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View Full Version : Pervasive .357 magnum "wisdom" I keep seeing tossed around.


PutTogether
09-08-2010, 8:11 AM
I was just thinking this morning about some of the stranger "ideas" I've heard about guns in general, and the .357 magnum in particular. I seem to ALWAYS hear the same few things said over and over again, and I can never seem to get them to make perfect sense in my own head.

What do some of you think of the following that you've probably heard before?


".357 guns are great because you can practice with .38, but load/carry .357"


- Who honestly wants to practice with .38 special? This one gets me for two reasons. First, I buy .357s because I like shooting .357. Second, while I'll agree versatility is a good thing, I have a tough time getting away from the idea that if you want to "practice" shooting a gun, especially a gun you are contemplating using for defense, then it stands to reason that you would want to practice as realistically as possible. ie: shoot with the ammo you plan on actually using. Learn it. Know it. Get used to it. What is the point of wanting a full power .357 for defense or hunting, but never training yourself to handle the recoil and other characteristics of the round? Then there are those that say not getting used to the .357 recoil/flash/report is OK, because under duress, you won't notice it anyway.......which brings me to the next one:


"Load your gun with .38+P because a .357 magnum will be too loud in your house."


- Let's ignore that this sometimes come from the same people that say it is ok to practice with .38 and carry .357 because you won't notice the extra recoil and noise anyway. What about the fact that almost universally, the people that spout this piece of wisdom would ALSO agree that a 12gauge shotgun makes the perfect home defense weapon? Have these people ever HEARD an 18" barrel 12 gauge shotgun? If you thought the .357 was loud....

If you feel more comfortable with .38+p because of some other issue - that is fine, and I don't want to bad mouth your choice.....but because .357 is too loud is just ridiculous if you also think a shotgun is good pick for a home defense gun.




There are others that I don't fully grasp, but I won't list because I guess they are up for reasonable debate, but the two I list here always bug me.

OneSevenDeuce
09-08-2010, 8:19 AM
Well, I don't shoot .357 right now but I can understand why some people practice with one round and load up for home defense in another. .38 special is cheaper and allows you to practice a lot more if you are on a budget. Not that I think that the first time you shoot your HD load should be in an emergency. What I do is practice with ball ammo in my autos and then "qualify" with my expensive +p HD rounds at the end of my practice session. That way I get a lot of training done that DOESN'T cost me $40 for 20 rounds, and I still get a feel for the rounds I may use to defend my life and property.

Bullwinkle
09-08-2010, 8:20 AM
You just signed up for Gunsite's 250 Pistol course. 1000 rounds of ammo required, plus 50 rounds of frangible ammo. How much does .38Spl cost compared to .357Mag? Yeah, I think I'll practice with .38Spl, thank you.

However, you make a good point, albeit an old one. PD's used to "train with .38Spl, carry .357Mag", until an incident (or incidents) occurred that changed their way of thinking, then they "trained with what they carried". It makes sense.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the budgetary resources of police departments (not that PD's are rich, mind you). Practicing w/.38Spl is better than no practice at all, yes? It would be wise, however, if occasionally practice was done with .357Mag also.

Edited to add:
W.R.T. your second point... this is the first time I've heard that one; and I agree with you, it's a ridiculous argument. Not saying you won't go partially deaf firing a .357Mag (or any defensive caliber handgun) in an enclosed space like a hallway, but you'll probably go completely deaf with a 12ga. Personally, I keep a pair of electronic earmuffs next to the bed with the gun gear. Assuming I have time to put them on, they'll protect my hearing if I make a bang, and cranking up the amplification will give me a tactical advantage if I'm investigating a bump in the night.

k1dude
09-08-2010, 8:37 AM
Our military has been known to train with lasers, airsoft, pellet guns, and .22's to save on cost. Yet our fighting forces are the finest in the world. I don't think it hurts them.

I shoot, .22's, .32's, .380's, .38's, 9mm's, .357's, .41's, and .45's in revolvers and autos. I don't think it hurts me to go from a weak caliber to a powerful one or from one platform to another. In fact, it probably helps me since I become familiar with all of them and can pick up pretty much any weapon and perform well enough with it.

I understand the philosophy of sticking with one caliber and weapons platform to become extremely proficient. But versitility has it's benefits too. With the mission specific weapons choices we give our elite warriors, they obviously believe in versitility and multiple platforms as well.

I think the most important thing is just to go out and practice whether it's .38 or .357. I think if you're good with one you'll be good with the other. But definitely practice with both. I'd think practice with 90% .38 and 10% .357 would be fine to save on cost.

Vacaville
09-08-2010, 8:37 AM
I'm a vocal proponent of shooting .38 spl ammo in a .357 mag gun, and I'll do so here. It's cheaper, very accurate, and still a powerful enough round for self defense. And as far as energy, high power .38 spl ammo overlaps quite a bit with 9mm.

I also always recommend practicing with both .38 and .357 in any shooting session. I usually shoot a box or so of .38 and then load up a few cylinders of .357 to finish off the session. As you state, if you only shoot .38 spl you are not experiencing the full recoil of the .357 mag. Also, if you only shoot .38 spl length cartridges you will end up with fouling in your cylinders that make .357 mag round stick when you eventually load them.

Basically, when you buy a .357 magnum gun, you are getting two rounds for one gun. That's why I like them. Sort of like having a .22lr/.22 WMR revolver with switchable cylinders, but no cylinder to switch. Your argument I guess would be the same for .44 spl and .44 mag.

