357 Magnum


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el Godfather
April 1, 2012, 01:10 AM
Dear THR.
What are the advantages of 357 over a 9mm and 45acp? Are there any disadvantages?

How effective is a 357 as a SD weapon?

Is 357 sufficient for self defense or a step up to a 44 magnum is a better decision? 10mm is not in consideration.

Thanks

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mrvco
April 1, 2012, 02:36 AM
I think most would say "more than adequate" for all but the most extreme circumstances... And even too much with full-house magnums in HD scenarios.

R.W.Dale
April 1, 2012, 03:15 AM
357 magnum is widely accepted as suitable for deer hunting amongst sportsman. 45acp and 9mm are not due to being much less powerful.

You draw your own conclusions about how this relates to effectiveness as a defensive round. But its been often stated that the 125 grain 357 magnum load is the manstopper all other handgun rounds aspire to be.

Downsides to consider
Recoil
Low capacity

posted via mobile device.

ArchAngelCD
April 1, 2012, 04:32 AM
Like said above, a 125gr .357 Magnum is considered the best man stopper ever. It's an excellent SD caliber and no, there is no reason to move up to a .44 Magnum unless the bad guys are Bears... As a matter of fact, the .357 Magnum's brother, the .38 Special is also a good SD caliber...

gamestalker
April 1, 2012, 08:03 AM
My daily carry gun is one of my S&W K frame snubs with 125 gr. JHP's of wither Gold Dots, XTP's, or Sierra's, on top of a healthy charge of H110 / 296. Those loads are producing a MV of just under 1600 fps. Those .357 mags with those full house loads will produce through and through penetration in just about any circumstance. To be honest, if I ever had to take a center mass shot at a person, I would imagine the result would be a very large exit wound and massive bleeding. Hydrostatic shock damage on animals like coyotes and jack rabbits is extreme, and penetration and expansion testing on rolled up wet denim proves extremely effective also.

The Auto loading cartridges such as 45 ACP and 9mm just don't produce the velocity capable of doing what the .357 mag. will do in tis respect. One of my Son's is a die hard 9mm fan and carries my hand loaded 115 gr. JHP's producing a MV of 1300's fps, but they just don't perform nearly as well as the .357's for expansion.

A couple of years back one of my Son's shot a large mule deer in the head with my hand loaded 125's from the .357 and it blew a huge hole through the head. Not too long after that one, another one of my Boy's shot another large mule deer through the lungs with the same loads, and it went through and through the shoulders also leaving behind a large exit wound.

GS

sirsloop
April 1, 2012, 09:29 AM
Idk why people think that .357 is "the best man stopper ever". Like there is nothing particular about the cartridge that makes it a magical combo of death. It's just on the hotter end of what the majority of people are willing to carry that gets the job done. Ya know it's not "more lethal" than .500s&w magnum, a sabot slug outta a 12 gauge, a high powered .30cal+ rifle, etc. Plenty of stuff that packs more punch. I'm just sayin... Not considering shot placement, etc...

I would say .357 is a decent SD choice for an experienced shooter. Too much pony for a rookie shooter.

jmr40
April 1, 2012, 09:58 AM
its been often stated that the 125 grain 357 magnum load is the manstopper all other handgun rounds aspire to be.



There is no doubt that this loading has proven to be among the best, but when you actually chronograph these loads in real guns, not test barrels, you usually come up velocities in the 1250-1300 fps range.

Yet the many of the same people will tell you that a 124 gr +P 9mm bullet at a chronographed 1250 fps is totally inadequate. Those are real numbers you will get from real guns, not some numbers published in a ballistics chart.

The truth is that any of the common rounds, 9mm, 357 mag and 357 Sig, as well as 45, and 40 are all pretty much equal in terms of effectiveness when the best loads are chosen for the individual gun.

As a SD round a 357 mag works, but has several huge disadvantages. Much more muzzle blast and recoil, considerable loss of velocity when used in barrels shorter than 6", and very limited ammo capacity. They are at their best when loaded with heavier bullets and with longer barrels and used for hunting or long range shooting. A 357 mag with a barrel shorter than 4", and loaded with 125 gr bullets is pretty useless in my opinion because you get all of the disadvantages magnified, and with LESS velocity than from a 9mm pistol.

bikerdoc
April 1, 2012, 10:06 AM
357 and 45 are my only carry calibers.

HGM22
April 1, 2012, 10:10 AM
Yeah, I'm not sure why its "the best". I can see it being a good benchmark for judging handgun rounds, but there are too many options out there for it to be simply the best.

As to the OP: There is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is no perfect caliber. What you gain in one criteria you lose in another. For example, a .45ACP has a larger diameter bullet, but a 9mm pistol will have more ammunition capacity. The .357Mag has more power than the 9mm and .45, but its also got more muzzle blast and recoil (and slower follow-up shots).

You need to look at various aspects like power, capacity, recoil and muzzle blast, platforms (which gun), platform size, etc. and match them to your skill set and situation. If you are a novice shooter you'll probably want to go with something lower on the power scale. What I'd be most looking at is if you want a revolver or auto, and what you intend the gun for. Will it be a concealed carry, home defense, or both gun? Something for CC will need to be smaller (most likely), and you may want to take a step down on caliber since recoil will be greater in the smaller gun. On the other hand, a gun used solely for self defense or open carried can be as big as you want, and recoil becomes less of a concern.

No matter what, though, .357 Mag is a great round.

XTrooper
April 1, 2012, 10:13 AM
My favorite revolver cartridge for over 40 years now.

Sufficient for self defense? It was the premier law enforcement cartridge of the revolver era and has put innumerable bad guys under the ground.

buck460XVR
April 1, 2012, 11:04 AM
Being old, the advantage of my .357 revolvers over my .45 ACP autoloaders is that I don't have to bend over to pick up my empties.

sirsloop
April 1, 2012, 11:16 AM
HAHAH... no doubt! I love revolvers (and single shots) for the same reason... easy to police brass.

