.44 Mag or .357 mag for SHTF.


PDA






Brilton
November 1, 2011, 10:36 PM
Given the choice would you rather have one or the other? I'm looking at an S&W 629 with a 4" barrel and being that there are scores more .357 chambered revolvers I'm not sure which direction to go. Remember mainly for SHTF, take ammo availability and cost vs. stopping power and sustainability for multiple shots. .44 mag bear loads are PUNISHING. Really looking for all angles on this so write away.

If you enjoyed reading about ".44 Mag or .357 mag for SHTF." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rcmodel
November 1, 2011, 10:48 PM
If you have to carry a 6 months supply of ammo with you, go with a .22 Rim-Fire rifle.
But even the .357 would enable you to pack about twice as much ammo in one trip then a .44 Mag.

IMO: A .44 Mag is not at all well suited or necessary for SHTF or SD because of the heavy recoil. Fast follow-up shots on multiple targets would be very difficult for the average person to pull off.

I'm a died in the wool old revolver guy.
But for any form of combat, including imaginary SHTF heroics?
I'd personally rather have a hi-cap 9mm or .40 S&W auto pistol and a few extra mags.

Or better yet, no handgun at all and an AR-15 Carbine and a few extra mags!

If you let them get into handgun fighting distance, you done screwed the pooch tactically.

Cause you can bet your sorry hind end they are gonna have rifles if they have a clue what they are doing!

rc

Brilton
November 1, 2011, 10:53 PM
Very good point. I just finished my AR just want something that'll punch hole in bad guys and the horse they rode in on.

ldhulk
November 1, 2011, 11:33 PM
You have a much wider choice of gun sizes with the .357, all the way from alloy J frame snubs up to heavy frame cannons as big as the .44's. Also more manufacturers. The
.357 is as much power as you need for self defense against human targets, and is easier to shoot rapidly. Some of the newer .357's give you an extra shot or two over the .44; 7 or 8-shot cylinders in the larger frame revolvers. If you want cheap practice ammo, .38 specials can be had cheaper than anything in .44.

ColtPythonElite
November 1, 2011, 11:42 PM
I have guns in both calibers. Matter of fact, I have a pair that even share the same holster. As far as carrying them goes, I can't hardly tell one from the other when it is on my side...Give your criteria for ammo availability, costs and multiple shots, which I read to mean "follow up" shots. I'd say go for the .357.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=151893&stc=1&d=1320201696

Chindo18Z
November 1, 2011, 11:51 PM
OK. I'll play:

1. .44 Remington Magnum ammo weighs more and takes up greater space on your belt or in your pockets...so you theoretically would be unable to carry as many rounds for the long term. In reality, most folks carry a couple of reloads and call it a day.

2. .44 Remington Magnum / .44 Special ammo generally costs more and is not as widely available as .357 / .38 Special. Ammo replenishment might be more difficult with the larger caliber. In the short term, when the public goes on a panic buying spree, .44 is usually left on the shelf along with other less common calibers. The most common service or CCW calibers (.380, .38, .357, 9mm, .40, & .45 ACP) seem to vanish from shelves first. Long term...you might have a greater problem replenishing .44 after several months of civil unrest where folks are actually expending bullets in quantity.

3. .44 Remington Magnum ammo is not nearly as controllable (fast followup shots) as .357. (On the other hand, .44 Special is...) This ability to manage followup shots under pressure is hugely important. It's what makes a high capacity 9mm (with modern expanding ammo) such a deadly package. Lethality, Capacity, Accuracy, Low Recoil. You give up two of those with a .44 Magnum.

4. A handgun chambered for .44 Mag is most likely gonna weigh a bit more than a comparable .357... unless you go with an alloy revolver...in which case see point #3 (in spades). More weight to carry on your belt might be an important consideration.

5. Ask yourself why .44 Magnum never caught on as a serious combat caliber for military or law enforcement agencies back in the revolver era? Not to say that the occasional real-life LEO didn't pack one, but seriously...Harry Calahan was a fictional character. Full house .44 loads deliver more Sturm und Drang than is actually required for an anti-personnel scenario. If you load .44 down to controllable levels (or simply use .44 Special), you are back into the old heavy/slow vs. light/fast argument. The .357 has an arguably decisive street track record not entirely replicated by .44 Mag. Not to say that .44 won't work (see point #6 below).

6. There isn't going to be a significant terminal performance difference between the two calibers (both will do the job), but you are going to be more likely to miss with the .44 after taking the first shot.

7. With heavier weight .44 bullets, over-penetration could be an issue (if that's important to you).

8. Both calibers can be defeated by soft armor, so .44 doesn't offer any advantage there.

9. If you envision your life and death scenario happening while driving, certain .44 loads offer good penetration on auto bodies and glass.

10. Muzzle flash is a consideration for both loads, but especially with factory full house .44 hunting ammo. Night vision is nice to have and keep in a fight.

11. A 629 loaded with a good .44 Special hollow point is a very viable self defense combination. It fits into the time proven large bore defensive revolver club (.45 ACP. .45 Colt, .44 Special). Big bullets moving at low or moderate speeds have worked well for over a century and a half. Stoked with .44 Specials, that big 629's recoil would be light. Good accuracy, lethality, and control.

Lest you think I'm going all "negative vibe" about your possible .44 choice, I'll mention that I occasionally carry a 4" Model 58 .41 Magnum (loaded with mild 175 grain Winchester Silvertips). I just happen to like the caliber and the gun. If that 629 really makes you happy, then get it. With adequate range/hunting practice, you'd certainly be well armed.

But honestly...A good .357 duty revolver is just a better choice for fighting than a .44 Magnum. .44 is a better caliber for hunting.

Your's is a nuanced question with no truly right or wrong answer. If you can hit accurately and repeatedly with the .44 while you are under stress...then it's the right choice for your purposes. The .357 is technically a better choice. But a man armed with an old Colt SAA would also be well armed as long as he really knew how to use that weapon.

