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Old 07-24-2018, 07:38 PM
Lon C. Lon C. is offline
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Question "Handguns and Defensive Weapons"

Hello Everyone,

As a new shooter [3 years +/-], I have noticed the proliferation of firearm programs on the Outdoor Channel & the Sportsman Channel. The above [a new program to me] was on yesterday with the subject of handgun recoil management.

Three gents on the screen, Rich, Scott and Jim discussed the subject as regards to defensive carry. Each admitted that they shoot .38 spcl and/or +P; none favor .357 at all, because of recoil issue; best to have three hits w/.38 than one w/.357, or so they said.

I take my R8 to the range and have very little problem managing recoil with 158 gr .357 JHP. Believe me, it's the firearm---not my expertise! I'm a resident of Ca., so I do not carry.

Obviously, I'm not under any duress or in a adrenaline-pumping/defensive position at the range, but they weren't either; just three guys in a discussion at the range.

So, may I ask you folks who have a tremendous experience advantage over me?

First question: do you favor their conclusion; that is, preferring .38 over .357?

Second question, how do you manage recoil with your favorite firearm, revolver or semi-auto?

Many thanks for taking the time to respond!

Lon C.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:56 PM
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For the hearing loss alone, I'll favor the .38 special.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:01 PM
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Good topic. I shoot a lot of .357, and have never had an issue with it.
But you always here about recoil, 12g, 30-06, .308, 357 and .44
I just recently purchased my first .44 magnum. If I had listened to all the YouTube and forum experts, I should have expected my wrist to snap and my hand go slinging off by my 50th round. But I found it very easy to shoot, blasted 200 rounds of 240 g magnums and my hand was still there. Yes, I could tell I just shot 200 r, but there was no pain.
And just last Sunday, I grabbed a box of .38 and .357 and took my new 28-2 to the range to try it out. Shot all 100, most single handed. Then went out to the lobby and while looking at guns, another shooter with s kimber .357 revolver starts talking about what a cannon it is and how painful it is to shoot .357. The guy was a all pumped up weightbuilder looking dude. When I told him I shoot .357 in my little model 60 with no problem, he was looking at me like I was fibbing about it.
All I can think is that these guys have never swung a 10lb hammer, or ran a 1" impact wrench, or a jack hammer or w if whatever in their life.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:06 PM
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The R8 is a big gun with a full sized grip. Weighs about 36 oz. And a 5" barrel.

The revolver CCW guys probably are talking about carrying 357 or 38+P in small, J frame snubs.

The guns have 2" barrels. They weigh anywhere from 11 to 21 oz.

That's a big differences.

Much easier to shoot 357 in a bigger gun. Likely 357 Mag in an R8 recoils less than 38+P in a J frame snub.

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Old 07-24-2018, 08:06 PM
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So yes, .357 is what I carry and shoot mostly. I'll grab some .38 if they are cheap and have fun shooting, but they are different point of aim and I'd rather practice with what I will load for action with.
.38 is not something I'd trust my life to,
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:17 PM
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I had to use my issued .38 three times during my 30 year career so I know it works, and I also know you will not be aware of recoil in a deadly confrontation. That said managing follow up shots is important, and to me the .357 is too difficult to handle in that situation but my EDC is an 11 ounce 340PD. Handling the recoil of a mangum at the range is much different from shooting to save your life on the street.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:28 PM
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Haven't seen the show you're talking about, but I'll offer my opinion based on what you've reported.

Likely, they were talking about carry guns, meaning guns lightweight and compact enough to conceal easily. Which also means guns that are likely smaller and lighter than your R8. The lighter, smaller the gun gets, the more recoil it's going to generate, given the same ammo.

Other factors...carry guns will likely have shorter barrels. This means one will likely get more muzzle flash and/or blast shooting magnums than specials. That can make quick follow-up shots more difficult, which can be important in self defense shootings.

Some people will say you won't feel the recoil in a real defensive shooting incident. However, given the same gun, magnums will generate more recoil than specials. It's physics. Therefore, magnums will generally be slower on follow-up shots than specials.

Add to that real-world evidence that pretty much all service handgun calibers perform about the same in actual shootings and any power advantage the .357 Magnum has over .38 Special diminishes.

I should mention I'm talking about full-power .357 Magnum loads, as there are mid-range loads that are very good options, but they get closer to .38 Special ballistics so the power advantage gets even smaller.