As for your statement about noise - never heard that one before. Pretty much everything that I shoot can make you deaf when shot indoors without hearing protection.

gorenut
09-08-2010, 8:46 AM
Yup, I am also with those who believe there is nothing wrong with practicing both. In an ideal world, of course you'd want to fire the exact load you'll be using for self defense.. unfortunately we don't (at least I don't). As much as I'd like to say you can't put a price on your life.. ammo costs is one of those things that I can put a price on because it shows up on my credit card bill at the end of each month. I look at it this way, if dry-firing alone increases trigger control, shooting with .38sp is very very good practice as it still has recoil and I would put it above using .22lr as practice. Thats one thing I love about revolvers, its like having a built in conversion barrel without any fuss at all. I do majority of the practice with cheaper ammo and mix it in with some actual rounds I use for SD.

As far as using .357 as home defense.. I always thought the real argument was over-penetration, especially in CA homes. I know quality JHP nullifies a lot of that.

robcoe
09-08-2010, 8:48 AM
".357 guns are great because you can practice with .38, but load/carry .357"

I don't think anyone advocates practicing with .38sp only, you always want to do some practice with the SD rounds so your used to them, but for general target practice(trigger control, sighting, ect) .38 special is just as good as .357 and significantly cheaper, meaning you get more practice for the same money. I don't know about you, but I do not have unlimited funds.

JTROKS
09-08-2010, 9:12 AM
I usually just shoot 38 spl level reloads of my own through my 357s when going to the range. This gives me trigger practice in double action. It is not wise to just shoot 38 spl loads in your revolver then go home stoke it with 357 mag loads and expect it to hit at the spot. Well at 7 yards it won't be too far, but at 25 yards expect the difference resulting in a miss if you're aiming at a small target. If you only have one revolver go ahead and practice with 38 spl loads, but if you intend to use it for defense after practice, bring some of your defense loads and check your zero.

I usually shoot 125 jhp +P in my 357 revolver for home defense and they don't impact far from where my practice loads are.

Another factor you need to look at when switching from 38 spl to 357 is the lead/carbon fouling in the chambers. With the 38 spl being short it will leave fouling that may impede on the reliability when loading the longer 357 magnum rounds.

BigDogatPlay
09-08-2010, 9:32 AM
Back in the day we used to shoot 148 grain wadcutters all day long for practice and qualification. All we got was, largely, bullseye type training. Then we would load up for the street with .38 +P or later on) +P+. Not that many agencies really carried full on .357 Magnum rounds at least not by the time I was breaking into the business in the late 70's /early 80's.

Over time in the 80's training doctrine and case law shifted to bring agencies into the mentality of training with duty ammo in any / all live fire training scenarios. Many agencies use video simulators, and there is a broad use of Simunitions for force on force training scenarios. So, like the military there are a number of different training options.

For the vast majority of us, shooting a mix in a .38 /.357 revolver is not a bad thing. Shooting lighter loads allows the shooter to really hone their fundamental marksmanship skills. Wadcutters are still relatively cheap, even cheaper if you are loading your own. Following up that with regular practice with your prime HD load to remain familiar with it and ensure your gun shoots it to point of aim, becomes part of that.

FWIW, from having fired a lot of .357 ammo over the years, I don't recommend it for HD use, particularly out of a barrel less than 4 inches. Light bullets risk a shoot through or even a complete disintegration of the pill, heavier bullets may not expand at all. There are many effective defensive bullets tailored to 38 +P and +P+, and in particular for short barrels and I believe those make a better solution.

faterikcartman
09-08-2010, 9:34 AM
I start out practicing with 38s, then switch to 357s as my practice session is coming to an end. I only shoot double action, by the way. I feel very comfortable with a revolver, learn the trigger well, and save money. No myths in that program I can see, but suit yourself. I currently have .45s for HD. YMMV. Be safe.

gorenut
09-08-2010, 9:53 AM
I start out practicing with 38s, then switch to 357s as my practice session is coming to an end. I only shoot double action, by the way. I feel very comfortable with a revolver, learn the trigger well, and save money. No myths in that program I can see, but suit yourself.


Ditto. Its just crazy how slick the double action on my GP-100 is now after being smoothed out through all the usage. Whenever I play around with any of my semis in double-action, it never fails to surprise me how smooth and soft my GP-100 feels in comparison.

Fishslayer
09-08-2010, 10:05 AM
I don't generally practice a lot with full house magnum loads. Just a few cylinders per session at the range for fun. The BOOM! and fireball from 2400 loads is awesome! :D

For targets I load down to +P levels in magnum cases to save wear & tear on the firearm and concentrate on trigger pull, sight picture, etc. I don't use .38 cases because of the carbon ring.

I don't really know that .38 is any easier to find or cheaper nowadays than .357. I bought a few boxes of NOS +P SJHP loads last year & they were pretty pricey. Same with a 100 box of WWB .38SP.

I am not interested in testing out the indoor theory. I know I wouldn't want to be around a full house load going off indoors without my ears on. They light up a huge space like an indoor range pretty well. Don't really want to try it out in a hallway. :yikes: I would be blinded (assuming it's dark, of course) & deaf after the first round. Also, magnum loads take quite a bit of practice to fire quickly effectively. I can keep 6 rounds of .38 on target "OK" for as much as I practice. The Big Dog loads.. not so much.:(



Personally, I keep a pair of electronic earmuffs next to the bed with the gun gear. Assuming I have time to put them on, they'll protect my hearing if I make a bang, and cranking up the amplification will give me a tactical advantage if I'm investigating a bump in the night.

Not a bad idea...

cineski
09-08-2010, 10:16 AM
I shoot 10mm. I really wish I could just run .40 at the range and a few 10's at the end for some fun. Am I misguided? Nope.

shooting4life
09-08-2010, 10:26 AM
I reload so I would never fire 38 specials in a 357 with one exception. My wife has a j frame model 60 with a 2 inch barrel. Even though it can shoot 357 it would gain you very little with the super short barrel and would be too much to handle with full house 357. This is the only time I think it would e fine to load a 357 with 38 to practice and for defense.

