.357 Magnum vs. .44 Magnum, pros and cons!


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DemonTweaks
February 3, 2011, 09:16 PM
Hello every one!

I recently decided to take up shooting again (used to shot rifles and bow when young) and figure I'll go big. So went to a local gun shop and tried out the famous .357 Magnum in three different size revolvers.
Was way fun and inspiring!
Except for the first five rounds thru a 2" barreled Ruger...
NOT a great start choice from the guy behind the counter...

Anyway.

Been thinking to maybe step it up even more to the even more famous .44 Magnum though. Will probably go and test some of them out too.
My main usage will be target, paper and other objects, and in worst case scenario, home/personal defense.

I would like some feedback on the good and bad with the two above mentioned calibers.
Is the 44 too much? (I'm not going to hunt or anything like that)
Big, if any, difference in cost of ammunition? (want to shoot it quite a bit so i can handle it well)

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Redd Orion
February 3, 2011, 09:35 PM
I suppose I might ask: How big a boy are ya'? ;) Both can be tough to handle for smaller people, or those with smallish hands.

I have had enough experience with .357 revolvers to not have a great deal of respect for the caliber. I know I'm going to get flamed for that, but here's my take: They have more recoil than I think they deserve to give. For small-bore out of small arms, there is 9mm and .40SW. Both are deadly, accurate and fast. When you want to step up to larger bore, there is the venerable .45ACP and the .44 Magnum.

I briefly considered purchasing a 357 for awhile, until I shot a few from friends and rentals. Ballistically they are impressive, but compared to other cartridges out there, for me they fall into the "why bother" category.

What I settled on for a paper-poker/pig gun was the Smith & Wesson Performance Center .44 Mag light hunter. Might be kinda pricey if you're just getting back into shooting after a long hiatus, but tons of fun and a worthy sidearm in the field.

I might suggest trying to rent or borrow a ported .44 mag, as that makes a huge difference. With a larger revolver you will want the recoil to be aimed straight back towards you as opposed to straight up, causing unwieldy and uncomfortable barrel rise.

Bottom line, try 'em both!

bluetopper
February 3, 2011, 10:18 PM
If you're not going to reload there no greater pleasure in shooting than a nice target 38, for one, it wont abuse you, it's very accurate and powerful enough for just about anything.
I highly recommend handloading/reloading. If you do, the 44 Magnum will open up a whole new world of shooting fun. and versatility; from mild to wild.

As for the 357......it really doesn't do anything for me anymore now that I took up reloading and the 44 Mag.

Old krow
February 3, 2011, 11:24 PM
Welcome to THR guys!

My advice would be to take a quick look at ammoengine and price ammo. Both are good guns and both have their place, but can be a little on the pricey side for the range if you do not reload. Of course "pricey" is a relative term, but there's a noticeable difference, especially when compared to something like a 9mm or 40SW.

Like parisite said, hand loading makes it all the more bearable and more versatile. I doubt that I'd consider them range guns if I wanted to shoot a pretty good bit and didn't load my own. Of course a "pretty good bit" is also a relative term.

Try them both and see which one you like best and see if the ammo costs suite you.

gwalchmai
February 3, 2011, 11:38 PM
You have presented a false dichotomy - there is no reason not to have them both. As noted, reloading is a must for the .44, both for the economy factor and the fact that it allows you to bring out the true potential of caliber. I paid off my Dillon 550 with the savings from the first 3500 rounds I loaded.

A halfways decent handloader can easily tailor mild plinking loads(180gr bullets @ 700fps) to wild (300gr bullets @ 1000fps) grizzly killers. That makes the .44 pretty versatile. And of course the same can be done with the .357.

BUT, if I were limited to factory ammo I'd get a 4" or 6" .357, preferably a S&W 686.

ColtPythonElite
February 3, 2011, 11:41 PM
You don't reload, want it for punching paper and self-defense....A 4" .357 fits the bill best, IMO.

