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  1. #1
    kevinm783 is offline Junior Member
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    .357/.38 SP +P options??

    Hello all, I am about to make my first revolver purchase after a slew of semis, and need some advice. My dad got a S&W MP340 snubbie that shoots both .357mag and .38 special +P's. I really like the gun, and want to get something similar. Are there any other options out there that anyone could reccomend? I dont' mind getting the same thing he has, but would like to be a little different if possible...

    Thanks for feedback, and shoot safely!
    Kevin

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  3. #2
    kevinm783 is offline Junior Member
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    It looks like this thread has been viewed like 500 times, and nobody has anything to say???

  4. #3
    johnr is offline Member
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    I too have been thinking about a Revolver, specifically 357/38.

    The questions seem to boil down to:

    Weight
    Barrel length
    manufacuter/price
    ???

    I myself am leaning toward a 686 4"

    A snubie in Scandium may be too inaccurate for plinking, and too "sharp" recoil for the wife and kids to enjoy at the range.

    YMMV

    John

  5. #4
    niadhf's Avatar
    niadhf is online now Senior Member
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    Kevin,
    i think the no replies is because that is a VERY open question. There are many other options, just in the .357 caliber. S&w, taurus, charter arms, ruger,rossi, colt,etc etc etc. snub nosed all steel/ss/lightweight. 4-6-8 and even more barrel. single action only (think colt peacemaker) da/sa/dao exposed hammer/hammerless, conmcealed hammer.. etc etc etc.

    if you are asking about specific questions i would narrow the field some. if you want general info, i would say start with the broad info abov anf narrow it down some. are you set on .357/.38? what are you going to use it for?

    just a few questions to narrow down the field some.

    (oh, and the views count when i posted this was 25. patience grasshopper seems in order lol)

  6. #5
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinm783 View Post
    Hello all, I am about to make my first revolver purchase after a slew of semis, and need some advice. My dad got a S&W MP340 snubbie that shoots both .357mag and .38 special +P's. I really like the gun, and want to get something similar. Are there any other options out there that anyone could reccomend? I dont' mind getting the same thing he has, but would like to be a little different if possible...

    Thanks for feedback, and shoot safely!
    Kevin
    I think your options for a revolver are simpler than an auto, you basically have three choices for manufactures with S&W, Ruger and Taurus being your best options. I really like the Rugers, but the S&W are fine pieces, I've never been overly fond of Taurus firearms, but if I were to ever own a Taurus it would be a revolver not an auto.

    I'm pretty much going to talk about S&W and Ruger. Regarding the 3-- series Smiths, they are GREAT for carry, but not all that much fun to shoot due to the weight and as a result of the severe recoil accuracy can be - NOT WILL be degraded. If you practice anything can be shot accurately, but it is harder to shoot the smaller lighter guns if you're new to shooting. When it comes to S&W I really like the 642/442 with .38 +P loads and some nice Hogue or Pachmayr grips. I have a 360 PD .357 and I'd rather have a 442, I don't shoot the revolvers enough to be proficient with the magnum loads, that's a me issue, not a gun or ammo issue. I know that snub-nose revolvers are "bad breath distance guns" but I like to shoot my carry guns and I've found that due to the fact that I shoot autos more, I do better with a pocket .380. Again this is a me issue, not a gun/ammo issue. It's a training issue.I carry the J-Frame on very rare occasion. Eventually I'd like to spend more time with my revolvers and build my skills.

    ...sorry for the drift.

    Other than the LCR from Ruger, your choices from Ruger are in the stainless steel variety, so you have more material options from S&W. Ruger does not offer a "Body Guard" style gun where the hammer is shrouded to allow manual cocking of the hammer as well has being a no-snag design. You also have the enclosed hammer (Centennial) models like the 642/442 that are DAO as well as the exposed hammers that allow DA and SA firing. Ruger has a bobbed hammer DAO and an exposed hammer model, but no in-between like the Bodyguard style from S&W. Which is better is a matter of preference. For pocket carry I like the Centennial style models.

    The S&W models are more sleek than the Rugers, but the Rugers have a reputation for being ultra tough and are beefier to better accommodate the .357 magnum although the Ruger is heavier than models of similar size.

    As far as which is better for a small revolver I've seen the debate that a .357 out of a snub will have less muzzle velocity and it's effectiveness will be decreased so why bother with the punishing recoil. I suggest reading this article from Stephen Camp: .38 Snub Vs. .357 Snub , actually, just go to the portion of his site covering Other Handguns, and read everything on revolvers that he has there, bookmark the site and read everything he has available, it's a great resource.

    So on to actual suggestions:

    I've always wanted a Ruger SP101 in .357 for the added weight, I don't care for pocket carry as much and for a waistband gun I favor a stainless steel gun. For a lightweight option I'd go with a Smith Airweight instead of the Airlite simply due to cost, the 3-- series runs a couple hundred more the the Airweights if I am not mistaken. I would choose a .357 at first just to see how you like the magnum, if you don't like it you can shoot .38s, but be advised that prolonged firing of .38s in a .357 magnum is not a good thing as it causes lead build up in the cylinder where the longer case of the .357 needs to go, there's a term for this, but it's escaping me at the moment. As long as you do a good job of cleaning the cylinder it shouldn't be an issue. Another disadvantage of shooting .38 in a .357 is that due to the difference of length of the cylinder etc you lose some velocity, while the numbers are small, you're all ready cutting velocity due to the short barrel.

    If I were to go S&W I'd probably choose either a 442 or a 640.

    Right now this model is appealing to me: Model 640 Pro Series Revolver w/Night Sights.