Arondos
09-08-2010, 10:50 AM
I was reading a thread on defensive shooting. The discussion got into what to say to law enforcement.

I asked if ti would be out of line to give a brief what happened and then say I am not answering any questions until my hearing is normal so I can understand clearly what is being asked.

Got a response from someone who has been involved in shooting indoors and he basically said with adrenalin pumping and everything else you don't even notice the noise.

Bullwinkle
09-08-2010, 11:03 AM
Got a response from someone who has been involved in shooting indoors and he basically said with adrenalin pumping and everything else you don't even notice the noise.While "auditory exclusion" is a bone fide phenomenon experienced by some, it is not necessarily experienced by all. I've experienced it on the firing line--too many times I've forgotten my hearing protection during a course and not realized it until I was done shooting but the guys next to me weren't--but I didn't experience it every time; and just because I experienced it then doesn't mean I will if SHTF in the future, either. I wouldn't count on it.

And whether you consciously "hear" the shots or not, it still physically affects your hearing.

OneSevenDeuce
09-08-2010, 11:05 AM
"auditory exclusion"

Is that the word for what I get when my wife starts complaining about something? :D

Bullwinkle
09-08-2010, 11:07 AM
Is that the word for what I get when my wife starts complaining about something? :D:rofl2: Heh heh, you and me both, brother! :rofl2:

MrBlond
09-08-2010, 11:46 AM
Lay some wisdom on me. Does the 357/38 compatibility also work in semi-autos, or only revolvers?

ilikeguns
09-08-2010, 11:48 AM
THe auditory exclusion deal is true. I had significant temporary hearing loss due to forgetting ear protection at indoor range. It came back the following day

ilikeguns
09-08-2010, 11:49 AM
Lay some wisdom on me. Does the 357/38 compatibility also work in semi-autos, or only revolvers?

only revolvers. 357 sig isn't the same though, unless your thinking Desert Eagle

Kestryll
09-08-2010, 12:02 PM
I was just thinking this morning about some of the stranger "ideas" I've heard about guns in general, and the .357 magnum in particular. I seem to ALWAYS hear the same few things said over and over again, and I can never seem to get them to make perfect sense in my own head.

What do some of you think of the following that you've probably heard before?


".357 guns are great because you can practice with .38, but load/carry .357"


- Who honestly wants to practice with .38 special?
I do.
I like being able to run hundreds of .38 Specials through my .357, it lets me get more familiar with the trigger pull, continually smooths out the mechanism, allows me to work on fundamentals and costs less.

It's also a great training tool.
Most .357 Magnums weigh more than .38 Specials so you can teach someone to shoot with a decent sized handgun that has enough mass to absorb recoil. And because you can start them with light .38 wadcutters and work up to full magnum rounds in the same handgun they can focus on learning safety and shooting fundamentals instead of learning the feel of a new gun periodically.


"Load your gun with .38+P because a .357 magnum will be too loud in your house."


- Let's ignore that this sometimes come from the same people that say it is ok to practice with .38 and carry .357 because you won't notice the extra recoil and noise anyway. What about the fact that almost universally, the people that spout this piece of wisdom would ALSO agree that a 12gauge shotgun makes the perfect home defense weapon? Have these people ever HEARD an 18" barrel 12 gauge shotgun? If you thought the .357 was loud....

I've fired a .357 Magnum in my living room, have you?

Yes, it's devastatingly loud, I have permanent hearing loss and nerve damage from it.
The decibel difference between a .357 Magnum and a .38 Special is noticable and the shotgun is actually not as loud as a .357 Magnum.
.38 Spl 156.3 dB.
12 gauge shotgun 3-inch magnum 157dB
.357 magnum 164dB

Legasat
09-08-2010, 2:41 PM
My General policy: Practice with the same rounds you carry / use.

My Exception: When you can't practice with the same round you carry (for whatever reason), practice with whatever you can get your hands on, because practicing with"something" is better than no practice.

scarville
09-08-2010, 3:37 PM
I've fired a .357 Magnum in my living room, have you?
No but I know the 357 magnum is one of the loudest handgun cartridges made. The "big four" in order of DBm

38 Spl 156.3 dB
45 ACP 157.0 dB
9mm 159.8 dB
357 Mag 164.3 dB

From: http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=2052

In reality, any of the above fired indoors will probably leave you with some hearing loss.

Tanner68
09-08-2010, 5:04 PM
I hunt upland without hearing protection, and a few shotgun blasts don't bother me too much. But I would seriously hesitate to pop off a few rounds of 357 without hearing protection. There is the decibel reading, and also the nature of the weapon and how the sound waves are projected. On both levels, the 12 gauge is less loud than the 357.

Rob454
09-08-2010, 7:28 PM
I personally like 357 chambered guns because it gives you the option of shooting lower power 38s without breaking the bank. Sometimes you wanna go plinking and don't really wanna spend 40$ for 50 rounds.
I got my wife a 357 magnum pistol and she is gonna practice with 38s and is gonna get a feel for what 357s are like. So its nice to have the option of changing calibers in one gun

As for the loudness in a room I dont care if youre firing a 22. its gonna be loud.

russ69
09-08-2010, 11:15 PM
The reason the 357 mag is so popular is because it is very versatile. You can use the same gun for powder puff loads all the way up to big booming firecrackers. For the expert, he/she might spend a lot of time shooting low power target loads. Will that make him/her a bad shot with full power loads? No it won't. And yes, you need to practice with your defense loads but you don't have to shoot them all the time.