SPW1
February 4, 2011, 12:13 AM
I like both, but if I had to narrow it down to one or another I would probably take a full size 357 with at least a four inch barrel over the 44 magnum. In my opinion a 357 needs at least a four inch barrel to make it worth while, less than that and you might as well go with a 38 special. Properly loaded a 357 will take game up to deer size or a bit bigger just fine and it is easier to find 357's that balance and point well without being overly bulky. That said, the first gun I ever bought was a 44 mag revolver and I have a soft spot for them, I just don't think they are as versatile or as practical as a full size 357 due to their considerable bulk. This is especially true of double action revolvers.

788Ham
February 4, 2011, 12:31 AM
As the above poster just said, get a 4" .357, shoot 38's until you get fairly good with it, then go to the heavier recoiling .357. If you haven't had much experience with revolvers, STAY away from the .44 mag, it'll beat you up! If recoil bothers you to the point of not wanting to shoot the .44 mag, and decide on shooting 44 spec., no sense in spending the money for a .44 mag! Be sensible about what you are wanting to undertake, unless money flows into your pocket better than mine!

doctorxring
February 4, 2011, 01:35 AM
.

The only thing better than a 357 or 44 Magnum is a 45 Colt.

If you handload. If you want power and are going factory ammo, then 44 Magnum
is a much power as most people can handle in a revolver.

dxr

.

frankenstein406
February 4, 2011, 01:44 AM
357, 38 for cheap plinking and 357 hd or plinking to. Good luck

David E
February 4, 2011, 01:57 AM
Anyone who asks this question should get the .357 The .44 magnum is best bought by the guy who already knows he wants or needs it.

The Ruger GP-100 or S&W 686 would fill the bill nicely.

And, maybe the OP already knows it, but a .357 can also shoot .38 special, adding to the versatility.

HelterSkelter
February 4, 2011, 02:24 AM
both are great guns, but i prefer the .357. it's a better manstopper and it's a lot cheaper to shoot. with a .357 you can also shoot .38s through it which are way cheaper than .357s and a helluva lot cheaper than .44 magnum or .44 special.

either gun can be shot by anyone of any size easily with practice. i'm 5'9" 145 lbs with average size hands and i can shoot either without any problem. in fact even the hottest and heaviest loads i don't feel satisfied.

TwoNiner
February 4, 2011, 02:44 AM
Welcome to the world of revolver demon.

I'll give you some advice someone once gave me--go with either as you'll eventually have both .357 and .44.

My first revolver was a .357 mag GP 100 with a 6" barrel. The Ruger is a thing of beauty and tough as nails. Handles hot loads just fine and your hands don't get beat up thanks to the nice rubber grips. The gun is inexpensive and a great value.

Funny thing is I actually bought a s&w .44 6" about a week before I got the mag. I ended up canceling the order before the waiting period was up and switched over to the Ruger. I originally thought the .44 would be cooler but ended up going the more conservative route and it was a good decision in the end. Don't be fooled, the .357 is one powerful round.

forindooruseonly
February 4, 2011, 11:30 AM
Go with the .357 and start with the .38 specials. I don't know your level of shooting experience from the past and whether you have much experience with handguns, but if you are relatively new to handguns the .44 will probably give you lots of bad habits, especially if you are shooting factory loads through it. .44s are pretty stout, especially out of shorter barrels, and as a result many inexperienced shooters develop a pretty bad flinch and start jerking the trigger. This, of course, means they don't hit much with it.

If you start with a .357, you still have a very powerful handgun with a magnum cartridge, but with .38s it is pretty mild and ammo is much cheaper until you start to reload. Of course, you can shoot .44 specials in a .44, but the price goes up and they are still pretty powerful rounds.

CraigC
February 4, 2011, 03:29 PM
Anyone who asks this question should get the .357 The .44 magnum is best bought by the guy who already knows he wants or needs it.
Agreed! If you have to ask, you probably should just buy a .357. Gaining proficiency with a good .44Mag is not for the feint of heart or the non-handloader.

