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Need advice on .357mag and .38 ammo!

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Small Tony, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. As a new owner of S&W 686+, 7 rounder and a S&W 642 (new to revolvers period) I need help with selection of the .357 and .38 ammo?

    First, what kind of ammo/grain for home defense? JHP?

    Second, ammo for range practice?

    Thrid, at what grain in the .357mag is the recoil less?

    Fourth, .38 or .38+P ammo/grain for carry? Will pay more for a brand name on this question...

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. dougader

    dougader

    2,980
    10
    Apr 17, 2004
    Yes, JHP.

    Winchester white box

    ? Not really weight dependent, ime, but you can either use 38 special +P or the remington 3/4 load... IIRC Federal makes a reduced recoil load, too.

    For 38 special, I like the Speer 135 grain +P or the 158 grain +P LSWCHP from Federal or Winchester.

    For 357 magnum I like Speer GD 125 grain load. I still have some old Federal 125 jhp that I used to carry in my guns. Another great 357 load is the 145 grain Winchester Silvertip HP ammo.
     


  3. Brucev

    Brucev

    9,189
    5
    Jul 19, 2009
    As a new owner of S&W 686+, 7 rounder and a S&W 642 (new to revolvers period) I need help with selection of the .357 and .38 ammo?

    First, what kind of ammo/grain for home defense? JHP? Absolutely yes.

    Second, ammo for range practice? Whatever is available at a good price. In my case, that is when Wal-Mart has either Winchester or Federal ammo in stock.

    Third, at what grain in the .357mag is the recoil less? In .357 Mag., recoil will be greater than any .38 Special load. The 158 gr. JHP will produce greater recoil than a lighter weight bullet. I have fired some 110 gr. JHP's but was not very impressed. I have used the 125 gr. JHP with complete satisfaction. The recoil is not as heavy as with the 158 gr. JHP. In my revolver (6" M-28) recoil has not be a problem.

    Fourth, .38 or .38+P ammo/grain for carry? Will pay more for a brand name on this question... For many years the FBI .38 Special load was a 158 gr. lead bullet loaded to +P velocity. That would be a good choice. If you would prefer a jacketed bullet, you might want to look at the Speer Critical Defense .38 Special load. Sincerely. Brucev
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  4. Butch

    Butch RetiredDinosaur Millennium Member CLM

    11,106
    85
    Dec 17, 1998
    Minnesota
    The info given above is very good. Now all you have to do is shoot some of the different ammo and decide for yourself which best suits your needs.

    I'd suggest that you pick the ammo that you shoot best, it may be a better choice than picking .357 ammo just because it's more powerful. A good hit with a .38 is still better than a bad hit (or a miss) with a .357.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  5. Thanks for all the input. Appreciate it. I plan on carrying the .38 especially with the 642 as my bug. I needed a starting point on the .38 pr .38+P.
     
  6. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    24,200
    2,171
    Sep 15, 2003
    WA
    Congrats on the new revolvers, can't really add anything other than practice as often as you can with the snubby, and be patient, they can be tricky to learn.
     
  7. glocksterr

    glocksterr DirtyGlockHippy

    1,298
    0
    Aug 10, 2008
    NC,USA
  8. paragon1

    paragon1

    216
    5
    Sep 18, 2009
    Careful shooting full load .357 inside. Very high probability of permanent hearing damage according to a gun totin' MD I know. Remington Golden Saber .357 are downloaded a bit, and are more shootable indoors. (The risk for hearing damage is still high). I would probably use .38 +P inside, probably the Golden Saber.

    Speer has redefined the snub revolver from an decent SD piece to a legitimate primary carry gun with their 135 gr+P Short Barrel load. Buffalo Bore has some interesting results with their .P 38 loads.
     
  9. bambikilr

    bambikilr

    446
    1
    Oct 29, 2009
    Oklahoma
    winchester silvertips are awsome in .38, i also have them in my .357, when outside the house i carry 158 grain JHP in .357...enjoy your wheel guns, i do
     
  10. I bought some Speer Gold Dot (short barrel) .38+P 135gr GDHP and Hornady Critical Defense .38+P 110FTX..

    This is first time buying this caliber. Interesting Hornady's "rubber" in the hollow point of the bullet. Never saw this before.

    I read some negative things on this Hordady bullet. Anyone use this ammo?

    Also, can I clean the outside of the revolver with CLP? If not what do you all use to keep the stainless nice and clean?
     
  11. For carry, I'd go with a 158gr +P JHP or SWC out of both of them.
     
  12. MSgt Dotson

    MSgt Dotson

    3,268
    8
    Sep 30, 2006
    The .357's 'stopper' reputation was built around 125g JHP bullets....; I think it's a good place to start. Remington, Federal, won't matter much....the major manufacturers know how to make a 125 gr bullet expand at 1500 fps...