4" 357 Mag revo, best all around handgun ever?


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Bob79
December 25, 2005, 12:44 PM
I've been doing some more reading on this caliber lately and I've come to appreciate how good a round it is. I think a quality 4" revolver (Ruger/S&W/etc) chambered in .357 magnum is VERY versatile, reliable, and effective.

We all know that quality revolvers are very reliable, and yes I do understand that when they do jam up they are tougher to get back working than semi-autos. But for the majority of the time, revolvers don't fail, and when they do often times it seems like its from using some bad ammo.

Revolvers too seem to have more options when it comes to modifing the gun to suit what you want. You can change the grips to suit your taste for looks, you can have smooth grips, finger groove, rubber, 2 finger, 3 finger grips, covered back strap, open back strap. Sights can be pretty much anything you want, and if you get a gun with fixed or no sights you can have them modifed to accept whatever you want. You can even have moonclips added to make your reloads faster. They're also not restricted on ammo configuration because you don't have to worry about the bullet feeding, because it will feed. And with modern metals you can have your revolver pretty light in the weight dept, only thing you trade is some more recoil. About the only area to me that revolvers don't outshine semis is capacity

The gun in this caliber can shoot .38 special or wadcutter loads for target practice that are very accurate, and very low in recoil. 38 ammo is pretty cheap, so it makes range time easy on the wallet, and ammo can be found anywhere. And for those who are more sensitive to recoil, a good .38+P round is very effective as a self defense load as well.

.357 mag rounds are also very versatile, the 130 grain and less loads provide less recoil, are accurate, and generate pretty good energy figures. Usually equal with most 9mm/40cal/45 rounds as far as performance. Once you move up to the good 158 grain loadings you have passed pretty much all 9mm/40S&W/45ACP/10mm rounds in terms of energy deposit. And then once you factor in the ability to shoot the massive 170/180 grain hunting loads that will take down medium sized game, you have a firearm that can do a lot, and do it well.

So thats just one guy's opinion, but I recommend to everyone I know and meet that is thinking about getting a firearm for home protection/fun at the range I tell them everytime "Get a 4" revolver in .357".

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MCgunner
December 25, 2005, 01:22 PM
Capacity doen't bother me when the average number of shots fired in a gun fight is under 2 rounds, I believe. Anyway, making your shots count is a might easier with a revolver for me, at least. Therefore, I carry a five shot .38 a lot, though I do admit to carrying a compact nine a lot and even a .380 for convenience/pocket carry.

But, if I had to own just one handgun to do it all, I think it'd be something like the all titanium Taurus "Tracker" in .357 magnum. I do love the caliber for its versatility and while the big bullet .45/1911 freaks think the .45ACP is its equal or superior, they're just simply full of it. I've taken deer with the magnum, never would use a .45 ACP on deer sized game. :rolleyes: With a heavy hardcast SWC, the .357 is even viable against black bears! Yet, you can take the same gun, stick .38 wadcutters in it, and hunt small game. That's the reason I own several .357s. They're just superb outdoor guns. A titanium K frame size gun like the tracker, would work afield and for CCW. It'd be fairly easy to carry IWB given good leather. And, for self defense, it don't get any better than the old standby 125 grain JHP in .357 magnum.

Dollar An Hour
December 25, 2005, 01:39 PM
Yep, I'd have to agree with you. Simple, (relatively) affordable, damn effective, versatile with .38 Spl as an option, reasonably-priced ammo, reliable.

What's not to like about a .357 revo?

mtnbkr
December 25, 2005, 01:45 PM
I couldn't agree more. It's hard to beat the 4" medium framed 357mag for all around versatility, especially if you don't handload.

During the summer, while camping and hiking in the national forest, I carry my GP100 loaded with 1 shotshell first for snakes, then the remainder of the cylinder loaded with my 180gr handloads. During the cooler months, I load it full with those heavy handloads. At home, it's loaded with 38+P LSWCHP as a home defense gun. I use that same gun with medium 38special loads for falling steel plate and target shooting.

If I could only own one handgun, that would be it.

Chris

461
December 25, 2005, 03:31 PM
Yep, it's one gun that can do it all and most of it very well. My Gp-100 is one of my all time favorites. Now that that's out of the way, do you really think that we should be saying this in a public forum? I mean if the wife ever found out I had one gun that could do anything I need done then my gun buying days would be over!

Marko Kloos
December 25, 2005, 03:58 PM
Yes.

A four-inch .357 magnum revolver is the One Gun That Does It All. It will perform competently in any function you can ask of a handgun...CCW, home defense, plinking, target shooting, and (in a pinch) even hunting. It will fire anything from soft .38 Special wadcutter target loads to .357 Magnum deerstoppers moving 158 grains at close to 1500 fps.

If I had to decide on only one handgun to own, it would be a 4" .357 Magnum wheelgun.

bpisler
December 25, 2005, 04:14 PM
Whats not to like?,Lets see,there's always the
muzzle blast and recoil.With that said i have 3
357's,4" 686-3,3" 65-3 and a 2 3/4" service 6.
They are the 3 guns that i shoot the most
and almost always with near full power loads.
I must agree that they are very versatile,i've
hunted rabbits,carried one for personal defense
against 2 and 4 legged creatures.Long live
the 357 magnum.