GP100man
February 4, 2011, 10:10 PM
I`ve owned numerous GPs & Redhawks !!

I`m down to a6" &4" Stainless GP & a 7 1/2" Redhawk hunter. These STAY !!!!

I cast & load my own is the only way I`ve been able to shoot em to any amount !!

Scrounging components is my only worry , primers & brass being the costliest !

Get the 357 first

Minnesota Wild
February 4, 2011, 11:32 PM
Obviously the whole point of a gun used for fun, like a motorcycle or piece of luxury electronics, is that it turns you on. While it may be easier to shoot a 357 than a 44, the whole point you cite is to have fun. If fun to you means the biggest boom, then get the 44.

For the rest, I agree with the previous posts. The 357 is incredibly versitle; there are 38 Special loads that are no more powerful than a 22LR, up to 125 gr loads that are more powerful than the standard auto loads. The 44 has become more mainstream, but it's still a specialty gun. 44 Mag loads are pretty fierce in all but the largest guns. If you want to load down, both 44 Special brass and loaded ammo isn't very widely available. 38 and 357 are some of the most popular loadings period and hence are cheaper and available everywhere.

I think you'll enjoy shooting either, but if you're torn between the two, I think 357 gives you more options.

asm19
February 5, 2011, 12:42 AM
If it's down to the 357 and 44, go with 357. If you're not going to hunt with it then why pay a dollar or more per round just to punch holes in paper. Get yourself a Ruger GP-100 and you'll never regret it. 38 special wadcutters punch holes in paper better than anything I've shot and have very little recoil. When you want to shoot something with a little more power, load some 357's and you'll know what a versatile tool you have.

Nothing against the mighty 44, I just believe it belongs in the woods taking down big and dangerous animals, not in the recreational shooting or home defense arena.

Also, for recreational shooting fun, don't overlook a single action 22 revolver.

hermannr
February 5, 2011, 01:59 AM
I see you live in Washington State, as I also do. You cannot hunt in WA with a .357, it is specifically excluded. If you ever want to hunt with this weapon, get a 44 mag, or better yet a 45 colt (LC)

You can down load a 44 mag or 45 colt for plinking, and load both up for hunting. the 45 feels softer for the same power level.

CDawg
February 5, 2011, 05:28 AM
First revolver I purchased in 1982 was a Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum. Recently my Uncle gave me a stainless Dan Wesson .44 magnum with multiple interchangable barrels. The .44 magnums are great revolvers. I reload, so it's much cheaper to shoot them. I also have some .357's: Colt King Cobra; Ruger Security Six; and a Ruger SP101. The .357's are much cheaper to shoot with factory ammo, since you can use .38 special. Fiocchi also makes a .357 magnum 142 TMJ round that is reasonable cheap to shoot at the range. Pretty hot round. The SP101 is the 3" barrel version. That's the smallest barrel length I care to shoot .357 magnums from. I like both the .44 and .357 magnums, but if I could only choose one, it would be a good .357 with a 4" barrel.

Quoheleth
February 5, 2011, 08:59 AM
Both are good choices.

Skeeter Skelton was a big-time champion of the .357 for decades, but after the advent of the .44 Magnum, came to love it as well. However, both had their place. For big game and silhouette, he was a .44 Magnum man all the way. But for police work, general handgun use, and range work, the .357 was nearest and dearest.

He summarized the relationship of the two this way: "It's the case of a good little man getting the hell beat outta him by a good, bigger man."

Q

walker944
February 5, 2011, 09:26 AM
TwoNiner said it best: I'll give you some advice someone once gave me--go with either as you'll eventually have both .357 and .44.

lobo9er
February 5, 2011, 09:54 AM
If it's down to the 357 and 44, go with 357. If you're not going to hunt with it then why pay a dollar or more per round just to punch holes in paper.

