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Old 11-22-2012, 11:07 PM
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Default .357 Magnum vs. .38 Special?



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I'd like to start off by saying that this is NOT another one of those pointless "which is better" threads (whew ) I'm just going to ask which would be better for my needs. I realize that with a .357 Magnum you can shoot either for more versatility, but I really only intend for it to be a self defence weapon, maybe to go in the glovebox and temporarily as a home defence "nightstand" gun until I can get a Mossy 500 Field/Home combo. Also as a fun gun to punch paper with and blow crap up with, but hey, all my guns do that

I intend on using it as a backup weapon for SHTF, because IMO in a SHTF scenario really a handgun of any kind should only be used as a backup weapon if your rifle or shotgun malfunctions or for some odd reason, it isn't on your person (which it probably should be at all times. I don't intend to use it for hunting. Although loaded with snakeshot it would make a good snake gun... but I already have my Rossi .410 for that.


So what i'm really asking is, do I really need to save up the extra money for a .357? Or would a .38 Special suit my needs? Well actually, it'll probably end up being a Christmas gift, but since my family's kinda broke, money is still an object.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:18 PM
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I say go with the versatility. Not much more money for a .357
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:33 PM
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I also think you should go with a .357, even if you have to save up..

I bought a 44spl and regretted it, ended up getting a 44mag anyways. And since you would be getting it in case SHTF, having more options on calibers is a good thing.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:36 PM
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.357 seems to be a significantly more effective round for defense.
http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...8&postcount=47
Old 11-22-2012, 11:38 PM
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If you get a .357 you can shoot .38's in it.

Thread over
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungPrepper77 View Post
I'd like to start off by saying that this is NOT another one of those pointless "which is better" threads (whew ) I'm just going to ask which would be better for my needs. I realize that with a .357 Magnum you can shoot either for more versatility, but I really only intend for it to be a self defence weapon, maybe to go in the glovebox and temporarily as a home defence "nightstand" gun until I can get a Mossy 500 Field/Home combo. Also as a fun gun to punch paper with and blow crap up with, but hey, all my guns do that

I intend on using it as a backup weapon for SHTF, because IMO in a SHTF scenario really a handgun of any kind should only be used as a backup weapon if your rifle or shotgun malfunctions or for some odd reason, it isn't on your person (which it probably should be at all times. I don't intend to use it for hunting. Although loaded with snakeshot it would make a good snake gun... but I already have my Rossi .410 for that.


So what i'm really asking is, do I really need to save up the extra money for a .357? Or would a .38 Special suit my needs? Well actually, it'll probably end up being a Christmas gift, but since my family's kinda broke, money is still an object.
I disagree. I think your handgun should be your primary weapon when the SHTF. Life goes on, even after the SHTF. Things might get dangerous during whatever SHTF event, but it may not be appropriate to be walking around with a rifle or shotgun. A handgun offers concealability; the element of surprise.

.357 will offer you more versatility, but .38 is much more common. Also, you won't have excessive muzzle blast issues with the .38. As far as power goes: .38 Spl < 9mm < .38 +P < .357 Magnum
If I had a choice, I would choose a gun in .357 magnum. However, I wouldn't sweat it if it was .38 only.


If you can trust a 9mm to get the job done, you can trust the .38.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:45 PM
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I'll chime in and ditto on the .357 and versatility. I got a .357 as a Bday gift today and just got back from the range an hour ago. I'm now very comfortable with the 1911 and pretty decent using it. .357 is a BEAST !!! Alot different than the 1911's and 9mm that I'm used to.

Point is, I'll be going to buy some 38 special ammo tomorrow for a lighter load that I can control better until I get comfortable with the S&W .357 or begin doing my own handloads . If I had a 38 I wouldn't have that versatility. For the extra few bucks save up for a little longer and get the .357. Also, 38 sp ammo is cheaper than .357 which will allow you to put more lead down range which should improve skill level.

Bottom line is .357 has the best one shot stopping power of all handguns. I witnessed the raw power this evening, it's awesome to say the least.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:53 PM
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.38 works fine but i would just pay the extra 50-100$ for a .357.i haven't researched .38 + p ,they might hang pretty well with standard .357.

some really good deals out there on old police trade .38 S&W model 10s for as low as 200$.
Old 11-23-2012, 12:04 AM
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A single-action revolver may or may not be what you're interested in but the ruger new-model blackhawk is available as a convertable with a spare cylinder that can shoot 9mm. You would have even more versatility being able to shoot 3 different cartridges. Just food for thought.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:29 AM
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I've always been a fan of the .357 revolver but often shot .38 in them for cheap practice.
A decent .38 revolver is still a good choice for a defensive weapon if money is tight. And it is these days.
Old 11-23-2012, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technoprepper View Post
.357 seems to be a significantly more effective round for defense.
http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...8&postcount=47
I read first hand accounts of people who have used the round for a purpose, or have had experience with it , or even had been shot at with it. I dont go by charts or statistics. The truth is, rounds can do funny crap down range.
A taxi driver was hit right between the eyes with a 9mm and survived while a gambler that cheated was hit once center mass with a .25acp and dropped dead where he stood. If .38 special SWCs worked fine for cops for over 40 years, I think I can trust modern defensive +p rounds. No offense to you, of coarse. I disagree with Mr. Ayoob.
Old 11-23-2012, 12:43 AM
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Not to sound repetitive, but I'd vote .357.

