.357 hurts my ears
I have been running around three different shooting ranges, renting various handguns to find a couple to add to my collection (Glock 19, SA 1911 RO, S&W 632 (wife's)). Had it narrowed down to trying Sig 226 E squared, Beretta Px4, Beretta 92FS. So, of course, I run into a guy at one range who lets me shoot his S&W 686 Plus revolver. Loved it. Would be a great nightstand/range gun. Too heavy to carry around. Today I rented one and tried the .357 rounds as well as the .38 special rounds. With .357 my hits were spread out over 6.5 inches. With the .38 specials it was only 3 inches. So now I have found a nice revolver that shoots both, but is more accurate with the .38s, as well as making popping sounds compared to dynamite blasts (.357). Okay, perhaps I exaggerate just a little.
So should I focus on buying a 686 plus, or go for a S&W like the 64 which is made specifically only for the .38 special?
Re: .357 hurts my ears
I would personally get a gun that will handle either. My guess word be that the .357 group is bigger because you are trying to anticipate the "bang" and hence flinching. Just my assumption though. But being able to shoot both rounds is nice.
If you think a .357 is loud outside, try it inside with no muffs, also the muzzle blast on some types of ammo will blind you after the first shot. Agree that group size is probably a function of you rather than the round itself. Back in my other life when I had to carry a .357 I found that a stiff load of Unique behind an 158 gr semi-wadcutter lead bullet gave me the least muzzle flash, the issue ammo was S&W 125 JHP and was like a flash bulb going off in your face. That said, I would get the .357 over the .38 Special just for the ability to shoot both types of ammo.
WOW........what do your ears tell you? What were you using for ear protection, cue tips?
I bet that you're not wearing any ear protection. Or, if you are wearing some, it isn't very good.
Wear ear protection—the best that you can afford.
All it takes is one shot, to overload your ears. After that, you'll be constantly asking, "What? What did you say?" And music will be gone forever.
How do I know?
Well, it happened to me.
All it took was that one last shot...
I'm sorry, but some of this stuff amazes me:smt119
About a month ago I was in the same place you are now. I ended up purchasing a .357Mag over a .38 special and do not regret the purchase at all. It is my favorite range gun now.
I have the 686 .357 with 6 inch barrel. Too long a nose to daily carry but I would if I could. LOVE shooting this. Groups 6 @ 25 feet in a 6 inch circle. It shoots better than I do. Wish I had gotten 4 incher or snubby. I mean AND the snubby. Don’t think I'll sell the 6 inch either. It just feels good, holds steady on target, second and third shot target acquisition comes almost natural. Recoil feels almost nil or at least less than expected. IMHO the longer the barrel the more managable the recoil. A .357 is louder but not so much that I will avoid it. I practice most with .38 but shoot 10% .357 so it won’t surprise me. Have the 92FS which I still like for $ of ammo, but the 686 is my choice for fun. Good hearing protection is very important. Don't rely on a .45 in the ear like Gunny does on Mail Call. :smt018
Hehe,glad it wasn't a 44mag or larger.
Originally Posted by berettabone
Use plugs and muffs if it's that bad on you,and don't think about hunting without quite expensive electronic muffs that amplify until they shut down.
If you don't plan on using 357s,get a good K frame 38.If you do plan to use them,the 686 is a great gun.The 4" has a real nice balance to me and will still work out past 25yds easily.You're going to have to practice with the 357s to get use to the extra recoil,the groups will shrink unless the recoil is just too much for you.Use the std 158gr loads to start,the 125s are hot.Don't go into the 180gr and up area,you won't like them at all until recoil doesn't bother you.
If you get a 'regular' 686 (6 shot cyl) you can get speedloaders and compete in many games like ppc, idpa, bullseye, silhouette and more.
With bunny fart loads (148wc/2.7bullseye) the 686 has less recoil than a 22LR an can do 1" groups at 25 yards all day long.
I've got a 686 snubby and its a great gun. Yeah, full house mag ammo has some kick to it, but the gun can take it all day long if you can. It's nice having the capabiliy if you want it - for hunting, self protection, etc yet you can shoot reg 38 or bunny fart loads and have a blast on the cheap and recoil isn't an issue.
I have the 686 and shoot it regularly with .38 specials. It is a very nice gun to shoot. I have the 4" barrel and if I were to purchase it again I would probably get the 6" version so I could hunt with it. I don't see any reason to shoot the magnum loads unless you are hunting.
Get the .357---- you will regret it if you don`t. And for Pete`s sake get some decent ear protection. I had my ear muffs around my neck about 6 months ago( forgot to put them on) and let off a .44 mag. out of a 4 5/8" barrel and my ears rang for months. The concussion was extreme to say the least. Had my ears checked and eardrums are ok but did some damage to inner ear. As was said , all it takes is one.
