Originally Posted by Davy Crockett
You will not get a couple hundred fps more out of a 6 in barrel vs 2/3 in. More like 50-75, if you're lucky, (this is a handgun not a rifle round) which won't make much of a difference in killing power. A 38 spec. will kill a deer with the right bullet, close range and great shot placement, don't hit a shoulder. It is a marginal round for deer, I personally wouldn't, JMO.
Actually, yes you will. Here are the numbers with differnt barrel lenghts for the load I posted the link to above.
•1255 fps -- Ruger GP 100, 6 inch barrel, 357 mag.
•1186 fps -- S&W Combat Masterpiece 6 inch barrel, 38 SPL (circa 1958)
•1146 fps -- S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch barrel, 357 mag.
•1167 fps -- S&W Mod. 15, 4 inch barrel, 38 SPL (circa 1968)
•1112 fps -- Ruger SP 101, 3 inch barrel, 38 SPL
•1043 fps -- S&W Mod 66, 2.5 inch barrel, 357 mag.
•989 fps -- S&W Mod 340PD, 1 & 7/8 inch barrel, 357 mag.
•1027 fps -- S&W Mod 642 (pre dash), 1 & 7/8 inch barrel, 38 SPL
Like I said, keep your shots close, and the .38 is more than adequate. Also, here is some infor from buffalo bore as to the type of pistol you can shoot these rounds through.
" This load utilizes a hard flat nosed bullet, at sufficient velocity, even from 2 inch barrels, to fully penetrate. This load is safe to shoot in all 38SPL and 357 magnum firearms of modern design that are in normal operating condition"
Some of the velocities posted above are within the range of .357 loads, and people harvest deer with them regularly. With the right ammo, and a hunter that waits for good shots, the 38 is more than capable of getting the job done.