What is the strongest framed 357 magnum


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sonier
June 27, 2010, 04:55 PM
I am thinking that the colt python and the ruger blackhawk are some really stout pistols, but I want to know what pistol is built the strongest and can be chambered in 357 magnum.

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lilguy
June 27, 2010, 05:07 PM
I have 2 Blackhawks, one 41 mag one 44 mag. They are practically indestructible.

Gottahaveone
June 27, 2010, 05:11 PM
I would have to put Freedom Arms at about the top of the list. They are built like tanks and lock up like a bank vault door. But at ~$1800, they aren't the cheapest around. It's another take on the old saying "You get what you pay for" :)

http://www.freedomarms.com/catalog.pdf

Fat Boy
June 27, 2010, 05:44 PM
It seems like something from Ruger would win this one; the GP 100 comes to mind. And as already mentioned, the single action blackhawk's are no slouch in the "overbuilt" department, at least the older ones. (I am not sure about the newer Vaquero line, with its smaller frame, although I saw a Montado the other day that looked really neat)-

You specified frame strength; I don't know how much metallurgy plays into this- maybe a Colt would be stronger but from what I have read and learned, fixing the lockwork on a Colt when problems develop is proving more difficult all the time what with finding parts and gunsmiths able to do the work.

Freedom Arms is probably a contender, but given their price range, I guess I don't typically include them in my thinking

Walkalong
June 27, 2010, 05:52 PM
Trooper Mk III & V, King Cobra, GP-100, Blackhawk, Redhawk, if you can find one, has got to be the toughest.

S&Wfan
June 27, 2010, 06:06 PM
There are quite a few .357 revolvers that are stouter than you'd even need.

My favorites would be the N-framed S&W Model 27, and Colt's long gone Python. Of the two? Well . . . I'm a die-hard S&W guy, and prefer the Smith trigger pulls better than the Colt philosophy.

Amongst long-time revolver shooters, some prefer the stacking of the Colt trigger, others the smooth DA pull of the Smtih. To each his own.

If I were looking for a fine single action revolver in .357, it would be a Freedom Arms.

Black_Talon
June 27, 2010, 06:06 PM
N-frame Smith would get my vote.

rcmodel
June 27, 2010, 06:08 PM
Not sure we should even be concerned with how strong the frame is.

It's the top three chambers of the cylinder that always blows up when a revolver lets go.

Yes, even Rugers.

rc

Red Cent
June 27, 2010, 06:47 PM
Dan Wesson

earlthegoat2
June 27, 2010, 06:55 PM
I would think the rare Ruger Redhawks would be the strongest DA revolvers in 357. They are not too common though.

JohnKSa
June 27, 2010, 07:00 PM
I would think the rare Ruger Redhawks would be the strongest DA revolvers in 357. They are not too common though.I'd agree on both counts.

I'm still kicking myself for passing on one that I saw at a gun show last year.

Chuck Perry
June 27, 2010, 07:10 PM
Freedom Arms Model 83. There is special "FA only" loading data available for their 357. Google "353 Casull".
Here's some of Taffin's results loading for the 357 Magnum in the Casull. For each bullet weight there are three velocities. They are, left to right, 357 Magnum, 357 Maximum and then 353 Casull. Try those in a Redhawk :neener:

160 GRAIN 1350 1500 1750
180 GRAIN 1250 1350 1650
200 GRAIN 1050 1250 1500

sonier
June 27, 2010, 07:10 PM
Wow theres no certain answer to this one, seems ruger blackhawks and freedom arms are getting the major vote here.

sonier
June 27, 2010, 07:17 PM
that 353 casull is a pretty scary cartridge i like it a lot.

harmonic
June 27, 2010, 07:33 PM
N-frame Smith would get my vote.

In terms of pure mass, definitely. But if you're talking about a steady practice of rapid double action shooting, the N frame Smith batters the cylinder stop and cylinder stop lever pretty badly.

Racinbob
June 27, 2010, 07:33 PM
There's no parameters set here. I have no doubt the Ruger is as tough or tougher than a S&W, even the N frame. And I'm a big S&W fan. I don't (and never have) own a Ruger revolver but I will someday. Ruger just builds tanks. I need...OK, want one.

wad
June 27, 2010, 07:40 PM
I would agree on the Freedom Arms 353. Another one would be a Dan Wesson model 40 (model 740 if you want stainless steel), which is based on Dan Wesson's large frame revolver. Technically the model 40 is .357 SuperMag but will camber and shoot .357 Mag.

highlander 5
June 27, 2010, 07:45 PM
Ruger Redhawk,I've had mine for 20+ years now and even though it's a tank I gotta hire someone to haul it around for me.

Buzzard
June 27, 2010, 07:51 PM
Rugers are tougher than S&W revolvers. If you want a good revolver to shoot factory loads, or a good competition gun, the Smith will do a damn fine job. I've shot lightly customized Smiths that were simply a dream to handle. But if you want to launch near-nuclear Magnum loads, or warm up the .45 Colt to holy Danbahala! levels, buy a Ruger. While Smiths can digest those loads, they can't do it without experiencing highly accelerated wear. They simply weren't designed to.

Shooting Times' web site has an article where a fella loaded 18 grains of Titegroup in a .44 Mag (he wanted 10.8) in a Blackhawk. The topstrap was severely damaged, and the cylinder came apart, but he reported recoil as normal and wasn't injured. Now if a Blackhawk is that tough, imagine how tough a Redhawk or Super Redhawk is.

If you think Ruger builds 'em tough, you should see a Freedom Arms. Rugers are like an old Buick; hefty, tough, affordable. FA's revolvers, however... those are Abrams tanks!

