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Old September 9, 2021, 10:20 PM   #1
Still Learning
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Ruger 38 or 357

My question is
I own three Ruger SP101s 4.2" barrels, one in each caliber. Had to have a full collection.
Last year I pick up the 9mm 2.25" barrel. I really like shooting the this 2.25" revolver. Now I am thinking I need either the 357 or the 38 to finish off the 2.25" set. What I am having trouble with is which one I want. I already have the 357 in the 4.2" so I am swaying toward the 38, but I know the 357 would have a better resale value if, IF I ever decide to sell my guns latter on in life.
What do you all think? What would you do?
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Old September 10, 2021, 05:52 AM   #2
BornFighting88
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Just my opinion, not to dictate your path.

.357 all the way. Can load it with some monster 357 loads, or just fill it with some 38 puppies. Two stones, one bird, in my eyes.

What say ye?
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Old September 10, 2021, 07:10 AM   #3
UncleEd
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Since the only dimensional
difference is how the chambers
are cut, I'd say go .357.

I'm saying this but almost never
shoot .357.

In the world of Smiths, I happen
to like the Model 15, slightly more
svelte and slight smaller dimensionally
than it's brother, the Model 19.
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Old September 10, 2021, 09:34 AM   #4
KyJim
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To the OP:

The .38 LCR has an aluminum cylinder and weighs 13.5 ounces while the .357 has a steel cylinder and weighs 21.3 ounces. So, does the extra weight mean anything to you? If not, I would go with the .357. BTW, as you know, the 9mm also has a steel cylinder, but weighs only 17.4 ounces. I really like mine.
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Old September 10, 2021, 09:47 AM   #5
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^^^^^a couple of corrections:
The .357 LCR is only 17.1 oz according to Ruger specs, not 21.3 oz.
The cylinder on the .38 special LCR is steel, not aluminum. I looked it up and checked with a magnet.
That's how it can take +P heavy loads.
I also favor the LCR over the SP101.
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Old September 10, 2021, 12:57 PM   #6
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357 for me too.
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Old September 10, 2021, 01:19 PM   #7
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I say .357.
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Old September 10, 2021, 01:55 PM   #8
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.38 for me. I have an LCRx 3” and the light weight is a joy to walk with. That ugly grip is needed, because stout .38 loads are a handful in such a light package.

Since you already have the .357 dies, powders and bullets, you can reload .38 without any extra expense.

Out of a short barrel, much of that .357 energy is going into fireball. It all slaps your paw like a 2x4.
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Old September 10, 2021, 05:22 PM   #9
jetinteriorguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyJim View Post
To the OP:

The .38 LCR has an aluminum cylinder and weighs 13.5 ounces while the .357 has a steel cylinder and weighs 21.3 ounces. So, does the extra weight mean anything to you? If not, I would go with the .357. BTW, as you know, the 9mm also has a steel cylinder, but weighs only 17.4 ounces. I really like mine.
I believe the difference is in the frame material, not the cylinder. No way an aluminum cylinder could work.
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Old September 10, 2021, 06:49 PM   #10
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Do not be concerned with ..."later on in life " ... or "resale value" down the road .
Let me tell you here and now , you never know what tomorrow or down the road will bring ... what you think will happen and what life actually deals you is never what you plan ...
Get the gun that calls to your heart ...the one that makes you smile ... go with your gut instinct ... Tomorrow may never come and if it does it will take care of itself .
My gut feeling is you should get the 38 Special ... You seem to prefer it and I agree with with you ... The 38 Specials are Sweet .
Gary
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Old September 10, 2021, 09:48 PM   #11
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A .357 will shoot .38s --- why would you get anything other than the .357
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Old September 12, 2021, 11:29 AM   #12
Seedy Character
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyJim View Post
To the OP:

The .38 LCR has an aluminum cylinder and weighs 13.5 ounces while the .357 has a steel cylinder and weighs 21.3 ounces. So, does the extra weight mean anything to you? If not, I would go with the .357. BTW, as you know, the 9mm also has a steel cylinder, but weighs only 17.4 ounces. I really like mine.
Where did LCR come from?

A .357 SP101 is the ONLY answer. Unless you found a .38 REALLY CHEAP, to fill the void until you found a .357.
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Old September 12, 2021, 12:31 PM   #13
Don Fischer
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I used to get 357 only to fire 38's in. Bit heavier gun and lessen's recoil some. I don't shoot 357's, to much recoil for me.
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Old September 12, 2021, 08:01 PM   #14
bedbugbilly
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I vote the same as many others - I would go with the 357 - gives you the option to use 38s or the 357 - I have a 356 SA and it gets a steady diet of four different cartridges - 38 Colt Short, 38 Colt Long, 38 Special and 357 - and all shoot well.

