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Old March 21, 2013, 07:26 PM   #26
oldgunsmith
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My SP101 gets .38spec. mostly. The .357 Mag. was invented when they discovered that slow burning powder and a long barrel could produce magnum velocities. In a short barrel, the bullet is out of the barrel before all of the powder is burned, producing a larger ball of fire from too much powder burning outside the barrel instead of magnum velocity. My 4 5/8" Blackhawks do better with magnum ammo, but still not as good as my 8" Contender.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:32 PM   #27
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I shoot .38s in my .357 mag bedroom gun and then load 357s back in when it goes back to the bedroom for home defense. It's all about being comfortable with the gun when you turn to it for defense. The only time the extra power/noise of the .357 won't be detrimental to comfort is when the adrenalin is high from the fight response. Then the extra stopping power and noise will serve their purpose.

Quote:
Oddly enough, I just picked up some .357 CCI Blazers at a local shop for $4 less a box than the same brand and weight of .38 +p ($21 vs. $25 a box). I don't know if that's just a result of the current price fluctuations or what.
Yep. In times of scarcity, the round that fits more guns will get the bigger jump in price and this kind of inversion can occur. The extra powder cost and lower market share of the .357 become insignificant when demand outstrips supply for the cheaper-to-make .38.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:38 PM   #28
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In my .357 (S&W 686) I probably shoot at least 20 .38spls to every .357mag.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:26 PM   #29
Texascoonhunter
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357 Mags

357 Mag. is a weapon intended for the extra power which it contains. If the shooter does not need the extra 357 power then 38's will do the job. A 6 inch barrel is necessary to allow the powder to burn in, in order to creat the gases sufficient to push the bullet to 357 Mag. specs. Shorter barrels are a waste of powder. Handling and shooting your handgun is a necessary process in order for someone to get confortable and confident with it. I hunt wild hogs from time to time with mine and enjoy the power and penetration of the 357 Mag. I have never shot a hog with the 357 Mag that did not expire quickly. There is my 2 cents worth.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:41 PM   #30
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80/20

I run 38spl through my S&W 686+ about 80% of the time. When I'm out practicing I always load one or two cylinders of .357mag, funny thing is I am more accurate with the .357mag. For target practice and in house defense the 38spl is plenty, I don't think I want to experience the blast from the .357 indoors! If I was outdoors for a walk in an area where I might encounter dangerous animals I would go with .357mag for sure.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:46 PM   #31
biohazurd
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I probably shoot around 700-1000 rounds of .38 standard pressure every year or so. As far as .357 goes i would guess 400-500 rounds per year. I carry 125gr JHPs in .357 for defence so i like to keep the power of my reloads about the same as that so i can train for the recoil, blast,ect.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:58 PM   #32
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I'd say that if you're using .357 mag that goes 10fps or less , then you might as ell run .38s
If it doesn't ignite Tenerite, it's to a mag load
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Old March 21, 2013, 10:03 PM   #33
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.357 was originally developed to shoot through steel bodied cars. Next time I want to shoot my car I will buy full house .357 Remington Magnum as this is the correct name.
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Old March 21, 2013, 10:03 PM   #34
Cesure
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Quote:
357 Mag. is a weapon intended for the extra power which it contains. If the shooter does not need the extra 357 power then 38's will do the job. A 6 inch barrel is necessary to allow the powder to burn in, in order to creat the gases sufficient to push the bullet to 357 Mag. specs. Shorter barrels are a waste of powder. Handling and shooting your handgun is a necessary process in order for someone to get confortable and confident with it.
Are you saying that a factory .357 Magnum round fired through a 4" barrel won't be traveling faster and hitting harder than a factory .38 Special of the same bullet through the same barrel? If you're not saying that, how is it a waste of powder to have a harder hitting bullet? I agree that you may not get the maximum possible from the round, but all else being equal, the BG will likely not be thinking, "Geez, if that gun had a 6" barrel, I would be dead already, that 4" barrel was a bad choice. He should have just shot me with a .38 and saved some money."