If you just want a .44 Magnum for self defense...get one. You don't need logical reasons for choosing that caliber for combat use. Which is fortunate... because there really aren't any...unless you have a need to put down zombie bears. ;)

BossHogg
November 2, 2011, 12:03 AM
357/ 38 spl what the hell. when it happens that's what you need . All else in irrelevant.

gspn
November 2, 2011, 12:06 AM
Chindo...great post! I type this as I sit on the couch dry firing my 4 inch 629 in 44 mag. :D

BCCL
November 2, 2011, 12:20 AM
Of those choices, a 357 is easily the clear choice IMO.

Since your specifically saying "for SHTF", the far greater availability of 357 (and 38 special) is the only real criteria you need for it to win.

Brilton
November 2, 2011, 01:06 AM
WOW thank you chindo. Very exhaustive and thorough. I think I will do the .357 then and honestly its the ammo argument you can get it walmart depending on where you live. Thanks guys!!

PO2Hammer
November 2, 2011, 01:52 AM
Yup, .357 (and a small .22lr revolver)

carbuncle
November 2, 2011, 02:06 AM
I'd go .357, my SHTF trio would be a 4" .357 revolver, 12-gauge pump & a .308 or .30-06 bolt action rifle.

Inebriated
November 2, 2011, 02:09 AM
Depends on your idea of SHTF... Are you going to be buggin' out to the woods, and doing the whole nature man thing? If you are, .44 Magnum is the very clear choice.

If you're sticking to civilization and preparing for combat, then .357 will be better.

gazpacho
November 2, 2011, 02:40 AM
357. A revolver paired with a lever action rifle in the same caliber is a smart combination.

That said, I'd rather have an AR-15

RatherNotSay
November 2, 2011, 03:13 AM
Keeping on the idea that you are looking for a PISTOL SHTF weapon and not just a rifle I wouldn't recommend a revolver. I'm pretty sure that would stack up great against a bunch of zombies but I doubt that is a realistic SHTF. As stated above a good quality 9, 40 or even 45 will be your best bet. Larger capacity than a wheel gun, decent ballistics considering shot placement and more common calibers.

If it absolutely came down between the 2 I would say the 357 just because of the dual caliber capability of 357/38.

Use the 44 on bears :D

Dr.Rob
November 2, 2011, 03:43 AM
I think Chindo covered that about as well as it could be covered.

We don't really DO "SHTF" scenarios but as a 'do everything' revolver, a 4 inch .357 is a pretty darn versatile platform.

22-rimfire
November 2, 2011, 03:47 AM
Brilton said... Remember mainly for SHTF, take ammo availability and cost vs. stopping power and sustainability for multiple shots.

I think the 357 mag is the gun you should be looking at for reasons stated in previous posts. The 357 is more than adequate for what you mention above. But I can't imagine needing more than a couple boxes of ammo, so it doesn't matter which you choose.

It really depends a great deal on the scenario that you are preparing for and where you will be physically located; rural home, tent in the woods, suburban home, inner city, etc. An AR of some kind makes a lot of sense for stationary home defense scenarios; not so much if you are roaming the streets.

doc2rn
November 2, 2011, 03:48 AM
I keep it simple and by my pistol/rifle in combo's like both my Colts will go with my 1894c, my S&W 451 will go with my Ruger 77/22 Mk II, and my Ruger standard/ or Mk II goes with my Marlin mod 60. I am still looking for the right AR platform in 9mm to go with my FNP-9, keep tossing back n forth between that and the sub 2000.

bikerdoc
November 2, 2011, 06:55 AM
Any caliber you are good with is a fine choice. Now that that box is checked,are you considering......

Are you bugging out?
or
sheltering in place?
What about food, water, sanitation, clothing, medicine, fire, fuel, transportation?
Are you alone or have dependants to protect?
Are you part of a community of likeminded ?
Hows your fieldcraft?
Can you fix things that break?

Having a weapon is good, planning the boring, detailed stuff is hard.

Texasred
November 2, 2011, 08:23 AM
4" 357 7" alloy Smith 386+ would be a great choice that I'd take anyday over a 1911 or a colt python

USSR
November 2, 2011, 08:47 AM
...mainly for SHTF, take ammo availability...

What do you mean "ammo availability"? Your ammo availability is only limited by the amount of primers, powder, and lead you have.

Don

brnmuenchow
November 2, 2011, 11:08 AM
.357 is as much power as you need for self defense against human targets
Agreed, along with the cheaper $ aspect.

RatherNotSay
November 2, 2011, 04:29 PM
What do you mean "ammo availability"? Your ammo availability is only limited by the amount of primers, powder, and lead you have.

Don
If your in a bug out situation then you are limited to how much you can CARRY and SCAVENGE. Bug out situations are the most common as large cities have vast amounts of population. A lot of people means a lot of threats. The more threats you take down with the same ammo as you the more frequent ammo gathered. Not everyone lives in the backwoods or in a bunker with the amenities of a reloading press and stock piled powder, lead, and primers.

gunsablazin
November 2, 2011, 04:34 PM
SHTF at 25 posts, this will not end well....

W.E.G.
November 2, 2011, 04:38 PM
You need about as much ammo as you think you will expend in one gunfight or firebomb attack.

After that, you better hope somebody can carry you to a place of safety - or give you a "decent burial."

If you are planning on challenging superior forces with any of the guns mentioned, you'll probably last about 20 seconds.

So, one magazine tube full of ammo, any caliber, should be plenty.

Chindo18Z
November 2, 2011, 04:46 PM
So far, this discussion is actually entertaining and informative, so in order to guarantee its continuance...I'd suggest substituting "Trouble" for "SHTF".

Maybe edit the title?

