.357 magnum laud/flash/recoil


PDA






MagnunJoe
April 26, 2013, 12:20 PM
I agree that the .357 magnum load is a handful, But didn't hundreds of thousands of LEOs carry primarily .357 mag in service revolvers for more than 50 years?
What did they do when they have to fire their gun in anger? Did they go deaf from the noise? Did they go blind from the muzzle flash at night? Were they not able to follow up shots because of the recoil?
If any of U retired LEOs want to share, I would really appreciate it.

If you enjoyed reading about ".357 magnum laud/flash/recoil" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Blackstone
April 26, 2013, 12:29 PM
Didn't the officers in the Newhall shootout in 1970 train with .38s, but carried .357s on the day? That was one of the factors at least that contributed to the high losses of the police.

MagnunJoe
April 26, 2013, 12:39 PM
Good point, U should always practice with what U carry! No surprises.

X-JaVeN-X
April 26, 2013, 02:11 PM
When I flash my muscles nobody goes blind?

rugerman
April 26, 2013, 02:20 PM
When I shoot without hearing protection (rare) my ears will ring for a few days, but when I shoot the same gun at game no problem. When my son was 7 he shot a deer with my 270 (he had never shot it before) when I asked him about the noise and the recoil he said that he didn't notice it. In the heat of the moment the body will overcome certain things to help you in keep going and out of trouble.

kbbailey
April 26, 2013, 02:54 PM
I shot a hot hunting load through my ported .357 while deer hunting several years ago. I was braced against a tree and not wearing any hearing protection. The blast blew bark from the tree adjacent to the gun's cylinder and the noise temporarily deafened me. I felt as if two ice picks had been driven into my ears. I can assure you that my shooting ability would have been impaired for a while after that moment.

I now hunt, plink, target shoot, and load my SD gun with my own cast bullets atop a mild load of Unique. It's been a long time since a bought factory loads for .357.

JFrame
April 26, 2013, 03:09 PM
I shot a hot hunting load through my ported .357 while deer hunting several years ago. I was braced against a tree and not wearing any hearing protection. The blast blew bark from the tree adjacent to the gun's cylinder and the noise temporarily deafened me. I felt as if two ice picks had been driven into my ears. I can assure you that my shooting ability would have been impaired for a while after that moment.

I now hunt, plink, target shoot, and load my SD gun with my own cast bullets atop a mild load of Unique. It's been a long time since a bought factory loads for .357.


You have convinced me to only use hot .357's in my Winchester Trapper... :D


.

Rail Driver
April 26, 2013, 03:13 PM
When I shoot without hearing protection (rare) my ears will ring for a few days, but when I shoot the same gun at game no problem. When my son was 7 he shot a deer with my 270 (he had never shot it before) when I asked him about the noise and the recoil he said that he didn't notice it. In the heat of the moment the body will overcome certain things to help you in keep going and out of trouble.
That phenomenon is well known. It does NOT protect from hearing damage, which is both permanent and cumulative. Wear hearing protection if at all possible.

Old Fuff
April 26, 2013, 10:25 PM
Most of the law enforcement officers (including the FBI) who carried mid-frame .357 Magnum revolvers with 3 to 4 inch barrels loaded up with Plus-P .38 Special Ammunition.

The blast, flash, boom and recoil issues today are mostly centered around lightweight .357 chambered snubbies. They represent a style of handgun I have absolutely no interest in. Chambered in .38 or .44 Special is another matter.

Drail
April 26, 2013, 10:30 PM
Anyone who fires a .357 with no ear protection WILL damage their hearing. No exceptions. Barrel length makes no difference.

Archie
April 26, 2013, 10:36 PM
In the Border Patrol, the issue ammunition was full load .357 Magnum ammo with 158 grain jacketed soft point bullets. The common revolver was either a S&W M19 (or M66), a Ruger Security Six, or a Colt Trooper.

At one point, the Treasury Load (110 grain bullet with over +p pressure levels in a .38 Special case) was available, but I don't recall many Agents carrying them.

