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Yes, I read it: quote...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.

The answer is yes; save up for it. It is that much more versatile than a .38. To get out of the pickle you are in, put off buying now, save a bit more, get more info for your dad and convince him.

ezra
 

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Crusty, Crunchy and Cute
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It's been a good accurate and effective gun since 1900 and it is just as good and effective today with the added benefits of better ammo. I wouldn't go bear hunting with it but for home and self defense it will be fine.
 

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Youngprepper

I'm very impressed by your command and use of syntax and vocabulary for a 13 year old ! Your knowledge of weapons is quite impressive for someone of your age as well.

Just curious, you mentioned in your opening post that you are considering using this weapon for personal defense or maybe as a gun for the glovebox. I take it that you are driving an automobile ?
 

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In the olden days ,
Dynasours had been dead a while. LOL
Cops could use a .32 or a .38 PCP hadn't become available as well as other drugs .
the smaller round is tool lite to be effective under those kind of cercumstances.
Big fat guy took on a cop and obsorbed the cops ammo, and the big fat guy shot the cop in the side of the chest with a .22 and killed the cop.
Shot placment is every thing. Not justifying .22 here. just sharig facts.
And the fact is .357 mag is not sensitive to bone deflection and here is enough mass to push the assialant back .
The 10 is 100 Fps slower roughly .38 spl is roughly 300FPS slower
If the perp is wearing body armor ,.357 mag. may not penitrate ceramic, but it will ring his bell and give you a better fallow up shot if it's required .
I have also managed to get snake shot for the .357 mag which is really handy on the desert.
Double action is the way to go on a wheel gun , single action is for fun, but not when it comes to serious self defence .IMO
 

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Maximus
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Here is something else to think about... A lot of people here are just thinking about the versatility of the handgun that enables it to fire .357/.38....

I am going to recommend you get your HANDS ON a .38 k-frame size (medium size frame revolver) and COMPARE that to the larger .357 L/N frame size (medium-large/Large frame size) revolvers and see which seem to fit you better.

In all regards, what you are looking for, either caliber will do. I think you are aware of that. You also know that the .357 is more versatile.

But what you can't read about is how these different size firearms fit in your hand. Me? I enjoy the K frame revolvers. Either in .38 or .357. But the K frame .357's tend to cost more.

So grab a few and give them a try!
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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I’m a long time pistol shooter and just took the jump into revolvers with a GP100. I’d defiantly go the .357 route and avoid buyer’s remorse in the long run. It’s fun to shoot the .357 rounds and it’s a better man stopper but it’s cheaper and easier on the hands to train with the .38. Go with a decent .357 and you get the best of both worlds.

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.
I can’t imagine they enjoyed firing .357 without hearing protection and you are probably correct in your assessment.
 

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14 year old libertarian
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
hoplite59: Thanks so much! I've been interested in guns since I was the age of 6. I've spent countless hours researching and reading about hundreds, no, thousands of different kinds of guns. I live, eat, speak, and BREATH guns. Too bad I've never got to go to a range and try out many different kinds of guns, which I would love to do. The "local" range is a small, private, expensive, members only thing and is 20 miles away. The only handguns I've ever fired have been .22s. I "have" 14 different long guns and my dad still won't let me "have" a handgun of any kind , though I love shooting his early model Browning Buckmark Camper. He says that I'm still not old enough for a handgun and I simply do not understand why. Oh and my vocabulary can be attributed to my being in 8th grade honors right now. Was in honors last year and AIG 5th and 6th grade. To all others: It would be nice if I could try out and handle different revolvers, but that's not possible with my predicament. I'll try my best to get my dad to but a 357, but I've been trying for 2 years now and I just don't think its gonna happen.
 

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Another thing to add. Where the .38 and .357 really shine is when it comes to reloading. You can really unleash the .38s potential if you have a .357 revolver by making loads that split the power difference between .38 +p and .357. Essentially, you would be creating a +p+ load. You can use cheap and plentiful 38 brass, and not risk blowing up your gun because 38 +p+ still won't be developing pressures near that of a full .357 load. Just think of it as a .357 lite.

