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Why a 38 Special

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GunLvrNLearner, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. GunLvrNLearner

    GunLvrNLearner Member

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    What are the main reasons people buy 38's when for not a whole lot mre you can get a 357 that fires both?
     
  2. Sgt.Dusk

    Sgt.Dusk Member

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    been thinking the same thing.
     
  3. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Because there isn't very much that a 357 can do that a 38 special can't except make a lot of noise and blast. For self defense and as a range gun the 38 special is just fine. The 357 with a heavy bullet is a better hunting round. Thirty eight revolvers are usually less expensive than .357s, another plus.
     
  4. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    ^^^^^ Yup.


    -T.
     
  5. hangtime

    hangtime Member

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    and frequently more accurate. . . . .

    .38specials in the longer .357mag chambers have never been known for gilt edged accuracy and there is something to be said for practicing with what you plan to carry.
     
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    For carry in a small snubbie like a 642, I prefer the .38 Spl as it allows for a slightly smaller, lighter gun. I don't want to shoot a .357 mag out of a little gun anyway. For hunting or woods carry a full size revolver like a GP100 is my choice in .357 mag.
     
  7. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    Cheaper gun, cheaper ammo, and if it comes to it, they still hurt really really bad.
     
  8. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    If I was to shoot only .38 SL, I'd want a gun that shot only that. I usually buy used and it seems that a .38-only gun, like a Mod 67 K-frame, would have a lot less fatigue and wear than something that may have had a bunch of magnums run through it. When I've browsed in a gun store, the .357 S&Ws in my price range have usually been a little looser than the .38 SPLs. If I want something .357-like, I'll grab one of my 7.62x25 pieces, a CZ 52 or a Norinco 54. The K-frame .38 SPL is just about perfect for my nightstand, though.
     
  9. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    The 357 guns are generally more expensive, usually heavier, and if you don't need or want the extra power and only plan to shoot 38s why bother with a Magnum?

    I think I have more 38s than any other caliber of revolver. I also have a bunch of 357s. Each has a role.
     
  10. pps

    pps Member

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    hangtime, ".38specials in the longer .357mag chambers have never been known for gilt edged accuracy and there is something to be said for practicing with what you plan to carry."

    I don't know about 38special loosing accuracy when chambered in a .357mag chamber.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Gunz

    Gunz Member

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    Having gone throughthis journey of duality-capability, I went BACK to buying a 38SPl in a J-frame.

    I bought a Model 60 in 357 Mag, and the J-frame was TERRBILE when it came to flash, recoil, and recovery follow-up shots for me. I flinched, and I really did not like it. I still hae it as a last dich woods gun, but I know I woul d not like shooting it.

    My SP101 was much better in 357 mag, and it is a hevier gun, and thicker gun to really give my hand a good anchor. Still, 357 Mag from a little revolver is a lot of fire and flash.

    I carry a Centennial Airweight 38 deidicated, and 38Spl from it is still a little stout, but manageable, and steady, and the low flash allows great recvery follow-up. It is a cylinder matched for the job. THe cleaning of the powder rings inside is also less caked than 357 mag. Less powder to burn, I guess.

    For the S&W and Taurus little revolvers, at least, if you want 38, it is the right match. They can still handle +P. The 357 Mag is more horse than most people give it credit.

    Larger frames like K and L and N make the 357 much more manageable, and pleasant.
     
  12. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Member

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    If you only want one gun, then the .357 may be the way to go. In my case, I mostly carry and keep semiautos and shotguns for self-defense. I shoot .357 and .38 Special primarily for fun. There are many interesting .38 Specials that would be a shame to pass on just because they don't handle the higher power loads. And if you do plan to use a revolver for self defense, the .38 Special is more easily controlled by average shooters than the magnums.
     
  13. Loomis

    Loomis member

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    I think 38 special cartridges fired in 38 revolvers are slightly more accurate than 38 special cartridges fired in 357 revolvers. That's the only reason I can think of.

    I've heard of people having the chambers of a 38 special revolver reamed out so they can shoot 357 rounds in it. This may sound like a bad idea. But look at some of the revolvers that come in either 38 or 357. They are the same gun. Look at, for instance, the model 64 and the model 65. What's the difference?
     
  14. hnk45acp

    hnk45acp Member

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    PPS
    I'm looking at one of those performance center Smiths at my local range but the grips were too big.
    What kind of grips do you have on that? It looks smaller than the one I was looking at?
     
  15. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I am very fond of my Model 10 38Spl. It hits everytime where I aim it, and the 158gr +P LHP is a proven fight stopper. I carry a conceable 9mm 99.9% of the time, but if I were restricted to just this revolver, I wouldn't feel too bad at all.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I own several .357 magnum revolvers, but none are as light and easy to carry as my .38 special Taurus M85SSUL. And, .38 is plenty for self defense. The magnum is a lot more powerful, but the .38 will easily defend your life. I load up with magnums in my magnum revolvers to go hunting, something the .38 is not powerful enough to do, but at 10 feet, the snub is an effective deterrent. As others have said, the flash/bang is significantly easier on the senses. That's why I load with .38s for home protection.
     
  17. pps

    pps Member

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    hnk I have the arhends, and they are a bit to small for my hands. i'll probably get some jordan troopers later.
     
  18. pharmer

    pharmer Member

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    [​IMG]
    .38's are just plain cool. Good enough reason for me. Joe
     
  19. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    And be sure to give someone else something to cherish along the way.
     
  20. don95sml

    don95sml Member

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    Kind of Blued said:
    Also, they're easier to clean since there is no ring of gunk from firing a short cartridge from a longer chamber.
     
  21. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    For me it's about the size of the revolver. The minimum size .357 which I can effectively manage in rapid aimed fire is an SP-101 or K frame magnum. The ultra-lights under 20 ounces are extremely difficult to control and the titaniums are absurd. I SHOOT my sidearms. Lots. Lots and lots. With full power ammo. If you expect to be able to use it an emergency you had better be 110% comfortable with it. Other schools of thought exist, but I find them very questionable.

    The .38 special can be comfortably shot in rapid aimed fire if the platform is at least 19 to 22 ounces in weight. That means a steel frame M36 Smith or a Colt DS. These are great pocket revolvers and are easier to tote than a magnum.

    Plus I really like the cartridge and the range of options you have with it.
     
  22. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I was actually looking for my first .357 Magnum when I stumbled onto a used S&W Model 15. I bought it, and it might be my favorite gun (even though I have since bought a couple of .357's).

    To answer your original question, because a good .38 Special is $100 cheaper than a comparable .357.

    I keep one gun loaded in the house; it alternates between the 15 and a Ruger Security Six. Either way, i keep it stoked with .38 Specials because I don't want to shoot a magnum in the house and a 158 grain soft lead .38 should get the job done.
     
  23. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Because it just works, Anybody can have a thunderspeakingloudenboomer, but a 38 just will do most everything.
     
  24. Glockman17366

    Glockman17366 Member

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    Smaller, lighter gun that uses cheaper ammunition. I don't see much use of a .357 Magnum in an aluminum framed revolver.
    A .38 is fine for self defense.
     
  25. george29

    george29 Member

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    Because a 642 is half the price of a 340 and only a third less powerful than magnum.
     
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