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Old February 16th, 2020, 10:07 PM #1
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.357 Snubbies

Hi all,

I was looking at some velocity and energy numbers for the .357 mag out of a 2” barrel. Based on a comparison of a .357 j frame and a Glock 26, it seems like there’s no point to the .357. They both have similar bullet weights, velocities, and diameters, but the 9mm seems to have less recoil and twice the capacity.

Am I missing something?

Thanks!

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Old February 16th, 2020, 11:18 PM #2
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When you think about carrying a snubbie, you want it for the revolver's inherent reliability for close in work. Doesn't matter if it is chambered for 357, 38 +p or 9mm. You're expecting that you have a diztance between 0 to 25' from your attacker and you just want to hear that bang when you pull the trigger.

As for muzzle energy, you're comparing a 2" barrel to a 4" so the longer barrel is going to help any round gain velocity.

As for capacity issues, most of the studied gunfights average 1 to 3 rounds per shooter. I 'll et somebody else make the jokes about NYPD or Homieboy Hood Rats and their recorded mag dumps.

The CW is to beware any man that carries a revolver because he probably knows how to shoot and hit his targets.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 12:05 AM #3
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kmittleman, velocity of a given load (with some very few exceptions) will generally be 150-200 fps (VERY general number) slower in a snubby than in a "service" 4" barrel. My old 2.5" k frame was generally around 100-150fps below a 4" gun/published data but again, this is very gun and load specific.

Huckleberry makes very valid points regarding the capacity argument (I am not even going down that rabbit hole, it is all about personal application).

On the reliability side, I have found subcompact glocks to be very solid performers for NORMAL shooting by trained personnel. The caveats I include for very good reasons. When a shooter is able to present and align a weapon to a target, the sights matter (another point for Glock, with a TON of sight options, over the J frame, many of which have fixed sights that cannot be practically replaced). When shooting from retention or index, I find the baby glocks to be VERY difficult to use unless one adds a +2 extension to the magazine but this brings the weapon up to an almost identical vertical dimension with the compact glocks (19,23,32). They point and index (for me) much better than the subcompacts. When using a compact revolver (J frame smith, ruger SP101, etc) with a appropriate set of stocks, I find retention and index shooting to be far better than with most semi autos (1911s are an exception but only because I have shot them a LOT). I can also obtain a much more secure grip on a (properly stocked) J frame than I can on a baby glock with no mag extension. These are personal preferences, and yours may vary.

On the subject of reloading, because we should always have a plan to do so if the situation warrants, the glock is the theoretical winner. While it is true that a magazine can be exchanged more readily and has greater capacity than a revolver's cylinder load, even with Speed Beez, one must color this a bit with experience. I won't argue the speed and capacity points. What I WILL mention is the tendency of shooters, especially those that do not practice religiously, to lacerate or viciously pinch themselves when loading a baby glock (with or without extensions) under pressure. I have treated myself for this very injury and more than a few others have experienced it in my presence. The Pearce grip extensions SUCK; there is a very sharp edge that MUST be filed off prior to installation. With this mod, or using better quality parts, one can still suffer a minor injury. In a couple of cases, the shooter was unable to get the weapon to fire as there was sufficient skin/meat holding the magazine below the required level. I have seen a baby glock or two hit the deck when someone cleared this issue as well. Modification and training can cure these issues, for the most part.

At bad breath distance, or in any situation where I suspect I may be going hands-on with an assailant, I suggest a revolver as a backup gun or, horror of horrors, a primary gun. Your backup gun should have either a fully hidden or at least a "shrouded" hammer so that it cannot be obstructed as you will be firing it in nearly every case double action at very close range. This specification will also prevent *most* impediments to the draw stroke. A favorite trick a guy I know likes to play is to put a student with an automatic in front of him and then jam the slide out of battery. While this IS a high risk technique and getting shot admittedly is not ideal when it goes wrong, it illustrates a problem. Most people, placed in that situation, push back against the person pushing on their gun, exacerbating the situation rather than pulling back to a pectoral index and shooting the assailant like they should. If you are driven to the ground or fighting in a clinch/pumbling/enclosed space situation, a revolver can be driven into an assailant and fired without malfunction. A side effect of this contact discharge is that a significant amount of expanding propellant gas travels into the tissue and/or body cavity of the person being shot. This significantly magnifies the effect of gunshot. Not only has the person now been subject to penetrative trauma but a high pressure injection injury has been added. While not as evil as, say, a hydraulic fluid injection at several thousand psi, it is not an effect to be shrugged off lightly. Yes, a trained person MAY be able to grab the cylinder and prevent you from firing but this is much harder than simply pushing a semi auto out of battery and it requires the person to have significant hand strength and/or endure a certain amount of pain when performed on most revolvers.

