.357 Mag. for concealed carry?


October 10, 2007, 11:07 PM
Does the .357 mag make a good concealed carry weapon? Is it much stronger than a 9mm?

If you enjoyed reading about ".357 Mag. for concealed carry?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 10, 2007, 11:13 PM
Yes it makes a very good CCW weapon. The greatest benefit is the easy of use, it also doesn't hurt that it does not rely on bullet shape or wrist strength to function.

It is more powerful than 9mm, but it is not so much so to make up for poor shot placement.

October 10, 2007, 11:18 PM
Yes, it should be equal to or superior to the 9mm, powerwise, in most loadings. There's a much wider variety of bullet shapes and weights available in .357 - shapes that are better at expansion and such - since it doesn't need a certain shape to feed properly into the chamber.
As for how good it is to carry... one of the easier-to-shoot .357 revolvers (compared with a snubby .357, which is by all accounts a gun that kicks like field artillery), a 4" barrel K-frame Smith, is about the same overall length as a 5" barrel 1911. When I'm wearing a cover garment, I'm wearing that 4" S&W K-frame in .357. I'm able to strap it on and leave it for several hours, and it doesn't seem bother me.

October 10, 2007, 11:26 PM
yes this would be my #1 ccw weapon

October 10, 2007, 11:32 PM
My CCW is a Taurus 605 -- a .357 snubby. Not sure what you mean by "stronger." More powerful? Yes, .357 is generally more powerful than 9mm. Of course, in a snubby, you lose a bit of velocity, and thus some energy. But even then, I think the muzzle energy of a .357 out of a snubby will typically exceed that of a 9mm out of a 4" barrel.

But power/energy isn't everything. I wouldn't hesitate to use a 9mm for SD. It will do the job, if you do yours. I just happen to be partial to a snubby wheelgun for concealed carry. But I also have a 9mm that I shoot regularly, and keep loaded in the house for SD/HD (along with other guns).

October 10, 2007, 11:35 PM
I recommend the Ruger sp101. I've carried one for several years now and find it easy to fire accurately and quickly. The weight of it helps to tame the recoil of full house loads but doesn't lend itself well to pocket carry. Try several different brands at the range before making a decision if possible.

October 10, 2007, 11:47 PM
I carry a S&W Airlight J-Frame @ 11 oz, and even with 38 Special rounds, I've had the 5th round walking out of the case after shooting 4 rounds. (S&W says to check it by shooting 4 rounds and then comparing the 5th to a round that was never in the gun. The recoil is so bad!!!

I've also gotten a 357 Magnum barrel for my Bond Arms and it is not a problem shooting it, but the S&W - wow!!! Keep in mind that recoil is the square of the weight of the bullet, velocity, and weight of powder. It is also indirectly proportional to the weight of the gun.

Keep in mind that the nominal muzzle-energy of the 9mm is 340 ft-lbs and of the 357 Magnum is 535 ft-lbs.

On occasions, I do have a 9mm for Personal Protection, but for the most part I feel better with the 357 Magnum in my pocket (as long as I don't have to shoot it).

October 11, 2007, 12:00 AM
I carried a 3" .357 for a while. I found that I didn't like to practice with the full power rounds, so I didn't carry the full power loads. I carried a reduced recoil/reduced power load. I changed to a 9mm after looking at the ballistics.

The reduced .357 launched a 158gr bullet at 1100fps.
The 9mm +P launches a 124gr bullet at 1220fps.

For me, the follow-up on the 9mm is much faster and the recoil is much less. I get more accurate hits more quickly with the 9mm, and I can carry a couple more rounds with a faster reload.

A 4" .357 would tip the scale back towards the .357 because I could carry a full power magnum loading.

October 11, 2007, 12:05 AM
There are both fine handguns and cartridge loads designed around the .357 magnum. You could certainly do much worse.

October 11, 2007, 03:07 AM
The 357 Magnum 125 Grain JHP is still the round that all other self defense rounds are compared to.

