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  #51  
Old 07-25-2017, 06:02 PM
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Here's a real-life simile for you: Would you rather get smacked in the head with a baseball bat weighing 32 oz., or one weighing 40 oz., with each barrel-head swung at the same velocity? No helmet allowed.

Which one would be more effective in putting you to your knees?
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  #52  
Old 07-25-2017, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExcitableBoy View Post
Here's a real-life simile for you: Would you rather get smacked in the head with a baseball bat weighing 32 oz., or one weighing 40 oz., with each barrel-head swung at the same velocity? No helmet allowed.

Which one would be more effective in putting you to your knees?
Which one would make you stop doing whatever you were doing to get smacked? Or would you just keep doing it since it is only a 32 oz?

BTW I have both a 32 oz, and a 40 oz. sledge I don't think I would volunteer to get clocked with either one. Your mileage might vary.

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  #53  
Old 07-25-2017, 07:12 PM
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If you value your hearing....notice my screen name. I would not be shooting 357 in a snubby.

Last edited by deadear dan; 07-25-2017 at 07:13 PM.
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  #54  
Old 07-25-2017, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExcitableBoy View Post
Here's a real-life simile for you: Would you rather get smacked in the head with a baseball bat weighing 32 oz., or one weighing 40 oz., with each barrel-head swung at the same velocity? No helmet allowed.

Which one would be more effective in putting you to your knees?
Ah, but what if I can swing the 32 ounce bat 50 percent faster than the 40 ounce bat???

In all seriousness the same bullet fired from a max pressure .357 load will come out of the same length barrel faster than a max pressure .38 or .38 +p. Or you could shoot a heavier bullet at the same or a marginally higher velocity.

.357 is empirically more powerful than .38 +p or .38.

BUT DOES IT MATTER?

I have personally seen a half-dozen cadavers dead from 148 grain TARGET wadcutters.

Dead is dead, doesn't matter if you are run over by my 250 hp pickup truck or a 375 hp semi.

And a hit on the wrist of an assailant with a .357 is only going to be slightly less irrelevant than a hit by a .38.
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  #55  
Old 07-25-2017, 08:22 PM
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In all my shooting life I shot maybe 50 38 specials, just does nothing for me. I am a maggie kinda guy. I love the 357 mag's power, control and usability. I carry a S&W 686-4 seven shooter in a 2.5" barrel. It works for me. I load it up with Gold Dot 135gr 357 magnum for the short barrel. It has 935 fps. Empties its energy in its target with six more on its way.

Do I feel lucky? ... damn right I do.

and my hearing is just fine.


Last edited by Mehutch; 07-25-2017 at 08:27 PM.
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  #56  
Old 07-25-2017, 08:54 PM
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To those that think the 357 is so much louder. You're wrong.


db Environmental noise
0 Threshold of hearing
10 Normal breathing
20 Rusting leaves
30 Whisper at 30 feet
40 Quiet street
50 Interior home noise
60 Conversation
70 Crowded restaurant
75 Kitchen appliances
80 City traffic
85 Hearing damage possible
90 Lawn mower
100 Chain shaw
120 Threshold of pain
120 Siren
134 .22 LR rifle
140 Jet engine at take-off
150 .410 shotgun
152 .22 LR pistol
153 20 gauge shotgun
155 .223 rifle
155 .25 pistol
156 12 gauge shotgun
156 .30-.30 rifle
156 .308 rifle
156 .44 Special revolver
157 .22 Magnum pistol
157 .45 ACP pistol
158 .380 ACP pistol
158 .38 Special revolver
159 .30-06
160 9mm Para pistol
163 .41 Magnum revolver
164 .357 Magnum revolver
164 .44 Magnum revolver
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  #57  
Old 07-25-2017, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehutch View Post
I load it up with Gold Dot 135gr 357 magnum for the short barrel. It has 935 fps.
I load my 38 special snub with 138 grain Bayou Bullets WC at 900 fps. Recoil is not bad, as well as muzzle flash, and decibels. I don't worry about the dumping, as long as the bad guy has holes deep in him,or her to stop.

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Originally Posted by Kanewpadle View Post
To those that think the 357 is so much louder. You're wrong.
Actual they are louder, your own post proves it.

"For every 3 dBAs over 85dBA, the permissible exposure time before possible damage can occur is cut in half."

Dangerous Decibels >> How Loud is Too Loud?

Last edited by Walkingwolf; 07-25-2017 at 09:15 PM.
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  #58  
Old 07-25-2017, 09:45 PM
Ziggy2525 Ziggy2525 is offline
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A different way of saying what Walkingwolf said. A 3db increase doubles the power of the sound (and potential for hearing loss). A 10db increase doubles the perceived volume.

