My Last Line of Defense

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by IrishMonk, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. IrishMonk

    IrishMonk Monkey+

    Last week I bought this Ruger SP101 in .357 mag with a 2.25" barell, and shaved hammer spur. It will be my main carry weapon... my last line of defense. ( as far as firearms )
    Why did I choose this gun ? Well, the short barell and shaved hammer are for conceal and carry puposes. Other than that the Ruger SP101 is a tank of a gun... @ 26 ounces empty, it handles recoil nicely. It's been produced since 1993, and has nothing but good reviews... so I got it for reliabilty.
    Of course, being .357 mag it will also fire .38 spl and 38 +P rounds...( aswell as the .357 "shotshell" rounds, which are weak, but may take out a squirl or other small game in a survival situation. ) which makes it versatile in SHTF situations where ammo may become scarce.

    IMO a quality revolver is the best choice for defense, especially in a long term survival / WROL situation. Why ? Because it will simply be more reliable. Don't get me wrong... all my other guns are semi-auto, in good quality brands. Beretta, Kimber, etc. But this revolver gives me the most peace of mind and backs all the others up.
  2. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Ruger makes solid guns - good choice! I have a Security Six .357 Magnum of the first year production (early 70's). Solid, reliable, accurate.
    IrishMonk likes this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just a NOTE, here: There is an issue with short barrel weapons that is mostly overlooked by many shooters. It does very little to put Full Power Loads in a short barrel weapon, since once the projectile leaves the barrel, and unburnt powder does NOT produce any further increase in Muzzle Energy, or Muzzle Velocity. All it does is provide for a significantly larger Muzzle Flash, and Discharge Flare. Unless you are handloading for your short barreled weapon, with a very fast powder, you will not be getting a full burn from most Factory Load based loadings. So, +P loads are basically doing you very little good, as are .357 Magnum Loads, and many of the hotter 38 Special Loads. Your barrel just isn't long enough, to allow full Powder burns. CSIs depend on this factor, when collecting Stippling Evidence, at shooting crime scenes. This evidence is unburnt powered, spewed out of the barrel, and scattered in front of the muzzle, up to about 10 feet. By analyzing the unburnt powder, they can determine the the OEM Powder used, and make some educated guesses at the weapon used, in the shooting, without ever recovering the projectile, or cartridge case. ......
    Quigley_Sharps likes this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    One more good reason to use only factory loads in defensive weapons, even if it means wasting powder. They might get lucky finding your custom loadings somewhere if you are using it criminally and take a run for it, or the perp sues you if he survives a non fatal shot from a wimpy load. (I'd use only 38 spl in that gun. My 4" GP100 is less sensitive, but with full house 357 loads it does make for fireworks. Have played with 158 gr of several flavors for the fun of it. Defensive load is commercial 125 gr JHP.)

  5. SteveB

    SteveB Monkey+

    Please be wary of reloads. If the primer isn't seated fully, there is a possibility that it could be partially ejected, and jam your revolver. Had it happen a long time ago - haven't used reloads since.
  6. SigPro2022

    SigPro2022 Monkey+

    Congrats on the SP101 purchase! I wish I had bought one when they still offered them in .22LR.
    IrishMonk likes this.
  7. IrishMonk

    IrishMonk Monkey+

    This seems to be a common belief. However, it is a false one... with all respect.
    While firing .38 spl or .38 +p rounds out of a 2.25" barrel will produce velocities around 650-860 fps,... firing .357 rounds out of the same gun will produce velocities up to 1,350 fps !!! ( depending on the cartridge and grain )
    So while it IS true that there will be unburned powder, it is certainly worth firing full .357 ammo if you want more stopping power from your snub nose .357.

    Here is a great video of a velocity test using a variety of ammo from a .357 2.25" barell snub nose. He fires .38 spl, .38 +p and .357 rounds in many variations over a chronograph to show exactly what the difference is in these rounds out of a snubby.
    YouTube - Snub Nose Velocity Test

    Bottom line is, with a snubby, you can fire .38 spl or +P and get a max of 860 fps with 205 ft lbs of impact force. OR, you can fire a .357 and get a max of 1,350 fps with 505 ft lbs of knock down power,,,, that's a HUGE difference.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    All you say is true, EXCEPT it ALL depends on the Burning SPEED, of the powder used. Slower Powder, less velocity, in short barrels. Laws of Physics, apply here... Did you ever wonder why Bullseye was such a popular Small Pistol Powder?

    For IrishMonk: Take that same loading and put it in a weapon with a 6" barrel. Then run it thru your Chrono, and see just how much Muzzle Velocity, and Energy, you are losing, by having a short barrel. You may find it VERY Significant. When Factory Ammo loadings are developed, they are designed for, and with, a specific Test Barrel length. This way the QA at the factory has a way, at assure as much uniformity as possible, for a single Loading, Lot to Lot. Most of these are setup with a 6" Test Barrel, for Revolver Ammunition, and a 4" Test Barrel for Semi-Autos Ammunition. This same Principal is why Rifles in a Pistol Cartridge Caliber, are so underPowered, when the are used with Pistol Loadings, compared to lo the same Cartridge, loaded specifically for the Longer Barrel lengths. Yes, They ALL will fire in any weapon, but they are NOT optimally tuned to ALL weapons, and this is why Folks who are into Doing their own Loading, do NOT use the same Loadi,ngs for ALL weapons that use the same Cartridge.
    Capt. Tyree and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  9. IrishMonk

    IrishMonk Monkey+

    Yes, everyone understands that you lose velocity with short barrels. And that's a good point... In fact, with each round tested in the video it gives the exact % of velocity that is lost by shooting the round out of a snubby, compared to the manufacturer's stated avg velocity. ( read the text at the begining of each new round tested. )
    The thing I disagree with you on is this statement :

    I guess that depends on what one thinks is "very little".

    Example: out of 2.25" snubby
    .38 spl - avg. velocity 650-700 fps
    avg. loss 23%
    avg. ft. lbs of force 130-150

    .38 +P - avg. velocity 825-860 fps
    avg. loss 20%
    avg. ft. lbs of force 180-205

    .357 mag avg. velocity 1000-1350 fps
    avg. loss 30%
    avg ft. lbs of force 300-505

    ( rough averages... varies by grain etc )
    Now... which round do YOU want in your snubby in a life or death situation ? I'll take the .357
  10. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Sweet purchase. If ya can't hit what/who you're shooting at, you'll at least blind 'em with the flash and deafen them with the sound! LOL

    BTPost likes this.
  11. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    With real estate it is location, location, location. With bullets it is shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.
    Disciple likes this.
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