Beyond that, it's personal choice. Some people just prefer to go ahead and load full-power .357 Magnum ammo in their lightweight snubs, and that's a perfectly fine option if they can shoot it well. For me, I see no reason to use .357 Magnum ammo in a carry gun until we're getting up into K-frame, and bigger, steel guns, and even then I'd probably still go with .38 Special +Ps. In fact, when I had a 3" 65, it was often kept loaded with .38 Special FBI loads.

As far as recoil management...

I generally grip as high on the frame as I can, exception being the Centennial J-frames, like the 642 I EDC. With those guns, gripping high up affects the angle of my trigger finger and makes shooting a little more difficult.

With semi-autos, I tend to use the "thumbs-forward" grip. With revolvers I use the "thumb-over-thumb" grip. Of course, this is when shooting two-handed. When shooting one-handed I lock my thumb down and cant the gun to the inside a bit.

I grip the gun as hard as I can, then back off until the shaking stops. I grip with my shooting hand with front-to-back pressure. I like to visualize my fingers and the heel of my palm as the jaws of a vise or C-clamp pressing on the frontstrap and backstrap, respectively. I do the same with my support hand, but apply the pressure side-to-side. I apply equal pressure with both hands when shooting two-handed.

I don't like the term "stance" since it suggests maintaining a static position, which may not be the best choice in a defensive encounter. But I do use an Isoceles/fighting "stance," where my upper body and arms form an Isoceles triangle, elbows slightly bent, pointing at the target, while my left foot is forward, my right foot is back, and I lean slightly forward from the waist (think the way your upper body leans slightly forward when you step up onto stairs). This position is ideal, but it's a good idea to practice from different positions when possible, even better if it can be done while moving.

Lots of options/answers when it comes to recoil management. Some may be better than others for some people/situations. Try different methods, experiment, and figure out which options work for you, ideally with the help of a qualified instructor (or instructors).
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:35 PM
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I carry .357 in my SP-101, and generally only shoot .357 from it in practice. The recoil has never been a problem for me, and that combination of gun and ammo works best for me. My 340 M&P is loaded with .38+P because, having shot .38 and .357 in it, I find I perform better with .38+P in that gun. My K frame .357s are loaded with .38+P because it's better for the gun.

In general I have never had an issue with recoil. The only time I found recoil to be genuinely unpleasant was firing hot Buffalo Bore .45 Colt from my Alaskan. I managed a good group, but five rounds was enough for a lifetime.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal44 View Post
The R8 is a big gun with a full sized grip. Weighs about 36 oz. And a 5" barrel.

The revolver CCW guys probably are talking about carrying 357 or 38+P in small, J frame snubs.

The guns have 2" barrels. They weigh anywhere from 11 to 21 oz.

That's a big differences.

Much easier to shoot 357 in a bigger gun. Likely 357 Mag in an R8 recoils less than 38+P in a J frame snub.
Cal44,

Point taken. I was remiss in mentioning that they were indeed, speaking of smaller revolvers. One mentioned was a Taurus 605 .38 spcl. The other revolver mentioned was a S&W 360 Airweight, Scandium frame, w/.357 loads.

"Scott", the smaller of the two on the show [maybe 5'-7" 150 pounds] said, "...you really gotta hold on to that sucker [S&W 360]. I mean..." It was apparent, after watching the show again, that Scott was much more comfortable shooting .38 than the .357 loads.

I'm 6'-1" 195 pounds by comparison.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
Haven't seen the show you're talking about, but I'll offer my opinion based on what you've reported.

Likely, they were talking about carry guns, meaning guns lightweight and compact enough to conceal easily. Which also means guns that are likely smaller and lighter than your R8. The lighter, smaller the gun gets, the more recoil it's going to generate, given the same ammo.

Other factors...carry guns will likely have shorter barrels. This means one will likely get more muzzle flash and/or blast shooting magnums than specials. That can make quick follow-up shots more difficult, which can be important in self defense shootings.

Some people will say you won't feel the recoil in a real defensive shooting incident. However, given the same gun, magnums will generate more recoil than specials. It's physics. Therefore, magnums will generally be slower on follow-up shots than specials.

Add to that real-world evidence that pretty much all service handgun calibers perform about the same in actual shootings and any power advantage the .357 Magnum has over .38 Special diminishes.