Thanx, Russ

JanG
09-08-2010, 11:23 PM
No but I know the 357 magnum is one of the loudest handgun cartridges made. The "big four" in order of DBm

38 Spl 156.3 dB
45 ACP 157.0 dB
9mm 159.8 dB
357 Mag 164.3 dB

From: http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=2052

In reality, any of the above fired indoors will probably leave you with some hearing loss.

i just think it's a bit odd that the 9mm is louder than 45acp

and yes, anything above 100dB is very bad for your hearing

found this interesting chart as well
Environmental Noise
Weakest sound heard 0dB
Whisper Quiet Library 30dB
Normal conversation (3-5') 60-70dB
Telephone dial tone 80dB
City Traffic (inside car) 85dB
Train whistle at 500', Truck Traffic 90dB
Subway train at 200' 95dB
Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss 90 - 95dB
Power mower at 3' 107dB
Snowmobile, Motorcycle 100dB
Power saw at 3' 110dB
Sandblasting, Loud Rock Concert 115dB
Pain begins 125dB
Pneumatic riveter at 4' 125dB
Even short term exposure can cause permanent damage - Loudest recommended exposure WITH hearing protection 140dB
Jet engine at 100', Gun Blast 140dB
Death of hearing tissue 180dB
Loudest sound possible

http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html

cineski
09-09-2010, 7:40 AM
9mm is a much higher pressure round than 45, hence the higher noise level.

Rob454
09-09-2010, 7:50 AM
I've fired a .357 Magnum in my living room, have you?



Was it a accident or self defense?

I hunt upland without hearing protection, and a few shotgun blasts don't bother me too much. But I would seriously hesitate to pop off a few rounds of 357 without hearing protection. There is the decibel reading, and also the nature of the weapon and how the sound waves are projected. On both levels, the 12 gauge is less loud than the 357.

yes but you are talking about two different things. Shooting a gun in a enclosed area where the sound will bounce off the walls and come back at you AND shooting a gun outdoors with open space around you. I wear those surefire ear plugs. They help a lot.

Either way in a self defense scenario Ill take the hearing loss over death.

DDG
09-09-2010, 8:40 AM
I am another that will use 38 spl as a practice round. Typical range outing is 100 to 200 rounds of 38 spl with up to 50 of 357 (various loads). Saving $$$$ and I finish the session with the actual ammo I would be using in whatever upcoming situation (hiking, HD, etc.).

I was glad to have the ammo versatility a couple of weeks ago. I had my nephews out at the range with me (5 of them, plus my kid). Great to use cheap 38 spl load for practice and teaching. We went through 600 rounds in my GP100. That would have been cost prohibitive if it were all 357 mag. The lighter recoil and noise were a plus for teaching also. When I moved the older ones up to 155 grain FMJ 357, they really got to feel the “excitement”.

The only problem I had was that some of them were starting to hit targets further out and with more consistency than I could.

Bullwinkle
09-09-2010, 8:50 AM
The only problem I had was that some of them were starting to hit targets further out and with more consistency than I could.I hate it when that happens! Pat yourself on the back for being a good teacher, and remember... "those that can't do, teach." :)

rabidmonk
09-09-2010, 9:13 AM
I practice with 38spl in my 357mag. As others have said, it's cheaper. Firing 38spl allows me to develop muscle memory with my revolvers and helps me develop my target acquisition skills without as much impact on my wallet. But I also shoot my fare share of 357. Now, should you use 357 as home defense if you never shoot it? I would think not.

It's like learning to ride a motorcycle. You don't start off immediately going 80 mph, you go slower until you learn control, then work your way up to higher speeds.

Beelzy
09-09-2010, 9:28 AM
I reload so 357mag all the way. Even if I want a lighter load I still use magnum cases.
Cost is almost the same when you handload.

choprzrul
09-09-2010, 9:54 AM
I see nothing wrong with traing with less expensive ammo. I really like being able to slide the 22 conversion onto my Beretta 92fs and run several hundred rounds through it. It helps me diagnose and fix problems while developing muscle memory in a positive way. I always finish with several mags of full power rounds. I really like shooting it until fouling starts creating malfunctions, practice clearing malfunctions, and then seeing a dinner plate group @ 10 yds. My son is just the opposite and hates the 22 conversion. I look at his groups and at mine and can see the difference that extensive sub-power practice can make. Do what you want, but I say that the more you can practice going through the motions, the better you are going to play when it really counts.

.

scarville
09-09-2010, 9:55 AM
9mm is a much higher pressure round than 45, hence the higher noise level.
IIRC, the measurements are made with a pressure level meter in front of the gun so a supersonic (>1150 fps) bullet also adds adds a shockwave -- a sonic boom -- to the sound profile. SD loads for the 45 ACP and 38 spl are typically subsonic whereas the 9mm and 357 are usually supersonic.

It's of the reasons I tend to favor a hot 158gr 38 over the 125 gr 357 but that's another argument discussion.

RedFord150
09-09-2010, 10:40 AM
..The only problem I had was that some of them were starting to hit targets further out and with more consistency than I could.


I am having the same problem with my 24 year-old son. We took out a .45 and a .380 this last Saturday and his idea of a good group was a large ragged hole.
I could not shoot 5 rounds without pulling at least 1 flier, up to 2". My son was good about it by saying 'at least all of the shots are hitting in the black'. I think he should start buying his own ammo.
Wait a minute, I think I'll make him pay for the booze he drinks from my cabinet. That's probably a lot more $.

redcliff
09-09-2010, 10:45 AM
Show me a new shooter that practices exclusively with full power .357 magnum loads and 90%+ of the time I"ll show you a shooter with a significant flinch.

Sub caliber training is a great way to improve your skill and learn to mentally exclude noise and muzzle-blast and concentrate on trigger pull and sight alignment.

lazs
09-09-2010, 3:08 PM
darn.. agree with redcliff yet again...yes.. it isn't about practicing for the mythical horde that will be invading or attacking you every week.

