Revolver ammo

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by conservative, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. conservative

    conservative New Member

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    If say I was to get revolver, what would be the best caliber? From YouTube and other sources I have gathered that .357 is considered by some to be best . I do like that I could shoot .38 for economy and ease etc. Thoughts ?
     
    Carl Crosby likes this.
  2. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    The .357 is a good round. Plus you can shoot .38 special for practice and not hurt the pistol. A good Ruger GP100 revolver is built like a tank, whether you use a 4" barrel or the 6". They are a little heavy to carry for self defense however they will give you more than adequate protection. Smith and Wesson also make a nice .357. Recoil on .357 is much more intense than the .38 special and of course that depends on which round you want to carry for self defense. Most ranges have .357's that you can rent and try out which I would highly recommend prior to buying. The extra recoil from the .357 can be absorbed by using Hogue or Pachmayr grips. Choose wisely grasshopper!

    Tommy
     

  3. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    If you shoot enough 38 special out of a 357 Magnum chamber, and very few people will, you can damage the gun. The 38 special case being shorter than the 357 Magnum case, when the round is fired, gasses will contact the cylinder at the mouth of the case. Enough will cause erosion, not unlike what you get in any firearm. The net effect will be that the longer cases will be harder to eject. This is true with any firearm that will safely fire a shorter cartridge in the chamber from 22 short/22 long rifle on up.

    I have in my collection an older 22 9 shot revolver. The chambers are so eroded from firing 22 shorts that you have to pry 3 or 4 of the fired cases lose before a sharp rap to the ejection rod will clear the rest.

    Again, most people will not fire enough to cause any issues.
     
  4. conservative

    conservative New Member

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    Would never have guessed that.
     
  5. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    Think about it. If a forcing cone will erode and a top strap will flame cut. Why would the chamber not be subject to the same forces?
     
  6. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    The 357 is a good revolver size and has benefits over a 38 special or +P revolver. The thing to remember is that the light and small 38 spl +P can be a real handful very similar to the 357 version. Fir instance the LCR 38 spl +P is super feather light which is really nice for a carry gun but at the same time because it is so light the recoil is really felt.

    The LCR 357 is only 4 oz. heavier than the 38 spl+P but the way the frame is made it handles shooting +P much better. Shooting 357 magnums are a handful but not horribly worse recoil. Because the 357 version is built heavier I believe the longjevity of the gun will be greater also.

    From what I have read many if not most people with a 357 for carry shoot the 38spl+P because of better recoil handling and less chance of over penetration of the 357 magnum rounds.

    When you get up into the big 4 calibers like a 41 or 44 you are then carrying a hand cannon IMO. For the most part they are to big and heavy for concealed carry. They are great for their intended purposes but a everyday carry gun isn't one of them.

    Like other posts said find a range that rents out different revolvers so you can get the real personal experience before buying and the first time at the range having buyers remorse.
     
  7. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

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    What Greg said is true, but I wouldn't really worry about it. Make sure you scrub the cylinder chambers after you shoot though.

    The difference in power between the .357 and .38 spl is almost like comparing the 9mm and .380. The .357 is about twice as powerful as the 38. And if you shoot them side by side, you can tell! Especially out of a small framed revolver.

    With that said, .357 magnum is my favorite cartridge and I would highly recommend it!
     
  8. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    The .357 Magnum IS a proven man stopper... and Ruger builds them like tanks...nuff said
     
  9. spikedriver

    spikedriver Active Member

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    I'm not a fan of recoil so I don't have a .357. That said, if I were to devote resources to a dedicated house gun for my nightstand, it would be a full size .357 like the GP100 or a K frame Smith. It's probably the best defense round there is.
     
  10. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    After shooting 38's it takes too much work to get the .357 chambers as clean as I want them.
    Never thought about erosion... Hmm

    When a new cartridge comes out the first question asked will be... Is it as good as the .357 magnum?

    Yeah, it's my favorite too.
     
  11. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

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    Some may not know, but S&W made the L frame because the K frame will not stand up to a heavy diet of .357 magnum. I have a .357 and because I hand load I am able to load lighter charges in the .357 cases.

    My favorite caliber is 45 Colt, another that can be loaded light or full power.:D
     
    C. D. Bates likes this.
  12. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    I was on another forum and they were discussing if the Colt Python was all it was cracked up to be. Many comments were that the Python couldn't stand up to a lot of 357 magnum use. Then many said they would take a S&W Model 19 rather than a Python. Seems many didn't know the Model 19 which was a K model didn't hold up to steady 357 magnum rounds. The Python was actually made to hold up to a steady diet of 357 magnum rounds. That was what it was built for.
     
  13. spikedriver

    spikedriver Active Member

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    ^^^ Hmmm...I had never heard that. Isn't the Combat Masterpiece a K Frame? You'd think a gun with a name like that would be made to hold up. Regardless, I would probably never shoot enough .357 rounds to loosen up a K Frame. I have an underdeveloped macho gland when it comes to recoil and blast.

    I
     
  14. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

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    Back when the talk about the Python being week, some would put the Python barrel on a Security Six frame. I had one I called the Couger, Co for Colt and uger for Ruger. It was muzzle heavy but was strong and accurate.:D
    If I were to do something like that again it would be a four inch barrel. I think that would have balanced right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  15. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    I think the Classic K frame is the Model 10. At least that's the one I think of. Plenty strong for the 38 special. I was never a fan of the Model 19, I preferred the Model 27 based on the N frame. Mine was the Model 28 Highway Patrolman.
     
  16. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Even the Model 10 had/has folks who claim it will shoot loose on a diet of .38+p. Just looking at them side-by-side, the 10 seems no flimsier than the LCR .357. I realize that looks ain't the whole story, but still...
     
  17. Carl Crosby

    Carl Crosby Member

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    Absolutely NOTHING wrong with the .38 Special, when loaded with proper ammo, and in something other than the fly-weight revolvers in vogue nowadays. The problem with the K frames was much use of 125 gr bullets at ~1400+ fps. I don't think Smith & Wesson ever dreamed of ammo at that level, and forcing cone cracks developed after much(?)use. My GP100 is 4 ozs lighter than my 586 was, and I carried that all day without a problem, other than the regular adjustment of the 1" belt the holster was hung on. I am now making a double-thickness 1 1/2" belt. But...back to the discussion. I don't like full-loaded 357 Magnum ammo. Period. Not even the "mild" Magnum loads. My EDC ammo is either Speer 135 gr Gold dot .38 special +P or Remington (old style) 125 gr +P Golden Sabers, or Remington or Winchester 158 gr. SWCHP. Orrr...HORRORS! A 148 gr .38 Spl full wadcutter! "Old" technology? Yes, but they just work! I load my fun/practice/plinking/former IPSC ammo with 5.5 gr. Unique under a 150-160 SWC or RNFP Bullet of about 12-15 BHN. That is a P+ or a little better load at ~860 fps. I load 125 gr. JHP and plated bullets to about 950 fps, for recoil similar to my EDC ammo. All in 357 brass with standard primers.

    UPDATE! In a feverish moment, I bought two boxe$ of Speer Gold Dot 357 Magnum 135 gr. Short barrel ammo, "just to see". I alternated rounds around the cylinder, and was surprised to find the 357 rounds recoiled just a small bit more than the 150-158 gr. IPSC load I have shot hundreds of. Comfortable to shoot in my 4" Match Champion. GOOD ammo, even if pricey! The two loads shot to the same poi at 18 and 25 yards, and were accurate! IF/when I find a good price, I will buy more of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019