.38 or .357 ammo, home protection

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by BacktoGats, Nov 18, 2009.

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  1. BacktoGats

    BacktoGats New Member

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    What are the arguments for or against using a hot load .38 or .357 cartridge for home defense? My first thought was to go with the .357 loads but am wondering if the hotter .38 loads would be easier on the eyes and ears in the event one must use the weapon in the dead of night. Also less penetration through walls with the .38 load but is there enough stopping power to be a good choice?
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I keep both of my .357 "home" guns loaded with .38 +P ammo. I value my eardrums and my night vision. As with any defensive gun, the ability to place the shots quickly and accurately far outweighs any other factor...
     

  3. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    You nailed it.

    Stay with the the 38 spl +P for sound and flash advantages.

    I'd go with Glaser Safety Slugs corbon.jpg

    Glaser Blue Safety Slugs 02200, 38 Special + P, Round Nose, 80 GR, 1400 fps, 6 PK

    Stopping power is fine. Your HD shots will be ~12' or less and that improves shot placement.
     
  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    125gr JHP in either .38 or .357. Less penetration with the lighter bullet. Loads specifically for snub nose revolvers will have less muzzle flash as they are optimized to burn off the powder in the shorter barrel.
     
  5. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    Is there really such a big difference in muzzle flash from a 4" barrel between 38 +P and .357?

    I keep .357 in my home defense wheelgun because .38 +P is not a legal option in Argentina. And the thinnest wall in my house is 8" thick (proper brick wall, none of that drywall stuff).
     
  6. utf59

    utf59 New Member

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    Since you're dealing with a revolver, you're going to get a lot of flash either way, between the muzzle flash and escaping gases between the cylinder and forcing cone.

    +1 on glasers.

    Since the issue of nighttime muzzle flash came up, does anyone here use a suppressor on their home defense gun?
     
  7. BacktoGats

    BacktoGats New Member

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  8. WDB

    WDB New Member

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    I expect much depends on the firearm and the lenght of barrel when it comes to flash and noise. I have two 357 one has a 4" barrel and the other has a 6" barrel. The noise, flash and recoil is far different.
     
  9. OC357

    OC357 New Member

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    I am now doing exactly as NGIB is doing and for the same reasons and one more. I don't have to worry about .357 going through the wall and down the street and possibly hurt an innocent person.


    I used to just keep .357 mag in my python for home defense but I changed recently to .38+P for home defense use.

    OC
     
  10. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Two .357's and a .38 are all loaded with Federal .38 HP's for home defense.
     
  11. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

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    Glasers may not be the best home defense round. What if your target is hiding behind a door, couch or other barrier? Glasers won't penetrate most.

    If you have to discharge a handgun in a no-B.S. self defense situation, your body will be under the influence of a massive adrenalin dump. You won't see the flash, hear the report, or feel the recoil.

    I live in the country so I keep my revolver stoked with .357 magnum loads, but if I were to live in town in an apartment or similar dwelling, I'd likely use a lighter weight bullet in .38 spl.
     
  12. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I was at Wally World today, and they had Federal 125 grain JHP +P .38 Specials for $28.00 for a hundred rounds.
     
  13. MB44

    MB44 New Member

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    Dang,... I wish we had ammo that cheap down here,... I figure it's time to move back to Texas
    :D

    As we can't get 38 +P ammo down here, and if we could they'd probably hurt you for 1$ a pop,.. hence I keep my King Cobra loaded with 357's, but I'd say I would opt for the +P as well,....
     
  14. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    Something like.... THIS??
     

    Attached Files:

  15. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You may not realize this but not all gun powder is created equal. Many higher end and LE loads use triple based powders for greatly reduced muzzle flash. Some loads are nearly invisible at night. The flame throwing muzzle flash you may see in a "bargain load" is no bigger than a soda can in the duty grade loads.
     
  16. MB44

    MB44 New Member

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    Well assuming that you got access to a wide variety of ammo, I am sure that you're right. I on the other hand, I have very few options thus I opt for the 357 in my case.
    In your opinion, given a scanario of a self defense situation in a appartment, and your last comment: What is your view on the noise level of .357 vs. 38 +P, or is it irreleval as pioneer461 said it, one would be all pumped up on adrenaline..???
     
  17. MB44

    MB44 New Member

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    Dang Mark F,...

    That was exactly what I had in mind,.... (hehehehhe)

    [​IMG]

    Had me runnin' home for lunch to take that photo.... :D
     
  18. OC357

    OC357 New Member

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    ^^Really nice King Cobra's.....:D

    OC
     
  19. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I arm my wife with 38's in her SP101 because she can't handle the 357s. If you come in my house and I'm not here you'll be facing a petite lady with 125gr +p Gold Dots and she's good. I feel comfortable with this load for her or myself. Having said that, if I am carrying her Ruger for whatever reason, I load it with 357s of the same bullet. I don't mind the recoil and like the extra power.
     
  20. Shooter girl

    Shooter girl New Member

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    Just so you know, you are not going to get much penetration out of those (yeah yeah I know, that is the point). I believe that the testing I saw done with them topped out at around 4 inches in gel. The FBI minimium is 12 inches, with a maximum of 18 inches. Anything less than 12 inches and you will not likely reach vital organs from most angles.
     
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