Ruger LCR (.357 mag or .38 Special)
It is very interesting to learn what the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science; Dallas County Forensic Laboratory had to say. At least they have starting numbers that we can make sense of when shooting. And they are all grouped. The differences between striking velocity and striking energy was an eye opener. Energy transferred was important, because that has to do with bullet size and speed.
I thought striking velocity is a moot point. Who cares. Striking energy means something. From what I can see, it does matter what you load. Some are mush better than others. But in all of their ranges, they are very close.
These stats don't have anything to do with bullet expansion etc.
In the .38 special class, the 110-gr JHP (+P+) was equal to all the 9mm. But without plus power, the 9mm overtakes the .38 very easily. There is a difference.
Above the 9mm range, you have to go to the 357 mag. What I found very interesting is there is not that much difference until you come to transfer energy. Then the 44 mag wins hands down.
Actually, the .41 Magnum R-P 210-gr JSP blew that away.
The .44 mag W.W 240-gr SWC won. Of course.
This is what interests me. Although the .45 came in at much lower speeds, the Fed 230-gr FMJ came in with an exit energy second on the list. It was only the .357 mag R-P 158-gr SWC that had better exit energy. You just can't beat the .45. Although it is a bit slower, it has a punching power that is beyond nasty. I have only ever seen a round that will mushroom and continue to exit like that. That is called the Fed 230-gr FMJ.
I shot those rounds out of an HK and it wasn't really that bad. I have not yet shot a .357 mag out of a little Ruger yet, but I know it just has to be nasty. I was thinking about the Ruger. And I still may buy one. What bothered me was the caliber. In all honesty, it is a .38 special. You can push it up to a +P or a +P+. Believe me when I tell you; +P is overkill for that little handgun. If you buy one for .357 mag, you will never shoot it. You will bring it to the range and say "Son of a fucking bitch!" That little handgun will not be fun to shoot. The +P round will be an eye opener. That gun is very,very light. It will feel so hard. You will only want to keep it in your pocket just so you don't have to shoot it. Believe me when I tell you it will feel like a rock in your hand. I hate that feeling. Revolvers are unforgiving like that. I have shot .357 out of a very, very nice S&W that was very, very heavy and built to do that. That was a boat load. Powder squirting out of the chamber and a kick that was just silly. And that was with the Clint Eastwood 9" model. I could never imagine that blast in a one and a half inch barrel weighing a half of a pound. But all is not lost.
I have read about the gun (Ruger) for months now. I really like that gun. When I was at the shop, I did understand that it is not as small as you may think. But is is still very small. But it's a revolver, it is or larger than the Beretta Tomcat. It is a small gun, but not as small as you would think. I really wouldn't classify it as a pocket pistol. It's a very small revolver, but it isn't a pocket pistol. It's a .38 special revolver. I would not try to make it into something that is isn't. It does have a very easy action.
Should I buy that gun and I probably will, I will buy it as a .38 special. As far as weight and construction, they are two different guns. With the .38 special, you can shoot RNL, SWC, SWC-HP (+P) and (+P+). That's just a funner gun to shoot.
For a home defensive weapon, the (+P+) round is flat out nasty. The striking velocity is equal to the 9mm and .357 mag. So you can take it to the range and shoot 158-gr RNL and have fun. Then when you come home load it up with (+P+) rounds. It's actually a better gun in it's .38 special form. I would not buy the Ruger LCR (.357 mag). I would consider buying the Ruger LCR (.38 special). That you can shot and have fun with; and load it up with +P+ rounds if that makes you feel good. (smile) That would be my choise.