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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 05-25-2020, 04:01 PM
dey59 dey59 is offline
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Default 357 magnum snub nose

i'm looking to get a sw 357 snub nose revolver i narrowed it down to the m66 and m60 i like the m66 for the adjustable sights but prefer the 60 for the 2.1 in. barrel and smaller frame for a ccw. does anyone have experience with the m60 or am i missing a better option. any advice is appreciated.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:37 PM
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The 66 will be much more enjoyable shooting than a 357 model 60. What do you plan to do with it? Shoot a lot? Then a model 66. Carry a lot and not shoot as much? Then model 60.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:38 PM
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In my not so humble opinion, there is a better option: Kimber K6S, preferably with a 3" barrel.

Sights on the Kimber are better than the 60, snag free as opposed to the 66.

Kimber is sized between the 60 and the 66, small but still manageable with .357 ammo.

Kimber is 6 shot, 60 is only 5. 66 is also 6 shots, but quite a bit larger.

You asked.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:43 PM
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I'm pretty fond of my 60-14 3" heavy barrel, it has adjustable sights & is very accurate.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:28 PM
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60-15 Pro Series, 3" barrel, adjustable sights. But like toroflow1 said, I don't shoot it often with magnums.



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Old 05-25-2020, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet Bob View Post
60-15 Pro Series, 3" barrel, adjustable sights. But like toroflow1 said, I don't shoot it often with magnums.







This would be my choice, just because I think the tapered underlug is really cool.

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Old 05-25-2020, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sistema1927 View Post
In my not so humble opinion, there is a better option: Kimber K6S, preferably with a 3" barrel.

Sights on the Kimber are better than the 60, snag free as opposed to the 66.

Kimber is sized between the 60 and the 66, small but still manageable with .357 ammo.

Kimber is 6 shot, 60 is only 5. 66 is also 6 shots, but quite a bit larger.

You asked.
The Kimbers are good revolvers. I liked my first one so much I bought a second one.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:40 PM
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Not sure I would want to touch off a full house 357 in a 2" M60. Just my .02
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:40 PM
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Own about every Smith already mentioned.
As posted, the 66 and other K Frames are more comfortable to shoot with 357 ammo.
The Js are a pleasure to carry but a little brisk to shoot with 357 ammo.
I usually carry 38+P in mine.
Larger grips are an advantage if you do decide to shoot a lot of 357 in your Js.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toroflow1 View Post
The 66 will be much more enjoyable shooting than a 357 model 60. What do you plan to do with it? Shoot a lot? Then a model 66. Carry a lot and not shoot as much? Then model 60.
There's your answer.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:46 PM
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I would suggest that you rent or borrow both revolvers before committing to buying one. The muzzle blast and flash is horrendous on both with magnum rounds. IMO.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:47 PM
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When I started in law enforcement in 1979 I was issued a Model 66-1, 2.5 inch. We carried 357 Magnum Ammo and I can tell you that it was brutal to shoot. People had major difficulty qualifying due to the recoil. About the time we switched to four inch 66-2 we also switched to .38+P ammo. The recoil was tolerable and qualification scores improved. Also we had major issues with muzzle flash with the magnum rounds. (This was before they changed powder to control for that). While we had only one shooting incident with the revolvers (and that was with the 38 ammo) none of us felt under gunned with the 38 ammo.

We carried revolvers until about 1987 when we changed to 9MM semi auto Berettas. I have carried a revolver as a backup/undercover/off duty gun pretty much since 1987 and never carried a 357 magnum round in anyone of them.

Your mileage may vary, but my opinion is that you don't gain enough positives with the magnum round to outweigh the negatives when compared to a "stout" 38 +p+.
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:06 PM
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Heavier weight (158 gr) loads are more manageable than 125 gr in my experience. "Only" 250 fps difference but way more pleasant. Joe
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:11 PM
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I put on my 66-2 3" today just for the heck of it. I have several .357 revolvers and other calibers as well but only ever carry my M&P 340 with SB Gold Dot 38's in it. For several years now it has been one of the 9mm plastic thingey's or a CZ P-01 Omega, mostly a Shield. I love my revolvers and still carry one in the woods but it is hard to beat a higher capacity bottom feeder of some type.
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:17 PM
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In general, the .357 mag is kind of over rated, especially in a J frame.

Not to inflame the never-ending caliber debate, but 38s work fine if you steer them where they are supposed to go...and ...357 rounds that don't go where they are supposed to, don't work. Period. Full stop.

That said, it is much easier to steer a 38 minus the huge flinch...to say nothing of a rapid follow up shot...which will most certainly be needed...because handguns suck in real life fight stopping situations...of any caliber. It's science.

