Is 38 special enough?

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by cAs58, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. cAs58

    cAs58 New Member

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    Im still shopping around for a new revolver and im wondering. Should i just go with a 357? Or a 38? The gun will be used for my self defense so is 38 special enough to do the job
     
  2. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get the .357, you have the option of shooting both.
     

  3. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    For carrying on your person, a 38 is enough. Bigger may be better, but it is also bigger.
     
  4. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Absolutely agree. If you're comfortable with the 357 you're in great shape, if not you can still shoot the 38.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.
     
  5. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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    No it isn't enough. That's why they made the 357. It's why LE doesn't use 38 special anymore. Carrying for self defense is about "self defense". It's not a contest to see who can carry the smallest gun.
     
  6. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    I carry .38 spl. in my S&W Model 60. With modern JHP ammo, it will work just fine.

    As I stated in the last caliber debate thread, I am going to post a link to some of the best info. I've seen to date on caliber effectiveness. You decide.

    www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7866
     
  7. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    Certainly it's enough. LE went to automatics to gain ammunition capacity.
     
  8. cAs58

    cAs58 New Member

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    Thank you all very much
     
  9. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The average lightweight 38spl revolver weighs about 16 oz loaded. My SP101 weighs 28 oz loaded and has boot grips. I would not like to shoot 357 in a lighter gun in that configuration. Yes larger Hogue grips will handle better but they are less concealable. The 38spl has been doing the job for a long time and modern ammo has made it a better performer. If you feel you need more then get an semi auto with a higher round count. 11 rounds in a Ruger SR9c will weigh in at 28 oz also and there is not a lot of difference between a 357 from a snub and a 9mm from a 3.5" barrel. You can use the chart below to see how well the rounds work in short barrels.
    http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/22.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  11. Bayou

    Bayou Active Member

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    That's what I've done....

    Bayou
     
  12. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    It all depends on the gun you get, if you are thinking a snub nosed revolver I highly recommend a .38, or at least only shooting .38's in a .357 snub, because you lose about half of your ability to hit center mass accurately with .357 magnum rounds firing rapidly. Now if you are talking a house gun that is heavy with at least a 4" barrel, then by all means get a .357 and rock out...125gr JHP all the way.
     
  13. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I look at my SD firearm and ask if I would get in a pen with a mad 150# hog with it.

    If I feel confident enough, then I carry it.

    And I have been known to carry a .38 at times.
     
  14. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    First thing you need to realize is this kind of post is going to responded to by the
    "worst case scenario" crowd where anything short of .50 caliber is inadequate!
    In most confrontations having a gun is sufficient, no one wants to be shot with anything, point a pellet gun at me I surrender. Chances of you having to use a handgun to protect you and yours is relatively slim, so in most scenarios I would vote yes!
     
  15. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    I agree with this.

    There's nothing, IMO, wrong with good defensive hollow point .38 Special loads.

    But buying a gun chambered in .38 only serves to limit you to one caliber. If you buy a gun in .357 Magnum, you have more versatility because you can shoot both calibers.

    It will give you the OPTION to shoot .357s later on if you so choose.

    _________

    If this is the first time you've read this, up until now you think I typed this out in response to this thread. Well, the jokes on you. This is my signature line. Know it, embrace it, love it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  16. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 642. That is a J-Frame in 38+P. I shoot +P ammo once in a while. It is not fun. The recoil in my 629 44 mag is more manageable. I had a Windicator in 357. It was a snubby too. But it weighed twice what my S&W does. It was like carrying a brick around. That is why I sold it. But it was a lot easier to get the second and third shot off.
     
  17. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A hit with a 38 is better than a miss with a 357!;)
    If your hit probability is better with the 38 than a 357 it is more then enough.:)
     
  18. VoxRomantic

    VoxRomantic Member

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    Yeah that and more in the last caliber debate!

    Two in the chest and one in head negates all caliber issues........
     
  19. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    The .357 seems to always be a sturdier build than the 38 Special. And

    it keeps your option to go to the more powerful round.
     
  20. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    I don't recall the .38 Special being condemned for lack of energy on soft targets. The .357 was the result of the 38-44 S&W for penetrating car bodies. During the Inter-War era 1918-1941 steel car bodies and Highway Desperadoes were the crimes that got the press. Police needed a cartridge that could penetrate a trunk lid and both car seats. :)