I have a .357 ammo question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Bluestar99, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Bluestar99

    Bluestar99 New Member

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    I just bought my first revolver, a Ruger GP100 Match Champion. Today was the first time I fired it. I ran 50 rounds of 130 gr 38 Special through it and it shot fine. I then moved up to 158 gr .357 Magnum . This had much more punch, which I expected. They I went back to 158 gr 38 Special. This seemed to have recoil in between the two.
    Why would 158 gr 38 Special be so much different then 158 gr .357 magnum?
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    In a word- speed. That .357 is traveling a lot faster. Energy equals speed squared times mass.

    38 Special, about 770 fps. 357 mag, about 1240 FPS. Double the energy
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

  3. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn New Member

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    Less powder = less pressure = lower felt recoil (if same gun is used for the comparison). The 38 spl cartridge contains less powder than the 357 mag cartridge.
     
  4. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    Physics. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It takes less force to move a 130 gr. object than a 158 gr. object, the added force necessary to initiate the movement of the heavier object results in added felt recoil.

    Oops, I misread the question, but that's why there would be more recoil from a 158 gr. .38 spl. round than a 130 gr. .38 spl. round.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  5. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    The 357 cartridge has more powder in it.
     
  6. Bluestar99

    Bluestar99 New Member

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    I shot both 130 gr and 158gr in 38 Special. I could feel the difference between them. Then I shot 158 gr .357 magnum. There was a big difference between the 2 158gr recoils. Why do they not have the same recoil if they are both 158gr?
     
  7. FernandoTheCommando

    FernandoTheCommando New Member

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    He asked why the 158 gr .38s and the 158 gr .357 felt different. He wanted to know why two bullets of the same weight felt different, not why the magnum cartridge kicked harder than the .38. As some other stated, the .357 has a slightly longer case and more powder. It's like a .38 special on steroids. More powder means bigger boom to put it in lamens terms.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Firearms Talk mobile app
     
  8. FernandoTheCommando

    FernandoTheCommando New Member

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    Sent from my HTC One X using Firearms Talk mobile app
     
  9. Steel_Talon

    Steel_Talon New Member

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    .357 magnum requires a "hotter" powder charge
     
  10. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc New Member

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    The 158 gr weight listed on the load only applies to the weight of the bullet (projectile) and does not include the weight of the powder charge.

    So a 158gr .38 Special load may contain 5.0 gr of brand x powder, while the .357 mag 158gr load may contain 6.5 gr if the same powder, resulting in more overall energy. That energy results in higher velocity of the same weight of projectile. That energy difference is also going to be felt in the recoil and whatever the projectile strikes as well.
     
  11. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    The "158 grain" refers only to the weight of the bullet, not the amount of energy driving the bullet.
     
  12. Bluestar99

    Bluestar99 New Member

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    That's what I need to know, thanks. What are the advantages or disadvantages of using 130gr vs 158gr then in 38 Special? If both have the same powder load why would I want one over the other?
     
  13. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc New Member

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    Back in black powder cartridge days loads woul often express a caliber and the cartridge capacity for black powder by weight. The .45-70 cartridge is an example. It was a .45 caliber load that held 70gr of black powder. The .45-110 was a .45 caliber cartridge that held 110gr of powder. The projectile weight was not included in these cartridge designations.

    In smokeless powder cartridges that system went away. Loads now lost the projectile weight in grains, but no longer list the powder charge weight, because smokeless powders from manufacturer to manufacturer and load to load may vary.

    The .357 magnum was just an elongated .38 case to allow for a magnum sized powder charge to increase velocity that the .38 Special case could not achieve safely in a pressure range that was compatible with the guns it was chambered for.
     
  14. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc New Member

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    Lighter loads are less punishing to shoot, for the shooter and the gun. One may want to lessen penetration risks as well, and a lighter bullet will do that. A heavier bullet may be required for shooting some species of game, to ensure adequate penetration. Those are the first reasons to pop to mind. Some rifling twist rates also handle different weights if bullets better than others.
     
  15. Bluestar99

    Bluestar99 New Member

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    Thanks SSGN_Doc. That is a great answer, and makes perfect sense. So then when I see +p or
    +P+ These is a larger powder loads in the same bullet casing?
     
  16. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    A heavier bullet will go slower on the same powder charge. The powder loads also vary within the caliber, but not by as much as 357 vs 38.
     
  17. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc New Member

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    Correct. They are increased pressure loads in a standard case. Vice, going to a magnum case.
     
  18. Bluestar99

    Bluestar99 New Member

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    Again, thanks for the info, you have really helped.
     
  19. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc New Member

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    Oh, and the +p or +p+ loads will still usually fall short of magnum performance.

    Happy to help, it's what makes the forum great.
     
  20. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Not so. Black Powder rifle cartridges were expressed by caliber,OAL and bullet weights. An example it would be .45-2 7/8-550 Straight. AKA modern description .45-110-550. The .45-70-405, 44-40-200 these are modern and late descriptions. The .44-90-440 BN the early description had to be exact. Sharps, Remington etc. had Chamber marks reading .45 2 7/8 {.45-110}.
    Internal ballistic are the results of created pressure. Everything else follows velocity, recoil, bullet up set. The larger .357 case allows more powder to create higher pressures.

    Prior to the .357 Mag. circa 1935 there was the S&W .38-44. S&W Mdle. 20 used a higher pressure chrome steel cylinder. The OAL of the .38-44 case remained the same as the standard .38 Special. They loaded the 38-44 to a pressure that allowed a velocity of 1,100 FPS with a jacketed 158 grs bullet. The round could penetrate both sides of a steel car body. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014