'Cause we don't do SHTF on THR. :)

jmorris
November 2, 2011, 04:52 PM
If I had to limit myself to one of those two, it would be 357. My 357 rifles hold more rounds than my 44 carbine.

tx_pistolero
November 2, 2011, 04:59 PM
I think in this case you go with what you have and what you are familiar/comfortable with. If you haven't gotten attached to either, I would go with a .357.

First let me say, that I have a .44 mag that plays a role in my SHTF plan, but it is because I have one carried for years (boar hunting) and I reload for it. So it IS one of my fallback plans, but not plan A or plan B. Incidentally, I am not planning on bugging out anywhere, so having multiple fallback plans is an option for me. I have powder, 1000-plus 240 grain SWC's, and 500 empty brass for reloading on hand for hunting and practice. So for me that makes it worth figuring into my SHTF plans. If not, I probably would go a different route.

I think the .357 makes more sense, because it can use 38 special round, and even 9mm if you get plan ahead and get your .357's cylinder set up for moon clips. The .357 is a better combat round, by all accounts and is darn sure more controllable. Ammo is lighter per round, so more rounds per pound if bugging out figures into your plans.

That's my thinking on it, anyhow.

wow6599
November 2, 2011, 05:08 PM
All joking aside, what is it that folks envision for a "SHTF" moment? Aliens.....Zombies......Bigfoot?

If I had to go at it all alone, as the last person on earth, and could only have one firearm, it would be a 590A1. Slugs, birdshot, buckshot, 9 rd capacity and a bayonet that would probably never be used, but who knows.........

Back on topic - .357 and a matching levergun

x_wrench
November 2, 2011, 06:08 PM
i have had both, and honestly, for what you are considering, i would go with a 357. the 44 mag definitely has more power. but a hole clean through, is a hole clean through. plus, with a 357, you will be able to recover faster, and if you are forced to shoot indoors, there is at least a slight chance that your hearing may come back with a smaller round. humans, kill easy, at least compared to animals. if you wanted to hunt bear, i would send you looking for a 44 magnum (or larger). but i have killed deer with the 357 with no trouble. i mean think about it, the standard police revolver for decades was the lowly 38 special. and not even +p loads. the 357 magnum easily beats that. if you need another perspective, think of this. the 380 auto is pretty much considered the bottom edge for personal defense rounds. that has a whopping 200 foot pounds of energy. the 357 magnum, has 802 foot pounds, that is 4 times as much. do you really need all the extra recoil of a 44 magnum for defense situations?

CSA 357
November 2, 2011, 06:29 PM
Well i hope i can have both! i have cans full of ammo for both, some light loaded stuff and some not so light, I think you would be fine with one or the other if you can keep them fed!

USSR
November 2, 2011, 08:14 PM
If your in a bug out situation then you are limited to how much you can CARRY and SCAVENGE. Bug out situations are the most common as large cities have vast amounts of population. A lot of people means a lot of threats. The more threats you take down with the same ammo as you the more frequent ammo gathered. Not everyone lives in the backwoods or in a bunker with the amenities of a reloading press and stock piled powder, lead, and primers.

Bug Out, Scavenge?????:rolleyes: You are delusional. If your situation is as you outlined above, then your first concern should be relocating and removing yourself from such a situation. If you think you are going to carry all you need and live off the land, then you have been watching too much TV.

Don

oldrevolverguy
November 2, 2011, 10:41 PM
Given the choice would you rather have one or the other? I'm looking at an S&W 629 with a 4" barrel and being that there are scores more .357 chambered revolvers I'm not sure which direction to go. Remember mainly for SHTF, take ammo availability and cost vs. stopping power and sustainability for multiple shots. .44 mag bear loads are PUNISHING. Really looking for all angles on this so write away.
Both calibers have there place in my opinion. The 44 mag makes an awesome carbine cartridge. The extra barrel length turns the 44 into a solid 100 yard performer on most anything on two or four legs. It is very effective at overcoming intermediate barriers. A Marlin 1894 with 10 rounds on tap is a versatile and formidable weapon under any circumstance.
The .357 is the most highly rated manstopping cartridge period. The 38 Special adds versatility. My 4" Ruger Service Six shoots Remington .357 125 gr JHP to point of aim and with outstanding accuracy. It is rugged, light and reliable.

22-rimfire
November 2, 2011, 11:03 PM
You are not likely to be able to scavenge much. There are too many with 357 and 44 mags around. You need at least 30 days rations (at least) and the where-with-all to actually ration yourself. Pay attention to water.

Dnaltrop
November 2, 2011, 11:22 PM
Well since everyone and their extended families will have used up the .357, 38, .44. 44mag, .40, 9mm, .45, 45 acp, 45 gap, the 10mm, the .454 , the .308 and the .223...

.480!!!, should be lots of that laying around... if it's not been melted down for reloading all of the.357... 38... 44........ :D

Ash_J_Williams
November 2, 2011, 11:30 PM
SHTF? .357. There's more .38 out there than .44 special.

22-rimfire
November 2, 2011, 11:31 PM
Yeah, 480 Ruger. That has some oomph! Should be about as much lying around after as before.... I have to order online.

Do you think UPS will be running? :D

Ash_J_Williams
November 2, 2011, 11:35 PM
Bug Out, Scavenge?????:rolleyes: You are delusional. If your situation is as you outlined above, then your first concern should be relocating and removing yourself from such a situation. If you think you are going to carry all you need and live off the land, then you have been watching too much TV.

Don

I think if you're worried about a "SHTF" situation to the point of buying stuff to prepare for it, you're pretty delusional, as well.

Honestly, there are several terms I hate when it comes to guns that point to someone just being... not right to me. "Bug out" being one of them, because... where the hell do you think you're going to make it to that other people haven't gone, on a path that isn't crowded or unsafe? "BUG" I think is ridiculous because I don't know if I've EVER read of someone in a defensive situation having and need multiple guns on their person at all times, and the situation making that second or third firearm necessary. "Stopping power," because you always hear, "yeah, but if they're on drugs..." Come on, man. 99% of situations where a gun is presented to defend someone, no shots are fired and the situation is resolved. If you're the one out of a million who runs into some guy who wants to mug or harm you and happens to be on so many drugs that he doesn't care if he's shot... Who makes up this stuff? Marketing department?

