.357 Mag question

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by oldredneck, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. oldredneck

    oldredneck New Member

    May 20, 2007
    SW Mississippi
    Okay, all you revolver folks go ahead and have a good laugh and then give me a valid answer.:eek::D

    I own a couple of .22 revolvers and four autoloaders. I'm looking for something my wife can easily load and fire if I'm not home and she has an intruder. She has very little experience with firearms and would probably have big problems with an autoloader if put under stress. I would like something I could also use on wild hogs and coyotes. I was thinking about getting a .357 Mag. Now, for my question. Can you safely fire .38 special and .38 +P rounds in a .357? I don't think the wife would want to shoot .357 plus I wouldn't want a stray round to go through a neighbor's house. I guess another solution would be to get her a .32 and get the .357 for myself.
  2. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location

    Thats one of the nice things about the .357 is that you can shoot the lower powered .38 Special (or +p) rounds while saving money and practicing with the lower recoil.


  3. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd New Member

    Nov 23, 2007
    The answer is yes, and I also would add that it's a good choice! Don't feel bad about the question, mathematically and common sensically of COURSE .38 inches and .357 inches are different! :confused:

    I got a super-light .357 - don't recommend that, especially for home defense; it's a handful. But a quality .357 revolver is a fine, fine home defense weapon. Maybe get her some laser grips, since you said "easily fire"? I used to think they were cheesy, but after playing with them, it's hard to deny they make things simpler. Expensive, though.

    Also quality +Ps are fine for your self-defense load, too. Don't feel like you have to load 357s in it for her, ever!

  4. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Apr 25, 2004
    Pensacola Fl. area
    Henry of all the guns that I own the ONE i will never be without is a 357 revolver.
    I love the 357 magnum, I love lots of guns but the 357 is top draw to me.
    The 357 manum in a four inch (Ilike 6 inch) barrel with adjustable sights will shoot all 38 spec. and 357 without a problem. A 38 spec. shot shell to the face of an intruder is mighty nasty followed by a factory round will make any man stop DRT ( Dead Right There)
    a light target load and the wife will spend more time shooting and there fore become if not a better shot at least very comfortable with the handgun.
    If she was to every use it in real life she would know if it was loaded with a target load or a full house 357 mag load.
    I would not get anything smaller then a 4 inch nor larger than a 6 inch for her. Stick with either a S&W or a Ruger used price range 300 to 450 for a fine pistol.
    My night stand gun is a S&W 4 inch 45ACP revolver back up is a 6 inch S&W 686 followed by a 12 ga. police riot pump loaded with #4's
  5. oldredneck

    oldredneck New Member

    May 20, 2007
    SW Mississippi
    Thanks for the replys. I've been looking at a Ruger with 4" barrel. I've shot a S&W Airlite with .38+P and that has a good little jolt. I imagine it would be uncomfortable to say the least with .357 loads.
  6. Tom

    Tom Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    The confusion results due to the minor problem that .38 Special is really .357” and .357 mag is just a lengthened case.

    My 4” Ruger GP100 weighs 39 oz. My 3” S&W 360 Kit Gun weighs 16 oz. with Pachmayr grips. Shooting .357 mag loads in them is night and day different. The Kit Gun has really nasty recoil. The GP100 isn’t bad, but probably more than your wife will want. There are slightly tame .357 loads that are more than .38 special, but much less than full power .357. You might consider trying those in 125 gr. for home defense.
  7. Neverhome

    Neverhome Member

    Oct 1, 2007
    I have a .357 SS Taurus Tracker with a 4" ported barell, and seven round cylinder.
    I love the gun. It is accurate and the porting makes a big difference in the recoil.
    Sights are adjustable and the grips are soft ribbed rubber which take some of the bite out of full 158 grain magnum loads. It also comes with a lifetime warranty and can be locked by a screw on the hammer for those who like a lock.

    I previously owned a Dan Wesson with a six inch and the Taurus by far, is much easier to bring up on target and the trigger pull is much smoother.

  8. BillP

    BillP New Member

    The only thing I don't like about the .357 is the muzzle flash in 4" and shorter barrels. Repeat shots are tough at night because factory rounds are loaded with powder that doesn't completely burn in short barrels. Since a high percentage of shootouts take place at night you owe it to yourself to make a night trip to the range or get your range-master to turn off the lights. Another thing you will learn is how easy it is to acquire your target in the flash from your last shot. .38+P rounds are designed for police use so manageable muzzle flash at night is a priority. That makes them a good choice for home defense.
  9. Taurus_9mm

    Taurus_9mm New Member

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  10. neophyte

    neophyte New Member

    Jul 28, 2007
    oldredneck: Sir' the missis's will love you for thinking of HER:)
    With the GP100 4' you have enough mass to help with recoil. Practicing with .38's regularly .357 isn't quite the jolt. We had a 11yr with us Thanksgiving
    he weighs 45lbs? not good at this? Had never shot. gave up my Single Six and loaded .9mm-.38-.357-.40-.44 in handguns. He had any and all with the exception of the .44? Don't know why? Young man was Small, thin, non athletic.
    He got attached to the .357's GP100-Blackhawk 6 1/2" approx. 300rds and never complained about being beat up. NON MACHO young man
  11. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Redneck, I guess it just depends on who you are and all that, but I shoot full power .357 Mag loads in this one frequently...Granted it is heaver than that Airweight which helps for recoil, but I have small hands and wrists which have been broken pretty badly.

    I think just getting used to it helps a lot as well.


    Attached Files:

  12. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Apr 25, 2004
    Pensacola Fl. area
    Crpdeth, I like your apron :D:D
    Oh the gun is a nice one also ;)
  13. hankroberts

    hankroberts New Member

    Nov 6, 2007
    38 in 357 OK: NOT 357 in 38.

    Excellent cartridge, and several very good revolver platforms available. I grew up shooting a Smith Highway Patrolman and love it. Smith 65/66 and the Rugers are fine weapons. However, if you can find one, absolutely the BEST deal in town is the Rossi 971 with the short barrel/built in compensator. They are no longer cheap, as when they were still in production, but they're still not bad, and an excellent firearm. They come stock with rubber grips on a rounded butt, adjustable sights, stainless. 3" barrel, INCLUDING the compensator. A small frame Smith speedloader fits them so they're quick/easy to load.

    Even with magnum handloads I can fire six shots into a paper plate at 20 feet in three seconds: the front sight never leaves the target.

    I have two of them, and would have six if they hadn't gone up so much in price.
  14. I've always had mixed emotions about the .357 Mag, at least in relatively small-frame revolvers. I currently own five revolvers chambered for the .357 magnum: two Taurus, one Rossi, a Ruger, and a Smith. The Taurus revolvers and the Rossi are all medium-frame 2" snubbies; the Ruger is a 6" Model GP-100, and the Smith is a Model 28 N-frame with a 4" barrel. All of them shoot well and accurately, but I gotta be honest, the snubbies are not comfortable to shoot with full-power .357 loads. Perhaps I'm just a wuss, but they hurt! Loaded with .38 +P ammo, they are fine, however. My most often carried CCW is, frankly, a J-frame Smith Mod 637 loaded with +P .38s. There is simply no doubt the .357 is a very effective caliber, but in any revolver with less than a 6" barrel, I can't hit well with it due both to muzzle blast and recoil. Just my $.02 worth.
  15. ciwsguy

    ciwsguy New Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    Does anybody else have a problem (i.e., geez- that thing sure is funny looking) with the revolvers that have no exposed hammer? Maybe its just me, but I cannot get used to it. Give me the hammered-version.
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