Now that I have runeth off at the mouth, my bottom-line suggestion is to get whatever you are comfortable with that will serve the MOST situations you can envision given your lifestyle. If you do purchase a wheelgun, I advise either a .357 mag or a .38 spl +P rated. In MOST cases, I would suggest loading it with one of the more potent .38 +P options. Again, load selection can be a variable thing depending on lifestyle and preference. If you purchase the .357, you have the option to load the more powerful round IF you deem it to be a benefit. Just remember to clean the chambers WELL before firing 357 after using 38s.

Good shooting and I hope that, whatever you pick, you never have to use it.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 08:53 AM #4
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I have a Glock 26 and a Ruger SP-101 with a 3" barrel. I carry the SP-101 daily. The Glock just sits in my safe...
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Old February 17th, 2020, 09:58 AM #5
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Thanks for the relies guys - keep em’ coing!
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Old February 17th, 2020, 09:58 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazySanMan View Post
I have a Glock 26 and a Ruger SP-101 with a 3" barrel. I carry the SP-101 daily. The Glock just sits in my safe...
Cool - how is the weight on that Sp101? Does the hammer ever snag?
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Old February 17th, 2020, 10:17 AM #7
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I think a .357 snubby is not the best envelope for the cartridge...full disclosure...I own several .357 snubs myself. The short barrel increases blast and recoil and is hard to manage in many guns...and the size and weight to achieve controllability often makes them ill suited for concealed carry. That being said...these handguns can use .38 Special and are quite controllable and very reliable. Two fast hits on target with a .38 Special can outweigh a loud miss with a .357 that you have to pull down out of recoil. The loss of velocity in the short barrel often brings them down to .38 Special velocities.

Today we also have loadings for many calibers made for short barrel handguns...both revolvers and self-loaders.

In the end...choose whatever type and caliber handgun you can best carry concealed and use competently. Practice...tactics...train...repeat.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 10:24 AM #8
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I only have one 357 snubby. S&W 19 in 2.5 inch.
Neat gun. Looks cool.
I would not try to concealed carry. For me, too heavy and too wide...compared to semi auto options.
I guess I'm a ccw sissy. A single stack 9 at around 20 ounces and 1 inch wide carrying 7 or more rounds makes the most sense, to me.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 10:34 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kman View Post
I only have one 357 snubby. S&W 19 in 2.5 inch.
Neat gun. Looks cool.
I would not try to concealed carry. For me, too heavy and too wide...compared to semi auto options.
I guess I'm a ccw sissy. A single stack 9 at around 20 ounces and 1 inch wide carrying 7 or more rounds makes the most sense, to me.
Not a sissy...being practical. No one handgun is the answer for everyone. I love revolvers...have many. When I was a federal LEO, most of my years I was restricted to a revolver...I never felt underarmed whether on- or off-duty with one. Once I was issued a self-loader on-duty...I had a severe dislike for the pistol...I referred to it as the S&W "Boat Anchor" model...heavy and a terrible DA-only trigger. I much preferred the revolver I carried previously. Other officers felt the same.

Off-duty I did change to a self-loader of my own choice. It was generally easier to carry than a revolver and in a more effective caliber.

But...carry what you're most comfortable and competent with. Carrying a gun you don't like is arguably better than none at all...but something you're comfortable with you will be better with.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 10:44 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmittleman View Post
Cool - how is the weight on that Sp101? Does the hammer ever snag?
Empty, the SP-101 is heavier than the Glock 26. When both are fully loaded (5 .357 vs 11 9mm) the Glock comes closer to the Ruger weight. I'll have to weigh each when I get home to see what the difference is when they are both loaded. When it's in a comfortable IWB holster I often forget I'm wearing the Ruger.

I've never had trouble with the hammer snagging when I practice drawing and shooting. Cocking the hammer as I am drawing for a hair trigger first shot is second nature now also, which I believe makes for a more accurate first shot than the Glock does.
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