.38 special revolver

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by stangguy44, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. stangguy44

    stangguy44 New Member

    hello i am im new in to shooting just bought my first gun a smith and wesson 22a my dad has a 357 mag revolver and i shot some .38 special rounds through it and fell in love so my question is the only .38 special revolver i found is snub noes ones so i was just wondering if the recoil would be bad with the snub noes ones or if i should just get a 357 mag revolver and shoot the .38s through it just looking for some help thanks
  2. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    Personally, I have a .357 mag I shoot .38's out of. Why not? You can practice with the .38 special and keep the .357 in it for self/home defense. My revolver has a 6" barrel. The recoil is tolerable, in my opinion.

  3. fisher79

    fisher79 New Member

  4. shootitout

    shootitout New Member

    Go out and shoot a 45 and a a38. Wont seem bad
  5. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    Physics apply. You remember the Newton action and reaction thing from school? That applies to firearms. The lighter the gun, in this case a snub nose revolver, the more felt recoil. There are heavy, all steel snubbys which will absorb recoil, and there are ultra light weight guns made of light weight alloys, where felt recoil is much harder.

    Recoil can be reduced by firing less powerful ammo with lighter bullets. A snubby with full power +P ammo can be a hand full. For that reason, many folks use the lower power ammo for practice, and the more expensive higher power +P loads for self defense carry.

    I am a great fan of revolvers and own a few. My at work backup gun and summer hot weather carry gun is a Smith & Wesson model 642, in which I carry Hornady Critical Defense +P ammo.

    In the event of self defense use of firearms, studies have shown that most folks are so pumped up with adrenalin while defending their life, they don't even feel the recoil, or hear the discharge.

    There are a number of folks who will scoff at the thought of carrying a revolver in .38 spl. Once upon a time the only ammo available for them was pretty weak and did not have much success in self defense. In modern times, especially the last few years, handgun ammo has made quantum leaps in power and performance. The .38 spl. is a viable self defense choice when using the newer ammo.

    No matter what you decide, get professional self defense training and practice, practice, practice.

  6. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

    Personally I would get a .357 magnum Smith and Wesson, because you'll have more versatility than a .38 special chambered Smith and Wesson. It's like a .44 magnum, you'll be able to fire hot magnum cartridges, light magnum cartridges, hot special cartridges, and light special cartridges. For me a 4 inch barrel is perfect for a revolver, not too long and not too short. If you go with a K framed Smith and Wesson there will be more recoil than an L frame Smith and Wesson.
  7. dallascj

    dallascj New Member

    I personally prefer the versatility of a .357, so you can shoot either. That being said, I picked up a used S&W Model 64 in .38 Special that my wife loves, and it is her gun. It is a 4-in barrel, all stainless revolver, and are available many places used for about $350, mostly security company trade ins. Bud's Gun Shop also has Model 10's (same gun, but blued steel) for about $269 shipped to your FFL.
  8. CubDriver_451

    CubDriver_451 New Member

    To answer the original question, recoil in a small frame 38 is not unpleasant at all. If you are wanting a longer barrel, you might look for an older model 10 Smith and Wesson. They can be found on the used market for reasonable prices and are well made guns (better than current production in my opinion).

    As others have pointed out, another option is to get one of the many guns chambered in .357 magnum. This does allow more flexibility in loading and uses. While I am not a fan of the .357 mag, it is pretty much the cartridge by which many others are judged and it is a real work horse. It's performance comes at the cost of increased noise, muzzle blast and recoil.

    I tend to prefer larger bore, lower pressure calibers such as the .44 and .45. These offer huge amounts of power as well as the ability to load down to very light loads if you roll your own, and many shooters find them more pleasant than the .357 when loaded to equal performance levels. The good news is that there are lots of choices. The bad news is that there are lots of choices...

    I own a variety of revolvers and find that I shoot the .45 Colts and .22s the most. I would suggest that you get your hands on as many different guns, calibers and loadings as possible and see what ya like. Don't be afraid to try the big bores. They can be quite pleasant to shoot and amazingly accurate out to ranges that will boggle the mind.

  9. OC357

    OC357 New Member

    .357 and then you could use .38, or +p, or magnums in it. More versitile. Also, a 4" barrel would be better than a snub nose.

    Just my opinion.

  10. stangguy44

    stangguy44 New Member

    Thanks for all the help guys
  11. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

    Don't balk at a snub nose .357 unless you are super recoil sensitive. I've got close to a dozen .357s and a couple .38s. Many of them are equipped with 2", 2 - 1/2" & 3" (snub nose) barrels.

    They are incredibly smooth with most loadings. If you are uncomfortable with standard .357s, there is an unlimited variety of factory loads that include "reduced recoil" .38 specials, high velocity/low recoil 90gr .357s up to 200gr hard Cast hunting cartridges.

    If you have NO handguns, then a 4" would be a good place to start, however don't get scared of a revolver that has been commonly used for over half a century.
  12. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

    Get the 357. I have a Ruger SP101 with a 2.25 barrel. Recoil is stout with magnum loads, but more than manageable with the .38's.
  13. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    Let me start by saying, I've never fired a .357 cartridge.

    .38spl+p is no problem in our SW642. It is stout, but no problem. I also don't think it is by any means underpowered in a SD situation. Thus, I would never, personally, choose to fire .357's out of a snubby. Why go through the major flash and bang which might disorient me as much as the BG?

    Now, out of a larger-frame 4" .357, I think that is the round I would prefer.