357 is a good place to start and if your not going to hunt and just shoot paper, Unless you just want something louder the paper isn't going to notice the difference :)

riflenut
February 5, 2011, 09:58 AM
you would be better off buying the 357.the round is a good defensive round for protection.also for target you can use 38 rounds for target shooting alot cheaper round than a 44 mag.

hunterbob
February 5, 2011, 09:59 AM
If you are a novice, pistol shooter, I would get a 22 target pistol and join a group of target shooters at a range. You will learn how to hold the weapon and shoot accurately. Work your way up to the caliber you feel is right for you. Shooting different guns once in a while is not enough. No matter what pistol you get, still practice, practice, practice.
I have fired countless 357 rounds in a model 26 S/W. Never thought there was a recoil problem.
I have fired countless 44 mag rounds (redhwk), and I have shot it one handed at times. Recoil is the nature of the beast and I like it. My wife carries a Redhawk 44 mag for her personal protection and enjoys shooting it.

I use 44 special ammo for self defense in my 44 mags and hunt with it too.
I use 38 special ammo in my 357 or 357 mag for self defense (CCW) its a medium frame revolver , easy to carry. The caliber gives an option for each gun. (lessons recoil)

My main stay is my 1911-A... bigger is better to get me to my shotgun.

Each weapon has a different purpose for me, more is better.

Hunt480
February 5, 2011, 10:40 AM
My wife carries a Redhawk 44 mag for her personal protection and enjoys shooting it.

"She's a keeper"

Jimfern
February 5, 2011, 11:33 AM
TwoNiner said it best:
Quote:
I'll give you some advice someone once gave me--go with either as you'll eventually have both .357 and .44.

I resemble that remark. Wife can shoot my S&W 629. The Hogue rubber grips really to help with recoil.

DemonTweaks
February 5, 2011, 04:16 PM
Thanks for all the input guys and gals!

Seams that I'll start out with a .357 then. Make sense to start 'small' and work up and the fact it takes .38 Specials too, which will make a small, stubbie carry gun later smart too since most of them are that caliber.

Will try out the .44 too before just to be sure though ;)

"Old Krow" thanks for the tip of 'ammoengine'! Very useful and easy to check up things on. Did turn out that .38 Special ain't much cheaper than .357 Magnums though... (Well depending on when you check, it changes up and down there rather often/quick)

Now is the 'issue' with selection. Been eyeballing Taurus 'Raging Bull' line (not available in .357 though) but they seam on the big side for my hand, the trigger reach is rather long in DA. SA is no problem. Maybe there 'Tracker" line fits better? Medium frame?
Input please!

When I was at the range I did try two S&W 686s. One 4" and one 6". The build quality of them definitely where good but the Tauruses I've seen are in my opinion as nice BUT several hundreds less.
Think I'll save that for ammo and get good first!

SPW1
February 5, 2011, 05:14 PM
Thanks for all the input guys and gals!

Seams that I'll start out with a .357 then. Make sense to start 'small' and work up and the fact it takes .38 Specials too, which will make a small, stubbie carry gun later smart too since most of them are that caliber.

Will try out the .44 too before just to be sure though ;)

"Old Krow" thanks for the tip of 'ammoengine'! Very useful and easy to check up things on. Did turn out that .38 Special ain't much cheaper than .357 Magnums though... (Well depending on when you check, it changes up and down there rather often/quick)

Now is the 'issue' with selection. Been eyeballing Taurus 'Raging Bull' line (not available in .357 though) but they seam on the big side for my hand, the trigger reach is rather long in DA. SA is no problem. Maybe there 'Tracker" line fits better? Medium frame?
Input please!

