357 Max vs. 357 Super Mag


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Peter M. Eick
January 6, 2009, 09:59 PM
My shooting buddy bought a 357 Super Mag and we went shooting with my Ruger 357 Max last weekend. He decided that the Super Mag was more then he wanted so looks like I have another toy in the safe once we work the logistics.

Now to the question. While the Dan Wesson is labeled 357 maximum, yet it is also labeled 357 Super Mag. What is the exact differences?????

As best I can tell the Super mag is 0.05" longer then the maximum and that is about it. 1.610 if I remember correctly. Am I missing something????

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BigBlock
January 6, 2009, 10:04 PM
Maybe you should just wait until the .357 Super Duper Amazing Maximum Magnum ammo comes out and get a gun for that? :neener:

El Hombre
January 6, 2009, 11:25 PM
As best I can tell the Super mag is 0.05" longer then the maximum and that is about it. 1.610 if I remember correctly. Am I missing something????



Nope that's about it.

The short version of the story is that Ruger didn't want to lengthen the frame of their revolver to fit the supermag length as designed by Elgin Gates, so in conjunction with Remington, they shortened the case & called it the 357 Maximum. They probably didn't have to pay Gates any royalty that way also.
Dan Wesson, at Gates' urging, went with the longer Supermag cylinder, although all their guns are marked 357 Maximum. True 357 Supermag length ammo won't chamber in the Ruger.
Some 357 Maximum brass is actually 357 Supermag length when new.

Dr.Rob
January 7, 2009, 05:24 AM
One of dad's Dan Wessons is marked supermag one isn't. Have always shot 357 max through both. Remember, whats on the barrel shroud might not match the cylinder. I'll measure both with a dial caliper and let you know, compared to his Ruger .357 max.

Dr.Rob
January 7, 2009, 05:39 AM
Ok I have 2 boxes of Federal factory .357 Maximum 180gr ammo, which measures 1.855 OAL (Both boxes, measured a bunch of catridges)

Have some factory realoads in 158gr that measure 1.885 (and yes they all chamber and fire)

Correction: both Dan Wessons are marked SUPER MAG on the barrel shroud and 357 max on the opposite side. Both Cylinders are 2.07 inches long.

The Ruger Super Blackhawk Cylinder is 1.935 inches long.

So it would SEEM that the DW's can take a slightly longer cartridge. I honestly thought SUPER MAG was the MODEL designation, not another cartridge.

El Hombre
January 7, 2009, 10:26 AM
The 357 Maximum and the 357 supermag are 2 different cartridges.
Case length is the only difference. The 357 Maximum is 1.605" while all supermags (357, 375, 414 and 445) are 1.610" in length as designed by Elgin Gates.
Not much of a difference, but for accuracy sake it should be noted.
Most new Starline brass I have used is actually 1.610 in length.
Dr. Rob is correct in that Super Mag is a frame model size from Dan Wesson, but it was designed for the Supermag series of calibers. I don't know why DW labeled the 357 version as a 357 Maximum when it in fact was chambered for the slightly longer supermag, unless it was because factory ammo was available for the 357 Maximum.

Peter M. Eick
January 7, 2009, 08:38 PM
Thanks you guys confirmed what I suspected. As a Ruger Max shooter, I understood its limitations and when the opportunity came by to get an unfired 8" DW Supermag with the heavy vent barrel I went for it. I just wanted to make sure I did not have to load for a really different setup. I will measure it out and see if I can chase up some super mag brass.

By the way, barrel nuts are 8.60 and wrenches are 43$. I just ordered a set for the gun.

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