It is about getting good with handguns. It is about figuring out what you are doing wrong and correcting it. you can't do that if you are shooting flinch induced shotgun patterns at 15 yards.

But.. having said that.. I have dedicated 38 specials.. they have 38 special chambers and I shoot 38 specials out of em. I enjoy shooting a good 38 special gun and a good .357 gun.

When I have a .357 gun I shoot .357's out of them. They may be very lightly loaded .357 rounds at 900 fps or so but they will be in .357 cases.. for the same reason I don't shoot 44 specials out of my 44 mag guns. You can load either 44 mag or .357 to 900 fps easily.

I admit that I shoot mostly 44 mag and 45 acp these days and I will start to get flinchy after about 100 rounds but shooting 100 rounds of near factory power 44 mags and 50 or 100 of the light recoiling 45 acp rounds is a very satisfying session for me these days.

lazs
09-09-2010, 3:11 PM
Oh.. I have a 22 conversion for my EAA witness 45 acp but it is not to "train" with the witness instead of 45 acp.. I have lots of 45 acp ammo..

I have the conversion so that I can have a great 22 semi auto for cheap.

redcliff
09-09-2010, 4:28 PM
But.. having said that.. I have dedicated 38 specials.. they have 38 special chambers and I shoot 38 specials out of em. I enjoy shooting a good 38 special gun and a good .357 gun.

When I have a .357 gun I shoot .357's out of them. They may be very lightly loaded .357 rounds at 900 fps or so but they will be in .357 cases.. for the same reason I don't shoot 44 specials out of my 44 mag guns. You can load either 44 mag or .357 to 900 fps easily.



Makes perfect sense if you reload; using the longer cases keeps from fouling the chambers which is common when using special cases. And as for using light loads, take it from the man himself:

Officer Phil Sweet: What kind of a load do you use in that .44?
Harry Callahan: It's a light Special. This size gun it gives you better control and less recoil than a .357 Magnum with wadcutters.

lazs
09-09-2010, 4:43 PM
LOL.. yeah.. I still think that a 900-1100 44 mag load is good enough for about anything and fairly pleasant to shoot. I have always felt that there would be a market for factory loaded mid range 44 mag loads but then.... they tried that with the .41 magnum and it was a flop.

cineski
09-11-2010, 7:26 AM
Yes, a sonic boom also adds to the noise level. However, putting that aside from this "discussion" ;) a 45 is around 21,000 PSI while 9mm is 35,000. There will be an audible difference between the release of those two pressures w/ all other factors being equalized. 45 also has a slightly lower pitched report (from my ears) while 9mm is more of a pop or crack. This can also effect the perceived loudness of a round being fired.

IIRC, the measurements are made with a pressure level meter in front of the gun so a supersonic (>1150 fps) bullet also adds adds a shockwave -- a sonic boom -- to the sound profile. SD loads for the 45 ACP and 38 spl are typically subsonic whereas the 9mm and 357 are usually supersonic.

It's of the reasons I tend to favor a hot 158gr 38 over the 125 gr 357 but that's another argument discussion.

lazs
09-11-2010, 8:49 AM
yes.. in that respect a 45 acp or 45 colt or light loaded 44 mag is less "painful" to shoot than a .357 or 9mm because the noise and blast is not so "sharp"

It is simply more pleasant to shoot low pressure rounds.

GW
09-11-2010, 1:29 PM
It is simply more pleasant to shoot low pressure rounds.

And if that gets a shooter practicing more--
How is that a bad thing?

precisionshooter308
09-11-2010, 2:36 PM
So if practicing with .38's is useless then dry firing must be a complete waste of time. All those hundreds of hours dry firing wasted oh woe is me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RTE
09-11-2010, 3:20 PM
From a SHTF perspective.
If you find yourself with no gun and no ammo.
You have a choice between picking up a 38 or 357 pistol from the table.....your choice is going to be the 357.

bandook
09-11-2010, 3:48 PM
From a SHTF perspective.
If you find yourself with no gun and no ammo.
You have a choice between picking up a 38 or 357 pistol from the table.....your choice is going to be the 357.

:) ...but what ammo are you going to pick up.... :)
.38 for me. I can shoot it all day.

CoolCalGunner
09-11-2010, 4:03 PM
Oh.. I have a 22 conversion for my EAA witness 45 acp but it is not to "train" with the witness instead of 45 acp.. I have lots of 45 acp ammo..

I have the conversion so that I can have a great 22 semi auto for cheap.

You have the same exact setup like mine :D

I always practice with my .22lr conversion kit, and to complete the session I swap the .45acp slide & barrel and send 10rds of .45acp down the range :)

RTE
09-11-2010, 8:30 PM
Originally Posted by RTE
From a SHTF perspective.
If you find yourself with no gun and no ammo.
You have a choice between picking up a 38 or 357 pistol from the table.....your choice is going to be the 357.

:) ...but what ammo are you going to pick up.... :)
.38 for me. I can shoot it all day.

From a SHTF perspective.
Any ammo one would come across traveling from point A to B
(38, 38+P, 38+P+, 357 etc)
Point being you can get by with more if you own a 357 over a 38.

lazs
09-12-2010, 8:54 AM
I own a 340 pd and it is the best gun there is for a 12 ounce gun. It is reliable and powerful and you can even fire it from your pocket if you don't mind catching on fire after.

I trust it one hell of a lot more than a 9mm the same size and weight.

