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enough is enough?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by j1, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. j1

    j1 Member

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    This must be the place. Don't most here think that the 38 special in plus P configuration to be enough for self defense in a snub nosed revolver. Many seem to think that the 357 is better. It seems to me that the 357 just results in overpenetration doing no more damage to the person being shot.
     
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    You won't get a steady stream of consistent answers on this. People have differing opinions. Just accept that and decide what you like/want/need.

    [strike]ps
    In your sig-line... his last name is spelled 'Whelen'.[/strike]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  3. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I think my .38 642 with Speer 135g Gold Dot HP for Short Barrels has plenty of wollup! I suppose if one is shooting a bad guy that weighs 500+ pounds, there may be a "tiny-issue" - however, other than that, with good shot placement, I see no problems.

    In fact my gun barrel is 1 7/8" long and that is what they have for the subject test barrel with the velocities printed right on the box of Speer 135g.

    For those who think MORE is better, I can always use my 500 Magnum with 275g Barnes XPB Solid Copper Hollow Points.
     
  4. Noah

    Noah Member

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    I have no guns in either chambering. I have never even shot a centerfire revolver. I appreciate your sympathy.

    From my personal knowledge, bias, and past research, it is my opinion that in a sub 3" barrel for a CC gun, .38 plus P is better than .357 Mag. Less kick, similar energy in the short barrel.

    For a barrel 4" or up, I say .357 beats .38 plus P.
     
  5. moxie

    moxie Member

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    I think .38 Spl. +P is "enough" in that it is a good compromise between power and controllability, and as such that's what I carry in my LCR.

    I think the .357 mag is "better" in terms of performance, but in a light carry piece is, for me, not as controllable as I like. I think a .357 mag will bring more energy to bear on the target as well as penetrate more deeply.
     
  6. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    Exactly what I was going to say and as I can't say it any better I'll just quote moxie. :D
     
  7. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    Well, that and the fact, depending on the powder used in the .38 spl., the flash and the "ROAR" of the .357 will quite a bit more indeed in close quarters. But as has been mentioned, since you've read all other quotes, shot placement means everything in self defense, shooting holes in his jacket don't mean squat!
     
  8. j1

    j1 Member

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    Gentlemen I am amazed at how quickly new posts occured, thank you.

    Cro Ro Mo thank you very much and my signature line has been corrected.

    Talking about more penetration I am obese and think that twelve inchs is more than enough penetration Speer makes a product especially for 38 Special snub nosed revolvers and it penetrates ballistic gelatin about fourteen inches. That makes it a shoot through in my eyes. There is actually more danger than good in penetrating more. There is a post on u Tube about this product which I will post here if I can find it.

    Found it and here is the link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k890Rio2oBY

    Hereis another link to Remington

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRe6BzIqu6U
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  9. DocRx

    DocRx Member

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    Very similar ballistic results from numerous tests posted, I think either the Speer Gold Dot 125gr in .357mag or almost any 125gr for SD (if you can control/manage the recoil for second shot-if needed) or the Speer Gold Dot 135gr+P SB in .38spl will give you more than adequate results when deployed. Accuracy and reliability are more important to me. If it doesn't go "bang", and then where you want it to go, nothing is going to help you. Moxie did very well for an explanation, I also carry a Ruger KLCR .357mag/.38spl, loaded with Speer Gold Dot 135gr+P SB and feel very comfortable.
     
  10. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    if you can shoot a .357 fast and accurate, by all means, do so

    I am better with a .38 so that is what I carry

    You will get varying opinions based on the shooter. Ultimately only your skill matters.
     
  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    LOL! Just run away from a guy that size, don't shoot him! He won't be able to catch you!

    A bear on the other hand..... well I'd carry more than a 38.
     
  12. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Speer 135g Gold Dot HP's for short barrels (1 7/8" barrel)

    The Speer Gold Dot for Short Barrels, +P, I also like because it happens to hit point of aim rather well out of my 642 (which has fixed sights) - when shooting at a distance of 21 feet.

    I like that load so much, I ended up duplicating it to the best of my ability by buying the 135g Gold Dot HP's from Speer. With my Shooting-Chrony f1, I ended up with almost identical velocities when all was said and done.