I should mention I'm talking about full-power .357 Magnum loads, as there are mid-range loads that are very good options, but they get closer to .38 Special ballistics so the power advantage gets even smaller.

Beyond that, it's personal choice. Some people just prefer to go ahead and load full-power .357 Magnum ammo in their lightweight snubs, and that's a perfectly fine option if they can shoot it well. For me, I see no reason to use .357 Magnum ammo in a carry gun until we're getting up into K-frame, and bigger, steel guns, and even then I'd probably still go with .38 Special +Ps. In fact, when I had a 3" 65, it was often kept loaded with .38 Special FBI loads.

As far as recoil management...

I generally grip as high on the frame as I can, exception being the Centennial J-frames, like the 642 I EDC. With those guns, gripping high up affects the angle of my trigger finger and makes shooting a little more difficult.

With semi-autos, I tend to use the "thumbs-forward" grip. With revolvers I use the "thumb-over-thumb" grip. Of course, this is when shooting two-handed. When shooting one-handed I lock my thumb down and cant the gun to the inside a bit.

I grip the gun as hard as I can, then back off until the shaking stops. I grip with my shooting hand with front-to-back pressure. I like to visualize my fingers and the heel of my palm as the jaws of a vise or C-clamp pressing on the frontstrap and backstrap, respectively. I do the same with my support hand, but apply the pressure side-to-side. I apply equal pressure with both hands when shooting two-handed.

I don't like the term "stance" since it suggests maintaining a static position, which may not be the best choice in a defensive encounter. But I do use an Isoceles/fighting "stance," where my upper body and arms form an Isoceles triangle, elbows slightly bent, pointing at the target, while my left foot is forward, my right foot is back, and I lean slightly forward from the waist (think the way your upper body leans slightly forward when you step up onto stairs). This position is ideal, but it's a good idea to practice from different positions when possible, even better if it can be done while moving.

Lots of options/answers when it comes to recoil management. Some may be better than others for some people/situations. Try different methods, experiment, and figure out which options work for you, ideally with the help of a qualified instructor (or instructors).
Continental10p,

I'm enclosing the link for the show; regrettably, I do not see the availability of watching the episode, on the website. It is, however, to be shown once again on July 31st @ 2:30 P.M., as you can see on the website face page.

Handguns and Defensive Weapons | Sportsman Channel

Last edited by Lon C.; 07-24-2018 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon C. View Post

First question: do you favor their conclusion; that is, preferring .38 over .357?

Second question, how do you manage recoil with your favorite firearm, revolver or semi-auto?

Lon C.
To answer Q1: Shoot whatever you are comfortable and proficient with. If .357s in a snub don't make you run away crying, more power to you. Personally, they don't bother me a bit. Their conclusions are only a personal preference and a matter of comfort for them.

Q2: Comfortable stocks that fit well, and a proper grip, make recoil manageable, and even enjoyable, with almost any handgun, at least for me, and I am not a big guy, at 5' 8" and 160 lbs. However, I will admit that I have no desire to shoot anything stiffer than .44 mag in a handgun, as I really have no need to.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:31 AM
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Recoil management is learned. If you never learn, then yes less recoil is better for faster follow up shots. Shoot a 357mag enough to learn it, you'll find split times only slightly slower. Nothing wrong with a 158gr lswchp +p load in a snub or 4" revo though. Same for semi rds too btw, 9mm vs 40 or 45.
BTW, living in Kalif doesn't mean you can't ccw, just depends on what county you live in.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:03 AM
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.357 in a steel gun recoil is manageable (145 gr. Silvertips).

In an Airweight? I'll pass.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:54 AM
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Recoil aside, If you are talking about a defensive hand gun, realize the possibility of having to shoot at night. Night vision most likely will be lost due to the muzzle and cylinder gap flash from a .357 Mag. See the attached pictures.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon C. View Post
Hello Everyone,

I take my R8 to the range and have very little problem managing recoil with 158 gr .357 JHP. Believe me, it's the firearm---not my expertise! I'm a resident of Ca., so I do not carry.

Obviously, I'm not under any duress or in a adrenaline-pumping/defensive position at the range, but they weren't either; just three guys in a discussion at the range.

So, may I ask you folks who have a tremendous experience advantage over me?

First question: do you favor their conclusion; that is, preferring .38 over .357?