I will be switching back to carrying a 357 Mag with that load after Christmas. Right now I'm carrying a S&W 45 ACP Revolver when I am Off-Duty. I like the 45 ACP Revolver, but I decided that I wanted the "King of The Hill" of fightstoppers. I just ordered a case of ammo to begin practicing.

BTW, I don't shoot this load in J-Frame guns and in snubbies. My EDC will be a Ruger GP100 with a 3" Barrel. Right now I'm packing an N-Frame with a 4" Barrel. The bedside gun is a 5" 357 Mag.


October 11, 2007, 03:14 AM
A 3" or shorted barrel S&W K frame is a GREAT .357 Magnum carry revolver. So are the Ruger Six series revolvers like this 2 3/4" barrel Police Service-Six:




Standing Wolf
October 11, 2007, 08:39 AM
My main carry gun these days is a pre-agreement Smith & Wesson model 60 five-shot .357 magnum. It packs enough wallop to stop a crime if needed. Recoil is noticeable, but by no means uncontrollable. It's been 100% reliable since the day I brought it home.

October 11, 2007, 08:58 AM
It is built on the same frame as the Mod 85 Ultralite. For pocket carry, I took the larger grips off the 605 and replaced them with the mod 85 boot grips which makes it a slick carry piece. Shooting characteristics? recoil is stout but manageable, even with the smaller grips. It is much easier to handle than my 340SC.:what:

Flame Red
October 11, 2007, 10:26 AM
+1 for the S&W J-Frame. I personally carry a Colt Magnum Carry most of the time. Only difference is I get six shots with the Colt :D It just conceals so well. Walking around with my hands in my pocket is quite natural when I in condition orange.

October 11, 2007, 10:43 AM
not a darn thing wrong with .357 for concealed carry. People may argue about one caliber or ammo choice, but .357 usually falls into the category of "very respectable" for the job.

October 11, 2007, 10:59 AM

Does the .357 mag make a good concealed carry weapon? Is it much stronger than a 9mm?

Yes and yes (with a good load). The downers are flash/bang out the wazzola and recoil. The recoil can be handled in a gun like the SP101, but the flash/bang indoors is a reason some will choose something else. I carry the .357, but don't feel naked with other calibers including the .380 and .38 special. It's not really the hardware, it's the man behind it, or woman as the case may be.

October 11, 2007, 02:32 PM
Piggy backing on what some others have covered already. There are a lot of choices with a .357 magnum snubbie as far as combat loads go, thus the links.


October 11, 2007, 05:29 PM
I carry a smith model 60 with a 3" bbl not to bad to shoot , and I have a 4"bbl Taurus titanium tracker very pleasant to shoot and carry.
I have a Kel-tec P-11 in 9mm but prefer the 357s .

October 11, 2007, 06:40 PM
I use a 3 inch m-66 and a 2 1/4 sp101. 145 grain winchester silvertips in both. I usually carry a .45 lw commander or a 9mm glock. Don't feel undergunned with any of them. Patrick

October 11, 2007, 07:01 PM
My wife carries a Taurus 650 about with her. With my reloads even that little 2 inch barrel is pushing a 125gr jhp at abit over 1300fps. It'll do.

October 11, 2007, 09:06 PM
Thank you for all your help I definitely forsee a double action only mag as the best chioce for CC.

Standing Wolf
October 11, 2007, 09:32 PM
I personally carry a Colt Magnum Carry most of the time.

I would, too, if I could find one at a reasonable price.

Charles S
October 11, 2007, 09:38 PM
I love a 357 for a CCW.


The 9mm is a great carry round, but the 357 is really more versatile.

October 12, 2007, 12:44 AM
I won't try to talk you into a different cartridge - that isn't the question you asked. That said I will compare my only pistol I
have that I consider my Carry gun.

