Originally Posted by G19aps
Great test, thanks for sharing.
It looks like you used a full house .357 and an anemic .38. If you had used a +P 38 the times would have been even closer. If you have the time and inclination, try the test again but this time use a smaller target area like the circle on a F.A.S.T. target. Resolve to keep your shots inside the circle. You can print up a FAST target using 8.5 x 11" paper. Then try it one handed.
Just to reveal where I am on the matter...my views on 'stopping power' have me preferring to use a quality 38+P like the 135gr +P Gold Dot over a .357 load.
I toyed with using the +P ammo I had, but I suspected that the times would be closer as you have stated. When one is talking 0.05 seconds, I really suspect that I am close to being within the margin of error. For me I think that the limiting factor at this range, with this target, with the ammo in question is the speed at which I can pull the trigger. If I were able to stroke the trigger quicker, I think my speed with the .38 specials would have been faster than the .357, but I have no real way of knowing. I postulate that my ability to recover from the recoil of both loads is quicker than my ability to stroke the trigger.
I could take the test in a lot of different directions. I checked out the FAST target you mentioned and think that using it would be as valid a test as any other. One I considered was firing from a 1 handed retention position on an IDPA target at near contact distance. I think that the one I will try next is to use my LCR 22 to see if my postulate about my ability to quickly pull the trigger in the above paragraph is correct.