When I was at the range I did try two S&W 686s. One 4" and one 6". The build quality of them definitely where good but the Tauruses I've seen are in my opinion as nice BUT several hundreds less.
Think I'll save that for ammo and get good first!
Try the ruger gp100 and see if you like it. With a Taurus there is a pretty decent chance of getting a bad one. There is not that much difference in price between a new ruger gp100 and a new taurus tracker and quality is considerably more consistent with ruger than with Taurus. The ruger will also hold its value a lot better than the taurus should you ever decide to sell it.

lobo9er
February 6, 2011, 02:25 AM
Learn from my mystake buy as much gun as you can afford. Rugers are known for quality and affordablility. I wish my first snubby was a Ruger Sp101. Thats all I have to say about that. :) and have fun now you know what you want! A 357 is good stuff!

Buck Snort
February 6, 2011, 02:42 AM
. The only thing better than a 357 or 44 Magnum is a 45 Colt..


The only thing better than a 45 Colt is a 454 Casull...............and it goes on and on until you get to the 500 S@W!!

earplug
February 6, 2011, 02:55 AM
I own both. I have to admit to not shooting the 44 in many moons.
I reload so cost is not a big factor.
The .357/38 special is just fun to shoot.
My S&W 625 in 45 ACP is a very close contender for target use.

_N4Z_
February 6, 2011, 11:20 AM
I will chime in on this. Go .357 mag, and do give the Rugers (GP100 and SP101) and hard look. I have both, no plans of losing either. Also started reloading - highly recommended. Opens up a whole new world of possibilities. I have found some load combinations that will make you grin silly when shooting them.
Got so taken up with it I now also own a Marlin 1894c, which of course shoots the .357.

I have shot the .44mag, and as others have already stated, it is a much larger animal. I liked it, but I doubt I would shoot one as much as I do the .357. Out of revolvers with full house loads you get quite a wave of impulse down the arm and thru the shoulder. ....This shooter has mild "arthur" in his shoulder so.... :uhoh: Doesn't feel good. One exception I found concerning .44 mag recoil is the DesertEagle. Those things are recoil sponges and alot of fun.

Peter M. Eick
February 6, 2011, 11:30 AM
Pro's
357 Magnum, I can bang away with full power 1935 power level (beyond today's book max loads) for a full morning session and not develop flinch or really have problems shooting it. I get bored before I flinch.

Con's
44 Magnum, I flinch after a few hundred rounds.

To me, the 44 Mag is more gun then I can shoot for long periods of time and have fun. This is why I don't own one. I went to the 357 SuperMag for my 44 Mag power level gun.

45Fan
February 6, 2011, 11:38 AM
I hunt with my revolvers. The 357 does, at least for me, fall into the why bother category. It is plenty to take a deer at short range, but the 44 does it better. I reload, so cost isnt really an issue with ammo.
If I were looking at just shooting targets, and possibly self defence, then the 357 would be the first choice. ammo is a little less expensive, still plenty of power for the job, and doesnt have as much recoil.
Thats not to say the 44 wont work for SD purposes, just not my first choice. I would try shooting a few pistols in 44, and base your decision from there, if that is possible.

lobo9er
February 6, 2011, 12:32 PM
One exception I found concerning .44 mag recoil is the DesertEagle. Those things are recoil sponges and alot of fun.

Agree.

jmr40
February 6, 2011, 01:31 PM
I started with a 357 mag and can't say anything bad about the round. I've had numerous 357 mag revolvers, mostly Smith L frame and Rugers, but with a few others as well.

About a year after I bought a 4" 629 I sold all of my 357's. The 629 is only slightly larger than a L frame Smith or Ruger GP-100 and is slightly lighter which most people don't realize.

I've decided the hot loaded 44 special rounds are a BETTER choice for self defense than 357 loads. I usually shoot the 44 Specials or mid range 44mag loads which actually recoil less, and have much less muzzle blast than full power 357 loads. If full power loads are needed the option is there.