Euclidean
December 25, 2005, 06:05 PM
Of course.

So often the tacticool kids forget that the only part of your piece that ever actually touches the target is that little piece of metal that comes out the end ever so quickly. It's oftimes much simpler to change the ammunition than it is to go get another gun.

Compare the sheer number of loads you can use such with a launching platform for against what you can do with a Glock wondernine or a custom 1911 or whatever service pistol you please.

The .357 L or K frame size revolver with about 3 or 4 inches of barrel can facilitate any kind of handgun ammunition I could ever need for any task, and will launch it all without fail.

For specific jobs or aspects, other guns are better do not get me wrong, but if I only had to have one handgun I know exactly which one I'd reach for.

Standing Wolf
December 25, 2005, 06:27 PM
About the only thing I could like better than these two four-inch Pythons would be some five-inch Pythons.

I've never understood why Colt didn't ever make them.

MCgunner
December 25, 2005, 06:36 PM
About the only thing I could like better than these two four-inch Pythons would be some five-inch Pythons.

I've never understood why Colt didn't ever make them.

Absolutely beautiful... ;)

HighVelocity
December 25, 2005, 06:50 PM
Ohhh Nill grips are good. :)

Frandy
December 25, 2005, 07:24 PM
I can't top a Python, but here's my vote for 4" .357s... Actually, two votes... :D

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=31740&d=1132887793

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=30769&d=1131031657

rock jock
December 25, 2005, 09:42 PM
Yes, it is.

mndfusion
December 26, 2005, 03:38 AM
http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/4208/pict00043bg.jpg

hey everyone, new to this group -- my 1st post.

chk it, you can keep .357 on sks strippers. And thats my model 60 3in S&W.

cheers
Daniel Abednego

mndfusion
December 26, 2005, 03:48 AM
great thread topic BTW and I agree to the point that .357 is most versitile round!!!Big time agreement!!!

mndfusion
December 26, 2005, 03:50 AM
if I were left with only one handgun it a .357.

Warren
December 26, 2005, 04:10 AM
What makes the three five seven more versatile then the four-four?

Euclidean
December 26, 2005, 05:27 AM
Perhaps in a perfect world where we could all carry our arms openly or concealed or even not at all as we choose, in a perfect world where we all had the capability of reloading our own ammunition or had access to commercial cartridges which tapped the full spectrum of what the chambering is capable of, perhaps if we lived in a perfect world where there were more made and they were more affordable, we'd all have a 4" .44 Magnum as our all around handgun.

I love my .44 Magnum chambered firearms and I plan to start reloading and will start on this very caliber, but the fact is as I see it that it takes a big framed gun and it takes that much more effort and expense to explore what it's capable of.

Go to the store and you're likely to see maybe three or four loads for that chambering available, typically a 180 grain load, a 240 grain load, and maybe if you're lucky some 200 grain .44 Specials.

You may be lucky enough to have places that sell a variety of .44 Special/Magnum cartridges, but you can probably still find a wider variety in the .357 chambering at the same venue.

At most places I'm aware of you can find several weights of .357 Magnum and .38 Special available. It's just that much easier to enjoy the versatility.

And bottom line is the ammunition is cheaper.

As I said before, .44 Magnum calls for a good sized handgun. I have pretty good sized catcher's mitts and I like L and N framed sized revolvers, but it seems the great majority of people who plan to use a revolver for personal protection prefer a smaller, trimmer, lighter gun. My own mother for instance thinks my 629 is simply huge and can't even hold onto it, much less hold it steady enough to fire or press the cylinder release. It doesn't seem that much bigger than a .357 Magnum to me, but to her it is.

Human factors always trump what looks good on paper or in theory.

EZ CZ75
December 26, 2005, 05:49 AM
I don't mean to cause any trouble b/c I love the 357 for is versatility, but 15+1 rounds of 10mm pushing 700+ft/lbs at the muzzle can't be ignored. This is not to say that one is better, but just FYI. Since this is the revolver area, though, I would take a 357 wheelie over a 10mm wheelie any day.

LoadedDrum
December 26, 2005, 08:42 AM
I will not go so far as to claim that a 4" 357 is the best handgun ever, but I find my self buying them left and right lately and passing up guns my collection really needs more. I think another potential choice for best handgun ever is 10mm 1911 along with a 22lr conversion upper.

MCgunner
December 26, 2005, 10:28 AM
http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/4208/pict00043bg.jpg

hey everyone, new to this group -- my 1st post.

chk it, you can keep .357 on sks strippers. And thats my model 60 3in S&W.

cheers
Daniel Abednego

Hmm, never thought of that. That'd be a good idea in the field, but bianchi speed strips fit better in a pocket. I usually carry a speed strip and one HKS speed loader when I'm carrying my revolver.

wundudnee
December 26, 2005, 10:35 AM
But it still works well.:) My pre 27, 3 1/2" S&W.

http://www.fototime.com/{1B4166BC-8605-49E6-8797-68AC7BCF412A}/picture.JPG

MCgunner
December 26, 2005, 10:38 AM
What makes the three five seven more versatile then the four-four?

