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Old 01-18-2011, 09:27 PM
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Default Which is a better Round for a snub nose???

I want to start carrying a snub nose revolver for Concealed carry but unsure which would be a better load regardless of model snub nose.

So which is a better round in a snub. 357 mag or 38 spl +P. I heard that 357 out of a snub nose pistol isn't any better than a 38 spl. because not all the powder has a chance to burn therefor making the 357 much weaker. What about a +P 38? Is that an Ideal round for the purpose of the weapon since the powder is "hotter" burning therefor more lethal than a 357 in the same role??? Plus I think Gold Dot Makes the short barreled rounds for snub in 38+p. Is that want I want?

Input much appreciated and sorry if I rabbled on. A lot to cover on.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:25 PM
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Sounds like you're mixing efficiency with absolute performance.

While my .357 hunting handloads produce the higest speed from a short .357 revolver compared to lighter loads, they do it at the expense of considerable blast and an impressive fireball.

Although slower in speed than my master-blaster handload, the Speer Short barrel .357 Gold Dot is much more efficient and shooter-friendly.
The Speer .38+P 135gr Gold Dot, at the cost of another 150fps, is much easier to control in a stubby. I use them in my model 442.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:40 PM
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Gotta go with "ok"s explanation. It's relative. Yes the velocity of the magnum suffers from the shorter barrel, but so does the .38. If you get .38 performance using the magnum, it's still better than the performance of the best .38. The real criticism of the magnum from short barrells is that the magnum rounds can be pretty brutal to shoot.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:55 PM
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Which ever you can handle and shoot the most acurately
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:01 AM
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Which ever you can handle and shoot the most accurately
+1!!!! You have got to make quick, accurate bullet placements in any actual self defense shooting. Being fast and accurate is far more important in the matter than if you are hitting the bad guy with .38 Specials or .357 Magnums. Further, because ALL handgun rounds are fairly weak in power, subsequent shots can become vital. I would much rather put two or three or four real quick shots of a .38 Special into the Thoracic Triangle than to put one .357 Mag.in the chest and 3 over the bad guy's shoulder. Far better results for you will occur with the three to four hits over the one hit and three misses.

I don't have any problem with going down to the 9mm in self defense carry as long as the shooter is very competent. I get a little uneasy at the thought of depending on anything less. But, I sure don't get uneasy at NOT carrying the absolute most powerful .357, 40, 44 or 45 that has ever been loaded by a ammo manufacturer. ......... Big Cholla
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavscout684 View Post
What about a +P 38? Is that an Ideal round for the purpose of the weapon since the powder is "hotter" burning therefor more lethal than a 357 in the same role??? Plus I think Gold Dot Makes the short barreled rounds for snub in 38+p. Is that want I want?
The powder used in a .38 Special round is not "hotter" than the powder used in a .357 Magnum, it's faster. IMO a .357 Magnum will always generate more velocity than a .38 Special +P no matter how long the barrel is. BUT, shooting a .357 Magnum from a short light revolver is more difficult than shooting a .38 Special because of the excessive recoil, especially if you're shooting a 12 oz. S&W Aitlite revolver.

If you can shoot a .357 Magnum round well and make a fast followup shot if needed carry .357 Magnum ammo. If not carry .38 Special +P ammo, I know I do...
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:09 AM
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Whichever you can handle and shoot the most accurately
Ditto!

If you can proficiently shoot .357 Magnum ammo from your handgun, that's what I use, if not, go with .38 Special +P.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:39 AM
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Stephen A. Camp did a study and wrote an article about this subject:

New Page 1
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I know I can shoot the 357 but I'm sure I'd be able to handle a 38+p better. Which is what I think I'll be going with.

Thanks guys. Keep the info coming in though.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:38 PM
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Try the Buffalo Bore 158 +P. They advertise 1000 >fps range and I found them snappy but easy to control. If they are right that puts this in the .357 mag catagory and the 158 +P HP is the best stopper out there (worked for me during my LEO days). Stephen Camp writes a lot about this round (but not the BB) in his "The Shooter's Guide To Airweight J Frames." A must read for anyone carrying a J.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:49 PM
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Would agree with Old Cop that the Buffalo Bore .38 +P 158 gr SWCHP is great if not the best. BB also makes a 140 gr .357 for short barrels that I have found managable and true to aim.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:12 PM
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I carry a S&W 36 that was made in the late 60's, hence I haven't used much +P ammo. Age and physical abilities should also play a role in the selection of both a firearm and ammo. Since my wife and I are both "senior citizens" I've gone with two types of ammo, the Federal 125 grain Nyclad Personal Defense and the Hornady 110 grain FTX Critical Defense. The recoil is manageable making for accurate follow-up shots and reviews have been positive. I'd recommend you buy a box of several different rounds and try them out. And practice regularly. Between 50 and 100 rounds a month is not excessive. Google Search "snubnose revolvers" and you'll find lots of good information on how to practice. If you can find a good firearms instructor that would be even better, and/or a concealed carry course run by professionals.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in Vermont View Post
And practice regularly. Between 50 and 100 rounds a month is not excessive.
I totally agree as I shoot roughly a 1000 rounds a month in mixed calibers (mostly 9mm) but just didn't know a lot in this particular field. So I asked the experts! You guys. Thanks for all the input guys. Just wondering would any of you recommend a 3" barrel over a 2" in order to get better ballistics out of the two suggested calibers?
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavscout684 View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys. I know I can shoot the 357 but I'm sure I'd be able to handle a 38+p better. Which is what I think I'll be going with.

Thanks guys. Keep the info coming in though.
Try a box of Remington 125gr Golden Sabers. They are a medium-powered magnum loading. They pack a punch, but are pretty easy to handle.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavscout684 View Post
Thanks for all the input guys. Just wondering would any of you recommend a 3" barrel over a 2" in order to get better ballistics out of the two suggested calibers?
Of course, if that's actually an option. For belt carry, or IWB, it certainly is. For pocket carry, it probably isn't. Obviously, you should have one of each. I say that in jest; I don't utilize one of each. Like a lot of folks, my J frames are mostly 2" (I do own a 36-6, but never carry it), and when I go to belt carry, I carry something a little more substantial, like my 2" model 15. But maybe that doesn't count, because it seems to be as accurate as a 4", and very easy to shoot. Nevertheless, note that I am not sweating a few fps of bullet velocity, and concern myself more with my ability to direct the bullet.

Anyway, if you can carry a 3", and it shoots as well or better than a 2", it is obviously a better choice for you.
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357 magnum, 442, airweight, concealed, hornady, model 15, remington, snubnose

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