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Old March 24, 2013, 07:04 AM   #26
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It seems to me that much of the powder and energy of a .357 would simply be wasted in such a short barrel set-up. Am I way off base on this???
You are not off base. Any 357 with a barrel less than 4" is counterproductive. Yes it beats a 38, but it does it with tremendous muzzle flash and recoil. If producing lots of noise, light and recoil is your goal then they do a good job.

My Ruger LCR .357 - average of 5 shots

Speer 125 grain Gold Dot .357 magnum = 1210 fps - 409 ft/lbs ME
Speer 125 grain Gold Dot .38 Special +P = 869 fps - 211 ft/lbs ME

Remington Express 125 grain SJHP .357 magnum - 1245 fps - 432 ft/lbs ME
Remington UMC 125 grain SJHP .38 Special +P - 910 fps - 231 ft/lbs ME

Just slightly less than twice the muzzle energy for the .357 magnum over the .38 Special +p.

Is there a lot of flash and blast with the .357 magum in the < 2" barrel? - Heck yes

Does my hand hurt after 5 rounds of either of the .357 magnum loads above? - Heck yes
My G-26 is a smaller gun that weighs 2 oz more than the LCR, 1/2 lb less than the SP-101. It holds 10 rounds vs 5. The velocity numbers are almost exactly the same with 124 gr bullets. Around 1200-1250 fps.

Is there a lot of flash and blast?- Heck no.
Does my hand hurt after 5, 10, 20 even 30 rounds?-Heck no.
Does recoil make rapid, accurate repeat shots impossible?- Heck no.

I own, like and shoot 357 revolvers, but all with longer barrels to take advantage of the power. If you need something smaller than 4" there are much better choices.
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Old March 24, 2013, 11:00 AM   #27
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I personally don't worry about "waste" when it comes to self-defense. I also don't consider noise and more muzzle flash to be counter-productive when I'm behind it and the BG is facing it. If he feels outgunned, he'll be more likely to hesitate. Odds are, if I was ever faced with a SD shooting, I'd be so amped up on adrenalin I would not be shooting very straight and I would not be noticing any difference between the .38 Spl and .357 Mag. Hopefully, the BG would. But my bedroom gun has a 4" barrel. My snubby is a .327 Federal Mag. Six shots and it splits the difference between .38 Spl and .357 Mag with less recoil.
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