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Discussion Starter #1
I recently gave my brother my 3" Ruger SP101 .357 - I had promised it to him as incentive to get his CCW, and even though he protested that I didn't have to keep that promise, I did because I wanted him to have a powerful, reliable and concealable handgun.

I am thinking of replacing the SP101 with a 2" Ruger LCR .357. My question is, what kind of velocities can I expect from the 2-inch barrel with my favored Remington and Federal 125 grain .357 JHPs? Is the velocity loss from the short barrel enough to render the .357 not much better than a +P .38? I do like the added confidence that the .357 inspires, but is the added velocity from the 2 inch tube enough to be worth the extra 4 oz. that the .357 version of the LCR weighs?

I would appreciate thoughts from those who have shot and chrono'd .357 loads from 2" barrels. Thanks.
 

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I fired a box of .357s through my 2.5" M19 one day, which completely cured me of EVER wanting to do it again. The very idea of lighting off full .357s in a 2" Ruger LCR makes my ears ring and my head hurt. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Recoil with 125 grain Magnums in my 3" SP101 was stout but not a deterring issue for me. I know that it's about 11 oz. heavier than a .357 LCR, though....
 

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I'm unlikely to encourage anyone who thinks velocity alone helps, but I can honestly say that the most abuse I have ever had from a handgun was a lightweight .357 "J" frame. Snake's right!
 

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Charlie Petty said:
I can honestly say that the most abuse I have ever had from a handgun was a lightweight .357 "J" frame. Snake's right!
I don't doubt it at all. My 2.5" K prolly weighs twice as much as the one you shot, and has a better-handling grip, and it was still unpleasant enough for me. I recall thinking at the time that it was MUCH worse than full .44 mag loads in my 6.5" M29.

In retrospect, I think I might have been more jarred by the (literally) stunning muzzle blast and flash than by the recoil itself. With proper modern ear protection and a few more decades experience under my belt, I might not find the shorty .357 so unpleasant today. Still, I think there are better solutions to the problem, so why bother? :?
 

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think I might have been more jarred by the (literally) stunning muzzle blast and flash than by the recoil itself. With proper modern ear protection and a few more decades experience under my belt, I might not find the shorty .357 so unpleasant today.
Yes you would although the muzzle blast is spectacular... especially in low light... the free recoil energy of a 12 oz. .357 is on a par with the .458 in a rifle with the weight adjusted to be proportional.
 

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to ALL:

one thing i can say from having owned/shot/carried a .357 "snubbie" (years ago) is that if you miss the person that you are shooting at, you can at least cause them to become DEAF & BURN them to death!
(EVIL CHUCKLE!)

yours, sw
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I never had a problem controlling the 3" SP101, tho it had an extra inch or so of barrel and about 11 ounces on the LCR357. I would like to try out the LCR357 with Magnum loads before I buy it, tho, if I got it and was "taken aback" by launching the maggies, I copuld always use it as a .38 Special, with the only disadvantage being that it would be about 4 ounces heavier than the standard .38 caliber LCR (17.1 vs. 13 ounces).
 

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To answer your original question, I don't have the numbers in front of me, but the .357, even out of a 2" barrel is significantly hotter and faster then any .38 Special including the +P.
As I can remember, a .357 out of a 2" barrel is hotter than any .38 Special out of a 6" barrel.

True, a full charge .357 out of a short barrel does a good impression of a SWAT stun grenade in an enclosed space.

One option is to buy the reduced. Magnum loads made for short barrel guns. These are somewhere between a .38 Special +P+ and a full .357 Magnum load.
They have noticeably reduced recoil and muzzle blast.
 