A 1911 5" in .45 ACP - I also have a .400 Cor-BOn BBl. for
a different cartridge on the same platform if I thought I needed greater
range. I have the Milt SParks Axiom holster

IN .357 Magnum I have the S & W 686 Plus 7 shot 357 Mag It has
the MIlt SParks PMK which carries the pieced about the same way the Axiom
caries the 1911

THe 1911 is 8.75 inches overall
THe 686P is 9 5/8 inches long

The 1911 is a uniform thickness
THe 686P has a thicker bulge because
of the cylinder.

Each has a pretty darn good selection
of loads in appropos bullet weights.

If you go to lighter weight look at a

S & W 1911 comander length with scandium
frame and the S &W M60 3" BBl. in steel
and both drop respective weights by 12 oz or
so.... but in both cases the Semi-auto has
flat magazines easier to carry on the belt as well
as the reload itself.as

But when it comes down to it in terms of SD or hunting
if you have to reload either there's a problem with your
marksmanship, or you didn't bring enough gun.

October 12, 2007, 02:03 AM
9mm comparable to a 357??? My 9mm feels like a toy compared to firing 357s out of my S&W 686. Much more muzzle energy with the magnum too.

October 12, 2007, 08:59 AM
I heartily concur with ndolson............

Having shot full-pressure 9mm loads out of my fairly light Kel-Tec P11 and loads out of my 30 oz Rossi M677 6-shot 2" barrel .357 mag.......whew, no comparison there. While the 9 mm is brisk on recoil, the .357 mag is downright primitive. The violence of the blast noise, muzzle/gap flash, and recoil are practically off-scale compared to the 9 mm. When I'm firing the .357 mag in our local semi-darkened indoor shooting range with a bunch of other shooters, everyone seems to pause when the first couple of .357 shots ring out. It is a real attention grabber for sure.

October 12, 2007, 09:17 AM
.357 makes a fine carry weapon.as to power it can have more but always at the expence of muzzle blast and flash.I actually carry a 9mm Hk p7psp and a S&W 340 M&P the 9mm has 124 golddots from doubletap the .357 has 125 golden sabers the 9mm ave just under 1200 fps the 357 about 1140fps.of course the 28 oz hk very controlable the 13.3oz M&P is a handfull.I also have a taurus 605 .357 and 905 9MM both snubs I use 145 silvertips ave vel 1080fps in the 357 and ranger 147 T series ave vel 975fps.in this case the guns weigh about the same and the .357 is just enough more that I can tell a difference.

October 12, 2007, 09:59 AM
A colleague of mine has opined that part of the reason that the 125-grain .357 is such a stopper of evil deeds is that NOBODY enjoys such a thing going off in their face; he calls it a hand-held flash-bang. (He is nyeti on various forums.) Makes sense to me. It is not just the effect of the projectile, but being startled by the sound and fury. Of course, the defender also experiences the sound and fury, but even though it is front and center, the worst is heading away from the defender, toward the evildoer, and the defender, if he has trained, is expecting it. I usually carry the .357 when it is my choice, though I must carry a .40 on my hip while on the job, and there are environments where I prefer the .45. I do carry a Ruger SP101 virtually everywhere, whether it is in a back-up or primary role.

The Bushmaster
October 12, 2007, 11:05 AM
My winter carry is a S & W Mod 19 .357 Combat Magnum with a 2 1/2" barrel. I definately don't feel under gunned with it...Ease of carry and speed of getting into action, not to mention power that is needed in the winter to penetrate winter clothing. I load it with Remington 125 grain SJHP's. Recoil may be the only draw back, but with practice you can overcome that too...

October 12, 2007, 11:55 AM
Yes it does and yes it is. I carried one for a lot of years without feeling under or over-gunned. I also put in a lot of practice shooting it with full power loads and got comfortable with the recoil. With the capability of pushing a heavier bullet faster than a 9mm... well, you figure out the math.

