I wanted a 38 special with a 4.75 inch barrel. Due to the rush on firearms and lack of mid-priced options, I purchased a 357 magnum/38 special with a 5.5 inch barrel. I have shot a 38 special with a 4.75 inch barrel before and the recoil is very manageable. Will I have that same manageability using the 357 magnum and a 38 special cartridge?

  • My understanding is that a longer barrel = more recoil because more powder gets burnt in the longer barrel than with a shorter barrel, but it will depend on the load I guess. - I'll wait for a more knowledgeable person to answer.
    – bob1
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 1:28
  • 2
    3/4" will make a negligible difference as you may get a little extra powder burn but the added weight of the 357 frame and longer barrel will likely negate any increase in recoil. If anything i would guess you will notice a bit less.
    – Nate W
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


It depends on the mass/weight of the gun. A 357 is likely to have thicker sections = more weight, so less recoil. But the longer barrel will increase recoil. It seems like it would not be much different.

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