  7. #6
    Bisley's Avatar
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    I agree with VAMarine on the S&W Airweight in .38 Special, rather than the Scandium .357's. There is no question but that .357 Magnum is a superior self defense chambering, but I just don't care much for a carry gun that is punishing to practice with. I'm not particularly recoil sensitive, but the scandiums are just too uncomfortable to be practical for the average shooter, in my opinion.

    I like my S&W 642CT quite well, and would go with the 3" Ruger SP-101 in .357 Magnum. The extra weight makes it more comfortable to shoot, and that is always a good thing, in a gun that you need lots of practice with.

  8. #7
    Ogre's Avatar
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    I've owned two snubbies over the years, a Smith and Wesson Chief's Special and a Taurus Model 85CH. Both are good little weapons, but the 85CH has a concealed hammer so it is easier to carry in a front trouser pocket (easier to deploy).

    I've fired a bunch of other snubbies over the years, and in .357 they have been a bit on the brutal side (they punished my hand pretty bad) with one notable exception - the Ruger SP101, three inch barrel. I'm saving my pennies for one right now. I'd recommend staying away from Charter Arms or Comanche arms, and stick with S&W, Ruger, or Taurus. All three make fine snubbies, but S&W is the Holy of Hollies when it comes to snubbies.

    .38spcl is a good round, especially in +P. IMHO, .357 is a superior round but .38spcl is easier to shoot and will get the job done very well indeed. The trick for .38spcl is in the ammo: it needs to be something designed for snubbies (due to the shorter barrel). Speer 135 grain +P is the "Gold Standard," or was until Federal began to re-release it's 125 grain Nyclad (a non +P) round. It's very good, and was the gold standard before it was discontinued - especially for older non +P rated snubbies. (And now it's back). Corbon and Hornady also make very good self defense rounds. As far as range ammo goes, shell out the extra $2.00 per box (or so) and go with either Federal or Winchester (or any major manufacturer), and stay clear of stuff like Monarch. As far as .357, from all I read a 125 grain round will do quite well. I don't know if there is such a critter as a .357 +P, but if there is I would have to question the actual need for it, since .357 is one big mutha of a round anyway.

    Paractice, practice, and then practice some more. Snubbies are accurate out to 15 yards (and some shooters can push that out to 25 yards or more); however, they are in their prime at 3 - 10 yards. It's not hard to get good accuracy at 3-15 yards, but it requires regular range time since you're using a weapon with a barrel that averages about two inches in length - not four inches or more like a full-sized revolver - which effects accuracy.

    Finally, don't let the five round capacity on most snubbies throw you off. Five rounds of .38spcl or .357 is more than adequate to get the job done - assuming you don't take too seriously the chance of being assailed by a gang of methed-out zombies, or by the van guard of an invading communist horde, or by an army of cross-dressing barbarians. Statistically, most self defense shootings are short-lived one or two round affairs. As with any self-defense weapon, you need to carefully consider what you are really going to need. Frinstance, in my case (based on where I go and what I do) I've determined that my real threat is going to be either a random car jacking or one of my clients (I'm a probation officer) wanting to get some quick payback. I'm hedging my bets that I won't need a 10 round (plus) handgun, and that a snubbie (and two speed loaders) will neturalize the threat enought for me to retreat to a position of safety and then call for help on my cell phone. That's me. You need to figure out what you will need.

  9. #8
    jimmy's Avatar
    jimmy is offline Member
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    I love my SW 686 6 in barrel. You can get the SW 686 or the 586 in 4" or 6" for around $450. They shoot 357 Mag and 38 SP. They have a balanced weight, nice triggers and the classical revolver look that I really like.

  10. #9
    Bisley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Right now this model is appealing to me: Model 640 Pro Series Revolver w/Night Sights.
    Hey, I like that, too - .357, night sights and full moon clips. Kinda pricey, though.

  11. #10
    hideit's Avatar
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    i took your original post as one that didn' know that all 357's can shoot 38 specials and +p 38 specials
    get any S&W 357 you like - only S&W
    the 686 is best

  12. #11
    Desertrat's Avatar
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    I would get something a little heavier....like a 686.....those airweights and scandium jobs are a little
    rough on the fingers and hands with magnum loads.

  13. #12
    Specialed is offline Junior Member
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    Talking

    You are asking a vague question like others have stated. I would also recommend looking at a 686+ 6 inch. You will be surprised by how accurate it is.

  14. #13
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    Ruger SP101 is an idea to look at. For a larger frame, Ruger GP100. Both are .357 and excellent revolvers. The two I have are at the apex of the best shooting revolvers I have had over many years.

  15. #14
    USAFgsm is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinm783 View Post
    Hello all, I am about to make my first revolver purchase after a slew of semis, and need some advice. My dad got a S&W MP340 snubbie that shoots both .357mag and .38 special +P's. I really like the gun, and want to get something similar. Are there any other options out there that anyone could reccomend? I dont' mind getting the same thing he has, but would like to be a little different if possible...

    Thanks for feedback, and shoot safely!
    Kevin
    I like the S&W snubbies a lot, but i absolutely LOVE my Ruger SP101. I don't mind shooting the lightweight guns at all, but I like the feel of a hefty piece of steel in my hands even better. The Ruger's dimensions are a little larger than the Smiths', but I can still slip it into the pocket of most of my pants without problem (if this was going to be purely a pocket gun I might go with a smaller Smith, but that's not usually what mine is used for).

    Like I said I enjoy shooting the airweights, and if you're looking for something to slip into your pocket every day then that might be the way to go. But the SP101 is one of my very favorite guns and I would give it 10s across the board for looks, feel, function, and ruggedness. A Smith may one day be added to my collection, but the Ruger will never leave it.

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