Should I go .357 or .44?


September 11, 2007, 08:33 PM
I have boiled down to a GP100 .357 or Redhawk 44 for my revolver. I will shoot only .38's out of the GP100. This will be mostly a range/fun gun but it might pull some house gun duty. Which should I choose and why?

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September 11, 2007, 08:35 PM
If you are wanting to shoot it for fun, and don't plan on reloading, .357 can be cheaper to shoot as you can put .38s in it. Also, .357 would make a fine home defense gun imo.

I guess my vote is .357 for what you described its use to be.

September 11, 2007, 08:39 PM
with your criteria .357

September 11, 2007, 08:49 PM
Dot, dot????

September 11, 2007, 08:54 PM
Yup, .357

September 11, 2007, 09:01 PM
But the 44 is so cool. :D How does recoil compare between .38 and .44?

September 11, 2007, 09:02 PM
well, that depends on the size of the guns obviously, but in my opinion compare maybe a 9mm to a 45ACP....

September 11, 2007, 09:17 PM
I have them both. If you would ever stand the possibility of going hunting with it, I would go with the Redhawk. Other than that, the GP-100 would be my choice. I sure like 44Mag's though, fun, accurate, and powerful.

September 11, 2007, 09:21 PM
For practicality, the GP-100, but I voted .44 cause I love the Redhawk. :D

I have 4 .357's though, including a GP-100.

If you reload the .357 is extremely versatile. If you don't you still have two choices (three really) light .38 target loads, heavy .38 loads, and screaming .357 loads.

Get em both, but if you can't do that, get the GP-100 for starters.

September 11, 2007, 09:26 PM
Hard to beat a Redhawk shooting Blazer .44 specials for plinking fun. Its also a wonderful self defense load (200gr Gold dot at approx 875 fps).

September 11, 2007, 09:26 PM
I went S&W 686 & 629. The 686 4" .357 Magnum is enjoyable to shoot All Day Long. Ammo is less expensive and plentiful. The 629 5" .44 Magnum is one beast of a gun. much heavier recoil, a real fire breathing dragon. Fun to shoot at night. Ammo is more expensive.

Do as I did, Get the .357 first and then go with the .44.

I like the GP 100 & the SP 101 and the Redhawk .44 is nice too. I would only consider Ruger & S&W revolvers in my collection. has great prices.check them out:

They offer a GE Money Credit card with NO payments & NO Interest for 90 days a great way to go.

GP100 3" $471.50:

Redhawk 44 Rem Mag 5Ĺ" Blued $544.11:

What ever one you get enjoy.

September 11, 2007, 11:56 PM
I have both calibers, and to sit down and pick just one would be quite difficult. I have several .357s of varying barrel lengths, and each get loaded currently with Winchester Silvertip 145 grain .357s. The 4 inch S&W 629 gets loaded with Speer Gold Dot shirt barrel 200 gr Magnum loads. All of them are a hoot to fire and play with.

A side note, you probably won't shoot a .44 much if you don't reload. Those things can get quite expensive. I typically buy 100 WWB .38 rounds for slightly more than 50 .44 Magnum rounds (that is, in those rare times when I buy ammo).

September 12, 2007, 12:00 AM
You can always split the difference and go 41.

September 12, 2007, 12:02 AM
I love .44 Magnum. I've got a 5" 629 Classic and a 3" "Bounty Hunter". For carry/defense, I use 240 grain Hyda-Shoks in the big one and I'm trying to decide between Winnie 210 grain Silvertips or Cor-Bon 165 grain JHP in the shorty.

I'm unimpressed with the ballistics of Speer's "short barrel" .44 Magnum load. All they did was water .44 Magnum down into, heck, .45ACP +P range. If that's as much as you want to shoot, you may as well get a 625 and get the benefits of moonclips and cheaper ammo.

