Is .357 Magnum Good for Home Defense? CCW?


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Para-Medic
February 22, 2012, 11:29 PM
I'm considering getting a 4" S&W 686 .357 Magnum, mainly for home defense, but may consider using it for ccw too. I know it's heavy, but I've concealed just as big. But is .357 Magnum good for self defense and home defense?

I've probably shot a .357 Magnum about 200 rounds. The recoil and noise didn't seem too bad, but I was outside and wearing ear plugs.

I've seen some say that .357 Magnum really isn't good for self defense, and especially home defense, because it is very flashy, has a lot of recoil, and a LOT of noise indoors at night. I have a .38 Special and want something more powerful, so I wouldn't get this if I was only going to use .38.

They say it might cause hesitation or make follow up shots harder using .357. Should I just get a .45 ACP revolver or something? I really like .357's ballistics, but if it's not a good choice I'll just get a .45.

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steam.atomic
February 22, 2012, 11:41 PM
Well they don't really make revolvers in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. From what I understand .357 is an excellent home defense round.

Para-Medic
February 22, 2012, 11:42 PM
As far as recoil itself, I don't really think that's a big deal. It's the flash and noise. Would it be too much indoors at night?

Para-Medic
February 22, 2012, 11:44 PM
Well they don't really make revolvers in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. From what I understand .357 is an excellent home defense round.


Actually, they do! They use moon clips, if I remember correctly.

Sam Cade
February 22, 2012, 11:45 PM
Well they don't really make revolvers in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol.

Sure they do.
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/images/firearms/zoom_lg/160936_01_lg.jpg



.45ACP revolvers have been around about as long as the cartridge itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1917_revolver

Elm Creek Smith
February 22, 2012, 11:48 PM
The .357 Magnum is great for home defense IF you get the electronic ear muffs that amplify sound but dampen gunfire. If you get awakened in the middle of the night, put on and turn on the muffs before you pick up the revolver. If you have someone in the bedroom with you, have another set of muffs. That way you can hear better than the intruder and won't blow your eardrums out with the Mag. Flash isn't the problem it once was with low-flash powders now used uniformly in defensive ammunition. You'll still feel the blast, though.

I carry a 3 inch Model 13-3 .357 Magnum or a 4 inch Model 10-5 .38 Special as my primary CCW. I have on rare occasions carried a 4 inch Model 681 concealed. It isn't as easy to carry an L-frame concealed, but it can be done.

ECS

mes227
February 23, 2012, 12:04 AM
Well they don't really make revolvers in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. From what I understand .357 is an excellent home defense round.

Sure they do, I own 4: S&W Governor (.45Colt, .45ACP and .410), S&W325, S&W625JM and Dan Wesson .460 Rowland (also chambers .45acp). And any .45Colt revolver can have the cyl cut to allow moonclips and thus chamber .45acp.

The .357M is perhaps the most successful "manstopper" ever commercialized. It's a fantastic HD ctg. As to carry, they make platforms like the Ruger LCR357 that are easy to conceal. That's what I carry.

For most SD purposes .38+P is a fine options and doesn't present either the recoil or rapport issues of the mag.

Old krow
February 23, 2012, 12:22 AM
They say it might cause hesitation or make follow up shots harder using .357.

Try it and see for yourself. If you can control one and make follow up shots then I'd say that it makes an excellent caliber. You're not that far from one of the ranges that I go if you want to try out one of mine. I can tell you that I have an easier time following up with other calibers, but I have seen plenty of folks make it look easy.

The last report that I looked at the .357 Mag was running about 164dBs and a 9mm about 159dBs. Firing any gun indoors is going to be at least somewhat unpleasant. While it's not a linear scale, I doubt that I would worry about the additional 5dBs in a SD/HD situation given the alternative.

It's the flash and noise.

I believe that there are a couple companies out there, Speer is one IIRC, that makes .38SPL for short barrels. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they'll reduce the muzzle flash to some extent. I have used it before in my LCR, but not in a 4" barrel and when I did it wasn't in a low light condition so I can't say for sure, but it seems like it could.

steam.atomic
February 23, 2012, 12:23 AM
Well then I stand corrected.

Eb1
February 23, 2012, 12:25 AM
It is a fine caliber for HD and CCW. From experience with bullets of .357/.358, I know choose to not trust in a handgun without it being a .44/.45 caliber. A Glock 20 10mm the exception.

Look for a .44 Special instead of the .357 Magnum. I think it is a better fit for CCW/HD, and is closer to a .45 ACP than a .357 Magnum.

My current carry is a .32 H&R Magnum Taurus 731 UL. It isn't my main HD gun. That is a shotgun. My .44 SPC is at the gunsmith right now getting customized. I can't wait to get it back.

Yes, the .32 is smaller than a .357, but it packs some punch with Georgia Arms 100 grain XTPs. They chrony at 1010 fps from my 2" UL, 6 shot revolver. I will still continue to own the .32 H&R Magnum. I really like the caliber. I have put down deer with it out of a 6" single action. It is a good caliber. I like it better than the standard .38 SPC.

Good hunting.

steam.atomic
February 23, 2012, 12:26 AM
The question I have to ask now is; Why would you make a revolver in .45 ACP anyhow? I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a noob.

Eb1
February 23, 2012, 12:30 AM
For people who like revolvers in .45 ACP. Why else? Not everyone is a 1911 guy, or a polymer auto pistol shooter.

Why make different style cars, or different foods to eat made out of a tomato?

KW84
February 23, 2012, 12:32 AM
The last report that I looked at the .357 Mag was running about 164dBs and a 9mm about 159dBs. Firing any gun indoors is going to be at least somewhat unpleasant. While it's not a linear scale, I doubt that I would worry about the additional 5dBs in a SD/HD situation given the alternative.

Old krow, For every 10db increase, sound volume doubles, so .357 is 150% the volume of a 9mm. (or 50% louder)

That is significant.