From the chart, a .357 has 4x more damaging sound pressure than a .38 Special (6db) and sounds 60% louder.
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  #59  
Old 07-25-2017, 10:37 PM
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You guys are ridiculous. ANY gun you shoot indoors is going to damage your hearing IF you notice it.
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  #60  
Old 07-25-2017, 10:57 PM
Ziggy2525 Ziggy2525 is offline
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Which part do you think is ridiculous? Understanding how the db sound pressure scale actually works. Understanding that sounds over 85db, including pistol shots, will damage your hearing whether you notice them or not. Or both?
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  #61  
Old 07-25-2017, 11:09 PM
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Reread and comprehend grasshopper.
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  #62  
Old 07-25-2017, 11:25 PM
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I had a 642-1 since 2009. Went with it for a few reasons... mainly the weight, and also, I was never a fan of .357 Magnum. Love .44 Magnum, but don't feel .357 gives the performance that the negatives (noise, recoil, etc) warrant. I'm sure that will piss some people off, but I don't own a .357 Magnum. Was considering a TRR8, but more because it is an eight shot revolver than being a .357.

Ballistically, I converted my 642-1 over to 9mm. If you chronograph velocities, a good standard pressure 147 grain 9mm (Hornady XTP) leaves the barrel roughly the same speed as a 110 grain .38 +P (Hornady CD). At the same speed, the heavier bullet is better. Recoil is on par.
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  #63  
Old 07-26-2017, 12:03 AM
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One of the reasons that auto cartridges are suited to short barrels is their lower case volume. Less volume, less powder, less muzzle flash, though it does increase pressure. I seat my wadcutters almost flush to lesson case capactiy, then with a powder like longshot I can get impressive fps without the large muzzle flash, and higher decibels.
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  #64  
Old 07-26-2017, 01:10 AM
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4 times I had to pull my weapon to stop an aggressor. Each time in self defense, each time I didn't have to fire at them, each time I did not have my ear muffs or plugs on. It was the last thing on my mind. Nor was the muzzle flash a .357 can produce. However I do remember "Don´t me mata!" was very loud. Translation not needed.

Now I don't want to shoot anyone, but if I have to I'll take some hearing loss over life lost, or family loss, that is what I'll do.

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  #65  
Old 07-26-2017, 11:12 AM
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The simple point is that if you are loading for the same velocity you will retain more terminal energy with a heavier bullet, thus more effective.

Of course, you have to be able to hit what you're aiming at.
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  #66  
Old 07-26-2017, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
Personally, I find .357 Magnum muzzle blast horrendous from a snubnose gun and the recoil is quite unpleasant as well. These are loadings best reserved for very experienced handgunners that shoot a lot and can take advantage of any alleged benefit provided by greater velocity.
HORRNEDOUS is a very good description...even in a longer barrel/heavier gun, it is true! Especially for people like me who have a genetic condition where loud and/or sharp noises cause all the symptoms of an anxiety attack! I sometimes flinch even when shooting my .22s with hearing protection! That is a terrible affliction for one who loves guns and shooting as much as I do!

I figure that hits on target are most important, and as in IPSIC, I can't miss fast enough to win! I like shooting .38 Special (not +P) loads for less recoil, and more shooting enjoyment. But...I do have a supply of the +P 135 Speer Gold Dots put by, and carry, in case the unthinkable happens. If I thought I could get away with .22 Long Rifle, I would, but until then...
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  #67  
Old 07-26-2017, 02:01 PM
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I carry .22 long rifle in a snub(1 1/8" barrel) every day. It resides in my front pocket every second, minute, hour. It is still kinda loud with that short barrel. Gonna order a Black Widow next week, it has a two inch barrel, should tone it down some.
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  #68  
Old 07-26-2017, 07:30 PM
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I've used a chronograph for about 20 years now and the powder makes a difference with a .357 Mag in a snub nose.

The revolver itself also makes a difference, as bullet placement matters, and shooting .357 Mag in a small revolver you can't control is a poor choice that will get you less than optimum results.

----

Contrary to popular internet rumor, the slow burning colloidal ball powders that produce maximum velocity in a 6" barrel, will not produce maximum velocity in a 2 1/2" or 3" barrel. Those heavier charges of slow burning powder will however produce a lot more recoil, so shooters think they are getting more velocity, when they are often getting 100-150 fps less velocity.

For example a max load of Win 296 and a 125 gr bullet will give me 1,132 fps, while a maximum load of Unique will give me a velocity of 1,296 fps with the same bullet in the same 3" revolver. That's a loss of 161 fps with the slower burning powder in a short barrel.