I know that's an unpopular opinion to have on a firearms forum, but really, I've never heard of anyone needing a second weapon, or someone who carries multiple using multiple to defend themselves.

JFrame
November 2, 2011, 11:40 PM
If the usage for either caliber option is what I'm envisioning, then I believe the efficiency of the .357 will far exceed the .44 magnum.

The .357 is likely to be more than adequate for just about anything for which it will be pressed into service. The applications to which the power gain derived from the .44 mag can be utilized seem largely theoretical.

Added to that all the previously mentioned assets -- greater compactness of ammo, greater ease of follow-up shots, cheaper (ability to stock more rounds), etc. -- the cost benefit analysis would seem to significantly favor the .357.


.

RatherNotSay
November 2, 2011, 11:59 PM
Bug Out, Scavenge?????:rolleyes: You are delusional. If your situation is as you outlined above, then your first concern should be relocating and removing yourself from such a situation. If you think you are going to carry all you need and live off the land, then you have been watching too much TV.

Don

Who the hell said anything about living off the land and carrying all you need? I'm talking about just 3 days of essentials not your whole freaking house. My point is exactly as you stated so why would you need "all the primers, powder and lead" if S(REALY)HTF? What on Gods green earth did you think I was talking about? Zombies? That extremely dangerous flu that is just the same as the regular flu? That magical burst of sunshine in 2012?

@Williams - Bug out is a term used to describe 72 hours of amenities in a situation. Who the hell said anything about walking out of a a city/town. In fact that has to be the stupidest idea any would think of in that non practical situation. Where is this multiple guns comment coming from? Anyone say anything about carrying your entire gun case with you?

1 in a million chance of that tweaker isn't enough right? Have you ever had a law enforcement family member shoot a guy and he's still sprinting toward you yelling about the second coming of christ? It would be malevolent of me to say it but if that's whats going to change your mind go for it.

If you don't think carrying out essentials and scavenging isn't practical then tell that to those who volunteered in hurricane katrina where it was so disorganized people were drinking dirty water and attacking each other for scraps.

GRAPE-DRANK
November 3, 2011, 01:03 AM
.357

Confederate
November 3, 2011, 01:51 AM
The .357 125-gr JHP is the best manstopper. The .44 mag is strictly for large animals. It quite frequently penetrates a human and then the rest of the energy is wasted. Many of my friends who are federal cops say if they were limited to just one caliber and gun, it would be the Ruger Mark II/III and a bunch of .22LR rounds. Back when the SHTF in Argentina years ago, people were using .22LR ammo as barter! And when sanctions were placed on South Africa because of their racial policies, people in that country bought up Rugers because they knew they would work for years without any parts replacements! With parts restricted, they needed guns that could be used every day for hard use! The Ruger autos really fit that bill. When I worked for the NRA years ago, I interviewed quite a few people from South Africa and Rhodesia, and their Rugers held up for years with minimal maintenance.

Hondo 60
November 3, 2011, 02:45 AM
I reload, so all the "lack of ammo" arguments are out the door.
I can just reload what ever caliber I want.

The 44 mag is definitely going to hit the target harder than a .357 mag.
So one-shot stops are gonna be much more frequent, hence the need for less ammo.
At 15 yards I can hit what I aim at, so I won't be wasting a lot of ammo.

And my guns are both Ruger, a 4" Redhawk & a 2.25" SP101.
Heck I want both! :D

ArchAngelCD
November 3, 2011, 02:53 AM
Fictitious scenario aside, a .357 Magnum is a much more all around useful and versatile tool than a .44 Magnum IMO.

David E
November 3, 2011, 06:46 AM
Well since everyone and their extended families will have used up the .357, 38, .44. 44mag, .40, 9mm, .45, 45 acp, 45 gap, the 10mm, the .454 , the .308 and the .223...

But not .357 Sig, 9x23 or .41 magnum!

Those were found on the shelves during the recent ammo shortage......depending how the election goes, I wonder if........hmmmm....

22-rimfire
November 3, 2011, 11:46 AM
Unfortunately, the 41 mag ammo never returned to most gun shops in my area after they eventually sold out during the election run on ammunition. However, 41 mag revolvers are fairly popular in the SE in general. Everything is just getting very expensive.

I do have a good supply of 41 mag ammo as I think others do as well, which is probably the problem why dealers aren't stocking it now much. But for me it would be a great choice for many applications as I'm good out to 100 yds on deer sized targets.

earplug
November 3, 2011, 12:27 PM
.357 ammo not as popular is it once was. Lots more 9MM and .40 S&W.
I would buy a pistol and not a revolver for your:banghead: problems.
There are many reasons why law enforcement, military and various gun games have stopped using revolvers.

Ash_J_Williams
November 3, 2011, 12:31 PM
@Williams - Bug out is a term used to describe 72 hours of amenities in a situation. Who the hell said anything about walking out of a a city/town. In fact that has to be the stupidest idea any would think of in that non practical situation. Where is this multiple guns comment coming from? Anyone say anything about carrying your entire gun case with you?

Not to be rude, but I've never seen anyone else who's definition was limited to 72 hours. Everyone else who I've seen use the term meant it indefinitely.

Ash_J_Williams
November 3, 2011, 12:33 PM
.357 ammo not as popular is it once was. Lots more 9MM and .40 S&W.
I would buy a pistol and not a revolver for your:banghead: problems.
There are many reasons why law enforcement, military and various gun games have stopped using revolvers.

I'd say that's because most guys I see at the range are tacticool folk, in 5-11 gear at the grocery store and thinking anything that isn't semi-auto is for their grandparents and cowboys.

