Difference Between 38 and 357 (With Table)

We all live in a world where the risk of war always prevails. This is the reason why various nations have a set of arms and ammunition to protect themselves. The .38 Special and .357 Magnum are two types of cartridges that are used in revolvers.

38 vs 357

The difference between .38 and .357 is that the .38 cartridge is highly accurate with controllable recoil. In contrast to that, the .357 cartridge has a high muzzle velocity of 1090 ft/s and is well known for its efficient blocking capacity. The .38 bullet is used in pistols and carbines, whereas the .357 bullet is basically used for self-defense due to its strong stopping power.

The .38 cartridges were introduced in the US military in the year 1898 after replacing the .38 long colt that did not possess a good stopping capacity. These are among the few cartridges that were used by the US army in the second world war and by the US police from 1920 to 1990.

The .357 cartridges were introduced in the year 1938. It is basically used in hunting small animals like deer. It is also used in various shooting games. It was developed and designed by Elmer Keith, Phillip B Sharpe. It has a maximum pressure of 35,000 PSI.

Comparison Table Between 38 and 357

Parameters of Comparison38357
Designers The designers of the .38 cartridge are Smith and Wesson of the United States of America.The designers of the .357 cartridge are Elmer Keith, Phillip B sharp of the United States.
UsesThe .38 bullets were used by the US police force and army and even during the Second World War.The .357 bullets are basically used for hunting small and medium animals and also in shooting games.
Maximum PressureThe maximum pressure of .38 bullets is 17000 PSI.The maximum pressure of .357 cartridges is 35000 PSI.
Muzzle velocityThe muzzle velocity of the .38 bullets is comparatively less, which is 940 ft/s.The muzzle velocity of the .357 cartridges is comparatively more, which is 1090 ft/s.
EquipmentThe .38 cartridges are used in semi-automatic pistols and carbines.The .357 cartridges are used in pistols and rifles for hunting.
Stopping PowerThe stopping power of .38 cartridges is not as good as the .357 cartridges.The .357 cartridges are used in self-defense due to their efficient stopping power.

What is 38?

The .38 Special Cartridges were introduced in the US army after the failure of .38 Long bullets in the Philippines war. It was introduced due to its higher muzzle velocity and pressure. It has an immense amount of power and speed that helped it be among the few cartridges that were used by the US army and police during the year 1930 to 1990.

It is one of the famous cartridges that are used for self-defense and target shooting. Generally, the .38 bullets are much cheaper when compared to the .357 cartridges. A basic .38 cartridge brings a muzzle velocity of 755 ft/s, which is far less when compared to the muzzle velocity of .357 cartridges.

The major merits of the .38 Special Cartridges are:-

  • One of the major advantages of the .38 cartridges is that it has cheap ammo.
  • It has a lower recoil rate.
  • It has very cheap firearms.

The major demerits of the .38 Special Cartridges are:-

  • One of the major disadvantages of the .38 cartridges is their inefficient stopping power and capacity, making them less defensive.
  • The .38 cartridges have limited application and use in the present world.

What is 357?

The .357 Magnum cartridges were introduced in the US army in the year 1930 to supplement the Colt‘s .38 Super Automatic pistol cartridges. The cartridge chamber volume is about 1.66 milliliter. It is one of the best cartridges that are used for hunting small and medium-sized animals.

It has a very strong defense and effective holding power. It can also be used against large animals by proper loading. Due to its defensive traits, it is used by security guards outside the ATMs, by civilians for hunting and self-defense, and also by police during highway patrolling.

The major merits of the .357 Magnum cartridges are:-

  • One of the major advantages of the .357 Magnum cartridges is that it has more diverse uses and applications.
  • It has a higher muzzle velocity thus has good penetrating power and stopping power.
  • Another advantage is that firearms can also use.38 Special Cartridges.

The major demerits of .357 Magnum cartridges are:-

  • One of the major disadvantages of the .357 Magnum cartridges is that it has lots of recoils.
  • The ammo of the .357 cartridge is very, very expensive.
  • The firearms of this cartridge are also very expensive.

Main Differences Between 38 and 357

  1. The .38 Special cartridge has limited applications and uses. In contrast to that, the .357 Magnum cartridge has a large number of applications and uses.
  2. The .38 cartridge has a lower recoil rate. Compared to that, the .357 cartridge has a better recoil rate.
  3. The firearms of the .38 cartridges are comparatively cheaper than the .357 cartridges.
  4. The .38 Special cartridges have a maximum pressure of 17000 PSI. In comparison, the .357 Magnum cartridges have a maximum pressure of 35000 PSI.
  5. The .38 cartridges have a muzzle velocity of 940ft/s. In contrast to that, .357 Magnus cartridges have a muzzle velocity of 1090 ft/s.

Conclusion

There is always a debate, which of the two cartridges are better, the .38 bullet or the .357 bullet? Both have merits as well as demerits due to which it becomes difficult to choose the better between them. The .38 bullets have good applications and use. It is also comparatively cheaper than the .357 cartridges.

The .357 cartridges have a better muzzle velocity, pressure, and stopping power. It is used in the field of hunting and sometimes used by security guards as defensive weapons. If, as a civilian, you want to purchase bullets, then you must go for the .357 cartridges.

One must take into considerations all the pros and cons of both cartridges before deciding which cartridge you want to purchase. Hopefully, this article has provided you with the required information regarding the .38 and .357 cartridges for a rational purchase.

References

  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/1e98dd0617865d42c63dd95353579e73/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s002160050324
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