In comparison, a .38 +P load using IMR 800X with the same 125 gr bullet will give me 1,030 fps in the same revolver. That's a loss of 102 fps compared to the slow burning powder .357 Mag, and 266 fps compared to a .357 Mag load optimized for a short barrel.

----

How much difference does 1,030 fps, 1,132 fps or 1,296 fps make? It really depends on the bullet. Provided it's operating within it's performance envelop you should get adequate penetration and expansion.

That's almost certain with the .357 Mag, given that there are not many poor performing .357 Mag loads, even in a snub nose revolver. However, you need to be a little more selective with .38 +P loads in a snub nose.

----

I usually carry .357 Mag in my 3" Model 13, 2 1/2" Model 66 or 1/2" Model 686+ revolvers because they are comfortable enough to shoot with full power loads that I will practice with them enough to become very good with them.

It's worth noting here that I use a load that is optimized for a short barrel not just for the improved velocity, but also due to the reduced recoil from a powder charge that weighs half as much.

However, with my 3" Model 60, I'll carry the above mentioned .38 +P load as it offers adequate terminal performance while still having comfortable enough recoil to practice with it extensively. In contrast, .357 Mag loads in a J Magnum frame revolver, even a steel framed J Magnum revolver, are not comfortable enough to shoot extensively, and thus you won't shoot it enough to become truly proficient with it.

Last edited by BB57; 07-26-2017 at 07:34 PM.
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  #69  
Old 07-26-2017, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExcitableBoy View Post
The simple point is that if you are loading for the same velocity you will retain more terminal energy with a heavier bullet, thus more effective.

Of course, you have to be able to hit what you're aiming at. :roll eyes:
If you are loading for the same velocity, you'll get more energy with a heavier bullet. That's obvious.

You'll also get more momentum with the heavier bullet and that tends to increase penetration as does the improved sectional density of the heavier bullet.

Even at slower velocity you'll potentially have more momentum with a heavier bullet and all thing being equal, you'll always have more sectional density.

However, at social shooting distances, you won't "retain" more energy. Longer bullets tend to have higher BCs, for example a 110 gr XTP has a BC of .131, a 125 gr XTP has a BC of .151 and a 158 gr XTP has a BC of .206. The heavier bullets do retain velocity better, but at the short ranges involved in a self defense shoot it makes no difference what so ever.
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:28 PM
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You are not wrong terminolgically. But I belive the point is that heavier bullet retains more ENERGY, I would call it momentum, through garments, skin, bone, muscle, organs, etc. In my experience heavier bullets penetrate and terminate humanoid threats better than faster moving lighter bullets. Relativly heavy flat faced bullets crush and destroy tissue in thier path, even at moderate velocity.
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehutch View Post
In all my shooting life I shot maybe 50 38 specials, just does nothing for me. I am a maggie kinda guy. I love the 357 mag's power, control and usability. I carry a S&W 686-4 seven shooter in a 2.5" barrel. It works for me. I load it up with Gold Dot 135gr 357 magnum for the short barrel. It has 935 fps. Empties its energy in its target with six more on its way.

Do I feel lucky? ... damn right I do.

and my hearing is just fine.

You have a nice looking revolver.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:29 AM
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TomkinsSP:

Pragmatists, and "been there, done that" people, usually have a better grasp of the realities of the physics involved in bullet vs. flesh and bone. Conversely, theoreticians and numbers crunchers are usually just that... theoreticians and numbers crunchers.

I am heavily on the side of Category 1.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:32 AM
forrestinmathews forrestinmathews is offline
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Quote:
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For example a max load of Win 296 and a 125 gr bullet will give me 1,132 fps, while a maximum load of Unique will give me a velocity of 1,296 fps with the same bullet in the same 3" revolver. That's a loss of 161 fps with the slower burning powder in a short barrel.

In comparison, a .38 +P load using IMR 800X with the same 125 gr bullet will give me 1,030 fps in the same revolver. That's a loss of 102 fps compared to the slow burning powder .357 Mag, and 266 fps compared to a .357 Mag load optimized for a short barrel.

----

How much difference does 1,030 fps, 1,132 fps or 1,296 fps make? It really depends on the bullet. Provided it's operating within it's performance envelop you should get adequate penetration and expansion.

That's almost certain with the .357 Mag, given that there are not many poor performing .357 Mag loads, even in a snub nose revolver. However, you need to be a little more selective with .38 +P loads in a snub nose.

----

I usually carry .357 Mag in my 3" Model 13, 2 1/2" Model 66 or 1/2" Model 686+ revolvers because they are comfortable enough to shoot with full power loads that I will practice with them enough to become very good with them.