GJgo
April 1, 2012, 11:22 AM
357 is my favorite handgun round for the following reason. You can do anything with it, more or less, compared to other rounds. You can load it mild or hot. You can use light bullets or heavy. It is good for varminting, self-defense, or hunting. In a mid frame you can carry open or concealed. If a guy is only going to have one handgun I don't think you can do better. It's the right tool for many jobs.

MrDig
April 1, 2012, 01:25 PM
.45 acp pushes twice the amount of mass down range as most calibers in the 9mm diameter this includes .357. 38, and 357 are essentially 9mm with longer cases. I know I can get 158 gr 38,357 but I usually shoot 125 gr HP with those weapons.
All that being said I would probably be hesitant to shoot a deer with a .45 or a 9mm Luger unless I was absolutely certain it was a kill shot. Read the animal is wounded and immobile.
I have however hunted with a .357 Revolver and Carbine in .357, why? because I am much more certain that they will do the job I need them to do at distances the .45 just won't handle. I wish I was as confident in my shooting skills as I am in the round. I've passed on a few shots due to my own limitations. That is another advantage of the .357 it is slightly less expensive to practice with and improve shooting skills.

DanGuy48
April 1, 2012, 01:43 PM
Probably the main thing that really catapulted the .357 Mag to stardom as a man stopper was Marshall and Sanow's study on that topic with the .357 Mag ending up with something like a 94or97% one shot stop efficiency (been a while since I read it). One shot stop was defined as taking no more than one additional step towards you or immediately breaking off attack activity on being shot.

http://www.amazon.com/Handgun-Stopping-Power-Definitive-Study/dp/0873646533

Yep, I'm aware of all the controversy around it but I think there's still some good data there.

R.W.Dale
April 1, 2012, 02:23 PM
There is no doubt that this loading has proven to be among the best, but when you actually chronograph these loads in real guns, not test barrels, you usually come up velocities in the 1250-1300 fps range. These numbers are my guns my loads my Chronograph

Yet the many of the same people will tell you that a 124 gr +P 9mm bullet at a chronographed 1250 fps is totally inadequate. Those are real numbers you will get from real guns, not some numbers published in a ballistics chart.

The truth is that any of the common rounds, 9mm, 357 mag and 357 Sig, as well as 45, and 40 are all pretty much equal in terms of effectiveness when the best loads are chosen for the individual gun.

As a SD round a 357 mag works, but has several huge disadvantages. Much more muzzle blast and recoil, considerable loss of velocity when used in barrels shorter than 6", and very limited ammo capacity. They are at their best when loaded with heavier bullets and with longer barrels and used for hunting or long range shooting. A 357 mag with a barrel shorter than 4", and loaded with 125 gr bullets is pretty useless in my opinion because you get all of the disadvantages magnified, and with LESS velocity than from a 9mm pistol.

From my 5" m60 my carry load the widely reguarded as midrange 125 golden saber still hits 1400fps. Winchester 124g ranger t 357sig in my g32 hits 1340fps. In a glock34 speer +p 124g gold dots hit 1240fps

Yes even with "weak 12x grain loads" todays 357 magnum is still a great deal more powerful than even 357sig much less 9x19mm. The ballistics that make 9mm quite good make 357 even better because it has that much more to give.

We are in agreement though that a sub 3" 357 is at best a 38 spl.
posted via mobile device.

Tomcat47
April 1, 2012, 02:40 PM
Downsides to consider
Recoil
Low capacity

Lest we forget the mind altering, equilibrium debilitating, decibel producing BANG!

That comes from them! Average 164 Db from Revolver.... Hearing Damage can occur at 85 Db and 120 Db is Threshold of pain. A Lawn Mower is 90Db

(hmmm this is thread material! )

jeepnik
April 1, 2012, 04:12 PM
357 magnum is widely accepted as suitable for deer hunting amongst sportsman. 45acp and 9mm are not due to being much less powerful.

You draw your own conclusions about how this relates to effectiveness as a defensive round. But its been often stated that the 125 grain 357 magnum load is the manstopper all other handgun rounds aspire to be.

Downsides to consider
Recoil
Low capacity

posted via mobile device.
I wouldn't say the .357 is "widely" accepted by handgun hunters. I and those I know really prefer a minimum of .41 mag. Can it be done? Sure. But a bit more energy is not a bad thing in a handgun for taking deer.

As to the OP. The only drawback that a .357 wheelie has compared to semiautos is capacity. And there are .357 8 round revolvers out now. Kinda bulky, but they are about.

Truthfully, back in the '70s while stationed in a country with some terrorist problems, I carried a 4" barreled .357 daily. Never felt undergunned, still wouldn't today.

Loosedhorse
April 1, 2012, 05:30 PM
What are the advantages of 357 over a 9mm and 45acp?Few for SD, unless for SD you favor bullet weights of 158 gr and up.

Disadvantages are the platforms. You can get up to 8 shots of .357 in a big revolver, 5 in a small one. .357 autos tend to be bigger even than .45 autos; take a look at a Coonan and compare it to a Glock 30, for example. And .357 autos suffer from the potential problem of rimlock in the magazine.

How effective is .357? I doubt there's a SD handgun caliber that's more effective. But maybe there are some as effective with less muzzle blast and recoil--two other disadvantages.