As for shooting 38 spl being "useless" I don't think so.. I have a couple of 38spl guns and they are great fun to shoot and very accurate. I believe that a dedicated 38 spl gun most all of time will outshoot a .357 gun that is shooting the same 38spl rounds.

and for the guy who thinks the stopping power of the .357 is myth.. there are still shootings happening with the .357 and it is still number one. while other calibers have advanced.. so has the .357. The others will always be playing catchup because there are limitations on semi autos that do not exist for .357 revolvers.

Sailormilan2
09-12-2010, 9:02 AM
The earlier Model 19s were not designed for continuous Magnum shooting(I'm not too sure the later ones stand up any better). They were designed in the era of "practise with 38 sp, carry 357 Mag". When Police departments started the policy of practising what you carried, many of the lighter framed 357 Magnum revolvers started shooting loose. There were also reports of forcing cone cracking with the newer 38 Sp +P+ Police ammo that was being issued.
That is why the L framed S&Ws came into being.

23 Blast
09-12-2010, 10:10 AM
How about this?

Practice with .357s, then carry .38?

That way, when you confront an attacker and you plant several .38 slugs in his knees and lower legs because of flinching, it will look better in court and you won't have to explain to an ignorant jury why you were using the ".357 Magnum" (which most non-gunners and antis understand as "death ray."

seriously though - I can see the value of training both ways. Always using the same load, same ammo, same gun, builds a familiarity such that a proficient shooter knows exactly where the bullet is going the second the hammer falls. However, with budgetary constraints, it does sometimes make sense to train on something that will build muscle memory and trigger and breath control while not costing as much as full-on premium defensive ammunition. To that end, I am a fan of .22 conversion kits. I have one for my 1911's, and they're a blast to shoot. I thought about getting a S&W 617 as a companion to my S&W 66, but dang - the .22 revolver costs more than the .357!!

elSquid
09-12-2010, 10:31 AM
and for the guy who thinks the stopping power of the .357 is myth.. there are still shootings happening with the .357 and it is still number one. while other calibers have advanced.. so has the .357. The others will always be playing catchup because there are limitations on semi autos that do not exist for .357 revolvers.

http://mp-pistol.com/boards/lofiversion/index.php?t13576.html

For those individuals who doubt evidence based research and prefer “street results”, the CHP, the largest agency to issue .357 Mag 125 gr JHP’s on the West Coast, clearly reports significantly better results in their officer involved shootings since switching to .40 S&W 180 gr JHP loadings, based on officer perception, objective crime scene measurements, as well as the physiological damage described in the relevant autopsy studies. The CHP used a variety of .357 Mag loads, depending upon what was available via the state contract. According to the published CHP test data from 1989-90, the .357 Magnum load used immediately prior to the CHP transition to .40 S&W was the Remington 125 gr JHP with an ave. MV of 1450 f/s from their duty revolvers.

-- Michael

Fishslayer
09-12-2010, 12:07 PM
According to the published CHP test data from 1989-90, the .357 Magnum load used immediately prior to the CHP transition to .40 S&W was the Remington 125 gr JHP with an ave. MV of 1450 f/s from their duty revolvers. [/I]

-- Michael

That's gonna leave a mark. I don't care who ya are...:D

1911su16b870
09-12-2010, 1:16 PM
357 loads in the J frame airweights (340PD, 360PD etc.) is painfull to shoot for more than 5 to 10 rounds, those guns were made to be carried alot and shot a little. Now shooting 38 in the same airweights is not a big deal.

357 loads in the large steel (heavier) K frames is fun to shoot!

I also handload 357 cases with 5-grains 231 and 125-grain copper coated truncated cone bullets for practice sessions to prevent that 38 carbon ring in the 357 cylinder.

Grumpyoldretiredcop
09-12-2010, 5:39 PM
Who honestly wants to practice with .38 special? I do. My favorite .357 is a Model 19. A steady diet of full-house Magnum ammo would stretch the frame and ruin an irreplaceable pistol (I snagged it when my former agency switched from revolvers to Glocks). I do it often enough to be sure of where it hits, but that's it.

As to the second piece of "wisdom"... I think not.

Notblake
09-12-2010, 7:16 PM
Does anyone have a dB comparison between 4" and 6" .357's shooting the same load?

Oh and also, I'll take the hearing loss over the being dead.

JTROKS
09-12-2010, 8:27 PM
Does anyone have a dB comparison between 4" and 6" .357's shooting the same load?

Oh and also, I'll take the hearing loss over the being dead.

I was told there really is no big difference between a 6", a 4", and even a snubby, due to the cylinder gap. I'm sorry to inform that my S&W 66 w/ a 2.5" barrel sure sounds way louder than my 6" 686+ firing the same loads.

scarville
09-12-2010, 9:18 PM
I was told there really is no big difference between a 6", a 4", and even a snubby, due to the cylinder gap. I'm sorry to inform that my S&W 66 w/ a 2.5" barrel sure sounds way louder than my 6" 686+ firing the same loads.
It probably is. Somewhere I have a paper written around 1995 or 1998 (?) by a couple of engineers who measured the sound pressure level at various points arounds a semi-circle from directly in front of the muzzle to directly behind it. IIRC (it's been a while since I read it) they found 95% or more of sound pressure behind the gun was predicted by the muzzle blast. Cylinder gap in a revolver caused a small "blip" for detectors close the the 90 degree mark but made no significant difference to what the shooter experienced.

The guns were fired in an open field with no echo sources nearby.

lazs
09-13-2010, 9:25 AM
I don't think it matters what the officers perceive to be true. the more objective tests still show the .357 as a superior stopper. It not by a huge margin in any case.

And.. no.. I do not fire my 340 pd often. I have shot plenty of j frame smiths over the years and know them pretty well.. I will run 5 125 grain federal .357's through the 340 every 6 months or so and it will shoot the same every time. It really is no fun to shoot though. I didn't buy it for plinking.. I might get a steel j frame 38 for plinking though just for fun.

elSquid
09-13-2010, 6:33 PM
I don't think it matters what the officers perceive to be true. the more objective tests still show the .357 as a superior stopper.