However, if you're new to sixgunning the .44 is probably not the best choice. While a full sized gun like the Redhawk will be an utter pussycat to shoot with .44 Special cowboy loads, said loads are not commonly found and are expensive, often more expensive than regular .44 Magnum. If you're coming from a background of shooting 9mm/.40/.45 exclusively, the .357 is a better choice, as you can work your way up from .38 Special, to .38+P, to mild .357 (most 158 grain loads), to mid-range .357, (most warm 125 grain loads) to real .357 as sold by Buffalo Bore and DoubleTap.

September 12, 2007, 12:02 AM
I'd go for the 44. Here's why. You're talking about a Redhawk (not Super Redhawk) vs. the GP100. These guns are quite a bit different in shape. To my hand, the Redhawk points better.

If you really have it limited to these two guns, all you should need to do is handle one of each and the answer will be obvious.

September 12, 2007, 12:04 AM
you're one dot short of an ellipsis.

.357 magnum shooting 38s. You can shoot more for less and it'll be easier to pass it around amongst friends at the range or to teach people to shoot.

September 12, 2007, 12:09 AM
I will shoot only .38's out of the GP100.
Why in the world would you only shoot 38s out of the 357?

If you'd only consider shooting 38s out of a 357 (for the cheaper price, less recoil, or whatever) then a 44mag really makes no sense at all.

Get the 357

September 12, 2007, 12:09 AM
Hmmm....I have four .357s and 21 .44s. 44s are a lot more fun! But, I have recently been bitten by the .41 Mag bug.....:)

Once you go big bore, there's no going back!

Snapping Twig
September 12, 2007, 01:24 AM
Go to a range that rents both and try them.

For my money, nothing beats a .44, but I'm a reloader (another habit you'll soon enjoy). :)

A 4" .44 is the do-a-be-all revolver. Shoot specials for SD, full house for hunting - you get the picture.

If you don't reload and figure you aren't going to, then the .357 is the economical alternative.

Either weapon will serve you well and no matter the brand or model, there are numerous grips that can make them fit your hand. A proper fit is the key to success.

Jim March
September 12, 2007, 01:54 AM
If you want to know what the 357 is capable of...

September 12, 2007, 02:29 AM
I like all the options that a 357 has to offer for reloading.
You can buy or make rounds as light as 90 grains or as heavy as 180 grains and make it work for most any smaller than 250Lb animal you hunt.
I also think that the 357 is cheaper to shoot than a .44 mag.
But please don't quote me on that. I just ordered my components for the next half year and it cost as much as last years entire budget for loading.

September 12, 2007, 01:41 PM
A quality 357 magnum revolver is a must have in every collection!

September 12, 2007, 01:45 PM
Without question: GP100 3" 4" 6" and they will be around for a long time.
Balanced weight bearing.:)


Vern Humphrey
September 12, 2007, 01:49 PM
Go with the .357. Start reloading (if you don't already.) You can shoot anything from powderpuff .38 Specials to rompin', stompin', ear-splittin' full magnums out of it. You'll get a lot more use out of it than the more specialized .44 Magnum.

Now, if you want to hunt deer with a handgun, choose the .44. Otherwise, the .357 is the best choice.

September 12, 2007, 01:54 PM
GP-100 if your not reloading, Redhawk if you are (or will).

.44 Rem Mag is one of the best calibers for the handloader IMO. Everything just seems to work well with the bigger bore.

I pick up my Redhawk next week.

September 12, 2007, 02:01 PM
I voted .357....44 magnums are a beast!

September 12, 2007, 02:16 PM
I will shoot only .38's out of the GP100.

Why then bother blasting the chambers of a .357 all the time with the shorter .38? Why not just get a .38..... no???

If you were to choose the .44 mag would you then *shoot only .44 spl's out of the Redhawk*?

September 12, 2007, 02:26 PM
Bah, .44 magnum all the way. I bought one for dedicated plinking. It's a hoot, do it!

Koos Custodiet
September 12, 2007, 02:30 PM
You don't say what else you've shot, how long you've been shooting, etc. The 357 has a bit too much of a kick for some beginners. The 44 is worse. All other things being equal of course.

