Well in any 357 snubby you don't get much out of a 357 mag cartridge other than punishment and flash. I dont think I would use anything but 38 Special +p in one or some uber mild hand loads.
Adler and Janq,
I had read about this too but like all my gun info I take it with a grain of salt till I can prove it for myself.
Right after I got the gun I tested various .38 +p and .357 mag loads by shooting them through a chronometer. I shot around 10 rounds per set, and averaged the speeds. There was a considerable difference between +p and full .357, even out of a 1 7/8 inc barrel. After doing the appropriate math regarding bullet weights, in once case, the .357 had TWICE the energy the same weight .38 +p had. I'll try to dig up the actual numbers, but it was well enough to convince me that the only drawback to .357 out of a short barrel was recovery time.
Edit: Found the data!
These were done with the folowing ammo types:
Winchester .38 +p Personal Protection (125gr)
Speer GD .38 +p (125gr)
Speer GD .357 (125 gr)
Check out the velocities:
Winchester +p : 749.6 feet per second
Speer 38 +p: 826.1 feet per second
Speer .357: 1090.3 feet per second
Which means as far as energy delivered to target: (velocity X bullet mass)
Winchester +p: 155.92 ft-lbs
Speer +p: 189.37 ft-lbs
Speer .357: 329.87
Check it, While Speer +p I think is a great balance between power and recovery time, the .357 is clearly more powerful.
Sure, I'm positive it doesn't reach it's potential, but then again the question isn't how fast can you get .357 to go, but how fast can you get a bullet out of the tiny barrel that I'm carrying. With proper grips, .357 is quite manageable, if not as fast as +p to get back on target.
Janq, your instructor was right on to say that followup time was King though. That's why right now I'm carrying the +p ammo in my snubby.