Kind of why everybody is turning back to 9mm. Technology and experience are both powerful tools.

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Old 05-25-2020, 06:33 PM
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I have no experience with the modern Model 66 (3" bbl?) but the older 2.5" seems to be regarded as more of a safe queen than an EDC. Too heavy IMO and the RB begs for an aftermarket grip. I own the snub 2.125" Model 60. It is a fine revolver, but not a range gun. It is designed for close-up use when things go south. I use 110gr .357 JHP ammo, either W-W or R-P in mine. It is much more controllable than the ultra-light 340s. Mine wears the UM boot grip; the factory boot grip knock-off will serve.No, I don't use .38s in this gun. My .38 revolvers have first dibs on that ammo.

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Old 05-25-2020, 06:40 PM
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I recently purchased the S&W 327 8 shot .357 2 inch revolver and absolutely love it. Even thought its an N frame its easy to carry and a joy to shoot. I've been carrying it for more than a week now in a Speed Beez OWB leather holster. Its quickly becoming my favorite EDC.



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Old 05-25-2020, 07:30 PM
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thank you all for the quick responses this will be a once in awhile carry and a lot of just shooting i reload 158 gr. lswchp at around 1000 fps to 1050 fps this will be the carry load. practice load will be 158 gr. lswc at same velocity. i have been a 1911 and revolver guy all my life so am not unaware of recoil. at present i own m29 6 in. and 3 in. m 28 6 in. and 4 in. m625 5 in. and an eaa 357 2 in. along with various rugers 1911's cz's beretta's and so on. my smiths are all older 1 29 and the 28's are pinned and recessed. while i haves never been recoil shy i do not punish my self or my guns with hot loads and have never seen one of these hot loads that was accurate beyond a few yards. i did not know kimber made a revolver in this class i will check it out. thank you all for the great input.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:43 PM
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I carry a 642 because it can be carried and drawn from the pocket with my hand on the handle. If you put larger handles on it it becomes a holster gun, I'd rather carry the 2-1/2" 19 or 66 if I'm gonna wear a holster----or even a Lightweight Commander..My 19 has a Tyler grip adapter and it is manageable with .357 ammo, you gotta hang on tight but it's doable. You ain't gonna want to shoot it all day with mag loads but OKAY for a couple cylinders full. It's actually pleasant with 38 loads.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:00 PM
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A K-frame snub nose .357 is no the easiest gun to shoot well, but is noticeably more comfortable for the shooter than a J-frame .357. I learned my lesson with a 3" Model 60 some years ago. Punishing to shoot with .357 Magnum ammo, but I'm sure with a lot of practice one could become a skilled shooter.

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Old 05-25-2020, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet Bob View Post
60-15 Pro Series, 3" barrel, adjustable sights. But like toroflow1 said, I don't shoot it often with magnums.



I really like the darker, longer stocks. What are they?
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:47 AM
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While I have no experience with the 60 or 66 but I do carry a 360 Airweight with 125 gr .357 Golden Saber because they are decent rounds recoil wise as they are listed at 1220 fps and I've also been looking at Barnes as they also have a 125 gr HP listed at 1200 fps. My 360 also has a Hogue monogrip on it and that also helps with the recoil. Hotter loads ARE brutal and with this gun I stay away from the Gold Dot as they are listed at 1450 fps and the Hornady 125 gr XTP loads are worse yet at 1500 fps.

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Old 05-26-2020, 01:45 PM
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I have a 2.5" Model 19. It is a bad *** .357. Personally I don't think a .357 reaches full potential in a barrel that short and a hotly loaded .38 special in it may be the better option. With today's bullet and powder advances in technology a .38 special isn't a bad way to go. The Model 19 is all steel and has adjustable sights, plus it is easy to conceal.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:51 PM
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Shooting full house 357 mag out of a 2" barrel is just a bunch of blast, flash and pain (for the shooter) The 357 can not reach it's full potential vs say a 38 +P round, The tiny bit of extra velocity is not gonna matter.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:28 PM
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I have two 3 inch model 65, 1 3 inch 66 and 1 3 inch 13. All three will handle a 357 load. They are also much more balanced that a snubby.


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Old 05-26-2020, 11:48 PM
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the 3 inch ruger sp101 is good option
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:33 AM
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:34 AM
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Also suggest you take a look at the 640 Pro. The sights make it shoot like a larger frame gun.
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:11 AM
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I have a 2.5" 66 and a old school 38 Special model 60.