Jaymo
April 1, 2012, 05:42 PM
Ungodly muzzle blast is a disadvantage. I love .357 but, DANG it's loud.

azrn
April 1, 2012, 10:16 PM
all other calibers are constantly being compared to the 357 and 45 for SD effectiveness. this alone should tell you what is needed on a daily carry option.

sig220mw
April 2, 2012, 01:21 AM
The 357 is a great round and will do well for you for self defense. I carry 3 different handguns for self defense (not all at the same time). A 357, 44 special and a 45 acp. Shooting the 44 special and also a 45 colt with mildly hot loads makes the 357 feel like a pussycat. As far as advantages over the 9mm or the 45 acp I look at it as a subjective thing. If you like it and shoot it well it will fill your need. Don't let anyone tell you what you need to like. You don't need high capacity for self defense but if that's what you want then get it.

ArchAngelCD
April 2, 2012, 03:06 AM
Idk why people think that .357 is "the best man stopper ever". Like there is nothing particular about the cartridge that makes it a magical combo of death. It's just on the hotter end of what the majority of people are willing to carry that gets the job done. Ya know it's not "more lethal" than .500s&w magnum, a sabot slug outta a 12 gauge, a high powered .30cal+ rifle, etc. Plenty of stuff that packs more punch. I'm just sayin... Not considering shot placement, etc...

I would say .357 is a decent SD choice for an experienced shooter. Too much pony for a rookie shooter.
Why is it considered the best man stopper? Because statistics from shooting from all over the country for decades prove it to be. From what I've read it does the job better than any other caliber carried. BUT, like I said above, I like the .38 Special for SD and carry.

357 Terms
April 2, 2012, 04:18 AM
It can do more...

With my leveraction carbine my XTP handloads (180grn) hit 1600+fps, thats a great deer rifle.

With those same loads my 6.5in Blackhawk I can get around 1400fps, and over 1550 with 158grn XTP's, a great hunting handgun (here in Ind.)

My 4in Service Six is my do-all, ( field gun, carry, HD) but usually loaded with Barnes 140grn XPB's loaded to around 1350fps, not terribly hot, but very effective.

My DAO 2.25in sp101 is my everyday carry, loaded with 125grn XPB's to bout 1200fps, again not real hot, but very effective.

With the 357 mag you can just do.....more.

mes228
April 2, 2012, 07:29 AM
No expert here, and I've shot them little (though I've owned several). Just a comment. I've read the current loadings are VERY anemic compared to the original loadings. Hard to believe with all the "flash bang" that goes on when shooting even a 4" .357 revolver - much less a short barrel pocket type.

sirsloop
April 2, 2012, 08:56 AM
Why is it considered the best man stopper? Because statistics from shooting from all over the country for decades prove it to be. From what I've read it does the job better than any other caliber carried. BUT, like I said above, I like the .38 Special for SD and carry.
That's only because thats a very commonly carried round. Like really how many people carry .500 s&w for SD?

In another league... 500:357


http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/i-H4rF449/0/XL/i-H4rF449-XL.jpg

bassdogs
April 2, 2012, 09:31 AM
Well I guess when someone asks the same ?? you can expect to end up in the same place. 500 S&W PLEASE! Why not the 50 BMG? Or lets go all the way to the chain gun!

After this ? has gone thru countless threads [think 2 are active as we speak], it always seems that the answer lies in the beholder. The BEST is what you can shoot best and that is handy when you need it. Now if that takes you to a .25auto or a 4' turkey gun; you might want to rethink your situation. If you want to lug a 500 with say 12 or 15 extra rounds, then make sure you stop by the gym frequently.

trex1310
April 2, 2012, 09:45 PM
Dear THR.
What are the advantages of 357 over a 9mm and 45acp? Are there any disadvantages?
The .357 is a faster moving round. A disadvantage would be recoil and
muzzle blast. Also the .357 is generally found in a revolver.

How effective is a 357 as a SD weapon?
Very effective.

Is 357 sufficient for self defense or a step up to a 44 magnum is a better decision? 10mm is not in consideration.
The .357 is more than sufficient. The .44 magnum is not a better
decision.

Thanks

22-rimfire
April 3, 2012, 01:01 AM
Disadvantages of the 357 mag for SD???

I have to say there are three potential ones: over penetration, recoil, and muzzle blast; especially in small carry sized revolvers.

I personally am quite comfortable with 38spl +P. Nothing wrong with 9mm and 45 ACP for self defense.

asia331
April 3, 2012, 02:25 AM
For me; .357 when trail walking or in the field where there is the occasional fanged and clawed beasty; .45ACP in town for SD vs. the unruly 2 legged variant of the same.

exavid
April 3, 2012, 02:36 AM
The one gun I've owned since the early '70s and still have is my trusty old S&W model 28. I like long barreled .357s. They shoot almost like a rifle, have a long sight radius for accuracy, S&W triggers at least on my old one are silky smooth in DA and nicely light in SA. The 6" barrel isn't nasty firing like some of the shorter barreled revolvers. The recoil in the big N frame isn't much of anything, very easy on the hand, I could shoot a couple hundred in a sitting except I'd get tired reloading. The downside is it's a BIG revolver and would be a bear to carry concealed. As a SD weapon I'd prefer it to my .45ACP just because I've had it so long and fired it a lot over the years and it's never failed, not once. It's also a lot better to use as a bludgeon if someone gets too close. If you pistol whipped someone with this gun they'd know something hit them. My .45 is a polymer framed pistol that would be a pretty pitiful club in comparison.

2zulu1
April 3, 2012, 04:37 AM
The 357 mag is still the top tier personal defense caliber for social miscreants. One of the reasons I carry Remington's 125gr SJHP while traveling and staying in motels is that it doesn't over penetrate, same can be said for the Federal version. I haven't chronogrphed Federal's 125 gr JHP, but Remington's 125gr SJHP has met its advertised MV/1450fps out of a M686P/4" and Dan Wesson/4" and this factory ammunition chronogrphed 1625fps from a M686P/6".

My 'duplicate' handloads achieve 1560fps through a M686P/4" loaded with AA #9 and 2400 powders, neither loadings are max.

