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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched and read as many threads on recoil that I can find. It seems for everyone who thinks the recoil is too harsh, someone else thinks its' fine.

Here's what I'm really asking - How does the recoil in either gun compare to shooting +P from a SW model 36?

I've only shot about 15 rounds through a 4" SW 357

Last time at the range, I shot 35 rounds of +P through the SW model 36.

Yes, I felt the difference in recoil but it was far from what I would call unmanageable. The model 36 I'm shooting is from the early to mid 80's and is not marked for +P, but there is as much difference in opinion whether the old j frames can handle +P as there is opinion on the best caliber for SD.

Is there any comparison at all between a Ruger marked for 357 versus a 30 year old SW j frame shooting +P?

Thanks
 

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My 8 year old brother handles .357s in my 2.25in SP101 fine so it should be no issue to anyone besides maybe females with small hands.
 

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Recoil is very subjective. Bullet weight and velocity, grip composition and gun weight all have to be factored in. Both Rugers shooting all bullets weights in .357 are going to recoil more than your #36. The LCR is going to be uncomfortable for prolonged use. Its light weight is for convenience of carry not comfort of shooting. The SP101 in .357 is not painful to shoot with factory grips but is not particularly pleasant in the maximum loadings like Buffalo Bore and Cor-Bon. Do a Google search for the formula on computing recoil. Plug in the Bullet Weight and Velocity (Midway USA posts velocity with the ammo they sell. Drop their velocity by 75 -100 fps because posted velocities are from vented 4" barrels) and then plug in the gun weight and velocity, and you'll have a foot pounds of recoil figure to compare the guns.

Muzzle blast is something else that needs to be looked at when you're examining the shooting experience. Short barrels produce more muzzle blast. You notice it more at an indoor range. 357s are not much fun to touch off inside a home and in a car they are extremely unpleasant. Remington .357 125 gr. Golden Sabers and Speer 135 gr. Short Barrel Gold Dots are mid-range .357 loads. They are the easiest to manage .357 loads and still offer an improvement over .38 Plus P ammo.

Best Regards,
ADP3
 

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Comparing recoil between two guns is really just so much mental abuse.

The actual amount of recoil will be determined by the make up of the ammo you're shooting. Heavy bullet, fast/slow bullet, power burn rate, etc all come into play. Obviously a .50BMG is never going to feel like a .44MAG.

The next thing to consider is 'felt' recoil. That is the amount and style (slow, sharp, etc) of the recoil your hand actually feels. That will vary between gun designs (tilt barrel, revolver, fixed barrel, rotating barrel, etc), how you grip the gun and the grips installed on the gun (hard, soft, rubber, target, combat, etc). It's pretty subjective.

The last variable is the shooter's perspective based on experience. If you're a guy who's always shot .44MAG or bigger, a 357MAG is going to seem like a pop gun. If you're coming from a .22 world obviously the same 357 is going to really impress you.

Your weight and body stance will also come into play.

So when one guy says the recoil is strong or bad, it's really their perspective. Your mileage will vary.
 

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Muzzle blast is something else that needs to be looked at when you're examining the shooting experience. Short barrels produce more muzzle blast. You notice it more at an indoor range. 357s are not much fun to touch off inside a home and in a car they are extremely unpleasant.
True... but much more unpleasant on the receiving end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All good comments, I realize this can be a difficult thing to determine on the internet.

The S&W is a 2" 38 with the original very small wooden grips. Not sure if that makes a difference.

I was really hoping to stumble across someone who had experience with a model 36 with original grips shooting +P versus a Ruger with the bigger rubber/hogue grips shooting 357.
 

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Been lots of discussions on shooting a 36 (not +P rated) with +P loads....it's loud, lots of flash and the "perceived recoil" for someone like me is not pleasant. Also the discussions seem to indicate that "repeated firing of +P in a non +P rated gun will probably have a negative effect on the gun over time"..The little 36's are nice little "belly guns" that have served tons of folks well over many years...I've had several...if I want to shoot +P's for any kind of a diet I shoot my SP101 38 special +P or my 3" GP100 in 38 special (not 357) as it will handle anything that I can load....I hate to hammer a smaller gun with max loads and the perceived recoil from snubs is not my favorite passtime. The recoil issue is a strange one..I recently got a 30 m1 carbine Ruger OM Blackhawk...everyone talked about the huge noise and big flash...in my mind I equated big flash and loud bang with recoil..I've found that it does have a big flash and an enormous report but really manageable recoil...but my first few firings were a little apprehensive as I was a bit recoil shy from the comments I'd read.

JMHO
 

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Is there not a range that you can go and rent the LCR and SP101. No one on this forum can tell you what you will perceive. My wife can shoot full bore 357s out of our LCR. It would not be her first choice for a range gun but she can accurately and rapidly fire in this combo.
 

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I've had four 2 1/4" SP101s in 38spl, 9mm & 357mag & several snub 2" S&W J Frames models 940 9mm, 649 38spl +P, 642 38spl, & 342Ti 38spl +P..
The harshest recoil I ever felt from any of these was from the Airlite 342Ti with 125gr +Ps, It made you not wanna shoot another wheel full & I like the feel of recoil, It has more to do with the lack of weight of the gun & the tiny grip..
A 2 1/4" SP101 with the rubber Hogue grip & full house 125gr 357 magnum rounds is gonna kick but being the SP weighs more than the S&W M36 & has a much better full size grip it will be much more controlable than the J frame smith, That being said your still gonna know & feel the power of the 357 magnum shot from a snub nose when you squeeze 5 of them off from the SP101.. Trust me.. I was supprised the first time I did it..
You can also still always shoot +P 38spl threw the Ruger..
The Older 38spl Smiths "Are Not" +P Rated but a few rounds "may not" hurt them, but it is not advised..
Trying to compare a Ruger to a Smith is Apples & Oranges.. Both great Revolvers both are very different IMO..
Good Luck in your Quest..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the comments. I may lean away from the snub noses and towards a 3" GP100 or SP101. No hurry to decide. I will be checking to see if any of the local ranges rent these guns.
 
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