A lot of people simply prefer the higher capacity and lighter recoil of the "nines" for their follow up shots.

October 12, 2007, 01:04 PM
In my view, for a straight up CC weapon/sidearm I would buy a well made .357sig pistol like a Smith and Wesson M&P model compact or a SIGarms DAK model 239 SAS. The .357magnum has a long history of proven use with the 125gr JHP loads(around 94-96% one shot stops, ;)). The designs of newer .357SIG rounds have greatly improved the power/speed of the JHP loads. These 115-125gr JHP .357SIG rounds hit like the older .357mag bullets but can be used in a smaller, lighter pistol. Pistols are easy to carry, weight less and hold more rounds than a 6/7 shot snub .357mag. These .357SIG pistols are also faster to reload and can have add-ons like white lights/lasers/etc.

Check the .357SIG models out before you decide, :D.

Rusty S

October 12, 2007, 01:34 PM
Nomad. The .357 is a fantastic carry gun. In fact, I am carrying one concealed as I type this. I see you are in CT. I am as well. Depending on how far away you are, we can meet up. you'd be welcome to try out my Sp101.

October 12, 2007, 02:37 PM
Excellent I absolutely cant wait to CC a .357 mag in a year and a half. Kind of a dumb law I have already had a chance to shoot and completely dissassemble M16A2's with the military. But yet i can be allowed to protect myself its rather assinine. Might i mention the M16A2 is an amazingly reliable and accurate weapon. According to the target with just iron sights I could have hit someone in the eye at 900ft away he he.

Well in regards to the .45 ACP comment i dont care much for .45's i am a .40 S&W man. The .40's have better muzzle velocity, higher magazine capacity, same amount of damage, and less recoil. But both are too heavy and bulky to CC with compared to a nice .357 mag. The revolver simplicity makes it near 100% reliable especailly compared to a semi-automatic. I also think the morale effect of the volcanic eruption of powder coming from my .357 would make any attacker second guess.

Koos Custodiet
October 12, 2007, 02:47 PM
I've been carrying a Taurus Mod 66 3" barrel stainless more on than off for the last 10 years.

It's a large hunk of metal to haul around, 2 1/2 pounds or so loaded ISTR, but I always wanted a 357 so that was my first gun and in this country you can't easily change.

Make sure you want to carry such a large lump around. We're coming into summer and I'll probably start carrying less, just because it's difficult to conceal. A 38 special snubbie would be easier.

It's better to have a 22mag derringer than nothing at all (and yes, I can provide witnesses to this fact, local gunshop owner was surprised at a party oh, I guess 7 years ago, he managed to make do, salvaged the situation).

So if you're more likely to have the 9mm with you, it's a harder hitting round than the 357 you left at home...

Having said that : I love my 357!

October 12, 2007, 02:50 PM
My main CCW is a Speed Six and has been for over a year now. Before that I carried an SP-101 primarily. The Speed is a little better, but the SP is also good. .357 is an excellent defensive round but I would load moderate weight bullets not the zippy light weight ones that were in fashion a decade or two ago. I like the SXT's or the black talons if you can find them.

The vaunted .357 SIG basically relies exclusively on the light weight high vel loads that perform better on paper than in real life. I've seen a case where one zipped around a man's belly without hitting anything mildly important. I'd stick with 140 grain or heavier, esp. considering how big people are getting to be around the country. The 158's are tried and true, and the 180's are real tanks.

October 12, 2007, 05:45 PM
S&W 649 Bodyguard .357 mag - all day, every day.

October 13, 2007, 03:06 PM
605 Taurus, Sp101 Ruger, 617 Taurus, "these are a few of my favorite things" (as the song goes.)

October 13, 2007, 11:31 PM
The .357 revolver is a great CCW choice. You also are able to fire .38 and .38+P with it too. A speedloader and a couple of speed strips and your good to go.

