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5 shot 357 or 6 shot 38 special


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For hikes: I keep .38 shotshells for snakes, .357 I keep for bears. Camping, depending on location: .38 JHPs for defense, .357 for dangerous game. For CCW, .38 JHP with 2 .357 JHP because odds are more likely the guy is my size, and I wont need the bigger round, but in the off chance the guy is the size of my old man, 6'7" weighing 395, or my best friend, 6'9" weighing 460, I've got something for that as well. My dad was a Coastie, and they have a motto, Semper Paratus: Always Prepared, and that's just kinda stuck with me.

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1 hour ago, loadedp3at said:

Thanks all. I was surprised there was not more for the 38. One extra round of +p not a factor at all?

Like someone said above, dont recall a time I ever needed more than 5 rounds, if I did, that's what the Semi's are for.

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Most people that carry small .357 revolvers load them with .38+Ps.  Not many want to shoot a J-Frame with full house .357 loads.

I've been going back and forth with this for some time.  When I hike, I carry a Taurus 627 Tracker loaded with 158 Gr .357 Mag loads, because of a possible encounter with an aggressive bear. I don't worry about snakes at all (and they are illegal to kill anyway). 

When I carry a revolver for CCW, it's my S&W 442 loaded with Federal 130 gr. Nyclads. and I'm quite comfortable with that. However, I've been considering purchasing a Taurus 856 Ultalite with a 3" barrel. They are about the same size as the old Colt Detective Special.  Having another round of .38 spl isn't a bad thing at all. 

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357 for me as well. I live on a farm and also spend a lot of time in the woods. I like to have 357 (when I’m not carrying 10mm 😃). I like the extra penetration of the 357 HC just in case I encounter an aggressive large animal like a bear, hog or mad cow (farm... lol). 

I also agree with the versatility. Low power 38 for plinking, 38+p or 357 jhp for SD or hot 357mag hardcast for the woods. Lots of choices with the 357

Edited by Wingshooter
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14 minutes ago, loadedp3at said:

another question is if the snub in 357 would provide enough power to get through a bear's hide? 

The hide it should. The concern would be a frontal skull hit on a charging bear. After doing the hard part of actually hitting that moving target with a snub, a good hardcast lead bullet or swc should punch through hide and bone. I would rather have that setup than an expanding bullet when penetration to reach the CNS is more important.

Bear spray is probably a better choice for a charging bear IMO, but I still always have a gun in the woods


If we had grizzlies then I would want something else.

Edited by Wingshooter
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On 6/24/2022 at 12:22 AM, loadedp3at said:

Thanks all. I was surprised there was not more for the 38. One extra round of +p not a factor at all?

I carry a lot more than I shoot. Ease of carry and comfort trumps a lot for me.

Stick a speed strip on your off hand front pocket, and you now have 10 rounds: 11 if you choose.

Edited by gregintenn
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