Yes, they recoiled with gusto and were loud and had some flash. Truthfully, no one ever told us it was 'too much' and so most of us dealt with it. In training, we did use hearing protection. The flash problem I find to be rather over hyped. I shot in a couple of night time training exercises and several night time matches. Yes, the flash was more noted, but I never found it disabling.

357 Terms
April 26, 2013, 10:54 PM
I have shot many 357's in the field while hunting, all but a few from either a 6.5in Blackhawk, or a Marlin (a couple from a 4in Service Six)

I have had no ill effects, can't really explain it, all were hot handloads.

While at the range (outdoors) I have forgotten to wear protection a couple of times and have have been affected. (with plinking rounds!)

My outdoor range is surrounded on three sides by woods, still I think adrenaline during the hunt has got to have some kind of affect physically.

303 hunter
April 26, 2013, 11:00 PM
My dog was being attacked by a pack of coyotes. I was packing my 2" 357, and shot one in the chest. My ears rang for 2 days! Dog came out ok. The "crack"of a 357 is much harder on the ears than the "boom" of a 44 magnum to me. I damaged my hearing years ago shooting with no hearing protection. I use it now except in the case of emergency.

jmr40
April 26, 2013, 11:21 PM
But didn't hundreds of thousands of LEOs carry primarily .357 mag in service revolvers for more than 50 years?


Not a cop, but have many in my family who are, or were.

Cops carried 38 special revolvers for decades. During the 1970's- 1980's many started carrying 357's, but most actually carried hot loaded 38+p+ ammo that was essentially a mild 357 load. They needed the 357 framed guns because most 38's couldn't handle the pressure. Many departments would not allow 357 because of over penetration concerns and the hot loaded 38's were politically correct.

Some carried full power 357 loads where allowed, mainly in more rural areas. I know 2 former officers who were forced into medical retirement after they fired their 357's and suffered hearing loss great enough to no longer perform their jobs. When fired in close quarters, such as in a car, small room of if the gun has to be discharged close to your head, which happens in some situations the noise is far worse. You cannot always shoot with perfect form when defending your life.

Use of 357 guns and ammo was very short lived in LE. By the mid 80's they were well on their way to being replaced by 9mm pistols.

ArchAngelCD
April 27, 2013, 03:25 AM
When I shoot without hearing protection (rare) my ears will ring for a few days, but when I shoot the same gun at game no problem. When my son was 7 he shot a deer with my 270 (he had never shot it before) when I asked him about the noise and the recoil he said that he didn't notice it. In the heat of the moment the body will overcome certain things to help you in keep going and out of trouble.
You actually allowed your 7 year old son to fire a 270 without hearing protection? Really? IMO that's a very bad idea and in some States could be considered child neglect. :rolleyes:

35 Whelen
April 27, 2013, 12:10 PM
You actually allowed your 7 year old son to fire a 270 without hearing protection? Really? IMO that's a very bad idea and in some States could be considered child neglect. :rolleyes:

The laws in my state (thank God) prescribe to the MYOB statutes. (Mind Your Own Business);)

35W

bigdaa
April 27, 2013, 12:15 PM
Hahahahahahahaha:)

MedWheeler
April 27, 2013, 12:38 PM
Any cop who fired his gun in anger had issues other than hearing protection or followup..

There was some speculation that the Magnum rounds use in the California shootout that killed several lawmen in 1973 may have hindered the officers' ability to make effective hits.

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

Massad Ayoob has a good writeup on it in his "Ayoob Files" series as well.

Kiln
April 27, 2013, 04:06 PM
High powered rounds tend to cause flinching. The muzzle blast, perceived recoil, and report are all partially responsible.

I frequently fire .40S&W loaded pretty hot but when I started shooting .44 mag in a new revolver I developed a major flinch and couldn't hit crap with it. I'm sure I could have stuck with it and eventually trained myself out of it but instead I switched to .44 special and called it good enough.