The CHP reference had three parts:

based on officer perception, objective crime scene measurements, as well as the physiological damage described in the relevant autopsy studies

:shrug:

-- Michael

lazs
09-14-2010, 9:32 AM
I would say that a study that took all firearms and had some parameters like that of the marshal study would be more useful.

Overall.. the .357 still has the lead. There really is a lot less difference than most would think when you talk about handgun rounds and placement seems to be important... I would go for accuracy and penetration over one or two percent.. You might have to shoot through something.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

Mofo-Kang
09-14-2010, 10:21 AM
Basically, when you buy a .357 magnum gun, you are getting two rounds for one gun. That's why I like them. Sort of like having a .22lr/.22 WMR revolver with switchable cylinders, but no cylinder to switch.

And that goes double for my Ruger Blackhawk... one cylinder is .38/.357, the other is 9mm. :D Talk about versatile...you can go from the most anemic .38's up through the full spectrum of 9mm and into the hot .357s, and pick one that's nice and comfortable for you. Plus, ammo is very plentiful!

elSquid
09-14-2010, 11:07 AM
I would say that a study that took all firearms and had some parameters like that of the marshal study would be more useful.


I agree, a scientific study would be useful, but it's a very difficult problem to get meaningful data for.

As for the Marshall numbers, it's probably best to simply ignore them.

-- Michael

redcliff
09-14-2010, 5:08 PM
I agree, a scientific study would be useful, but it's a very difficult problem to get meaningful data for.

As for the Marshall numbers, it's probably best to simply ignore them.

-- Michael

I will ignore them as soon as Massad Ayoob does; the Combined Models quoted in http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob93.html shows police departments using and reporting good results with most of the the top rated rounds in Evan Marshall's studies http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=0

elSquid
09-14-2010, 5:36 PM
I will ignore them as soon as Massad Ayoob does; the Combined Models quoted in http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob93.html shows police departments using and reporting good results with most of the the top rated rounds in Evan Marshall's studies http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=0

What's your take on the various criticisms of Marshall's work?

One of my favorites ( and I am lazy so I'll link... :D )

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=4825989&postcount=88

Others include the lack of open data - which pretty much damns the numbers from being scientific - or the fact that M&S appear to have misrepresented the results of various LE agencies...

http://www.m4carbine.net/showpost.php?p=379191&postcount=20

As it happens, many agencies who Marshall and Sanow claim to have gotten their shootings from have come forward and said that not only did they not provide any information to Marshall & Sanow, but that the shootings that Marshall and Sanow have attributed to them do not match any of the shootings that they have on record. Credibility of data is key in any study, and Marshall and Sanow have shown that they have none.

The July 1992 Law and Order Magazine has several letters to the editor, as well as a statement by the magazines’ editor, further illustrating the lack of truth and serious errors in the Marshall and Sanow “data”. Several papers have been published in the peer reviewed IWBA “Wound Ballistics Review” which have discussed the lack of credibility of Marshall and Sanow. It was clear in our review and in from the investigations by others that Marshall & Sanow had lied, fabricated data, and did not follow scientific protocols. Their information is fraudulent and meaningless. Please do not stake your life on this garbage.”

In response to Sanow’s criticism of the 9mm WW 147 grain JHP bullet, SGT Mike Dunlap, Rangemaster at Amarillo, TX, PD contacted every department for which Sanow claimed poor results with this bullet in his “anti-subsonic” articles. Mike submitted his results to Law and Order: they showed that Sanow had misrepresented what these departments found.

In the November 1992 issue, Law and Order published three letters contradicting Sanow’s “data” (p. 90). SGT William Porter, head of the Michigan State Police Marksmanship Unit wrote, “I hope that those who read this article will not be influenced by what Sanow wrote about what happened in the Michigan State Police shooting, because it didn’t happen that way.” In a note introducing these letters, Bruce Cameron, Editorial Director of Law and Order wrote, concerning Sanow’s article, “...we do apologize for printing information that has proven to be in error.”

http://www.firearmstactical.com/afte.htm

On page 121, Marshall and Sanow state: "The following five Glaser shootings come from Gene Wolberg, Senior Criminologist, San Diego Police Crime Lab." Mr. Wolberg, an author of this review, testified that only the third and fifth incidents described are fully documented and verifiable cases. Mr. Wolberg states he is only casually aware of the fourth incident and emphasizes that his second-hand information is undocumented. Mr. Wolberg denies all knowledge of the first two shooting reports Marshall and Sanow attribute to him. On pages 43 and 44, Marshall and Sanow discuss their data collection methodology:

"4. In order to be included in this study, I insisted on either having or at least being able to review some of the following: police reports, evidence technician reports, statements by the victim (if he survived), homicide reports, autopsy results, and photos. Whenever possible, I also talked to the emergency room doctors and attending physicians.

5. Recovered bullets were either personally examined or photographed by me, or I was provided with photographs of the bullets."

Mr. Wolberg never provided Marshall or Sanow any of the reports, test results, photos or evidence which they insist the inspect prior to including a shooting in their data base. As a result, the veracity of their entire data base is questionable. The verisimilitude of the author’s "street result" data is also in doubt since they violate basic principles of scientific research by not publishing their original data and by claiming "secrecy" when asked to identify their source documentation so that independent researchers who investigate wound ballistics could inspect their original information and verify their results.

-- Michael

redcliff
09-14-2010, 7:34 PM
Interesting read and much of the criticism appears well founded. But we're still left with the fact that much of what Marshall concluded is matching real world police department reviews of their ammo selection as quoted by Ayoob.