    I realize I may be using a different powder and primer, however I am using the Speer Nickel-Plated 38 Special +P Brass I purchased new. So, at least they look identical as well!
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Maybe so with a round nose bullet. Try shooting something. I have shot a lot of trapped hogs, some with .357. The .357 is definitely more impressive than the .38 special in any iteration. I've shot 'em with 3" .357 and 3" .38 with the same 140 JHP, 1400 fps in the .357, 1000 fps in the .38.....apples and apples. No question in MY mind which is better. I've seen both in action.

    I've killed hogs in hunting situations with the .357, deer, too, and this with a 165 Keith style SWC. I'd never pick the .38 special as a hunting round.

    The .357 has other problems for self defense, but I shoot it well. If you can't shoot the .357, if you're scared of it, you're better off with the .38. I do carry the .38 and think it's plenty for defense even in a 2" pocket gun, just know that the .357 ballistically is in another league.
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    IMO current .38 Special +P ammo is no more than standard .38 special ammo from a time long gone. I feel .38 Special ammo is just fine for SD and that's what I carry.

    BUT, that's what they make so many flavors. Not everyone likes Vanilla but sometimes Rocky Road is too much...
     
  15. oldbear

    oldbear Member

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    I load 38 special +P ammo in my two short barreled revolvers, and feel comfortable with it. In my go to revolvers which are 4” & 5” I load hefty .357 magnum ammo only.
     
  16. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    I actually like the 135 grain 357 Magnum Speer GD Short barrel ammo. It clocks out of a 2" barrel at 990fps so it rates between the 38+P and a full 357 all with minimal flash and recoil.
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That hasn't been proven.
     
  18. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    I think depends on the specific bullets and loads involved. AFAIK, the velocity of +P .38 specials put them right on the threshold of reliable expansion. The extra velocity of the .357 can dramatically incread the chances of bullet expansion, which acutally reduced the chance of overpenetration.
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The answer is simple. Take your favorite Snubbie, and a 50 round box of full charge .357s to the range. Shoot up the whole box in practice.

    Do that once a week for a year, and come back and tell us how enjoyable it was.

    Most snubbies can be downright painful to shoot with full charge loads. That gives you a choice -- either shoot .38 Special in them, or develop bad shooting habits by trying to grit out those .357s.
     
  20. David E

    David E Member

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    Which is what, exactly?
     
  21. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Literally laughing out loud

    Good question!!!
     
  22. snooperman

    snooperman Member

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    I also hunt with a .357 magnum Ruger Blackhawk here on my farmland with the 180gr bullet and 158 gr bullet and have taken many ,many, deer and wild boar. It kills quickly with proper shot placement. I also carry a Colt magnum carry in 357 magnum for CCW. Depending on my dress attire I also carry the Colt Agent in 38 special. Once, not too long ago, I was riding my Mule around the farm and came across a wild bore in my large potato patch having a good meal. I dismounted and leaned across the saddle and shot him once through the side of his chest with the little 38 wadcutter and he immediately slumped to the ground and died quickly. SHOT PLACEMENT is most important. My 2 cents.
     
  23. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    ^^^^

    this
     
  24. henry-ctc

    henry-ctc Member

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    I was given a 6" 357 revolver by a friend who could no longer use it. He also gave me 50 rounds handloaded by him.

    I went to the range and filled the cylinder with his 357 rds. My first shot, 25 yards, no rest, was in the center of the X. Yes. I swear it. The rest of the rounds in the wheel didn´t even hit the target.

    I think 357 is not for me. I´ve spent some thousand rounds trough that revolver, but never again a 357. Most of them 158 grs LSWC over 5 grs of Unique (A +p load) and full WC 148 grains (A very mild one).
     
  25. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    Trooper Coates put 5 rounds of .357 magnum into center of mass of an assailant, and did not stop the threat. The assailant was able to crawl away and lived through abdominal surgery after fatally wounding the officer. The rounds failed to penetrate to his vitals.

    .38 special is probably fine for most defense situations. It is not appropriate for all defense situations. Neither is .357. Although most would agree this is a freak situation.

    One benefit of a .357 snub is you can put your most accurate .38 rounds as your first two shots, then put one of those too powerful, over-penetrating, loud useless flash bang magnum rounds in in case you need something extra. Your life might depend on it.
     
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