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  1. #1
    Ruger71's Avatar
    Ruger71 is offline Member
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    Jan 2007

    357 or 38 Special Decision

    Is there a reason other than recoil not to choose a 357 over a 38 Special? If I go with a new revolver I can have either a 357 or a 38 in the same gun, same weight, and same price. I intend to use it for a 38 Special, but I would have the versitility if I wanted to carry the 357. I also thought it might be worth more in the future if I decided to trade it in. Is there anything I am overlooking?

  2. #2
    TomC is offline Member
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    Sep 2006
    Southern Maryland
    In general, I think you are right on. Only thing could be, .38 could be slightly lighter, such as a K38 vs. a 686, but mostly these days, they are about the same.

  3. #3
    dosborn's Avatar
    dosborn is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Apr 2009
    Springfield, MO
    I would go with the 357. Then you won't be limited to 38sp.

  4. #4
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Aug 2006
    Wilson's Mills, NC
    The only down side (and it really isn't that big a deal) is that if you shoot a lot of 38SPL out of a 357 Magnum, since the case of the 38 SPLs is shorter more residue will build up in the chambers. You will have to be diligent about keeping it clean or 357MAG rounds won't go in all the way or, if they do go in, they will get stuck in the chambers.

    I say it isn't that big a deal because the majority of us clean our guns when we get home from a range session anyway. I've got a spent Magnum case, that I soldered to a brass rod, that I use to be sure I have gotten the cylinder clean enough (my eyes aren't what they used to be). If it slides in and out easily I know I've gotten all the crud out.
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

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  5. #5
    Colt45's Avatar
    Colt45 is offline Banned
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    Feb 2010
    357 is my favorite round to shoot. fps is rediculous, and i love the power

  6. #6
    Freedom1911's Avatar
    Freedom1911 is offline Member
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    Oct 2009
    Go 357 for the reasons you posted.
    If you cant afford 357 one trip you can shoot 38. But as Bruce333 said. Be sure to keep the cylinder clean so you can load and unload both rounds properly.

  7. #7
    Frank45's Avatar
    Frank45 is offline Member
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    Feb 2010
    Southern New Jersey

    38 vs. 357

    One thing to consider is stopping power.The stopping percentage on the 38 is quite low compared to the .357. You might like to give the Ruger Gp100 a good look.

  8. #8
    Brydawg's Avatar
    Brydawg is offline Junior Member
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    Mar 2010
    I'd go with the .357. You can always shoot .38's out of a .357, but you can't shoot .357's out of a 38.
    I really like my GP 100.

  9. #9
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    Aug 2008
    East Texas
    Everything has been covered here (especially cleaning the chambers after shooting .38's in a .357).

    The only reason to buy a .38, in my opinion, is to get something lighter to carry, such as a S&W 642 Airweight. But the .38 Special is a much less desireable SD round than a .357 magnum, so I would prefer a SP-101 in .357 magnum for carry. A GP-100 is even better, if you aren't gonna have to try and conceal it, or if your mode of dress allows you to conceal it.

  10. #10
    Specialed is offline Junior Member
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    Jan 2010


    Like every one else said go with the .357.

  11. #11
    grey-wolf's Avatar
    grey-wolf is offline Member
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    Jun 2007
    +1 on the .357

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