(EDIT: A .22 is 130db or 1/3 the volume of a 9mm.)

Eb1
February 23, 2012, 12:33 AM
You guys must really hate the report from the big bore magnum revolvers. Or the report of .25-06 in a 22" barrel. Man, that rifle really booms.

Old krow
February 23, 2012, 12:57 AM
Old krow, For every 10db increase, sound volume doubles, so .357 is 150% the volume of a 9mm. (or 50% louder)

It's actually a little less than 50%. :) You used linear division on a log. I'm just yanking your chain, it's more like 4.4-4.5 difference. However, you're right, it is louder. A 12ga shotgun, according to this site is 165dBs which is largely considered to be instant damage. Even then I would take that over the alternative if I found myself in a position in which I must shoot inside my own home.

This of course not the case with me, as I said, I'm not that great with a .357 in a CCW/HD scenario, but, if it were the caliber that I chose to defend myself or family due to having the ability to follow up and put the shots where I needed them I would consider the hearing damage insignificant.

The question I have to ask now is; Why would you make a revolver in .45 ACP anyhow? I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a noob.

For folks that like revolvers it's a suitable choice because it fills a niche that not very many handguns can. It launches a +.40 cal bullet with manageable recoil. The .44SPL is another, however, the .45 ACP is very common and can be found just about anywhere ammo is sold.

Owen Sparks
February 23, 2012, 01:40 AM
Ever have your picture taken in dim light by someone using a camera with a flash?
That is what it is like shooting a shorter barrel .357 when your eyes are adjusted to the dark. I prefer a shotgun for home defense.

steam.atomic
February 23, 2012, 02:04 AM
Thanks Old krow. My experience with revolvers is lacking. I do see a whole lot more .45 than .44 now that I think about it.

PabloJ
February 23, 2012, 02:19 AM
I'm considering getting a 4" S&W 686 .357 Magnum, mainly for home defense, but may consider using it for ccw too. I know it's heavy, but I've concealed just as big. But is .357 Magnum good for self defense and home defense?

I've probably shot a .357 Magnum about 200 rounds. The recoil and noise didn't seem too bad, but I was outside and wearing ear plugs.

I've seen some say that .357 Magnum really isn't good for self defense, and especially home defense, because it is very flashy, has a lot of recoil, and a LOT of noise indoors at night. I have a .38 Special and want something more powerful, so I wouldn't get this if I was only going to use .38.

They say it might cause hesitation or make follow up shots harder using .357. Should I just get a .45 ACP revolver or something? I really like .357's ballistics, but if it's not a good choice I'll just get a .45.
Unless you plan to shoot through barriers which is horrible idea or plan to use .38 or .38+P loads then NO. The 686 is pretty much a range toy might as well get N-framed .44Mag and use magnum or special loads as needed. The .45Auto revolver is horrible idea.

ArchAngelCD
February 23, 2012, 02:26 AM
I wouldn't mind carrying a .357 Magnum outdoors and I shoot a lot of .357 ammo at the range but I do not load my revolvers with .357 Magnum ammo for HD. In the house the revolvers are loaded with the FBI Load. (158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P)

charlie echo
February 23, 2012, 02:49 AM
You guys must really hate the report from the big bore magnum revolvers. Or the report of .25-06 in a 22" barrel. Man, that rifle really booms.
I like my 44RM, Federal 240 gr Hydrashok HPs. Hope I still have hearing left if I use it indoors to save live(s). Might buy some Cor-Bon 180s.

We plan to buy couple of 357s: Model-13 or 65' in 3" bbls.

2zulu1
February 23, 2012, 02:53 AM
Put in the training time and it's an extremely versatile caliber that's still very popular. There are 686 models that come with target triggers, I have one of these triggers in a 6" and it's very smooth, and light, in DA mode.

There are a number of personal defense ammunition choices that rate top tier performance and will do you well. Most of the flash comes from the cylinder gap rather than the muzzle, even with some of the flash suppressed powders.

I've been issued and carried the mag back in the day, furniture and carpet soften the muzzle blast a bit; it's not a serious concern for me but YMMV. :)

Enjoy, it's a fun and versatile caliber to shoot that will protect you against motivated felons if you take your training to revolver levels.

2zulu1
February 23, 2012, 03:08 AM
Well they don't really make revolvers in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. From what I understand .357 is an excellent home defense round.
I have a 1955 Target, M25-2 that's been used in competition. This model Smith held a number of bullseye target records, also, Sierra has separate handload revolver data that takes 45auto performance up a notch or two adding to its versatility. Moonclips also make for very fast reloads at the range or for personal defense, it's a nice platform/caliber combination either way. :)

CSestp
February 23, 2012, 03:32 AM
For home defense I dont think the .357 is the way to go. The flash would be incredible, sound wise a .22 indoors would be painful without hear pro so that a moot point on any gun. I like to keep my PK .380 for home defense just because of the strobe light thats on it with a good count mag, and not worried about the rounds tearing all through the house.

I carry a Ruger SP 101 5 shot snub nose .357 for personal defense.

ArchAngelCD
February 23, 2012, 06:31 AM
IMO round count isn't as important as reliability and making good hits. All the ammo in the world means nothing if you don't hit the bad guy.

I feel a 6 round revolver is just fine for HD especially if you shoot it well. If you think 6 rounds aren't enough go to a rifle or a shotgun. I also have a short barrel shotgun loaded with #4 Buckshot on hand. A levergun is a good choice for HD too.

CSestp
February 23, 2012, 12:54 PM
I think round count matters in a HD situation more so than a personal defence situation. Google home invaisions and you will see most have 3-5 bad guys in them. I agree hits count more than anything. But misses happen. With multiple targets you might need xtra rounds.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk

RaceM
February 23, 2012, 01:23 PM
Nothing wrong with 38 for up close & personal. Firing anything indoors and unprotected (ears) over 22 cal is gonna suck. If there's more intruders than you have rounds then you're probably screwed. Only thing that'd cover all the bases is a suppressed 9 mil SMG. Otherwise, pick your weapon, train hard on it.

