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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a J frame stainless steele chambered for 357 magnum. I had been practicing with .38 special ammo at the range and was getting mostly inside the 8 ring when drawing from the holster at 7 yards. Today I tried 357 magnum ammo and my hits spread into the 7 ring. My question is if the increase power is worth the trade off in accuracy by carrying 357 mag instead of .38 +P. Thanks
 

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The extra power is only worth it if you can accurately place your shots...a COM hit with a .38 is probably worth more than a peripheral hit with a .357 mag. I don't think any BG will be interested in absorbing hits from either. ;)
 

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Mine is not a reply but yet another ignorant question.

What is a J frame? You mentioned "J frame stainless steele chambered for 357 magnum" and then mentioned .38+P. That sounds like my Ruger SP101. I have not shot 357 through it yet but just stick with the .38. I guess I don't see myself carrying 357 ammo so I don't shoot it. I've been stretched before here on this site so perhaps I should try that as well.

I don't carry my .38 because I don't know how to hide it and do not have a holster for it either. It is somewhat heavy. Do you carry your .38 as your concealed gun? If so, what kind of holster and where do you carry it on your person? Just wondering.

Also, I have been out of town and have just noticed your name. Welcome to our site.

MamaBear
 

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I have a J frame stainless steele chambered for 357 magnum.

Is that model the 640?

I had been practicing with .38 special ammo at the range and was getting mostly inside the 8 ring when drawing from the holster at 7 yards.

How fast are you shooting to keep all the shots in the 8 ring? If you are shooting, say, 1 shot per second and getting that accuracy, keep practicing till you can keep the shots in the 9 or 10 ring from 21 feet.

Hand hold and trigger control along with sight alignment are going to be the only issue to concentrate on until you can keep em in the 9 and 10 ring. Once that is mastered, the extra recoil from the 357 mag rds shoot not affect your scoring ability, but will probably affect your time between accurate followup shots due to the increased recoil [ which is where the handhold and trigger control will be come exponentially more important ].

My question is if the increase power is worth the trade off in accuracy by carrying 357 mag instead of .38 +P.

In the short barreled snubs, a lot of the powder in the casing remains unburned in the 357 round. You'll get a little more velocity out of the 357 but it may not be enough to warrant the increased recoil for many.

I carry a 640-1 357 S+W snub on occasion for deep concealment. It's got the 2 1/8" barrel. I carry the 357's in it, it barks pretty good, recoil is stiff but plenty controllable for the shorter distances I'll probably have to use it.

My wife is 5 feet even and 95 pounds and put two shots directly cutting the center of the X on the target the first time she shot it with full power 357 loads. It became her house gun while I was out working all night. Took almost 4 years to get it back from her:rolf

I like the increased power of the 357 rd over the 38's. You get some benefit from the higher velocity if you can handle the recoil. Recoil is subjective and can be mastered with practicing handhold and trigger control.

Practice is going to be the key here.

What is a J frame? You mentioned "J frame stainless steele chambered for 357 magnum" and then mentioned .38+P. That sounds like my Ruger SP101.

Mamabear, the snub 357 J frame is the smallest frame gun S+W currently produces. It can fire the 38's as well. Usually the 38 snub S+W's have a 1 7/8" barrel while the 357 variety has the 2 1/8" barrels. They are 5 shot revolvers, not 6 shooters.

The lightweight J frames weigh 15 ounces, easier to carry but harder to shoot well. Compared to your Ruger, they are smaller and lighter. Here's a picture of my 640-1 357 S+W snub I carry on occasion. It's wearing the hip grip presently which conceals the gun very well and is the holster.

Brownie
 

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Mama- I carry a .38 airweight. I use a sticky holster for front pocket carry. It keeps the print down and is easy to carry. Check E-Bay. They run about $15.00. Love my .45 but carry my .38.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a J frame stainless steele chambered for 357 magnum.

Is that model the 640?

I had been practicing with .38 special ammo at the range and was getting mostly inside the 8 ring when drawing from the holster at 7 yards.

How fast are you shooting to keep all the shots in the 8 ring? If you are shooting, say, 1 shot per second and getting that accuracy, keep practicing till you can keep the shots in the 9 or 10 ring from 21 feet.

Brownie
Hitting the 7 ring was while drawing from a hip holster and firing the firsr round. Is this something I should keep practicing?
 

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Hitting the 7 ring was while drawing from a hip holster and firing the firsr round. Is this something I should keep practicing?

Absolutely

Brownie
 

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My wife is 5 feet even and 95 pounds and put two shots directly cutting the center of the X on the target the first time she shot it with full power 357 loads. It became her house gun while I was out working all night. Took almost 4 years to get it back from her:rolf
I imagine that was a negotiation that had to be handled with care! :laughing
 

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I imagine that was a negotiation that had to be handled with care! :rolf

It took that long to put dozens of guns in her hands till she liked one better than that 640-1. :thumsup

It was only a matter of time, but in that time, I knew she was well protected and could use that gun well if the need ever presented itself.

Brownie
 

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Getting back to the original question, it seems to me that the increased size/weight of a .357 snubby for CC more than offsets the advantage of what little increased firepower you get over a .38 +P. My choice is the .38. You agree?
 

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If I was going to pocket carry, the 15 ounce J frame would be my first choice.

I wear dungarees almost every day and the revos just aren't fast enough to access from the front pockets.

I carry the 640-1 357 with the hip grip up on the belt as a second gun. My pocket guns are the seecamp and NAA 22 mag black widow.

If I wore dockers, the j frame LW's would get more duty.

There's actually some indication that the 357 out of a snub isn't using it's full potential and some energy is wasted, hence the extra recoil from the 357 may not produce a significant advantage in the snubs. The advantage of the 640-1 I carry on the belt is there is less recoil from that 357 with it's weight than a 38+p out of the LW snub thats 15 ounces.

All things being equal, here's the breakdown between 38+P loads and the 357's out of the snubs:

Federal .38 Special 129-grain Hydrashok +P 846 fps

Winchester .38 Special 158-grain LSWCHP +P 858 fps

Remington .357 Magnum 125-grain SJHP (Full-house load) 1243 fps

The notion that the .357 is so inefficient in the two-inch guns that it's no more effective than a hot .38 Special just doesn't seem to be true. While neither is at its best in the snub, the magnum is the more potent of the two with most ammo.

Certainly the recoil is considerable and follow up shots are going to be more difficult with the 357, but the added weight of the 640-1 fairly neutralizes the added recoil over the 38+P's, and the added horsepower of the 357 will be decisive when metal hits meat.

The .357 will put up over 400 ft lbs with a good load out of a two inch. The +P .38s will deal out about 250 ft lbs of energy. There's quite a bit of difference between the two where energy on threat is concerned. That said, I don't think the 357 snubs are for everyone for the same reasons above as you suggest.

Brownie
 

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My question is if the increase power is worth the trade off in accuracy by carrying 357 mag instead of .38 +P. Thanks
As stated by others, if you are able to control your hits with a .38 +P better than a .357 Mag., then by all means use the .38 +P's.

The trade off of hitting power between the magnum and +P is negligible compared to a good hit center mass.

I think I can say, with confidence, that if you hit the BG with a well placed .38 +P center mass, you will definitely "deter" him, quite possibly 'permanently'. :D

I have a Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 2 1/2" round-butt that I used to carry off duty. I have Federal Premium .38 +P Hydra-Shok full metal jacket hollow points in it, and I have no doubt of its stopping power.

By the way, welcome to the club!:thumsup
 
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