From the tables I've seen, the .357 Mag beats the delivered energy of a .38 Special even from a 2" barrel and gives you whatever deterrent effect that a louder bang and brighter muzzle flash might offer. In a self-defense situation, shooting a gun you're comfortable with makes it more likely you will hit the target. You won't be wearing hearing protection and you'll feel more recoil than you're used to, but those will most likely go unnoticed. You'll deliver almost twice as much energy into the target and that's what really matters. These charts tell the tale.

38 Special

357 Magnum

That's why I put many more .38s through my bedroom gun than .357s. The gun will last longer and I will be more confident and comfortable in my ability to shoot straight with it. The 2" of barrel length won't matter much inside 15'.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:09 AM   #35
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two revolvers, two loads

My two full size- 4 & 4-5/8" revolvers get magnum loads, but the ammo is taylored to the use.


The SA, 4-5/8 gets a 1000 fps+ midrange 158 LSWC that is a useful jump over .38, but not obnoxious to shoot. It is a GP set up that does not deafen and blind if you take an impromptu crack at a varmint or improvise hearing protection for impromptu plinking. It is my favorite .357.

The large framed DA gets factory 125 JHP as a SD load. It is somewhat obnoxius to shoot and I make a point of both muffs and plugs when shooting same. By coincidence, 148 /.38 WC shoots to same point of aim, but I do very little of that. In fact I shoot the DA not that much at all.

Both of these wheel guns will not shoot to a useable zero with any other mag ammo as set up presently.
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Old March 22, 2013, 06:30 AM   #36
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COST!
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Old March 22, 2013, 10:32 AM   #37
Peter M. Eick
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Other then for occasional testing, 100% of the 357 magnum ammo is 357 magnum. So all it all it is probably about 99% of what my mags are fed is 357 Magnum ammo.

As a reloader, why mess with 38 special in a Magnum when I can shoot mags?
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:04 AM   #38
Cesure
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Now that I have joined the ranks of reloaders, I will probably start shooting .357 that I've loaded to something between .38 Spl and .357 Mag power. I will also be load .38s for my wife's .38.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:15 AM   #39
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Quote:
I will probably start shooting .357 that I've loaded to something between .38 Spl and .357 Mag power.
That's the way to do it! Taylor the load to how 'you' want to shoot and what is accurate in your revolver(s)... My favorite is 5.0g of Red Dot under a 158g SWC. Around 1000fps and accurate in my .357s. Only .38s I've ever loaded were for my dad, or for wax loads with the flash hole drilled out as a kid.... only .357 brass gets used in my .357s.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:54 PM   #40
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This is a interesting thread. Depending on the 357 magnum which I have three, I may shoot all 357 magnums or 38 specials.

For example:
My Ruger Blackhawk 357/9mm. This revolver will see either 357magnums or 9mm ammo. No 38 specials. Waste of a time shooting 38 specials in a large frame revolver.
My Ruger Police Service Six 4 inch. 90 % 357 magnums and 10 % 38 specials. I like the Blazer 158 gr 357 hollowpoints for range use.
My Ruger SP101 4 inch 357 magnum revolver. This is a new revolver and so far I have used 38 special rounds with only 10 rounds of 357 magnums. This is a small frame revolver and 357s produce a lot more recoil than the 38 specials.
That is the great thing about a 357 magnum revolver. A person has choice.
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Old March 22, 2013, 01:41 PM   #41
jmstr
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I have a .38special and a .357mag. So, they each get their own diet.

IF I only had the .357mag, I'd probably still stick to the .357mag diet. I have other handguns for cheaper shooting. Heck, 9mm is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than .38special, so I'd go that route if cheap shooting was my only concern.

If I could ONLY have a revolver in a centerfire caliber, I'd go .357mag. I'd then use .38special for daily shooting to keep the cost down and use .357mag for fun/hunting when I could afford it.

however, 9mm is still $2-6 cheaper per box than most .38special, and I have one. Thus, 9mm wins the 'cheap shooting centerfire ammo' category.

btw: only .357 in .357 as I then don't have to keep re-sighting in the handgun for the different POI with the different load strengths. AND no carbon ring in the cylinder to fret about.
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Old March 22, 2013, 05:05 PM   #42
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I handload pistol ammo. Revolver ammo is simple to reload because it headspaces on the rim, and no issues w/ taper crimp specs like in a semi-auto. Bullets seat to the cannelure and you're done, eyeball, no micrometer required.