One of the advantages of putting up with the mag's muzzle/blast and recoil is because it's a dominating incapacitation caliber. The semi-jacketed 158gr hit the market in the late 60s, basically the semi-jacket was a fancy gas check designed to cut down on the 158gr lead RN bullet that caused serious leading issues. The mag had already established its reputation as a fight stopper long before the jacketed versions were issued. Our department issued Remington 158gr SJHPs and of the few OIS that I am/was aware of, no felons survived.

The Remington 125gr SJHP saw service around 1976 (mid 70s), but many departments/agencies continued to carry the 158gr into the 80s, the 158gr SJHP is the only weight I carried. At no time did I ever feel under gunned with the mag, even when the hi-cap 9s (S&W M39/59) began being issued to some departments. In all honesty, many of us felt sorry for the officers who carried the 9 and many of them didn't like it either.

If one chooses to carry carry the mag, or 1911 for that matter, there's a certain level of training one has to buck up to in order to become proficient with the platform. As an example, Indianapolis PD reported that in 200 OIS with well placed shots, no felons were able to return effective fire.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_3_48/ai_82551648/pg_2/?tag=content;col1

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
April 3, 2012, 04:40 AM
I am also far from an expert. But I've owned a .357 for almost three years and have shot the heck out of it every chance I can get. So, getting that out of the way, here's what I have to add to what's already been said:

The first thing that comes to my mind when considering urban and suburban defense with the .357mag is over-penetration. There is a LOT of velocity goin' on there, which brings me to two uneducated assumptions. One is that shot placement is extra-important in regards to any potential (undesirable- with any caliber) missed shots, or even with hits the possibility of over-penetration if that's indeed a factor as i assume it is. The other is that a less heavy bullet with much velocity, such as .357 mag, could be more likely to ricochet or veer off in a wild direction if glanced off bone or steel etc. These two thoughts may not be true or entirely correct, they are thoughts that come to mind, and I would surely pay utmost attention to the more-experienced who can elaborate and enlighten.

When it comes to capacity, we can agree to disagree all day! I do think most would agree that six or eight absolutely dependable shots are more valuable than 15 that might jam after the first, but reloading could also be that moment that lets a threat get too close, thus the previous sentence! :D

Something I can certainly testify to is the CONCUSSION! The CRACK of a .357 going off, as most will already know, is like standing directly behind a tree that just got hit by lightning! It's pretty much the only caliber, including rifles, that I need plugs AND muffs to prevent a headache when shooting. Don't get me wrong, I love shooting .357 magnum very much! However in regards to noise, I find my 4" .44 mag more pleasant to shoot than my 6" .357, when firing off full-on magnum loads.

When carrying, I stick to .45acp and .44 mag, or sometimes .38 special these days (for my primary sidearm) after years of experimentation.
With the first two, I like that there is more mass to the energy equation, and with .38 special, well, what it might lack in 'power' it makes up for with ease of shot placement :)

Edit: I somehow forgot to read page 2 before posting :what::D

Sir Sloop that is a great photo, thanks for sharing it! I've seen ammo charts galore, and I think it's the human hand background that really puts those rounds into immediate proportion in that photo. I own .357s and have had the pleasure of shooting a .500 and to me that just immediately conveys the actual size of the cartridges to my brain. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that every time I show a less-experienced friend the size of a 7.62x54r round in the beginnings of the process of teaching them how to shoot my Mosin, I show it to them in their hand along with a .357 magnum round, and every time it's a .357 round. This due to that unique concussion I mentioned in my original post. Most of them have shot the .357 by that point, and are amazed by the difference in the sizes of the cartridges. This naturally causes them to approach the Mosin with respect, and as a result each has been consistently delighted with the lack of felt-recoil that the weight of the gun provides, once they've fired it :)

Also, I should have mentioned earlier in my post, that I confidently believe the .357 magnum could be a superb sidearm in a rural environment, and also in urban and suburban environments with sufficient knowledge and training.

Thanks for bearing with my run-on sentences, it's been a long day, but this is the part of the day when I get to enjoy the info-sharing of THR :)

sirsloop
April 3, 2012, 08:49 AM
.357 report is stout, especially from a shortie. 500 report from anything is absolutely thunderous!

7.62x54R vs 500? Hey I have a photos of that too :p

http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/i-RqVjkk2/0/L/i-RqVjkk2-L.jpg

Ky Larry
April 3, 2012, 06:11 PM
Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack.






(The sound of beating a dead horse.)

Auf Grosser Fahrt
April 3, 2012, 08:17 PM
Probably the main thing that really catapulted the .357 Mag to stardom as a man stopper was Marshall and Sanow's study on that topic with the .357 Mag ending up with something like a 94or97% one shot stop efficiency (been a while since I read it). One shot stop was defined as taking no more than one additional step towards you or immediately breaking off attack activity on being shot.

http://www.amazon.com/Handgun-Stopping-Power-Definitive-Study/dp/0873646533

Yep, I'm aware of all the controversy around it but I think there's still some good data there.
I love that book. I put a lot of stock in it. Real life (death) statistics.

Every shooter ought to read "Handgun Stopping Power".

PT92
April 3, 2012, 09:05 PM
Easy advantage of the .45 acp (even 9mm nowadays with the technological advances in ammunition) is it's a semi-auto platform vs. a 357 mag revolver (IMO). Now if they made a semi compact .357 mag (not 357 SIG) it would be a different story;)--10mm was supposed to close the gap but...

Yet for a lot of people a 357 mag revolver is entirely sufficient and I too have a tremendous fondness for them (magnificent caliber--I just want more capacity with the areas I navigate).