It's worth noting here that I use a load that is optimized for a short barrel not just for the improved velocity, but also due to the reduced recoil from a powder charge that weighs half as much.

However, with my 3" Model 60, I'll carry the above mentioned .38 +P load as it offers adequate terminal performance while still having comfortable enough recoil to practice with it extensively. In contrast, .357 Mag loads in a J Magnum frame revolver, even a steel framed J Magnum revolver, are not comfortable enough to shoot extensively, and thus you won't shoot it enough to become truly proficient with it.
You mean a load of 21.0-22.0 grains of Win 296? Sort of a small window there with the 125 grain bullet and they don't really feel any different. People who attempt to shoot this in a scandium frame are crazy. I've done it and split my thumb wide open on the cylinder release. It was a fun three shots before I started bleeding. I fired the last two to see how the grips worked covered in blood.
I have fired 100 rounds of full house .357 158 grain at a time through the gun. Not really impressive or oppressive. However, the 296 load is abusive. There is not recoil so much as extremely high torque muzzle flip. Any other ammunition without a heavy roll crimp is getting pulled during recoil. That said, it has crowd pleasing potential. The flash and report make it an absolute show stopper. I'd like to see something keep coming in the direction of than kind of violence. 1200 fps is a great window for the Hornady XTP and Barnes xpb.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrestinmathews View Post
You mean a load of 21.0-22.0 grains of Win 296? Sort of a small window there with the 125 grain bullet and they don't really feel any different. People who attempt to shoot this in a scandium frame are crazy. I've done it and split my thumb wide open on the cylinder release. It was a fun three shots before I started bleeding. I fired the last two to see how the grips worked covered in blood.
I have fired 100 rounds of full house .357 158 grain at a time through the gun. Not really impressive or oppressive. However, the 296 load is abusive. There is not recoil so much as extremely high torque muzzle flip. Any other ammunition without a heavy roll crimp is getting pulled during recoil. That said, it has crowd pleasing potential. The flash and report make it an absolute show stopper. I'd like to see something keep coming in the direction of than kind of violence. 1200 fps is a great window for the Hornady XTP and Barnes xpb.
Yes, exactly. It's about 10 grains more than the powder weight required for a maximum pressure load using a medium speed powder and that extra 10 grains exits the muzzle at about 3 times the muzzle velocity of the projectile. Even if it fully combusts (which it does not in a short barrel), that gas still has just as much mass as before, and generates a commensurate amount of recoil.

I suspect that higher mass of exiting gas is also what generates the increased torque and muzzle flip effects you've noted.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:13 PM
LarryMNH LarryMNH is offline
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I limit my carry to .38 +P as much for the control, which isn't what it used to be 40 years ago, as the deafening sound level.

The .357 IMHO is considerably louder than a .38 and if I ever need it for defensive purposes. Probably no ear protection.

The Db numbers in the listing show that there is only a 6 Db rise for .38 to .357. Seems to feel more significant than it appears with only what looks like a small number of a 6 DB increase.

My recollection many years ago was that the Saturn 5 rocket was the loudest sustained sound ever created by man.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
This is from an article I looked up.
"Unsurprisingly, the highest sound power levels ever recorded at Stennis was during testing for the Saturn I-C stage, the first stage of the Saturn V that used five F-1 engines to generate 7.5 million pounds of thrust. One test registered about 204 decibels, while more recent rockets, which generate between 100,000 and 650,000 pounds of thrust, typically generate around 195 decibels at launch."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Makes me think that 164 Db is pretty loud.

Larry
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:33 PM
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I carry 135gr Speed Gold Dot .357 Short Barrel in my S&W 640-1,It's basically a 38/44 load with a great expanding projectile.
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Old 08-05-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Kanewpadle View Post
This purpose of this thread isn't about recoil but more so bullet performance. Let's assume you can the control the recoil of the 357 in a snubby. Would you carry that load? Or would you carry 38 +P?

I've heard many times that with the loss in velocity with 357 that you might as well carry 38 +P. But I simply refuse to believe that the 38 +P would perform better than the 357 even with loss in velocity. Maybe I'm wrong.

I also understand that much of this depends on the load and bullet design you choose. Depending on bullet design, faster isn't always better.
Yes, full power .357 Magnum still offers some added velocity when fired from a 2" barrel.

The question is, at what point do the disadvantages of firing Magnum loads from a diminutive 5-shot snub - particularly a really light model - overshadow the advantage of a little more velocity, for any particular shooter?

I typically carry one or another of a few modern +P loads in my pair of M&P 340's, even though I've used Magnum loads for occasional quals and drills.