October 18, 2007, 07:53 AM
A good .357Mag Revolver makes an OK Carry Piece. Not as good as a .45 Auto but way better than a 9mm. Biggest problems are concealing the bulky cylinder and a tendency for over penetration with certain bullets. Biggest mistake that people make is to carry the piece with full power loads but practice with .38 Spl... the muzzle blast and recoil of the .357 is much greater than the .38. Also the frequent use of the shorter .38 case can cause roughness in the longer .357 chamber causing ejection problems.

October 18, 2007, 12:49 PM
Ejection probelms? its a revolver there are no shell casings to eject. Revolvers are totaly reliable and it will be a hornless one so i can pull it right out. Most likely i will mount a laser grip on it too for faster target acuisition.

...there are too many 1911 fans on this site.

October 18, 2007, 01:06 PM
I have been quite happy with a S&W 340 w/ Crimson Trace grips for CC and feel confident of its capabilities. While I frequently shoot 38's at the range, I also shoot enough 357's to feel comfortable with the added recoil and blast. The bottom line is practice, practice, practice.

October 18, 2007, 02:33 PM
a 357 is my primary carry gun in a 4" barrel 7 shot I love it and real nice to shoot too

October 18, 2007, 02:46 PM
Indeed...the .357 mag is the perfect carry gun. Now, I do pocket carry a 642 because it is so light and presents quickly. When I travel to environments that bring me close to more dangerous situations, e.g., the Tacoma Mall, downtown Seattle, walk-abouts in the woods, etc., I always carry the .357 which I feel is superior to my .45 ACP. Since mine is ported and I use the Corbon DPX (flash dampened gunpowder), I can honestly say that the recoil is less than the 642 and the above stated "flash" problem is non-existent.


Ala Dan
October 18, 2007, 04:03 PM
in the form of a 2.5" Smith & Wesson model 19/66, 2.5" Colt Python, or the
2.75" Ruger Security-Six or SP101 .357 magnums~! :scrutiny:;)

October 18, 2007, 04:46 PM
I do carry a 357. The more I think on it though, the more I wish I had gone with a 45. I think a 357 might overpenetrate and POSSIBLY hurt someone else? Fast moving bullet for a handgun.

October 18, 2007, 07:29 PM
"Ejection probelms? its a revolver there are no shell casings to eject."

Without trying to sound cheeky - those little brass tubes left in your cylinder after you shoot are SHELL CASINGS and you have to EJECT them before you can reload. You push the EJECTOR ROD to have the EXTRACTOR pull them out of the chambers. If the front part of the chamber has been etched by firing a lot of shorter cases it can cause hard EXTRACTION and less than positive EJECTION.

"Revolvers are totaly reliable and it will be a hornless one so i can pull it right out."
Quality Revolvers have an eviable record of reliability. But no device is, of course, "totaly reliable" and to believe that is just foolish. A malfunction in a revolver can be caused by as little as some grit under the extractor star... or an empty case slipping under the extractor. A bent ejector rod will put a revolver out of commission instantly. A bullet that pulls out of the case under recoil can protude from the front of the cylinder and tie it up. Many malfunctions in an automatic pistol can be resolved rapidly to put the weapon back into action. By "hornless" I assume you mean "hammerless" and that you will be able to draw it from concealed carry without snagging.

" Most likely i will mount a laser grip on it too for faster target acuisition."

Hmmmmm...... Oooookay.... let me see... where is that little dot??? Somebody turn the lights off!!!

"...there are too many 1911 fans on this site."

Geeeee.... wonder why that is? Could it be that a lot of people have come to the 1911 conclusion?

The .357 is a fine cartridge and there are many fine revolvers built for it. It can be a good gun for SD but there are always downsides to everything - yes, including the 1911.

Big Boomer
October 18, 2007, 07:39 PM
+1 for the Ruger Sp101 I love mine, sometimes it's a primary carry sometimes it's the BUG.


If you enjoyed reading about ".357 Mag. for concealed carry?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!