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Old 07-10-2012, 13:28   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 172
LCR 357 vs 38 follow up shots

First argument:
Stopping power of the .357 from a snub is greater than .38 +p. I really don't think that there is a definitive answer on this. Most sources I see show about a 200 FPS difference between the two given the same bullet. My sense is that if there is an advantage, it is marginal at best.

Second argument:
Follow up shots with the .357 are more difficult and slower because of the greater recoil, thus one is better with the .38 special. I can test this and that is exactly what I just did.

With the trusty shot timer on my Android, I was able to time the difference between the first and last shot (total of five) from my LCR. I used the LCR 357 for both loads. I decided to use Remington ammo since it is cheap and readily available. I used the .38 special 130 grain fmj load and the 125 grain jhp .357 load. My shots were all from 5 paces and in order for a trial to be counted all shots needed to be on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Average was for 3 trials and of note the first trial for each was tossed due to my throwing a round off target for each. While I had the 125 grain +P loads available, I figured that I would use the standard pressure .38 vs the .357 because the difference between the two would theoretically be greater.

Average for the .38 special from first shot to last was 0.67 seconds.
Average for the .357 from first shot to last was 0.72 seconds.

The difference between the two for me today at 5 yards was 0.05 second.

Would the results have been different at longer ranges? Possibly, but I didn't test this.

Was either more or less accurate? My only measure was whether the shots were on the paper or not. My rational was that an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper was about the size of a man's chest.

Should I have done more trials? More trials would have been a ton of fun, but I think three of each was enough. Interestingly, my best .357 trial beat my worst .38 special trial.

Would these results be common for most shooters?
I suspect that the results here will be more common for revolver shooters that shoot more than they would be for those that shoot less.

I really don't care what I carry in the gun. As I stated earlier, I think that the difference between the .357 and .38 is marginal at best. I will be happy with any hollow point that goes boom. I simply undertook this exercise to see if the .357 recoiled too much for fast and accurate follow up shots. I don't think that 0.05 seconds is a huge difference in time for follow up shots.

Last edited by B-One; 07-10-2012 at 16:04.. Reason: added the word "best" at the end of the first paragraph. Corrected time difference in the Conclusion.
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