Basically the 44 will do anything the 357 will do, plus a lot more. There are only 2 downsides that I see. If you need a small gun there are some small frame, 5 shot 357's out there. Nothing in 44 in that size, but you've already seen how those handle. If you want a small gun there are better chioces. If you are going to buy a full size L frame Smith or Ruger GP-100 the size of the gun is almost identical to the Smith 44's.

The other consideraton is cost. 44 revolvers cost more, and ammo is more expensive.

I do have another 357 now. Ran across a really nice Smith 28 at a great price a few years back and now have another 357 in the house.

rayman
February 6, 2011, 08:14 PM
Yeah, get both if you can afford it. Magnums are a lot of fun. (My favs, S&W 460, 454 Casull, and .45 long colt.)

pacpiper
February 6, 2011, 08:42 PM
and yet another 357/44 bashing.

There's those who like them and those who don't.

They both are strong guns but that's something you already knew.

The beauty of both of these choices are that they both can shoot not only there own respective calibers in whatever load you feel comfortable with but they also shoot 38 special, +P, and 44 special respectively.

Hence making for a completely customizable firearm for your tweaking enjoyment.

Seems to me some good choices.

GL

(and I have both)

Magnumite
February 7, 2011, 02:02 AM
DemonTweaks, I would go with a Smith or Ruger. One typically gets what they pay for in a gun. You don't want to be frustrated with anything not up to reliability and accuracy tasks...especially in the learning stage. You may consider police trade ins or clean used guns. You'll save hundreds that way. Plus you'll have higher resale value.

We are now on the tail end of low revolver prices since the wheel gun prices are creeping up little by little, so you can take advantage of some good buys. If you have a shooting friend knowledgable with guns, have him check out some of the guns which appeal to you to make sure you don't get taken advantage of.

And when you try a 44 Magnum, stay away from light weights and short barrels in the 2 and 3 inch catagory until you get truly familiar with the round. The short barrel robs considerable velocity from the loads and the light weight will turn you off to the round and could lend to developing bad shooting habits which can be a bear to break. Get a 5 - 6.5" barreled 44 Mag and you'll have a pleasant experience. If its a Redhawk or a S&W full lugged barrel, that much better. The heavier guns really do dampen recoil.

Cosmoline
February 7, 2011, 02:21 AM
You have presented a false dichotomy - there is no reason not to have them both.

This is true on several levels. The .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum are really very different cartridges in different classes. The .44 Mag is a far more potent round and calls for a larger platform to shoot with any level of comfort. The ammo is also much more expensive, so handloading is required for any extensive shooting. The .357 Magnum is tolerable in a revolver of about 25 oz or more, and comfortable above 30 oz. You can get 50 round boxes for under $20 most places and you don't have to handload--though it's a nice round to handload.

BCRider
February 7, 2011, 04:16 PM
The bigger the casing the more flexibility you have in loads. A .44Mag gun can shoot stuff that is soft up to arm pounders. Just because it says .44Mag on the barrel doesn't mean every shot needs to be a max load. But to achieve this flexibility demands that you reload your ammo.

I recently got a .44Mag gun of my own and i'm seriously looking forward to loading up everything from cowboy action type softies to full house barn burners that shoot out a massive eyebrow singing fireball along with the hunk o' lead. Along the way I'll likely shoot MOSTLY .44Spl type power loads for fun and accuracy.

A .357 can do the same thing for the lower end. Shooting low power wadcutter accuracy loads up to full power .357Magnum loads. But then it stops. It doesn't have the cojones to step up to the next level and match what the .44 can deliver.

Note that this is all based on using the gun for plinking fun or hunting. What I've suggested has nothing to do with defense shooting. Just range giggles or maybe hunting.

george30
February 7, 2011, 04:58 PM
A 4" 357 magnum is what you need. I personally like full underlugs to decrease muzzle flip and they will keep you on target in rapid fire. It sounds like you want to be in the $400 price range. You should look into used S&W 586's and 686's. Also look into Ruger gp100's. Don't waste your time with Taurus. There's more of a chance of needing to send it back to the factory, which will take forever and be a pain. Once you have some fun with your 357 you will probably want a bigger bang and end up getting a 44 mag in the future. Good luck

NMGonzo
February 7, 2011, 05:57 PM
3 inch 357

PapaG
February 7, 2011, 06:42 PM
Unless you are comfortable with a lot of noise, recoil and expense go with the 357 in a medium framed gun.