I have a Smith Mod. 10 chambered in 38 Spl. A Ruger Security Six chambered in .357 mag. (Also a Smith. Mod. 60 snub in .357). I shoot magnum in the magnums and Special in the Special. But I have the option of loading .38 Spl loads in the longer magnum cases.

Mostly I end up loading +P loads in the .38 Spl -- loads which cross over into the low end of the .357 mag load data. But that's just me, a recoil junkie who likes to shoot big calibers.

I have a .458 Win Mag, and there are no elephants in the area.
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Old March 22, 2013, 05:43 PM   #43
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Quote:
.357 was originally developed to shoot through steel bodied cars. Next time I want to shoot my car I will buy full house .357 Remington Magnum as this is the correct name.
Penetrating car bodies was but one of the original "advertised" uses for the .357 Magnum. Upon its introduction in 1935, then-S&W president Maj. Doug Wesson went on a PR campaign by taking all sorts of big game with the cartridge in an attempt to sell it not only to police, but sportsmen as well. Also, .357 Remington Magnum is not the proper name for the cartridge as Remington was not involved with the original guns (S&W made them) or the first loadings of ammunition (Winchester produced those). The actual full name for the cartridge is .357 S&W Magnum although that designation hasn't been commonly used for decades.

As to the original question, I cannot remember the last time I fired .38 Special ammunition from one of my .357 Magnum revolvers. Both of my .357 Magnum revolvers are used primarily as defensive handguns and, since I keep them loaded with .357 Magnum JHP ammunition for defense, I find it prudent to practice with ammunition that has similar recoil. The only revolver which is commonly shoot .38 Special ammunition from is my S&W M36 which is not chambered for .357 Magnum.
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Old March 22, 2013, 07:48 PM   #44
larryf1952
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When I first bought my Ruger Security Six, I ran a box of .38's through it and quickly became bored. Since then, I've fired nothing but .357's out of my .357's. I dig the recoil, blast and flash of a handloaded 125 grain JHP that's hitting about 1400fps.

If I wish to shoot .38's, I have 2 snubs that get that duty.
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Old March 22, 2013, 08:35 PM   #45
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I shoot lots of .357s through my 6" gp100 and lots of .38+p too. With the .38s the components go farther, the guns last longer and it too is lots of fun but i still love the flash/bang and recoil i get from my full house .357s. One does not drive their car with the throttle wide open everywhere he goes the same is true for guns at least to me.
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Old March 23, 2013, 06:39 AM   #46
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Mostly 357, but not all of it full house -- for practice I have some handloads that are about half-way between 38+P and full house 357 that I shoot a lot of, then a cylinder or two of the hotter stuff. That extends practice sessions for me.

I usually only put real 38 in the 357 to indoctrinate rookies, or for warm up for my wife.

I do have some 38 cases that I will put up Skeeter Skelton-style 357 loads in when i have all my 357 cases full.
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:06 AM   #47
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Not nearly as much as I will once I can actualy aquire some .357 Mag brass. Since I also own a .38 Spcl revolver I will not load hot loads in the .38 Spcl brass to keep from loading them in the weaker gun.
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:09 AM   #48
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That sure is a pretty sixgun you have there, Bob. What make is it?
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:12 AM   #49
magnum777
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The range I go to most of the time(it is close to my home) does not let you shoot magnum rounds. So I use .38's in my GP 100 when I am there. But when ever I get a chance to go to an outdoor range, an open area where shooting is allowed or I go hunting, I use my .357 rounds.
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Old March 23, 2013, 08:09 AM   #50
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I shoot .357 almost exculsively, mostly to keep things simple. If I want .38 special power levels, I load them in .357 cases.
With IMR Trail Boss, I don't even have to reset the powder measure on my press, just switch powders.
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