Worst case, if you find that you can't handle .357 magnum, switch to .38sp and call it good enough. A .38 special that hits is better than a .357 magnum that misses because you flinched when you pulled the trigger.

beag_nut
April 27, 2013, 05:38 PM
Several times during this discussion there was the reason I handload: Just because I have .357 mag, doesn't mean it has to shoot that. I use .357 cases exclusively, and load .38 spl, .38 +P, or mild .357, as I feel I want to. I carry medium .357 loads for emergency use. The flexibility of that caliber is astounding. And revolvers will digest almost anything. Handload for yourself, and really enjoy! It is NOT expensive.

shafter
April 27, 2013, 07:22 PM
I have shot many 357's in the field while hunting, all but a few from either a 6.5in Blackhawk, or a Marlin (a couple from a 4in Service Six)

I have had no ill effects, can't really explain it, all were hot handloads.

While at the range (outdoors) I have forgotten to wear protection a couple of times and have have been affected. (with plinking rounds!)

My outdoor range is surrounded on three sides by woods, still I think adrenaline during the hunt has got to have some kind of affect physically.

I've had a similar experience. I was using a 357 magnum on an aggressive bear while in Alaska one night and while my ears rang for a few days I seem to have no loss of hearing. I fired around a dozen rounds.

gspn
April 27, 2013, 10:07 PM
I agree that the .357 magnum load is a handful,
What did they do when they have to fire their gun in anger? Did they go deaf from the noise?

Most LEO's never fire their gun in the line of duty. Unless you're firing in an enclosed area it wouldn't cause "deafness". It would ring your ears...and if you do it enough you'll start to get tinitus.

Did they go blind from the muzzle flash at night?

I wouldn't suppose you'd go blind from it unless you had adapted your eyes for work in the dark. LEO's are driving around at night...headlights, street lights, dash board lights...they in no way are going to be blinded by a muzzle flash because their eyes aren't dark adapted.


Were they not able to follow up shots because of the recoil?


Lots of LEO's miss shots with the 9mm. Recoil probably has less to do with it than stress and practice. Too much of the former and not enough of the latter.

kbbailey
April 28, 2013, 09:35 AM
You have convinced me to only use hot .357's in my Winchester Trapper..

I still shoot the hot ones occasionally in all my .357s, but I wear my ears. I keep those foam cheapies in probably every coat and vest that I own. And in the drawer at the back door, and in the pickup, jeep, atv, toolbox, etc etc. I keep the kind with the plastic string between the plugs cinch knotted to the trigger gaurd of my .357 truck gun.

22-rimfire
April 28, 2013, 10:45 AM
It's simple....

Anyone who fires a .357 with no ear protection WILL damage their hearing. No exceptions. Barrel length makes no difference.

Believe it, accept it, and try to wear hearing protection when shooting all firearms, especially handguns. Your ears will thank you when you're 60.

wheelyfun66
April 28, 2013, 09:29 PM
Wear plugs while training......
Self defense, no plugs are going to be present.....

No problems, right?

If you need to fire a .357 mag in a defensive situation, your adrenaline will keep your ears from experiencing pain in the moment....yes, it would not be good for your ears, but a few shots without plugs is not going to deafen someone.

Marlin 45 carbine
April 28, 2013, 10:28 PM
handloads useing RDot under 158gr cast slugs have little flash and less noise.
as general speaking slower powders have more flash and blast
I load RDot for my .357 hunting loads under 158gr swc slugs - this is for wild hog/boar.
have'nt taken one yet but feel good about my pistol haveing shot it into stacked wet cardboard

PO2Hammer
April 28, 2013, 11:35 PM
I have serious tinnitus in both ears so I take muzzle blast (and hearing protection) seriously.
Handloading the .357 allows me to reach the power level I'm after, a 158 grain jacketed bullet doing an honest 1,000 fps out of a 4" revolver without too much muzzle blast. Slower than average powders seem to help.
SR 4756 looks very promising as a low pressure powder for 158 grain jacketed and plated bullets.