I had a 357 LCR for about a year - I shot 357 out of it once and it was too much for my old hands - I ended up just shooting 38s out of it, I finally traded it in on a S & W 36 snub and never have regretted it. I can't speak to the Ruger SP101s as I have never fired one. In the end, only YOU can decide - but to me, a 357 just makes sense so you can shoot either 38s or 357s. If you don't reload - what will you do if you buy a 38 and then can only find 357 cartridges? May or may not be an issue for you. As far as resale goes - that would be the least of my worries - get what you want and enjoy it - life is to short to sweat the small things.
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Old September 13, 2021, 01:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
The .38 LCR has an aluminum cylinder
As others have noted, the cylinder is steel. In fact, possibly aside from a .22 rimfire, I don't think there are any revolvers available that have an aluminum cylinder. There have been a few such critters in the past but the market place has been unkind to them.

To the op:To have a "full collection" of Model 101s, don't you need one chambered in .327 Magnum? Or maybe you already do.
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Old September 13, 2021, 03:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
I say .357.
Yeppers, ... because then you can always shoot .38Spc.Ed. too.
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Old September 14, 2021, 07:33 AM   #17
KyJim
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Mea culpa on the weight/cylinder issue. Clicked the wrong link at Ruger’s site (3 inch barrel) and just had a “senior moment” on the cylinder. I know an aluminum cylinder would not work
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Old September 15, 2021, 10:57 AM   #18
Dave T
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Shooting 38 Specials in a gun chambered for 38 Specials has a certain sense of proper and correct application. By the same token, revolvers chambered for the 357 Magnum cartridge should properly fire 357 Magnums.

The same argument comes up over 44 Specials fired in it's Magnum off-spring. (smiley face goes here)

YMMV,
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Old September 15, 2021, 06:25 PM   #19
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I use .44mag brass for all loads. Light. Cowboy loafs, up to full power, hunting loads.


In .357, I still use .38 brass, just because I have so much. Slowly, selling, trading and giving it away, to use only .357.


I have had .357 cartridges that were hard to chamber after firing a large quantities of .38. Never impossible, but a rough spot could be felt.
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Old September 15, 2021, 08:00 PM   #20
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357 would get my vote and everybody has already given you the advantages. I have the SP 101 in 357mag, unlike some I like the recoil of the 357mag. I just think it's cool. I should know better I'll be 69 on my next birthday.
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Old September 16, 2021, 10:30 AM   #21
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To me, it always makes more sense to buy a .357 Magnum Revolver over a .38 Special, especially when most companies tend to offer models of similar size/weight chambered in either cartridge.

Sure, a good .38 Special is plenty adequate for self-defense, but the utility of being able to chamber/fire an even more powerful cartridge is worthy of consideration regardless, because more options are always better, especially during ammo shortages.
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Old September 16, 2021, 01:11 PM   #22
44 AMP
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Quote:
Now I am thinking I need either the 357 or the 38 to finish off the 2.25" set.
Completing a set for a collection is a completely different matter than the practical applications of the gun/cartridge combination.

If you're looking at getting the full set, then get the "oddball" or less popular variants, FIRST!

The reason being that those go away first, and become scarce and hard to find before the more popular ones do.

You have the 9mm, so get the .38 NOW, while its available. Odds on finding the .357 later are much better than finding either the 9mm or the .38, so I'd wait on the .357 and get the other(s) first while you can.

For your collection. If it were for primary use, I'd get the .357 first, but that's not what you're looking at here, if i read you right.
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Old September 16, 2021, 06:26 PM   #23
jetinteriorguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Completing a set for a collection is a completely different matter than the practical applications of the gun/cartridge combination.

If you're looking at getting the full set, then get the "oddball" or less popular variants, FIRST!

The reason being that those go away first, and become scarce and hard to find before the more popular ones do.

You have the 9mm, so get the .38 NOW, while its available. Odds on finding the .357 later are much better than finding either the 9mm or the .38, so I'd wait on the .357 and get the other(s) first while you can.

For your collection. If it were for primary use, I'd get the .357 first, but that's not what you're looking at here, if i read you right.
This is a good approach, especially since you already have a 4” in .357 so it’s not like you can’t shoot.357 when you want. I personally shoot .38’s in any of my pistols chambered for .38sp and .357’s in my .357mags. I don’t shoot.38’s in my .357’s, I have no need to.
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Old September 18, 2021, 02:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
A .357 will shoot .38s --- why would you get anything other than the .357
I completely understand that viewpoint. And most certainly, the gun manufacturers see it the same way. Too bad.

There are those of us, who, when in the mood to shoot 38 Special, reach for their 38 Special gun. And there are some minor drawbacks to shooting 38's in a 357 gun.

First, shooting 38's in a 357 leaves a ring of crud in the cylinder charge holes - especially if shooting lead bullets (which is very common with 38 Special). It doesn't take a lot of rounds for there to be enough fouling buildup to make it difficult to load 357's into the chamber afterward.

Also, there is a school of thought that says that the .115" (or whatever that dimension is) "free play" gap from the shorter 38 case leads to pressure bleed-off and a decrease in accuracy. I haven't done any studies on this. But I have shot 10's of thousands of 38 rounds in 357's. I personally, don't believe there's any significant difference in accuracy or velocity.

However, these days, I prefer to shoot 38 Special ammo in 38 Special guns.

Just one guy talking. And I did say minor drawbacks.
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