David E
November 3, 2011, 12:51 PM
SHTF means different things to different people. It could bs a flood, hurricane, emergency evac due to gas leak, etc.

Not every SHTF scenario involves indefinite, long term, gotta-carry-it-on-your-back-while-repelling-nonstop-looter-attacks, etc. That would be EOTWAWKI.

RatherNotSay
November 3, 2011, 12:52 PM
Not to be rude, but I've never seen anyone else who's definition was limited to 72 hours. Everyone else who I've seen use the term meant it indefinitely.
Perhaps I should have made myself more clear then.

theglockside
November 3, 2011, 12:55 PM
I guess I would go with 357. In general the ammo's lighter and smaller so you can take more with you. Also the 357 in general will be a lighter smaller gun, easier to take with and conceal if you needed to hide it.
Balisticially they are both excellent. The follow up shots will be faster with the 357 and its more popular clambering (357,38) to find later on that .44.

For SHTF I would go with somethign that had a higher capacity and faster follow up. Most likely a 9mm. You can get +p+ buffalo board 115 graim loads that are 500lb of energy and 1400+ fps. Its about the same as 357 mag and you could carry a bunch of rounds in 1 mag.

In my bug out bag I have a g23 with 4 loaded mags in a Remington nylon zipper locked case. totally legal for storing a firearm, but I can cut the bag open and f-opening the lock if I needed to get the gun in a hurry. Only reason the g23 is in their is because ive been carrying the 27 a lot more recently. but if I sell the 23 ill be putting a g19 in its place.

cougar1717
November 3, 2011, 04:32 PM
Congratulations! This thread has been hilarious thread about fictional, possibly heroic events. In preparation for this apocalypse, I have been too busy filling my basement full of MRE's, TP, water filtration equipment, canned foods, human powered generators, DC power equipment for when the grid goes off, matches, lighters, warm clothes, books for the kids to read when schools shut down, and all the other "essentials" that I just don't have time to make a reasoned opinion on which caliber of wheelgun to have. But I can say that I think we've all watched way too many post-apocalypse movies.

Ala Dan
November 3, 2011, 05:44 PM
.357 Magnum ;) :D

Chindo18Z
November 3, 2011, 06:30 PM
Original Poster's Question: .44 Mag or .357 mag for S**F (Let's call it "Troubled Times")...Given the choice would you rather have one or the other?

Stay focused folks... ;)

The reasons for such a scenario's occurrence are almost immaterial. The actual situation might include some (or all) of the following parameters:

A time of local, regional, or national civil unrest (riot, revolution, localized raiders or bandits)
A time of of breakdown in law and order (temporary or long term)
A time of probable weapons unavailability (retail arms & ammo stocks dried up or confiscated)
A time of possibly needing to be able to hunt for food
A time of needing to provide for your own security
A time of possibly imposed martial law
A time of locally imposed population control measures (legal or otherwise)
A time of significantly increased levels of criminal activity
A time of collapsed services & utilities delivery (EMS, trash, power, etc)
A time of collapsed retail logistics delivery (food, fuel, medicine, parts)
A time of altered terrain, temperatures, & mobility (natural disaster)

Choice might be dictated by location. If I lived in rural Alaska or open ranch land on The Great Plains...I'd probably go with the .44.

If were to go with one revolver handgun caliber for all situations, out of the two choices, I'd definitely go with a .357. In fact, I'd choose that caliber out of any available revolver choices...to include .22LR.

Most Americans cannot fathom a situation more complicated than a stereotypical CCW or Home Defense incident. Event occurs, good guy wins (doesn't he always?), and authorities are called to the scene. Incident resolved (except for court appearances & lawyers). Back to Dancing With The Stars...

The 6.6+ billion people across the rest of the world suffer through bigger and deadlier events quite frequently. 312+ million Americans are not immune to disaster...just lucky (so far).

Ratshooter
November 3, 2011, 06:36 PM
This has been an interesting thread and have to give a tip of the hat for the mods letting it run. They normally don't even though its an interesting subject you have to go to survival forum to discuss.

Now I have to say my hands down choice would be the 38/357 caliber guns. And not because of fast follow up shots or lighter weight ammo. But just because I have so much in componants that I shouldn't have to buy anything for the rest of my life. I also have about 1400 pounds of lead and 20 bullet molds so projectiles for the 357 or 44 mag are no problem. Plus I just like shooting 38s more than light loaded 44s.

If things go south I have no plans of going anywhere. I will be hard to unseat. If there is civil unrest or riots I will just hole up here and defend the home. I have enough food and water for a couple of months. Longer if I ration it. If something like the L.A. riots came here the last place I would want to be is on the streets.

Thought I would add that I am an insurance adjuster and when hurricanes hit thats where I head to. My experience with people after a hurricane has been that neighbors pull together and help each other and share water and food.

BYJO4
November 3, 2011, 07:50 PM
I also suggest the 357. Most people can shoot the 357 better than the 44 because of the reduced recoil. Ammo is readily available and at a much better price.

USSR
November 3, 2011, 08:17 PM
If things go south I have no plans of going anywhere. I will be hard to unseat. If there is civil unrest or riots I will just hole up here and defend the home. I have enough food and water for a couple of months. Longer if I ration it.

+1. I'll simply say "Although I'm not expecting a fire, I do have a fire extinguisher". ;) Oh, and just to keep this thread on track, I would go with the .38/.357.

Don

easyg
November 3, 2011, 08:34 PM
A 4'' .357 magnum revolver is the perfect "SHTF" gun in my opinion.


http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/HPIM7181.jpg

tx_pistolero
November 3, 2011, 10:50 PM
Well said Chindo and USSR. There are lots of scenarios that come up when things can get hairy. It happens all over the world, every single day. People seem to thing the U.S is magically insulated from that. Newsflash, human nature,at it's very core, is the same everywhere.