-Cheers

MrDig
April 3, 2012, 09:16 PM
I'm certain it has been said but Shot placement to me is more important than caliber.
I shoot better with my 9mm Hi-Powers than I do with my .45 or my GP100.
I love the .357 round, I like the .45 round but I own them for different reasons than I do my HP's.
I have confidence in my abilities for the other guns, but I didn't buy them for Home Defense, I bought them for hunting and target shooting and have other guns I like to shoot with too. I will stick to the HP's for HD and carry.
For me the Bottom Line is this which are you most accurate with .357 or .45 or another caliber entirely?

leftymachinist
April 3, 2012, 10:48 PM
Well let's really beat on this dh, speed is fine but accuracy is FINAL.

MCgunner
April 3, 2012, 10:58 PM
Well, I'm ACCURATE with my .357s. So, accurate power is even finaler...er...more final...whatever. Just because it's a MAGNUM don't mean it cannot be fired accurately. I've taken one hog at 60 yards with my .357 Blackhawk. The load is a fire-breather the likes of which no LGS sells, too. It's a handload.

I have a 3" carry that I took one hog with, 13 yard target of opportunity, head shot. I practice at an indoor range with it, but I'll admit to screwing my ear plugs in extra deep. :D My little Kel Tec P11 is enough and it's SOO much easier to have on me 24/7.

exavid
April 3, 2012, 11:21 PM
Accuracy is indeed important and my 6" barreled model 28 is accurate or at least the easiest pistol I own to shoot accurately except for my Buckmark with a holo sight. The long sight radius on the .370 with the excellent sights S&W put on it does the job. I only wish it was practical to carry the N framed beast concealed. If I could that would be my carry gun.

CDR_Glock
April 3, 2012, 11:46 PM
I have 3 357 revolvers that are large framed guns. Recoil is not an issue but noise is. My Smith and Wesson 627 has an 8 round capacity rivaling a 45 ACP but my reload is faster Witt a semiautomatic. As much as I love my revolvers, I'm more accurate, obviously, in single action with a 1911. For concealed carry, it is in a disadvantage to have a heavier gun since many have a hard time concealing a full sized 357, especially in the summer time.

The 357 is a solid round. Any other caliber in a bigger size risks over penetration. For handguns, I like to stick to duty pistols and 44 magnum is not in that genre for most.

For me, I'm versatile to carry and shoot any one of my pistols. Practicality is another matter.


iPad/Tapatalk

loneviking
April 4, 2012, 12:07 AM
I have a 4 inch Mod. 19 Combat Magnum I won't ever part with. Wonderfully balanced, easy to shoot even fairly warm loads with. It's my field gun, loaded with a combo of snake shot and hard cast 140's or 158's. Occasionally it gets carried around town loaded with 148 gr. Silvertips or 158 gr. Norma hollowpoints.

I've worked E.R.'s for almost thirty years now. I've seen four GSW's from a .357. Two were center mass from LEO's---both dead on scene/dead on arrival. One was a mugging where the good guy took a round to the groin and hit the femoral artery. Bled out and died within two minutes of hitting the E.R. door. Another mugging victim took one to the stomach--he lived but the damage to his G.I. tract was extensive. So, yes, it is a very effective round, but it's not a gun that's real easy to conceal or carry.

brnmuenchow
April 4, 2012, 12:27 PM
In terms of power the .357 Mag. & .45 ACP are more powerful than the .9X19mm. The only real advantage the .9X19mm has over the other two are round capacity and less recoil. The .357 Mag. used in revolvers has the ability to shoot .38 Special loads as a bonus if desired.

zxcvbob
April 4, 2012, 12:49 PM
Why is it considered the best man stopper? Because statistics from shooting from all over the country for decades prove it to be. From what I've read it does the job better than any other caliber carried. BUT, like I said above, I like the .38 Special for SD and carry.

Perhaps it has better "one shot stop" statistics because the recoil and muzzle blast is so bad, the shooter only gets off one shot -- but that's enough.

I carry a .357 Magnum, but I keep it loaded with nasty .38 Special +P's. Usually 158 LSWCHP's, sometimes 148 DEWC's (also loaded +P), rarely 125 grain XTP-HP's. I'm OK with maybe needing 2 shots.

PT92
April 4, 2012, 01:08 PM
You knew it would not take long for the thread to develop into:

:fire:Caliber Wars:fire:

788Ham
April 4, 2012, 01:08 PM
If the .357 is such an anemic round, any weight of bullet, why has it been the choice of shooters for so many years? Why has it been the angst of any caliber out there being shot today? Because it still works! I'd be safe in saying, most BG's shot with .357's aren't around to argue this point any longer, not trying to say, nor imply any other caliber hasn't had its share also, just a statistical fact. AND, as stated above in many remarks made, for HD rounds, +P .38's are also used in many varieties of .357 revolvers, just not wanting that extra "bang for the buck" inside the house. YMMV, but the .357 has its place, and my home has 3 of them.

MCgunner
April 4, 2012, 01:40 PM
In terms of power the .357 Mag. & .45 ACP are more powerful than the .9X19mm. The only real advantage the .9X19mm has over the other two are round capacity and less recoil.

There is one HUGE advantage of a 14 ounce 11 shot 9x19....pocketability. If you're going to rely on a handgun for self defense, you'd dang sight better have it when you need it. Such is not the case with a big gun. I walk around the house with my 9, always have it, never leave home without it. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, I have my 9. Even in bed it's beside the bed. It produces 410 ft lbs from a 3" barrel. It's pretty impressive on trapped hogs, too. I trust it will do the job just fine.

19-3Ben
April 4, 2012, 01:49 PM
The real hit with .357mag, as far as I'm concerned is the versatility. Any gun that can shoot .357mag can also shoot .38spl, for low cost, low recoil, fun range time.

a good .38spl +P can also serve as an adequate self defense round. Once again, even in merely .38spl guise, we see a lot of versatility from 110gr. low recoil SD rounds, to 158 gr. Semiwadcutter +p rounds designed for deep penetration as a "woods gun."