I'd start on 38s and move to 357 ammo in the GP100. If you find you can handle it, then get the 44.

(I have two 357s, a Taurus for SD and an Astra I use for silhouette shooting (quite a bit more accurate than the Taurus and a bit longer barrel, look for the 15m and 10m contest thread for pics). I'm seriously contemplating getting a Super Blackhawk (44) there's a near mint blue one available for the price of 30 flats of beer and a s/s one for a so-far unspecified price. H*ll I might just get both then fight with the Central Firearm Registry (who renewed my licences 21 months after the paperwork went in and gave me new licences for my silhouette T/Cs etc 16 months after the paperwork went in)).

September 12, 2007, 02:32 PM
with that criteria, 4" GP100 .357

September 12, 2007, 04:13 PM
Dude get the .44Mag. Shoot 200gr. bullets out of it and if you get the 4-5"bbl. it will be just as good a HD gun as the 357. I'm sorry I traded off my Redhawk 5.5"bbl it was one sweeeeet shooting gun. But that's life> I just traded for a Super Redhawk 454 Casull with 8"bbl. Can't wait to get that badboy to the range.

September 12, 2007, 04:31 PM

September 12, 2007, 04:47 PM
.. $ ..

September 12, 2007, 05:00 PM
I voted for the .357 so you can tell your better half that you need a biger bore later! Then you will have both .357 and .44!

Life is good!

September 12, 2007, 05:11 PM

Choose the .357.
ANY .44 SPL, Magnum, or Russ, ammo is going to be hideously expensive. 38SPL rounds are some of the cheapest ammo available right now.

A .357 will do anything a .44 can do, only less messy. You will be able to shoot the .357 about 10X as much as a 44.

My .02 that's all. BTW, get a real screen name please. :neener:

September 12, 2007, 07:08 PM
Have you shot ether of these calibers? Doing so would tell you a lot.

That aside, you say its for shooting at the range and HD? Then I would have to vote for the .357 hands down. Less kick shoot .38s for less money, better for HD. A .44 mag kicks way too much to make a good HD gun, .44 specials are nice to shoot and a good HD load but both types of ammo are quite expensive over 20 bucks for 50. (I need to start loading my own so I can shoot more)

If it means any thing I own a .44 the 629 4 inch. However this is my camping gun so I felt a .44 mag was a good choice for that environment.

Good luck and donít buy until you have shot the caliber you decide on.

September 12, 2007, 10:35 PM
I have both the 4" GP-100 and the 4" Redhawk (yes I am a lucky man). I would say to start with the GP-100 and if you find after mastering the .357 at all levels that you need (or want) more power, then you add a .44 to the mix.

Both are great guns and neither would be a mistake but if you're just starting then a .357 is the best choice.

September 13, 2007, 05:15 AM
I opt for the .44 simply because the CCI Blazer 200 grain Gold Dot HP is pretty easy to shoot (900 fps, 360 ft-lbs). The .44 magnum can be loaded down to .357/.38 level, while the .357 cannot be loaded up to the .44 level.

September 13, 2007, 07:39 AM

I'd go for curtain #3... and try a compromise... a big-bore bullet with nearly a small-bore bullet's cost and availability. Get a S&W 625 - look at the ~$40 higher MSRP 625MG for a better front sight and wood stock. Then you'll have a .45 ACP launcher in a revolver. A bit more recoil than a 1911 - as there isn't an action to use up some of the recoil energy. Still, not as brisk as a typical .357M, much less a .44M. And, you can load whatever bullets in the .45 ACP and .45 Auto Rim cases you want - no feed problems! Of course, .45 ACP ammo is less than .357M - and universally available.

If that doesn't 'float your boat', just get the .357M...


Vern Humphrey
September 13, 2007, 10:25 AM
The .44 Magnum is a lot of gun for a novice. And low-powered "mid-range" loads aren't all that plentiful or cheap. On the other hand, the .357 is much more manageable, and .38 Special ammo is available everywhere.