Lucky Derby
June 27, 2010, 08:07 PM
Echoing much of what has already been said there are plenty of revolvers that are probably tougher than you will ever need for a .357 Mag. Smith N frames, Ruger Blackhawks and GP100's come immediatley to mind.
There are 2 however that stand out above the rest The Freedom Arms Model 83 (not the smaller M97) and the Ruger Redhawk. Both are tanks. The FA is still made and can be ordered for a rather princely sum. The Redhawk is not currently being made (in.357) and are not to common.

wanderinwalker
June 27, 2010, 08:10 PM
I'd have to guess the Ruger Redhawk .357 and Freedom Arms revolvers are probably the stoutest .357s available. But if you want to hot-rod a .357 that hard, maybe it's time to consider a larger caliber?

sonier
June 27, 2010, 08:17 PM
Im looking for a revolver that will handle what i consider HOLY S... Loads these laods would be maximum H-110 with 158 and 125 grain bullets I handload and im looking for a revolver that can handle what i like. I feel that my colt python is ready to be retired from everyday shooting, it has handled whatever i can throw at it so far but im looking for something stronger.

Blue Brick
June 27, 2010, 11:29 PM
+1 Any Ruger

I would think the rare Ruger Redhawks would be the strongest DA revolvers in 357.

Yup.

richie
June 27, 2010, 11:45 PM
my vote would be a ruger redhawk also, they have really thick cylinder walls.

MCgunner
June 28, 2010, 12:03 AM
I would have to put Freedom Arms at about the top of the list. They are built like tanks and lock up like a bank vault door. But at ~$1800, they aren't the cheapest around. It's another take on the old saying "You get what you pay for"

I agree the FAs are the strongest by far, case closed, no argument, hands down. But, I figure a 500 dollar blackhawk is strong enough. :rolleyes: Yeah, it's not line bored, but mine will put 6 rounds into a four inch circle at 100 yards. That's good enough for me. :D

If I get an FA some day, and I hope to, it'll be a .454, a caliber that justifies the strength of the gun. Now, from the sublime to the ridiculous, they make the FA in .22LR.....:rolleyes:

918v
June 28, 2010, 12:08 AM
It's not the frame you should worry about, but the lockwork. The lockwork is what takes a beating by heavy 357 loads. Pythons are considered fragile, but have you measured the thickness of the topstrap??? Have you heard of Python frame stretching? No. Pythons go out of time. It's the hand that always needs replacing. A Python with 10 fitted hands will last just as long as a Ruger ;)

MCgunner
June 28, 2010, 12:12 AM
It's not the frame you should worry about, but the lockwork. The lockwork is what takes a beating by heavy 357 loads. Pythons are considered fragile, but have you measured the thickness of the topstrap??? Have you heard of Python frame stretching? No. Pythons go out of time. It's the hand that always needs replacing. A Python with 10 fitted hands will last just as long as a Ruger

Maybe, but Freedom Arms STILL wins by a country mile. Nothing can touch 'em when it comes to strength. They're built for FAR more powerful calibers, they're just offered in .357.

Anyway, as I understand it, what gives out IS the frame on most .357s, the Colts may be an exception, excessive end shake occurs over time. Once the frame is beyond limits of even crane yoke stretching or shims, it cannot be made right. I'm no gunsmith. I think uncle Fuff probably taught me that. :D

918v
June 28, 2010, 12:22 AM
The frame is not the crane. Endshake is caused by a springed crane, not by a springed frame. There is no way in hell you will spring a frame on any Smith or Colt with SAAMI spec loads.

slick6
June 28, 2010, 12:49 AM
In a D/A revolver, the Redhawk .357 is the strongest IMHO. My Smith & Wesson Model 27 looks somewhat anemic next to my Redhawk .357:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/shootit/P1020261.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/shootit/P1020240.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/shootit/P1020236.jpg

OldCavSoldier
June 28, 2010, 01:09 AM
Rugers for the past several years have used investment cast parts, including cylinders. Smith still uses forged parts. My vote is for Smith. My model 28 probably has 30,000 rounds through it and still functions better than the day I bought it. Just my opinion.

RevolvingGarbage
June 28, 2010, 01:25 AM
Wouldn't it be logical to look for a .357 Maximum caliber revolver if what you want to do is fire very heavy .357 magnum rounds?

Heres a nice Ruger in GB! (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=176051696)

JohnKSa
June 28, 2010, 01:34 AM
Rugers for the past several years have used investment cast parts, including cylinders.Ruger cylinders are machined from bar stock. They are not cast.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6491973&postcount=169

slick6
June 28, 2010, 01:46 AM
Ruger's investment castings are some of the highest quality castings of this type in the world. As strong as an model 27/28 is-forged or not, the Redhawk .357 is considerably stronger. These have proven to withstand .357 overloads that the S&W M27/28 cannot tolerate. Now, in saying that, this is not to say that the M27/28's are weak. It's just that the Redhawk .357 was so overbuilt, that it was immensely strong!

Blue Brick
June 28, 2010, 01:49 AM
Ruger cylinders are machined from bar stock. They are not cast.


Oh no not this again...LOL

918v
June 28, 2010, 03:47 AM
These have proven to withstand .357 overloads that the S&W M27/28 cannot tolerate.

Like what?

If you overload a case, it will stick in the cylinder. Since case sticking is the limiting factor, are you talking about proof loads?