It seems like the .357 is getting the most votes. I wanted to add, that out of carbine the .357 pushes a 158gr bullet close to 1900fps, which is pretty damn close ballistically to the venerable .30-30.

jmr40
November 3, 2011, 11:09 PM
If truly SHTF I'm taking my 9mm. 357 is fading fast and ammo is going to be much harder to find. If between 357 or 44 revolvers I'm taking the 44. In fact I sold off all my 357's a few years ago. I am currently back to 1, when I found a great deal on a S&W 28 I couldnt pass up.

Here is why. My 629's (3" and 4") are actually lighter and easier to carry than the 686's and GP-100's I sold. With mid range loads they recoil less and in my opinion are more effective than the louder, harder kicking, 357 with it's excessive muzzle blast. If needed I can also shoot some loads that far exceed the 357's capabilities. Ammo is only slightly more expensive and I actually see more 44 ammo on store shelves than 357. Lots of 357 guns out there, but folks just don't shoot them much any more.

ColtPythonElite
November 4, 2011, 12:00 AM
357 is fading fast.

Really? You think the .357 is on it's way to extinction?

Lots of 357 guns out there, but folks just don't shoot them much any more.

I must be the odd ball I shoot magnums out one of mine nearly weekly.

Skookumchuk
November 4, 2011, 12:35 AM
For me, .38 Special/.357 all the way. Everything from mild .38 snakeshot to full house .357s that can take down a deer in my Marlin 1894C. Jack of all trades cartridges. Versatile, lighter weight for both firearms and ammo than in the case of a .44.

Just my 2 cents.

jmorris
November 4, 2011, 01:03 AM
A time of local, regional, or national civil unrest (riot, revolution, localized raiders or bandits)

A time of of breakdown in law and order (temporary or long term)

A time of probable weapons unavailability (retail arms & ammo stocks dried up or confiscated)

A time of possibly needing to be able to hunt for food

A time of needing to provide for your own security

A time of possibly imposed martial law

A time of locally imposed population control measures (legal or otherwise)

A time of significantly increased levels of criminal activity

A time of collapsed services & utilities delivery (EMS, trash, power, etc)

A time of collapsed retail logistics delivery (food, fuel, medicine, parts)

A time of altered terrain, temperatures, & mobility (natural disaster) No details make a thread like this all but useless. Some are thinking about going to the mailbox in the rain while others are getting ready to take on everyone in the next LA riot.

BCRider
November 4, 2011, 01:13 AM
Well, if you're thinking about longer term SHTF as in TEOTWAWKI then you should be looking at .44Mag or .45Colt with an eye to scrounging lead and remelting it into bullets and learning to make your own black powder from natural sources. Those sizes were intended for black powder and they can still cut it if supplies of smokeless go away.

..... er wait a sec...... Primers, I forgot about primers!

OK, so get yourself a nice looking and functional brace of flintlock pistols and long rifles and a round ball mold along with learn to knap flints.... :D

JFrame
November 4, 2011, 10:31 AM
Really? You think the .357 is on it's way to extinction?



I must be the odd ball I shoot magnums out one of mine nearly weekly.

I have no empirical evidence in this regard, but I find that person's contention somewhat odd myself.

I guess you and I are keeping that market afloat by ourselves... :scrutiny:


.

Readyrod
November 4, 2011, 10:46 AM
A time of local, regional, or national civil unrest (riot, revolution, localized raiders or bandits)
A time of of breakdown in law and order (temporary or long term)
A time of probable weapons unavailability (retail arms & ammo stocks dried up or confiscated)
A time of possibly needing to be able to hunt for food
A time of needing to provide for your own security
A time of possibly imposed martial law
A time of locally imposed population control measures (legal or otherwise)
A time of significantly increased levels of criminal activity
A time of collapsed services & utilities delivery (EMS, trash, power, etc)
A time of collapsed retail logistics delivery (food, fuel, medicine, parts)
A time of altered terrain, temperatures, & mobility (natural disaster)

Let me add-
A time of earthquake and nuclear meltdown
I keep hearing people say what's the chance of _______ happening? Well that's what I thought of nuclear meltdown and it happened a little too close for comfort.(I live in Tokyo) Chit happens. Even the long shots. It's best to be ready.
I like the idea of a Blackhawk convertible so you can use 9mm too. Even if it doesn't fire as fast and is slow to reload.

Goblin
November 4, 2011, 10:48 AM
I vote .357. Much cheaper to buy and re-load but still good stopping power.

oldfool
November 4, 2011, 11:38 AM
Given the choice would you rather have one or the other?


yes


I really don't do SHTF fantasies myself, but I figure any real suddenly serious need qualifies. I would feel just fine with either, but would most likely have 44sp loaded in the 44mag, or 38+p loaded in the other. For events longer than seconds/minutes, I would have carbines to accessorize, loaded with mag

but I am sticking with 38/357
No bug out bag. My bug in gun safes are just too heavy to carry.

USSR
November 4, 2011, 12:21 PM
No bug out bag. My bug in gun safes are just too heavy to carry.


Now THAT is funny!:D

Don

Chindo18Z
November 4, 2011, 12:22 PM
Readyrod: I like the idea of a Blackhawk convertible so you can use 9mm too. Even if it doesn't fire as fast and is slow to reload.

Excellent suggestion.

dprice3844444
November 4, 2011, 12:47 PM
629 is great for game like deer etc,but logistically speaking,44 mag/44spec rounds are about twice the weight of 38/357 rounds.38 special/wadcutter rounds are way more plentiful.smith makes that 686 8 round 357/39,or for lightness,find a good smith 65 4 inch or 3 inch hb/round butt.find a good smith stainless 22lr for small game,ammo is light and cheap. good ar-15 or ruger mini-14 or mini 30.it's light,so is the ammo.

robinkevin
November 4, 2011, 12:55 PM
My vote goes to the .357... But why depend on a handgun for a SHTF weapon when a rifle or shotgun would be much better choice?