I"m not sure how to properly tabulate some cases; like sympathetic fire where several officers fire at once..did the first shop stop the attacker and the rest of the shots hit him on the way down? Or were numerous hits required. What about cases where a single officer kept firing while the suspect was still on his feet and unable to fight but may not have dropped his gun? Was that a one shot stop or not?

I don't know that there is an extremely precise way to turn this evidence into statistics, (obvisouly more accurate data collection would be a good start) but it seems the anecdotal conclusions of the major police forces pretty closely resemble Marshalls conclusions.

It ain't perfect but seems to be the best we've got to work with, and certainly real world results are the proof to any theory and are preferable to conclusions based upon jello shooting.

elSquid
09-14-2010, 9:40 PM
Interesting read and much of the criticism appears well founded. But we're still left with the fact that much of what Marshall concluded is matching real world police department reviews of their ammo selection as quoted by Ayoob.

OTOH, DocGKR wrote that CHP has found the 180 gr 40S&W load to be a better performer than the previously issued 125gr 357 Magnum - opposite what Marshall numbers say.

I"m not sure how to properly tabulate some cases; like sympathetic fire where several officers fire at once..did the first shop stop the attacker and the rest of the shots hit him on the way down? Or were numerous hits required. What about cases where a single officer kept firing while the suspect was still on his feet and unable to fight but may not have dropped his gun? Was that a one shot stop or not?

It's a very difficult problem from a data collection standpoint. Which emphasizes the importance of 3rd party review of the dataset.

It ain't perfect but seems to be the best we've got to work with, and certainly real world results are the proof to any theory and are preferable to conclusions based upon jello shooting.

If it's wrong, it's wrong. If the methodology is wrong, the data is not open for review, and the authors have been caught playing fast and loose with the truth...I'm not sure what else can be said. If you can't trust the OSS percentages, then that defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.

As for jello, it never was positioned as predictive. You aren't going to see any OSS numbers from it. What you do get is the ability to compare rounds in an open and user reproducible format. Ammo companies can actually run standardized tests to improve the state of the art. This is real, science based progress.

-- Michael

inbox485
09-14-2010, 10:01 PM
The OSS stats are pure nonsense. Take note that many of them lack proper penetration. The only way a handgun round forces a person to go down is by disrupting the CNS or causing enough blood loss that they pass out. Anything else is a psychological effect. In other words the person is choosing to go down. So then why on earth would the rounds less likely to be able to force a guy to go down be rated higher?

As for the lack of data, there is data out there. Lots of it. If our government spent half the money they have spent on anti gun propaganda, you would have definitive answers on what has a more reliable effect than another. In the mean time you have studies that couldn't be repeated today thanks to animal rights groups and studies that have been shown to have all the integrity of global warming studies.

lazs
09-15-2010, 10:17 AM
I really don't know how good the data from the marshal study or the CHP one is.. They could both be wrong or badly done or even made up.

The real difference seems to be that there is one hell of a lot more data and shootings from all around the U.S. in the marshal study. There are not that many shootings in the CHP study and some are simply perception.

I think any study that involves nothing but police shootings is lacking. Ones that involve only one department are even more lacking. I would say that people who shot it out with cops might be a tad different than the rest of us and vary wildly in state of mind. You would need a very large number of shootings to come up with anything that made sense.

No matter what the situation or state of mind.. after about 500 or so shootings you would have some useful data. what you did with it being the only questionable thing.

Red Devil
09-15-2010, 11:30 AM
Well...

For many decades, ...all I had (big bore wise) was a Ruger Blackhawk .357...

...and several Police pistol ranges with inexpensive .38 reloads available.

Fifty rounds of lead 38 specials twice a week, ...followed by one load (6) of ultra hot 125 gr. jacketed hollow-point hand-loads to scour the lead, and readjust the aim-point and situational awareness settings.

In application, ...gun control and sight picture are what matters, ...not recoil.

Practice the basics with the 38 Specials, ...lots, ...and save the good stuff for the goblins...

elSquid
09-15-2010, 1:18 PM
I think any study that involves nothing but police shootings is lacking. Ones that involve only one department are even more lacking.

It depends, in one way you are right, but in another you are wrong.

Let me talk about the wrong. ;)

The advantage of data coming from a single entity, where you really are only changing 'one' variable ( the firearm and load ) allows one to draw conclusions about said change. If CHP says that the 180gr 40S&W is a better performer than the 125gr 357, they can state with some certainty that the difference is due to the change, if all the _other_ variables are essentially more-or-less consistent between the two 'experiments'.

Granted, that doesn't answer questions about the effectiveness of .32ACP Silvertips or 9mm Glasers... but the CHP info is more of an interesting data point, rather than the last word in terminal ballistics.

-- Michael

lazs
09-16-2010, 9:16 AM
Well.. like you say.. it is one data point really.. you are leaving out all but one departments experience with nothing but police shootings. Now.. I am not police nor do I intend to shoot at police to save me from a life in prison.

Any data that does not include civilian shootings would be lacking. Any data that had only a dozen shootings would be lacking and any data that had no set definitions for "stop" would be lacking.

What I did like about the marshal study was that it went across the entire spectrum of shootings in the U.S. and it defined what a "stop" was and stuck to that definition.. even if every guy shot with a 44 mag died.. if they staggered around for a few feet they were not "stopped" for instance.

It also had one hell of a lot of shootings to look at. If you only have a dozen.. all sorts of things can happen to make the data not relevant.

In my opinion.. the CHP data should be a data point and thrown into some sort of overall mix like the marshal one.

Perhaps the real deal here is that no one has done a good study. But.. even more important.. in every study it seems that most of the more powerful or big bore rounds with effective bullets seem to perform within about a 5% range or so. That in truth.. placement is the most important factor.