Second question, how do you manage recoil with your favorite firearm, revolver or semi-auto?

Many thanks for taking the time to respond!

Lon C.
Your R8 is an N-frame and will easily absorb much of the .357 Magnum recoil. My TRR8 handles them easily. My 20 ounce j-frame? Not so much. Iíve shot .357 Magnum through it, but didnít like it. I only shoot .38 +p through it now. Thatís probably the type of carry gun they were talking about, definitely NOT an N-frame.

Concerning recoil management, I just accept it and have learned what the gun does when I fire it. It donít try to fight it or anticipate ó that leads to flinching and poor accuracy.

Keep shooting your R8 the way you have and donít worry about it!
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:57 AM
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An interesting aside; recently Bill Wilson and Ken Hackathorn did a Wilson Combat video (Gun Guys Episode 8) about why they have transitioned from .45s to 9mm autos.

Both guys are I'd guess now in their 60s and both talk about the impact of age, arthritis and years of shooting tens of thousands of rounds of full power .45 has had on their hands.

FWIW I've been in the +P.38 and 9mm for carry loads for at least the last 29 years....... I prefer/train to deliver a fast double/triple tap. That said I do carry .357s when wondering around in Penn's Woods.

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Old 07-25-2018, 09:18 AM
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When I was a young whelp who (1) knew next to nothing and (2) had read a lot so he THOUGHT he knew a lot. The Department had a strict "NO! .357" policy.

Older, wiser Officers took me under thier wing and TAUGHT ME HOW TO SHOOT (by which I mean consistently hit the target). The reality of physics is that hitting the exact same spot with a .38 LHBWC or a .38+P LSWCHC or a .357 LSJ which exited a 1 7/8" barrel. The difference in tissue damage is going to be both incremental and minimal. It is much better for your team to have a third accurate hit with .38 than to have that minimal increase in damage.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
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Recoil aside, If you are talking about a defensive hand gun, realize the possibility of having to shoot at night. Night vision most likely will be lost due to the muzzle and cylinder gap flash from a .357 Mag. See the attached pictures.
Wow!!!!

Great photos!

I'll stick to .38 and .38 +p in my SD guns, thank you very much.....

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Old 07-25-2018, 09:35 AM
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The only revolvers I have any use for are lightweight snubs and .38 special makes much more sense to me based on recoil management for follow-up shots, noise and blast, risk of crimp jump and compared ballistics. I would still opt for .38 special even in larger revolvers.

There's a good chance you'll be shooting one-handed in an actual defense scenario. We see this occurring on the numerous video footage we have of real-life shootings. Most civilian violent encounters occur at extremely close-quarters distances and you may want or need to have that free hand up for defense, but also to move. It's usually not a good idea to stand still while someone is trying to harm you no matter what form of attack they are using and it is simply relatively difficult to move dynamically with any kind of efficiency with two hands on the gun.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:42 AM
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Tomkins makes a great point.................

While in Competition shooting and even when qualifying (there was still a competition among the troops for the highest score and X count/ even though anything inside the 8 ring was 'good") we strive for small/tight groups....... in ''reality" 3 shots spread over a grapefruit size (center of mass) area will have a greater effect.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:36 AM
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I do not own a .357, but I carry a LCR .38 sometimes. Two things I don't like in a carry gun: excessive recoil and blast. The .357 has both. I used to carry .40, but realized that I can hit what I shoot more accurately and faster with 9mm. So, shooting .357 out of a buddy's Ruger Redhawk. No big deal. Shooting it out a snub nose, I'll pass. I'd rather sacrifice power for accuracy. Also, I don't know if you've ever shot a gun indoors without hearing protection on, but it is not fun.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
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The only revolvers I have any use for are lightweight snubs and .38 special makes much more sense to me based on recoil management for follow-up shots, noise and blast, risk of crimp jump and compared ballistics. I would still opt for .38 special even in larger revolvers.

There's a good chance you'll be shooting one-handed in an actual defense scenario. We see this occurring on the numerous video footage we have of real-life shootings. Most civilian violent encounters occur at extremely close-quarters distances and you may want or need to have that free hand up for defense, but also to move. It's usually not a good idea to stand still while someone is trying to harm you no matter what form of attack they are using and it is simply relatively difficult to move dynamically with any kind of efficiency with two hands on the gun.
In real life, not forum bluster, the S&W model 36 is still a staple for self defense carry. In a real gun fight, it will only last seconds. There will be on average 3 shots fired. You will never get a chance to use your over priced night sights and you will damn lucky to even get your gun out of the holster first and hit the target. The last one I was in, I was lucky to hit the assailant in the top of his foot. He gave up the fight immediately.