I pack a 6" GP100 all day, every day. You get used to the weight and miss it when it's not there. My HD load is a cylinder full of 38 wadcutters, 2 speedloaders with mixed 158 gr wadcutters & hollowpoints in 357. But that's only to buy me time to get at the 12 GA.

jrdolall
February 23, 2012, 01:59 PM
A 357 should be fine for HD. As good as any revolver I know of though I have never fired a 45 revolver. Remote controlled mini-guns with silencers mounted inside the entryways would be better. There are more powerful guns and guns with more rounds available so that is always a question. I have never fired a gun at a nighttime intruder(daytime either) but, if I do, I will not factor the decibels into my calculations nor will I put on earphones prior to engaging the BGs. If your eyes are adjusted to the dark then virtually any gun you fire is going to ruin your night vision unless you put on dark safety goggles when you put on the headphones. I have a Colt Trooper .357 for HD as well as a S&W 9mm and my wife has her new S&W 642 with laser grips. The Trooper was my father's and I have had it loaded in my BR for 30 years or so. If the BG/BGs get through that then we are just in a FUBAR, Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition

340PD
February 23, 2012, 05:34 PM
1. Noise
2. Flash
3. unnecessary recoil (tough followup shots)
4. over penetration
All add up to a no way for me and I have a half dozen of them.

edwin41
February 23, 2012, 06:29 PM
hello
i dont think a .357 magnum would be a good caliber for home defence.
a full power magnum will at such a short range shoot right through the
"bad guy " , and probably through many other things.
i believe that is what they call overpenetrating.

the good thing is that . 357 magnum revolvers can also be shot with .38 spec.
for indoor homedefence a .38 spec wadcutter would be a far better stopper.
loaded on the light side to ensure that most energie would be transferred
to the target.

just my way of thinking though , i am not an expert:D

M-Cameron
February 23, 2012, 07:01 PM
You know..... Everyone complains about the flash of the 357.....but honestly, I barely notice it when I'm shooting( and yes, I've done low light shooting)....it wasn't until I saw a video my buddy took that I actually saw how big it was.


From what I've been told is that the brain can mentally "flinch" so you aren't blinded by the light ( and no, this isn't a psychical flinch )


As for the sound...you're not going to have time to put hearing protection on, and any gun shot is going to cause damage....heck, most police officers who have had to use their weapons report not hearing much of a sound at all...it's just not where your focus is at


As for it's effectiveness, well .357 is considered to be a standard for self defense....It is more than effective as a HD/ SD round

willypete
February 23, 2012, 08:56 PM
Flash and penetration are both ammo subjective. Those of you who are worried about those two issues should read up on your ammo. There are several varieties of .357 Magnum ammo that are both flash-suppressed and designed to penetrate roughly 12-14" in humans.

Just because something has "Magnum" in the name does not mean it's Thor's Hammer, despite what the marketing types would have you believe.

CSA 357
February 23, 2012, 09:03 PM
i love the 357 magnum, but a 12 ga shotgun is what i use for a house gun, yea i know its long and bulky, but with 7 rnds of #4 buck it outguns any handgun!

Doug S
February 23, 2012, 09:40 PM
I would think that in a defensive situation, you aren't even going to notice the recoil, or noise. You'll have too much other stuff on your mind. As a point of reference, have you every shot a deer? In my experience, whenever I've shot a deer, the noise from the high powered rifle was only slightly noticable as a distant sound, and I notice no recoil. The only thing I'm not sure about is the flash. I've never shot one in the dark, and I don't know if it would have a real world effect on you vision if you needed a followup shot.

pmeisel
February 23, 2012, 10:31 PM
My Python was my go to for years. And it still is if I am worried about trouble. It's not too big or too heavy unless I am wearing shorts or a swimsuit , then I have to downsize some.

CDR_Glock
February 23, 2012, 10:40 PM
I have a Smith and Wesson 8 shot Model 627 4" for home plus a couple of 12 Ga. shotguns.

357 is highly effective but 12 Gauge 00 Buck is devastating.


Lifetime NRA Member

mljdeckard
February 23, 2012, 10:53 PM
It's perfect. Until you shoot it. :)

It may well be the loudest gun you will ever shoot. You get the noise from the cylinder gap as well as the muzzle, which is way to close to your ears. I suppose it's better to be alive and deaf than dead.

Jeff F
February 23, 2012, 11:24 PM
deleated

Jeff F
February 23, 2012, 11:26 PM
Unless you plan to shoot through barriers which is horrible idea or plan to use .38 or .38+P loads then NO. The 686 is pretty much a range toy might as well get N-framed .44Mag and use magnum or special loads as needed. The .45Auto revolver is horrible idea.

Why do you say a .45 acp revolver is horrible idea?

4thHorseman
February 23, 2012, 11:59 PM
Just a note about the comments about you will not notice the noise in a defensive situation. That may be true, you may not notice the noise, but that does not negate the damage to the inner ear from the noise.
JMHO :)

rockhound758
February 24, 2012, 01:26 AM
Para, I think there are big differences in using it in CCW and HD roles. I've got a 4-inch GP100 which I absolutely love, but I shudder at the thought of touching that thing off in the middle of the night when I've been awakened suddenly from a deep sleep. Granted, the XDM .40 (with Ranger 155 JHPs) that I keep for HD isn't a lot better, but as at least one poster mentioned, the muzzle flash and noise will be significant unless you're really careful with round selection. Regardless of whether you "notice" at the time or not you'll likely cause damage to your ears. It sounds like you want revolver vs. a semiauto, but what about just finding some really good rounds for your .38? As much as I hate to try and suggest a fellow gun guy NOT get a new gun :) have you thought about efficacious rounds for the .38 that would serve you in both roles?

