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Old 11-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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Default .357 hurts my ears

I have been running around three different shooting ranges, renting various handguns to find a couple to add to my collection (Glock 19, SA 1911 RO, S&W 632 (wife's)). Had it narrowed down to trying Sig 226 E squared, Beretta Px4, Beretta 92FS. So, of course, I run into a guy at one range who lets me shoot his S&W 686 Plus revolver. Loved it. Would be a great nightstand/range gun. Too heavy to carry around. Today I rented one and tried the .357 rounds as well as the .38 special rounds. With .357 my hits were spread out over 6.5 inches. With the .38 specials it was only 3 inches. So now I have found a nice revolver that shoots both, but is more accurate with the .38s, as well as making popping sounds compared to dynamite blasts (.357). Okay, perhaps I exaggerate just a little.

So should I focus on buying a 686 plus, or go for a S&W like the 64 which is made specifically only for the .38 special?

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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I have the Ruger GP100 in 357/38 and LOVE it. It could be a handy sidearm for woodsy stuff and is the best plinker EVAR with the .38 target rounds. I like both.

edit* It probably helps that mine has the 6" barrel. Snubbies aren't for fun.

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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if more of a range gun and also used as a HD firearm, i would opt for the 686 with at least a 4" barrel. you can shoot the 38 Spl. in it, but still have the option of 357 Mag. if you want to shoot them as well.

i shoot 44 Spl. majority of the time for just range shooting, but still shoot full magnums loads from time to time. just remember that if you shoot 38 Spl. in it to clean the cylinder as well or it can difficult to chamber the magnum rounds in it due to the powder residue build-up in the cylinder bores.

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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+1 on the Ruger GP100

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Saw the title and thought...
"no ****, Sherlock"

Many people like the .357 because it CAN shoot both. But if you get a .38, that's all you can shoot through it.

Personal choice on this one. I would take the .357. And then just run .38 for practice/plinking, and carry/load .357 for defense.

Edit to add: I personally think the .38 only chambering is almost obsolete. The only use I see for it is as a dedicated target pistol or super compact revolver.

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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Seems like a no-brainer to me. Go with a .357, preferably a classic Smith. Load it with defensive .38 rounds until you become proficient with the hot .357 rounds. A .357 will give you "room to grow" as a shooter.

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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I bought a 357 to shoot 357 rounds. I have a 9mm. Why bother with the 38? It takes a little getting used too but in time you will find the 357 is more accurate than the 38 spl, especially at long range.

The other posters are right about the 6" barrel. A long barrel gives you a better sight plane and time for the powder to burn.

I would rather have a 357 snubby than a 38 snubby. While a snub nose revolver isn't the best platform for a 357. The 357 is a one hit load. Most other pistols calibers are not one hit loads.

What you have to consider is the 357 is going to have a heavier frame. You can find 38 spl revolvers that are very light. You have to decide if you want a lighter gun or a heavy hitter.

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisbob View Post
I have been running around three different shooting ranges, renting various handguns to find a couple to add to my collection (Glock 19, SA 1911 RO, S&W 632 (wife's)). Had it narrowed down to trying Sig 226 E squared, Beretta Px4, Beretta 92FS. So, of course, I run into a guy at one range who lets me shoot his S&W 686 Plus revolver. Loved it. Would be a great nightstand/range gun. Too heavy to carry around. Today I rented one and tried the .357 rounds as well as the .38 special rounds. With .357 my hits were spread out over 6.5 inches. With the .38 specials it was only 3 inches. So now I have found a nice revolver that shoots both, but is more accurate with the .38s, as well as making popping sounds compared to dynamite blasts (.357). Okay, perhaps I exaggerate just a little.

So should I focus on buying a 686 plus, or go for a S&W like the 64 which is made specifically only for the .38 special?
S&W 686 is a great gun that will serve you well for years to come. One note,,,the spread on the .357 rnds compared to the .38 spc may be due to you anticipating the "boom" and flinching. I suspect that with a bit more practice and experience you will be shooting both calibers the same. Personally I like the option that comes with a .357 versus a .38 chambered revolver but concealment is a trade-off...not to easy to conceal an L frame Smith.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympus View Post
Seems like a no-brainer to me. Go with a .357, preferably a classic Smith. Load it with defensive .38 rounds until you become proficient with the hot .357 rounds. A .357 will give you "room to grow" as a shooter.
" .357 hurts my ears" ORLY? Put your "big girl panties" on and start shooting real firearms! Or continue as a paperboy on a girl's bicycle!

Olympus!

Shop around and you will find many "vintage" Smiths.

I got this S&W M19-3 for <$400.



With NO modifications, it is my favorite and the most accurate, in my hands firearm in my arsenal. (I shoot the same groups with .38 spl and .357 Rem Mag.)



Off hand, 7 meters slow fire. (That's a 5 1/2" target)

Not bad for a 42 year old "vintage" Smith in the hands of a 65 year old shooter!



[NEVER start a fight with an old man, he will just kill you!]
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisbob View Post
I have been running around three different shooting ranges, renting various handguns to find a couple to add to my collection (Glock 19, SA 1911 RO, S&W 632 (wife's)). Had it narrowed down to trying Sig 226 E squared, Beretta Px4, Beretta 92FS. So, of course, I run into a guy at one range who lets me shoot his S&W 686 Plus revolver. Loved it. Would be a great nightstand/range gun. Too heavy to carry around. Today I rented one and tried the .357 rounds as well as the .38 special rounds. With .357 my hits were spread out over 6.5 inches. With the .38 specials it was only 3 inches. So now I have found a nice revolver that shoots both, but is more accurate with the .38s, as well as making popping sounds compared to dynamite blasts (.357). Okay, perhaps I exaggerate just a little.

So should I focus on buying a 686 plus, or go for a S&W like the 64 which is made specifically only for the .38 special?
get both. lol.
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