Chindo18Z
November 4, 2011, 02:08 PM
robinkevin: But why depend on a handgun for a SHTF weapon when a rifle or shotgun would be much better choice?

Good question. As jmorris pointed out:

Some are thinking about going to the mailbox in the rain while others are getting ready to take on everyone in the next LA riot.

If you envision some Mack Bolan post-apocalyptic environment (or even post-Katrina New Orleans), a long gun makes sense.

But...there are a lot of scenarios where a concealable handgun is the optimum choice...like for going to the mailbox in the rain in a war torn place like Brcko, Bosnia...or walking around in an economically collapsed/high crime city in Argentina...or visiting a street thug infested shopping center where you need to pickup weekly groceries during a time of shortages.

What if the stuff has hit the fan...but you are still required to go to work on a daily basis...for many months? It's not an all or nothing proposition. Most folks will still have to have a livelihood in order to have access to things that cost. Society could crumble with a slow whimper...not a bang.

In many environments, civilian open carry of a long gun might draw immediate fire (Baghdad), police arrest (streets of New Orleans), or detention and weapon confiscation (FEMA shelter). The same is likely to happen at almost any vehicular checkpoint established by .mil, LEO, or local militia / neighborhood watch.

If you are attempting to conduct shopping or barter at a local flea market or on the street during hard times, the rules may forbid open carry of your long gun. Concealed carry pistols are indicated.

Emergent barter markets are almost universally found in any 1st or 2nd World area that goes through long term economic decline or civil strife. A black market economy emerges. People have to come together at a central point to get the things that are no longer available in traditional stores. The markets (bazaars) are where everyone goes to buy, sell, and trade. Everything is available for a price and the grounds are very well controlled by whatever passes for local mafia soldiers or warlord security apparatus. The guards are heavily armed and act as bouncers with the ability to play judge, jury, and executioner. The police (if present) are either paid off by the owners of the market or are part of the enterprise. The markets are money making engines for someone important (and the local authorities they must pay off). Trade in food, goods, fuel, drugs, arms, vehicles, and human trafficking occur at these locations. Customers are welcome. Heavily armed survivalists are not.

If you belong to an armed group with enough reputation to prove the exception, everyone will already know who you are, and make allowances. Like when a US military patrol moves through an Afghan marketplace. Everyone already understands the balance of power. No harm, no foul. You have the Wasta to move freely, but you aren't there to disrupt business anyway. If they thought that was your intent, you'd have a fight on your hands.

In any event that is widespread and of long duration, there might be a time (hours, days, weeks) where nobody bats an eye at the hardware others choose to carry. When things settle down, the new "normal" will inevitably involve folks abiding by new rules. You don't walk into a Wal-Mart Super Store today to buy groceries while carrying a full combat load-out. You might get away with it for a very short period during a time of panic buying and LEOs stretched too thin to handle problems at retail stores. Weeks after the main event has passed, you'll probably not need (or even be allowed to openly carry) a riot gun and bandoleer to go find a replacement truck tire, baby formula, aspirin, .357 ammo, or AA batteries.

By yourself, you ain't strolling into a market with a bag of trade goods, plate armor, and your trusty AR-15. On the other hand, everyone assumes that everyone else has access to a pistol they can't see. No one will bother you as long as you don't show your ass and simply conduct business. Heavy weapons are "checked at the door" or left with a posted guard somewhere outside the market. It's wartime / post-wartime etiquette. ;)

Sometimes it pays to be able to be armed but maintain a low profile.

Mid-frame .357s make for a good CCW.

USSR
November 4, 2011, 02:59 PM
As noted before, there are many interpretations/permutations of SHTF. Personally, a 72 hour event is, IMHO, nothing more than a temporary nuisance. I would recommend to all to read "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen, which was number 11 on the New York Times Best Seller List 2 years ago, and for which movie rights to are currently being discussed. And, just to keep this thread on track, it's not so important what firearm you have, as it is to have one and have ammunition for it.

Don

jmr40
November 4, 2011, 04:04 PM
357 is fading fast.

Really? You think the .357 is on it's way to extinction?


Quote:
Lots of 357 guns out there, but folks just don't shoot them much any more.

I must be the odd ball I shoot magnums out one of mine nearly weekly.

NO, never extinction. Too many guns out there and the 357 is too good to die. But it is simply not being used nearly as much as 20 years ago. As a result stores simply don't stock or sell anywhere near the ammo they used to sell. 9mm is everywhere, 44 mag ammo is stocked in local stores in greater numbers and variety.

I've found the 357 to either be too much, or not enough. As have most other shooters. Too much muzzle blast and recoil for a gun that only gives me 50-100 fps advantage over a 9mm holding 3X the rounds. Not enough to do the same job as the 44. With mid-range loads or hot 44 specials the 44 is a better manstopper with less recoil or muzzle blast than the 357. With hotter loads it leaves the 357 in the dust. And in the case of my 629's, are in a lighter, easier to carry package than the 686's and GP-100's I used to own.

Use what you like, believe what you want, but the use of 357 revolvers is declining rapidly. While the use of almost every other handgun round is either increasing or holding steady.

oldfool
November 4, 2011, 04:18 PM
You are talking ammo sales volume, jmr40, not gun sales volume

There are a mighty lot of 357 revolvers being made, and being sold, moreso than 38sp revolvers. Same is true of 44 mag revolvers vs 44 sp revolvers

Neither is going away anytime in the foreseeable future, both for same reasons.
Too many of us like the off the shelf ammo versatility, and most of "us" don't handload
Ask Ruger, that's why they just could not stand to leave the LCR as 38 sp.. etc. etc.
(same as the SP101 before it)

I do agree with you that 357 is too often too much of one, or not enough of the other
(but that's why they make carbines, you know)
I also agree the the 44sp is THE optimal handgun round out of any revolver w/ a decent barrel length
but don't hold your breath waiting for 44 sp handgun sales to outpace "just 38 sp" volume sales in handguns

357 it ain't... 38/357 it is
and it ain't leaving town until they stop making wheelguns

PS
of the 38/357 revolvers I own, only two are stamped 38sp or 38+p
the other four are stamped "357", on purpose, even though I don't burn much 357 thru any of them
(now guess which ones have far higher round counts thru 'em)
I am far from being the odd man out on this one

"While the use of almost every other handgun round is either increasing or holding steady."
I think you maybe forgot 32 S&W/long, 32 H&R mag, and Federal 327 ??

