accuracy difference shooting 38's out of a 357 versus 38's out of a dedicated 38 ?

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    1. #1
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      accuracy difference shooting 38's out of a 357 versus 38's out of a dedicated 38 ?

      Ive got a question has anyone noticed any accuracy difference shooting 38's out of a 357 versus 38's out of a dedicated 38 ?

    2. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
      Ive got a question has anyone noticed any accuracy difference shooting 38's out of a 357 versus 38's out of a dedicated 38 ?
      Good question. I have a S@W 686 plus .357. I usually practice with .38 spl. for most of the session, then shoot a couple cylinders of my SD rounds. The milder .38s tend to group a bit better, but then again, the 125 grain hot stuff makes me recoil conscious. I am wondering if the extra cylinder length of the .357 would have any effect on a .38 entering the forcing cone. Someone here will have a better answer!
      Eli

    3. #3
      Member Overkill0084's Avatar
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      I would think the difference is essentially theoretical. I prefer .357 based loads out of .357s simply because of the carbon ridge that builds up in the chambers. Though it's not a terribly big deal.
      I own a Python and a Dan Wesson revolver, both of which are very accurate. They have thousands of rds of both types of ammo through them in various types of matches. If there is a difference, it's beyond my ability to detect. Of course,YMMV.

    4. #4
      TOF
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      I shoot .38spl and .357Mag through my .357's but have not run a direct comparison on any given day. Both are very accurate in the Taurus 605, Gp100 and Ruger LCR(357).

      If shooting long distance where any difference would show, I would use .357Mag to maintain greater velocity and flatter trajectory.

      At SD distances it makes no difference regarding practical accuracy.

    5. #5
      Member HGF Gold Member dosborn's Avatar
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      The difference (if any) would come from the shooter. Flinching is more likely with .357 mag than .38 special.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Overkill0084 View Post
      I would think the difference is essentially theoretical. I prefer .357 based loads out of .357s simply because of the carbon ridge that builds up in the chambers.
      Good point, before I learned my lesson I had a couple of Ruger .357s for SASS. I had 12 of those rings to get out and it was a big PITA!
      Eli

    7. #7
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      I think it depends to a large extent on the gun but in my Ruger GP100 I can see no difference. The point of impact may change due to the difference in velocity but group size does not seem to be effected.

      Bob W
      Cogito, ergo armatum sum

    8. #8
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      Can it make a difference? Absolutely! Will it make a difference that will be seen by the average shooter at short distances? Not likely...

      There are a variety of factors that will influence the accuracy of any revolver. Requiring the bullet to make a long jump before entering the chamber throat and then the forcing cone can make a noticeable difference if combined with other factors. If the bullet is not seated concentric to the case, then it will strike one side of the chamber throat before the other. This will deform the bullet a small amount and upset it's gyroscopic stability. At short ranges, this is not likely to be noticed by the average shooter. As distance increases, this instability can cause misses by wide margins. Any increase in the length of the "bullet jump" will make this problem worse. This is not to say that shooting .38s in a .357 WILL cause a decrease in accuracy, but it is a possibility.

      If you shoot at short distances (say 10 yards or less) it is unlikely that you would notice any difference at all. At 25 yards, a good marksman would likely see any difference present. At fifty yards and beyond, the difference can be quite large, and not necessarily linear, due to destabilization of the projectile. There are various mechanical aspects that can also play into this scenario, and every gun will be different. Some, you won't see any major difference, others it may be very noticeable. IF you are shooting at typical self defense ranges, and shooting only for combat type accuracy, I doubt you will be able to see any accuracy difference, unless there are other mechanical issues with your gun/ammo.

      JW

    9. #9
      Senior Member TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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      this is the law of averages.....

      the average shooter , shooting average loads from an average gun is not going to see his average groups effected.

      an expert shooter shooting average loads from an average gun MAY see his groups slightly effected.

      an expert shooter, shooting match loads is NOT going to be shooting .38s from a .357 because he has a .38 for his matches.

      shoot whatever you want out of your ..357, odds are the gun is more accurate than you are... we humans are the weakest link in the chain, worrying about the other stuff BEFORE we take care of our OWN failures is just counter productive.

    10. #10
      Senior Member hideit's Avatar
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      I can't see an 1/8" difference making any difference.
      Same as 44spl and 44mag.
      It's not the difference like a 22 or 22wmr difference which has more differences.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by hideit View Post
      I can't see an 1/8" difference making any difference.
      Same as 44spl and 44mag.
      It's not the difference like a 22 or 22wmr difference which has more differences.

      In terms of mechanical tolerances, an eighth on an inch is HUGE! However, as another poster mentioned, the average shooter is not likely to notice the difference due to a variety of factors. Distance to target, in particular, will magnify any inaccuracies. if you are striving for center mass hits on a B-27 at 25 yards and less, you will likely never notice. But, if you are a silhouette competitor trying to hit the turkey (arguably the most difficult target in the game) at 150 meters, it can be the difference between winning and losing a match.

