Nightstand .38 or .357?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Boattale, Jan 14, 2022.

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  1. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    I keep a 3" 686 in the drawer of my nightstand. This one:

    bocote.jpg

    I keep going back and forth on how to load it. Right now it has 158 grain flat nose semi jacketed .357 magnum from Gold Country ammo in it. That's it in the speedloader. I've also got plenty of assorted .38 special + P available. Hydra Shok, some kind of Remington 125 grain JHP, and a 125 grain JHP also from Gold Country.

    My thinking goes like this but it's not so firm as to not listen to reason: If for any reason that 686 is ever fired indoors, I want maximum effect as soon as possible. I think in a situation like that the additional noise and flash of .357 v .38 are outweighed by the .357 performance.

    I can handle either round. The sights on the 686 are regulated to ten yards with the flat nose .357.

    So, what do others think about this?
     
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  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I load my .357s with .357 ammo.
     
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  3. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    Have you ever heard a 357 mag fired indoors without hearing protection? It's painful.

    one of the reasons my go to is a .45
     
  4. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    I have fired .44 mag, .357 mag, and .45 colt indoors with no hearing protection, I keep a .44 spl near me for those learning experiences (.45 colt was not as bad as the other two)
     
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  5. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Curious, was the barrel cut back on your S&W? Markings look far forward.

    Hard call on what to put in it. Yes, want the threat at the foot of my bed addressed ASAP. However, hearing and seeing afterward would be good. A low flash load may be some gain, won't help the noise. I would likely stick with the .357 myself, but only you know your situation. Electronic ear muffs would help if you are in a situation where you have a bit of time on your side.
     
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  6. armydog

    armydog Member

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    I'd keep the 357s in there. I have a very low opinion of 38 specials to include +p as an SD round.

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/georgia-mom-hiding-kids-shoots-intruder/story?id=18164812

    I know there are pros and cons like maybe this lady couldn't handle the full power 357 loads, but since you're able to fire the 357s, then I'd go with them. This lady and her kids are lucky that the attacker used the energy he had after getting shot up to run away instead of staying there and beating her to death.

    38s are plinkers or SD rounds for those who are limited for legitimate reasons like age, disability or inexperience.

    My main go to weapon is suppressed. My hearing is kind of shot, but I think there is a lot of room for things to get worse so I'm trying to not make things worse... and I also don't want to traumatize my dog if I don't have to. lol However, the noise is also the last thing I'd be worrying about. In my experience, a determined attacker will not go down easy... especially an intoxicated one.
     
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  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Good thinking.
     
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  8. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    Should keep my mouth shut but the whiskey says “I stand by my .45 acp.”
     
  9. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    It has. Started life as a 6". Had my reasons for doing what I did with it.
     
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  10. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    The noise from firing a short-barreled .357 full house load indoors may actually disorient you briefly. (I've experienced it with a 4" Model 66 and it was painful.) On the other side of the coin (or, more appropriately, the other side of the pistol), experiencing that sound from the muzzle side of the handgun has got to be mighty frightening...
     
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  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    ...and will most likely damage your hearing permanently.
     
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  12. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    If what I had for the nightstand was a 357, I'd load it to 38spcl specs with 158 gr wadcutters, and then a speed loader with 158gr JHP (also 38spcl specs) because a quick reload with wadcutters in the dark can be quite a chore.

    but seriously, you let loose a magnum in an enclosed area, you will be disoriented and have hearing loss forever.
     
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  13. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I usually carry a Colt (Lightweight) Commander in .45 ACP for self-defense. However I do like the idea of a revolver for home use. Mine is an old .44 Special.
     
  14. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    I disagree with the wrongheaded notion that .38 spl is somehow ‘inadequate’ for self-defense.

    For well over 100 years it has successfully neutralized threats and dispatched all manner of criminals.
     
  15. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    I don’t think it will matter if the situation arises. If you want to overthink it, do it as a hobby…..but don’t overthink for situational advantage as the margins are way too thin.
     
  16. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Nice no lock revolver.
    I'd have two criteria for that; I'd want a bullet that consistently expanded and penetrated at least 12'' and I'd want low flash.
    The 1st criteria, proper bullet selection:
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/revolver-ballistics-test/
    I'd get a a couple of the better performing hollow points and compare flash by shooting in low light if that is possible.

    My bedside gun is the gun I carry when not in bed, Glock 23 with 180 HST.
     
  17. armydog

    armydog Member

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    So the many accounts of bad guys getting filled up with 38 cal and not stopping them doesn't have you concerned at all? lol
     
  18. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    I suppose the same could be said for 9MM rounds as well. Darn near the same as far as bullet dia. Just a thought.
     
  19. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    38 / 357 are fun to shoot. A lot. And they make a great nightstand gun.

    But my defense starts with a 4. That’d be 45 ACP in town, and 45 Colt in woods.
     
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  20. film495

    film495 Member

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    This was largely from the issued ammunition being LRN from my understanding. My take on modern self defense factory loads is they do - drop the weight down to like 124 grain to get the velocity up a bit, and with modern design and technology they are most likely to expand properly and do what they were designed to do, but my only revolver is .38 Special. Any way you look at it to me - you're still better off with whatever you can shoot well and as fast as possible.
     
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  21. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I carry the 686 with 3" barrel too, but in my nightstand I have the FNX tactical in .45 acp. Simply because I carried a 1911 for more than 30 years and am familiar with it, and secondly the FNX sights are very bright in the dark plus the added feature of extra 230 gr rounds in the magazine.

    The drawback of the .357 for me is the damage it may do to the shooter, shooting it inside a building or home . Damage should be to the aggressor only and not include the victim or the defender.
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Probably even more so down range of the muzzle, he did say.

    “I want maximum effect”
     
  23. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I am surprised to see how many of us have replaced their .357mag house gun with a .45acp. I have also done this exact same thing. My bedstand gun is a 1911 commander.45acp.
    @Boattale I don't want to sound like I am discounting your .357 as a nightstand gun because I am a big .357fan. My python was in my nightstand drawer for years. I like 158gr JSP like these. 20220115_093647.jpg
     
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  24. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    This load in .357 Magnum is considered the most effective handgun cartridge by many:

    800-C28-D4-FA7-D-442-E-8-FE1-CEAB3-A8-C7-A04.jpg

    None other than the infamous “King of the Street” .357 Magnum 125 grain semi-jacketed hollow point. Officers firing on suspects have often observed a “struck by lightning” effect on those hit by it. Truly a devastating manstopper of a round. Negatives are an intense noise impulse signature and bright muzzle burst and healthy kickback.

    But. OP has a 3” barrel and that’s going to reduce the velocity a bit from the normal 4” policeman’s service revolver. For OP, a load such as the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135 grain .357 Magnum makes a ton of sense. Or Remington Golden Sabers. Less flashy and noisy as well.

    With that said, I keep .38 Special FBI loads in my GP100 for home defense. That load (158 grain lead semi wadcutter hollow point +P) gained a good reputation for effectiveness as well, and is much quieter and easier to control than a full bore magnum round.
     
  25. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    I'd go .357.

    Generally speaking, handguns suck. I carry one because it's portable and concealable at the expense of power and capacity. In HD, portability and concealment are not a factor, so I up the power and capacity for that purpose and then add a suppressor to reduce the noise and flash.

    Even if the suppressor were not an option, I'd still prefer more power over less.
     
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