Doug S
February 24, 2012, 01:39 AM
4thhorsemen,

Good point. Still, that would be true of any caliber, even the lowly 22lr. I'm just saying I wouldn't pick by defensive caliber based on how loud it is.

Owen Sparks
February 24, 2012, 02:29 AM
Most gun fights happen in low light conditions and a bright flash will distroy your night vision. I use a shotgun.

Confederate
February 24, 2012, 02:53 AM
The .357 is an outstanding travel gun as it can put holes in tires, cars and trucks. It can also put them in people, which is where you ultimately want them to go if you're being physically threatened. In the 30s when they were developed, highway patrolmen were mighty impressed when they saw that it could do all these things. Their .38s were loaded with mostly with heavy, round-nosed bullets that tended to deflect off of car bodies and glass at certain angles, and bounced off car and truck tires. But eventually when .38s were developed to puncture car doors and windows, the .357 evolved into a super man-stopper (especially with a 125gr or 140gr JHP). The problem was, the .357 tends to be awfully violent and loud. And while it's great at stuffing a body bag, it's not good for home self defense. On the road or travel rest stops, they're great. But at the ol' homestead, make mine a .38 Special or even a .22LR Ruger auto! When I see those Ruger autos rapid fired with pinpoint accuracy, I have no doubt but that it'll do the job.

There are many decent home defense calibers, but the .357 ain't one of them (unless you have Sasquatch roaming around your living room). That said, a good .357 4-inch or less in barrel length is a perfect self defense weapon. It shoots mild .38 rounds around the house and .357 piledrivers for camping, hiking and road travel.


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/RugerSecurity-SixDuo_RB_2.jpg

A good light-weight .357 like the old Ruger Security-Six is the perfect
choice for both home defense and camping and hiking. Just change from
.38s to .357s and back again!

thefamcnaj
February 24, 2012, 05:03 AM
I my honest opinion the .357 is a no go on home defense as well a carry.
I had a ruger sp101 2 inch bbl and it was a fine revolver. After a few range outings with it, I was turned off to the caliber.
1) I couldn't hit anything with it.
2) I live in a sub division where I can reach out and touch my neighbor, and I have 2 kids in my home. So over penetration was a big concern for me. That is not a round I'd want to miss with because I"m responsible for any and everything that bullet may hit once I've fired it.
3) Fast follow up shots were out of the question. Just wasn't happening for me.
4) I'm not a camping or hunting type of person, which is where that caliber would be most needed.
5) Lastly I feel like if I shot the sp101:groggy, at night, indoors, with that muzzle flash that after the first shot I'd be so dissoriented that I'd no longer be able to defend my home.
Just my own conclusion, for what does and does not work for me after having had a .357

JShirley
February 24, 2012, 05:28 AM
A lot of people, many of them forum members here, misunderstand the velocity/expansion relationship. This is a shame, because there are numerous, repeatable tests out there, but I guess it's easier to just spout misinformation than take a few minutes to do some research, or test it yourself. Here (http://www.hornady.com/ballistics-resource/terminal) is what Hornady has to say about this relationship. They've been making bullets for over 60 years, so they actually do know what they're talking about.

In general, high velocity + light weight expanding rounds equals less penetration. The .357 with 110-grain hollow-points will be one of the least penetrating but effective handgun rounds you can find. Further, a 4" barrel L frame will have the weight to control recoil, and allow rapid accurate follow-up shots.

If you have a high-speed rifle cartridge loaded with expanding, lightweight rounds, it will be the most effective firearm at immediately stopping a lethal (human) threat with the least chance of overpenetration. Further, lightweight, high-speed expanding bullets will be much more likely to break up in case of missing the target- again, making their use less of a liability than traditional heavy, slow handgun rounds. (Use ear pro, though!)

By contrast, relatively heavy, slow handgun rounds like 9x19mm and .45 ACP will be much more likely to overpenetrate your attacker or penetrate very far through building structures in case of a miss. This phenomenon is one of the major reasons most well-funded SWAT teams have gone to 5.56x45mm carbines instead of the movie-cool submachine gun.

John

USSR
February 24, 2012, 12:00 PM
...I do not load my revolvers with .357 Magnum ammo for HD. In the house the revolvers are loaded with the FBI Load. (158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P)

+1. Simply no need for .357 Magnum ammo for HD or SD purposes. I cast my own HP bullets and load them to .38 Spl +P pressure levels. The nice thing about casting your own hollowpoints is, you can play with the amount of expansion and penetration you will get at a particular velocity level by varying the alloy you use.

Don

Paladin7
February 24, 2012, 12:34 PM
I really like the 357 and have quite a few 357 revolvers, but would not recommend using 357 defensive loads for HD. If your preference is for a revolver, I think you would be better off with 38 spl LSWCHP +P or a 45 or 44 special.

The main problems I see are...

1. Noise in an enclosed space (i.e. your bedroom, etc.)

357magnum defensive loads touched off in an enclosed space when you are not wearing hearing protection can and will do a lot of damage to your hearing.

2. Muzzle Flash

In a defensive scenario in low light, this is an issue for target acquisition. I'm told there are better load choices today that limit flash, so if this is your intent, you need to choose your load wisely, but remember point 1.

3. Over penetration

This is a real problem. 357 defensive loads are a proven man stopper. But what happens when you miss and they hit drywall, etc.? It's a good idea to test your load against the typical barriers you find in your home to see what happens. You are personally responsible for every bullet you fire.

Those are my thoughts, ymmv...

JShirley
February 24, 2012, 12:42 PM
This is a real problem. 357 defensive loads are a proven man stopper. But what happens when you miss and they hit drywall, etc.?

See my post barely above yours. Lightweight, high-speed expanding rounds are less of a hazard than slower, heavier ones: the 158-grain .38 Special will penetrate more than a quality .357 110-grain round. Some defensive gurus think the .357/110 load doesn't penetrate enough.

dprice3844444
February 24, 2012, 12:57 PM
good 357 135 gr speer will change his socks.when it hits the fan,you will not notice the flash.you want the intrusion to stop NOW.center mass shots are preferred.the flash is so quick,your eyes will not react to the light from the flash because you are on an adrenaline rush.