Sometimes, depending on your hearing, you may need to wear both your hearing muffs and also inside the ear protection. This would be best for any and all younger shooters. If you have kids around the range this should be almost a must! Protect their ears while you can. Me, earmuffs are just fine, but basically because my hearing is already trashed! Too many big bangs in my lifetime... tanks, high explosives, guns (most of them without ear protection as a youngster), also 35 years as a heavy truck and equipment mechanic hasn't helped either!
Keep your ears while ya got em... it would be nice to hear what my grandson has to say all the time!
FreeHearingTest.com - Gunfire Noise Levels
Table 3. CENTERFIRE PISTOL DATA
.25 ACP 155.0 dB
.32 LONG 152.4 dB
.32 ACP 153.5 dB
.380 157.7 dB
9mm 159.8 dB
.38 S&W 153.5 dB
.38 Spl 156.3 dB
.357 Magnum 164.3 dB
.41 Magnum 163.2 dB
.44 Spl 155.9 dB
.45 ACP 157.0 dB
.45 COLT 154.7 dB
Table 2. CENTERFIRE RIFLE DATA
.223, 55GR. Commercial load 18 _" barrel 155.5dB
.243 in 22" barrel 155.9dB
.30-30 in 20" barrel 156.0dB
7mm Magnum in 20" barrel 157.5dB
.308 in 24" barrel 156.2dB
.30-06 in 24" barrel 158.5dB
.30-06 in 18 _" barrel 163.2dB
.375 — 18" barrel with muzzle brake 170 dB
Table 1. SHOTGUN NOISE DATA (DECIBEL AVERAGES)
.410 Bore 28" barrel 150dB
26" barrel 150.25dB
18 _" barrel 156.30dB
20 Gauge 28" barrel 152.50dB
22" barrel 154.75dB
12 Gauge 28" barrel 151.50dB
26" barrel 156.10dB
18 _" barrel 161.50dB
Just wanted to say thanks for all the good safety information re looking after ears. I have ordered new electronic ear muffs from the USA. for my 13 yo son and I. We will try to keep them on the whole time and double up with ear plugs. That way I might be able to hear the sounds of my grandchildren in many years to come. I have recently started shooting pistols (target) and have some amount of ringing in my ears.
If you have "ringing" in your ears, you have already lost some of your hearing—probably on the high-frequency end.
Been there, done that, now wear hearing aids.
Earmuffs and good foam plugs are all a lot less expensive than hearing aids.
Thanks for the real world data. My most favorite New Yorker cartoon ever was from the 1970's.
Originally Posted by hideit
Two guys are standing in front of a room-size "IBM computer". One is saying to the other.
"The world is full of data, much of it yearning to be analyzed".
As far as hearing protection goes, I use a pair of really cheap ($50) Howard Leight "Impact Sport" electronic muffs. Electronics
don't come much cheaper. On the range, or in the Forest shooting, I use ear plugs "underneath". And still hear range commands well.
When in the wilderness hiking, I just use the muffs, since it is very unlikely I will ever fire a shot. But, they amplify "every sound".
Including my dogs "ranging ahead". The muffs give me a BIG heads-up if the dogs alert, on animals or birds "ahead".
In case you don't know, 99% of lion attacks are after considerable stalking from the rear. The muffs probably wouldn't "pick up" a lion,
but every bit helps. The big drawback is if there is wind noise. Can barely hear birds chirping if the wind is above 15 mph. :mrgreen:
I still have "amazing hearing". Long ago and far away I helped run two dragstrips in the Detroit area. You haven't "lived" until your
standing between two nitro funny cars or top fuelers doing burnouts before the "real race". Without ear protection. And then more
years of crewing on road-racing cars that didn't have mufflers. Gotta love 530 cubic inch Vette "ground pounders" with side exhaust.
Why I still have reasonable high-frequency hearing is a mystery to me. Maybe I was always plugged up with earwax ? :mrgreen:
I just remembered "more stupidity". From 1974 to 1994 I did motocross racing. The two-strokes did evenually have "mufflers" that
reduced the sound level (in a "bogus" test) to 104 db. I wore a helmet of course, but never ear protection. Really, REALLY smart.
My current girlfriend describes me as "a surprising intelligent person considering all the really dumb things you have done and are doing". Yep.
Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ
Sounds oddly familiar...
I always use double hearing protection. Inside or out. Foamies, or usually these days some Surefire ep4 (sonic defenders) with my peltor "shotgunner" series muffs.
I'd like to upgrade to custom fit in ear plugs and the fancy peltors with the microphone and speakers, but for now my hearing is safe. When I shoot guns at least
I've got the 2.5" 686 and I'm certainly more accurate with 38, but I'm positive it's because I'm anticipating the noise and the greater recoil. However, it is still surprising to me how accurate I can be with a 2.5" gun when friends told me how inaccurate the snubs are when I was looking at buying one. I'm glad I did though, because it's easy to put in a pack and 357s are a blast to shoot out of it. Amazing single action trigger too. I love the gun. But indeed, ear protection is mandatory.
It's not the gun that shoots 38's better than 357mags! You need practice with the mags, the groups will be as tight as 38's!