I used to save my Magnum ammo for my SP101DAO 2.25" snub, since it's weight (and Quad-Porting) made it a pleasure to shoot, even with the stoutest factory Magnum loads. I used that all-steel snub Ruger for many years, until I finally decided to sell it this year. I just didn't carry it very much anymore because its weight made it a belt gun.

I want to be able to put fast 5 rounds clustered into a fist-sized group, fired 1-handed, hip/indexed shooting out to 3yds, and 2-handed/flash-sighted out to 5-7yds, in no more than 2-3 seconds ... and it's a lot easier to accomplish using +P loads, than Magnum loads.
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Old 08-05-2017, 05:10 PM
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This purpose of this thread isn't about recoil but more so bullet performance. Let's assume you can the control the recoil of the 357 in a snubby. Would you carry that load? Or would you carry 38 +P?
Though you didn't phrase it that way, maybe your question is more pertinent to "J" frame carriers.

My only snub is a 2 1/2" "L" frame with rubber grips, and magnum loads are fully comfortable for me to shoot up to 158gr.
Unless woods walking, it carries Federal 125gr JHP .357 (C357B). That goes for all the .357 handguns. Not much science behind the decision. I chose it because of it's reputation and I like the way it goes to POA. Makes the best groups of any ammo I use.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:02 PM
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Goods points both. Guess I should have been more specific. I'm shooting one of these.


Even with hot 125gr loads recoil is manageable as are follow up shots. I see no reason to load it with 38 +P.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:36 PM
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Even with hot 125gr loads recoil is manageable as are follow up shots.
Ohhh nice, high polish stainless. My Bling senses are tingling.

To me, your statement there, is your answer. As long as you have it with you, and can use it, that's the thing that matters.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:55 PM
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The things many people complain about when firing a .357 load in a snubbie -- noise, muzzle flash -- are precisely the things I want to disorient an attacker in a self defense situation.

I have never considered any snubbie a range gun. It's a concealable, light close-in defense weapon first of all. I want the biggest boom I can get, and the biggest hole.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:43 PM
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I read the above posts, and I read the OP's opening question. A few weeks ago I was shooting at a hanging steel plate to roughly see what the various calibers I was shooting would do as far as bouncing it around. Now the OP's question was on .357,.38, and .38+P out of a snubbie. I had my 686-3 2 1/2" I was shooting standard 158 grain 38 loads, 158 grain +p in the 38 special cases, and the 158 grain magnum loads in a .357 magnum case. There was no doubt that even though some velocity was lost with the 2 1/2" barrel the .357 magnum loads were bouncing the 12" steel plate two to three times more than either of the 38 special offerings. As a matter of fact I didn't see too much difference in the steel jumping between the standard and the +P loads, but as I said when I went to the .357 Magnum , big, big difference. I know this wasn't very scientific and I didn't have a chrony, but the seat of the pants feel and the jump and movement of the plate made me a believer in .357 magnum in a snubbie. If recoil isn't a issue and one can manage follow up shots, I would say .357 magnum all the way.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:10 PM
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The things many people complain about when firing a .357 load in a snubbie -- noise, muzzle flash -- are precisely the things I want to disorient an attacker in a self defense situation.

I have never considered any snubbie a range gun. It's a concealable, light close-in defense weapon first of all. I want the biggest boom I can get, and the biggest hole.
Well then you need to carry an Old Model Vaquero Sheriff's Model in .44 or .45. I agree with what you're saying though. Let them be blind and scared during the neutralization process.

As far as the .357 loads in a snubby, you never have to wait for the plate to start moving.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:01 PM
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Cap and ball revolver will blind them even more. Maybe catch them on fire.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:15 PM
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You might want to look at the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr short barrel .357 load. Rated at 990 FPS so there is less chance of a pass through. I've got them for my 686 2.5". Gold Dots are known for the expansion.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:07 AM
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My disclaimer is the only thing I'm an expert at is not being an expert at anything.

Been a while ago. I had read about a group of trauma surgeons that were making the point that they weren't seeing the JHP expansion in real human shootings for bullets that had been shown to expand totally reliably in ballistic gel. They suggested in real world shootings, 148gr wadcutters did as much damage in real humans as JHP's because the JHP's weren't expanding. They didn't seem to have the clout to overcome the "FBI says" lobby.

Since I'm not a trauma surgeon or a ballistics expert, I don't have a good way to judge which side is true. I can look and see some pretty smart, BTDT people aren't "all in" with the results from ballistic gel testing being the holy grail of bullet performance.
A couple points to consider.

