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Why not more revolvers in non 38/357 calibers?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by sharpshooter, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    For CCW it seems a 38 special is barely "enough", and 357 magnum is painful to shoot. Both of those rounds are VERY old.

    Why aren't there better alternatives? A shorter cartridge would mean a shorter/lighter cylinder, which means you could have a 1/8" or 1/4" longer barrel without making the gun longer. What about 357 Sig or 45 Glock or a new cartridge with better numbers than a 38 but less recoil than a 357 mag?

    9mm revolvers are rare, I've never actually seen one. True you loose velocity with a 2" barrel but it's still faster than a 38.
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Manufacturers can barely sell .357 SIGs and .45 GAPs in autopistols. What makes you think people are going to buy them in wheelguns?

    9mm revolvers are rare because they can't be sold in large enough numbers to justify the cost of production and distribution.

  3. Gliderguy


    May 14, 2012
    This may be the very driving force that brought the 327 federal into existance.
  4. im guessing because many of the other pistol calibers involve those moon clips and such. while I dont mind them some just dont like to mess with them.
  5. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    The .327 is probably going to be it in that direction. Bottle neck rounds like the .357 Sig don't work well in DA revolvers the bottleneck tends to push the case back out of the chamber.

    Revolver shooters that want velocity have the magnums, and pray tell, unless you have a prejudice against the "age" of the .357 magnum, what is wrong with it?

    Revolver shooters, in SD revolvers tend to know they have fewer shots and slower reloads so the tend towards bigger/heavier bullets. I know If I were going to carry a 125 grn bullet in a 2" 38/357 I just carry a 9mm auto. getting more velocity out of a 2" revolver is problematic from a blast and recoil standpoint.

    I have 1 .38/,357 snub but when I carry a "shorty" it's a .44 special.

    I have wondered why someone doesn't "legitimize" the ".41 special" made by cutting down .41 mag brass. It has quite a following among "wildcatters" who can afford custom guns. It would give .40S&W ballitics with heavier and different bullet shapes and be usable in .41 mags, ala the .38/,357 relationship. It would eliminate the "rimless extraction/moonclips issue as well.
  6. Gregg702

    Gregg702 Gold Member

    May 1, 2010
    Las Vegas
    .38 Special +P is just fine, IMO.
  7. Metal Angel

    Metal Angel

    Oct 20, 2010
    I'm curious, how does the 327 fit ballistically in the spectrum of standard carry revolver/auto calibers?

    OP- even .45acp revolvers are just as big as .38spl revolvers. The cylinder is usually shorter, but the space for the cylinder is just as long, and they have longer forcing cones to compensate. I don't know why they don't do it like you are suggesting. It makes sense to me. .38spl is WAAAAY too long for what it is.
  8. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Similar to the .357 SIG caliber.

    That's because way, way back when .38 Special was loaded with blackpowder when it first came out. Nowadays, with smokeless powder AND improvement in powder technology, you don't need that much case space.

    However, answer me this: what do you gain by cutting the case of the .38 Special down? Practically speaking and not academically speaking.

    How much weight do you save in ammo? How much weight do you save in the gun? Do all these savings offset tooling up to make new rounds and new guns AND hope that there will be a customer base for ammo and gun?

    .45 GAP isn't exactly flying out of the door and setting the world afire.
  9. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012

    Well said
  10. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    .38+P has plenty of energy for SD.

    I will be first in line if S&W ever brings out an airweight in 9mm with moon clips. I like to keep my caliber selection to a minimum.
  11. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I can dig that. I like the low cost of the 9mm ammo.
  12. Decguns


    Dec 29, 2003
    The fact of the matter is that the 38 Special and 357 Magnum still work. If you believe in one shot stop statistics, the 357 Magnum is king of the hill... easily beating out the 40, 41, 44 & 45's. If it's not broke... don't fix it.

    The 327 Magnum gives you 357 performance in a smaller package. Basically 6-7 shots in a 5 shot size revolver. Since the 327 is based off of the 32 H&R Magnum, you get the same ability to shoot cheaper and lower recoiling ammo just like the 38/357. It's not a leap in performance so much as it's the wonder-nine of the CCW revolver world.
  13. bhk


    Jan 19, 2004
    Regular .38 and .38 +Ps may be 'not enough' and regular .357s may be 'too much,' but there are other alternatives in this chambering. Lightly loaded factory .357s cartridges like the 125 grain Gold Dots and the 125 grain Remington Golden Sabres fill the nich between the .38 +Ps and full-house .357 loads. These are 'perfection' for small .357 revolvers. Check them out! The .38/.357 revolver is one of the best all around firearms ever invented.
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    There are a lot of different things you can shoot in a .357 Magnum across the power spectrum from .38 wadcutters to full power Mag-numbs.

    For example, Buffalo Bore sells heavy .38s that are comparable to the old .38-44 High Velocity, somewhat more than current +P+.
    Or you can buy - or handload - .357 Magnum "intermediate" loads to do about the same thing in the longer case with no danger of slipping a bomb into your Airweight .38.

    There are such things as 9mm, .38 Super, and .40 SW revolvers but they are not common and don't do anything a properly loaded .38 or .357 won't.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  15. Foxtrotx1


    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    I'm in too. Standardizing my ammo for handguns down to just 9mm would be nice.
  16. ChicagoZman


    Jun 29, 2010
    Have never found my .357 revolvers to be lacking in the variety of ammunition they can shoot. Very light target loads to 1500 fps 158gr hollow points.

    And you can get revolvers chambered in plenty of calibers. Taurus makes a compact .40 and you can get plenty of guns in .327, .41, .44. 45Colt, .410, .45ACP, etc.
  17. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    The .357 revolver is great BECAUSE of it's age. more loads in .38/357 have been designed over the years, and are factory available than any other centerfire pistol round. Probably more than any TWO other rounds. anyone who can shoot can find something they are comfortable with and those who want performance over "comfort" or find performance "comforting" can get it in one gun.

    I choose the .44 for my snubbie because I reload and my "rural" lifestyle causes me to lean towards a heavier bullet.
  18. Metal Angel

    Metal Angel

    Oct 20, 2010
    The reason the OP wants to shorten it is to shorten the cylinder altogether. 9mm seems to be about 3/4 the length of .38spl, so if you shortened .38spl to the length of 9mm, you could shorten the cylinder another 1/4" or so and either have an overall length 1/4" shorter than the current j frame, or have a barrel 1/4" longer while retaining the same overall length j frame.

    Meh, seems like a lot of work for a little change to me. And with how much .38spl already costs, I'm sure this new .38spl short would be $35 a box for target ammo.
  19. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    A 9mm out of a snubbie isn't going to be any more powerful than a .38 Spl +P.
  20. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I understand the concept. That's why I ask for people to think in "practical" terms. What do they as the owners get out of the package and what do they as the gun companies get out of the package.

    Exactly my point.