.38 spl vs. .357 magnum

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Kain, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Kain

    Kain Member

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    I was a bit dubious to the difference between these two rounds as when placed side-by-side they're not all that different, only about a mm or two. But on my last range outting, I packed 50 rounds of 38 spl and 50 rounds of 357 for my GP100. I really noticed the difference when I loaded 3 38s and 3 357s in the chamber, spun it and snapped the wheel closed and fired without knowing what was chambered. When I rotated from the 357 to the 38s I thought the gun had misfired. Accuracy was really about the same, making it a nice practice round as it's nearly half the price. But the 38s really do feel like cap-gun rounds by comparison.

    Though, I did notice that the 357 rounds I was using had a particularly pungent and fankly, FOUL, smell to them when fired. They were Federal Green/white box rounds. Whereas the cheap reloaded 38 spl were less odorous, though very smokey.
     
  2. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    You can thank Elmer Keith for the .357 Magnum. (.41 mag and the .44 mag too.)

    If you haven't read anything on Keith, do yourself a favor and goggle him. He was a true character!
     

  3. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    On one trip to the range, I loaded up 3 .38's and 2 .357 (158 grains) in my SP101 and handed it to my friend. It went something like... bang, bang, bang, BOOM... "you bastard."
     
  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The max pressure of the .38 Spl is 17,000 psi
    The max pressure of the .357 Mag is 35,000 psi.

    Over twice the pressure yields significant velocity, blast and recoil difference.

    The small difference in length can be deceiving. The .357 was made just enough longer so the ammo could not be chambered in a .38 Spl firearm. The results could be disasterous.
     
  5. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    This^
    One could make the same comparisons with a number of other cartridges out there. .44 special vs. .44 Magnum, .45 Acp vs. .460 Rowland, .40 S&W vs. 10mm and so on. Visual comparisons, on their own, are very little help.
     
  6. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    In a snub nose,there isn't much difference in actual velocity and energy between a .38+p and .357,but put them both in a 6" revolver and it's night and day,more than twice the power.
     
  7. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    Hee, Hee, I did the same with 4 .380's and 1 .357 to a friend with the same results... ;)
     
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You let yor friend shoot a Medusa? How cool.
     
  9. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    Of course... They all have! It would be rude not to! ;)
     
  10. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I was being sneaky, but that... that's almost diabolical. ;)
     
  11. mes227

    mes227 New Member

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    The length of modern cartridges is more about reducing the chance of chambering a mag load in a non mag gun than it is related to horsepower.