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CharliePetty et. al.,

CP, you are 100% correct about the blindness.
(especially at NIGHT!)

fyi, i was once, long long ago, a "railroad detective" (frankly, i was more of a GLORIFIED security guard!) for the T&N RR & ONE "LEO-involved shooting incident" (about 3AM) in a railyard CURED me of EVER carrying/shooting a .357MAG "snubbie"/2.5" Colt's Python!
(LUCKILY, the "bad guy" couldn't see either, after i fired 2 rounds of "full house" 158Grain LFNHP mags in his direction!)

otoh, i got "a right tidy pile" of $$$$$$ from the "hot/young rookie PO" that i immediately sold the Python to! = i think i remember about 600.oo.

yours, sw
 

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Hmmm, I had,until last March when those A##holes stole them all from me, three S&W revolvers. One was a Model 66 Snubbie. I worked up a .357mag.version of the old FBI-load or Treasury-load, depending on who you talk to. Problem was, the load was worked up originally for a 4" Revolver. I wanted it to do that in my Snub. My load used a Speer 158gr,LSWCHP. To get into the 950fps-range I had to use 7 grains of Unique. That's a max-load.

Granted, this is hotter than a 38+P but, not a whole lot. Maybe 50-75fps. Honestly, I didn't think the recoil was that objectionable. The gun was controllable and a second shot was fairly quick. The thing about recoil is that it's a very subjective thing. What's not bad to one can be horrendous to another.

Let's face it guys, anytime you take a large bullet for caliber and drive it fast, there's a price to pay. And, as the size of the delivery-system shrinks, the price increases.
 

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Can I hear Amen?

One of my favorite quotes... since I said it myself... is "what you shoot someone with is far less important than where."

I've actually studied recoil more than a little and it does affect everyone differently but sooner or later everyone flinches or jerks the trigger. One of the hardest things to learn in shooting is how to manage a perfectly normal human reflex to react to loud noises or painful stimuli.
 

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A 2" SP101 with a 125gr load is the smallest, hottest I can go in .357. Anything further along that curve is just asking for self-inflicted injury, IMO.
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IIRC, the "Treasury" load was a 110gr SJHP loaded to some insane level, somewhere around a "lite" .357. If memory serves, it was only to be used in .357s, despite being labeled as ".38Spl". I used those out of my SP101 and the fireball was impressive!
 

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Thanks Shep, I knew it was one or the other. Charlie knows the load I'm talking about.
 

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I had a S&W 640 for a while. I carried it in my pocket while working in the yard or when I ran to the store. Always loaded it with 125 grain hollowpoints. The recoil was pretty stout, but I found the muzzle blast even worse. I've absolutely no desire to shoot one of the "new" superlight magnums. I'll take everyone's word that they are close to torture.

My question isn't how much performance I lose with a short barrel, it's is the gain worth the recoil and muzzle blast?

I would like to have a 2.5" Model 19 or 66, round butt, just because I really like the way they look and feel. Probably wouldn't load them with magnums much - just some good .38 specials, maybe 158 grain semi wadcutters, for all around use.

I only own two magnums now - a Model 29-2 with a 6.5" barrel and a Model 27-2 with a 6". I find I can really enjoy shooting N frame with magnum loads. Getting old, I guess.
 

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It's interesting (and amusing) that the "micro-.357" came about by accident. When the original SP101 came out of the Ruger Tank & Anvil Works, it was .38Spl only. Well of course, someone just had to tinker with it, and realized that not only was it way overbuilt for the .38, but the cylinder was just long enough to accommodate a .357 loaded with a 125gr bullet. IIRC, B'rer Mas jumped all over it and bent Bill's ear. Ruger had a hit, and the rest of the industry is still scrambling to improve on the perfect compact package. IMO, they haven't.
 

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My question isn't how much performance I lose with a short barrel, it's is the gain worth the recoil and muzzle blast?
Not only no but *#%@ no.

I actually did a cost/benefit comparing increase in recoil vs increase in velocity... wasn't even close to a good trade

I don't have an exact time, but I think the first may have been a Model 60 that was punched out by the S&W Performance Center.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I appreciate the thoughts about the advisability of short barrelled .357 revolvers. I see on another site that one can expect about 1250 fps for full-house 125 grain Magnum JHPs from these 2" barrels.
 
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