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Old April 27, 2013, 01:08 AM   #51
Glock20/460long
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I'm a revolver guy but you have 4 good joices.
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Old April 27, 2013, 07:53 AM   #52
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If you're going to buy an LCR you may as well go for a 357. I bet you'll probably stick with loading 38+p but why not have the option just in case you need it?
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Old April 27, 2013, 11:25 AM   #53
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I'm generally of the opinion that, everything else being equal, choosing a revolver chambered in .357 Magnum makes sense over buying the same revolver chambered in .38 Special. But in this situation, because the op is looking for a pocket handgun and because I believe for a gun to be carried comfortably in a pocket it needs to be as light and small as practical (see post no.42), the weight difference between the Ruger LCR chambered in .38 Special and the same model chambered in .357 Magnum is enough imo (13.00 oz vs 16.60 oz) to make a significant difference and would lead me to opt for the .38 in this instance.
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Old April 27, 2013, 11:36 AM   #54
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If you're going to buy an LCR you may as well go for a 357. I bet you'll probably stick with loading 38+p but why not have the option just in case you need it?
In deciding which LCR to buy I found the answer to your question. Four ounces!
I went for the noticeably lighter 38Spcl model.
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Old April 27, 2013, 12:40 PM   #55
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The other side of that being: wouldn't the extra 4 ounces in the .357 model help (in some small degree) with recoil?
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Old April 27, 2013, 12:56 PM   #56
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Yes, it helps ALOT with recoil, and turns a painful experience into a pleasant one. It's why I ditched my .38 LCR in favor of the magnum.

Yes, the .357 is heavier, but to my mind, at 17 oz. it is still in the range of weight for comfortable pocket carry. Much more than that, and guns tend to sag the pockets too much, but 17 oz. unloaded is still fine by me. Kahr PM9/CM9 is the same unloaded weight.
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Old April 27, 2013, 01:30 PM   #57
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Heck I pocket carried a 2 1/4" SP101 with a Speedloader for years (pleated dockers) so the LCR should be a breeze.
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Old April 27, 2013, 01:31 PM   #58
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pocket

hard to beat a 640 in 38 spl.
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Old April 27, 2013, 01:41 PM   #59
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Of the four options presented, the LCR .357 would be my choice. I don't generally go for service-caliber (9mm and up) pocket autos because I do not entirely trust their reliability (I cannot understand how you could hack the barrel, slide, and grip of a gun so short without adversely affecting reliability). So, between the LCR .38 and .357, I'd choose the .357 for both the ammo versatility (more important that some give credit for considering the current ammo shortage) and the extra weight. I consider the extra weight to be a benefit because of the recoil dampening characteristics and I, personally, consider 17oz to be plenty light already (I routinely pocket carry a heavier revolver).
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Old April 27, 2013, 01:52 PM   #60
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Yes, it helps ALOT with recoil, and turns a painful experience into a pleasant one. It's why I ditched my .38 LCR in favor of the magnum.
Yes, but if you shoot exclusively .38 +P out of it, which many would recommend for SD, wouldn't the cylinder eventually suffer from gas cutting? I suppose, if you never expect to shoot .357 out of it, it wouldn't matter, but there are those that are saying they want the option. The .38 LCR, OTOH, is tailor made for this, and would be my option in revolvers. Of those listed, though, I'd opt for the LC9.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:25 AM   #61
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Yes, but if you shoot exclusively .38 +P out of it, which many would recommend for SD, wouldn't the cylinder eventually suffer from gas cutting?
The only times that I've ever even heard of gas cutting or flame cutting being an issue is with magnum cartridges firing medium-to-lightweight bullets or defective alloy frames. Even in such cases, flame cutting is usually self-limiting and occurs in the topstrap above the barrel/cylinder gap rather than in the chambers themselves. A .38 Special or .38 +P should not be particularly prone of flame cutting because, unlike magnum cartridges, it's not commonly loaded with large quantities of slow-burning powder.
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Old April 29, 2013, 06:15 PM   #62
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This is the type of gas cutting I was refering to.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloadi...g-629-1-a.html

Had this been hot-loaded .44 Spls. rather than magnums, there likely would have been this type of cutting at the freebore of each chamber. Degrading accuracy was the norm, worst case scenario was eventual inability to even fire magnum cartridges. Of course this is from memory way back when .38+P first became popular. i.e. a steady diet of .38+P out of a .357 Mag would result in this. Has today's alloys, powders and such virtually eliminated this fear?
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Old April 30, 2013, 12:22 AM   #63
Webleymkv
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This is the type of gas cutting I was refering to.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloadi...g-629-1-a.html

