For Home Defense, do you load .38, .38+P, or .357 Magnum in your 357?

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    1. #1
      Junior Member 870ShellShucker's Avatar
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      For Home Defense, do you load .38, .38+P, or .357 Magnum in your 357?

      For Home Defense, do you load .38, .38+P, or .357 Magnum in your .357?

      I've always loaded 125 Grain .357 Magnum SJHP, because I thought, "why load up with a less effective cartridge, when you don't have to".

      But I read something the other day, that has caused me to take a step back and reconsider.

      Someone said that a .357 discharged indoors without hearing protection would cause permanent hearing loss, and also that the muzzle flash of a .357 indoors at night may temporarily blind you in the dark, until your eyes readjust to the darkness.

      Permanent hearing damage, plus not being able to do a quick follow up shot.............that would be totally undesirable.

      Maybe .38 or .38+P would be better "indoors"????????????????????????????

    2. #2
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      I think this depends in large part on your weapon. Full house .357 magnums are pretty controllable in a L frame Smith or Ruger Gp100. The same round could be a real hand full in a Smith Model 60. In my 2 1/2 inch K frame Smith's I keep them stocked with 110 grain magnum rounds when I can find them 38 Special when I can not. In my larger revolvers I count on 125 grain 357 magnums.

      Muzzle blast could be a big concern in an auto for me less of a concern in a home.

    3. #3
      Junior Member 870ShellShucker's Avatar
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      Full house .357 magnums are pretty controllable in a L frame Smith or Ruger Gp100. The same round could be a real hand full in a Smith Model 60.
      I wasn't referring to how the rounds handle, or how easy they are to control. I'm familiar with that. I was referring to the suggestion that I would suffer permanent hearing loss, and be blinded by the muzzle flash of a .357 fired indoors, which is something I hadn't considered.

    4. #4
      Senior Member denner's Avatar
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      I'm no audiologist, but to say you would suffer permanent hearing loss from shooting a 357 magnum indoors with no hearing protection would be speculation, unless of course you did it often. Many law enforcement agencies in time gone by used 357magnum for duty rounds and I would surmise many rounds were fired indoors in the line of duty. A 38 or 38+p round will likewise ring your ears as well. Many top manufacturers of self defense ammo use low flash powders and muzzle flash would be subject to the round that was used. I guess what I'm getting at is my second concern would be the report and perhaps muzzle flash of a 357 as opposed to protecting myself and family in my home from a violent encounter. More than likely, unless you live in a mansion it will be a close range confrontation and suffice to say the person on the other end should have much more concern over muzzle flash. I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it.
      Last edited by denner; 04-19-2012 at 09:17 PM.

    5. #5
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      Hearing loss usually happens over time, but it is possible for it to happen suddenly. Impossible to say if using a magnum handgun will cause permanent damage. Temporary damage is a much greater risk and would be happening during a defensive situation. When I was a teen, I once fired a 44 magnum 6 times (outside) without hearing protection and couldn't hear very well for the rest of the day. I do believe that my hearing fully recovered, but who knows. Hopefully you won't ever need to use a handgun without hearing protection, but if you do you probably won't have to often. However, I still say that 38 +P or a mild 357 magnum load may be inferior to full house 357 magnum, but would still be very effective. Shot placement.

      There are really good defensive rounds for almost all calibers these days. The 38 special +P does have the advantage of low recoil, low muzzleblast, low flash and you can practice alot and be accurate
      The 357 magnum in 125 grain quality hollow point is a doozie! But it's loud!

    6. #6
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      Cool

      Shoot through the bad guy and kill one of the kids in a bed room behind him. I mean you are well trained and able to habdle high stress incounters and never miss. Right? My choice is the .38's as they are all you need.

    7. #7
      Senior Member denner's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Baldy View Post
      Shoot through the bad guy and kill one of the kids in a bed room behind him. I mean you are well trained and able to habdle high stress incounters and never miss. Right? My choice is the .38's as they are all you need.
      Why do you say that? A 357 hollow point should stop in the bad guy, it's a powerful cartridge, but in a hollow point penetration between 9mm, 40cal 357 magnum and 45 are all on par. If anything, a fast moving 125 grain 357 magnum hollowpoint will have less penetration than a 9mm 147 grain hollowpoint. Likewise, the 125 grain 357 hollowpoint is a proven manstopper, as such, as with all good manstoppers the bullet expends it's energy in the target. If anything I'd steer clear of the heavy 357's for home defense.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK4WvZ5Gymk

      In the vid above the 40cal out penetrated the 357 magnum, albeit, I don't know what brand, weight, and type of bullet he was shooting in each.
      Last edited by denner; 04-19-2012 at 11:23 PM.