If you load .38 or .38 +p specs, the brass lasts dang near forever. I've got some that have been loaded about 50 times; so many that you can't even read the headstamp anymore. Another advantage with a revolver is that you don't have to chase your brass.

If I had to buy factory .38, there is no way I could shoot my revolvers as much as I do. The cheapest online that I've seen is like $12/box + shipping, and those are only occasional sales. Most of the time its the $14-$16 online for normal pressure stuff and $18 local. +P loads are around $20 a box. For some reason that extra $0.005 powder charge per case adds a $4 premium to each box when you buy retail. When you reload, .38, +p, .357 magnum pretty much all cost the same, about $5 a box.
 

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SI vis pacem,para bellum
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.357 Magnum for sure you can shoot different types of Ammo If one should be unavailable. When I shoot 38 special threw my 357 Magnum it feels like no recoil the extra weight of a 357 feels eats up allot of the pressure.then if you choose to load it with .357 you have one the best proven pistol rounds available !!
 

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The beauty of the 38/357 is that you can use it as a 38 forever, and not have to worry about a thing. But if you ever do need the 357 capability, it's there and ready to go.

The cost is a bit higher, but usually not a lot. Certainly it's cheaper than having two different firearms.

If your Dad is dead set against using the 357 Mag rounds, that's fine too, 38 spl is very serviceable as a self-defense round as long as you use good ammo. He can just keep it loaded with those until you turn 21 and can buy your own ammo when you 'borrow' it.

You'll almost never shoot the 357s anyways, given the cost of the ammo, especially if you're dealing with factory ammo prices.

You could also pull the dodge of wanting something like a GP-100, that only comes in 357 (we'll they do have 327 but that's irrelevant here).

Talk about how they are built like tanks, and will last forever, but they only have them in 357. Those guns are a cream-puff to shoot with 38 spl, and since this is a glove box gun the extra weight won't matter at all.
 

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I've got the best of both with a SP101. I shoot targets with .38 and sleep with .357 on the night stand every night. It's a very reliable revolver. For some reason, my particular SP101 seems to fire better with Federal American Eagle ammo than with the easier to find Remington UMC ammo, but I just stock up when the local sporting goods store puts the American Eagle on sale, which is pretty often in my experience. The local store has a 5 box limit, but I'm stocked up pretty well at the moment. For some reason the Remington doesn't eject well for me.
 

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I carried a .357mag for the first ten years of my LE Career. I then switched to a Smith & Wesson Model 29, four inch. I used .357mag for carry and shot a couple of cylinders of it every time I shot it for practice. Mostly we shot .38spl 158 grn Semi Wad Cutters for practice. I carried 110grn .357 mag Super Vel for the first couple of years and then went to 125 grn .357 rounds of Remington or Federal.

From a four inch barrel you get lots of sound and flash signature with 125 grn .357 rounds. You have to watch your self at night.

I'd recommend a .357mag revolver because it has the ability to take either .357mag or .38spl.. I still have the first revolvers I carried on duty and I still shoot them. A four inch Model 19 Smith, a 2 1/2 inch Model 19 Smith and a Model 36 Round Butt Smith in .38spl. All of them have been Armoloyed as I worked a lot of Boat Patrol besides Road Patrol.

Good luck with what ever works for you.

Jungle Work
 

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+1 on the 357. Keep this in mind though, shooting 38's in a 357 will cause powder buildup in the cylinder, just like like shooting 2 3/4" shells in a 3" chambered 12 ga. Shotgun. Clean the weapon after shooting 38's so your speed loader will work properly.
 

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Unlss you're looking for some kind of super small snubbie like the Chief Special or Detective Special, go for the stronger more versatile .357 with a 4 or 6 inch barrel. Even if you always shoot 38's in it, you still have the option to use something more powerful if it becomes necessary
 

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By all means get a quality 357 and enjoy the heck out of it!

If I were to replace my S&W Model 19 it would be with a 66 or GP100.

If you don't want the issue of 38 spl neck residue then get a bunch of 357 cases and a lee loader from Midway, along with a grundle of lead slugs (silver bullets?) some primers and powder (unique, clays, bullseye or something) then load up a mess of midrange loads for punching holes in paper and cans.

Study a little bit of Ed McGivern and learn trigger control too.
 
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