Chindo18Z
November 4, 2011, 05:03 PM
Speaking of post-apocalyptic .357s ...

AMC's Walking Dead series:

http://ts4.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=1337127344119&id=5d03d16c449248a4ec8d8201eb614d55&url=http%3a%2f%2fcdn.screenrant.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2frick-andrew-lincoln-walking-dead-season-2-teaser.jpg

This show's Python might spark a resurgence in .357 addiction. Or at least higher Python prices. ;)


As a result stores simply don't stock or sell anywhere near the ammo they used to sell. 9mm is everywhere, 44 mag ammo is stocked in local stores in greater numbers and variety.

Exactly the opposite in the last three areas I've lived (SW, Rockies, Appalachia). Awash with routinely replenished .357 ammo and it sells like hotcakes. .44 selection not so much. Just a little better availability than .41. Where there are lots of whitetail deer or pigs, I see more .44 Mag. Where there is a lot of Cowboy Action Shooting...more .44 Special or .45 Colt.

During the periodic ammo shortages of the last few years, .357 / .38 vaporized off the shelves (along with 9mm, .40, .380, and .45 ACP). The bigger magnums were always available in my locales and rarely restocked.

Must be a regional thing.

9mm is hands down the most popular center fire pistol round for three reasons:

1. More good platform choices available today compared to 30 years ago

2. SD 9mm loads are so much better today due to improved bullet design

3. It's the cheapest center fire handgun caliber available for volume shooting

There are literally tens of millions of .357s revolvers out there in the American landscape and more models for sale available today than ever before. New shooters tend to gravitate to 9mm & .40, but (IMHO) the .357 is hardly in decline today.

The big decline happened back in the 80's when LEO agencies and the military went to semi-autos, thus drawing a large part of the civilian market in the same direction. Today, domestic manufacture of semi-autos outpaces production of revolvers by a factor of at least 3 to 1. Possibly greater. So, no argument that auto calibers dominate the overall market, but .357/.38 continues to dominate the revolver market share (several hundred thousand revolvers sold each year).

Admittedly, most .357 owners tend to actually carry & shoot .38 Special. But, .357 is far from dead when compared to other revolver calibers.

Beat Trash
November 4, 2011, 07:57 PM
Given the choice between a .357 and a .44 revolver for a SHTF handgun, I'd go with a 4" .357.

corpsmanup!
November 4, 2011, 10:47 PM
Sorry, I still have to defer to Mr. Keith and say .44 spl for social work with option of .44 mag for its hunting ability. I have a lever gun and six gun in .44. I keep 200 gr GDHP in sixgun and Hornady leverevolution 240 gr plastic tips in my levergun. I like that I can shoot both out of either and have options.

Chindo18Z
November 4, 2011, 10:59 PM
Sorry, I still have to defer to Mr. Keith and say .44 spl for social work with option of .44 mag for its hunting ability.

Certainly a well considered and effective combo.

eazyrider
November 5, 2011, 01:20 PM
I would go with the 44 Mag in the situation described. I love my Python but the 357 is not the game cartridge that the 44 Mag is. The 44 mag can take just about every game in North America. While the 357 probably could as well I would still take the proven performer. I am talking more about protection from game, bears, hogs etc. For self defense you could always swap out your mags for specials. Best of both worlds.

JFrame
November 5, 2011, 08:39 PM
As noted before, there are many interpretations/permutations of SHTF. Personally, a 72 hour event is, IMHO, nothing more than a temporary nuisance. I would recommend to all to read "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen, which was number 11 on the New York Times Best Seller List 2 years ago, and for which movie rights to are currently being discussed.

Thanks for that recommendation! http://www.kolobok.us/smiles/standart/good3.gif I will have to add it to my reading list for the next time I put an order in with Amazon.

And, just to keep this thread on track, it's not so important what firearm you have, as it is to have one and have ammunition for it.

Don

That's pretty much my philosophy also.


.

22-rimfire
November 5, 2011, 09:18 PM
One Second After... thanks for reminding me. I've had it for over a year and had not gotten to read it yet. I think it will be next in line.

CollinLeon
November 6, 2011, 03:38 AM
I would go with the 44 Mag in the situation described. I love my Python but the 357 is not the game cartridge that the 44 Mag is. The 44 mag can take just about every game in North America. While the 357 probably could as well I would still take the proven performer. I am talking more about protection from game, bears, hogs etc. For self defense you could always swap out your mags for specials. Best of both worlds.
And for anything that the .44 mag cannot take, there's the .45-70...

In a lot of ways, the .357 mag makes for a pretty good survival weapon since you can reload it with really light rounds and lower velocity for small animals (and not tear up the meat too much) or reload it with full power rounds for many larger game animals (deer, etc).

The .44 mag would be better for larger deer and probably even moose and elk (not that I know anything about hunting them since I'm in Texas). I recently bought a Marlin 1895GS in .45-70, so I figure I'm set for any animal on this continent -- not that I really expect a polar bear to be a possible target here in Texas, even during the next Ice Age.

JShirley
November 7, 2011, 03:43 AM
Despite useful information by Chindo, this one's locked.

If you enjoyed reading about ".44 Mag or .357 mag for SHTF." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!