FWIW, the 357 Redhawk is extremely inefficient. The kind of loads you are talking about will wear out the forcing cone far sooner than either gun will go out of time.

sonier
June 28, 2010, 04:45 AM
Yea i like the freedom arms and the redhawk seems like a great contender. Im not looking for 357 maximum if I were it would be dan wesson or an old ruger blackhawk. I have to disagree with colts going out of time, i know my grandfather has fired thousands of rounds before I have had this python, he took it for 3 tours in vietnam and plenty of practice back from the tours as well, i have put close to 5 thousand rounds in past two years, it is by far the smoothest pistol ive shot, though the barrel rifling is really worn out, so shooting nice groups is long gone in this pistol.

bragmardo
June 28, 2010, 05:26 AM
Korth beats (http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=122799) N-frame S&W.

danjet500
June 28, 2010, 08:49 AM
If you want a Redhawk, here you go.

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=89597&highlight=redhawk+357

cid71
June 28, 2010, 10:48 AM
I saw a .357 Redhawk yesterday at the Cabela's in Richfield, WI. First time I have seen one. It took a few minutes to wrap my mind around the fact that it was a .357 and not a .44 mag. I have to believe that revolver could withstand anything that could be loaded in .357....and then some.

earplug
June 28, 2010, 11:00 AM
The primer is usually the limiting factor in working up safe heavy loads. When it starts to flow into the firing pin hole or gets pierced by the firing pin due to high pressure you know your really close to or have exceeded max safe working pressure.
If you think and study the chamber of a center fire cartridge you will notice that the primer is unsupported by anything but the firing pin. A primer that has flowed into the firing pin hole will lock up a revolver. So you have a expensive single shot pistol with certain loads. Sticky extraction is another symptom of pressure.
This has no bearing on the relative strength of the firearm its in.
Blown up or bulged cylinders are caused by severely overloaded rounds loaded by stupid people who have not worked up loads safely. Its not a case of X brand being stronger then Y brand.
Yes, certain brands will hold up better to heavy use before shooting loose.
If you really want to blast out .357 projectiles buy a single shot pistol, or get a longer barrel.

harmonic
June 28, 2010, 11:47 AM
The Redhawk is definitely a stout revolver, but consider it's weight. If you guys truly need that massive a revolver to withstand maximum 357 loads, then you need to go up to a larger magnum caliber.

Personally, I prefer a lighter, smaller revolver for field carry. That's why I like my GP100, plus it's plenty sturdy enough to handle even hairy magnum charges.

The Redhawk 357 is an answer to a question that's never been asked.

jmorris
June 28, 2010, 12:08 PM
The strongest .357 that pops into my head would be the Contender. For wheel guns the Ruger RH is a robust design (nice way of saying too dam heavy) and I put the S&W revo’s above the Python. In any case they will all hold up to full power loads. In my younger days I shot loads out of my Python that were approaching 41 mag levels. Now that I have more sense I down load a 44 mag to 41 levels. You should never pass up a reason for buying another gun and they will all last longer with less of a beating.

Lucky Derby
June 28, 2010, 02:12 PM
"Personally, I prefer a lighter, smaller revolver for field carry. That's why I like my GP100, ..."

Never thought I would ever think of a GP100 as a "lighter, smaller revolver".

Thaddeus Jones
June 28, 2010, 02:16 PM
Colt King Cobra. IIRC some famous gunsmith declared it to be the strongest back in the 80's.

sonier
June 28, 2010, 04:17 PM
The primer flow can be stopped by using small rifle primers, same cautions have to be applied as work up your loads but the harder primer prevents it from piercing and flowing easly.
That korth is a beauty, with the full underlug Im in love. i may have found a revolver half decent enought o retire my old python now to find a korth 357 mag.....

harmonic
June 28, 2010, 04:45 PM
Now that I have more sense I down load a 44 mag to 41 levels

I load mine down to 44 special levels. It's easier on the gun and the shooter. My favorite load is 240 grain swc ahead of 7 grains Unique. It's snappy enough to be fun but not punishing. It's a great plinking load.

CTShooter
June 28, 2010, 04:58 PM
I really believe there is no way of answering this question. Strongest how? Frame? Cylinder? Barrel? which will be able fire / function after taking a beating by a 5lb sledge hammer? Which one will still fire / function after a certain amounts of drops and a determined height? or hand load some strong cartridges and see which one will break first?

The only way to see which one would be strongest imo is to have a metallurgist and a engineer do a study on them. Maybe even include an unbiased gun smith (if there is such a person) and someone who is very experienced at hand loading. You really can not go on how strong it "looks".
The only problem is the manufactures would not like this test, because absolutely one will be deemed "weak" and worthless for the money.

Palehorseman
June 28, 2010, 07:16 PM
IMO, in no way does the Python rank up with the Blackhawk.

Wife and I had both back in the 1960s, in less than a year, the Python was a piece of rattling junk. The Blackhawk was shot a lot more, had a longer cylinder, could take hotter loads and longer heavier bullets.

Cosmoline
June 28, 2010, 07:18 PM
I would think the rare Ruger Redhawks would be the strongest DA revolvers in 357. They are not too common though.

That's the one. They're more overbuilt in that caliber than any other, including the FA. The .357 shells look like .22 rimfires going into the chambers.

If you guys truly need that massive a revolver to withstand maximum 357 loads, then you need to go up to a larger magnum caliber.

Sometimes it's fun to shoot magnums from oversized revolvers. Plus the .357 RH is an ideal platform for otherwise dangerous experimentation.

earplug
June 28, 2010, 08:24 PM
You need a harder wack to set off a rifle primer. Plus the lack of information on safe loads using them.
I enjoy fine DA shooting when I shoot ICORE, Steel Challenge or USPSA. And I use a revolver when shooting center fire Bullseye.
My scores aren't great but I know what works and going to a rifle primer is not the answer to any problem in a .357 revolver.
A heavy hammer blow is not conducive to fine accuracy. That is one reason you seldom see revolvers based on the SA Army used in accuracy events.
That big SA hammer with a heavy mainspring to light off a rifle primer would jar my bones.