Paladin7
February 24, 2012, 02:48 PM
JShirley, exactly my point... testing your ammunition is key.

Boomie
February 24, 2012, 04:31 PM
For those who say a 686 is uncarryable, has slow follow up shots or has too much flash - have you ever carried one, shot it rapid fire or shot one in low light? I have done all of these (as I frequently carry my 3" 686 or 4" Rhino, both in .357) and neither is a big deal to me. Follow up shots might have been hard at first but, like anything else, practice practice practice. .357mag is a potent round, but it's not like a .44mag or bigger. .38 Special, .44 Special and .45ACP are also fine choices if that's what you prefer.

As far as the external ballistics, faster, lighter bullets tend to penetrate more but also fragment more after they first hit something. So you will be more likely to pentrate a BG's heavy clothing (or body parts) but less likely to retain lethal force after hitting drywall. You can google this but 125 grain .357 Magnum will penetrate about 16 inches of ballistic gel. .38 special is closer to 11. In general .357 magnum will penetrate a BG more reliably than .38 special, 9mm para, .44 special or .45ACP. It is faster than all those rounds.

PRM
February 24, 2012, 08:20 PM
The question I have to ask now is; Why would you make a revolver in .45 ACP anyhow? I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a noob.

Guess we all have our reasons for liking what we do. I have a Colt SAA in 45LC. A couple of years ago I sent it back the the Colt Custom Shop and had a 45 ACP cylinder fitted to it. Availability and cost of ammo was my main reason. Its nice to have options.

As far as the .357, it a great round. Been around a long time with a proven track record.

amd6547
February 25, 2012, 02:20 AM
Gee..for some applications, Navy SEALs have carried the S&W 686 357 mag...they must think it has some usefulness.

george29
February 25, 2012, 02:28 AM
The .357 Magnum is great for home defense IF you get the electronic ear muffs that amplify sound but dampen gunfire. If you get awakened in the middle of the night, put on and turn on the muffs before you pick up the revolver. Your adrenaline is going to block out all the noise, flash and smoke if and when (hopefully never) you need to defend yourself from aggressive, vicious home invaders whose intent is on doing you in. Don't worry about flash and noise.

Eb1
February 25, 2012, 02:33 AM
There seems to be a big move towards the big bore revolvers for carry. I am on the band wagon. After getting my .44 Magnum I really feel into the big bore theory. The only .45 ACP I want is my old man's 1911 A1.
So I found myself a .44 Special steel frame 3" barrel. The only round I have shot out of it was the Hornady Critical Defense 165 grain flex-tip. It was accurate, and I think even with a 165 grain flex-tip it would have zero problem with downing a bad dude in one shot with proper placement, and if you did miss by a little. The trauma and blood loss would be quick and plenty using the .44 Special 165 grain HCD.

I will load some lead for it when I get it back from the gunsmith from being customized. I have zero issues carrying hand loads. If they are withing spec of SAAMI then there isn't really anything the prosecutor could use against you.

I'd like to shoot a 225 grain LSWC at about 900 fps. I'd be happy with that for self-defense.

JShirley
February 25, 2012, 02:36 AM
faster, lighter bullets tend to penetrate more

If you're speaking of expanding rounds, this is absolutely not true. Faster, lighter expanding bullents tend to penetrate less in tissue- you are correct about a greater tendency to break up in structure. If anyone is concerned about overpenetration when using a .357, 110-grain JHP are a good option. Lots of power but not penetration (depending on bullet construction).

Okie45
February 25, 2012, 05:37 AM
I would use a .357 mag for home defence in a heart beat. You have 6 shots of almost perfect reliability with a round that has proven itself over and over again to work. The noise is loud, but I have shot .357 without hearing protection, your ears ring, but they will recover. You are talking self preservation here, not I don't want to cry after I shoot because of the noise. Load a good 125 grain round and feel confident with what you have. I've seen what this round can do while hunting, it is impressive.

Stainz
February 25, 2012, 09:33 AM
Hornady doesn't always get it right. A dozen years ago, they had produced a bunch of .454 Casull ammo loaded in soft brass. It married itself to even the finest chamber imperfections, making practically a hammer and a drift necessary to remove the spent cases. They did send me new ammo - kudos to them - but still, they don't always have it 'right'.

I like to recall the FBI's requirement for the S&W .357 Registered Magnum. Hoover's G-men needed something that could punch a hole through the car doors of the day aimed at fleeing felons - thus was born the .357 Magnum. S&W's Doug Wesson immediately took one hunting - and got everything imagineable with it - including moose and bear. I don't need that in my home. I am not in the sandbox having to fend off attacks by religious zealots - or in the 'hood' defending myself from crazed coke/crack heads. I am in my environment... and I am responsible for what I pull the trigger on, be it 2 yards or a mile away.

That said, I do have a few .357 Magnum revolvers - even keep them loaded as home defenders - with the proven manstopper - the .38 Special +P 158gr LHPSWC. Why have .357 Magnums instead of .38 Specials? Ever see an eight shot .38? I also have a Governor - loaded with .45 ACP ball ammo - and .45 Colt. Sure, miss an intruder - and they will all make it through one interior and exterior wall of my mostly frame home - admittedly, with little 'oomph' left. Perhaps familiarity has bred contempt, but I feel safer with my choices. I keep speedloaders and moonclips loaded with such choices for all of my handguns, whether in the safe or by the bed. YMMV.

Stainz

Manny
February 25, 2012, 10:08 AM
A few observations:

Cops used to carry 4" L frames all day, every day. It was the standard issue weapon for my home town PD until they updated to semi-autos and they were far from alone in their choice. A good belt & holster will allow comfortable carry. That being said, if it's for CCW I personally would want a smaller & lighter gun such as the new 4" Ruger SP101 if you want the 4" barrel.

