Why .38?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Bandit01, Jul 25, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,038
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    The .38 special is a wonderful target cartridge.
     
  2. jc2

    jc2 member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,235
    It's also a decent LE/defence round, small game round and an outstanding plinking round.
     
  3. pauli

    pauli Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,489
    Location:
    herndon, va, usa
    yeah, but so can a model 13 ;)
     
  4. nitesite

    nitesite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,177
    Location:
    North Alabama, USA
    My wife has tried my 1911s, 4" Model 28 .357, Model 686 .357, 9mm's, my Mini-14, a Moss 590, a 442 snubbie, et.al. on and on...

    What she feels most comfortable with is our 6" Model 14-6 loaded with .38 +Ps and TT~TH.

    I shoot target and hunt with this sidearm. She protects our family and home with this revolver when I'm gone, chambered for the timeless .38-Special S&W Ctg.

    That's all that I need to know about .38's to claim that guns specifically chambered for this cartridge are very much worth keeping.

    Model14-6onrackweb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2005
  5. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    Southeast Idaho
    Nitesite Wow! That is one gorgeous revolver. :)
     
  6. JJpdxpinkpistols

    JJpdxpinkpistols Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Messages:
    322
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    My second gun, and carry piece is a 38

    .38 taurus blued CIA

    I have always loved revos since I was a kid. My first revo was a 22 "farmhand" H&R 622 in 4". believe it or not, that thing is dead accurate. Then I started coming on here, and reading more and more...

    When I went to the store, I was looking at 357 revos as a carry piece and something that was fun to plink with. I hefted the 357's they had around and since I was familiar with carrying stuff on my belt, got to thinking that the extra coupla ounces and extra 3/8" width would be a bit annoying.

    Then I found the .38 taurus'. they just *fit* right in my hand. they felt like a natural extension of my hand (and one that spits lead!!!--cool!)

    I have never regretting buying that thing. It sits on my waist all day long with narry a thought, and is ALWAYS reliable. Out of the thousand rounds (about 2/3 of that +P) I have shot, I have had one dud--winchester, if memory serves.

    I find the round to be very accurate out of a snub, very reliable, and very easy to control. the amount I have to recover and reaquire target from a 38 to a 357 is very noticeable. I would rather not bet my life on longer recovery time, given that one shot of *anything* out of a handgun might not be the end all.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Oh, and I am now looking at getting the GI 45. Looked like a lot of fun to shoot for a history nut like me. I took a pass of the 45 revos out there. they looked a bit large for carry.
     
  7. I echo Nick1911s on the 642.
    Also for me, I only shoot .38s, even in my .357. I find .357s too much of a pain to clean out after shooting .38s. I don't like the extra work I have to do on the cylinders. I've found sticking to a .38 revolver for .38 shooting to be much quicker and easier to clean afterward.
     
  8. TonyB

    TonyB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    Schodack NY
    1).38's are wicked fun
    2)old used .38's are cheap
    3)the .38 snubbie is THE ultimate CCW(IMHO)
    that being said,I own 3 .357's and no .38's.......I need to go to the gun store today :uhoh:
     
  9. fiVe

    fiVe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    West Florida Panhandle
    Well said, goon.






    nitesite: Great picture. Thanks for posting.







    Good point, BossSpearman
     
  10. Velocity229

    Velocity229 Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Messages:
    47
    The 38 special dedicated revolvers are more accurate than shooting 38's out of a 357 revolver.

    When it comes to snubs, the 38 SPL snubs are lighter than 357 snubs.
     
  11. jc2

    jc2 member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,235
    And slightly smaller--compare an vintage M60 to the current monster.
     
  12. MoeMentum

    MoeMentum Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    240
    Why should I buy a .357 to shoot .38's , when I can get a .38 and shoot .38's..
     
  13. chaim

    chaim Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,427
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Why .38 revolvers when a .357 can shoot .38?

    I think everything has already been pretty much said, but here are my reasons to like .38 revolvers:

    -In a J-frame sized gun .357mag is a bit much. The gun is just too small and light for the round. It isn't comfortable to shoot, and shot recovery times in a small snub with .357mag are much worse than with .38 or .38+P. Also, the magnum guns are a tad heavier than the .38spl so why get the magnum if you'll be shooting .38s?

    -In some medium frame revolvers you may save an oz or so over the magnum.

    -A revolver in .357mag will be about 10-25% more money than essentially the same revolver in .38spl.

    -For range and woods defense I like a magnum, but I'd prefer to go larger than .357mag for woods defense. For self-defense I load my .357s with .38+P anyway (faster follow-up shots).

    -Because of the last two reasons above, I see no reason to not buy a .38spl revolver if it is for self-defense (especially if it is a 2.5-3" K-frame).