Just look at the recent self defense shooting in Florida that is causing media melt down over the "STAND YOUR GROUND LAW". That was one shot of .380 at 8 feet into the torso with a Kel Tec P3AT. The assailant ,well over 200 lbs, walks away immediately but dies minutes later.

The most important thing in a gun fight is to have a gun...period. Caliber is a none issue! Been there, done that and even took home the T-Shirt more than once!
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:53 PM
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.357 in a steel gun recoil is manageable (145 gr. Silvertips).

In an Airweight? I'll pass.
I love the 145gr STHP but it is not a full power 357mag load.
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:58 PM
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Just look at the recent self defense shooting in Florida that is causing media melt down over the "STAND YOUR GROUND LAW". That was one shot of .380 at 8 feet into the torso with a Kel Tec P3AT. The assailant ,well over 200 lbs, walks away immediately but dies minutes later.

The most important thing in a gun fight is to have a gun...period. Caliber is a none issue! Been there, done that and even took home the T-Shirt more than once!
So good thing the victim didn't have his own weapon or press the attack, because the com hit did not stop him, just discourage him. Yes to a point caliber doesn't matter but more powerful rounds with the same accuracy do often have a greater affect on their targets. One reason I do not carry a 380.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:07 PM
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First question: do you favor their conclusion; that is, preferring .38 over .357?

Second question, how do you manage recoil with your favorite firearm, revolver or semi-auto?
You got some good answers above.

With respect to small, easy to conceal, lightweight revolvers, .357 Magnum loads are a problem, I don't care who you are. .38 Special loads can even be a problem in very lightweight guns. Huge amounts of recoil, inability to get a quick second shot off, etc.

Since I carry .38 Special caliber revolvers far more often than I carry 9mm pistols I solve the recoil problem by carrying all steel guns. Even an all steel M649 is easy to shoot and get follow up shots from. That's why I gave up my M642 for my 649.

My other option is a snubby K frame. There is minimal recoil once you are shooting a heavier, all steel K frame in .38 Special. Plus you have six rounds to get the job done.

As for preferring .38 Special over .357 Magnum, even while carrying a snubby Model 19 I would never load it with full house magnum loads. I save those for L frames in the field. My home defense L frames don't even get .357 Magnum loads. I can get the job done with quality .38 Special rounds and I don't have to worry to excess about over penetration. If I have to fire a gun indoors for self defense I don't want the bullets making it to my neighbor's house. Outdoors as well, but now the entire outside world is subject to over penetration. Let the bullets stop in your assailant. Jus' sayin'....
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Old 07-25-2018, 04:47 PM
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As you can see from some of the above replies, the answer varies considerably with the weight of the gun, the fit of the gun to the individual, and the skill, experience and reactions of the individual. Many .357 rounds are a LOT better than most .38 Special rounds, but they are usually VERY LOUD, and often accompanied by a lot of muzzle flash, which might matter after sunset.

If you like shooting your .357, it is a GREAT defensive weapon. Pity the ******* that are scared off by the thought of using one.
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Old 07-25-2018, 04:56 PM
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I've never enjoyed shooting anything more than my old 1962 Ruger Blackhawk 3-screw .357 with the 7 1/2" barrel. I put oversized rubber grips on it and it had perfect balance and the recoil was very manageable with any ammo. I had a friend that was learning to reload and he made some really nasty rounds.