.44 mags fall on their faces for self defense and concealed carry. I ain't packin' no mountain gun, much less a bigger N frame, IWB...:rolleyes: And, yes, the load availability is quite limited. .44s are seen by the manufacturers as hunting/outdoor guns. They're not as useful in the concealed carry, SD roll. Even the really light unobtainium ones are physically large for IWB carry.

I don't own a .44, but I'm not sure why. The caliber has never moved me as a handloader. I do handload a .45 colt to near .44 energy levels. Another caliber I like very much is the .41 mag, but don't own one. That one's even MORE of a handloaders cartridge. I wouldn't mind getting into a .41 mag Taurus Tracker, though, a little more horsepower in the bear woods. If I wanted to carry it for defense, I'd have to rely on my own handloads, I reckon. And, even bullet selection is poor in that caliber for handloaders compared to .357. Jeez, there's a bullet for ANYthing in .357.

MCgunner
December 26, 2005, 10:42 AM
I don't mean to cause any trouble b/c I love the 357 for is versatility, but 15+1 rounds of 10mm pushing 700+ft/lbs at the muzzle can't be ignored. This is not to say that one is better, but just FYI. Since this is the revolver area, though, I would take a 357 wheelie over a 10mm wheelie any day.

Point made, but this topic is versatility. Can you load a light forty in that ten and hunt rabbits with it? Or, are you gonna blow 'em in half with the 10mm load? :D

Anyway, give me a revolver in the woods. Autos are fun, useful fighting tools, but revolvers are where it's at outdoors because of the ability to interchange hot, light, shot, whatever loads. JMHO of course. Not only that, but they do a fair to middlin' job of self defense for the guy like me that appreciates a fine revolver. That's probably why most of my collection is revolvers. I have but two big service sized autos and a couple of compact carry sized ones. Even my favorite .22 is a revolver.

And, for hunting, you sorta have two REAL choices, revolver or single shot like my Contender. Oh, you CAN hunt with something like the Desert Eagle or even a 10, but I'll choose revolver or single shot for serious hunting with serious calibers, thanks. The ten certainly makes enough horsepower for hunting thin skinned game, deer size stuff. I haven't found too many reliable autos that can shoot with a good revolver or especially a single shot pistol, though.

357wheelgunner
December 26, 2005, 12:30 PM
Great writeup, I love 4" .357s. I have 3, a model 19, model 66, and model 65

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c138/357wheelgunner/Sisters.jpg

461
December 26, 2005, 01:23 PM
10mm and .44 ar both superb cartridges, but the bulk of the gun required to shoot them, the shooters ability to handle recoil, the load versatility and availability make them fall so far short of the .357 that they can't even be considered.

I love my .44mags and for me personally they work for all around use, but then I handload and don't carry concealed and have no need to. I also love my .41 mag but have yet to see any at WallyWorld but I did see a box in a gun shop the other day for $37.00 :what: Now the 10mm is a wonderful cartridge as well and is extremely versatile to the handloader but the weapons available are few and the ammo is very rare (saw a shooter at the range the other day diving on his brass so as not to lose it) and with an auto platform you lose the ability to download it as you lose function.

I shoot a wide range of guns and calibers and the .357 is the one true all arounder. For those that love your wheelies in .357, you really need to try it in a lever gun as it will come alive and do things to amaze you, check out Paco Kelly's www.Leverguns.com

Making me want to go shooting my .357's. Good shooting all.

Surefire
December 26, 2005, 02:24 PM
I agree about the .357 magnum revolvers being very versatile.

From .38 special loads that feature practically zero recoil all the way up to powerhouse medium game thumpers.

And I like that modern loads (Cor-Bon and a few others) are pushing the envelope of the effectiveness, such as 200+ grain bullets being launched at 1200+ fps.....loads best used in a Ruger .357s IMO....might prove marginally effective on black bear.

OSS
December 26, 2005, 02:53 PM
I made the GP-100 4" my first handgun purchase due to its reputation for durability and versatility. I have no regrets, I love my GP!

MCgunner
December 26, 2005, 02:56 PM
10mm and .44 ar both superb cartridges, but the bulk of the gun required to shoot them, the shooters ability to handle recoil, the load versatility and availability make them fall so far short of the .357 that they can't even be considered.

I love my .44mags and for me personally they work for all around use, but then I handload and don't carry concealed and have no need to. I also love my .41 mag but have yet to see any at WallyWorld but I did see a box in a gun shop the other day for $37.00 :what: Now the 10mm is a wonderful cartridge as well and is extremely versatile to the handloader but the weapons available are few and the ammo is very rare (saw a shooter at the range the other day diving on his brass so as not to lose it) and with an auto platform you lose the ability to download it as you lose function.