Then we get into the meat and potatoes here. The mighty .357mag. It can be loaded to .38spl type velocities (ie. the Speer Gold Dot short barrel 135gr. load that doesn't even break 1000fps), all the way up to loads like the 158gr. hollow points that Buffalo Bore and Double tap load to get 1400fps out of a 4" bbl revolver. You can even get 200gr. lead slugs for sooooper deep penetration. So with one platform, you can shoot loads as light as 110gr. all the way up to 200gr. Of course, being a revolver, you don't have to worry about failures to function due to variances in pressures, velocities, bullet weights or shapes, etc...

Now, of course, the other wonderful thing is that you can get a .357mag lever or bolt action carbine that not only has all the same versatility as the revolvers, it has even more because its top end is so much higher. that same 158gr. load that can do 1400 fps out of a 4" bbl revolver is doing over 2000fps out of the 18" bbl of a carbine. The velocity does drop off rather quickly, so I'd want to keep shots at around 75yards or under, but it's perfectly doable. With the new Hornady LeverEvolution ammo, you could even take that out to around 125 yards. We're nipping at the heels of the .30-30 at this point.

I realize that .45acp also can be loaded into various PCCs but it does not see gains anywhere near the level that the .357mag does.

So in the end, the .357mag can be an appropriate chambering and loading for anything from a pocket gun, to close range deer rifle and everything in between.
That versatility, to me, is the magic of the .357mag.
If I could only have guns chambered for one cartridge for the rest of my life, the .357mag would be it.

mdauben
April 4, 2012, 02:00 PM
What are the advantages of 357 over a 9mm and 45acp? Are there any disadvantages?
I think 20-30 years ago, there was a clear performance advantage to the .357 over the 9mm or 45ACP. Now, with modern bullet designs I don't think the difference is nearly as great as it was. IMO nowadays any of the three will provide good SD service.

Now, as far as the guns they are chambered in, a semiauto in 9mm/45ACP is going to have more shots per load, and be easier and faster to load. Some people also find flat semiautos easier to conceal than fatter revolvers.

A .357 revolver is arguable more reliable than a semiauto, and some people are more comfortable carrying a loaded revolver than a loaded semiauto.

In the end, much of it just comes down to personal preference.

How effective is a 357 as a SD weapon?
Very effective. It's a well proven round in both police and civilian hands.

Is 357 sufficient for self defense or a step up to a 44 magnum is a better decision?
The .357 is more than "sufficent" and I think stepping "up" to the .44Mag would be a mistake. There is more to a good SD gun than pure numbers. While the .44Mag has more pure power, its also generally chambered in larger guns (harder to conceal), has more recoil (slower follow up shots) and arguably exceeds the optimum handgun performance. Of course, lots of people like the .44 Special as a SD round, but this is more of a step... "sideways" than "up" in performance.

19-3Ben
April 4, 2012, 03:33 PM
The .357 is more than "sufficent" and I think stepping "up" to the .44Mag would be a mistake. There is more to a good SD gun than pure numbers. While the .44Mag has more pure power, its also generally chambered in larger guns (harder to conceal), has more recoil (slower follow up shots) and arguably exceeds the optimum handgun performance. Of course, lots of people like the .44 Special as a SD round, but this is more of a step... "sideways" than "up" in performance.

100% agreed. The only thing I would add to it is the only exception as far as I'm concerned is the Buffalo Bore (http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=75) series of "anti-personnel" .44mag loadings. Even those seem a little stiff to use as an SD round, but they are not as ridiculous as using full on hunting loads in your CCW (unless of course you live in an area where your CCW needs are based around protection from bears and whatnot).

sirsloop
April 4, 2012, 04:52 PM
A little off topic but i specifically buy my SD bullets that are called something like "self defense". Hornady and corbon both have bullets called that. It's for no reason other than it looks better from a jurors perspective if you went out of your way to buy ammo called self defense (if you ever have to use them). Same reason you shouldn't load up crazy insane custom home brew bullets (wax slugs, flechette, dragons breath, etc) that a lawyer can claim was build to maim, murder, and cause excessive suffering on the victim.

PT92
April 4, 2012, 05:21 PM
A little off topic but i specifically buy my SD bullets that are called something like "self defense". Hornady and corbon both have bullets called that. It's for no reason other than it looks better from a jurors perspective if you went out of your way to buy ammo called self defense (if you ever have to use them). Same reason you shouldn't load up crazy insane custom home brew bullets (wax slugs, flechette, dragons breath, etc) that a lawyer can claim was build to maim, murder, and cause excessive suffering on the victim.
I wish I could take this opportunity to rant your head off, but IMO you are correct. That being said, I have changed my CCW load over to Hornady's Critical Duty after using their Critical Defense load. I will just take my chances with the "System" if that situation should ever materialize. Darn shame a good Citizen should even have to worry about such.

--Cheers

ArchAngelCD
April 5, 2012, 03:56 AM
Perhaps it has better "one shot stop" statistics because the recoil and muzzle blast is so bad, the shooter only gets off one shot -- but that's enough.

I carry a .357 Magnum, but I keep it loaded with nasty .38 Special +P's. Usually 158 LSWCHP's, sometimes 148 DEWC's (also loaded +P), rarely 125 grain XTP-HP's. I'm OK with maybe needing 2 shots.
I didn't see anyone talking about "one shot stops"?? We were talking about a "man stopper".

