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Short barrel .357 mag.

BigFoot

Moderator
Does anyone have much experience with these. I really want to carry .357's in my 2" but recoil sucks so bad. I am just not a big fan of .38's don't ask me why. I currently carry .38's in my snuby.
 
Pretty loud they are.

I don't do lighter weight bullets, preferring to leave them for "lessor" cartridges like 9mm and .380 ACP, heh! I like .357 Magnums stoked up with full-power loads with 158 grain bullets. Can crack 1300 fps with selected 158 grain handloads in a 2 1/2-inch barrel Smith & Wesson Model 66 I have around here. Hard to accomplish that with factory loads though I've not tried very hard to chronograph test each manufacturer's 158 grain offering.

I like Smith & Wesson revolvers the best; well ... the classic traditional ones. I like the K-Frame .357 Magnums and the N-Frame .357 Magnums. Don't care much for L-Frame or J-Frame .357 Magnums. Just me. Have an L-Frame on hand. Never wanted to acquire a J-Frame .357 Magnum.

Truth is, I'm so joined-at-the-hip with my old favorite Smith & Wesson Model 10 Heavy Barrel .38 Special that I don't much bother to carry the .357 Magnum revolvers. With the Model 10 I will do the very best to place a bullet on target fast or slow, near or far and with more ease than any other handgun I own.

There's something to be said for familiarity.
 

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The Instigator
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Does anyone have much experience with these. I really want to carry .357's in my 2" but recoil sucks so bad. I am just not a big fan of .38's don't ask me why. I currently carry .38's in my snubby.
There are .38 loads these days that are totally adequate in a 2" barrel ... which; is up to you.

I fence-sit on boring-out my SP101's cylinder to take magnum rounds. It would only be for use in an emergency, though.

I feel - at this point - as if a low-flash, non-supersonic, non-deafening/window-blowing-out round is best for me. Recovery and situational awareness without earplugs is important.

Rather hit with something reasonably hard than be picking myself up off the ground, ears ringing, and saying, "Did I get him?"


AA
 

BigFoot

Moderator
There are .38 loads these days that are totally adequate in a 2" barrel ... which; is up to you.

I fence-sit on boring-out my SP101's cylinder to take magnum rounds. It would only be for use in an emergency, though.

I feel - at this point - as if a low-flash, non-supersonic, non-deafening/window-blowing-out round is best for me. Recovery and situational awareness without earplugs is important.

Rather hit with something reasonably hard than be picking myself up off the ground, ears ringing, and saying, "Did I get him?"


AA
Living in an apartment I have thought about when leaving that 2" at home loading it with Glaser rounds.
 
At one point I owned a 2 ish inch Ruger SP101 in .357. I shot hundred of 110g and 125g loads. I felt that the SP101 OEM grips did a better job soaking up recoil that I had expected. While I do not have the direct data to back it up, I strongly suspect that carrying a .357 v a .38 would cost me at least .25 secs over a 5 shot string. I am extrapolating this from the difference I have seen between me shooting a 9mm v a .40 cal over a 5 shot string.

Having said that, most any 2 inch gun shooting anything north of a 148 g wadcutter is going to have some flash and/or recoil. I would stick with an optimized .38 round. If you want something that hits harder and /or less recoil, you should consider a different platform.

FWIW.
 

jar_

Contributor
In an apartment, in almost any single room sized arena, it is really hard to find a better weapon than a good hatchet, machete or a bolo. While "don't bring a knife to a gun fight" is certainly a popular bumper sticker a guy coming at you with a bolo will definitely get your undivided attention.

At least as long as you can still pay attention.

I've yet to hear of lawsuits because a stray bolo came through an apartment wall and struck a neighbor.
 
Every post here, makes great points and gives excellent advice.

1. I like what @noelekal is saying. If you're going to carry .357 Magnum, might as well load it heavy. I wouldn't want to have to try and dodge, a 158 grains screaming in my direction.

2. Mike makes an excellent post on .38's. I love stuffing the 135 gr. +P Gold Dot in the cylinder of my SP101. Never had to use them though. I do think it provides that good middle of the road between a regular 125 gr. .38 and a full powered .357.