The gun itself would be a superb choice for your use as it will safely digest the full range of std & +p .38's all the way to heavy .357 loadings. In it's day the L frame was THE premier defensive gun & other than the lock which I despise, it hasn't diminished.

Chosing the correct ammo is critical, a +p .38 or low recoil/low flash .357 such as Remington's Golden Sabre round is the way to go. Even .38 wadcutters have a pretty good rep for performance in defensive use. Full house .357's while very effective would exacerbate the issue of flash & muzzle blast indoors. Just because you can use them doesn't mean they're the best choice.

A .45acp revolver with good hollow points would be an outstanding choice for HD. S&W's new Governor was something I thought was a really dumb idea, but after handeling one I was very impressed. It can be had with a Crimson Trace grip for under $700. Using moon clipped .45's it would make a very good defensive revolver and at around 30oz it's reasonably light to carry.

JShirley
February 25, 2012, 11:24 AM
I am responsible for what I pull the trigger on, be it 2 yards or a mile away.



Exactly. The absolutely safest thing you could be using for the best possible combination of stopping power and minimal overpenetration hazard would be a carbine firing a lightweight, fast expanding and fragmenting bullet. Use a rifle- it's for the children. :D And the power, oh, the horrible power of even something like inexpensive, shallow-penetrating Federal American Eagle 50-grain HP (http://www.lg-outdoors.com/proddetail.asp?prod=SS%5F15780)- is over double that of almost all .357 Magnum ammunition. But it penetrate less in tissue. You should probably also note that most modern .357 isn't loaded nearly as hot as the original, with the average ft-lbs being a little less than 600.

Stainz
February 25, 2012, 12:03 PM
A bit off-topic...

I wanted a 325 Night Guard for a home defender - .45 ACPs from a 2.75" barrel, Al/Sc frame, black SS barrel & cylinder, tritium Night Sight on front and fixed rear sight. What I bought, the Governor, is 7/8" longer and 1.6 oz heavier - other than that, it is quite similar to the 325NG. Here it is sporting .500 Magnum grips and shown with my pocket protector, my 642:

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/006.jpg

It also chambers .45 Schofield and Colt as well as most 2.5" .410 shotgun shells. It takes the same moonclipped .45 ACPs as my 625JM, so that is a plus. The biggest plus - the price. It is currently MSRP $679 - $370 Less than the 325NG's MSRP $1,049.

Stainz

jad0110
February 25, 2012, 12:51 PM
I have zero issues carrying hand loads. If they are withing spec of SAAMI then there isn't really anything the prosecutor could use against you.

I don't mean to cause thread drift, nor do I mean to be argumentative. Just wanted to pose a rhetorical question here. You say that if you load within SAAMI spec, then the prosecution won't be able to use it against you. But how do you prove the particular, specific rounds you fired into the BG were loaded to normal, SAAMI pressure levels? Safe to say the prosecution won't take your word for it, nor will they accept a batch of your home brew for testing.

Again, I don't mean to be nasty, and you honestly don't have to reply. I just thought I'd put this out for you to consider, if you haven't already done so. I carry factory ammo from a known manufacturer (Remington, Federal, Cor Bon, etc) because a specific brand already has published data from the manufacturer, a party completely independent from the defendant. And if required as part of one's defense (granted, probably not likely), those particular rounds can be acquired from the local gun shop, tested, and the results can be reliably correlated to the ones you used to defend yourself. One final bonus, if you choose the right ammo, is that you'd be able to state that you used the same rounds law enforcement used back in the day when they carried revolvers (the 158 grain +P LSWCHP is an excellent example). Sorry, I bet a lawyer could explain better than I.

---

Back to the OP. It's personal preference, really. I stick with .38+P for home defense simply because I can maintain rapid fire accuracy better with them than .357s. And with the many good .38 loads available to us today, .38 special works about as well as any other medium to big bore handgun round. They look weak on paper, but many of the good ones can still expand while penetrating plenty sufficiently. But if you aren't comfortable with .38, then perhaps a revolver chambered in .44 Special, .45 ACP, .45 Colt or .44 Mag (loaded up with .44 Spl) would be just the ticket.

bsms
February 26, 2012, 05:34 PM
I wouldn't feel undergunned using 38+P, but neither do I feel overgunned with the 357. The difference between around 12" of penetration and 16" just isn't enough to impress me either way. If you miss with a 38+P, it can still go thru drywall and kill someone. If you hit someone with a 357, I don't think you have a lot to worry about it continuing on to kill your neighbors.

Shooting either in a cement wall indoor firing range without hearing protection wouldn't be fun. If the situation allows you to worry about hearing loss, you probably shouldn't shoot. If someone is entering my bedroom at 3 AM, my main concern will be stopping them fast enough, not my hearing.

When I carry a J frame, I load 38+P. When I carry an L frame, I load 357. When I reach for my N frame, it is loaded with 44 specials...;)

MCgunner
February 26, 2012, 06:37 PM
Does a little piggy go "wee, wee, wee" all the way home?

.357 magnum is a favorite of mine, but I admit to keeping a 9 or a .38 by the bed along with my 20 gauge coach gun due to the flash/bang of the magnum indoors. I carry one a lot, though and have killed hogs and deer with it. It's the real deal far as the power of the round goes. I don't hunt with .45ACP, too weak. :neener:

Waywatcher
February 26, 2012, 11:47 PM
The real beauty of a .357 lies in the versatility.

If a full .357 Magnum is more than you want for an application, then use .38+P. Owning a .357 and shooting nothing but magnums through it is just like owning a 3" 12 gauge and shooting nothing but 3"magnums through it. Not my idea of a fun time (at least not for very long.)

voicomp
February 26, 2012, 11:50 PM
So far my read is (with equal shot placement): If you want your corpse to probably potentially hear OK, you use 9mm. If you want your (still living) body to probably have a potential to want to help hear you use .357 mag and eat the risk to your hearing.

Did I miss something?