      Even how a person views accuracy can make the difference between seeing a difference and not seeing a difference. Many people would consider my custom Ruger Bisley to be quite accurate. It very regularly prints 3" or slightly less at fifty yards from a solid rest. But, when compared to my Freedom Arms, it pales in comparison. My FA will very regularly shoot in the neighborhood of true MAO at 100 yards, when I do my part. I guarantee that if you miss with that gun, inside of 200 yards, it is shooter error. Perspective means a lot in discussions about accuracy.

      JW

    12. #12
      Senior Member TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Flyboy_451 View Post
      In terms of mechanical tolerances, an eighth on an inch is HUGE! However, as another poster mentioned, the average shooter is not likely to notice the difference due to a variety of factors. Distance to target, in particular, will magnify any inaccuracies. if you are striving for center mass hits on a B-27 at 25 yards and less, you will likely never notice. But, if you are a silhouette competitor trying to hit the turkey (arguably the most difficult target in the game) at 150 meters, it can be the difference between winning and losing a match.

      Even how a person views accuracy can make the difference between seeing a difference and not seeing a difference. Many people would consider my custom Ruger Bisley to be quite accurate. It very regularly prints 3" or slightly less at fifty yards from a solid rest. But, when compared to my Freedom Arms, it pales in comparison. My FA will very regularly shoot in the neighborhood of true MAO at 100 yards, when I do my part. I guarantee that if you miss with that gun, inside of 200 yards, it is shooter error. Perspective means a lot in discussions about accuracy.

      JW
      the average shooter doesnt even know what a MOA is , nor should they at the distance and level that they are shooting and the handgun they are shooting with.

    13. #13
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      I partially agrree with you...

      I agree that many average shooters do not know or understand terms such as MOA, but I'm not sure why you would say that they shouldn't. Any shooter that wishes to improve there skills should become as educated as possible. Understanding concepts and terms is critical to advancing skills. The initial question concerned accuracy based on technical aspects of firearms. The original poster did not state why he was curious, or in what manner he uses or intends to use his firearm. To answer in general terms, or to simply reply that it's not important for them to know, does nothing to help a fellow shooter.

      Even if a shooter never plans to shoot at long range or in competitive formats, understanding the mechanics of accuracy improves shooting at all distances and for any discipline.

      JW

    14. #14
      Senior Member TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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      my remark wasnt that they shouldnt, but at their skill level there is no reason that they should.

      the AVERAGE shooter TALKS accuracy but doesnt PRACTICE the fundamentals, so KNOWING what a MOA is doesnt change anything

      the average shooter TALKS recoil but is clueless about newtons second and third laws

      the average shooter TALKS about stopping power but is ignorant of ballistics AND anatomy and physiology.....

      so while these things are essential in the science of combat shooting, the AVERAGE shooter is not motivated enough to APPLY them, he would rather TALK about them.

    15. #15
      Senior Member hideit's Avatar
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      as flyboy mentioned - at 25 yds - no one will see a difference
      there are:
      22s in a handgun for 22WMR - case length difference of .344"
      38s in 357 - case length difference of .135"
      44spl in 44Mag - case length difference of .125"
      45lc in 460 mag - case length difference of .515"
      454 in 460 mag - case length difference of .417"
      500spl in 500mag - case length difference of .329"

      in all cases the bore diameter of the barrel is the same for both calibers (except for the 22WMR example)

    16. #16
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      If I may interject my two-cent;s worth:

      I've fired many .38 Specials through .357 Magnum guns, as well as .44 Russian and .44 Special through .44 Special and .44 Magnum chambers.

      My observation is this: The load is of more effect than the caliber. I've had many .357 Magnum handloads that didn't come up to expectation from .357 Magnum revolvers, when certain .38 Specials preformed with precise accuracy. I consider myself a rather good shot, though somewhat of a has-been now. I've spent a lifetime studying the revolver and ammunition, over fifty-five years, and will say any quality reviolver is far more accurated than I can hold.

      So, bottom line, you will not notice the difference in accuracy between an accurate .38 Special cartridge and an accurate .357 Magnum round when fired in a .357 Magnum revolver.

      My own experience is the the .357 Magnum is the most difficult round to obtain preciscion accuracy, to match the gun and load.

      As to flinching, I'm not recoil sensitive. Years of shooting the big stuff has accustomed me to recoil. My first gun to really call my own was a .45 Colt, so I thought that was the norm as far as recoil went. I have missed out on the .500 S&W guns, but the .45-70 in a handgun is still pretty stout stuff, especiall with the 500 gr. cast bullets.

      Bob Wright

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