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Ammo Education Please......38/357

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Parks 788, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Parks 788

    Parks 788 Sharpshooter

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    So, I've taken my wife to the range more than a couple times and she has shot all of my pistols except my 44mag. She really likes my Glock, Shields and XD but she does have a difficult time with racking the slide and with limp wristing the pistol. Couple times we rented a 4" S&W Model 60 revolver and really like it and she shot it well. I've asked her if she would like here own pistol or revolver and she has always declined. Well, she literally woke up one morning about 4 weeks ago and said "I want a revolver." She couldn't elaborate on if it was a dream or what but she now is fully on board in getting a revolver.

    We went around to several of the better LGS in the area and had her fondle some of the airweights and the Model 60, 640 and 649. She decided she like the heavier feel of the Model 60 and wanted the exposed hammer to utilize single action as well as DA. She is now getting a nice new Model 60 for her birthday coming up in early February. I'll work with her at the range and make sure she is full capable of using the revolver for home defense if needed. Once we move back to OK she'll get professional training and then take her CCW class.

    Here's my question. I have plenty of good 44mag ammo for my Colt Anaconda but need some opinions on 38spl and 357 loads. I want her to shoot both calibers but think I need ot look at a quality 38spl hollow point or a good +P load. What grain should I be looking at for her? 125gr, 158gr? What do you shoot for training/plinking and for personal defense?

    If you have a good holster recommendation for CCW chime in as I will also be using that on occasion for myself to carry. Something quality and leather?
     
    Mr.357Sig likes this.
  2. SoonerP226

    SoonerP226 Sharpshooter

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    I carry Cor-Bon +P JHPs in my .38Spl wheelgun. IIRC, they're 125gr, or thereabouts, but I don't have the box handy to confirm that.
     
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  3. Shadowrider

    Shadowrider Sharpshooter

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    This is all you need for defense loads. Don't beat yourself up looking, you can literally read yourself insane on this stuff.

    https://www.speer-ammo.com/products...-dot-short-barrel-personal-protection/23921gd
    https://www.speer-ammo.com/products...-dot-short-barrel-personal-protection/23917gd

    A close second and easier on the budget is Winchester 130 gr bonded +P JHP (RA38B).

    For practice buy a case of 148gr HBWC target ammo. It's much, Much, MUCH more fun to shoot out of the little guns and will let her (and you) develop good shooting habits which are paramount with a snubbie. Learning the revolver on a snubbie is a tough row to hoe.
     
    O4L, bigred1, Parks 788 and 1 other person like this.
  4. MacFromOK

    MacFromOK Sharpshooter

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    I wouldn't recommend magnums for her, the .38spcls are a lot more fun to shoot.

    .357 magnums are uncomfortable for me, even with a 6" barrel.
    :drunk2:
     
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  5. Thorgrim

    Thorgrim Sharpshooter

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    I agree with this poster. Don't even consider the .44 mag.
     
  6. Go_Ordnance

    Go_Ordnance Sharpshooter

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    Shadowrider has the right answer, and I'll add that the Speer short barrel .357 aren't full powered loads. They're about 100 fps faster than .38 +P. A true .357 load needs a longer barrel than a snubbie to get its ideal terminal velocity, and it's a potent load. Speer did a good job getting the most out of a load for a snub .357.

    I'll throw it out there even though you didn't ask. If she likes the steel guns, I'd say also look at the Kimber K6S or even the Colt Cobra. I have a S&W 640 Pro, K6S and Cobra. The Kimber and Colt have a 6 round capacity vs the J Frame's 5, and much better triggers. The Colts (especially the new King Cobra) will command a premium, but the K6S is plentiful and competitively priced.

    Last thing is the grip. Particularly for the Smith, the Hogue tamer does a good job of mitigating recoil. The Colt with standard .38 loads is super comfortable to shoot. The Kimber is at the bottom of the list but the Altamont Altai gives you a lot more to hold on to with minimal extra size.

    For a holster, Don Hume makes good quality for a very fair price. Gunner's alley usually has several in stock. I'm really fond of MD Whitefield's pancake holsters. I bought one because he was one of the first to make one for the K6S, but I've bought a few more because of how well they're made.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  7. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    My wife likes the hot loads through our 357 with 6" barrel.
    170gr gas checked lead and 1376 fps.

    It has a really nice fitting hard grip with thumb rest built in.

    I shot a 38 special that was light and small with slow 700 fps loads and it actually hurt your hand.
    It would be nice if she could shoot the particular gun and grip before buying it.
     
  8. bigchuck83

    bigchuck83 Sharpshooter

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    For a gun as small as a model 60 i would certainly suggest a .38spc. +P load, i don't know many people willing to take the recoil of full power .357 out of a Snub nose revolver. I always prefer 158 grain loads in my revolvers.
     
  9. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    I can't stand to shoot .357 mag. The crack of the muzzle blast even with double ear protection is disturbing to me. Can't stand it.
     
  10. Aries

    Aries Sharpshooter

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    Standard weight bullet in both .38 spl and .357 mag is usually 158 grains.

    I prefer 125 grain in .38 spl though. There should be plenty of factory loads with lighter bullets available.

    I have a S&W model 38, which is a light alloy frame .38 special with 2 in barrel, and it is not a lot of fun to shoot. Muzzle flip is horrendous, and it doesn't point very naturally, even with 125 grain bullets. So while an all steel gun will be less fun to carry around, I'd probably suggest staying away from the light frame revolvers. Unless you can rent or borrow one and see how she handles it. You can always get a .357 mag revolver and load it with .38 spl, but that will of course add a little weight to carry around.

    If you handload, the beautiful thing is you can tailor your loads however you want to make them manageable for her. Again, if .357 mag you can load .38's, or some lighter load .357's. I would never use MY handloads for defense in a semi-auto, but have no such reservations in a revolver. That might just be me though.
     
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