There is sampling bias involved in anything trauma surgeon do. For example I worked with a chest cutter 20 years ago had cut his teeth in both South Africa and NYC and had experience with over 1500 gun shot wounds to the torso. In his opinion, the 230 gr FMJ was by far the most 'lethal' bullet in his experience. That sounds suspect until you consider that his 'experience' was defined by people who survived a gun shot wound long enough to make it to his operating room.

He also agreed that the more gunshot wounds a person had, the less likely they were to survive, due to more blood loss through more wound tracks that damaged more organs and systems that were then much harder and look much longer to repair.

It's possible that the 230 gr FMJ was the bullet that tore the patient up the most - while still allowing him to survive, and that patients hit with hollow points were, all things being equal, were less likely to last long enough to get to the OR.

The other problem with trauma surgeon opinion is that the damage done to a patient surviving to the OR is not the same as rapid incapacitation. If you shoot someone 10 times with a .22 LR they have a high probability of dying but given that they lack the significant penetration needed for a CNS hit, a cardio vascular hit and/or large wound tracks to blood bearing organs that promotes fairly rapid loss of blood pressure, those 10 .22 LR rounds are not going to result in rapid incapacitation. Having an assailant die three days later is small comfort if he killed you after you shot him multiple times.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:20 AM
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All that said above, I'm in agreement that the ballistic gelatin proponents might be missing some of the point. Ballistic gelatin is great for measuring expansion under repeatable laboratory conditions, but it's a consistent medium, and people are not made of consistent material, which raises serious questions about whether that reliable, consistent and repeatable laboratory data actually has much validity in a real world shoot.

On the other side, you have the data folks who do statistical analysis of real world shoots and then try to draw some conclusions on bullet effectiveness while dealing with a multitude of variables in real world shoots and trying to isolate the effects of bullet performance.

Invariably these two groups are in opposition, as one is dealing with consistent, reliable, repeatable testing and the other is dealing with actual shoots, which are messy and involve both a lot of variables and very limited control over a long list of variables.

What the gel folks seem to forget is that the standard of 12"-18" penetration with at least 1.5x expansion was based on some assumptions that may or may not be all that valid in the real world. The also tend to forget or ignore that real world results are what they are. You can argue about sample selection, methodology, etc, but at the end of the day, there are a large number of stops made by bullets that don't reliably meet the ballistic gelatin criteria.

----

I like a minimum penetration of around 12", and expansion is nice to have if I get it, but in the end it's shot placement that matters and absent one of these things you are not going to get rapid incapacitation:

1) a CNS hit (brain or the upper portion of the spinal column, which produces an immediate stop)

2) a cardio vascular hit to the heart or large arteries above the heart (which will produce a stop in 10-15 seconds if the upper chambers of the heart or arteries above the heart are hit and perhaps 2-3 times that long if the more muscular and more self sealing lower chambers of the heart are hit)

3) a psychological stop where the person stops simply because getting shot sucks and they don't want to get shot anymore (which occurs in about 50% of all shoots).

I'm not sure a hollow point makes much difference in 1 and 2. At best is provides for a wider wound track that slightly increases the chances of 1 and 2.

----

I wouldn't worry too much about failed expansion - provided it does not create a risk of over penetration. However over pentagon itself is over stated as over penetration occurs 100% of the time with any bullet if the shooter misses the target, and LEOs miss about 80% of the time.

Penetration does matter, but for an armed citizen shoot that is almost always face to face, the 12" penetration standard is probably over kill. I wouldn't turn my nose up at 10".
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:54 AM
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I by far am not informed of the tech side of each round. But, I have a step son that thought his wife would be better if he were dead. He sat on the sofa about 15 feet away, she shot him with a .22 LONG RIFLE. He had one collapsed lung, one big chunk of lead stopped under the shoulder blade skin. Oh, she shot him in the chest. He spent 2 days in intensive care, 3 more days in step down intensive care, one day in routine care. This happened in 2006. His wife died of o/dose in 2016. He still says he loved her. DUMBASS!!! Anyway, he still has problems breathing, muscles in chest. I only carry .38 caliber, Hornady Critical. I never feel under gunned. Just my 2 cents about a real life incident. Happy shootin and always be safe!
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:08 AM
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Well after skimming through all the posts in this thread....... I see that no one has convinced anyone of anything!!!!!!!

So much for thread 3838 or is it 10,357 on +P.38 vs .357.

For the record I carry +P.38s in the "Burbs of the Burgh" and .357 in the Laurel Highlands of Pa. in a 3" 65 or 66.

