recoil.
     
  2. ralph2

    ralph2 Member

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    I doubt it. The last 357 mag ammo I shot out of a s&w with a 4 inch barrel clocked in at about 1300fps(158 grain) and my 38spl with 1,875 inch barrel is 700fps on the hotter rounds. I doubt that cutting 2 inches off that 4 inch barrel would cost 600 fps. I am pretty sure I have read reviews putting the velocity from a 2 inch barrel at about 1000fps
     
  3. JFrame

    JFrame Member

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    I know this isn't a dollars-to-doughnuts comparison, but since getting a NAA Black Widow, I've been doing research into cartridge performance out of the same barrel length (2") between .22LR and .22WMR. With the various loads I've seen chronographed, performance of the .22 magnum seems to exceed that of the long rifle by approximately 30-35 percent. I imagine the increments of performance increase would be even greater as the barrel lengths increase, but at 2 inches, the benefits are already there.

    I'm supposing a roughly comparable benefit would be had between the .357 and even the +P .38. Whether the additional benefit of the .357, relative to the greater blast and recoil, is worth it to the shooter is another matter entirely, and totally dependent on that individual.

    .
     
  4. ttraylor

    ttraylor Member

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  5. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Well Buffalo Bore makes a 125gr JHP for the .357 Magnum.

    d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1476 fps

    That's from a 3 inch barrel! I bet 1400 from a 2 inch is not unreasonable.

    And that makes that 2 inch snub .357 a TRUE .357 as the 125gr load is known to work quite well at 1400 fps from a 4 inch barrel.

    Deaf
     
  6. BlackSky

    BlackSky Member

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    As far as bullet weight for a 2.5" barrel what do you guys think would be most desireable as far as self defense use is concerned? 125g, 158g or some middle size like 130 or 140 or something.
     
  7. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    The only advantage with a 38+p outa a snubby is control. A 357 is waay more powerful no matter the barrel length. If you have a 357 and can handle the recoil than shoot 357's.
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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  9. SPW1

    SPW1 Member

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    There is no doubt that a 357 out of a 2.5 inch barrel will still have more velocity than a 38 out of the same barrel length. The only question is the bit of velocity you gain really worth the greater muzzle blast, muzzle rise, and recoil the 357 will give you in that size gun. I feel out of a 2.5 inch barrel defensive gun you give up more than you gain with a 357 when compared to a 38 special, but obviously that is a personal decision and not everyone feels that way.
     
  10. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    I know Speer makes a special loading of their Gold Dot line for short barrel .357s that uses a 135gr bullet. This is what I was thinking of using in my .357 "snubbie".
     
  11. nonseven

    nonseven Member

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    No doubt the 357 should always be able to beat the 38s, but look at those first two examples of the Buffalo Bore ballistics:


    My position is that you lose more of the 357's performance than you do of a 38S performance, in a 2" barrel.
     
  12. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    I don't understand why this topic is even argued. Many, many tests have been done over many years and most factory .357 loads will handily outperform similar weight .38 special loads out of a short barrel. It's not even arguable. Buy some, get a chronograph, and shoot, and see. That is not to say one should choose .357 over.38, but arguments that .357 is no more powerful than .38 Special+P out of a two-inch barrel are simply wrong.

    Most 158 grain 38+P loads will struggle or barely break 800 fps from a 2 inch barrel. Most 158 grain .357 loads will be over 1050 to just over 1100 fps from the same barrel.

    Most 38+P 125 grain loads will struggle to reach 900 fps from a 2 inch barrel, where most full-power 125 grain .357 loads will run in the mid 1200's fps.

    It's just not debatable.

    Probably true, but you still have so much more left.
     
  13. nonseven

    nonseven Member

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    What I don't understand is how Buffalo Bore gets their 38S+p 158g load up to 1000 fps out of my Ruger LCR without exceeding SAAMI pressures. Seems to me it would have to be damn close to 357 pressures.
     
  14. dirtykid

    dirtykid Member

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    My everyday PD gun is a SP101 .357 with short barrel,, when at the range i Always use .38+p for shooting heavy-plates,and they drop them pretty fast, however i also be sure and shoot at least 3-cylinder's full of my PD ammo (golden spears) LAST so that i know exactly how that gun is gonna feel in a real situation, and i would have to say the plates just dont "drop" , they are "slammed" down,, without any special equipment i can "hear" the difference , .357 still seems to pack more "punch"
     
  15. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Member

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    A lot of the time it is new people that were not around the last time the topic was discussed.