The Lone Haranguer
June 28, 2010, 08:31 PM
In a double-action revolver I would say the Ruger GP-100. It is not the size or strength of the frame that matters, but the support to the cylinder at the moment of firing. Rugers lock the cylinder at the front of the crane, the ratchet/hand and the cylinder stop/bolt. Smith & Wessons and especially Colts do not. Even stronger, however, is the Blackhawk, a single-action revolver. The cylinder is in a solid frame with no cutout for the yoke/crane, and supported by a solid pin over a quarter inch in diameter that runs the entire length of the cylinder.

unspellable
June 28, 2010, 09:06 PM
Guys, we are barking up the wrong tree. Most if not all the revolvers mentioned above will have a frame that is overkill. It's not the frame you have to consider. For example, it's generally considered that a S&W will go loose before a Blackhawk when used with abusive loads, but the reason for that has nothing to do with the frame. The difference lies in how the cylinder is located in the fore and aft direction. The S&W has a very small bearing area to prevent forward movement compared to the Blackhawk. The Colt Python has a hand design that's a bit delicate, and so on.

Chuck Perry
June 28, 2010, 09:14 PM
Now another option would be to take a standard 357 revolver and have it rechambered for 356 GNR. This is a wildcat cartridge from Gary Reeder Customs. Basically it is a bottleneck case, a 41 Magnum necked down to .356. It will duplicate 357 Maximum performance out of a standard sized 357 revolver. The bonus here is that you're getting the hyper performance, but keeping chamber pressures down in the process. The downside is that you can no longer chamber and fire 38's/357's. If this sounds interesting, dig around for a dual caliber Blackhawk, the ones that come with both 9mm and 357 Magnum cylinders. You can have the 9mm rechambered for the GNR round, and keep the other as is so you can still fire standard 357's.

sonier
June 29, 2010, 12:05 AM
Well im looking for a platform that will withstand 357 maximum TYPE loads using 357 magnum, the whole point isnt about being practical Its about tinkering and having fun.

918v
June 29, 2010, 12:14 AM
Then get the FA.

Ruger 357's are not made from the type of stainless that will withstand the kind of pressures you will be running. No, they prolly won't let go, but you will destroy the barrel.

sonier
June 29, 2010, 12:31 AM
Yea thats what im looking at i like the freedom arms model 97 i believe it is, Its a great looking single action that has a lot of "meat" to it.

zxcvbob
June 29, 2010, 12:35 AM
What is the strongest framed 357 magnum
Do a search on ".353 Casull"

sonier
June 29, 2010, 12:35 AM
the 356 GNR is something that does have my attention, it has the velocity I want as well. I believe that the .357 diamter bullet is one of the best calibers for self defense against two legged creatures as well. i like the velocity and mass i can get out of that caliber.

sonier
June 29, 2010, 12:38 AM
Ive looked at the 353 casull as well its a interesting caliber but it just seems so much trouble for so little gain in power, also there isnt much on the 353 casull it seems like a old dead cartridge.

CraigC
June 29, 2010, 01:58 PM
The 353 Casull is not a cartridge, it is simply another designation for the .357Mag.

In order of relative strength I would rate them:

1. Freedom Arms 83, hands down the strongest, it can tolerate pressures well above any other revolver.

2. Ruger Redhawk, it is easily the most massive and strongest of them this side of Freedom Arms.

3. Ruger Blackhawk, large frame. Easily stronger than most single actions and any S&W.

4. S&W N-frames, Colt Single Action Army (post-war), its replicas and mid-frame Rugers. These are really the best single action platforms for the cartridge. Not too much beef but strong enough. You would be hard-pressued to damage one, long or short term. N-frames may hold a 'slight' cylinder strength advantage but with the double action design, it's a draw.

5. The various mid-frame DA's like the S&W L-frame, Ruger GP-100 and Colt Trooper, Python, King Cobra, etc. Cylinder diameter less than Colt SAA and N-frame, these are still the best double action platforms for the cartridge.

6. Who cares, everything else is lesser.

WVMountainBoy
June 29, 2010, 04:30 PM
Vote goes to the Blackhawk for strength

cottonmouth
June 29, 2010, 05:59 PM
I'd vote Redhwk but how strong does it need to be, have you ever seen a .357 Blackhawk that was blown up?

J.B.

Buzzard
June 29, 2010, 07:01 PM
No, but I did see a .44 Mag Blackhawk that was blown up.

http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammunition/ST_ycbtsafe_200911/index.html

Confederate
June 29, 2010, 07:17 PM
The original N-frame S&Ws are certainly contenders in double-action designs. The Ruger GP-100 and previous Security-Sixes also are like steel vaults. The Colt Pythons are strong, but have some small internal parts that limit them somewhat. The K-frame S&Ws are the only frame size that really warps with repeated use of hot rounds, but they hold up better than a lot of people suspect.

My choice would be a Ruger since they have solid frames.

sonier
June 29, 2010, 07:46 PM
I was under the impression that the 353 casull was a different cartridge not using the existing 357 mag cartridge, So in a way im looking for a good revolver to handle somewhat of the 353 casull, I wonder if i can take a blank cylinder for such as a blackhawk. instead of 6 rounds, chamber only 5 rounds in the entire cylinder to give it even more integrity. make it a 5 shooter lol

JWF III
June 29, 2010, 07:58 PM
I wonder if i can take a blank cylinder for such as a blackhawk. instead of 6 rounds, chamber only 5 rounds in the entire cylinder to give it even more integrity.