While everyone has different abilities and shooting a .357 Magnum isn't for everybody there are many who do carry a .357 Magnum and can shoot it well. It's all about the practice I guess. I have a M640 that's loaded with 145gr Winchester Silvertips and I can shoot that revolver well, make accurate hits and with quick follow-ups. Making a blanket statement that if you shoot a .357 Magnum you only get one shot is just not right. If you want to say you can only get one shot off that's fine but don't condemn everyone for your inability.

allaroundhunter
April 5, 2012, 04:13 AM
Downsides to consider
Recoil
Low capacity

3. Decibel level......



It really is hard to believe that this is not an April Fool's question.....El Godfather, you have posted about several other guns that you own, leading to a basic understanding of what caliber is capable of what. And now you ask if you need to step up to a .44 Magnum for self defense?? I would understand throwing a .44 Special into SD discussions, but I really don't know where you are trying to go here....

ATLDave
April 5, 2012, 09:47 AM
I don't know of any serious expert on the subject of small arms combat or personal defense who advocates going to something like a .44 magnum for that purpose. Time between shots matters a lot.

zxcvbob
April 5, 2012, 10:50 AM
I didn't see anyone talking about "one shot stops"?? We were talking about a "man stopper".

While everyone has different abilities and shooting a .357 Magnum isn't for everybody there are many who do carry a .357 Magnum and can shoot it well. It's all about the practice I guess. I have a M640 that's loaded with 145gr Winchester Silvertips and I can shoot that revolver well, make accurate hits and with quick follow-ups. Making a blanket statement that if you shoot a .357 Magnum you only get one shot is just not right. If you want to say you can only get one shot off that's fine but don't condemn everyone for your inability.

You're not paying attention.

Probably the main thing that really catapulted the .357 Mag to stardom as a man stopper was Marshall and Sanow's study on that topic with the .357 Mag ending up with something like a 94or97% one shot stop efficiency (been a while since I read it). One shot stop was defined as taking no more than one additional step towards you or immediately breaking off attack activity on being shot.

I was just suggesting why the .357 data might be skewed towards single-shots. If you hit the bad guy with a double-tap from your 9mm, it doesn't count in this measurement even if the first shot was sufficient. If you hit him with a .357 and it drops before you get back on target, it does.

I can shoot a .357 just fine, but I can shoot a .38 better and get back on target faster. I also already have constant ringing in my ears and want to minimize the additional damage if I ever have to take a shot without hearing protection. If you can accurately shoot rapid-fire .357's, good for you.

BBQLS1
April 5, 2012, 12:38 PM
The great thing about .357 Mag is the wide range of applications it can be used for. There are so many loadings available for it. You can go from bunny farts to some serious power.

When it comes to power, 9mm and .45 ACP do not compare. When people say that handguns are poor excuses for what a rifle can do.... I tend to think that the magnums close that gap a good bit.

That being said, in SD configurations, they aren't really any better than 9mm or .45 ACP. You get less capacity to boot.

I carry a .357 Mag snub most of the time, but it's not hot loaded, it was inexpensive, and fits in a pocket well. It's not the best option, but it fits my needs and I'm comfortable with it.

MCgunner
April 5, 2012, 01:01 PM
When it comes to power, 9mm and .45 ACP do not compare. When people say that handguns are poor excuses for what a rifle can do.... I tend to think that the magnums close that gap a good bit.

That being said, in SD configurations, they aren't really any better than 9mm or .45 ACP. You get less capacity to boot.

I sold my 2.25" SP101 back to my SIL. I liked it, but had made that arrangement with him when he left for Iraq. Kid loves that gun. He'll be back from Afghanistan in August (hoping this is his last tour, is his 3rd) and he left the SP101 for my daughter while he's gone. She shoots it fine with .38s. I did some testing and found that with the short barrel, heavier loads, 140 and up, in magnums got more out of the gun. I got 550 ft lbs from a hot 140 Speer load from the gun, a little better than my 9 from my Kel Tec at 410 ft lbs, but boy, you pay for it in muzzle blast. So, for carry, the 9 is my favorite and I don't now own a .357 with less than a 3" barrel.

My 4" gun is a favorite hiking/outdoor gun and, yeah, that gun closes the gap on rifle performance enough that it can reach out 100 yards and put the hurt on something or someone. I carried that gun in a fanny pack down in Big Bend last spring for that reason, a concealable gun (a necessity in a national park) with REACH in case I need it and what with the war in Mexico and all the drug runners along the border armed to the teeth now days, the .357 beats a .38 or a .45 or a 9 for that duty. It's not really a rifle in a fanny pack, but it beat the hell ouf of my .45ACP for that. You might as well be throwing rocks at 100 yards with a .45, more of a mortar in trajectory, not a direct fire weapon at extended ranges. I used to shoot a snubby .38 a lot at a 14" plate at 100 yards. Oh, yes, I could make hits on it from roll over prone position, but the .357 is SO much easier to hit with. Zeroed at 100 yards, my Ruger Blackhawk hits on at 100 with the 180 XTP handloads I load for it. That .38 took some major elevation on the front sight. :D I have killed hogs and deer with the .357, too, out of a 6.5" gun and a 3" gun for one hog, though that was a head shot. I don't hunt with .45ACP, not enough juice or penetration. A 180 JHP or a 165 grain Keith style SWC (my fave .357 hunting rounds) will PENETRATE on game and kill quite impressively quick. I've shot hogs in my trap with the .45ACP. It's not as impressive, though it doesn't bounce off.

beeb173
April 5, 2012, 01:39 PM
Dear THR.
What are the advantages of 357 over a 9mm and 45acp? Are there any disadvantages?

How effective is a 357 as a SD weapon?

Is 357 sufficient for self defense or a step up to a 44 magnum is a better decision? 10mm is not in consideration.

Thanks
Just something I've noticed, most of the people I talk to that have a .357 mag revolver for personal defense carry .38 special ammo in them.

19-3Ben
April 5, 2012, 02:56 PM
Just something I've noticed, most of the people I talk to that have a .357 mag revolver for personal defense carry .38 special ammo in them.

