I have seen quite a bit of internet lore out there stating the snub nosed .357 mag is impractical as too much velocity is lost to the short barrel. I have chronographed short barreled .357's in the past and have found many of these claims to be exaggerated. I recently picked up another snubby SP101, lnib, at a price I couldn't pass up. So I decided to clock some loads to see how she fares. I figured I'd document my findings this time for everyone's reference.
I have always wanted a spurless model and have carried these little revolvers quite a bit. They have to be some of my favorite guns. Anyhow, it was a cold day today, 15 deg F, but I managed to gather some data from the chronograph.
In short, yes some velocity will be lost with the snubby's shorter barrel, but as the numbers below show, the .357 snubby still produces velocities well within magnum territory. I don't know how temperature sensitive the loads I used are, but I have previously found cold weather typically tends to lower velocity numbers so keep that in consideration. As far as shootibility goes, I find the magnum SP101's recoil no less manageable than that of a S&W 642 with 158 gr +p loads.
Here's the little bugger with the big bark:
And the results:
SP101 2.25" barrel, B/C gap measures about .007-.008
Remington UMC 125 gr jhp, 5 shots:
American Eagle 158 gr jsp, 5 shots:
Handload - 16.7 gr H110 w/ 158 gr Hornady XTP:
S&W SD9VE 4" barrel 9mm for reference
Federal Aluminium 115 gr fmj, 15 shot
Hope any folks interested in these fine revolvers find this data useful.