If you're just looking for a carry revolver, I'd go with a 642.

I bet most people with 357 J frames shoot more 38's than 357's. And as a carry gun, if you ever need it, what's the chances of having time to use the sights?

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Old 05-27-2020, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Shooting full house 357 mag out of a 2" barrel...
The 357 can not reach it's full potential vs say a 38 +P round, the tiny bit of extra velocity is not gonna matter.
Speer #14 lists their max 38 Spcl.(+P) 135gr Short Barrel (2.0") load at 882mv // 234me.

Speer #14 lists their max 357 Mag 135gr Short Barrel (2.5") load at 1258mv // 474me.

I didn't do well in Algebra(I) but I can sure recognize that TWICE the power WILL matter.

You have the option to shoot something in-between.

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Old 05-27-2020, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
Speer #14 lists their max 38 Spcl.(+P) 135gr Short Barrel (2.0") load at 882mv // 234me.

Speer #14 lists their max 357 Mag 135gr Short Barrel (2.5") load at 1258mv // 474me.

I didn't do well in Algebra(I) but I can sure recognize that TWICE the power WILL matter.

You have the option to shoot something in-between.

.
I developed a load for the short barrel mag using a 125 grain Hornady and Longshot powder (sorry bluedot37). Got just over 1100FPS and much more pleasant than the same bullet with H110 at about 1200 FPS. Much easier to get back on target also. Less muzzle blast and flash to boot. Thought about trying the 135 speers, but I would have had to order those.

One thing I noticed, a short barrel 357 mag is similar in power to a full sized 9mm. You just can't get that in a short barrel 9mm either. And a full size 9mm can't touch a 4" 357 mag in power either. Barrel length does matter.

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Old 05-27-2020, 08:52 AM
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I replaced the revolvers I sold when we changed to semi autos. I bought a model 60 snub nose, and a model 66 snub nose. I do not like adjustable sights on what may be a combat gun, so I changed the rear sight to a fixed one. I like both revolvers but still carry a CS 45.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:59 AM
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You should also consider a Ruger SP101 .357. Its a hefty little snub, and the brilliant cushion grips made quick double taps at close range with full effort .357 loads quite easy for me. But in all honesty, the blast and ear splitting report of any snub nosed .357 makes me only too willing to employ a .38 special.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:16 AM
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I have both, actually several k-frame model and model 60 j-frame guns. I carry a Model 60 rated for 357 mag. To me the recoil is not pleasant but not bad once trained to it. The Model 66 was just too big and too heavy. The Kimber is a nice well made revolver but weighs about the same as my boat anchor, very heavy, which is good for recoil but not for carrying all day.

Try both as rentals at a range and then you will be able to make a better decision.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:17 AM
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I have both, actually several k-frame Model and Model 60 j-frame guns. I have carried a Model 60 rated for 357 mag for many years. To me the recoil is not pleasant but not bad once trained to it. The Model 66 was just too big and too heavy. The Kimber is a nice well made revolver but weighs about the same as my boat anchor, very heavy, which is good for recoil but not for carrying all day.

Try both as rentals at a range and then you will be able to make a better decision.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
Speer #14 lists their max 38 Spcl.(+P) 135gr Short Barrel (2.0") load at 882mv // 234me.

Speer #14 lists their max 357 Mag 135gr Short Barrel (2.5") load at 1258mv // 474me.

I didn't do well in Algebra(I) but I can sure recognize that TWICE the power WILL matter.

You have the option to shoot something in-between.

.

Different barrel, different gun, different POWDER
If you think hitting someone with the same bullet at at 882 fps vs 1258 fps will make a difference vs the blast and flash. go for it.A well placed shot trumps and poor one regardless of the numbers, The we can get into 40 sw vs 10MM.


I think it was Physics It's why I carry a 9mm with 135 HP bullets, more rounds and better than a 38 +p (numbers) and almost 357 mag. I do have a 327 Fed Mag revolver that I would shoot over the snub 357 which to be is brutal.



YMMV
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:16 AM
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This 3" SP101 is manageable with .357 loads, easy with +P .38's. Diamond Pro grips make a difference as well. The Simply Rugged Dollar Pancake holster carries high and tight. Primed with .357, it is my woods walk companion, has replaced a 4" 66.
The Sig P365, however, remains my go to for overall SD carry. Not sure how that pistol can be improved on.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:43 AM
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Yes, as time goes by, we are beginning to realize that muzzle energy and kinetic energy have very little bearing on how well they work in a real world environment.

Basically, there is not such thing as "knock down power". It's basic physics is all...

