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The Revolver: 357 or 38 for +P ammo

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by CDR_Glock, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. CDR_Glock


    Apr 1, 2010

    With regards to revolvers, and specifically 357 Magnums, if a person will not use 357 ammunition: is there any reason to get a 357 Magnum over a gun that is rated for +P ammunition? Is the 357 "overkill"? Can a +P revolver handle +P+ ? Or is that only for a 357 to handle that? Is there a difference in ballistics, assuming the same length barrel? How about the ability for followup shots?

    The Ruger LCR 357 is out. If someone wanted to shoot only 38 or 38 +P, is there any reason to get that?
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    The .357 will generally be a little heavier than the .38 in the same frame size: a little more inconvenience in pocket or ankle carry, but a little less recoil, too. It gives you the option of Magnum loads if you change your mind later. In some of the super-light Titanium guns, lead +P 158 grain bullets can pull loose from the recoil force of adjacent rounds, jumping their crimp and "prairie-dogging" forward out of the cylinder face, locking up the gun. That's less likely with the Magnum chamberings, due to both longer cylinder and therefore longer chambers, and slightly greater weight reducing the violent recoil.

    With modern +P jacketed hollow points, I wouldn't worry about any of this in, say, a Model 442 or 642 Airweight .38 Special, or the LCR in .38 Special.