I load my 44s for most purposes other than big game down to about 1000 fps and they compare in recoil to a full 357.

Vern Humphrey
February 8, 2011, 11:34 AM
You don't reload, want it for punching paper and self-defense....A 4" .357 fits the bill best, IMO.
That pretty well sums it up. For paper-punching, go with light, low cost, .38 Specials. For self-defense, full charge .357s.

Splitear_Leland
February 8, 2011, 01:45 PM
I have a S&W 29 in 44 mag, and to be honest with you, it scared the pants off of me the first few times it took it out, and I'm 6'4" and 240. But honestly, once you get used to it, it's a lot of fun to shoot, but unfortunately it's kind of....really expensive to shoot unless you reload.

DemonTweaks
February 14, 2011, 02:03 PM
Well I ended up with a 6" SS Ruger GP-100!
Found a used one at a local(ish) dealer and it was a nice gun at the right price. The Ruger was the most recommended and after looking at one I understand why, they are very well made and seams to be super sturdy! Where kind of difficult here (Seattle WA) to locate one but I think it was just Ruger being behind on production.

Ordered up some .38Spl and +P and some Hornady and Magtech .357s. Figure I'll start out 'light' to set up sights (and myself) and go up to full loads.

What ammo brand/loads is good for what though?

Heard of some 'Buffalo loads' that is supposed super powerful when the need for big bang comes on.
And 'Fiocchi' seams to stand out too with high velocity's AND affordable prices...

ptb351
February 14, 2011, 02:25 PM
Congratulations. My 1st gun was a 6" SS GP-100. I researched quite a bit and ordered exactly what I wanted. I love the gun and will have it forever.

enjoy.

EVIL
February 14, 2011, 09:42 PM
Congrats on picking up the GP-100 - you'll be glad ...it's a keeper & built to last! The 6" version should be an excellent paper puncher. I think you made the right call! If you get used to the full house .357 loads and want a challenge down the road you can get a .44 Mag too :) Se safe and enjoy your time at the range!

460Kodiak
February 14, 2011, 11:06 PM
Congrats on the GP100. I'm pretty sure you'll love it.

As far as loads. I'd look at Hornady, Speer Gold Dots, and Winchester PDX for your HD rounds.

If you do ever decide to get a hand cannon, consider a S&W 460 Magnum. They are more versatile than a .44. They are also unfortunatley quite expensive.

I say, if you're going to do something wrong, then do it right.

Enjoy your new gun, and welcome to the .357 lovers club!!!!!!!!!

fixxer
February 14, 2011, 11:52 PM
Well, that settles it. You gotta have both! We can't let you not have a personal defense peice as good as the .357 mag AND a .44 mag for protection against stalking predators. But seriously. I have both a Ruger .357mag (the short barrel that you hated) and it is a superb CCW/home defense pistol. I also have a .44 Mag Colt Anaconda with the long barrel. It makes the big bad .357 look like a little toy. It is a superb handgun for backup hunting. I am going to scoop up a Colt snake .357 to match the Anaconda. The Ruger is okay but they just don't make em' like this Colt anymore. Butter smooth trigger out of the box, perfect fit and finish. Probably the reason they sell for about 3 times the price as when they were new. I still like them Rugers too though. Especially after a Wolf spring kit job. .357 wheel guns and 1911's. Gotta love em.