If you have to have a big-bore revolver at this stage, I'd be tempted to advise a .45 Colt. "Mid-range" or "cowboy action" ammo is readily available, regular loads, ditto. And a handloader can load a .45 Colt to edge out a .44 Magnum with heavy bullets.

September 13, 2007, 07:45 PM
40 replies and the author only posted twice.

I'm still curious why he wouldn't shoot 357s out of a 357 if he got one.:rolleyes:

September 13, 2007, 09:37 PM
Not presuming to know the mind of 'old double dots', let me offer my rationale for buying .357M's while fully intent on them never seeing their full ability. It's the sparse nature of the currently available new .38 caliber revolvers. Want a decent .38 plinker from S&W? One example exists, at least with the prerequisite adjustable sights and 4", or greater, barrel: the 67. Go to .357M and your options are many. I was able to get a fine 6" 66, 5" h-l 686+, and PC627 V-Comp over the last 4+ years. They love my .38's - and wimpy .357M's (Mild by .38-44 standards!).

Of course, if the interest were to fade, said .357M has more potential customers, too.


.. .. .. .. Where are you??

September 13, 2007, 09:44 PM
I can understand wanting only a 38 Special, but look at his other choice, the 44 Mag.
Just curious why he said he'd only shoot 38s.

September 13, 2007, 10:14 PM
If the purchase is for pure fun go with the .44. You will always go back and buy the .357 later. Gotta have both.:evil:

The Annoyed Man
September 15, 2007, 08:43 PM
.44, without question. Even with a .357, it is possible to imagine a scenario where you don't have enough gun. But with a .44 mag, it gets a lot harder to imagine such a scenario. And you can always load down or shoot .44 specials out of it if you don't want magnum zip. Plus, the .44 Special is an outstanding home defense cartridge.

...only get an S&W. Much prettier gun.

September 15, 2007, 09:23 PM
.357 :d

September 16, 2007, 12:06 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I am going with the GP100.

September 16, 2007, 12:08 AM
I'm still curious why he wouldn't shoot 357s out of a 357 if he got one.

.38 is cheaper and softer shooting. If I need it for HD or carry I can stoke it with .357 Gold Dots.

September 16, 2007, 12:18 AM
357 my choice by your criteria....38's are cheaper

tasco 74
September 16, 2007, 09:02 PM
a young guy was in a gun shop a while back when i happened to be in there ... he was talking about .500 magnum this and .460 that .. i simply said "a .357 magnum will stop anything in north america..." he shot a look at the guy behind the counter and he just shook his head an said " yep he's right".. same thing with the .44 magnum they are fun to shoot once again but i'd never give up my .357 magnum for one..

September 16, 2007, 09:20 PM
Get the GP100 (you already said you would). Shoot it. Get hooked on revolvers. Go back and buy the Redhawk, too!

September 16, 2007, 09:20 PM
I don't know...a .357 will certainly kill anything in North America, but I wouldn't count on it reliably stopping anything.

September 16, 2007, 09:49 PM
You may be one dot short of an ellipsis, but you're right on if you want to change to the directory above this one.

Ohen Cepel
September 16, 2007, 09:59 PM
For target use and home gun .357 is a much better/cheaper choice.

The .357 is extremely hard to beat as a defensive round and .38's make for great target fun.

The .44 isn't bad, just doesn't seem to be the best choice here.

XD-40 Shooter
September 16, 2007, 10:48 PM
Unless you're planning on hiking in bear country, I'd go with the 357. 1) Much cheaper ammo, especially if you reload, 2) Less flash, blast, and recoil, 3) the 357 will most likely do everything you need a handgun to do. Even if I were hiking in bear country, black bear, not grizzly, I'd feel comfortable with my 180 grain XTP's on top of 13.5 grains of 296.:D

For home defense, target and range use, the 357 is a much better choice.

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