It makes sense. Out of very short barrels there is a lot of blast, flash, and noise with most .357mag loads. When I was carrying my SP101 3", I actually did carry some pretty beastly .357mag loads in it, but that's because with a 3" bbl and a steel revolver, it was heavy and tough enough that I could manage pretty quick repeat shots.
.38spl is also less expensive to practice with, carry, etc...

But, to go to my versatility argument from Post #49, part of the versatility of the .357 chambering is the ability to handle the lighter .38spl as well as the heavy .357mag stuff. It gives the full range.

sirsloop
April 5, 2012, 08:00 PM
I wish I could take this opportunity to rant your head off, but IMO you are correct. That being said, I have changed my CCW load over to Hornady's Critical Duty after using their Critical Defense load. I will just take my chances with the "System" if that situation should ever materialize. Darn shame a good Citizen should even have to worry about such.

--Cheers
Yeah its completely stupid, but its caused by the world we live in today. It may not be enough that I bought factory ammunition or reloaded my own within SAAMI specifications. A jury may want to know that I have "SELF DEFENSE" bullets (whatever the **** that means). If I have "~~~MAXiMuM bLO0dBATH~~ Z0mBi3 D@m@ge!!" JHP's I'm a psychotic murderer. If I have "Self Defense" JHP's I'm a concerned citizen worried about neighborhood drug addicts.

el Godfather
April 6, 2012, 03:17 AM
El Godfather, you have posted about several other guns that you own, leading to a basic understanding of what caliber is capable of what. And now you ask if you need to step up to a .44 Magnum for self defense??

allrounder, I like to read the opinions of other people and compare them to my hypothesis. It is interesting for me to see how many people have similar reasoning, agree or disagree with me.

PT92
April 6, 2012, 09:27 AM
allrounder, I like to read the opinions of other people and compare them to my hypothesis. It is interesting for me to see how many people have similar reasoning, agree or disagree with me.

Coming from "El GodFather" you have quite the patience;). Good to see an objective open mind which can be difficult at times in a forum environment.

-Cheers

el Godfather
April 6, 2012, 04:26 PM
My main objective is to enhance my knowledge of different firearms. I have a modest collection with some very interesting pieces- almost rare is certain aspects, but I frequently find guys on some forums who have excellent knowledge of the weapons and technical know how. Some of their advice is just amazing. I tend to skim read the posts until I find something very interesting and original.

Back on 357.
How much is the velocity loss when fired from a 2'' barrel compared to a 6''? In your view is 2'' recommended size for SD or do we need a longer barrel size to get optimal results from 357, if so, at which length such optimal velocity-ft lbs is achieved?

357 Terms
April 6, 2012, 06:48 PM
How much is the velocity loss when fired from a 2'' barrel compared to a 6''? In your view is 2'' recommended size for SD or do we need a longer barrel size to get optimal results from 357

Results will vary depending on the load used.

You can expect somewhere between 150 and 200fps difference.

A longer barrel will get better results, but a 2in 357 is still a 357.

Don't believe those who tell you a snubby 357 is no better than a 38 special.

To add; If you use Ballistics by the inch you cant factor in the short barreled data, they include the chamber length into the overall barrel length. A 2in barrel in their data is really less than 1/2 an inch.

MCgunner
April 6, 2012, 10:56 PM
With short barrels, heavier the bullet, the better the ballistics and the less velocity you will lose. I got 550 ft lbs from a 2.25" SP101 and a 140 speer handload. I tried the 125s over a max load of the same 2400 powder and got only about 385 ft lbs and LOTS of noise and enough muzzle blast to get sunburned from. I really prefer the 140 for self defense, it's very accurate and carries more punch. I do NOT, however, have a 2" .357. I draw the line on .357 at 3" and have a 3" gun I sometimes belt carry. I mostly pocket carry and have a 9mm P11 Kel Tec and a Taurus 85SSUL .38 special that work fine for that. The 9 has some decent punch for a pocket gun and lacks all that flash/bang. It's my preferred carry and normally what I put in my Blackhawk number 4 pocket holster.

Anyway, best to use heavier than 125 grain bullets in a short, short barrel. I've done the chronographing, no factory loads in my testing, though.

lopaka
April 6, 2012, 11:12 PM
It's been said before ---

the flash bang effect from the 357 is a help rather than a hindrance in a self defense situation.

Just ask the bad guy with no eyebrows and bleeding ears.

(only partially tongue in cheek)

Jaymo
April 6, 2012, 11:24 PM
My .44 mag is a hunting pistol. My .357s, .38s, .45s and .44 specials are SD pistols.

Speaking of ammo names, that's the reason I never loaded any of my SD guns with "Black Lightning" ammo.
The box read, "Black Lightning. Final Judgment."
I figured that ammo would be good for a trip to the butt-rape motel.

ArchAngelCD
April 6, 2012, 11:31 PM
Back on 357.
How much is the velocity loss when fired from a 2'' barrel compared to a 6''? In your view is 2'' recommended size for SD or do we need a longer barrel size to get optimal results from 357, if so, at which length such optimal velocity-ft lbs is achieved?
For the most part a 5" barrel is needed to achieve optimum velocity from a .357 Magnum. BUT, a .357 Magnum will always yield more velocity than a .38 Special no matter how long or short the barrel is. When you start with more velocity you end up with more velocity even when you lose velocity with a short barrel. The loss between a 2" and 6" barrel will vary greatly between different revolvers depending upon all different variables including barrel/cyl gap and the other variables associated with revolvers...

murf
April 7, 2012, 12:31 AM
all the calibers you mentioned are effective in a sd weapon. whether you are effective with the weapon is another matter. all have their pluses and minuses.

go with what you are most comfortable. best to try them out and see.

murf

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