I shoot a wide range of guns and calibers and the .357 is the one true all arounder. For those that love your wheelies in .357, you really need to try it in a lever gun as it will come alive and do things to amaze you, check out Paco Kelly's www.Leverguns.com

Making me want to go shooting my .357's. Good shooting all.


I have killed one deer with my Rossi M92 lever gun, 20" barrel in .357 mag. I have better guns for hunting, but I've kept this little handy saddle gun 'cause of its versatility. I have a light handload it likes in .38 that isn't quite as accurate as a good .22, but up to rabbit hunting for sure. I can't shoot as hot a handload in it as I can my blackhawk. I have one hotrod 180 grain load in the Ruger that shows some pressure sign, sticky extraction, in the rifle. I have an all purpose load, 158 grain gas checked hard cast SWC in front of 14.5 grains of H2400 that I killed a doe with at 80+ yards. It was a lung shot, left a 3" diameter wound channel through the lungs, pretty impressive. She walked/stumbled about 20 feet and dropped.

I have a ghost ring aperture sight I set up on that rifle with a numbered elevation knob and can switch calibration according to load. It's a pretty neat set up! I like that thing as a knock about/truck gun. I have a couple of SKSs that can fill that roll, but the little .357 is more versatile, just like its handgun relatives. ;) IIRC, that load pushes about 1450 fps out of a handgun and is clocking 400 fps more out of the rifle, 1800+fps with a 158 grain bullet. That's pretty impressive for the little round. It's putting up nearly 1200 ft lbs at the muzzle of the rifle and over 700 at the muzzle of the 6.5" blackhawk.

My light load out of the rifle is around 1150 ft/second pushing a Lee cast 105 grain swc. It shoots a little over an inch for five shots at 25 yards. That's pretty much a hot rod .22, eh? In fact, hold over at 50 yards is about what you get with a .22 rifle. Two guns in one!

JohnKSa
December 26, 2005, 08:25 PM
If you HAVE to have a single handgun to do it all, the 4" .357Mag is as good as it gets.

xring44
December 26, 2005, 08:34 PM
I can't deny the .357s are great,,,I love to shoot my .41 and its accuracy is amazing, very managable recoil, and packs so much more power,,,but then I love to shoot my .44......ONLY ONE? I suppose if I had to have only one,,for CC, hunting, play at the range, the 4" 686 S&W would get the nod...

MikeJ
December 26, 2005, 08:45 PM
I agree that the 4" .357 is the best all around revolver. In fact, other than my S&W 442 and 37, my other S&W and Ruger revolvers are in .357.

Marshall
December 26, 2005, 10:46 PM
It's tough to beat my 4" Model 13 Heavy Barrel as an all around gun. I find my 4" Colt King Cobra in Bright Stainless being one of my favorites as well.

Dr.Rob
December 26, 2005, 10:54 PM
Makes me so mad I passed on that King Cobra when I saw it.

I'd have to agree, if you can handle it the .357 is a well rounded weapon.

Dienekes
December 26, 2005, 11:25 PM
Pretty hard to beat the 4" .357 DA wheelgun for the long haul. I will go further and suggest that there never was a real need for law enforcement to go into a frenzy of impulse buying for autojammers. A good K frame in the hands of a good man is sufficient.

If "firepower" is the solution just go belt fed.

MCgunner
December 26, 2005, 11:42 PM
Pretty hard to beat the 4" .357 DA wheelgun for the long haul. I will go further and suggest that there never was a real need for law enforcement to go into a frenzy of impulse buying for autojammers. A good K frame in the hands of a good man is sufficient.

If "firepower" is the solution just go belt fed.

I agree a LOT with that statement. Maybe LEOs in small towns would be a lot safer, too. Revolvers don't tempt the spray and pray reflex, either. So many advantages. I think cops were a LOT better with their weapons back when they carried revolvers than now days. At least I knew more of 'em that could shoot well.

I'm sure all the LEOs will be all over us as to why they NEED those wonder .40s, though. :D

JohnKSa
December 27, 2005, 01:23 AM
if you can handle it the .357 is a well rounded weaponAnd if you can't, you can shoot .38 spl ammo in it.

It's a no lose proposition...

gunfan
December 27, 2005, 01:28 AM
Revolver: .357 S&W Magnum.

Autoloader: 10mm Auto Pistol Cartridge

These are as versatile as they come!

Scott

wanderinwalker
December 27, 2005, 09:20 AM
IF I had to be forever forced to use only factory ammo, IF I could have only one handgun, IF it had to be a useable CCW, then I agree that a 4" .357 would be the most versatile and ideal.

But I don't live in that world, thankfully. Even with the .357s great reputation and performance, I prefer the .44 Magnum for my uses. I don't CCW, so an N-frame is no problem. The squirrels and chipmunks and chickadees and my dog really don't care about that steel hanging on my hip.

Need it for self-defense, or as a bedstand gun? Load it with a 200gr .44 Special. My girlfriend can even fire these through the N-frame, and she has small hands.

Want to have a nice practice load? Load some 240gr SWCs at 1000 fps and plink away. Still makes major power factor and is quite controllable. I reload and don't see why somebody, somewhere doesn't make this round in factory type. Perhaps some of the cowboy action stuff?

Care to go hunting or worried about large stuff? A hot 240gr or heavier round would be fine. Does it kick? Yeah, but not all of us find it particularly unpleasant.

Now if I was *forced* to only have a 4" .357, I certainly wouldn't pout in the corner either! :D

FWIW, I saw a picture a while back of a 12 year old girl who had killed a 200+ pound black bear with one shot from her .357 Handi-rifle. So I know it's a capable performer.

xring44
December 27, 2005, 09:32 AM
IF I had to be forever forced to use only factory ammo, IF I could have only one handgun, IF it had to be a useable CCW, then I agree that a 4" .357 would be the most versatile and ideal.

But I don't live in that world, thankfully. Even with the .357s great reputation and performance, I prefer the .44 Magnum for my uses. I don't CCW, so an N-frame is no problem. The squirrels and chipmunks and chickadees and my dog really don't care about that steel hanging on my hip.

Need it for self-defense, or as a bedstand gun? Load it with a 200gr .44 Special. My girlfriend can even fire these through the N-frame, and she has small hands.

Want to have a nice practice load? Load some 240gr SWCs at 1000 fps and plink away. Still makes major power factor and is quite controllable. I reload and don't see why somebody, somewhere doesn't make this round in factory type. Perhaps some of the cowboy action stuff?

Care to go hunting or worried about large stuff? A hot 240gr or heavier round would be fine. Does it kick? Yeah, but not all of us find it particularly unpleasant.

Now if I was *forced* to only have a 4" .357, I certainly wouldn't pout in the corner either! :D

FWIW, I saw a picture a while back of a 12 year old girl who had killed a 200+ pound black bear with one shot from her .357 Handi-rifle. So I know it's a capable performer.

+1:D I had to look to see if I had written that!

mtnbkr
December 27, 2005, 09:49 AM
Autoloader: 10mm Auto Pistol Cartridge
I don't understand. Sure, it's a powerful cartridge, but what makes it particularly versatile?

Chris

MCgunner
December 27, 2005, 10:46 AM
I agree and will state that no autoloader could be as versatile. The 10 comes about as close though, with .357 magnum energies and heavy bullets it can take game or protect from black bears or whatever. With a .40 barrel, and spring, it could shoot down loads, though it'd take a barrel swap in the field and you STILL aren't going to get .38 wadcutter accuracy for small game, most likely.

That's my case, or some of it, for revolvers as field use guns. They're more accurate out of the box, to boot! Some of 'em are down right rifle accurate, or at least will put 5 shots into four inches at 100 yards. Not too many brass chunkers can do that, perhaps a Desert Eagle with a good handload.

caz223
December 27, 2005, 04:23 PM
Agreed, a 3"-6" three-five-seven is a great beginner gun that nobody ever outgrows. And I hope as long as God gives me breath it will be legal to own and use. I hope I'll still have one to pass on to the younger generation when I'm too old and ornery to carry one. It's uses and mode of service guarantees that it will NEVER be obsolete.

That being said, don't overlook the 10mm smith 610 (And other 10mm autos, if you happen to handload.) a good stout .44 mag double action six-shooter, a 5 shot lightweight .38 spl snubby like the four-four-two, or .41 magnum wheels (My most favorite caliber of all time.)
Those, and a good shotgun will pretty much do 99% of what needs to be done.
The main problem with the .357 is that it doesn't qualify as a big bore.
My own personal definition of a big bore is any bullet that is .400 or larger around, makes major power factor easily, takes large primers, is capable of accomodating slugs of over 200 grains, while making the shooter grin from ear to ear. :)
That's where the fun starts getting expensive, making reloading almost mandatory.
In other words, the .357 is the last stop before fun stops becoming cost-effective if you don't handload.

Warren
December 27, 2005, 04:23 PM
I posted the the thread-starters POV on another list and the following is science fiction author L. Neil Smith's take on the issue.

Note: .40 Liberty is .40 S&W


Disagree.

I own a 4" Ruger Security Six which is a good weapon. It's a 1976
"200th Year of American Liberty" piece I've given an extensive and very
effective trigger job. It shoots straight and handles the hottest ammo
(the old S&W, Norma) without a hiccup. I carried a .357 on duty as a
reserve police officer. I also have a 6" S&W 686 made for silhueta with
an adjustable front sight.

HOWEVER: .357 Magnum is not really a magnum cartridge. It is a very
powerful conventional cartridge, but compared to 41 Magnum, .44 Magnum,
and .45 Winchester Magnum -- let alone the more recent giant cartridges
-- it doesn't reallyl amount to much.

.40 Liberty has virtually the same ballistics, given the proper
load, and identical terminal effects. I shot .40 for a long time in
silhueta (out of a S&W M610 revolver) and did very well. More often than
not I took first or second place. And since the gun was made to shoot
10mm Auto, right there it's at least as versatile as any .357, and a
great deal more powerful. The 5" 610 is very handy. I wish they'd made
an 8 3.8" model.

I prefer autopistols and can name several that are better than .357.
The fact that they'll all hold more rounds than a 4" .357 is ony one
factor. Although I love the 1911, my choice for best autopistol has to
be a Glock or an EAA 10mm.

But if I were stuck with a revolver only, mine would be a .44
Magnum, because it will do virtually anything, from killing a snake
(birdshot loads) to a rabbit (.44 Special) to and engine block (any good
240-grain load). And it can reach a long, long way.

Going into harm's way with a 4" .357 wheelgun is asking to have your
genes removed from the pool. They're extremely sensitive to barrel
length. If you _must_ have a .357, it should be a 6", at least.

N.

--
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cookekdjr
December 27, 2005, 04:37 PM
That settles it. I'm going to buy a 686.
No, wait. An sp101.
No, wait. I'll buy both.
Long live the .357!
-David

georgeduz
December 27, 2005, 04:54 PM
i have asked my old lady and she said bigger is better,so i am keeping my 6 and over pistols.its nice to reach out sometimes.

MCgunner
December 27, 2005, 05:07 PM
The .357, in 1935, was the most powerful handgun every made and could blow your head clean off.... ahem.... well, it was the very first magnum. Yes, while I might not consider the .32 H&R as much of a "magnum", the .357 is indeed! It predates the .41 and .44 which came along in the late 50s and early 60s. The .357 is the gun that COINED the word "magnum". Without it, the .44 might be a ".44 Super".:rolleyes: As mostly a promotional stunt in 1935, S&W execs killed every big game animal in north America with it. Better them than me on a brownie, but hey, I once saw William Shatner on ABC's "American Sportsman" stick a brownie at 30 yards with a friggin' bow. :rolleyes: I'm sure there were a couple of guys behind the camera with .375s locked and loaded, though. :D

Proud owner of a 2002 Silver Suzuki SV650S with 000025 miles on it.

Interesting. I have 17K and growing on my '01 red SV650S. :D

But if I were stuck with a revolver only, mine would be a .44
Magnum, because it will do virtually anything, from killing a snake
(birdshot loads) to a rabbit (.44 Special) to and engine block (any good
240-grain load). And it can reach a long, long way.

Well, no CCW carry there. And, the winner is.......357 magnum! :D

wanderinwalker
December 27, 2005, 11:16 PM
+1:D I had to look to see if I had written that!

Thanks! Glad somebody liked it! :D

Anyway, I frequently find myself trying to convince people that the .44 Maggie doesn't have to be a fire-breathing monster for all shooting. I find little need to push 240gr slugs at 1300-fps to just practice, other than because it is fun sometimes. (And my 629 shoots really well with that load.)

But for the non-handloader, I will always recommend a .357, in a GP-100 or 686.


MCgunner,

It's actually more like 15,000, but the original dash-board died, in spite of Suzuki's insistance that they don't fail. Not bad for 3 summers of riding, I think. Especially when I can't take my highpower gear on it! :rolleyes:

birddog
December 27, 2005, 11:29 PM
This is the Python that belonged to my late father-in-law. This is the first gun my wife ever shot (at apples, as a teenager), and it holds fond memories for both of us. I shot some pumpkins with it last fall, in the general spirit of produce destruction, and it performed flawlessly. The trigger is smooth as silk. I agree that the 4" platform and the caliber are a near-perfect combination though, while in bear country, I generally opt for a .44.

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=33132&stc=1&d=1135740422

Mike Sr.
December 27, 2005, 11:39 PM
But it still works well.:) My pre 27, 3 1/2" S&W.

http://www.fototime.com/{1B4166BC-8605-49E6-8797-68AC7BCF412A}/picture.JPG


You shoot the 5 or 4 screw Smith and you need proc-toe :what: :D :D :D exam...what a beauty...!!!

And those Diamond cut grips...WOW..

charliemopic
December 28, 2005, 12:06 AM
A new Taurus Tracker .357 6.5 inch. I' have 270 rounds thru it.

MCgunner
December 28, 2005, 12:06 AM
It's actually more like 15,000, but the original dash-board died, in spite of Suzuki's insistance that they don't fail. Not bad for 3 summers of riding, I think. Especially when I can't take my highpower gear on it!

Time to check valve lash. I checked mine couple of weeks ago and it's still in spec, no shims needed. I do need a new chain and sprockets, though. At about 15K, the chain suddenly started needing adjustments and not it's starting to make noises. Done priced the stuff, bout a hundred and a quarter.

I ride year round down here in the lone star. But, I split mileage between it and an old GL1100A Gold Wing. The Wing's my two wheel truck. The SV is my Masda Miata. :D

</threadjack>

Bob79
December 28, 2005, 01:03 PM
I'm glad to see all the postive responses here.

In regards to the 44 mag caliber, I agree thats its also useful, as you can obviously take down some very big game with it. And at the same time you can put in some soft hitting 200 grain 44 specials as well.

But the guns chambered in 44 are almost always fairly big in size, and ammo is not as cheap or plentiful. The .357 is just more versatile. You can conceal carry it in a SP101 or S&W J-frame, obviously with the downside being recoil in a smaller gun but it works. Then you have the medium sized guns like the K/L frames or Ruger GP/Six series that hold 6 or even 7 rounds in a gun that isn't overly large. And again, with 158-180 grain heavy load moving at 1200FPS+ you can take down some pretty big animals.

With all that and ammo for it everywhere at a cheap price is the reason though that I think the .357 beats out the others:)

Fatelvis
December 28, 2005, 06:09 PM
Most versitile, yes. Best for silhouettes and long range, no.

Deer Hunter
December 29, 2005, 10:10 PM
I love my S&W 625 in 5" barrel. Absolutly best pistol I've ever owned, along with being the most accurate. If it's man-sized and within 60 or so yards, it's going down. More realistically, it groups amazingly. Sturdy as hell, I couldn't break it if I tried. I can fire any number of .45 ACP bullets out of it, the hottest loads you could hand me. The Full moon clips give me extremely fast reload time.

Now, it's a really really great gun. Yet I'm getting a 10mm soon. Not sure which I'll like better.

Stainz
December 30, 2005, 07:31 AM
The best bargain in a 4" .357M new was the K-frame 4" 66. My pusher has a last year of production one still in the case at $449 - with the new style separate barrel liner and frame, a la the newest S&W models. A few inches away, with that same barrel, is the new 620 - at $489. Although it is the 66's replacement model, it really is an L-frame - with the 7-shot cylinder and thicker frame front for the standard L-frame sized forcing cone, fixing the supposed Achille's heel of the 65/66's. Like the 66, the 620 has the great handling/pointing partial lug.

My first .38 and .357M were purchased new in 9/03, actually, a 2" 10 and a 6" 66. My latest, from 12/04, is a 5" 686+ h-l. I don't own a 4" .38/.357M - that 620 is still 'on my list'. If I didn't have the reloading capability, I would come closer to agreeing that the 4" .38/.357M would be nearly ideal. Heck, as I don't shoot hot .357M's anyway, a 4" 67 (.38 +P rated) might do... but, for 2 oz and MSRP $27 more, I could have the 620 - with an additional round...

My 4" revolvers are N-frames - Mountain guns in .45 Colt and .44 Magnum, and a 625JM in .45 ACP. To be sure, the latter is probably the most sensible to own/plink with, especially if you don't reload yet like to shoot. Sure, it's target/plinking ammo is ~50% more at Wally World than cheap .38 Specials, but it is a highly shootable 'big bore'. You can load up some small ammo maker's, or homebrews, in .45 Auto Rim for hunting, too. If allowed to reload in my basement, I'd opt for my 629MG. I can shoot my 240gr LSWC/LRNFP at 700 fps from .44 Russian cases, 200gr Speer Gold Dots (or Blazer variants) in .44 Special for PD/HD, or, with my .500 Magnum grips fitted, some 'real' .44 Magnums. If sentiment counts (... and I still have my reloading press!), I'd choose that 625MG in .45 Colt - a gift from my wife and my first-ever S&W. It is uncannily accurate and fun.

So, I like big bores... but, I understand the plan - and a 4" .357M probably would be a fun and adaptable 'one only', if gun laws drastically changed. I just hope I have time to bury a few big bores in the back yard somewhere first!

Stainz

Cosmoline
December 30, 2005, 07:41 AM
I'd say the K-Frame 4" .357 and the Ruger Sec. Six represent the golden mean of handguns. Powerful, but with very manageable recoil. Easy fit in the hand. I've owned Model 13's, 19's and other Smiths along with several Security Sixes and I loved them all.

The *only* drawback of the 4" .357 is concealability. It is generally too round to be a comfortable IWB firearm, and sticks too far out for horizontal shoulder holsters. But take it down to 3" and that situation changes.

Marshall
January 2, 2006, 01:23 AM
Yep, the 4" K Frame 357 Mag is tough to beat. :)

S&W Model 13 HB
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c274/bunnfuzz/dcp_0519.jpg

Daddy Gee
July 3, 2009, 06:55 PM
I'm considering buying a .357. I shot some when I was younger, and I'm looking for something for protection, possibly CCW. I like the versatility of this gun.

Any suggestions for brand, muzzle length, etc. for starters? I'm a pretty good sized guy, but I haven't shot in a while...

Bill_G
July 4, 2009, 07:43 AM
i prefer my Ruger speed six myself....:neener:

but yeah a 4" is slightly more versatile:)

Crowbar Muldoon
July 4, 2009, 11:44 AM
Bill G, I would like your Speed Six too...:)

I used to have a M66 that I wish I had never sold. To see the target was to hit it....if all of you lined up and kicked me in the arse, it would not be enough punishment for losing that gun.....

Daddy Gee, welcome to the fold. If you are going to carry, carry-ability decreases as the barrel length increases. For CCW, you might consider a J frame unless you want to shoot .357 ammo exclusively, then a K frame might be better as far as S&W goes. The Ruger SP's are very good weapons also, the SP 101 in particular is a very good CCW gun that will eat a steady supply of .357 ammo....and of course the Colts are great guns as well. I can recommend the S&W M60--I have one (pro model)that I am tickled with lately as a home defense/CCW, it's a booger-bear to shoot .357 out of it, yet I am having a blast! (pun intended) The 3 inch barrel requires a little more diligence and practice to achieve what comes more easily to a 4 inch barrel. Plus you can shoot cheap .38 wadcutter at the range, and .38 +P ammo is good stuff for home defense too. Ultimately, you have a lot of choices...figure out what's most important to you, what is within your budget, stick with a reputable name and you won't go wrong.

Happy Fourth, everyone!!

GeezerwithGuns
July 4, 2009, 01:15 PM
51 years old and still going strong. One of the best kept Colt secrets: The Colt .357 Magnum

While the prices for Pythons continue to skyrocket, you can still find nice examples of the .357 at "decent" prices. Only real difference between this gun and a Python? The shrouded barrel. Personally, I think these balance better. I know this one shoots like a champ!


http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c355/geezer99/model357.jpg

Daddy Gee
July 4, 2009, 02:54 PM
thx for the suggestions!

My first inclination is to go with a semi-auto since that's what I shot when I was younger. However, for reliability, I have read a lot of posts about revolvers being more dependable.

tipoc
July 4, 2009, 04:21 PM
A three year old thread. With your question Daddy Gee a new thread may have been better.

tipoc

Guillermo
July 5, 2009, 01:03 PM
If you could have but one handgun, I too opine that a 4 inch 357 is the most versatile. With that in mind I gave my daughter a Smith & Wesson model 19 for her 15th birthday.

Beware the man (woman) with one gun

Clarence
July 5, 2009, 09:10 PM
I love my 4" 686, but if I could only have one revolver it would be a 4" M29.

I just think the .44 is a more versatile platform than the .357

Fortunately I'm not limited to just one revolver.

Deltaboy
July 6, 2009, 05:02 PM
I regret selling my old Colt Trooper III 4 inch 357 for a semi -auto.

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
July 6, 2009, 07:58 PM
I'm considering buying a .357. I shot some when I was younger, and I'm looking for something for protection, possibly CCW. I like the versatility of this gun.

Any suggestions for brand, muzzle length, etc. for starters? I'm a pretty good sized guy, but I haven't shot in a while...

Smith Wesson 4 inch Model 65.

Fixed sights will not snag clothing like adjustable sights.

4 inch may not be compact enough for CCW but IMO is the best all-around barrel length for .357 revo.

K-frame is not as compact and light as a J-frame, but since you are pretty good sized guy, should be fine.

Stainless steel for durable trouble free finish with minimal maintenance.

Smith Wesson...can't go wrong with them.

Stainz
July 7, 2009, 07:40 AM
A little follow-up re my last post in this thread - 3.5+ yr back. I did go to my pusher's in May '08 to get a 4" 620, having just sold a few Rugers. I perused the new-for-'08 4" 627 Pro. It was $80 more in the case... couldn't stand it. It came home, got a new front sight & grips, and what a keeper! Even though the moonclipped ammo won't jump in as if on a tractor beam, as a .45 ACP S&W does, it is faster than manual loading. I got 50 more 'clips and some easier/more consistent loading new Starline .357 Magnum brass. It's fun, so much so, my JM PC627 V-Comp is in jeopardy of leaving.

Here it is with my 625JM - another 'keeper'.

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_3511.jpg

Not a CCW, like the OP wanted, but what a fun plinker - and probably a great Zombie protection device, too.

Stainz

Fishman777
July 12, 2009, 02:23 AM
.44 magnum/.44 special and some of the other "big boys" may be a little more flexible at the higher power levels, but the .357 magnum is a lot more practical.

A medium framed .357 magnum can do everything that I need it to. I would take a good .357 magnum revolver over any other handgun, if it came down to just having access to one handgun. No question.

sw282
July 14, 2009, 12:19 PM
I have N frames and K frames. Also a couple J ones. K fits me best. Will be getting a 4" 19 shortly. Just have to decide what grip. I would really love to put a set of Stag service grips on it

Zeke/PA
July 15, 2009, 01:51 PM
I just LOVE my 686 !!!!

OurSafeHome.net
July 15, 2009, 02:19 PM
The 4 inch .357 Magnum is "The One Gun That Does It All".

Dogbite
July 15, 2009, 04:20 PM
I totally agree with the OP. The 357 is a very versatile handgun. Everyone should have one. Plink with 38's. Load up with 125 grain 357 magnums for self defense. Load up with hard cast heavy bullets for hunting deer and boar. I used to carry snake shot in mine while fishing. It really is an amazing platform. Oh, yeah, in 35 years of shooting revolvers, I have had ONE malfunction. It was a freak thing, a particle of lead jammed the cylinder and it was unable to turn--ONE malfunction--and my father and I have shot the heck out of revolvers our whole lives. I grew up shooting a model 19 Smith, and it will always have a place in my heart.

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