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Old 07-25-2018, 06:38 PM
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Interesting comments, 3 minute gunfights and ..380's are ok because they will eventually blead out.
You know, I've got two fists, and if all I'm dealing with is a mouthy 160lb twerp, I'm not going to be pulling no weapons. And if it's an event I can escape from, that's is what I am going to do first.
It's the coked out 350 lb. Gorilla, the active shooter with body armor, the terrorist with a death wish that I am preparing for.
I want to put that kind of threat down fast, with one shot, and dont want them talking to no lawyer afterward. All this talk about light guns and managing recoil, well that is why you train, isn't it? Luckily my two gunfights ( actual shooting) had me holding a shotgun the first time and a ar15 the 2nd time. I just about bit the dust the first time because I had never used a double barrel with internal hammers, but was only 18 at the time as well. But both lasted more than 3 minutes, that's for sure.
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:43 PM
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A lot of folks seem to be hitting the nail on the head here. I have shot a whole lot of 158gr .357 magnum and learned that the best technique for rapid follow up shots if high hand hold, lock the wrist and elbow and let the energy be absorbed at the shoulder. Keeps the line steady during recoil and bounces the front sight right back down on target. I have a decent amount of experience with a variety of magnums including the 640, TRR8, 66, 686, Python, King Cobra, LCR and that method works with all. It is not universal for all calibers, .44 and for some reason .40 cal are not my friend. I always load .357 for carry
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:02 PM
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And do a lot of practice where you pick a spot, close your eyes and aim the gun at that spot , then open your eyes to see point of aim.
I feel that learning the point of aim helps get you back on target faster, than trying to muscle it to stay on target. For me at least. I can muscle a .357 j frame up till the 4th shot, by the 5th I've lost my grip. Now I shoot with more relaxed arms, but a very controlled bounce. Like swinging a hammer from the very end of the grip.Dunno, hard to explain.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:57 PM
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Wow!!!!

Great photos!

I'll stick to .38 and .38 +p in my SD guns, thank you very much.....

They are not mine. You can thank the internet, that's where I found them.
Before I copied them, I looked for a name associated with them to ask permission to copy,
found none so here they are.

Easier to beg for forgiveness. . .
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:32 PM
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I don't think hand and wrist strength and recoil control have much to do with physical stature. I've watched a petite woman--okay, she was solidly built for 5'1", but no heavyweight--doing fast, accurate second shots with an L-frame .357 Magnum. I got the impression she could manage the magnum stuff n a J-frame as well.

Old age and advanced arthritis now limit me to .38 Special +P in a steel gun; but before Father Time and Arthur ganged up on me, I felt no need to carry .357 in a J-frame, my preferred carry gun. With the exception of the ability to set an attacker's clothing on fire in a really close encounter, I just didn't see that much advantage of the magnum over what I've carried for twenty years. I sold my last .357 years ago.

Color me stubborn, I guess.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:47 PM
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Recoil control on a nice, sunny range day is one thing. It could be quite another in a self defense scenario while suffering a broken wrist or collar bone after being blindsided and knocked to the ground. Yes, there are plenty of people who can shoot .357 out of a small revolver like a boss, but no matter how well they shoot it, you can bet they shoot .38 better. For myself, I want to carry something that I can shoot confidently on my worst day ever because if I ever have to shoot in self defense, it likely will be.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:21 PM
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Recoil is manageable. You have to practice and practice often with your choice of carry. You have to have the right mental aspect of how you approach it. If you go in there afraid of the recoil, you're going to flinch, and flinch badly. You have to be confident in the gun you have. Get a good firm grip, focus on push pull technique. Slow trigger squeeze, and you'll be fine. Don't let the bark discourage you from the caliber. I've seen all sorts of shooters from small petite women to large 300lb gorillas. It's not the pistol or the caliber, it's you, the shooter.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:01 AM
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So good thing the victim didn't have his own weapon or press the attack, because the com hit did not stop him, just discourage him. Yes to a point caliber doesn't matter but more powerful rounds with the same accuracy do often have a greater affect on their targets. One reason I do not carry a 380.
Would you be willing to stand in front of a .380???? Why hell no you won't and neither would I.

I had a nut shoot at me with a 1911 and a 230 grain ball round. The round hit me in the duty belt and was stopped by my pants belt underneath. (2) 158 grain .38 special rounds in return put his lamps out for good. When I was hit, it didn't knock me down or even backwards any. It felt like being hit with a pitched baseball while at bat that's all.

These myths about knock down power and just that myths. We all know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction by the law of physics. Knowing that, any gun that could shoot a knock down round would knock the shooter down when he shot it. I was bruised but still here.

Our military are issued high powered rifles for a reason. A .22 caliber bullet moving at 3,000 FPS does a lot of damage on the inside bouncing around. Just ask Congressmen Steve Scalies who took a NATO 5.56 (.22 caliber) to the hip a while back.

