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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've lost my mind and am looking for a snubbie revolver to add to my small arsenal. Either S&W or Taurus, whatever my dealer friends have for the best offer.

Question is.... .357 or .38??

After a lot of searching I'm leaning to the .38. Lot's of reports on severe recoil with the .357.

What's your opinions??

og :?: :?:
 

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.38 or .357 ?

a friend has a ruger sp 101 with a 3" bbl. a very nice gun! it's .357 and not at all unpleasant to shoot. i'd like to have one. it's the dao with concealed hammer. :D
 

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Snub

OG.,

I THINK! that Smith & Wesson now makes the 357 snub in the small 5 shot J frames.

You could always get the 357 and just use 38 special in it!.

But just because a snub is in 357 magnum do not expect to get a whole lot more power out of it than the 38 special+P, the barrel is to short for all the powder to burn enough and most of all the powder will just go out the barrel and flash.

$800 Box
 

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I'm with diamondmike. Buy the snubby in .357Mag and shoot the hottest ammo you feel comfortable with. I see absolutely no advantage to getting a J-frame (or Taurus equivalent) in .38spl... Even if you never shoot .357's out of it you still have advantage when you come to sell it to someone looking for a .357... (if I'm looking for a .357 I won't consider a .38spl, but if I'm looking for a .38spl I'll certainly entertain the .357.)

Allan
 

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Gonna part with conventional, comemporary wisdom and go WAAAY out on a limb, here....
I believe, personally at least, that the single best snubbie offered on the market at present is the .38 Special 442 Airweight Centennial.
Why?
Well, other than it's light weight, there's this:
1. The design (hammerless) has been copied on other guns, but the Centennial has a "hump" at the top of the grip frame that helps recoil unbelievably. It almost forces the muzzle back down on target.
2. Stoke your .38 with 158 gr. Lead Semi-Wadcutter Hollowpoints in +P (the famous FBI load), and you'll find that your stopping power will be right up there in a league with a .357 in the 2-inch barrel length. Remember, that fabulous 125 grain .357 jhp ain't whippin' out of THIS barrel at 1500 fps!!!
3. Firing .38 Special in a .357 doesn't hurt anything... except accuracy. With it's shorter cartridge, the bullet literally has to "jump" from the case to the end of the chamber into the forcing cone. This does NOT help matters one little bit when you're trying to knock a tin can off a post... or put a round into center mass of a bad guy.
There, I'm done... flame suit zipped, helmet on. 8)
Flyer
 

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38 Special

There is really nothing wrong with the little 5 shot 38 Special!.

Before I found the P-11 I used to live by the rule of the 5 shot 38 Specials, I own a Smith & Wesson 60 J frame 38, a Smith & Wesson 37 J frame 38, Taurus 85 ultra-lite 5 shot 38, Rossi 5 shot 38, CharterArms Undercover 5 shot 38.

At 10 feet with a Silvertip 125gr.+P you will knock a attacker right off his feet.

But if I was to buy a snub nowdays, I would go with one of the Smith & Wesson 5 shot J frame 357 Magnums.

$800 Box
 
G

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consider the airweight bodyguard by Smith and Wesson. I have one and carried it for years in an ankle rig and then a vest holster as an on duty back-up when I was in uniform. i always liked this model becasue it offered the best of both worlds. the hammer is shrouded but is still accessible if needed. it is rated for +p as well. it also gives you a little more "hump" to keep the gun axis low in your hand while firing.
 

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My wife has the S&W 642 Airweight.

Shooting +P ammo out of a gun that small and light about as hot of a round as I would want to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Choices, choices!!

Tks fer the great replies.......

Choices look like:

S&W model 60 rated .357/.38+p All SS, probably heavy enough for the .357 loads (Anybody have comment on it??)

Taurus 85UL light weight and nice looking for .38+p But not very good expansion/penetration reports for .38 on firearmstac or ammolab
Will depend on price if I choose it.

Ruger 101 in the .357 also rated for .38+p a little heavier and longer overall than the others but good reputation too.

I'll do some looking next week and see what I can find without having to rob Fort Knox to pay for it.

