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  1. #1
    A "Higher Power" Shooter Pistol Packing Preacher's Avatar
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    Default .38 special +P vs .357 magnum

    How can we compare the .38 special +P vs .357 magnum as far as "Stopping power" is concerned... with the same'lead'.
    Any input will be appreciated.
    Pistol Packing Preacher - Have Sermon-Will Travel. [John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; Titus 3:4-7]
    NRA Basic Pistol Instructor. Utah CCW Instructor.

  2. #2
    Machine Gunner Colorado Osprey's Avatar
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    The obvious difference between these is the pressure and relatively velocity.
    38 Special 17,000 PSI max pressure
    38 Special +P 20,000 PSI
    .357 mag 35,000 PSI

    The 38 Special +P started out being built on 44 Special Colt frames to handle the extra power over an above the regular 38 Special in the earily 1930's. Older "+P" revolvers were listed as chambering "38 HV" for high velocity, "38 HS" and "38/44" not to be confusted with the black powder cartridge 38/40. The common "+P" that we all know was adopted in 1974.

    At +P velocities best expansion of jacketed bullets are obtained with 110 and 125 grain bullets....heavier bullets will offer more penetration but less expansion. Bullets over 146 grains are usually too heavy in this cartridge to reach enough velocity to be considered a defensable round.

    The magnum of the other hand has optimum energy and penetration in bullets weight from 135-140 grain for defense loads. The other obvious advantage to the magnums is it's versatility to be loaded down to .38 Special loadings as well as hot loadings and bullet choices up to 200 grain with the same velocity of the 146 grain in the 38 Special +P.

    To answer your question directly:
    38 Special +P 125 Grain at 1000 ft/sec has 278 ft/lbs of energy
    357 mag 125 Grain at 1300 ft/sec has 469 ft/lbs of energy

    38 Special +P 140 Grain at 950 ft/sec has 281 ft/lbs of energy
    357 mag 140 Grain at 1300 ft/sec has 525 ft/lbs of energy

    This data means that the mag will penetrate deeper as well as more reliably expand a jacketed bullet.

    Personally I have never had a need for a +P pistol, but do regularly shoot +P loads in my 357 mags.
    I say lets all remove the warning labels and let nature take its course.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator HunterCO's Avatar
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    There is a huge difference. Here are the ballistics of Speer factory gold dots. 125 grn bullet useing a 4" barrel.

    38+P Vel. @ muzzle=945
    Energy @ muzzle=248

    357 mag. Vel @ muzzle=1450
    Energy @ muzzle =584
    "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." (Edmund Burke 1784)

  4. #4
    A "Higher Power" Shooter Pistol Packing Preacher's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the instant reply. Good info indeed from those in the 'know'!
    Pistol Packing Preacher - Have Sermon-Will Travel. [John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; Titus 3:4-7]
    NRA Basic Pistol Instructor. Utah CCW Instructor.

  5. #5
    Machine Gunner Colorado Osprey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterCO
    There is a huge difference.
    Like Bang....and BOOM!
    I say lets all remove the warning labels and let nature take its course.

  6. #6
    High Power Shooter
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    The Speer 38 SPL+P 125gr GDHP is only ~919fps from my Model 67-6 (4").

    The Buffalo Bore 158gr 38 SPL+P LSWCHP is 1115 fps.

    234 fp/e and 436 fp/e, respectively.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Machine Gunner Colorado Osprey's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard of Buffalo Bore and had to look them up.....

    WOW 357 mag 180grain at 1500ft/sec

    That same round produces 1800ft/sec in a 16" carbine

    Here's a review:
    http://www.gunblast.com/MilesFortis-...uffaloBore.htm
    "Primers pushed into the firing pin bushings on the venerable import, and this tied up rotation."
    Sounds like too much pressure to me though. They are probably exceeding the 40,000PSI in the mag loads if they are pushing primers and locking up a single action revolver.

    They have fixed the problem and now use a different primer though.....kinda makes me skeptical. I keep seeing from different reviewers that you should only use their ammo in newer "only certain" revolvers and carbines.
    I say lets all remove the warning labels and let nature take its course.

  8. #8
    High Power Shooter
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    That article is from 2004.

    I'm guessing they've worked out any bugs by now.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Super Moderator HunterCO's Avatar
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    Buffalo Bore is insane ammo but with all due respect why not post the .357 Buffalo Bore loads lets compare apples to apples. [wink]
    "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." (Edmund Burke 1784)

  10. #10
    the end all be all of everything COAR-15... Marlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterCO
    Buffalo Bore is insane ammo but with all due respect why not post the .357 Buffalo Bore loads lets compare apples to apples. [wink]
    Yep, Check out some of they're .45/70 ballistics, I thought I loaded some hot ones, Yikes :!: :!: :!: :!: [ohno]
    Sarcasm, Learn it, Know it, Live it....



    Marlin is the end all be all of everything COAR-15...
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