âProbably the best mix and balance of any defense-oriented ammunition throughout an entire lineup, this is a particularly good choice for the .38 Special +P round. Going on a century ago, Elmer Keith and Phil Sharpe were really onto something by hot-rodding the .38 Special. The fast velocity and lightweight bullet offer significant penetration, while the exceptionally uniform expansion creates a wide wound channel for maximum blood loss. In this article we aim to explain the nuances between the two different cartridges. In our .38 Special vs. .357 Magnum article you will learn everything you need to know about the differences and similarities between the two cartridges as well as the use cases that favor the .38 Special and those that favor the .357 Magnum. Generally, one can expect the following static ballistic delivery from the .357 Magnum: The velocity ranges from about 1200-1625 feet per second and the muzzle energy is between 400-725 ft. lbs. The .38 Special is still potent enough to outdo a lot of smaller guns ballistically. One might say it is the terminal killing potential. If you are already an experienced user of the cartridges, this article will introduce you to some spectacular rounds for the guns that have very specific use cases. It is used to shoot out of ultra-compact revolvers for dedicated self defense concealed carry. Thus, here is a simple chart illustrating the muzzle velocities and muzzle energies of these cartridges compiled from factory data: Cartridge Ammo Bullet MV (fps) ME (ft. Many shooters feel the .38 Special is a weak round; they prefer to shoot the +P version, but not all of the small framed revolvers chambered for the .38 Special are adequately built to handle that additional pressure. NOTE: THIS IS A +P LOADING. Many shooters own both a .38 Special and a .357 Magnum, and they bring them both to the range at the same time to shoot together. Used in 38 Special and 357 Magnum calibers. Lee 38 Special/357 Magnum/357 MAX Carbide Factory Crimp Die sizes the cartridge while being crimped so every round will positively chamber freely with factory like dependability. 380 ACP, . The information provided on this site is for educational use only. Yes, there are other loads that can do well in concealed carry, but none of them are as well put together as this cartridge when you look at all facets of design and performance. 44 Magnum, and . offered a considerable increase in velocity over its parent. HORN-357-110-XTP. The .38 Special was Americaâs police cartridge (The FBI used them too) for the better part of 70 years. The average range for the ballistics of a .38 Special as stated (static ballistics) is about: 775-950 feet per second and 190-275 pound feet of energy out of the standard loads. Note, also the comparison data thrown in for the 9mm Luger and the380 ACP. In the end it’s not a case of the .38 Special vs. .357 Magnum, rather it’s about which one makes sense at the time you need it. All images are the property of their respective owners. Then, of course, any 357 Magnum can also handle the 38 Specials even in +P loads. There are many aspects that go into choosing a duty cartridge for the law enforcement agency, and the officerâs comfort level and ability to handle the weapon, while stopping threats and not causing legal liability are a couple of those standards for comparison. Such is the case with many of the ultra-lightweight; ultra-concealable .38 Special revolvers that cost a half or two-thirds of what a comparably sized .357 Magnum costs. The same can be said about .357 magnum. I do think it is valuable to know that the 38 Special still has its place in the world, as does the 357 Magnum. Heavy energy transfer and excellent penetration in tough animals. A .357 Magnum revolver can chamber and shoot a .38 Special safely. The S&W Model 27 N-Frame was the original platform for the .357 Magnum cartridge. The design proved to be durable, but it’s considered large and heavy for a 6-shooter by today’s standards. Furthermore, the .357 Magnum has the capability of being used very effectively out of a lever gun for hunting and general shooting. An all copper projectile retains the most weight of any projectile type, while offering excellent penetration through the bones, heavy muscle and thick hides of tough game like hogs, and other intermediate sized game. lbs. The comparison though is interesting to see the relative power differential between the two. If you want to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please submit the form below. An over pressure load is designated by a â+Pâ designation â denoting â+ Pressureâ. The .38 Smith & Wesson Special, also commonly known as .38 S&W Special, .38 Special, .38 Spl, .38 Spc, (pronounced "thirty-eight special"), or 9x29mmR is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson.It is most commonly used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round. The velocity of .38 Special and .357 Magnum can be highly dependent on barrel length, so we wanted to test the two most common barrel lengths for defensive revolvers. 357 Magnum 357 SIG 38 Special 38 Super 40 S&W 10mm Auto: 41 Magnum 44 Magnum 44 Special 45 ACP 45 GAP 45 Colt 454 Casull 460 Magnum 480 Ruger 50 AE 500 Magnum: 223 Remington 243 Winchester 270 Winchester 300 Winchester Magnum 300 AAC Blackout 30-30 Winchester 30-06 Springfield 308 Winchester 50 Beowulf 5.45x39 7mm Remington Magnum I think this is fully understood in the shooting world. 40 caliber, . Arguably, their tinkering in the all-American pursuit of “more muscle” produced perhaps the greatest revolver cartridge of all time. Browse and buy .38 Special ammo online easily with Ammohead. Components for . One would initially think there is no reasonable comparison, but the investigation was worth the effort regardless. POTUS? We KNOW there are cops out there who use it daily and for off duty as a backup weapon or a primary concealed carry gun. This is a contender for the best 357 Magnum ammo for hunting of tough animals at moderate ranges due to the penetration potential and the hard copper projectile that offers extreme reliability in the mushrooming and diameter expansion. $12.50. The 9mm is underpowered next to the 357 Magnum, but has more energy than the +P 38 Specials. Thatâs just the tip of the iceberg. Itâs a performance-based cartridge that has always just been awesome. Sort by. This is where the rubber meets the road, or the lead meets the adversary. I don’t think this revolution is rocket science to anyone that studies cartridges and their power comparisons. 38 Special ammo as low as 99¢ per round. End Human Trafficking. Christian. The old warrior 38 Special cartridge has been around forever it seems and has always been considered an apt law enforcement and personal defense round, at least until the more powerful magnums and semi-auto rounds came along. At the very least, the .357 Magnum is … Fit and finish and quality control for this line are second to none. It is interesting though that the 380 ACP now being highly touted as a good, albeit low end self-defense round, does not meet the energy of the +P 38 Specials. These rounds are significantly higher in pressure at the chamber/breech/forcing cone, and they can be dangerous if they are used in a gun that is not rated for use with +P ammunition. This die applies a roll crimp. An inquiry came recently asking about a toe-to-toe comparison between the hyper +P 38 Special and the 357 Magnum. For those that need a non +P load, for the lightweight revolvers or for those who donât appreciate the nuances of excess recoil, this load is an excellent choice. Best 5.56 Suppressor: Buying Guide & Reviews, Hunting of intermediate or large game animals, Adequate target performance but not the other aspects of the .357, Fast, and hard hitting given the loads limitations, Pink tax is annoying; oddly gender specific marketing campaigns can at times be annoying, Low projectile weight â which can be seen as either a PRO or a CON depending on your perspective, Well balanced and performs extremely well. The .38 Special can be fired from guns made for the .357 Magnums, but .357 Magnums cannot be used in guns designed exclusively for the .38 Special. SPEE-357-SC. 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