Others may know better, but I'd venture a guess that it'd make little difference.

The measurement from the center-pin to the center-line of the bore will still be the same. When the cylinder is bored to a 5 shot, the outside cylinder wall will be the same thickness. There will be more "meat" between the chambers, but that's typically not where a revolver lets go at. You'd have to step up to a larger frame to get what you're looking for.

Maybe a custom smithed .357 X-frame?:what: That may give the Freedom Arms a run for it's money.

Wyman

zxcvbob
June 29, 2010, 08:34 PM
You get a much stronger cylinder with a 5-shooter because the lock-up notch (it probably has a name) is between chambers due to the odd number. With an even number of chambers, it lands right on the opposite chamber wall and weakens it considerably. Take a close look at a SAA or Blackhawk cylinder sometime and yule see what I mean.

BTW, the ".353 Casull" is just another name for a seriously overloaded .357 Magnum. I mentioned it just as a search word to find ridiculously-strong .357 Magnum guns.

Confederate
June 29, 2010, 11:19 PM
The key to strength in revolvers is a solid frame. This is true in both single-action and double-action revolvers. This is where Ruger excels. Dan Wesson also employed a solid frame design, but it didn't do it quite as successfully as Ruger did. Many of the early Dan Wessons I saw were .22LRs that had problems with internal parts not working properly together.

I'd love to have one of the pistol pacs, though.


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/RugerSS_SolidFrame.jpg

Ruger GP100 fan
June 30, 2010, 12:05 AM
918v
"Then get the FA.
Ruger 357's are not made from the type of stainless that will withstand the kind of pressures you will be running. No, they prolly won't let go, but you will destroy the barrel."

Just bought one(GP100) a couple of months ago and these are the first negative words I've seen about it anywhere. :( I'm not questioning the validity of your response....I'm a brand new newby with next to no knowledge and have no business questioning those who've been around guns all their lives. I'm just trying to get a better understanding of my gun. Are you saying it's a distant second to the best? Please go into greater detail. Thanks

Bill

918v
June 30, 2010, 12:36 AM
The FA is made of better alloy of stainless steel. It is designed to shoot 65000 PSI loads. The GP-100 or Redhawk are designed for 35000 PSI loads. Shooting 65000 PSI loads through your GP-100 will erode the forcing cone beyond repair in just a few hundred rounds. The barrel steel used in the GP-100 is not designed for it. You will break the cylider stop. You may even explode the cylinder. GP-100 cylinder walls are just 25% as thick as those on the FA and made from a weaker blend of stainless steel.

To chamber the Super Redhawk in 65000 PSI .454 Casull, Ruger had to go with a completely new alloy for the cylinder and barrel. You cannot disregard these facts. Stainless steel alloys are not all the same.

Lucky Derby
June 30, 2010, 12:45 AM
"Yea thats what im looking at i like the freedom arms model 97 i believe it is, Its a great looking single action that has a lot of "meat" to it. "

You want the Model 83 not the 97.
The 97 is a very nice gun but not the super strength you are looking for. The 97 is smaller than a SAA although made of better material.
The 83 is the same gun as the original .454 Casull, just chambered for .357

CraigC
June 30, 2010, 12:53 AM
Not sure about the statement about "destroying the barrel". I don't think anyone would advocate running 65,000psi loads in a GP or even a Redhawk. Hell, even the .454 SRH should be kept at 50-55,000psi.

You do get much greater strength with a five-shot cylinder in a Blackhawk but there really ain't much point. It's an expensive proposition and you get more bang for your buck with a larger chambering. All you gain with higher pressures is velocity which translates to a flatter trajectory and a greater propensity for expansion with jacketed bullets. In other words, why go to the trouble when you get more gun with a factory six-shot .41 or .44Mag?

Walkalong
June 30, 2010, 01:01 AM
Just bought one(GP100) a couple of months ago and these are the first negative words I've seen about it anywhere
Don't worry about the GP-100 not being as good a gun as the Freedom Arms, as not many are. That doesn't mean for shooting standard .357 Mag loads the GP-100 isn't a great gun, it is. 918v has merely pointed out the superiority of a superbly made firearm using better steel.

sonier
June 30, 2010, 02:40 AM
I dont want a different caliber lol, This is goign to possibly be saved up over a year or two for me to build. but i like the 5 shot idea, Id want to have dangerous 357 magnums that function without much risk. I dont want to be like everyone else and just get a 44 magnum, I dont want to be considered apart of the sheep who buy whatever magazine tells them is good, the point would be to have a 357 magnum capable of shooting with 357 maximum 357 supermag and 353 casull levels, it be more of a bragging piece and horseback and hunting carry piece.

Ruger GP100 fan
June 30, 2010, 09:58 AM
So,staying at or below maximum powder load recommended by manufacturing company or well respected reload charts will not hurt my gun even if it's fed a continuous diet of max loads?

Bill

918v
June 30, 2010, 12:00 PM
Yes. The GP-100 will last forever that way.

harmonic
June 30, 2010, 12:18 PM
So,staying at or below maximum powder load recommended by manufacturing company or well respected reload charts will not hurt my gun even if it's fed a continuous diet of max loads?


If you're talking about the Ruger GP100 (hence, your screen name), no, the above loads won't hurt your revolver.

If you're talking about S&W 'N' frames, with extensive rapid double action shooting, they have a reputation for going out of time because the mass of the cylinder opens up the cylinder stop and batters the cylinder stop lever.