A .22lr will kill you; or stop an aggressor very quickly fired from a gun placed behind the ear or in an eye socket.........IMHO "stopping" shots are like "real estate".......what really matters is ...."location location location"..................... and with handguns there is a reason that folks advocate the 'double tap" and/or 2 to the chest and one to the head!!!!!

Now back to our regular programming....................
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:48 AM
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A few not so connected thoughts:

1. You need to take velocity numbers with a large grain of salt.

There is a great deal of variation in velocity in revolvers, even in the same model and barrel length, due to differences in cylinder gap, chamber and throat diameter (new versus old reamer), and bore dimensions. I've seen variation as high as 100 fps.

2. Velocity matters with a hollow point

Given that nearly all hollow points only achieve optimum performance over a fairly narrow velocity window, the actual velocity matters.

If pushed too fast a rapidly expanding hollow point can suffer from inadequate penetration (although as noted above 10-11" should still get the job done, while 7-8" maybe won't. If pushed to slow, it may not expand at all, particularly after penetrating heavy clothing that might plug the point and reduce the hydraulic effect that opens the point.

3. In the .357 Magnum, the powder used has significant impact on recoil.

In .357 Mag in particular, a load using a large charge (around 16 grains with a 158 gr load and around 21 grains with a 125 gr bullet) of comparatively slow burning colloidal ball powder will have significantly more recoil than a load with the same bullet using a lighter (around 8-9 grains) of a faster burning powder. This is because that powder, even if it fully burns, still has just as much mass, and that mass leaves the barrel at about 3x the velocity of the bullet.

That slow burning powder load will also have excessive muzzle flash in low light conditions.

4. Short barrel velocity with light bullets has some quirks.

The old internet wisdom is that slow powders produce maximum velocity in the .357 mag regardless of barrel length or bullet weight. In my experience over 20 years chronographing loads, a faster burning powder lie Unique will probably have an edge in velocity over the slower burning powder in the .357 Mag when shooting 125 gr bullets in 2" to 3" barrel - on the order of 100-150 fps . With a 158 gr bullet, you won't see much difference, and with 110 gr bullets, slower powders are not all that common so there isn't much to compare in at that bullet weight.

5. My personal loads and observations.

My preferred short barrel .357 Mag load uses a 125 gr XTP with a near maximum charge of a medium speed powder, giving me an average velocity of 1243 fps with an SD around 17.

In comparison a maximum published .38 +P load with the same bullet gives me an average velocity of 1056 fps in the same 2.5" revolver.

Does a couple hundred fps make a difference? It does to the extent that the expansion and penetration is more reliable at the faster speed. It also makes a difference in terms of recoil.

In my 3" Model 60 and 3" SP 101 I'l shoot the .38 +P load because the recoil of the .357 Magnum is too much to make it something I want to practice with, so those revolvers end up loaded with the +P load.

However in my 36 oz Model 66 and 40 oz Model 686+, that .357 Mag load is comfortable to shoot, so those pistols get loaded with the .357 Magnum load.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:55 AM
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So...After all this, my question is. Just how many of you are willing to tote around your 2.5" L Frame snubby day to day just so you can say you carry magnums?

Personally a 135 gr. Gold Dot .357 at under a thousand fps in a 36-40 oz weapon does not impress me. However a Buffalo Bore 158 LSWC-HP+P at over 1000 FPS shot out of my 16 OZ 642 does impress me. AND I can carry the 642 all day and hardly notice it.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:04 PM
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When I do carry a 2" Model 60, I load it with Buffalo Bore 158 gr LSWHP and don't feel undergunned.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:59 PM
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My preferred round for my Ruger SP-101 is the Corbon DPX +P. I shoot it well and I believe it will do all I need it to.

I'm just not much on 357s out of this gun.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:14 PM
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I quit carrying 357 mag in my snub for two reasons. The 357 going through the bad guy and possibly hitting someone else is one and second is you can just about bet you could end up deaf in at least the ear on your shooting side.
A 9mm is bad enough for causing hearing loss but a 357 you just about bet you will lose a large amount of hearing. I've had loss from the 9mm and I am no dang way wanting to experience a 357.
You say you will not notice the louder 357 in the case of a shooting don't even bet on that. A 38 spl or a +P will most likely save your life and you still could have more hearing left.
As far as the baseball bat I bet the lighter bat will still take the fight out of you. I've seen a big man knocked out by a 2x4 swung by a much lighter man. Little man or not the dude was flat out for the count on the ground.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:41 PM
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Well... for me and me alone... I carry the 135+P grn short barrel .38 in my 640nd and 158 gr sjhp 357 in my 19 and 66 snubs. I will worry about recoil and muzzle blast after the fight is over. All that said all reloads I carry are .38 +P 135 short barrel rounds because sometimes I carry both revolvers at the same time..... go figure......