DemonTweaks
February 16, 2011, 08:11 PM
Well the 'test ammo' is here!
If it only where tomorrow so I could pick up the GP...;)

LKB3rd
February 16, 2011, 09:51 PM
I've never owned a .44 magnum, but for me a great advantage of .357 is the .38 special, which is mild to shoot, accurate, and widely available.

Spec ops Grunt
February 17, 2011, 12:35 AM
Just got a 4 inch Speed Six in NIB condition.

Barkoff
February 17, 2011, 01:00 AM
Congrats on the .357. Throw a little Buffalo Bore in her, with the lighter pistol, those loads will give you a thrill close a .44

Old krow
February 17, 2011, 01:33 AM
Congrats on the Ruger! It's a good choice IMHO.

Like everyone else has said, you might as well start looking for 44s now. :D

I generally find .38 SPL to be a little less expensive than .357. You should be able to find them pretty cheap if you look around a bit. I agree with the guys advocating them for range use. I personally think that the .357 is more fun to shoot though.

I recently got a .44Mag gun of my own and i'm seriously looking forward to loading up everything from cowboy action type softies to full house barn burners that shoot out a massive eyebrow singing fireball along with the hunk o' lead.

Cuz sometimes you wanna burn the paper after you've killed it :what:
Got to love reloading :D

snooperman
February 17, 2011, 10:08 AM
You can practice and hunt small game with 38 special and have the power of the 180 gr 357 if you need it. There are far more 357 's made and sold each year than the 44 mag for this reason alone. The ammo is also cheaper as well. If I could only have one revolver it would be the 357 magnum.

jrb_pro
February 17, 2011, 02:10 PM
To each his own, but I chose the S&W 629 6" .44 Magnum, and have never looked back. I wanted a big bore revolver for shooting paper or shooting game...and that would be sufficient for personal protection if I needed it.

Could I have picked something else? Sure. Would I enjoy it as much (based on other guns I have shot in different calibers)? Probably not.

But, like I said, to each his own. :) That Ruger you bought is a NICE gun, and I'm sure you'll absolutely love it.

Hedgemeister
February 17, 2011, 03:10 PM
I have a 3" GP100. The balance of this gun is awesome, IMO better than the 4". I can't believe the accuracy of this thing with a 3" barrel. It is now my trusted woods carry. Congrats on yours and I am interested in hearing the range report.

DemonTweaks
February 23, 2011, 05:40 PM
Range time went well!
Cool thing is that the shop I bought it at have a nice indoor range and they gave me one month free pass!
Nice service, thanks!

So initial tests concluded; no apparent difference between 38spl @ 125gr. (Magtech 38Q) and +P @ 110gr. (Fiocchi).
Same with 158gr. Magtech 357A @ 1233fps and Hornady 125gr. XTP @ 1500fps.
Both loads in respective cambering felt about the same compared to each other. (Bullet weight takeout the more powerful loads?)
BUT, off course, rather big difference from 38 to 357! And I like that Magnum kick! :evil: So I just ordered up some 'Buffalo Bore' 125gr. that is rated @ 1700fps and 800+ ft/lbs and some 'Double Tap' 200gr. @1300fps and 640 ft/lbs. Will be interesting and fun to see how they feel/behave with super heavy vs. super fast.

And you guys where right with the 'have both'... Already been looking around the net for some 'cannons' :rolleyes:
Cuz' it seams that alot of guys go out and buy the biggest, baddest calibers there is in either huge size (Ruger SRH 9.5", Raging bull 8.375"etc.) or too small (Ruger 'Alaskan') and shoot them extremely seldom since they didn't realize that it gets kind of crazy with massive power :eek: (and even more so with a 2.25" barrel...) And then they sell them! Often for a pretty low price too. :cool:

youngda9
February 23, 2011, 08:51 PM
^^^ We have all just witnessed the birth of a recoil junkie.

Welcome to the club.

My cannons:
Ruger SP101 3" .357 mag
S&W 686-4+ 4" .357 mag
S&W 629-4 6.5" .44 mag

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