MCgunner
June 30, 2010, 12:33 PM
The frame is not the crane. Endshake is caused by a springed crane, not by a springed frame. There is no way in hell you will spring a frame on any Smith or Colt with SAAMI spec loads.

I've been away from this thread for a while. But, so, if end shake comes from the crane and not the frame, explain to me how a single action, which has no crane, can get end shake, which they do....:rolleyes: End shake is not a "springed" or sprung anything. End shake occurs over time from lots of shooting, either the frame stretching or just the ends of the cylinder getting banged up. It can be fixed by shims if it's not really bad. Might have to set the barrel back to adjust B/C gap if it is. And the worse it gets, the more it will wear, so it needs to be taken care of quickly.

Go back to your S&W koolaid now. Ruger has you beat and Freedom Arms beats any .357 ever made for strength, just the way it is. Accept it, it's true. :D

918v
June 30, 2010, 01:01 PM
Go back to your S&W koolaid now. Ruger has you beat and Freedom Arms beats any .357 ever made for strength, just the way it is. Accept it, it's true. :D

:rolleyes:

I own all three brands.

I made my statement in the context of post #14, i.e. 357 Maximum level loads. You are talking about normal wear and tear caused by metal striking metal or metal rubbing against metal. I am talking about metal bending and stretching under pressure.

It is clear you lack a basic understanding of things mechanical. It is blatantly obvious that in a system where a cylinder is attached to a crane, the crane itself will peen and bend before a fully boxed frame will.

CraigC
June 30, 2010, 01:38 PM
I dont want to be like everyone else and just get a 44 magnum, I dont want to be considered apart of the sheep who buy whatever magazine tells them is good...
Okay....... :scrutiny:

I hope you know that you need to handload to take advantage of the strength of any of these guns. At this point, I know of no source for loading data, unless Freedom Arms provides 353 data.

918v
June 30, 2010, 01:44 PM
They do.

sonier
June 30, 2010, 05:20 PM
there is also much more load data out there I am a member at ammoguide I can find load data for the 357 maximum and 357 supermag, I will have to do what ive always done and that is pull up 100s of load datas and find out what the avg maximums are for those cartridges. Then i will slowly work up to that point, 353 casull load data says that you must use small rifle primers which I will try, but I have a feeling my problem will be with primers and not the gun failing if I do everything right.

zxcvbob
June 30, 2010, 06:25 PM
I recommend you paint the case heads with a red Magic Marker in case the rounds ever get separated from the box. They should be obviously not normal .357 Magnums, even to an untrained moron. (you don't know who may find them when you are not around)

MCgunner
June 30, 2010, 06:35 PM
It is clear you lack a basic understanding of things mechanical. It is blatantly obvious that in a system where a cylinder is attached to a crane, the crane itself will peen and bend before a fully boxed frame will.

Again, what about single action revolvers? You're saying they cannot suffer end shake?

sonier
June 30, 2010, 10:20 PM
lol arguing over something this simple. Yea id prolly paint them something maybe even us a special bullet for those loads. cause i can see them getting mixed and kaboom.

XxWINxX94
July 1, 2010, 02:04 AM
I think the Python is the Cadillac out of the bunch.
There is also a few S&W's that are on large frames.

918v
July 1, 2010, 02:46 AM
Again, what about single action revolvers? You're saying they cannot suffer end shake?
They can, but the end shake is not typically caused by frame stretching. It is caused by peening of the cylinder bushing or wear due to improper lubrication. By the time a gunsmith gets the gun, he has no idea what the original frame dimension was. He does not have an x-ray machine. How can he know if it's stretched and by what amount? I have seen visibly stretched frames caused by firing a round with a barrel obstruction, however.

In addition, you have to consider the age of the gun. We cannot compare a 1930's gun to a 1990's gun. Of course, a 1990's casting is prolly stronger and more durable than a 1930's forging, but that is a matter of advanced alloys. I would not want to convert a pre-war Colt to 44 Magnum. A modern forging will always be stronger than a modern casting if the right alloy and heat treatment is utilized.

My intent is not to rip into Ruger. I have a 6" GP-100 and my first gun was a 4" GP-100. I broke the cylinder stop by running alot of 110gr JHP over 16grs of Blue Dot. Ruger fixed it for free. I then eroded the forcing cone bu running some 36gr glue-gun-glue filled copper jackets over 11grs of 231 @ 2400 FPS. When I got Quick Load software I realized I was running 60,000 PSI with that load. Did the cases stick? No. It took 12 grs of 231 to stick cases. Bottom line, I wore out and broke a GP-100 with stupid loads. But that was a long time ago. Today I try to run the lightest load I can.

BTW, Freedom Arms frames are cast form 17-4 PH stainless. Are they stronger than S&W X-frames? Doubt it. They are both adequate to withstand constant pounding by 50,000+ PSI large bore loads.

Last, please look at the thickness of the Python or New Frontier top straps. You cannot honestly think that Ruger's frame is stonger.

batmann
July 1, 2010, 03:12 PM
Probably the strongest .357 is the Ruger Redhawk followed by the large frame BlackHawks and FA's. Any .357 on a .44M frame will handle about any thing you want to put through it.
The Colt Pythons, while a beautiful piece of work, have been noted to have some time issues and most of the mid-frame Smith's or Rugers are more than strong enough for most shooters. Both will give you years of faithful service.
If you want to shoot a .357 that hot, I would jump to a .44M. Same frame, more power, same weight and you can down load it to .357 power, but you can't (safely) load a .357 to .44M levels.

Haifisch
July 1, 2010, 03:16 PM
Ruger makes very strong firearms. They over engineer everything.