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Old 05-27-2020, 11:59 AM
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My favorite .357s are my 3" Model 13 and my 3" Model 60-10.

If I'm carrying an actual snub, .38 +p is preferable. There just isn't an advantage to carrying .357 in a snub unless you're shooting heavy heavy bullets.
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:12 PM
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Here’s another one to consider. The 640 Pro Series.
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:33 PM
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"...once in awhile carry and a lot of just shooting"

In that case, I would go with the K frame 66. I've owned a few J frames, including a couple of 4" barreled .22's, and I just don't enjoy shooting them very much. Too small for large hands, and the coil mainspring is just not as enjoyable as the larger frames, for me.

Mzuri, those are Herrett Detective stocks.

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Old 05-27-2020, 04:15 PM
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640 Pro Series would be my choice also...
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Old 05-27-2020, 04:51 PM
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I've conceal carried the:
3" Model 13;
2.125" Model 60;
3" Model 60;
2 1/2" Model 66;
2 1/2" Model 686+; and
3" Model 686+.

And I carried them in this order.

I found moving from a 3" Model 13 to a smaller and theoretically more concealable 2.125" Model 60 didn't accomplish anything. Yes, it's a bit smaller and lighter, but it loses a lot of ballistic efficiency in the short barrel, it's limited to 5 rounds and worse, full power loads that drop free from a K or L frame cylinder tend to stick in a J-Magnum frame cylinder, making reloading slower and less reliable. The J frame is also harder to shoot well due to recoil with full power loads. I don't care how good you are with a Model 60, you'll shoot a 2 1/2" to 3" K frame snub .357 better.

In terms of concealability I have no issues concealing a 3" 686+ in an IWB holster. Weight wise, with a good holster and properly made belt it'll be comfortable to carry all day long.

There just isn't any upside to carrying a Model 60 for most shooters - if you really plan on maybe having to use it someday.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
Different barrel, different gun, different POWDER
Both S&W K-frame snubnose revolvers.

The type of powder is immaterial. It was whichever one gave the highest velocity.

A 1/2" difference in bbl. length is immaterial.

38 Spcl.(+P) -vs- 357 Mag, that's what you were comparing & said wouldn't matter. It does.

Your statement, "the tiny bit of extra velocity is not gonna matter", was incorrect & I tried to show you. It's not a tiny bit.

If it didn't we'd all be using a 22LR for SD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
If you think hitting someone with the same bullet at at 882 fps vs 1258 fps will make a difference...
Of course it does.

No one is criticizing what you use. Everybody can, & does, use what they want.

.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharmer View Post
Heavier weight (158 gr) loads are more manageable than 125 gr in my experience...
.357 mag 158 grain lead semi-wadcutters in a police turn in 640-1 are the answer for me.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
Both S&W K-frame snubnose revolvers.

The type of powder is immaterial. It was whichever one gave the highest velocity.

A 1/2" difference in bbl. length is immaterial.

38 Spcl.(+P) -vs- 357 Mag, that's what you were comparing & said wouldn't matter. It does.

Your statement, "the tiny bit of extra velocity is not gonna matter", was incorrect & I tried to show you. It's not a tiny bit.

If it didn't we'd all be using a 22LR for SD.




Of course it does.

No one is criticizing what you use. Everybody can, & does, use what they want.

.



How does it matter? If you shoot a person with a 38+P do you think the 357 is gonna kill the person better?


You compared two different loads, which does make a difference. If you want to show some marginal difference then you need to compare data using the same powder same length barrel
Numbers by themselves mean nothing. If you want to compare then at least you FBI protocol gel test, shoot a milk jug or wet newspaper.
Besides reloads are not wise to use for SD, so the OP is limited to factory ammo. Compare all those.
A hole is a hole, watch the video by Federal that proves it, hitting a critical area is all that matters.

But there you have a ballistic debate.


Federal video
Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb



YouTube
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
How does it matter? If you shoot a person with a 38+P do you think the 357 is gonna kill the person better?


You compared two different loads, which does make a difference. If you want to show some marginal difference then you need to compare data using the same powder same length barrel
Numbers by themselves mean nothing. If you want to compare then at least you FBI protocol gel test, shoot a milk jug or wet newspaper.
Besides reloads are not wise to use for SD, so the OP is limited to factory ammo. Compare all those.
A hole is a hole, watch the video by Federal that proves it, hitting a critical area is all that matters.

But there you have a ballistic debate.


Federal video
Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb



YouTube
Yes, using reloads for self defense can land you in deeper goo than you may already be in, barring a favorable outcome from the DA. Best to stick with factory ammo for self defense carry.
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