    -I really like 3" K-frames. There aren't a ton on the used market. Many were sold, but it wasn't the most popular configuration (for the general public), and those that own them are usually fans of the configuration, so they are rare on the used market. Given that for self-defense I load up .38+P anyway why wouldn't I grab up a nice 3" .38spl M10 or M64 if I ran into one instead of holding out for a 3" .357mag M13 or M65?

    -Cleaning the lead rings out of the chambers of a magnum after shooting .38s can be a pain.

    -Also (not one of my reasons), some people think .38spl is more accurate out of a .38 than a magnum (though I would bet that is more the difference in individual guns than the .38 v. .357).

    For someone who will only own one revolver the .357mag makes a lot of sense due to the versatility. Even if they don't think they'll use it to shoot magnums they may always change their minds.

    Once a person adds a second revolver there is no reason not to own a dedicated .38spl.
     
  14. RGO

    RGO Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2003
    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Middle Georgia
    Price. A good, used .38 can be found for not much over $100. It would be a perfectly fine defensive handgun for those on a budget or those who aren't really gun people.
     
  15. klover

    klover Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Messages:
    675
    Location:
    North central Idaho
    Model 10's are simply beautiful.

    I've a feeling to buy every model 10 that comes my way (as new ones) just because they are sooo beautiful. That's why. :)
     
  16. bearmgc

    bearmgc Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,057
    Its all been said but I'll say it again. An ultralight in .38, using +P ammo, works for me, when I need something really small and concealable. I'll leave the 1911 and the .357 at home then.
     
  17. 45R

    45R Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    No Place Like Home
    Variety
     
  18. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,766
    Location:
    USA
    One reason I didn't see mentioned is if a gun is fired primarily with 38spl and not 357 mag, firing a 38 from a 357 chamber causes a slight loss in velocity I've heard, like 40-50 fps.
     
  19. Mark8252

    Mark8252 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    260
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    38 Reason

    The 357 requires a larger cylinder and frame mass. Therefore the 38 makes a smaller easier to conceal firearm.
     
  20. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    I like the .357 mag, but....

    there are times whne a .38 is more then enough. Most of the time my CCW is a 38 snubbie. A couple weeks ago I purchased a Model 10 3". Nice wheelgun. :)

    The 38 will do the job - especially if you're talking CCW. The average bad guy dosen't expect his potential victims to be armed and dosen't have the same mindset of the criminal who has decided to enter into a gunbattle with the police. A couple well placed .38 hollow points will probably allow you to get the heck away from him/her and might even end the fight. Heck just showing your trusty .38 might do the job.

    As I get older I've come to realize that that the 38 has gotten an unfair rap and one dosen't need the most powerful,, biggest, magnum round on the face of the Earth to get the job done. The .38 works and works well.
     
  21. Gary A

    Gary A Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,682
    I believe that quite a number of years ago Smith and Wesson stopped using different length cylinders for .38 and .357 to save on manufacturing costs. I know that is true for Ruger also, but don't know about Taurus. If that is the case then I don't see any significant size or weight savings for most newer .38s over the same size revolver chambered in .357. Also, I can't see why there should be any significant velocity loss in the newer guns since the jump from the cylinder, across the gap, and into the forcing cone would be the same distance in either case. Would the less than 1/8" gap from case mouth to shoulder in a .38 fired in a .357 cylinder cause that kind of velocity loss? I can see how this would be a factor in older revolvers.
     
  22. fiVe

    fiVe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    West Florida Panhandle
    ???

    I have a problem understanding this. I know for a fact that while .357 rounds will fit the cylinder on my 642, it is absolutely impossible for the cylinder to close because the rounds are too long. If what you say is true, then a .357 mag. revolver will shoot .38spcl and a .38spcl revolver will shoot .357 mag, and I don't think that is correct.

    Regards,

    fiVe
     
  23. jc2

    jc2 member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,235
    He's talking about the overall cylinder length being the same.

    To try to keep it simple: Look inside the cylinder of your 642 (from the back), and you will see a distinct line around toward the front of the chamber (chamber changes diameter)--the case mouth of the .357 Magnum hits that and doesn't seat all the way. In the case of the a .357 Magnum chamber, the case mouth of a .38 Special stops slightly short allowing it to fit in a .357 Magnum chamber.

    It is possible to lengthen the chamber on .38 Special cylinder so a .357 Magnum case will fit--it is NOT recommended, however.
     
  24. Majic

    Majic Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    5,370
    Location:
    Virginia
    Ruger never made a dedicated .38 spl revolver except the SP-101 and it was overbuilt as they chambered the .357mag with no changes. They did have some .357mag models chambered for .38 spl though so their cylinders were the same size. As for S&W when they added the .357mag to the J-frames and created the J-Magnum frame then all the cylinders became the same length, but I think the K-frames never changed. All the non-magnum K-frames had shorter cylinders than the magnum versions.
     
  25. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    709
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice