Another One: SD Only- .357Mag or .45ACP?


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HMMurdock
August 29, 2007, 04:43 PM
Probably done in the past... repeatedly. But here we go again. For self defense only-- no mall ninja house-raiding --which is more sufficient at one-shot stopping a giant crackhead nazi?

Okay, in all seriousness, citing actual experience and/or scientific proof, which round delivers a better chance of halting an assailant?

Shot placement is key-- this I know. But I'm getting a sidearm for my fiancee who will get enough range time to be comfortable with it but not enough to rely on marksmanship when the chips are down. I know the "whatever works best for her" response that will come flooding in, but I'm just comparing apples and oranges for the sake of it so let's play along...

All aspects of principle, recoil, reliability, etc. aside-- simple round for round, which one has higher chances of delivering a fatal blow in one round?

Thanks, all.

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fletcher
August 29, 2007, 04:45 PM
My vote is for .357 magnum, but unless the shot is well-made at one or two places, odds are you won't get a 1-shot-stop. General rule is "at least two shots". Power is no substitute for skill.

But I'm getting a sidearm for my fiancee who will get enough range time to be comfortable with it but not enough to rely on marksmanship when the chips are down
That's a big risk to take.

Jimmie
August 29, 2007, 05:02 PM
The crowd favorite has always been the 125gr .357. But she's not going to like shooting it, she's not going to shoot it well, she's not going to practice with it, and when "the chips are down," she's probably going to miss. Just the facts, ma'am.

RoadkingLarry
August 29, 2007, 05:17 PM
Better a hit with a .22RF than a miss with a .357mag

Headless
August 29, 2007, 05:23 PM
I'd vote 357...start with low recoil .38SPL standard pressure; work her way up to mild .357.

Brian Williams
August 29, 2007, 05:35 PM
BOTH, NEITHER, THE 45, OR THE 357.

They both are great SD rounds from a handgun, have her shoot the gun first and then get what she needs and can use.
Go visit the www.corneredcat.com

obxned
August 29, 2007, 06:27 PM
Both are good, but the .357 depends on proper bullet expansion to do the job.

rantingredneck
August 29, 2007, 06:31 PM
She's gonna hate shooting the magnum, which means she won't shoot it at all, or if she does it'll be stoked with .38's. I'd go with a .45ACP as the recoil is nowhere near as punishing as full house .357's.

Plus, like ned said, a .357 may or may not expand. A .45 ain't gonna shrink.

New_geezer
August 29, 2007, 06:40 PM
I know the "whatever works best for her" response that will come flooding in, but I'm just comparing apples and oranges for the sake of it so let's play along...

Don't think you can really blow by this point. You're talking about your fiancee and she'll be the one pulling the trigger. I would feel well armed with either a 45 or a 357 because I shoot both calibers pretty well. To choose, for HD I really like a 1911, for walking a trail I prefer a 357.

My 5'4" wife however really likes, practices, and shoots well her Bersa 380. As Roadking said, better a small caliber hit than a large caliber miss.

Sorry but when talking about someone else I don't think you can frame your question that way.

DawgFvr
August 29, 2007, 06:44 PM
125 grain Corbon DPX all copper Barnes Bullet .357 magnum. Rantingredneck: My new hybra ported GP100 is a popgun compared to my .45 ACP and the Corbon will expand all the time...every time.

earplug
August 29, 2007, 07:00 PM
I don't understand the problems people have with A .357? Don't they practice and develop skills with A lesser cartridge?

rantingredneck
August 29, 2007, 07:26 PM
My new hybra ported GP100 is a popgun compared to my .45 ACP and the Corbon will expand all the time...every time

Granted, but that's one model and one round we're comparing here.

I don't understand the problems people have with A .357? Don't they practice and develop skills with A lesser cartridge?

That's just the point though. The OP said she'd get enough practice to be comfortable but not enough to rely on her marksmanship skills. That to me says there's a real risk of her going to the range, shooting the .357's and deciding to drop to the .38's or worse stop going at all. Not to say a .38 isn't adequate for SD, it most certainly is, but then we're not comparing .45 to .357 any more.

The best thing I can suggest is what the OP asked us not to mention. Take her to the range and let her try them out and find out what works best for her.

It may be a .45, a .357, a .380 or a .32. Bottom line is if she can hit what she aims at with a mousegun it's better than missing with a magnum.

Quoheleth
August 29, 2007, 08:43 PM
No disrespect intended, but if that's all she's intending to practice, and if marksmanship (markswomanship???) isn't a forte, perhaps a Mossberg 500 - 20 gauge with BB shot would be best. At least if she doesn't practice much, she still has a snowball's chance in Houston to hit the target.

Q

WVMountainBoy
August 29, 2007, 08:55 PM
I vote the .357 for the reason of being able to practice with the .38 spl loads and working the way up to the full house .357 Both these round are more than capable of a one shot drop, but the .357 gives the ability of practicing with a reduced recoil load in a simplified platform as a revolver is point and click when loaded. The .45 really only whens in my opinion when you consider 8-10 rounds compared 5-7 rounds in magazine capicity.

Snapping Twig
August 29, 2007, 09:25 PM
I vote for the .45acp. I just finished assisting in a tactical pistol course comprised of both men and women. I brought several different revolvers for the students to try during the breaks and the women all felt the .357 was a bit much recoil-wise. Follow-up shots were out of the question.

Shot placement is the key and few rounds have BOTH the stopping power and follow-up shot capability of the .45acp.

The pistol must fit the hand and practice is paramount.

Let her try different pistols and whatever she selects, practice, practice and practice some more.

ps

I agree that the 125g HP out of a .357 is THE preeminent SD round, but over penetration tips the hand to the .45acp for me.

HMMurdock
August 29, 2007, 09:57 PM
I shouldn't have mentioned my fiancee's search for a defense pistol. That is simply what brought about the "Apples v. Oranges" of .357 and .45. I meant to push aside the "attributes" of the rounds, such as mag capacity and recoil and simply comparing the terminal capability of these two rounds, say, from benchrest?

I don't mean this to be "which is best for her?" thread. She already has a Remington 870 for home and whatever you guys say won't affect what she gets. I shouldn't have mentioned her. I'm just curious, when analyzing .45 ACP and .357 Magnum, which is more effective at it's job once it has entered the target?

For the sake of argument, let's say I'm choosing the round for myself and I will be living at the range and a demi-god of a shot. I already said I know shot placement is key, but let us pretend the moons and stars aren't aligned right and the round lands in a non-vital area... see what I'm getting at?

With proper loads, the .357 Magnum provides more "stopping power" (I hate such a vague phrase), but also lends itself to over penetration while the .45ACP is a consistent manstopper regardless of bullet-type and is not as likely to exit the target's body after impact? Is this the common consensus?

wheelgunslinger
August 29, 2007, 10:26 PM
The 45 doesn't shrink and the 357 may not expand in a non vital hit. This is the crucial point.
And the physics of 255 graners moving at 900 fps versus 150ish grains moving at 1200 fps seems quite elementary to me in terms of what I want to see happen.
BUT
With the proper load and the proper weapon to fire it from (long enough barrel for the 357) it should be 6 of one or half a dozen of the other when it comes to an average subject.
one-shot stopping a giant crackhead nazi?

I'm going to go with the 45, since I know a great big guy who actually took 6 rounds of 357 and lived to tell about it, but can't say the same for 45.

Rexster
August 29, 2007, 10:53 PM
Overpenetration of the .357, at least with the 125-grain loads that developed such a rep for stopping power? That is a MYTH that should have died in the 1970's. With the bullet R&D that has occured since then, the premium duty-type loads of either cartridge will penetrate the optimum distance, from service-handgun barrels. More important is the weapons themselves. An inordinate number of women are intimidated by the slide of a large service pistol moving toward them. A large number of women, and men, too, are intimidated by the .357 mag full-power loads. Both can be mitigated with training. Moreover, get real; there is no one-shot solution to a broad range of assailants. My recommendation is a medium-large frame .357, and let her work up to her comfort level.

RyanM
August 29, 2007, 11:03 PM
I'd prefer .40 S&W. But given those two, I'd prefer .45 ACP 230 gr Winchester Ranger Talons.

orionengnr
August 29, 2007, 11:27 PM
With proper loads, the .357 Magnum provides more "stopping power" (I hate such a vague phrase), but also lends itself to over penetration while the .45ACP is a consistent manstopper regardless of bullet-type and is not as likely to exit the target's body after impact? Is this the common consensus?

Common consensus? Not a chance.

Sweeping generalization, which will be supported by some and disputed by an even greater number? Yep, probably.

My .02? While I love both rounds, the .357 is typically chambered in revolvers, which have a higher bore axis and transmit, rather than absorb recoil. A 1911 type pistol's lower bore axis, plus it's energy-absorbing recoil system mean that, all things equal, a 1911 is far more pleasant to shoot. It's trigger makes it easier to shoot well.

I own, shoot and enjoy both. I shoot a 1911 better. That, combined with the fact that that it holds 2-3 more rounds to begin with, and reloads quicker...well, you can see which way the scales are tipping, can't you? :)

RPCVYemen
August 29, 2007, 11:46 PM
But I'm getting a sidearm for my fiancee...

You already screwed up! :)

The bottom line, from what I have heard on the web (and what I know about women) is that any sentence that starts with that phrase is already way, way off course.

I forget whether this was from SpringMom or one of the other ladies on THR, but the right way to help a wife or fiancee buy a weapon is to take her someplace where you can rent a number of guns, let her try a number of weapons in any number of calibers, and let her pick any handgun in any caliber she wants. Buy it for her, but you're basically a cheerleader - not an advisor - for whatever she wants.

The key words in the above are "any handgun in any caliber she wants".

The only important words in the above paragraph are "any handgun in any caliber she wants."

Notice it doesn't matter at all what your or the entire collective wisdom of THR wants - all that matter is what she wants.

And I do really suggest you not try to share your vast wisdom about what women like. If you hit the range regularly, you will see skinny little women perfectly comfortable with 357 magnums and 1911s.

Here's a quote from Conered Cat:


"How to Make Your Wife Hate Guns"
...
When she is willing to get a gun of her own, donít let her get a gun she has picked out herself. If she wants a semi-auto, insist she starts with a revolver. If she wants a revolver, make her start with a semi-auto. If she wants a 1911, get her something smaller Ė like a titanium snubby with rudimentary sights, or one of those tiny .380 semi-autos that weigh next to nothing. When she complains about snappy recoil, let her feel like a wimp and donít let her find out that itís often easier to shoot a heavier gun.

Check out:

http://www.corneredcat.com/

The only important words in the above paragraphs are "any handgun in any caliber she wants."

Mike

ArchAngelCD
August 29, 2007, 11:59 PM
Nothing wrong with a big-bore cartridge but the .357 Magnum is a proven "knock-down" round. It's hard hitting with a lot of energy and velocity.

hexidismal
August 30, 2007, 12:02 AM
There should have been a poll option for 'both'. There are two guns I use as my primary carry guns now. One is a .357 (SW 66 2 1/2") and the other one is a .45 (1911 5"). Without getting into caliber wars.. those two are the only calibers I want to carry, but I feel equally comfortable and protected with either one. Even though I normally carry the .45 though... if I really had to pick one of the two to answer your original question, I suppose I'd have to say I believe the .357 has a slight edge if you're talking specifically about the chances of a 1 shot stop based on the cartridge alone. I also believe though, that I personally would make a better shot with the single action .45 over the double action .357 .. so even though I think the .357 has a potential edge in the right hands, MY chances of making a 1 shot stop would be better with the .45.

john1911
August 30, 2007, 12:14 AM
Either one will work fine. Let her pick the one she is most comfortable with.

Someone else mentioned a shotgun. That is probably the wisest choice if she's not going to carry. It's easier to learn to shoot a shotgun (or rifle) well than any handgun.

Personally, I choose a 45acp for self defense. If I'm gonna shoot something with the muzzle flash and recoil of a .357, I'll choose a proper magnum round and use a .44.

glockman19
August 30, 2007, 02:13 AM
158 grain JHP .357 = 428-451 lb. ft. of energy out of a 4" barrel @ 50 yards.
230 grain JHP .45 = 326-377 lb. ft. of energy out of a 5" barrel @ 50 yards.

I'll take the .357.

jpwilly
August 30, 2007, 02:19 AM
45's Hit more of the target :neener:

Risasi
August 30, 2007, 09:11 AM
Aside from .22, the .357 and .45acp are my two favorite handgun rounds. I prefer 38/357 in wheelguns, and .45 for bottom feeders.
But honestly, regardless if which sex I am. If I were told I'd be limited to these two calibers, regardless of what I liked, I'd be pretty angry with you.

A handgun is one of the most personal tools one can find. There is no one be-all, end-all handgun. If there were all of us would own and carry it. Don't keyhole your future wife. All you will do is go He-Man on her and drive her away from carrying what she is comfortable with. If you really love her let her try as many guns as she can shoot, and SHE can pick which caliber is best for her.

easyg
August 30, 2007, 09:40 AM
I think the .357 magnum is the better man-stopper.

But I would choose the .45 because it's more pleasant to shoot for me, follow-up shots are quicker for me, and it offers more magazine capacity.

1911austin
August 30, 2007, 10:09 AM
I'd prefer .40 S&W. But given those two, I'd prefer .45 ACP 230 gr Winchester Ranger Talons.


Black Talons were discontinued quite long ago. Why carry 10+ year old ammo that has since been outclassed by newer offerings? :confused:


I like the .45acp for carry.

PrimaryB
August 30, 2007, 10:19 AM
You mention SD? Is this a purse gun? 357 recoil and follow up shots obviously becomes more difficult with a shorter or lighter gun and that you already know. I apologize in advance for not sticking to your poll options but have you considered a 9mm, perhaps an XD or other make of your choice?

I have owned 9mm's but do not currently have one. Conventional 1911's vs wheel gun 357..............one more round?

There is a compromise that fits her needs but only she will know what it is.

I believe a person should have a personal attachment to a SD gun. Know it, love it but by all means feel comfortable with it. Heck a slingshot is better than nothing. :)

PB

md7
August 30, 2007, 10:28 AM
I like both rounds just fine, but like the .357 a little better. Just a personal preference.

Vern Humphrey
August 30, 2007, 11:54 AM
The only handgun I have ever used "for real" is a Colt M357 -- and it did the job, both times.

But today I carry an M1911 (a Kimber Classic MK I). For ergonometrics and robustness, it beats a revolver. It terms of actual shootings, it seems the equal of the .357. And it carries easier.

High Planes Drifter
August 30, 2007, 12:45 PM
Id take her to a gun store and let her pick the gun she is comfortable holding, whatever caliber it is.

As far as the .357 vs. .45 thing, .357 has better #'s, but I'll take my .45 because, as said above, being comfortable with the weapon and shooting it well is a heck of a lot more important than the round itself.

JesseL
August 30, 2007, 01:43 PM
Ballisticly, I think both rounds are fine as defensive handgun rounds go.

I don't like how much more noise and flash the 357 typically has over the 45.

RyanM
August 30, 2007, 01:48 PM
Black Talons were discontinued quite long ago. Why carry 10+ year old ammo that has since been outclassed by newer offerings?

Black Talons were discontinued. Ranger Talons, Winchester's improved and updated, more PC, law-enforcement only line, is much more recent. But there are sources who'll sell to anyone, if you look hard enough.

http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=000964

I prefer the blunter expanded shape of 180 gr Rem Golden Sabers in .40, and frankly, you'll never catch me buying Winchester since their LE only policy on the only good ammo they make disgusts me, but if I absolutely had to pick between .357 mag and .45 ACP, it'd be .45 230 WRT. It's quite a good round.

Feanaro
August 30, 2007, 01:49 PM
I will take a .45 Hydrashock, thank you. 12 inches of penetration and a final diameter of .7 inches (http://www.brassfetcher.com/230grainHSSB.html). Even if it fails to open, it won't shrink.

Wheeler44
August 30, 2007, 02:58 PM
When I owned a roofing company my wife wanted to work with me. She had to have her own tools. I encouraged her to buy a brand X tape measure and a brand Y knife and a brand Z chalk line.
But when it came time to pick a roofing hatchet, the one tool that puts beans on the table and blisters on the hand, I took her to the store that had the biggest variety and encouraged her to try them all for fit and feel.
Of course she liked the most expensive one. It had the best balance and fit her hand best.
She got that one, and after a couple years dropped out of the roofing part of the business to keep the books and raise the kids. I got her hatchet.

miko
August 30, 2007, 03:12 PM
Compare apples to apples.

A 4" 7-round 686 is the same size and weight as a 1911 - about 38 ounces.
Shooting 125gr or even 158gr .357 Mags out of it not at all unpleasant - just a gentle push and slight muzzle rise.

Sure, if you shoot one from 24-ounce 3" steel J-frame, you will feel it. If you shoot it out of 12-ounce Scandium, you will remember it until the day you die. But a comparable, full-size L-frame? Don't worry about it.

My wife had no problem whatsoever shooting .357 out of my 686 - she was pleasantly surprised when switching from 38 to 357 as she expected much worse.
The abundance of grips for revolvers and ability to do a surgery on them can insure most comfortable feel - which may be very important for a woman that does not practice much.

My vote is 357 - though for indoor HD use I would consider loading the first couple of chambers with 38+P - apparently the blast indoor is quite impresive, flash and bang.

miko

Geronimo45
August 30, 2007, 04:06 PM
though for indoor HD use I would consider loading the first couple of chambers with 38+P - apparently the blast indoor is quite impresive, flash and bang.
True. The .357 Magnum is about 10 decibels higher than .38 Specials... and on one sight I looked at, it beat .30-06 from an 18" barrel by a hair (noisewise).

.357 Magnum goes up to 11. :D

Noxx
August 30, 2007, 07:44 PM
Id take her to a gun store and let her pick the gun she is comfortable holding, whatever caliber it is.

Just keep some elbow room on your credit card if you do this. I did the same when I got married and my wife picked out a 226. $$

HMMurdock
August 30, 2007, 11:37 PM
One last time: She's already going to be the one to pick the one she likes, nor is she somehow limited to these two calibers. This was simply a hypothetical.

Anyone care to comment on the misconception(?) that .357 Magnum has a tendency to overpenetrate?

Also, with the .45ACP being an obviously larger round, what is it that the .357 does that makes up for lack in size? How does the muzzle velocity translate into cleaning someone's clock when the projectile only expands to be so large...?

miko
August 31, 2007, 11:41 AM
Anyone care to comment on the misconception(?) that .357 Magnum has a tendency to overpenetrate?
There is no satisfactory solution to achieving stopping power without increasing penetration. You want one, you get the other.
Any effective ammo - in any caliber - overpenetrates. There is none that would not go through a few plaster walls.
You can go with birdshot, of course, but people have been known to take a load in the chest point-blank and not sustain debilitating injuries.

With .357 you have more load options without worrying if that particular type of ammy will chamber reliably or work the slide.


Also, with the .45ACP being an obviously larger round, what is it that the .357 does that makes up for lack in size?
Energy is proportional to square of velocity, so a lighter .357 packs more energy than a heavier .45.
Velocity is what makes for reliable expansion - and expanded .357 may well leave bigger hole than expanded .45.

miko

BikerRN
August 31, 2007, 05:16 PM
I love the 357 Magnum, but my follow up shots are slower.

Therefore I carry and shoot a 45 acp revolver when I'm off-duty. Even with +P 185 grain Corbon loads I find it recoils less than what I would carry in the 357. To me the only 357 load I would use is Federal 125 grain JHP's or Remington 125 grain SJHP's.

Take a look at the new S&W Revolvers if you decide to go with a wheelie. The Model 22-4 is real nice, and so is the 625. The nice thing about a revolver is, you do not have "feeding" issues and the bottom plate of the magazine won't fall off when you are shooting.

Biker

Vern Humphrey
August 31, 2007, 05:28 PM
The nice thing about a revolver is, you do not have "feeding" issues and the bottom plate of the magazine won't fall off when you are shooting.
On the other hand, a grain of unburned powder under the ejector star won't put your automatic out of action, and the cylinder won't fall off when you go to reload. (Both problems have been reported here fairly recently.)

DevilDog0402
September 1, 2007, 01:06 PM
I still consider the .357 mag King of the Hill as a self defense round. With that said, I don't own any revolvers (YET). I own autos in 9mm, .357 Sig, .40, and .45.

1911RjB
September 1, 2007, 01:44 PM
i carry a .45 ACP with 185 grain JHP Winchester Super X's .45 ACP gets my vote. I like the expansion and the follow up shots are much quicker.

But a .45 or .357 is a lot of power for some of the smaller ladies out there, smaller men too.

Take her to the range with a wide selection of pistols to choose from, which ever she shots the best with and likes to shoot, get her one of those, and i don't think you would have to worry about 1 shot stopping power.

BlindJustice
September 1, 2007, 02:53 PM
Both...
My S & W 625 with the 225 gr. Barnes XPB or
my S & W 686P with 180 gr. Hornady XTP both
shoot well, and recoil is nearly the same
Oh, the 625 load is in Auto RIm, the reloads are
FUll Moon clips in .45 ACP 225 gr. SWC.
which is faster than the 7 round HKS
Speedloaders for the .357.

Eyesac
September 1, 2007, 05:09 PM
I feel like pistol wounds (assuming they penetrate enough to reach vital organs) depend greatly on caliber. A 357 that expands all the way might only expand to .5 (give or take) on a great day. A 45 on a great day might expand to .7, which seems to me to be a great deal bigger when we're talking about big bleeding holes. If you don't hit a heart or a brain or a spinal cord, you're left with: which round will make a bigger hole to bleed out of.

Eyesac
September 1, 2007, 05:21 PM
I would also like to add, that for me personally, I think 50AE is a better man stopper than 357 or 45. However, I'm not anywhere near comfortable with carrying or shooting a .50, so I'd say let her decide.

Rexster
September 1, 2007, 05:59 PM
Overpenetration means a bullet goes through its intended target, and hurts someone or something else. The .357 defensive loads do not tend to overpenetrate. Hunting loads, designed for deep penetration in large animals, may indeed overpenetrate when used against human targets. The 125-grain loads have been criticized for years as not penetrating deeply enough, being accused of "blowing up" and such. I shot a skinny bad guy with a 125-grain Federal Classic, and it did not overpenetrate, but penetrated quite deeply enough, and fragmented. I don't mind SOME degree of fragmentation, and still use the same load today in my 4" Rugers. MISSING is an entirely different subject, as that discussion involves penetration through building materials. Velocity will increase penetration in building materials, all else being equal. I have not conducted tests in building materials, so cannot speak with authority on that. I have recovered .45 ACP bullets, that appeared to be hardball FMJ, that had penetrated the rear doors of a van, and then penetrated multiple seats, before lodging in sheet metal in the dash area. That's quite a bit of penetration into a vehicle.

Socrates
September 1, 2007, 09:44 PM
Okay, in all seriousness, citing actual experience and/or scientific proof, which round delivers a better chance of halting an assailant?

I have, and carry both. Given a choice, I always take heavy for caliber bullets, since most SD guns have shorter barrels, and, heavier bullets tend to create more resistance, and, loose less velocity. YMMV.

As John Linebaugh used to tell me, pistols are like a punch press, they punch a hole through the target, period. The bigger the hole, the better chance you have of getting your result. To compare the two calibers, you have to take specific loads, out of certain guns, and decide what you are going to shoot.

To answer your question: I think the .357, but, not for the reason you think.
I think the reason the .357 is so effective is flash and bang. A lot of those .357 shootings are at night, and, police using short barreled guns, bugs or otherwise, at point blank range. Much like a flash bang grenade, the .357's obnoxious, loud sound, combined with a large amount of powder burning outside the barrel, in a huge flash, combine to deafen, and blind the attacker, ending in a one shot stop. If you've ever shot a snubby, or been next to a guy at the range shooting a .357 snubby with full house loads, you'll have a really good idea of what I'm talking about.

That said, most 100-140 grain .357 bullets just don't penetrate enough to explain the great success everyone says about the .357 magnum. The 158-180's can. In 45 ACP, Double Tap has a 230 grain Gold Dot load, going 1010fps, that penetrates 15.5", and opens up to .95" doing it. That's a big hole.

With the .357, you have to slow the bullet down, keeping it from expanding, so it will penetrate more. Also, the .357 has less frontal area, and, since it's smaller, the chance of bullets failing to work is higher.

When in doubt, I like preexpanded bullets...

S esq.

clang
September 2, 2007, 03:51 AM
.357 magnum or .45 ACP?

The choice is between good and better - you decide which is which. If you go the .357mag route, I prefer heavier bullets - the old 158gr type.

You really need to think more about the platform that will be launching these projectiles. If she is going to carry, she will probably want something light. Most people don't like shooting full house loads out of lightweight guns. A 9mm or 38special or even something smaller may be all she can handle from a lightweight firearm. And better to have the lightweight 9mm, 380 or even 32acp that you carry, than the heavy .357magnum or .45acp that you left at home.

If this gun will be for home defense, make sure you buy something massive enough to tame some recoil, but still fits her hand well.

If your fiancee is big enough to handle the full house loads in a light gun - then be carefull not to ever get her too upset - one day she may beat the crap out of you!

BikerRN
September 2, 2007, 08:56 AM
On the other hand, a grain of unburned powder under the ejector star won't put your automatic out of action, and the cylinder won't fall off when you go to reload. (Both problems have been reported here fairly recently.)

Problems can and do develop with any man made item. That is why I "test" anything I carry.

I have had unburned powder under the ejector of a revolver before at the range, but not with good ammo in a well cared for revolver when firing the first couple of cyclinders full. This to me is more of a "range" issue than a "street" issue. The reason I say that is because on the "street" it is unlikely that I will fire a cylinder full, let alone a reloaded cylinder.

Besides, if I have a "problem" with the Primary Arm I will drop it and go for the BUG. I carry a BUG even when I carry an autoloader off duty. I have found that a BUG in a revolver format tends to be a "hair" more reliable than any BUG size autoloader due to the amount of "crud" they pick up from the locations a BUG is often carried in.

Biker

MikePGS
September 2, 2007, 02:50 PM
No disrespect intended, but if that's all she's intending to practice, and if marksmanship (markswomanship???) isn't a forte, perhaps a Mossberg 500 - 20 gauge with BB shot would be best.
That would be of course hitting the nail on the head. Sorry again HM, i know you just want a breakdown of the two rounds in which case i'd give the advantage to the .357... but if your not going to practice a lot with either of these rounds then odds are you won't shoot them well. A 20 gauge is a very lightkicking round, even loaded with buckshot. You'd be more likely to shoot well with such a lightkicking load than you would with a handgun, and as its been famously said before the buckshot out of a 20 gauge does damage that's the equivalent of 2 .44 mag slugs hitting someone simultaneously. You should at least look into it, but ultimately whatever you decide i just hope she's comfortable with the gun, and practices to the point of being proficient with it. And of course don't force her to shoot if she doesn't want to:)

geekWithA.45
September 2, 2007, 03:55 PM
A million GIs and another million cops can't be wrong.

Pick either.

critrxdoc
September 9, 2007, 10:07 PM
357mag is still the gold standard metric and always will be IMHO:)

S&Wfan
September 10, 2007, 12:17 AM
My wife votes for .45ACP hands down.

She "enjoys" shooting .45ACP but ain't fond of .357 at all.;)

That big ol,' dumb and slow bullet makes a BIG hole too that gives up nothing, IMHO to the mighty .357.

Zeke Menuar
September 10, 2007, 12:33 AM
I'd rather have 14 rounds of 45 than 6 or 7 rounds of 357.

Revolvers are obsolete. I stopped relying on them for self defense years ago.

ZM

Schwebel
September 10, 2007, 05:52 AM
I think you just need to take her to the range and fire a couple different calibers and configurations of guns. I think the platform that she shoots well is more important than the caliber when trying to pick a weapon. If she likes 1911's,...then .45 is ur answer. If she like polymer wonder guns, then you have plenty of calibers to choose from. If she likes wheelies, then a .357 is probally your answer. If this is only going to be a house gun, I think a 12 guage shotgun is a better answer for a home only weapon. A "crackhead nazi" as you put it won't stand a chance against against a handfull of buckshot at close range.

My gf shot about 6 different kinds and calibers of guns before she picked out her carry gun. She now carries a P239 DAK .357 sig, it was the gun she shot the best and felt most comfortable with, it happened to be the most expensive one she shot too,....go figure.

BikerRN
September 10, 2007, 06:49 AM
I'd rather have 14 rounds of 45 than 6 or 7 rounds of 357.

Revolvers are obsolete. I stopped relying on them for self defense years ago.

ZM

Zeke, I disagree. There is a lot of good work that can be done with a revolver. I carry an autoloader that is issued by my Agency. On my own time I will carry the "obsolete" revolver or two.

Why do you need 14 rounds of 45? Is your accurracy that bad that you have to "spray and pray"? If you are an On-Duty LEO I can see having the "normal" capacity magazines because the handgun is often used for "offensive" purposes by LEO's. In a true self defense encounter by a civilian the revolver works just fine. Granted, as an Off-Duty LEO I carry for protection of myself and my family, not the protection of society. I do not go looking to project myself in to "harm's way".

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against anyone except a criminal owning or using "Hi-Cap" magazines, I just think they are not the answer to tactical and accurracy problems. When LEO Agencies went from the revolver to the "bottomfeeders" there was a mindset change as well. Accurracy became less important.

If someone knows how to shoot a revolver well they can transistion to other firearms, like a Glock, really easily. That isn't the case in reverse. The Double Action Revolver is one of the hardest firearms to learn to shoot well, but once learned, is a skill that stays with you. I have yet to find any autoloader that "points" as well as my revolvers.

Also, full size revolvers are easier to hide in my opinion compared to their autoloader counterparts. I carry an N-Frame S&W 4"er Off-Duty with a J-Frame as a BUG. When I carry my Block Off-Duty it can be noticed much more easily, and I use and wear good leather for all my guns.

Malfunction Drill? If you have to do one in the middle of a gunfight as a civilian you are already dead. Sorry, but their is no do over. If I have a "problem" with the revolver I just cycle the trigger again. Granted, a true "jam" with a revolver will not clear as easy as in an autoloader, but either way, you're already dead at that point.

Most self defense encounters take place at "bad breath" distances. How sure are you that your autoloader will fire when you shove it hard in to the belly of your opponent? I know that my revolver will cycle the action at a time like this. Can you fire your autoloader from a jacket pocket and not have it malfunction? I know I can fire my five rounds of 38 Special in this situation and the only "problem" I might have is my jacket catching on fire.

Will your autoloader function properly if you can't get a good grip on it, or have to fire it one handed? Your support hand may be busy, remember we are talking "bad breath" distances here. You may be deflecting a knife or even a gun as you are shooting. What about when your opponnent's blood, skin and intestinal matter "blow back" on your gun from that belly shot? Will it jam?

No, revolvers are not obsolete.

Biker

jeepmor
September 10, 2007, 09:50 AM
If it is a CCW, the 45 for capacity and lower recoil considering it is for a lady.

If either cause her to develop a flinch, you are doing her a disservice.

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