    Same topics, different faces.
     
  16. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I have a snub 66-5 that delivers hand loaded 125s at 1500 fps and that isn't with a full powder charge. But on the other hand my 4" Taurus spits the same load out almost one hundred fps faster. And my +P 38 loads 125 grain bullet are getting 1250s fps. out of the snub, not bad, and a lot less recoil to deal with.
     
  17. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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  18. Dill Man

    Dill Man Member

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    I only use Buffalo Bore ammunition in my snubbies. I want the most velocity that I can get. Just make sure your revolver can handle Buffalo Bore ammo.
     
  19. sthomper

    sthomper Member

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    "Most 38+P 125 grain loads will struggle to reach 900 fps from a 2 inch barrel, where most full-power 125 grain .357 loads will run in the mid 1200's fps.

    It's just not debatable."

    has anyone debated that?? i have seen some posts that stated that for some reason the powder in a 357 doesnt explode to it maximum capabilty thus making a 357 nearly as slow s a different burning 38 from 2" barrels. i guess those may have been lies.

    i see a speer website that claims a 100g 327 fedmag (a real cartridge??) leaves a 4" barrel at 1500fps with 500 ftlbs of KE?? is that true?? if it is , is it likely then that the same cartridge could exit a a 2" barrel
    http://www.gunsinternational.com/TA...LVER-327-FED-MAGNUM-NIB-.cfm?gun_id=100166879

    a real weapon??? at 1340 fps and get 400 ftlbs of KE....the same as many 9mm bullets coming out of 4" semiauto barrels????
     
  20. sthomper

    sthomper Member

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    The last 357 mag ammo I shot out of a s&w with a 4 inch barrel clocked in at about 1300fps(158 grain) and my 38spl with 1,875 inch barrel is 700fps...........

    is there a 158 gr 357??? is there any adavantage to that over a zipper / higher energy 125g since the entry/exit wounds would be teh same size????
     
  21. catnphx

    catnphx Member

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    I use GD 38 spl 135gr +P ammo for my S&W 640-1 .357 (2" barrel).

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm#9mm

    Good luck on your decision ... we all need to make our own.
     
  22. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Velocity is overrated. +/- 90-100 fps doesn't mean much in the real world as long as the bullet goes where it needs to go and penetrates far enough to reach what it needs to reach. If it does these things, it'll do. If it doesn't...more speed won't be of much help.

    With increased velocity comes increased recoil, making control and accurate followup shots more difficult. Full-power .357 Magnum ammunition in small revolvers makes for a real beast to hang onto in a bad situation. Personally, I wish the ammo makers would offer a .357 round loaded with a 158 grain LSWCHP to an honest 1000 fps from a 3-inch barrel. Ample power for penetration and enough speed to aid expansion that would put it head and shoulders over any .38 +P offering, and much less of a hassle to shoot well.
     
  23. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    There you go. Thats just about what I load for my 38 snubbie. I load the Speer 158 LSWCHP with 231 to a velocity of around 930fps and its a romper stomper load to shoot. It blows right through water bottles and slits them from end to end.

    I wish remington would offer their 158 lead hollow points as a componant bullet because they are reported to be the softest of all the lead hollow points. The speers seem pretty good though.
     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Quote:

    >>I wish Remington would offer their 158 lead hollow points as a componant bullet because they are reported to be the softest of all the lead hollow points. The speers seem pretty good though. <

    The Remington lead bullets are softer than the ones that Winchester uses for the LSWCHP +P loading and are probably optimum for .38 Special velocities...while the Winchester and Speer are better suited to speeds at or above 1,000 fps. My bet is that they use something close to the same alloys that were once used for the original .357 and .44 Magnum LSWC offerings. If memory serves me, the ratio was 97:3 lead/antimony. The .44s were gas checked, while the .357s were plain-based. I believe that Remington's bullets are 99:1 lead/antimony, but don't hold me to that.

    I've tested them pretty extensively, and the Speer bullet produces about the same expanded diameter at 1000 fps as the Remington does at 830-840...which is about the actual average velocity from a 4-inch barrel. (890 advertised)

    The Remington bullet would likely come apart at 1000 fps impact velocity.
     
  25. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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