Should I get a .357?


January 19, 2003, 09:02 PM
I currently own two handguns, a .45 automatic and a .45 Colt revolver.

I like the .45 Colt round, even though my 25-5 isn't strong enough to really take advantage of the loads that are available for it.

However, it's a big gun, it really is, especially with the 6" tube on the end.

Generally, I like big-bore handguns. It's not that I'd want to be shot with a 9mm or anything, I just generally like a bigger hole in the end.

.357 magnum is one of the most versatile catridges out there, and when it comes to power beats .45ACP hands down (though .45 Super can give it a run for its money).

Currenly, all of the handguns that I want are in either .45 Auto or .45 Colt. I want a Taurus 450 5-shot .45 Colt snubby. I want a 1911 of some sort, a Sig P245, etc.

Should I add a .357 Magnum to the list?

What I'd really like in a .357 is something strong, not too big, and preferably with 7 shots. A S&W 686+ with the 7 shot cylinder would be just about ideal, though I wouldn't feel let down at all by a 6-shot cylinder.

The problem is, I don't want one with an internal lock. I don't mind the Taurus internal lock; but the one on the new Smiths is right behind the cylinder release for crying out loud. I'd prefer a non-ported gun, but could live with that.

So what do you think I should get, if anything? The 686 and the Taurus Tracker seem to be my best two options...

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Mike Irwin
January 19, 2003, 09:32 PM
Of course you should. Everyone should have a .357 Magnum.

Standing Wolf
January 19, 2003, 09:48 PM
Everyone should have several .357 magnums!

January 19, 2003, 09:58 PM
I would advocate a Ruger GP-100. No lock to worry about and I don't think there is a tougher .357 around.

Of course my opinion is jaded as I own three of them...


January 19, 2003, 09:59 PM
Man, what are you thinking...

of course you need a 357.

January 19, 2003, 10:18 PM
Any S&W .357, new or used, should work well. The 3" to 4" K frames are very handy and have done well for many people. The L frames are tougher and very good. A 3" to 4" N frame may somehow seem quite a bit shorter than your 6" 25-5 and really is about the same size as your 5" 1911. They are all good.

Edited: The L frames are available in 7 shots, and the N frames in 8 shots.

January 19, 2003, 10:31 PM
GP-100 is good .. Smith is good also (if ''N'' frame IMO) .. but gotta say, my Taurus M66 is very acceptable .. 4" tube and 7 shot cyl ... but smooth as any Smith and I like it!!

January 19, 2003, 10:38 PM
"Should I add a .357 Magnum to the list?"

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Heck yes.

An older K- or L-frame S&W would be my first suggestion. Nice guns, good workmanship, generally reasonable prices.

Really long answer: Oh heck, yes!

January 19, 2003, 11:02 PM
Wow.....I've never met a gunny that didn't have a .357! :D

Lord Grey Boots
January 19, 2003, 11:04 PM
Yes. Very flexible platform. Can everything from mild .38 SWC target loads, to hunting class rounds.

January 19, 2003, 11:14 PM
Most definitely. Every serious shooter should own SEVERAL .357 maggies IMO. I recommend and prefer the Ruger GP 100.

January 19, 2003, 11:50 PM
must eventually own one or more examples of the .357 magnum. I have a 7-shot Taurus Tracker (okay, but I really don't like it that much) and a two 686+'s (one 4" and the other a "snubby"). While I share your antipathy to the internal locks I certainly have not had any trouble with them. Rugers are terribly strong and with a little trigger work are completely acceptable. Good shooting:)

January 20, 2003, 12:08 AM
What the hell? Of course. Its a staple, like a .22, bread, and toilet paper. If I had my way, they would be issued with voter registration cards and sent in the mail with samples of Tide. If I could make it happen, I would buy dinner plates and stirring spoons in 6 shot .357. When getting new tires or changing oil, I'm always disappointed I can't buy R.357 and 10w.357. The fact that CPUs were offered in 350 and 400 mghz but never .357 always has sat wrong with me. Sometimes when a tailor or shoe salesman is asking my size, I say .357 hoping that they will have something. December 23rd should also be a national holiday being the 357th day of the year except in leap year when it finally gets the respect it deserves. My favorite time of day is 3 minutes before 4:00. I wake myself up every morning at 3:56 just to see it turn and appreciate the full minute of 3:57. I'm sort of a fan....

Ala Dan
January 20, 2003, 01:15 AM
By all means; as everyone needs at least one quality
.357 magnum.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 20, 2003, 01:26 AM
If I only had one handgun. It would be a Ruger GP100 stainless 357.

January 20, 2003, 01:54 AM
Sounds like you already talked yourself into it.

Picked up a new .357 last week----first one I've owned in about 10 years---something was just missing in my life I guess----lol.

Kahr carrier
January 20, 2003, 04:45 AM
Yep-Smith or Ruger.:)

Lone Star
January 20, 2003, 07:23 AM
I wish that all of life's questions were as easy to answer as this one.

No, you shouldn't get a .357. You should get at least four, suited for various purposes and modes of carry.

My choices:

S&W M65 three-inch bbl. for concealed carry

S&W M66 four-inch bbl for general all-round revolver, compact enough for some concealed carry, but a good duty gun, too.

S&W M686, four-inch bbl. ,for about the same uses as the M66, but when concealment isn't a factor, and when you may want to fire Magnum rounds more often

S&W M27 six-inch or 6.5 inch bbl. for hunting smaller game and tradition's sake.

Ruger GP-100, four-inch bbl., just to have a nice Ruger. You can take it on fishing trips around salt water, then tear it down for thorough cleaning easier than a Smith. But it's not as trim or graceful, and the trigger pull isn't as good.

