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YouTube: VIDEO: Jarhead6: Preppers: Best Round For .357 Revolver!

February 8, 2014

YouTube: VIDEO: Jarhead6: Preppers: Best Round For .357 Revolver!

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JasonC February 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm

First thing to understand is that all the 357 varieties are going to have more power – generally a lot more power – than even +P versions of 38 special. 38 special is a round for situations or shooters where you really need to keep recoil down. A typical 38 special that isn’t +P is going to be moving only about 800 feet per second. Go up to +P and that can rise to 1000 feet per second. Go up to 357 and it might rise to 1300 feet per second or more.

In my opinion, plain 38 special is a marginal self defense round, akin to 380 ACP. Sure the round may have more mass to it, but it is still going quite slow. Hollow points at very low velocity can have trouble expanding sufficiently, and of course total energy delivered is dropping as the square of the lost speed.

A good +P 38 can be sufficient, as in similar to a 9mm in power. There are relatively inexpensive +P loads in 147 grain, and in the standard (heavy and slow) 158 grain. You can find faster smaller loads at 125 grain and down to 110. Going with the heaviest is generally not the right idea, when you are trying to get relatively slow hollow points to actually expand reliably, because requires sufficient velocity.

In 357, the two most common bullet weights are 158 grain and 125 grain. And with do much powder behind it, a 125 grain 357 is really moving. It can hit 1400 feet per second, though from a short barrel you will lose some of that potential. 125 grain 357 hollow point is the most proven man stopper load, with some of the best 1 shot stop stats of any round out there. But any 357 HP is going to hit hard enough.

I would steer away from 38 special standard, unless we are talking about a very small, inexperienced, or otherwise recoil sensitive person using a small 2 inch barrel revolver. If you don’t have recoil issues, and especially if you have a heavier frame revolver with 3-4 inch barrel, get used to the 357 loads.

If you have a small 2 inch, you have to experiment and see if you can handle 357 well, or whether 38 +P is more controllable for you. In the latter case, understand you are deliberately stepping down to a 9mm power level.

I hope that help…

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