Stay safe my friends.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:43 PM
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In both my 357 Magnum snubbies I carry Fiocchi® 357 Magnum 158gr XTP® (#357XTP25).
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AZretired View Post
So...After all this, my question is. Just how many of you are willing to tote around your 2.5" L Frame snubby day to day just so you can say you carry magnums?

Personally a 135 gr. Gold Dot .357 at under a thousand fps in a 36-40 oz weapon does not impress me. However a Buffalo Bore 158 LSWC-HP+P at over 1000 FPS shot out of my 16 OZ 642 does impress me. AND I can carry the 642 all day and hardly notice it.
With a good belt and IWB holster I can carry a 2.5" Model 66 or Model 686 all day long, AND I can also shoot a Model 66 to 686 for 100 rounds or so of .357 Magnum without my hand feeling like it's been hammered on by an angry black smith.

I can't do that with even my steel frame 2 1/8" and 3" Model 60s, let alone a scandium J frame.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
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I switched from carrying a Model 60 Chief's Special Target to the J-Magnum model 60 Chief's Special in the late 1990s just so I could carry 357 Magnum ammunition. The Remington 125 SJHP has been my favorite load for these revolvers for two decades now.

I have successfully qualified every time with the firearm over these years.
The amount of loss in velocity is an internet myth.

I gathered the average chronographed velocities obtained with 5 Smith and Wesson model 60s, 640s and a 340 all fired on the same day. Two five shot strings were obtained from each firearm. All ammunition was from the lot #

357 Magnum Winchester 125 JHP averaged 1205 FPS
357 Magnum Remington 125 SJHP averaged 1199 FPS
357 Magnum Remington 110 SJHP averaged 1230 FPS

It was interesting to notice that the 110 SJHP was faster than the 125s only in this instance.

These real world numbers are several hundred feet per second over what the manufacturers each claim for their 38 Special +P loadings

BTW, those averages include data from a factory ported model Performance Center 640. If I tossed that out and only included the non-ported snubbies, the averages go up about 10 FPS

No it is not fun to shoot, but these revolvers were not designed for plinking or a day of target shooting. These revolvers were designed to save your butt when you walked into something you did not expect. Under those conditions, I want the most power I can handle in the most comfortable package to carry.

Obviously 357 Magnum in a J-frame is not for everyone, and that is fine.

So let's step up to a 2 1/2" Model 19/66 K-frames, those velocities go up a little bit except with the 110. Only three revolvers were used to obtain these averages. We go to 1264 FPS, 1263 FPS and 1203 FPS respectively.

If we take this to a 3" barrel (1 Model 60 Pro and 1 F-comp) the Remington velocities go to 1290 FPS for the 125 SJHPs and 1243 FPS for the 110 SJHPs. Again the 110s are slower. I did not have enough of the Winchester left on hand for these revolvers.

OK going to 3 1/2" we have two N-frames (Both PC revolvers). Here the Remington velocities go to 1370 FPS for the 125 SJHPs and 1338 FPS for the 110 SJHPs. These did have tight B/C gaps that probably accounted for the higher velocities more than the extra 1/2" of barrel did. The Big N-frame, even with the short barrel, is much more pleasant to shoot than the smaller revolvers.

Sticking with the N-frame, I had two 4" model 27s. The Remington velocities go to 1391 FPS for the 125 SJHPs and 1321 FPS for the 110 SJHPs on these.

Taking this to the 5 1/2" Model 627 (sorry I only had one). The Remington velocities go to 1422 FPS for the 125 SJHPs and 1367 FPS for the 110 SJHPs on this one.

Now if you want the 357 Magnum to REALLY perform we can go to my 18" 1892 lever action. The Remington velocities go to 2049 FPS for the 125 SJHPs and 1727 FPS for the 110 SJHPs in this example.

I wish I had more ammunition and more real world guns to include in my study. However you can see that the loss in a 2" J-magnum is not as great as the Internet would like you to believe.
There would likely be more of a difference with heavier bullets and slower burning powders.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:57 AM
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Maybe I'm a wimp but @ 70, and carrying the no-lock 340PD, I find follow-up shots almost impossible w/full house .357 so I carry four rounds of +P and one round (last one) of .357.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelygunner View Post
One of the scant few standard pressure .38spl rounds that expanded reasonably well out of a 2" barrel in LuckyGunners tests was the new Winchester 130gr. "Train & Defend" JHP. This appears to be good stuff and is what I now carry in my 642 Airweight. Plus, it's available at Walmart.
Ranger and PDX loads both seem to expand better. Availability is king though.
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