Curious experience with .357 Mag versus .38 Special

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Steve-M, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Steve-M

    Steve-M New Member

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    Now I'll admit first off that I am a newb, so I may just be a little off in my expectations, but I after a long weekend of shooting, I do have an interesting experience that I am curious about.

    I obtained a Rossi 971 revolver (chambered for 357 magnum, 4" barrel) a few months back, and started off by firing 38 special +P rounds (125 grain Winchester white box stuff from Walmart). They kicked moderately, with a reasonable amount of muzzle blast/flash. I was a bit hesitant for a while to fire a 357 round; however, this past weekend I got a box of 110 grain 357 Winchesters just for kicks, and I was surprised that it had practically no recoil (certainly no muzzle flip). I suppose it was a bit louder (although I thought the 38 was already pretty darned loud), and there wasn't really any more flash IMO. So my question is: given that the 357 is supposed to be a far more powerful cartridge...what the heck???
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Recoil is a product of bullet weight, muzzle velocity and to a lesser degree, powder weight. A light (110 gr.) fast .357 MAY not give any more felt recoil than a 125 gr. +p .38 spl.
     

  3. sgtdeath66

    sgtdeath66 New Member

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    when i fired a 357 my first time it was a ruger redhawk or blackhawk cant remember, but my buddy who owned it said it kicked like a mule. at this time i had a .45 glock model 30, not a sissy gun, well anyways he told me it would kick harder than the glock. so i was nervous, well i took the shot... nothing too serious so i tried one handed and still nothing so i think its just hype. then i bough the rossi 2" barreled .357 that was a fun gun, my point is you cant go by what people say, i know a lot of peopl that call me nutz when i shoot my 12ga one handed but heh.
     
  4. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    I have a .380 sub-compact that feels like a cherry bomb going off in my hand. It's all a matter of physics.
     
  5. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

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    As Robocop stated, the 100 grain load, despite the fact that it is a .357 load, not a .38 Special, is very light for a .357. The "standard" .357 Magnum load is loaded with a 158 grain semi jacketed bullet.

    I can assure you, run a few full power 158's through it and all your hopes and dreams of a hard recoiling, big muzzle flash handgun will be fulfilled. Now I am not talking stupid recoil like a heavy duty .44 magnum or some of the "I am compensating for something else" big bores. You will notice a difference though, especially in the 4", fairly light framed Rossi.
     
  6. Steve-M

    Steve-M New Member

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    Heh well I tried some Remington UMC 125 grain 357 magnum rounds out today at the range. Lets just say they were not my cup of tea (especially since I'm looking for something for home use), and that the rest are on sale :eek: Live and learn, although I had fun at least. Of course, I have a new appreciation for the practically non-recoiling 38 special +p now...
     
  7. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    There is a good variety of 38 SPL ammo available, most of which is recoil friendly. This is my all-time favorite .38 SPL ammo.
     

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  8. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    Steve-M.... Before you sell that ammo, I'd offer a suggestion..... get with another, perhaps more experienced revolver shooter, and see if changing a few things in your grip, and/or shooting position might improve your recoil situation.
     
  9. Steve-M

    Steve-M New Member

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    Wonder if there is anyone on the forum around... Although I will say that it is just more than pure recoil. The blast noise is enough to make me jump out of my skin, even with hearing protection.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  10. Zappa

    Zappa New Member

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    Try some of the 180 grainers. They're hard to find, but a real blast. I call them "tankbusters" because it's one of the few handgun rounds that will penetrate a propane tank. Oh yeah, a nice padded shooting glove is also recommended, especially with wooden grips. :D
     
  11. 741512th

    741512th New Member

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    When I shoot .357 out of my Taurus model 66, the difference is mostly sound and side flash. Maybe a little harder kick, but not an enormous difference.
     
  12. Bighead

    Bighead New Member

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    Speer Gold Dot 125 grain .38 special +P
    Muzzle Energy = 248 foot lbs.

    Speer Gold Dot 158 grain .357 Magnum
    Muzzle Energy = 535 foot lbs

    Muzzle energy is not a direct correlation to recoil, but does demonstrate the difference between the two rounds.

    Here is a Handgun Recoil Chart I discovered online. Some might find it interesting.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_recoil_table.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  13. maxwell

    maxwell New Member

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    I have a 649 S&W with 2" barrel .357 mag

    I shoot .38 for practice then shoot 5 rounds of Ammo: Winchester .357 mag. 110 GR JHP

    Your hand will be red and hurt from shooting my gun with the .357 mag ammo.
    Friend said your gun is no fun to shoot

    This is not a fun gun to shoot, if has only one purpose and that is self protection.

    There is a marked difference in shooting .38 verse .357 rounds in my gun.

    S&W also makes this same size gun in .44 mag, now that would be a hand full to shoot.
     
  14. Steve-M

    Steve-M New Member

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    "Your hand will be red and hurt from shooting my gun with the .357 mag ammo"

    That is what was happening with the Remington ammo in my gun. After one cylinder the webbing between my thumb and index finger was getting a good beating. Of course, I'll take it to the range next week with some gloves and fire off the rest for kicks. Who knows, maybe I'll take a liking to it. Either way, I'll probably stick with 38 special +P, as I suspect it is more than adequate for my purposes of home defense.
     
  15. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I can put together some rounds you'd never forget. I reload my 357's and I found a combination that calls for a Hornady XTP 180 grain JHP bullet pushed with 12.5 grains of 2400 powder. This makes a brutal round thats second to no other. The only down-side is, it kicks like a pissed-off mule on steriods. I shoot these in my 4" Colt King Cobra. I also practice with 38 Specials...
     
  16. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking it's more of an control/grip/stance/experience thing rather than recoil. I'll bet if you have an experienced shooter to assist you in grip style, you'll be able to control it much more easily. Once you learn how to properly control recoil, you'll be able to shoot without worrying about the recoil. There are 2 factors than CAN greatly contribute to felt recoil. The first is properly fitting grips, aftermarket soft rubber Hogues are great for "soaking up" recoil, while fitting your hand better than the factory grips. The 2nd factor is muzzle blast. Have you tried using ear plugs AND ear muffs BOTH at same time?