I will put my Magnum Reaserch BFR's near the very top though.

stchman
July 1, 2010, 03:43 PM
Everything i have read is the Ruger GP-100 is the strongest revolver out there. Rugers revolvers in general are built heavier than they need to be.

CraigC
July 1, 2010, 03:49 PM
Probably the strongest .357 is the Ruger Redhawk followed by the large frame BlackHawks and FA's.
I'm sorry but NO Ruger is as strong as a Freedom Arms. Not only are FA 83's beefier overall they also feature a five-shot cylinder with better steels and heat treating. FA is at the top, no doubt.

stchman
July 1, 2010, 03:56 PM
Everybody keeps talking Redhawk .357 and according to Ruger's site the Redhawk does not come in .357.

I imagine a while back they did. So it looks like the OP would have to get a used .357 if he/she wants a Redhawk.

Did the GP-100 replace the Redhawk .357?

Thanks.

Haifisch
July 1, 2010, 04:01 PM
I'm sorry but NO Ruger is as strong as a Freedom Arms. Not only are FA 83's beefier overall they also feature a five-shot cylinder with better steels and heat treating. FA is at the top, no doubt.

Maybe, but I think my Magnum Research BFR's are right up the with a Freedom Arms.
The Freedom Arms also cost a heck of a lot more.

tuckerdog1
July 1, 2010, 04:21 PM
I wonder if i can take a blank cylinder for such as a blackhawk. instead of 6 rounds, chamber only 5 rounds in the entire cylinder to give it even more integrity. make it a 5 shooter lol


Didn't see it mentioned before. but the FA model 83 is a 5 shot.

Tuckerdog1

This is an old pic of my 454 next to my 353.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=123474&stc=1&d=1278012929

batmann
July 1, 2010, 04:25 PM
The Redhawk in .357 was discontinued several years ago, but if you can find one, jump on it.
FA's are very, very good, but do they make the 83 in .357 I am only asking, because I'm not sure. I know they have a 6 shot M97 (?), but it is only 5 shot in other calibers.
Probably the best best and the cheapest, is to buy a large frame Ruger Blackhawk. NO revolver is perfect and all can go KABOOOOOOM, stick with a proven maker, FA, Ruger, S&W (large frame) BFR etc and you will have a lot of shooting years in any of those and your hand will give out long before any of those mentioned will.Good shooting-----

tuckerdog1
July 1, 2010, 04:47 PM
but do they make the 83 in .357

Yea, they still make em. Gone up a little since I last looked

http://www.freedomarms.com/

Tuckerdog1

Jim Watson
July 1, 2010, 04:52 PM
the point would be to have a 357 magnum capable of shooting with 357 maximum 357 supermag and 353 casull

For the stated purpose of shooting overloads, I have to go with the F.A.
Once upon a time, they would put a replaceable bushing in the barrel's forcing cone but I do not see that option in their literature today. That's ok, when you erode out the barrel throat, the barrel can be set back a couple of turns. And a new cylinder is only $285 if you burn it up or jug a chamber.

BullRunBear
July 1, 2010, 04:58 PM
I have a 357 Redhawk, 7.5" barrel, stainless. I've been told they took their 44 magnum Redhawk, which was already over engineered, and made the changes needed for the smaller caliber but the same overall gun. I believe they were only made for a couple of years in the mid-70s and that only about 5,000 were manufactured. Wish I could confirm those numbers but that's what I recall.

Back then I was interested in the hottest loads I could develop (safely) and the Redhawk handled them with no problem. Don't care for such extreme loads these days (older and, maybe, smarter) but my Redhawk will tame any normal 357 loading. The joke is it is suberbly accurate with powder puff 38 special wadcutters. Feels like using a howitzer to fire a 22lr. ;)

The 357 Redhawk may not be the strongest frame out there but it has to be in the top grouping.

Jeff

MCgunner
July 1, 2010, 06:41 PM
BTW, Freedom Arms frames are cast form 17-4 PH stainless. Are they stronger than S&W X-frames? Doubt it. They are both adequate to withstand constant pounding by 50,000+ PSI large bore loads.

X frames are chambered in .357 now? If the cylinder crane is the root of all end shake evil, why would ya want a DA anyway over a SA? And, the Freedom Arms is a heavy gun, but the X frames fit on the same carriage as the Hodgkiss cannon, I'm told.

Pound for pound, the SA revolver is stronger than the DA. Simple, double sided frames with no side plate. The Ruger DAs with their crane lock up and no side plate is good, but I'll still take the SA designs for strength and FA is the best of them and is also available in .357 magnum which is the OP's question.

918v
July 2, 2010, 01:42 AM
I was responding to the claim that frame stretching is to blame for endshake, not that a double action revolver is just as strong as a single action.

CraigC
July 2, 2010, 02:14 AM
Maybe, but I think my Magnum Research BFR's are right up the with a Freedom Arms.
The Freedom Arms also cost a heck of a lot more.
BFR's are better, better fitted and stronger than Rugers but not on a level with FA. FA's "cost a heck of a lot more" because they're a heck of a lot better. Last I checked, BFR's were not offered in .357 so it's moot anyway.

Fishman777
July 2, 2010, 11:45 AM
My vote is for the .357 Ruger Redhawk. I think that it is the most overbuilt .357 magnum ever produced.

wad
July 2, 2010, 11:17 PM
One additional problem with pushing .357 to such high pressures is top strap cutting :uhoh:

http://i957.photobucket.com/albums/ae60/wdelack/357SM-topstrap-cut.jpg

mjb
July 3, 2010, 10:46 AM
The Colt King Cobra is the strongest .357 double action, the Ruger Blackhawk the strongest single action revolver.