Most .357 revolvers are bigger, longer barrels, built to handle recoil better. Easier to shoot, more versatility. Definitely .357 (I own two).
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:08 AM
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Archlight610: Thanks. I think the .38 will be enough for me. And I understand your point about concealability, but I don't plan on waltzing into town when the SHTF. I plan on bugging in, even though info have a last ditch bugout plan. I still can't see a handgun being used as a main weapon.
Hoplite69: I'm looking for practicality for my uses. Not sheer stopping power.
9mmParabellum: Thank you so much, but if I get a .38 it'll be a Taurus 82.
UncleHenry: I have no problem with single actions, and that would probably be the ultimate survival revolver. But as I said cost is a huge object.
ballpeenhamster: Thanks!

Now with that done, I need to clarify a few
things.


Alright. I'm 13 and I'm the only true prepper in the family. I have assembled a complete SHTF arsenal minus a centerfire handgun (Stevens Model 200 .308 for long range, Type 56 SKS as MBR, Ruger 10/22, Remington 870 express mag until I can get the mossberg 500 combo, Browning Buckmark). Of coarse I'm also stockpiling Food, water, ammo, survival gear, etc but this is a firearms thread.

There seems to be a general dislike of the .357 in my family.
My uncle had a S&W Model 66 and said it was too loud and he couldn't hit crap with it.
My dad had a Ruger Blackhawk .357 and said the same thing.

If coarse I know both of their opinions are unjustified, as no one in my family wore any hearing protection back then (the 80's is when they had them) and neither ever shot .38 special in them. The noise probably made them flinch leading to the accuracy problems.
Neither of them are really the kind of shooters you and I are. They don't go to the range (I've never even been to one) , they don't go out and shoot for fun, etc. They really just shoot to practice and line up their guns. And to hunt, of coarse. And no matter what I try I can't convince my dear old dad to give the .357 a chance. I'm in a bit of a stalemate here and I don't know what to do.
Old 11-23-2012, 10:41 AM
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Another vote for the .357.
It will shoot .357, .38 +p, .38 shot ctgs., and can be hand loaded up and down the power spectrum. Many brands are very similar in price between the two calibers. Several .357 favorites are: s&w models 65,66,13,19 and Ruger SP101, security six.
Buy used if you have a reputable person to buy from. All are well made and will last your lifetime. Another thing that is advisable is to buy a few spare parts like hands, frame screws, etc. from Brownells, Midway, or Numrich.

Good luck,

ezra
Old 11-23-2012, 11:44 AM
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If you get a 5-6 inch barrel .357, you can actually HUNT with it. Can't say that of any .38. If you are going for a better concealable 2.5 to 3 inch barrel, the .357 still gives you better options since it can handle .38, .38+P or .357. A .38 MUST specifically be rated to handle +P or it would be a problem.

My wife has a short barreled Ruger SP101, practices with .38. We keep .38+P loaded but can always shot the .357 ammo i have for another pistol.

IF a good deal is found on a used .38, get it. Otherwise, get the .357!
Old 11-23-2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNdeerhunter96 View Post
If you get a .357 you can shoot .38's in it.

Thread over
Agreed. I've got one and love it. I use the .38 rounds for plinking and .357 HP for home defense
Old 11-23-2012, 12:20 PM
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There are few guns more versatile than a good .357 magnum revolver.
From practice and small game hunting with target loads to full power hunting loads and defensive fodder, there's little a .357 can't handle.

I have a number of other choices but I always have a .357 around because its so versatile.
Old 11-23-2012, 12:51 PM
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Again I'd say .357 mag, but if you get a .38, just make sure it's rated for +P. Most new .38's are rated for +P and will get you close to .357 mag levels. Then again, why not just buy a .357? Buy some .38's to plink with and get some quality .357 defense rounds for carry or home defense. I personally only stocked .22, .40, 5.56, .308, and 12ga, but found a real good deal on a S&W .38 bodyguard and I love it. Super light weight, +P rated, ad very easy to conceal. Started stocking up on .38 now
Old 11-23-2012, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleHenry View Post
A single-action revolver may or may not be what you're interested in but the ruger new-model blackhawk is available as a convertable with a spare cylinder that can shoot 9mm. You would have even more versatility being able to shoot 3 different cartridges. Just food for thought.
Just got one in September in a 6.5" stainless, great versatile gun. Shoots really well. I plan to take a doe with it during the antlerless season with a heavy 180gr hunting load. It is proving accurate with both cylinders and a variety of bullet weights, I'm even getting a few found in 9mm, 38, and 357 that will shoot to the same point of impact at 20yds in the variety I've tested.
Old 11-23-2012, 04:54 PM
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I'm sorry, but did anyone even read what I said in my orevious reply? I'll copy and pasre it here.
Alright. I'm 13 and I'm the only true prepper in the family. I have assembled a complete SHTF arsenal minus a centerfire handgun (Stevens Model 200 .308 for long range, Type 56 SKS as MBR, Ruger 10/22, Remington 870 express mag until I can get the mossberg 500 combo, Browning Buckmark). Of coarse I'm also stockpiling Food, water, ammo, survival gear, etc but this is a firearms thread.

There seems to be a general dislike of the .357 in my family.
My uncle had a S&W Model 66 and said it was too loud and he couldn't hit crap with it.
My dad had a Ruger Blackhawk .357 and said the same thing.

If coarse I know both of their opinions are unjustified, as no one in my family wore any hearing protection back then (the 80's is when they had them) and neither ever shot .38 special in them. The noise probably made them flinch leading to the accuracy problems.
Neither of them are really the kind of shooters you and I are. They don't go to the range (I've never even been to one) , they don't go out and shoot for fun, etc. They really just shoot to practice and line up their guns. And to hunt, of coarse. And no matter what I try I can't convince my dear old dad to give the .357 a chance. I'm in a bit of a stalemate here and I don't know what to do.
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