Handguns are very poor man stoppers, regardless of caliber. Shutting down the central nervous system by a head shot will stop just about anything that moves on GOD"S green earth and again caliber is irrelevant.

Carry what you feel comfortable with and be safe out there. It is a nasty dirty world and that I can tell you from years of experience and not pithy gun forum rhetoric and bovine excrement.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:50 AM
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So good thing the victim didn't have his own weapon or press the attack, because the com hit did not stop him, just discourage him. Yes to a point caliber doesn't matter but more powerful rounds with the same accuracy do often have a greater affect on their targets. One reason I do not carry a 380.
Contrary to popular belief, that's how most self-defense shootings go. Most thugs are just looking for an easy target, someone who will give in to their demands without putting up a fight, and for good reason, money is no good to a dead man, much less a man who has to spend it all on a trip to the Emergency Room.
The desperate junkies you hear about in headlines who continue attacking after being shot unless thoroughly physically disabled make headlines because such occurrences are extraordinary.

For the average rational human being, the mere sight of a firearm is enough to get them to cease all aggression and flee, the rest will typically surrender after being shot because the sight of their own blood coupled with the searing pain of a hot chunk of lead lodged somewhere inside of their body is enough to make them recognize their own mortality and question whether it is worth it to continue fighting or flee to seek medical attention before they blood out/die.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that in most cases it takes 2 shots on average to down an attacker, regardless of what cartridge the firearm is loaded with.

Not that I'm trying to convince you that you ought to carry a .380 or anything, merely that this story would have most likely ended exactly the same way had the man been hit in the exact same spot with a 9mm Luger or .357 Magnum.
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:59 AM
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Just too many assumptions about the attacker being made. You can show up with a tool that you hope will do the job, or show up with one you know will do the job.
And there is a bigger difference in ballistics between .38 and .357 than most are trying to imply.
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Old 07-26-2018, 11:37 AM
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Just too many assumptions about the attacker being made. You can show up with a tool that you hope will do the job, or show up with one you know will do the job.
And there is a bigger difference in ballistics between .38 and .357 than most are trying to imply.
Oh! Horse-feathers! First, the ballistics of modern .380 ammo is better than the 38 special. Second .380 is a 9 mm round and very lethal at that 9x17. 90 grains of lead traveling at 1,000 FPS is very lethal. Would you stand in the path of one????

Third, the chance of a average citizen getting in a gun fight and lugging around a 1911 all day for that occasion is absurd. The .22 caliber has filled more graves that any other caliber, do some research please.

I have been shot with a 1911 and the round was stopped by my duty belt and my pants belt. I wasn't knocked down or even moved. It felt like getting hit with a pitched baseball in college.

These are facts not speculations!
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Old 07-26-2018, 12:16 PM
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So good thing the victim didn't have his own weapon or press the attack, because the com hit did not stop him, just discourage him.
That's really the only thing I'm trying do with any self defense method I choose to deploy. Make that nice attacker decide he/she has something else they'd rather be doing at the moment . . .
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Old 07-26-2018, 12:29 PM
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Oh! Horse-feathers! First, the ballistics of modern .380 ammo is better than the 38 special.
Faster does not equal better.

.38 Special is a better round balistically.

