Loading a .357 with both .38 & .357 ammo at same time

Hi folks,

Quick question. What type of stress or consequences is there for loading both types of rounds on an all steel revolver. Should it not be done or is it okay to do so?

I’ve not done this. Just curious of firing a weapon with both caliber size ammo.

For example loading revolver with
(3-.38 & 2-.357 ) then firing said weapon.

Stay safe and practice,

Won’t hurt a thing. Just be careful of shooting a lot of .38, then shooting .357 without cleaning the cylinder. The door rings could cause an increase in chamber pressure.


Would it be okay to carry rounds (EDC) this way?

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Yes. Why would you though? Just curious. Why not just carry all .357 mag?

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I too wonder “why”. If recoil is an issue stay with .38, , otherwise .357.
I live in the country and my Model 60 is loaded with one snake shot followed by 4 125 grain .357’s. In winter, all 5 are the same. This is only for carry on the farm, shot for no shoulders, .357 for Wiley Coyote😏


I am curious as to why you would want to do that? You have two very different cartridges with very different ballistics characteristics! Practice however you like but once you find a defense load you like, you should alway use that load for defense because if you are sighting or point shooting based on the performance of a .38 then chamber a .357 mag, or vice versa, you will likely not have a very good outcome.

Have a good day and be safe.


Let me clarify. I’m not going to carry this way, i was just curious. What I was going to do was practice with the mixed load a few times to see if I’m wincing or pulling trigger to hard. I don’t practice with hammer cocked for easy pull.

Just want to understand my sidearm as best I can. Practice, practice, practice.

Aim small folks!

Thanks for the in put.

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I would practice with a full cylinder of one, and then a full cylinder of the other. That will show you how fast your getting back on target, and “combat accuracy.”


IMHO you would be better served mixing in a few “duds” if you want to see if you are flinching. If my bang stick suddenly “kick’s like a mule” I am going to stop shooting and evaluate to see if the gun is broken. If I get a “click no bang” I am going to a FTF drill and if I jerk it I have learned something.




Maybe this will help you on your choice.

Alternating allows for quicker follow-up shots if you believe in the need for a double-tap. I don’t feel the need after years of practice with 357, but I have played with the idea in the past.

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I’ve thought about that to. Seeing as how the first shot may be all you get, I’d rather have all the umph I have available.

That’s my final conclusion as well. The reason double taps became standard practice was because 9mm couldn’t do the job in one shot. (Whoops, did I just stoke a caliber flame war?):open_mouth:


DOH! You did it now @Samuel11 !!!

The first thing I would confirm is that your gun is cambered for .357 and not just .38. If not, it could be dangerous. If it is, staggering the two should be fine, although, as others have said, I’m not sure of the value.

Cool…, made perfect sense.


That was a part of what I was thinking. On follow Up shots. Just not sure if it was a good idea for the revolver or my marksmanship.

I can tell you for sure that it helps with follow ups, especially with light weght snubbies. When I use to play with the idea, I’d load 38-357-38-357 and a fifth round would be a hard cast bullet in case I had to fire thru cover. I can assure you it won’t hurt the gun, but I still recommend more practice with 357. I’m actually more accurate with 357, and my follow up time is fine. I still like the 5 round to be hard cast just in case. Another option is to try a hot 38+P. Underwood and Buffalo Bore both make some +p stuff that actually reaches low-end 357 power, but cuts back on the flash and flip a bit over medium to hot 357 loads. Not what I carry except in my bedside gun, but probably oneof the best ways to go for snubbies, If I carried one of the real light weight guns, I’d go exclusively that way, but I prefer heavier all steel guns and have no problem with 357 in them.

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It’s not going to hurt anything but odds are it will really screw up your recoil control and cause you to shoot erratically due to the substantially different energy between the two rounds.


For it to work and not do this, you have to assume multiple targets, with a double-tap on each. In other words, a 38 then 357 on one guy, then switching targets and repeating. It actually works well, and does improve recoil control in my experience, but in the real world can you assume two targets every time, or that both shots will hit the target and allow you to move on? If you need a third shot on the first target, then you’ve messed up the pattern. That’s why I dropped the idea pretty quickly. Hot 38+Ps are a much better alternative if 357 recoil is too much in a particular gun.