Snubbie: 38 +P vs 9mm +P+ vs 357 mag? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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08-15-2010, 10:45
Hey Mas!

Like you, I've found that 357 mags in lightweight snubbie revolvers recoil way too much for fast, accurate, comfortable, defense shooting.

I tested the three primary snubbie calibers (38/9mm/357) and determined, after much backyard field testing (velocities + penetration + expansion + recoil + fast shooting accuracy), that 9mm +P+ 115gr JHP's @ 1150 - 1225 fps in small all steel 2" snubbies (S&W & Taurus) came very close to equaling357 mag 2" performance with about half the felt recoil and almost zero muzzle flash. In essence, with 9mm +P+ I get 357 mag performance in a pocket-pistol package that is easy and comfortable to shoot fast and accurately.

38 +P's, on the other hand, had considerably less velocity with about the same felt recoil as the much more powerful 9mm +P+. No advantage there that I could see.

What is your opinion of the 9mm +P+ in 2" revolvers?

Mas Ayoob
08-15-2010, 11:53
In can certainly be a viable choice. 9mm revolvers aren't common, however, and you want to make sure you've tested them thoroughly. In the early days of the S&W J-frame Model 940, some of us noticed that primer flowback into the firing pin bushing from the hotter 9mm loads locked up the guns. S&W got on top of this, adjusting the size of the aperture in the firing pin bushing.

08-16-2010, 14:26

I never have experienced the problem you described with my S&W 940.

However, I have found that some 9mm cases do swell up and stick in the cylinder requiring the ejector rod to be tapped with a piece of wood etc. to eject all 5 spent shells. This problem doesn't seem to be velocity/pressure related since some +P+ eject easily while some standard 9mm loads stick in the cylinder. What causes the problem I'm not sure, but spent Federal 115gr +P+ cases drop out of my 940 just fine so that's what I load it with.

Another advantage of a 9mm snubbie is that loaded full-moon clips are only about 1/3 the size of speedloaders and twice as fast.