.38 special +p in .357 mag weapon
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.38 special +p in .357 mag weapon

This is a discussion on .38 special +p in .357 mag weapon within the Handgun Discussion forums, part of the Handguns category; I know, why wouldn't I just use .357 mag in a .357 mag? I think I already know the answer, ...

  1. #1
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    Default .38 special +p in .357 mag weapon

    I know, why wouldn't I just use .357 mag in a .357 mag?

    I think I already know the answer, but I'm not sure how to find any verification, but I know a revolver designed for .357 mag can shoot .38 no problems, which is nice for lower recoil practice.

    Obviously a .38 special +p is also going to fit and function, and I assume that a .38 special +p is still lower pressure than a .357 mag, but for curiosity's sake, there should be 0 problems firing however much .38 +p through a .357 mag revolver as I want, right? (I have heard that for weaker .38 special revolvers that +p is not a great idea -- I was figuring that something specifically designed for the more potent .357 round would have no issue eating as much .38 +p as I feel like buying).

    Basically I'm thinking about what I would like to eventually get my wife. I was thinking for the ultimate and "point and click" interface a nice double-action wheelgun would work well. There are a lot of nice .357 revolvers available, and for cutting back on recoil for her using .38 special, but using the +p variants to keep the energy high(er). And there is the added bonus that if I ever wanted to carry it (or she got comfortable with it) we could easily move up to .357 mag w/o needing to buy a new gun.

    Am I crazy?
    Last edited by squisher; 01-22-2009 at 10:59 AM. Reason: grammar
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  2. #2
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    Nope. That's the practice I adopt and encourage myself. Also if you are in a jurisdiction where you need to qualify with specific firearms you could qualify with a .357 magnum loaded with .38 special. The firearm is easier to handle plus the ammunition is less expensive than .357 magnum. That's what I did before we had the "any" revolver qualification in Nevada. I do put .357 magnum through them once in awhile.

    The only caveat with using .38 special in a .357 magnum is the crud build up in the chambers because of the shorter round. If you reload, you can get around this by using .357 magnum brass with .38 special (+P) charges for your range ammo. It just makes cleaning more of a chore. It would not surprise me if most current current production revolvers use the exact same parts for .38 special and .357 magnum except for the cylinder to keep production costs down.

    .38 special standard pressure is about half of what it is for .357 magnum. +P is about 9.5% more pressure over standard pressure. 38 special.

    I don't see any reason to purchase a .38 special only revolver when a .357 magnum does the same thing with only a minimal change in the size and weight of the firearm. If you presently have a .38 special revolver make sure it is +P rated. Quite a few of them are not. I have a friend that carries an old Charter Arms .38 special that is not +P rated. If your .38 special isn't +P rated, you're better off using .38 special standard pressure personal protection ammunition available from Federal, Fiocchi, Hornady or Winchester.

    Fortunately we have enough ammo makers out there that still acknowledge the need for standard pressure personal protection ammunition so it's not difficult to obtain.
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  3. #3
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    I agree.....my .38 snubbies are all +P rated.....however, I just usually use the .357 for carry with .38's loaded in it.
    For the house gun, the other .357 is loaded accordingly with 125 JHP mags.
    "Never advance cheerfully on your late opponent without reloading. You may have used your last round, and he may not be properly dead and still spiteful." Major Hugh Pollard

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