A good quality HIT with a .380 (.22 or .32acp) trumps a near miss with a .38 Special (.40 .44 .45).
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:22 PM
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"Would you stand in front of one" always has the same answer for me? No. And that applies to .380, .32, .22, .188 and even BBs. "No!". I don't know what point that assertion seems to make other than it is sufficient for personal protection. Heck, if I can avoid it, I won't voluntarily or intentionally stand in front of a thrown rock. And I'm a guy who will regularly pocket carry a .380 as the situation, in my opinion, dictates. The point always made by that question is absurd. To follow it through it's logical extreme then, a rock is sufficient to be carried for personal defense.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:10 PM
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Well Mr Horsefeathers, first of all, we are not talking about .380 , .45, or any other semi auto caliber.
We are talking about. .38, .38p, and .357 magnum. Specifically, what to carry in a revolver chambered for both.
With that cleared up, yes .38 is less than .380 or 9mm, it is a wimpy round, and I am recommending that if you have a gun that can chamber both .38, and .357, to step up to a moderate .357 for defensive carry.
I will assume that now that we both agree that .38 sucks, that cowboy loads bounce off of belt buckles, and anything under 1100 fps should be only for plinking, that you are now done getting your feathers riled up and ready to apologize to me?
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:42 PM
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It's the coked out 350 lb. Gorilla, the active shooter with body armor, the terrorist with a death wish that I am preparing for.
Basically things where the probability of them actually happening is on par with being struck by lightning.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:45 PM
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So why carry at all if that is how you think? DS
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:56 PM
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So why carry at all if that is how you think? DS
For defense scenarios that have a realistic and reasonable chance of actually occuring. I use the same logic when allocating training time and have no interest in wasting time, money and energy on what amounts to fantasy.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:07 PM
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Fantasy, by gorilla I mean a big muscular dude.
You really didn't think or want to argue about a actual gorilla, come on now buddy, you have had to hear that term before.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:18 PM
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Fantasy, by gorilla I mean a big muscular dude.
You really didn't think or want to argue about a actual gorilla, come on now buddy, you have had to hear that term before.
Yeah, I picked up on that. I just don't see a lot of meth heads that look like Brock Lesnar. Possible, but not at all probable. They are almost always feeble, sickly people. Regardless, I'm good with a .38 special +p in either case.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:33 PM
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Would you be willing to stand in front of a .380???? Why hell no you won't and neither would I.

I had a nut shoot at me with a 1911 and a 230 grain ball round. The round hit me in the duty belt and was stopped by my pants belt underneath. (2) 158 grain .38 special rounds in return put his lamps out for good. When I was hit, it didn't knock me down or even backwards any. It felt like being hit with a pitched baseball while at bat that's all.

These myths about knock down power and just that myths. We all know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction by the law of physics. Knowing that, any gun that could shoot a knock down round would knock the shooter down when he shot it. I was bruised but still here.

Our military are issued high powered rifles for a reason. A .22 caliber bullet moving at 3,000 FPS does a lot of damage on the inside bouncing around. Just ask Congressmen Steve Scalies who took a NATO 5.56 (.22 caliber) to the hip a while back.

Handguns are very poor man stoppers, regardless of caliber. Shutting down the central nervous system by a head shot will stop just about anything that moves on GOD"S green earth and again caliber is irrelevant.

Carry what you feel comfortable with and be safe out there. It is a nasty dirty world and that I can tell you from years of experience and not pithy gun forum rhetoric and bovine excrement.
That line is getting realy phrikin old. I dont want to stand in front of a guy with a pointy stick. Please, as a retired leo, I would expect better.
Agree, handguns are poor stoppers with com hits, but they are not all the same, not by a quite a bit. If you think a 380 fmj is the same as a 125gr jhp from a 357mag or 230gr jhp in a 45, well ya just havent shot enough living things with any of them. Yes eberything fails, but rds like the old 158gr lrn failed a lot more.
Btw, I believe the congressman was shot with a 7.62x39 SKS.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:57 PM
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Great, I'm glad you understood that. Had me worried they way you cut and quoted just that one sentance from my post.
And Im happy your confident in your choice of caliber.
Let me know if I can clear anything else up for you.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
That line is getting realy phrikin old. I dont want to stand in front of a guy with a pointy stick. Please, as a retired leo, I would expect better.
Agree, handguns are poor stoppers with com hits, but they are not all the same, not by a quite a bit. If you think a 380 fmj is the same as a 125gr jhp from a 357mag or 230gr jhp in a 45, well ya just havent shot enough living things with any of them. Yes eberything fails, but rds like the old 158gr lrn failed a lot more.
Btw, I believe the congressman was shot with a 7.62x39 SKS.
No it was a 5.56 NATO out of an AR15 build up! What is "EBERYTHING".....?????? What are a "COM HITS".....???? Now pray tell how many "LIVING THINGS" have you shot to become so knowledgeable.....?????? Can you tell me how many times the "OLD 158 GRAIN LEAD ROUND NOSED BULLETS FAILED .....???? Since you are so knowledgeable on them, let see some data and proof of your allegations.

Did you know we were limited to .38 special 158 LRN by the Geneva Convention and that is all we were permitted to carry in our duty weapons.......?????? Have you ever heard of "SUPERVELS"......didn't think so.

There is an old saying that people that say it can't be done should never impede or interrupt the ones that are doing it!

You seem to be looking for an argument!! You won't get one from me however, I will show you facts so that you may learn!
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