38 Special vs 357 Magnum - Snub Nose

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by marb4, Jan 29, 2019.

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357 Magnum or 38 Special +P From a Snub Nose?

  1. 357 Magnum

    48 vote(s)
    28.9%
  2. 38 Special +P

    118 vote(s)
    71.1%
  1. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    fxvr5 ,

    You are right about L frame ; I knew that but did not use the brain-to-keyboard circuit properly. I stand corrected.
     
  2. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    That's usually the first circuit to burn out! (Based on personal experience, or at least, that's my excuse. :))
     
  3. jar

    jar Member

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    I couldn't really vote since I will seldom shoot either a 357 or any +P round from one of my revolvers regardless of what the revolver is capable of handling. I find regular standard pressure rounds are easy for me to handle and present and so see no reason to seek or use the higher pressure ammunition. I will shoot some 45acp and 45AR and 45 Colt and 44 Special on occasion but those are unlikely to be as carry duty.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Model 33-1 - J Frame
    S&W Model 33-1 Pic 1.JPG

    Regulation Police - I Frame
    S&W Model Regulation Police Pic 1 @ 90%.JPG
     
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  5. Bo

    Bo Member

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    If I'm going to carry a snub-nose, it's going to be a 642 PC 38.
    This is as small as I go with a 357, a 586 L-Comp.
    vtWomA3.jpg
     
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  6. Indigo22

    Indigo22 Member

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    I've for the most part been sticking to Federal Premium ammo. For around town and HD purposes I've gone with the 38spl+P HST Micro, while going for woods walks in the mountains of NH I upgrade to the HydraShok 357's. My revolver of choice (my first SA/DA revolver in 30 years) is a Ruger Police Service Six.
    HK2fYkHl.jpg
    shown with my range practice ammo
     
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  7. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

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    I load .357 Mag rounds in my S&W 640-1 revolver. That gun has a 2.125" barrel.

    I measured an average of 1240 ft/s for Buffalo Bore's 158gr JHC from that gun. That is very close to hot 155gr .40 S&W from a service gun.

    Low flash powder worked when I shot at night one time.
     
  8. Missionary

    Missionary Member

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    Good afternoon
    I do enjoy a model 13-3 for carrying about. Has a 3" barrel with a home made "hip grip" . Shooting full power 357's off and on is not pain full as the Model 13-3 has the "bull" barrel. Mostly we shoot 38+P powered 160 grain cast in .357 brass.

    M13c.JPG M13b.JPG
     
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  9. Taipan01

    Taipan01 Member

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    I have only one snub, a 642 J-frame. It's also my only .38 special (+P or otherwise) though I have a number of .357's. Like most of my choices, I read up on the many options offered by S&W and other makers of similar sizes and weights. I wanted something with a long track record of proven performance. I also wanted it to be easily concealed, lightweight, problem free (sans the occasional factory lemon which happens) with a bit of power for penetration and expansion. I did look at some or the 357 snubs but except for Scandium models they didn't meet the lightweight part and the cost which depending if there was a special on J frames which happens here ocassionally, I could get 3 of the 642's with just a little bit more if I desired. There is also a point where for myself, added power over-rides shootability. As it it, I can get all blacks at the 10 yard range with either hand rapid fire with the 38's. I don't think I could achieve that with the 357's. To me, it's just a last ditch effort of getting out of a bad situation. From there it's just "feet don't fail me now"

    As it is, I'm pleased with it as when I have it either in a Galco ankle holster or on/in the waist carry, it's not a deterrent or even noticeable to do so. I don't recognize it as being there.

    As for 38's in my 357's I don't. I haven't bought a box of ammunition except rimfires and 7.62 soviets in years as I reload. I can go up or down the power levels as I wish so no need to get the extra fouling in my chambers. Wether it's simple range ammunition or otherwise, for my revolvers I stick with Hornadys XTP bullets which may seem excessive. What I like about them is the wide range of velocities you can use to achieve expansion unlike others with a narrower band. I'll try and provide a chart from them if I can upload. On reloading either caliber you can use the same dies. I don't bother as I have two sets placed in die holders for a turret press. They all come out as a unit so no fiddling with adjustments. I also use the turret in manual mode as I prefer to batch process.

    3.0:*.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    The 125gr 357mag Golden Saber ( as others have mentioned) is a great SD round for a lighter weight 357mag snubbie, another option is the Underwood 125gr 38Spl +P round
    With tbe boot grip the LCR357 is 16oz
    image.jpeg
     
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  11. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    I've actually found the Golden Saber +P .38 round to perform better than the .357 Mag version in a short barrel. They are actually 2 different design bullets. I got curious about performance after reading the difference in the lucky gunner testing. You can buy Golden Saber bullets as components to "roll your own" and they come both for .38 and .357 and there is a difference.
     