3. David makes an excellent argument about the flash from a snubbie and considering a different platform if something different is desired.

4. Jar and Brian's points of going hands on? I dunno...

5. I have a revolver, I just don't use it or desire to depend on it at this point in time in my life, No fault of the revolver at all, just preference (at this time) so I don't even know if my advice or opine is even worthy for consideration, but, ( you know me :) ) so here it goes anyway... ;)

If we consider the different variables that are presented here:

1. You live in an apartment
2. You are using a snubbie .357 (maybe even possibly, your significant other?)
3. Your knowledge in firearms and shooting is somewhere between absolute expert and absolute newbie with a gun? Fair to say?

If the above four are accurate, my advice would be to completely read this article: And then decide. :)

 

Bhugo

Contributor
I should add, when I lived in an apartment I was in college and probably had very little blood in my alcohol system...... I probably would not have woken up if I was robbed and probably wouldn’t notice if I had been.
 
They are right snappy. Your ears will ring (possibly forever) if you light one off inside a car or a small room. They fit nicely in most car consoles though.
 
It's really finding what you like and can handle well, but in a snub I carry the old .38 Special F.B.I. load.
Me too, Mike. The .38 Special +P 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter (FBI) load gets the nod for any .38 Special carried for serious social purposes, whether snub or longer barrel.

I'm willing to "do that which is evil" and load and carry FBI load equivalent hand loads 158 grain using cast SWCs over 5.4 grains of Unique. I'm not even a stickler for using semi-wadcutters having hollow points in such a defensive load.
 

nortac

Contributor
When it comes to my 2 1/2 in barreled S&W Mod. 66, I have no problem carrying and (in years past) qualifying with the classic 125 gr .357 mag load. It is also the load I carried in my 4 in. S&W mod. 686 duty weapon, way back in the day. At that time, the 125 gr. .357 load was often quoted as having 96%, or so, one shot stops. don't know if that still holds true today, but I suspect it is close enough. In smaller/lighter revolvers than a mod. 66, I'd probably go with a .38 spl. like the 135 gr. Speer Gold Dot +P short barrel round.
 

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The Instigator
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I'm going to ask my amazing local GS if he has the reamer to make my .38 SP101 into a .357 SP101. This absolutely can be done safely (according to the internet! Massad Ayoob's GS does it regularly. And others).

But I swear I don't believe that .357 snubby loads really have any advantage over the best-of-class .38 loads. And they are possibly detrimental!

This would be, again, for emergency use of any ammo ... a consideration when traveling, for example. You don't want to be away from home/in a SHTF situation and all you have is two mags of 9mm Makarov.


AA
 
This would be, again, for emergency use of any ammo ... a consideration when traveling, for example. You don't want to be away from home/in a SHTF situation and all you have is two mags of 9mm Makarov.
Ever see the movie, “The Road”? Man & son, during SHFT, all they had was a revolver, 2 bullets, a case of tuberculosis and a bunch of bad luck?

Very sobering movie.
 

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The Instigator
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Ever see the movie, “The Road”? Man & son, during SHFT, all they had was a revolver, 2 bullets, a case of tuberculosis and a bunch of bad luck?

Very sobering movie.
I did! Very dark movie. Very.

My worst nightmare is not zombies, aliens, cannibals (as in The Road!) but rather, simply ... running out of ammunition. :lol: An unlikely scenario, most of the time!

I suspect a .357 out of a 2" - especially a load not chosen for a short barrel - would look like a hand grenade going off in your hand.

I do shoot .357 out of K-frame Smiths, but not often. Like many, I shoot the heck out of .38 special, and carry .357 in those guns. Have, and not need.

Not a recoil junky but not afraid either. I do load and shoot very hot .45 Colt rounds for a Ruger Bisley convertible. Love that gun! Can exceed the much-ballyhooed .44 Magnum - as you know!


AA (always wanted to use the phrase much-ballyhooed!)
 

jar_

Contributor
In a SHTF situation I'd grab a 22LR first simply because it would be so easy to carry so much ammo and the 22LR is effective against such a wide range of targets, from food to protection. Only after all other necessities were covered would I add other options.
 
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