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NewGunz 12-13-2010 06:51 AM

Revolver calibers?
I'm not that familiar with revolver calibers... What is the gold standard for self defense and what is a good range gun? I currently own a semiauto 9mm because it is a good compromise; the ammo isn't outrageously expensive but it still has some stopping power. What is the equivalent in a revolver? How much does revolver ammo typically run? Thanks.

CHLChris 12-13-2010 07:05 AM

The equivalent in many respects is the .38 special. It is the same caliber as the 9mm and is just as common in the revolver world as the 9mm is in the semi-auto.

It isn't quite as powerful as 9mm, though.

Now, gold standard is more likely to be called the .357 magnum, which is more powerful than both the .38spl and the 9mm round. It is also the same caliber but a little longer shell. You can fire a .38spl out of a revolver chambered for .357mag, but not vice versa.

danf_fl 12-13-2010 07:47 AM

+1 on CHLChris. Add that the 125 grain, jacketed hollow point, .357 has a long record of successful stops.

NGIB 12-13-2010 08:56 AM

About the cheapest revolver caliber to shoot (other than .22) will be .38 Special. The last time I bought some on sale it was about $13.50 a box. A good .357 revolver should be in everyone's collection IMHO. You can plink with .38s and use .357 for defensive rounds...

Mark F 12-13-2010 12:21 PM

Every well equipped arsenal has at least one .357 Magnum in it.

Bob Wright 12-17-2010 03:18 PM

My choice for many years has been a Smith & Wesson 2 1/2" Model 19 Combat Magnum. I carry it loaded with Federal .38 Special +P Nyclad 158 gr. hollow points.

A .38 Special +P loaded with 158 gr. bullets seems ideal for me as it will punch through heavy winter clothing without blowing up like the lighter bullets, and I don't worry about over penetration as is often the case with 357 Magnum cartridges.

Sorry, but I'm of the big, heavy bullet school.

Bob Wright

HKSlinger 12-17-2010 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by danf_fl (Post 402049)
+1 on CHLChris. Add that the 125 grain, jacketed hollow point, .357 has a long record of successful stops.

Yeah. I don't know about now,but that was considered the, "one shot stop" round for years. I'd feel just fine with it around.

powg 12-17-2010 03:57 PM

bob's 19
i had a 19 ..6inch nickel ..loved it but like a dummy ,sold next 19 will be the 2.5 ,like yours the look and feel of that hot rod ....iwant one that has been finished in flat black nitrite

JonM 12-18-2010 12:49 AM

if you can find one for the right price the colt python is the absolute best .357 magnum revolver ever made. ive got one and its the only revolver i have ever had that has stayed in my collection. im not a fan of revolvers but the python transcends the type. in my book its right up there with the finest 1911's.

anyway if you go revolver and are considering the 38spl, get one chambered for 357. you get a stronger frame you can shoot 38spl and 357 mag if you care too. buying a revolver chambered for 38spl only makes absolutely no sense to me.

ScottA 12-18-2010 01:23 AM

Ditto, ditto, and ditto.

The .357 is the most versatile chambering bar none.

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