Keizer
February 26, 2012, 11:57 PM
I have been sleeping with a .357 revolver by my bed for over 25 years. I have no doubt it will take care of business.

theicemanmpls
February 27, 2012, 12:26 AM
A SD 357 load will have rather big recoil, flash, and a rather loud report compared to a .38+P SD load. Unless you shoot 357 lots, I don't recommend it for SD.

A 357 light weight J frame is something you would not wish to shoot .357 unless you want misery. light 38's for practice, 148-158 softpoints will do the job for SD.

For defending the homestead, I have a 4" 686 loaded with 125hp 357 handloads.* Other firearms are available also.

38's will allow quicker followup. I practice lots. With that 357 load, follow up won't be needed.

Our home has layers of electronic security. The security system going off, should discourage the home invaders. Had canine security, but he got old, and died. The security system dont pee on the rug, or hump the neighbor ladies leg.


*within SAMI spec.

el Godfather
February 27, 2012, 12:34 AM
You cannot argue with 357. People who rant about its short comming have no idea what they are talking about. I have taken down wild boars with it, and I have seen the effect it has on flesh. One shot creates so much trauma that hostile is buckled.

willypete
February 27, 2012, 02:16 AM
One shot creates so much trauma that hostile is buckled.

What does this mean?

theicemanmpls
February 27, 2012, 02:22 AM
What does this mean?
It means that upon examination of the hog that was shot with the 357, he was sure it would put a major hurt on a human being.

I agree.

At close range, it will down a moose. However, I wouldn't suggest using it on a bull moose during rut. One could get an antler enema. Use the right tool for the job. The .357 is a great tool to use against humans.

Prosser
February 27, 2012, 03:22 AM
Para-Medic:
You need to look at YOUR situation, your house, and where the bullets go, if you miss, and, if you hit the target. Without that information, we are taking shots in the dark.

The caliber can do pretty much anything, depending upon the gun it's fired out of. There are a LOT of .357 options, in gun and loads.

Generally the round is VERY loud, will do life long hearing damage(WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? YES FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE).

I agree muffs are good, but, at least in my situation, I'd be lucky to get to the gun before the attacker was on me, or shooting at me.

My ideal attacker would knock on the door, would tell me he's here to rob me, and, I would ask if he could wait, until I put my LEO vest on, grabbed my 1911 with .45 Super, and my Mosin Nagant 44, along with finding my
ear protectors(Heck, I can't even remember where I put em). Then if he would be so kind, he can enter.

NOT going to happen.

JShirley
February 27, 2012, 04:59 AM
I had my first and only ND, from a .270 Winchester, 24 years ago. Since I was observing all the other safety rules, the 130-grain SP went into the ceiling, where it fragmented into at least two pieces before continuing upward through the attic. The fragments did not exit through the plywood and shingles of the roof. I do have some hearing damage, but I believe that comes primarily from firing shotguns without ear pro as I grew up. I do not remember my ears ringing that night from the .270, as they have from firing shotguns repeatedly. (Guys, if you tell your kids to practice with a shotgun, please make sure they're wearing hearing protection!)

Handguns are definitely easier to carry around and conceal easily, but if you really thought you might be needing to shoot something dangerous, a longarm is always the way to go. And as I've said, and empirical evidence proves, a rifle with proper ammunition selection is less of a hazard to innocents while being considerably more effective at stopping threats.

John

dirtengineer
February 27, 2012, 05:13 AM
A 4" .357 revolver is about the most versatile pistol on the market. Good for HD, adequate for CCW, good trail gun, will go bang just about every time, easy to learn, simple to operate. You could even use it for hunting. Value priced. Can use .38 special in it too.

MCgunner
February 27, 2012, 11:15 AM
It means that upon examination of the hog that was shot with the 357, he was sure it would put a major hurt on a human being.

I agree.

Having shot many hogs in my trap with a variety of common self defense calibers, I agree, too. The .357 is impressive, the most impressive amongst the calibers I carry. Only thing, no .357 is built that I will pocket carry so I carry mine in a fanny pack or on the belt OWB if I can wear a cover garment. In south Texas, it's usually the fanny pack. I won't carry a 12 ounce 340 Smith with full house .357s and I'm very recoil tolerant otherwise. Out of a 2" barrel, the .357 is pretty well neutered, anyhow. It takes a 3" or longer barrel to make it the MAGNUM that it is. :D

Prosser
February 27, 2012, 04:05 PM
We do have handgun calibers that are as powerful as rifles. They are easier to carry to the door, behind your back, or in a holster, and are easier to have easy access to.

There are tradeoffs. Recoil can be considerable, ammunition expensive.

I might suggest .45 Colt as the perfect medium ground. With the right revolver, Ruger, or Freedom Arms, you can load 260 grain to 300 grain bullets at .357 magnum light bullet velocities.

How about a 225 grain bullet at 1500 fps, using a Barnes X type bullet?
http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=8

357 Terms
February 27, 2012, 06:40 PM
People have used the 357 mag for home defense and self defense for 75 years.

It is THE most versatile handgun you can buy.

With the advancement of bullet tech over the years there is little that can survive a well placed shot with a 357, from any platform.

My handloaded XPB's will expand violently in anything they hit, dumping their energy and staying in the target.

Really can't ask for anything more.

XTrooper
February 28, 2012, 08:22 AM
For those concerned about the recoil, noise, and flash of the .357 Magnum, you can relax. If you've ever been combat and/or a gunfight, you know they are non-factors and you'll barely, if at all, notice or remember any of the three.

To answer the OP's question, I think the .357 Magnum is an excellent home defense choice as long as overpenetration isn't a concern (like family members in adjoining rooms). That said, whatever your handgun of choice is, it should be backed up with a shotgun which, in my opinion, is the best close quarters weapon ever made. I have a full-size Beretta Px4 Storm .40 S&W, a S&W 627 8-shot .357 Magnum, and a Mossberg 930 SPX 12 gauge riot gun within reach when I go to bed.