Had this been hot-loaded .44 Spls. rather than magnums, there likely would have been this type of cutting at the freebore of each chamber. Degrading accuracy was the norm, worst case scenario was eventual inability to even fire magnum cartridges. Of course this is from memory way back when .38+P first became popular. i.e. a steady diet of .38+P out of a .357 Mag would result in this. Has today's alloys, powders and such virtually eliminated this fear?
Hmm, I've not seen anything like that before. I notice, however, that two of the precipitating factors that I mentioned earlier were still present here (light-for-caliber bullets and slow burning powder) and I think they're probably the culprits. You see, a lighter bullet takes less pressure to push it out of the case than a heavier one does. This means that when you fire a light-for-caliber bullet (and 180gr is light-for-caliber in .44 Magnum), a larger proportion of the powder charge is burning inside the chamber throats, forcing cone, and barrel. When you combine these effects with a slow-burning powder (and Winchester 296 is very slow) it only accentuates them and increases the risk and severity of gas cutting.

.38 Special ammunition is not typically loaded with powders as slow as Winchester 296 but rather with medium-to-fast powders like Alliant Unique or Bullseye. Between the fact that typical .38 Spl powders burn faster and that they are usually much smaller charges than commonly used in magnum calibers, I think that the risk of significant flame cutting to a .357 LCR from the use of .38 ammo would be extremely unlikely unless someone was shooting some very unusual handloads.
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Old April 30, 2013, 10:35 AM   #64
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I would go with the LCR-38. The 3.5-oz weight savings is something you'll appreciate every day.
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Old April 30, 2013, 11:47 AM   #65
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I'd go with the 38 but that's me. Only you can decide what's best for YOU.
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Old May 1, 2013, 12:12 AM   #66
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Why all the discussion of possible damage? It's a Ruger.
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Old May 1, 2013, 12:03 PM   #67
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Ruger replaced my old LCR .38 due to topstrap flamecutting, so what is your point?
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Old May 1, 2013, 02:58 PM   #68
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I wanted something truly compact and light. I looked at the small 9s and they were still too big and heavy for comfortable pocket carry. Wound up with a Taurus TCP. It was a C note cheaper than the nearly-identical Ruger and I like the slide lock feature. Weights like 18 ounces and that's manageable. I know many guys would reject the 380 as too light but better a 380 on me than a 357 Magnum I left in the car because it's just too dang heavy for comfort.


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Old May 1, 2013, 04:34 PM   #69
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What kind of pants or shorts do you wear to be able to consider a Glock 26 or 27 a pocket gun??
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:05 PM   #70
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MLeake, my point is exactly what you mentioned. If it suffers damage from flame-cutting, Ruger will fix or replace it! So it's not worth worrying over whether the gun will be damaged from firing .38s from a .357 chamber. It's designed for it, if it gets hurt from it, Ruger will make it right!


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Old May 1, 2013, 08:57 PM   #71
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Saxon, I went the same direction you did. The only "pocket" gun I ever carried regularly was my Beretta .25. While I often carried my 442 revolver or PM9, neither was a pocket gun for me, riding instead in a n IWB holster. I recently ended up with an LCP and later added the Lasermax sight. Loaded with Speer Gold Dots, I do not feel undergunned with this as a CCW as I did with my Beretta.

The LCP is with me always riding in a front pocket holster.
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Old May 1, 2013, 09:06 PM   #72
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craZivn, I will give you that Ruger stands behind its products.

That said, I still prefer leaving as little to chance as possible.
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Old May 2, 2013, 10:05 AM   #73
mrt949
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22lr =beretta 21 a
32 acp= seecamp
357,mag = ruger sp101
40 sw= mp 40 c
i have big pockets
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Old May 2, 2013, 06:48 PM   #74
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it's not worth worrying over whether the gun will be damaged from firing .38s from a .357 chamber. It's designed for it, if it gets hurt from it, Ruger will make it right!
It is decidedly NOT designed for it, it is designed for .357 magnum cartridges. I would suggest if you want to fire a steady diet of .38+P, you buy the .38+P version, OR you check with Ruger and get their opinion on warranty replacement of cylinders from what is tantamount to using the wrong ammo.
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Old May 2, 2013, 08:20 PM   #75
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It is decidedly NOT designed for it, it is designed for .357 magnum cartridges. I would suggest if you want to fire a steady diet of .38+P, you buy the .38+P version, OR you check with Ruger and get their opinion on warranty replacement of cylinders from what is tantamount to using the wrong ammo.
From page 12 of my LCR owner's manual:

"The LCR 357 is chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, and can also chamber the .38 Special and .38 Special +P."

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