CraigC
July 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
The Colt King Cobra is the strongest .357 double action, the Ruger Blackhawk the strongest single action revolver.
Wrong on both counts.

MCgunner
July 3, 2010, 12:58 PM
The Colt King Cobra is the strongest .357 double action, the Ruger Blackhawk the strongest single action revolver.

Not even close. :D I'm quite happy with my Blackhawk, but the Freedom Arms is out of my reach budget wise. And, I'll take a redhawk or even a M27/28 N frame over any Colt in DA for strength. The Smith is debatable, the Ruger isn't.

918v
July 4, 2010, 01:25 AM
I'll take a redhawk or even a M27/28 N frame over any Colt in DA for strength.

Even the New Service?

CraigC
July 4, 2010, 01:40 PM
As an aside, I'd love to see Colt reintroduce the New Service just as it was back then. Only in modern steels with proper heat treating in both classic and "modern" chamberings like the .44Mag. It would be on par with the Redhawk for strength.

harmonic
July 4, 2010, 04:56 PM
One additional problem with pushing .357 to such high pressures is top strap cutting

Not everyone agrees that solely high pressures cause top strap cutting. Some think it's caused by using slow buring powders w/lightweight bullets.

The 125 grain bullets driven to maximum velocities used large charges of relatively slow-burning powders. Handloaders know the powder types as WW296 and H-110, among others. The combination of slow ball-type powders and the short bearing surface of the 125 bullets allows prolonged gas cutting of the forcing cone and top strap area, accelerating erosion and wear.

Borescope studies of rifle, machine gun, and auto cannon chamber throats shows a lizzard-skin-like texture due to this gas cutting damage, called "brinelling". The results of brinelling are fine microcracks that weaken the surface of the steel, and further promote erosion. In machine guns and auto cannons, barrel life is measured in terms of "useable accuracy", and round counts that determine this are based on group sizes at engagement ranges.

In the K-frame magnums, the forcing cone dimensions combined with the barrel shank dimensions results in a relatively thin shank at the 6 o'clock position, where a machine cut is made to clear the crane. This is usually where the forcing cone cracks. The L and N frames use much beefier barrel shanks and do not have this cut. S&W intended the K frame magnums to be "carried much and fired seldom" service arms, designed to fire .38 Specials indefinitely, with light to moderate use of .357 Magnums. You notice that S&W has discontinued production of K frame .357 magnums, no doubt due to product liability issues and a couple generations of K frame magnum experience.

Oro
July 7, 2010, 06:19 AM
Yeah, flame cutting is just a non-issue. It is self-limiting as once it hits a certain level, it stops as the flame front cant reach any further. It might be a tad unsightly, but it's just not a serious concern.

Honestly, I have thought about this issue of a strong .357 and I was out riding on the 4th and my mind suddenly said, "Titanium." Then my horse noted I was not paying attention and reigning him in so he took the opportunity to leap up to a gallup and rapidly re-acquire my attention. So were I want the toughest .357 cylinder I could find, I'd get the S&W 520, the forged-steel framed variant with the titanium cylinder (meaning the L frame variant, not the earlier all-steel N-frame NYSP model, both were named "520").

One of them went for about $450 on GB over the holiday while I was away; I was an idiot for not bidding on it aforehand; I've wanted one of those for years for some testing and play. I don't love the looks or the ECM two-piece barrel, but that titanum cylinder is a marvel of engineering and machining. I'm confident a titanium L-frame is stronger than any Ruger and likely at least a competitive match against any out-sized cast or forged steel SA specialty gun that you need a third arm to stabilize and an atv to help lug around.

Harmonic:

I'd like to agree with your quote, and much of it indeed solidly factual, but that it's only partially correct and not attributed makes me want to see the whole argument. It has an assertion embedded in it that violates some basic physical laws (that a lighter weight bullet with shorter bearing surfaces lets the powder work longer against the top strap - that's just so obviously wrong). The fact it has one serious error in it makes it subject to further scrutiny rather than accepting it as-is.

While the fact is that the lighter bullets used larger charges of powders like 2400, they did not result in higher peak pressures - the bullets reacted according to what physics dictated and moved out more quickly; there's no linear correlation of pressure when using 16gr. of 2400 and a 158gr. bullet and using 19gr. of 2400 with a 125 gr. bullet. In fact from careful observers of the time it was noted that the extreme flame cutting and fc cracking came only from a very specific commercial bullet loading that was widely suspected not be standard pressure.

In full disclosure, I think I know the source of that quote and the author, while prolific, is not the most knowledgeable about ballistics or physics.

mjb
July 7, 2010, 01:46 PM
I thought the Ruger Redhawk was in .41 and .44, not .357

CraigC
July 7, 2010, 09:17 PM
Yes, one more time, the Redhawk 'was' produced in .357Mag. They are now mostly relegated to collector status and priced accordingly. They're so big and heavy, I really don't know why anybody would want one but different strokes for different folks I reckon.

Don't forget the .45Colt as well.

content
July 7, 2010, 09:44 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // I'd say N-Frame S&W ....in .357 My Model 28 highway Patrol would be hard to beat.

As a big plus the cylinder makes the frame look like a whimp.
I believe S&W could safely use this same size cylinder bored out for the .41/.44 rounds.

CraigC
July 7, 2010, 10:30 PM
I believe S&W could safely use this same size cylinder bored out for the .41/.44 rounds.
Uh, they do and have been for over 100yrs, long before the advent of the .357Mag. :confused:

content
July 7, 2010, 10:33 PM
Thought so but was not sure so did not post it ... thanks

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