CDR_Glock
February 28, 2012, 08:31 AM
For those concerned about the recoil, noise, and flash of the .357 Magnum, you can relax. If you've ever been combat and/or a gunfight, you know they are non-factors and you'll barely, if at all, notice or remember any of the three.

To answer the OP's question, I think the .357 Magnum is an excellent home defense choice as long as overpenetration isn't a concern (like family members in adjoining rooms). That said, whatever your handgun of choice is, it should be backed up with a shotgun which, in my opinion, is the best close quarters weapon ever made. I have a full-size Beretta Px4 Storm .40 S&W, a S&W 627 8-shot .357 Magnum, and a Mossberg 930 SPX 12 gauge riot gun within reach when I go to bed.

Awesome. I, too, have the same revolver and shotgun. Great combination.


iPad/Tapatalk

XTrooper
February 28, 2012, 08:37 AM
awesome. I, too, have the same revolver and shotgun. Great combination.


Ipad/tapatalk
gmta! :)

Prosser
February 28, 2012, 04:36 PM
Another way to view the .357 in a close encounter is perhaps the flash and bang contribute to it's effectiveness in close quarters encounters.

Flash bang grenades are used to create a tactical advantage on intrusion.
A .357 at close quarters, out of a relatively short barrel has a huge flash, bang,
and burning powder being sprayed on the target. I have a theory that this skews the effectiveness of the round for SD, in certain data banks. Many LEO carry .357's as backups, and, the combination of an effective round, and a flash bang grenade essentially in the face contributes to the high number of 'one shot stops' attributed to the 125 grain HiVel load, mostly at night, and perhaps mostly from snubbies?

Lee D
February 28, 2012, 05:38 PM
heres a great carry/hd .357...3" S&W 60 Pro series that comes from the factory with a trijicon front sight. i bought it awhile back and it easily is my favorite J-frame. the 24 oz all stainless gun tames the full power .357 loads nicely, and its plenty accurate out to 20 yards...2 1/2" groups with most ammo, and the Hornady CD load easily cuts that in half.

http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/7424/003mvu.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/688/003mvu.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Waywatcher
February 28, 2012, 05:44 PM
Another way to view the .357 in a close encounter is perhaps the flash and bang contribute to it's effectiveness in close quarters encounters.

Flash bang grenades are used to create a tactical advantage on intrusion.
A .357 at close quarters, out of a relatively short barrel has a huge flash, bang,
and burning powder being sprayed on the target. I have a theory that this skews the effectiveness of the round for SD, in certain data banks. Many LEO carry .357's as backups, and, the combination of an effective round, and a flash bang grenade essentially in the face contributes to the high number of 'one shot stops' attributed to the 125 grain HiVel load, mostly at night, and perhaps mostly from snubbies?

I think this point of view is under represented; and I think there is virtue in an imposing blast and flash.

From my experience shooting in the dark (night shoots at my local out-of-doors club) the flash and blast from your own weapon is not that bad, and I feel it is overblown when viewed as a negative consideration.

XTrooper
February 28, 2012, 06:51 PM
Another way to view the .357 in a close encounter is perhaps the flash and bang contribute to it's effectiveness in close quarters encounters.

Flash bang grenades are used to create a tactical advantage on intrusion.
A .357 at close quarters, out of a relatively short barrel has a huge flash, bang,
and burning powder being sprayed on the target. I have a theory that this skews the effectiveness of the round for SD, in certain data banks. Many LEO carry .357's as backups, and, the combination of an effective round, and a flash bang grenade essentially in the face contributes to the high number of 'one shot stops' attributed to the 125 grain HiVel load, mostly at night, and perhaps mostly from snubbies?

There may be something to your theory, but there is NO comparison between a flash-bang grenade detonating and the muzzle flash/blast of a .357 Magnum.

Prosser
February 28, 2012, 07:01 PM
None the less, a face full of burning powder, due to a short barreled BUG, and the rather large flash that .357 makes in snubs is a consideration, compared to something like a .45ACP, or other caliber that burns the powder in the gun. Not being able to hear, or see will end an attack fairly quickly.

I suspect shotguns might also have a similar effect, along with I know my Mosin Nagant 44.

XTrooper
February 28, 2012, 07:54 PM
None the less, a face full of burning powder, due to a short barreled BUG, and the rather large flash that .357 makes in snubs is a consideration, compared to something like a .45ACP, or other caliber that burns the powder in the gun. Not being able to hear, or see will end an attack fairly quickly.

I suspect shotguns might also have a similar effect, along with I know my Mosin Nagant 44.
If all you needed were a flash and bang to "end an attack fairly quickly," we could carry blanks. I think a 125gr .357 diameter bullet traveling at 1000-1400 fps or a load of 00 buckshot may have a "little" more to do with taking the fight out of an attacker than your unburned powder and flash.

USSR
February 28, 2012, 07:54 PM
This thread is starting to get a bit silly, don't you think? Advocating a cartridge for it's flash blast characteristics? What are we trying to do, shoot somebody or blind them?:rolleyes:

Don

XTrooper
February 28, 2012, 07:56 PM
This thread is starting to get a bit silly, don't you think? Advocating a cartridge for it's flash blast characteristics? What are we trying to do, shoot somebody or blind them?:rolleyes:

Don
I agree. A tough hombre would be unimpressed and undeterred.

Prosser
February 28, 2012, 08:13 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whO1FNPfQDo&feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0UcxiseRcw&feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnQnRJXRBc0&feature=related

S&M give the 125 grain .357 Magnum one shot stop numbers equal to .308 rifle rounds. Rather then totally discount their data, I am trying to see the data in it's total circumstances. Perhaps the combination of night shootings, at close range, combined with all factors give a psychological, and physical edge to the .357. I don't really see anyone walking through gases coming out of the barrel at speeds high enough and hot enough to etch metal, no matter how "tough an hombre" they are.

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