Oh: if you do much backpacking where you can wear a gun openly, the six-inch S&W M19 or M66 is a great packing gun with enough power to take out a cougar or a bear... if hit right. And, it'll feed you, taking small game with good .38 loads.

Lone Star

Swamp Yankee
January 20, 2003, 08:41 AM
Of course you'll need a .357 Mag. Probably more than one.
Suggest a trip to the used counter. There are many, many, excellent used .357 Mag revolvers available. IMO the workmanship in some of the older guns far surpasses the new stuff on the market.
Take Care

January 20, 2003, 09:29 AM
Get one, or two , or more , a fun cartridge to shoot . GP-100’s work for me.

January 20, 2003, 06:23 PM
Yes, Find yourself a 686 with a 4" barrel of a GP100 with a 4" barrel. Heck buy both.

I love the 357. You can shoot light stuff for plinking fun and the heavy stuff for hunting or SD. Plus the range of ammo out there is amazing. Everything from 110 gr to 180 gr loads.

January 20, 2003, 08:52 PM
By all means get youself one and have some fun. Smith and Ruger both make some beauties. I went looking for a 45acp the other day and came home with a cherry Ruger Speed Six 2 3/4". It was love at first sight!

January 21, 2003, 12:15 AM
I think you should have at least 1... I have 3 ... Two are GP100's

January 21, 2003, 09:36 AM
You mean you don't have a .357? :eek:

Weren't you going to buy a Mateba? :confused:

January 21, 2003, 12:46 PM
I am sort of a Ruger fan, so with that caveat out of the way....

SP-101 for the CCW application

GP-100 for mid-range DA work i.e. "Service Revolver"

Long-barrel Vaquero/Bisley-Vaquero/Blackhawk for the "Fun Gun" SA stuff.

I have the short-barrel Sheriff's Model Stainless Vaquero 357, and to me, it is the most "Fun Gun" I own. But then, I always had a huge soft spot for SA Revos.

[Working on Home Finance Committee regarding the long-barrel Vaquero]

January 21, 2003, 01:38 PM
Why not?

January 21, 2003, 02:32 PM
It would mean buying a thrid type of pistol ammunition, though I'm getting over my desire to have many guns in few cartridges (not as much fun, you know).

As I said, I also like big bores, though bore diameter matters less than mass/velocity, and I think 158grns @ 1300+ FPS will do quite nicely. I'll pass on the 125 grain stuff, I think, I like heavier bullets.

Probably use .38 +P for home house has thin walls.

That said, though I really like the .45 Colt round, the .357 would allow me to practice with my revovlers more, as frankly, .45 Colt is EXPENSIVE to shoot, and most of the cheap stuff you can get is really anemic, which doesn't prepare you for shooting with the more powerful self-defense stuff.

Durn it. You're all going to make me end up getting TWO Vaqueros, you know. I already want one in .45 Colt. Watch me go and get one in .357, too.

Geez. This is an expensive hobby. :o

January 21, 2003, 04:20 PM
You can never have too many guns!

January 21, 2003, 05:18 PM
You mean you don't have a .357?

Nope! Found the 25-5 instead.

Weren't you going to buy the Mateba?

I still am. It's just not on the top of the list, is all. Since, in the handguns department, I need a Sig 245, a Taurus 450, a Ruger Vaquero .45, and NOW apparently I need a Ruger Vaquero .357 and either a 686 or a GP100....

January 22, 2003, 04:37 PM
You can't beat the Ruger GP100 or the Smith & Wesson 686. Both are made with 4 and 6 inch barrels. Both are tough as nails and will hold their value. I have a 6" 686 6shot I've had for 12 years it is a fine piece. I have it scoped and use it for deer Hunting. One advantage certainly is the cost of practicing. you can shoot .38 spcls. for about $6 a box. About the only thing you'll find cheaper is 9 mm and .22l.r.'s.

January 23, 2003, 12:44 AM
I, being a Smith fan, would offer this combo of four .357's:

a 640-1, the two inch J frames are truly a must have;

a 3" 13/65/19/66, your choice of blue or stainless, with full length ejector rods, the K frames are excellent and proven;

a 4" 686, put wooden Hogue grips on it and discover happiness;

a 3.5" blued N frame has a special, unforgettable, just right feel to it that is timeless, comforting, and always draws you back to it.

If I could only have 7 or 8 handguns, that would be four of them.

The rest would be Hi Powers. :cool:

(Of course, it would be nice if I could just have these to start)

Dave Markowitz
January 24, 2003, 09:24 PM
That's a rhetorical question, right? :)

Seriously, get a .357. You can shoot everything from .38 wadcutters to heavy .357 hunting loads in it, and everything in between.

Ruger .357s -- DAs and SAs -- are built like tanks. The actions slick up with use and dry firing. I am partial to older Smith & Wessons, though. The smoothest DA I've handled was an old Model 19 that had at least 15000 rounds through it, and had been sent back to Smith & Wesson a couple times for rebuilds.

My HD gun is a Smith & Wesson Model 28 loaded with .38 Special FBI loads. I'm comfortable with the power they put at my disposal, they have less blast than .357s, and are really controllable out of that N-Frame.

January 25, 2003, 03:49 PM
Every gunowner should have a 357. I have owned several different models but favor the S&W 686 in 4 or 6 in barrel or Perf Center models. Handles fullhouse loads like 22's.
Once you get the 357 I suggest you get into the best of all calibers ie. 44 magnum. I recently purchased the S&W Perf Center 44 magnun Comp Hunter 7.5 in barrel with Leupold 1.5 scope. Tis an absolute blast!!
44 Caliber:)

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