    8. #8
      Junior Member warbird1's Avatar
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      Check out Hornady Critical Defense rounds. Designed to expand every time without going through walls, etc. I use it in all three of my 357's.

    9. #9
      Junior Member 870ShellShucker's Avatar
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      I removed the 125 Grain SJHP .357 loads from my Ruger .357, and replaced them with some 125 Grain SJHP .38 +P loads.

      I keep the Rossi .38 loaded with Hornady Custom 125 Grain JHP Standard Pressure loads.

      I like the reliability of Revolvers for "inside" home defense. Close quarters, with nowhere to retreat from a threat, is the last place I'd want to be if a FTF or FTE happened.

    10. #10
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      When I carried the S&W Model 19 I kept it loaded with Federal .38 Special +P 158gr. NyClad SWC Hollow Points.

      Why? For the power and penetration of the heavier bullet. I always felt that the light hollow points would fail to penetrate adequately in a crucial encounter. I've seen this happen too often on game animals.

      I now utilize a .44 Special with a 240gr. JHP. Feel much more comfortable.

      Bob Wright

    11. #11
      Member AirForceShooter's Avatar
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      . 38 Wad Cutters.

      At 5 feet they'll do the job.

      There's no way you want to fire off a magnum of any kind in a closed room.

      AFS

    12. #12
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      Well I see we have a bunch of pros that can hit center mass all the time under stress. When bullets start flyiing both ways, there may end up being a lot of rounds fire in all directions. Bad guys have guns to. True .357's that will stop bad guys go thru walls of sheet rock too. The old .38's/.38's +p has given many a bad guy a dirt overcoat. JMHO if your going to use a high powered 30 caliber cartridge in the house.

    13. #13
      Junior Member 870ShellShucker's Avatar
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      The old .38's/.38's +p has given many a bad guy a dirt overcoat.
      If 1 to 3 rounds to COM won't stop all forward progress, maybe I just need to use a bigger gun?

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      Air Force Shooter said it all,,,

      . 38 Wad Cutters.
      At 5 feet they'll do the job.
      There's no way you want to fire off a magnum of any kind in a closed room.
      Truer words were never spoken.

      The .38 wadcutter rounds at bedroom distances are devastating,,,
      I shot a huge feral dog at about 8 feet with two wadcutters,,,
      The wounds bled like crazy and he was down instantly.

      I trust 'em.

      Aarond

      .

    15. #15
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      For home defense, get a 12 ga. and fill it with whatever is around. Way more deadly than any pistol round at the range in question.

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      Deciding on a 38 or a 357 would depend on whether I wanted to nail the BG in my house or the neighbors house....for my house I'd use 38's....if I want to shoot someone in my neighbors house I'll use 357's. But I must agree with Jon54....for home defense a 12 ga. is hard to beat....and a lot less worry about where a stray round might end up. But, to each his own......

    17. #17
      Member Desertrat's Avatar
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      .38 standard loads....especially if its a snubbie....most ammo wont expand out of short barrels that well....I like to use Nyclads when I can find them, or Hornady CD in the 110gr.

    18. #18
      Member Hurryin' Hoosier's Avatar
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      Buffalo Bore .38 Special 158 grain non-+P lead semi-wadcutter hollow-points.

    19. #19
      Junior Member Reddog1's Avatar
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      I use the same round as Bob Wright, a 240 gr JHP, in my big Mod 629 S&W .44 frame because after six rounds, if I had to, I could club them with it. Nothing like a heavy round to knock someone down and keep them down.

    20. #20
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      38+p or 357 Magnum

      there have been cops that have been shot after shooting a bad guy with a 38 special with a +p load & they weren't drug up or drunk either that one of the reason why they went to a 357 Magnum because it has more stopping power & will pentrate better the 38 special + p is no more powerful today than it was 30 years ago they run at 240 to 300 muzzle energy out of a 4 inch barrell revolver a 357 Magnum runs 545 to almost 600 muzzle energy out of a 4 inch barrell revolver a 38 special will do the job but you have to have very good shot placement & when your at the range no one shooting back or moving around it is a still paper target when someone is shooting at you & your shooting back at them they will be moving around so will you so that why a 357 Magnum is better because getting a head shot or shot to the heart when there moving around & shooting back at you can be almost inpossible & that what you need with a 38 special to end the gun fight with a 357 Magnum if you hit somewhere in the body the gun fight is pretty well over because the other guy will be on the ground & not moving

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