BTW, checking S&W's website can't find any listings for "Airweight" with aluminum frame. Everything on their site has been replaced with a scandium/titanium alloy "Airlite" pistols in the 12oz class costing big bucks. Also, reviews show severe recoil pain shooting .357 with one of these lightweight snubbies. Think I'll skip those.

CU all later,
og.............appreciate the comments, thanks much.
 

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og,

Just one more suggestion to break from convention....

Are you set on the .38/.357? I can't speak from experience of the newer models like the one below, but my stainless steel Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 special is a very light revolver with a powerful cartridge, is pleasant to shoot, and easy to conceal. Ammo options have become more extensive than when I bought mine years ago. It is truly a revolver that I will never sell.

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=18087924
 

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The S&W 642 is an aluminum/stainless airweight 38. Just shooting +P 38s out of it is a bit painful. I don't think S&W makes a 357 airweight in aluminum, and I don't think I'd want to shoot 357s out of it if they did.

The 642 was a little under $400 including tax.
 

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The Scandium is just that... a .357 mag, virtually identical to the Centennial series.
Yep, many people have shot it... once. Simply too much to handle I believe, not just in terms of recoil but also muzzle flash and blast.
Flyer
 

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In fact I think I'll introduce the three guys who'll be going everywhere with me after my CCW arrives:

Left, of course, is what's probably the most angry P-3AT on the face of the planet... but hey, that attitude will come in REALLY handy if he's ever needed!
Top left, my Centennial as described above. He's going on my right hip.
Bottom is my big guy, a Les Baer TRS .45. He'll be riding in a Galco "Jackass" shoulder rig.
All three of these fellows just got their cleaning after a good workout at the Range today... since I had 'em together I snapped a pic.
Oh yeah, also some of my favorite reading material. 8)
Flyer
 

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http://ktrange.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=279

Hey OG, have a look at mine. Nice little gun but I'll learned something the last time out. And that’s to not feed her 125gr Corbon. She locked up tight. Couldn’t get the cylinder open. All the rounds were spent so I fiddled with it till I got it open. I have pictures of the cases. I explained what happened to flyer. Maybe he could chime in.

Where the primer was struck, it dimpled out not in. I suppose I'm lucky. I’ve inspected the gun and haven’t seen any surface damage but I won’t even consider it for carry till I get her out again.

Tc, Cheryl
:wink:
 

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I bought my first s/w centennial .38 rated for +p+ loads. Bought come corbon 110 gr and 115 gr. This is the upper limit as far as controbaility. The centennial's by their design allow your strong had to ride higer on the grip, thus reducing felt recoil. It is still a potent combination. I have shot a friend's .357 mag.centennial and it was horrendious to saythe least! The recoil and muzzel flash were terrible! If you missed with your first shot you would probably miss with your last 4. Also this combination will make you flinch, which is not good. I suspect that Cheryl's locked up due to primer flow back. I have a s/w 940 in 9mm with full moon clips. I shot some corbon +p+ and the firing pin pierced the primers. The firing pin was too sharp so I made it less sharp and it functions fine. Cheryll, maybe your f/p is too sharp or the loads were too hot. IMHO the s/w centennial models are the best snubbies ever made. I would sugguest an action job to smoth up the trigger as they are d/a only. Do not lighten the springs as u may have misfires. Try another lot # of the corbon after you have made your f/p less sharp or just go to a +p gold dot or other good rounds. Someone wrote that the w/w silvertip .38+p would knock someone off their feet. No, I don't think so. Magsafe used to make some very good .38 ammo and years ago I did some testing. Penetration was not much, but sufficient for a frontal shot. These centennials, even in the airweight are durable guns and the later airweight models will shoot +p ammo w/o a hitch. Good luck!
 

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357/38s

Taurus makes the 617 in a seven shot. I just bought one in titanium but I haven't shot it yet. It's 19 ounces which gives it a little more heft than th 5shot airweights. I shot a D/A 38 airweight before I bought this gun and it had quiet akick. I bought this gun in s/a,d/a and the barrel is ported. The Taurus in titanium is a shade under $500.not to shabby a price but the S&W is over $700 to rich for my blood.
 

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Before getting my P-11 I carried an older Charter Arms Undercover .38 Special. It weighs just about the same as a P-11, but it isn't +P rated. I cherish the little snubbie.

Regards, Keys 8)
 
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