38 or 357 for CC?
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Thread: 38 or 357 for CC?

  1. 38 or 357 for CC?

    I will be back in Texas in a month or so and will be looking for a CC revolver at that time. Would it be better to go with a .38 only gun or a .357/.38 duo gun? I like the looks of the LCR, but have never handled one. The SP 101 is a nice looking fun also, but it appears too heavy for pocket carry, perhaps too big also. How about some ideas? I'm not partial to Ruger, but have absolutely no knowledge of Smith & Wesson, Taurus, or Charter Arms.


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Carolina by way of PA
    I have a Rossi/Taurus .357 that I pocket carry without a problem. It is a 6 round gun. I love it. It's concealable in most cases and the .357 round is big enough to get just about anyone's attention. I would recommend getting the .357. You can always shoot .38 with it but if you have a .38 you can't shoot the .357. Range shooting the 357 gets old after about 2 wheels full. 38s are much more 'hand' friendly.

  4. #3

    38 or 357 for CC?

    I carry a Taurus .357 4" CC OWB. Too big for pocket carry. And you can always run .38 thru it.

  5. I wrestled with this choice also with the Ruger LCR. I shot both before buying, and the .357 is a lot to handle in such a light small package, and I am a big guy. In my opinion, the .38 +P ammo is quite adequate, especially at the limited range you can effectively shoot this short of a gun platform. For carry considerations, the frame is the same on both but the .357 is about 3.6 oz heavier due to the frame being made out of heavier material to withstand the extra loads. I went with the .38+p. Its also $50 cheaper.

  6. #5
    I have to throw in the Chiappa Rhino. I'm pretty small, and I conceal the 2" model pretty well. It's .357 mag, but doesn't feel like it at all. I could shoot it all day; it fires from the bottom cylinder and there is very little muzzle flip and the recoil isn't felt much at all. The only problem will be finding one! They're still pretty new.
    Modern Whig
    "Government is not meant to burden Liberty but rather to secure it." -T.J. O'Hara

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Blog Entries
    I feel like the duo might be better since you have 2 caliber options but if you find a .38 you like then whatever suits you best.
    My brother has a snubnose revolver that's a .38/.357... I can't recall the make though. It's a nice little gun that would work great for most CC situations.
    "It is not malicious acts that will do us in but the appalling silence and indifference of good people. All that is needed for evil to run rampant is for good women and men to do nothing." -MLK Jr Current Carry: Ruger SR40c

  8. #7

    38 or 357 for CC?

    I would go with the .357 gun just because it gives you more options. As far as whether to carry .357 or .38 in it, I've seen a lot of debate. IMO it depends what you're going to be using it for. The .357 isn't all that much more powerful than the .38, but it does have a ton more kick. If you're using it as your primary carry and follow-up shots at distance are going to be important, I'd personally carry .38. I carry my S&W M&P-340 as a backup for extremely close range (<10 feet). For that reason, I carry .357 in it. Even with the increase in recoil I can put all 5 rounds center mass fairly quickly at 3yds.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The easiest choice of all, get the firearm that has the ability to shoot both calibers. You then have options with only one firearm. Of the brands you have mentioned, I'd be most partial to a S&W in a wheel gun. I have one in .38, and have friends who have them in different calibers (.38, .357, .44, and .500). I've not known of one person that owns a S&W not to absolutely love it. However, with all gun decisions, research first, then hold them in your hand, if able fire them to get a feel. You'll know which one is right for you.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Topeka, KS
    If your local range has wheel guns available to try, I would suggest trying what they have to get a feel for .357 or .38 special, if you want to stick with these calibers. I know many police used the SP101 but it may be harder to carry concealed. You mentioned pocket carry for your revolver. I have my backup, whether LC9 or revolver on my weak side as a cross draw IWB. I had my LC9 as pocket carry but like this setup the best.
    -----I have a Rossi .357/.38 special revolver as mentioned above. Mine has a 2" barrel and definitely has some kick when using .357 but, at close range, I can get small groups. Also, as mentioned, I use .38 special for much of my target practice with switching to .357 to get used to feel and recoil. One side "benefit" besides having 6 vs. 5 rounds found in many .357's, is a shot fired from my snubbie Rossi lights up the whole range! Flames shoot out and would be as much an intimidation factor to anyone on the wrong side of the muzzle as the caliber is a deadly threat. If I was on the receiving end and saw this fired, I would be looking for the quickest way to "get the heck out of Dodge". I can hit what I shoot at with either caliber. The advantage with the .357 also is, at short ranges usual for self defense, when you hit the BG, it will not take as many rounds to stop a threat. I can use .38 +P if I want but keep it loaded with .357 for carry. For this reason, I have the Rossi as one of my backup guns. My primary is either a Ruger SR40C or in hotter weather, my Ruger LC9. I feel confident in either one and, obviously. trust my life to either of these. My daughter-in-law does not like even the .38 special in my wheelgun nor my 9mm LC9 as they have too much recoil for her.
    -----The most important point of all is to choose a handgun which fits your hand, feels comfortable and with which you can be accurate. No firearm will be effective in self defense if you don't find it easy to handle and can accurately fire and hit what you aim at under distances likely in self defense. If you leave it at home because you don't like shooting it, you essentially have an expensive paperweight, not something for self defense. Good luck in your search.
    Dave "The said Constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." Samuel Adams

  11. Yeah, I'd prefer the SP101 as well, but my wife preferred a .38 because of the weight savings, and I'm trying to get her to use +P rounds in it, if she will. I'll find-out next range trip. I would have preferred a semi-auto for her, but she couldn't rack the slide reliably on any of them, because of injuries to her arm. Put a set of Hogue grips on it, and she likes it, but she pulls low because of DA trigger. We'll work on that.
    I'm a firm believer in two term limits for all politicians; one in office, the other in prison.

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