  12. bsms

    bsms Member

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    I use a Pachmayr grip on my J-frame 357. If I have a wooden grip, I use 38s. Not a problem shooting 50-75 rounds of 357 if the grip is big enough and rubber.
     
  13. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    This is what the 158gr XTP does at 900fps. Nothing.

    IMG_0362_2.jpg
     
  14. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I have a 2.5" model 19. There just isn't enough metal there to comfortably shoot a box of factory 357 loads. Now I can tone it down a bit with 5 grains of faster powder but what's the point? I like to shoot at least 100 rounds if I'm going to take a gun to the range. N or L frame snub might work OK. K or J I would go with 38 plus.

    357 J frames are insane.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
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  15. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    You're using the wrong Hornady bullet if you want expansion at 900 fps.

    FTX will expand at 900 fps.

    OP is using 125 and 130 anyway. Most 125's can do 1000 fps from a snub without much of a problem if 357 or plus P.

    Hornady makes a bullet for just about everything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  16. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Not according to the chart posted above.

    Hornady makes cheap bullets that are more prone to failure than anything else I've used.
     
  17. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    They sure do sell a lot of those cheap bullets.:D

    Again, if you want expansion at the 900 fps you quoted you're using the wrong bullet. The bullet you propped up as being a poor performer is an XTP. I've shot hundreds of those at 357 velocity. They are poor performers at sub sonic velocity as you say but at 1200 fps they expand very well.

    Hornady FTX is the bullet you want for sub sonic 38 loads.

    38-special-table.jpg

    https://www.gun-tests.com/issues/24_11/features/38-Specials-Snubby-Carry-Test-5998-1.html?st=GUNREPORTS&s=GRDetail#.XG88y-hKhPY

    This is a Hornady FTX bullet.
    7-Hornady-FTX.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  18. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Of course they do, they're cheap.


    I know, that was the point, in response to this post and the attached chart, which shows that the 158gr JHP should expand all the way down to 700fps.....
    I tested them when someone claimed that this was a good 200yd deer/antelope bullet out of the .357Mag. I personally use very few Hornady bullets and would never trust them for self defense or hunting.
     
  19. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    That's just a bunch of advertising hype. Don't trash a bullet because of marketing mumbo jumbo. Test it and see what works. XTP is a good bullet if you know what it's limits are and how to use it. I certainly hope you don't buy bullets based on marketing hype.

    That's insane. I wouldn't have to test that to know it was total BS. It isn't a rifle bullet. WTH is anyone doing trying to shoot antelope at 200 yds with a 357 anyway? Never seen an antelope that would let you get within 250 yds unless it was sick or on some preserve where they get fed for *club* hunters. Might as well be shooting cattle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  20. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    It's not marketing hype. It's part of its technical specifications. All of which is beside the point.

    I tested it to prove a point to the person making the claim. I might not agree with their methods but the guy was hunting wild pronghorn in Wyoming.

    I don't trust XTP's because I've seen them fail. Because people I trust have had them fail. Because there are far better options available. This ain't 1960.
     
  21. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    Actually this thread was started and focused around a bad bullet design, namely the federal hst. The hst bullet was designed to have open spaces in the pedals of the hp. Doing this creates less resistance and makes the bullet look/perform better than it actually does. Looks good on paper, looks good in gel. But at the end of the day it's actually a poor design that won't hold up if it has to hit anything solid.

    The ww ammo is actually dumbed down avoiding over penetration.
    At the end of the day it's +/- 825fps vs 1100fps in the snubnosed revolvers.

    The 1100fps is interesting for a 125gr bullet. Don't know how many times I've read the 9mm is underpowered with it's +/- 1100fps 124gr bullet. But in this thread the 357 is over powering/can't be handled. Myself, I really have no use for a snubnosed 38spl. The misses wanted one so she has one and her ccw load is a 158gr bullet doing 950fps.
     
  22. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    That's a very exclusive club you belong to. :confused:
     
  23. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I could be mistaken, but I have been under the impression that the HST bullets have been tested through various barriers, such as drywall, auto glass, etc... and that they have performed well.
     
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  24. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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  25. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    That's pretty good article. Thanks for posting that.

    There has been a lot of research and development on bullets for SD revolvers in the last 10 years by bullet manufacturers. There are some good bullets out there right now if one is interested in doing some research.

    I've carried a model 36 for years. I've also tested the Hornady Critical Defense loads and my results were close to the same that shows up in that article. The 110 gr FTX bullets expand very well at SS velocity. If they didn't I wouldn't use them.
     
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