wep45
April 29, 2013, 12:10 AM
when I unleash my S&W N frame model 28 at the range everyone turns toward the WUUAAMP WAAUUMP and the muzzle flash is spectacular.:D

Steve CT
April 29, 2013, 12:40 AM
when I unleash my S&W N frame model 28 at the range everyone turns toward the WUUAAMP WAAUUMP and the muzzle flash is spectacular.:D
This +++
I shoot only standard (or stronger) magnum loads in 4" .357, and when I do, everyone on the range knows it. It seems like most of the people around me are a little surprised when something other than .40 S&W or 9 mm comes out (and I shoot both of those too.) The .357 just seems to carry a little more "shock and awe" than many shooters are used to.

2zulu1
April 29, 2013, 03:08 AM
I went into law enforcement after returning from Vietnam, trained, qualified and carried the 357mag for a number of years. The mag saw increased usage after WWII and was very popular beginning in the 50s and 60s, not 70s and 80s as others have conjectured. Many agencies carried Remington 158gr SJHPs, it was a very effective weight for the mag. When the 125s were commercialized, toward the ~mid 70s, many departments retained the 158s.

Paco Kelly has written about the 158s during his time with the DEA during the 70s.

Those in law enforcement understand the meaning of hand strength, and we were taught how to grip, squeeze the trigger, fire and reload rapidly. Bill Jordan's training methods were popular and, in addition, we were fortunate enough to be the recipients of world class training.

Furniture and carpet ameliorate the muzzle blast of the mag somewhat with the 158s, but the blast still unsettles dust in the home.

There was/is a standard to buck up to when carrying the mag, either you put in the time to be proficient with it or you don't, same as any other carry.

GambJoe
April 29, 2013, 02:48 PM
Shooting a 357 without hearing protection would be a bad thing but my understanding is that although you loose some hearing every time shoot (probably even with hearing protection) it a progressive thing that happens over years of and won't be noticeable after firing just one bullet.

Since I'm not scared of admitting that I'm not a super marksman, I do blink when I shoot. Not all the time but I do have to work on it. Muzzle flash is more noticeable with my 2 1/4" sp then on my 96, but both flash. Would blinking be a good thing in a gun fight at night?

Like many people, I rarely notice the volume of my own shooting (concentrating to much on not blinking I guess) but someone else shooting can be quite loud. If they were shooting at me well I hope I never find out.

gamestalker
April 29, 2013, 05:33 PM
I am nearly completely deaf because I was too stubborn to heed the advice of fellow shooters. The very last straw was with .357 mag, and now all I hear 24/7 is this ringing in my ears for the last 15 or 20 years. It doesn't matter what your shooting, it will permanently damage your hearing and eventually completely destroy it. It may be too late for me, but not for someone willing to take a little advice from a deaf person.

GS

DPris
April 30, 2013, 02:00 AM
Fortunately the only times I ever had to fire my .357 in uniform it was to kill two dogs and one injured cat.
Three shots each on the dogs, two on the cat, full-bore .357 loads.
The muzzle blast didn't even register. The cat was at night, the muzzle flash didn't even come close to blinding me.
(Fuff, in my part of the country up here in Utah in the 1970s, if you carried a .357 on duty it was because you wanted it to be a .357 Magnum. I can't recall anybody I worked with back in the heyday of the Smith 19s, 27s, and 28s who loaded up with .38+P for the road. And that included one pretty savvy Arizona trooper who worked your northern border and used to come to some of our training classes in St. George. The two FBI agents who put on a shoot for us down there also carried .357 Mags in their Model 13s.)

Years later I happened to be standing about six feet away from a fellow cop when he fired one shot from his 9mm pistol through the open doorway of a house. We were under a porch overhang extension of the roof, and next to a wall that extended from the garage at the front of the house. In other words, partially closed in on the left, front, and above.
The shot sounded to me like a very small firecracker going off.

During moments when your attention is elsewhere (hostile dogs running loose, hostile guy with hatchet in hand advancing), you don't notice the noise.
Those who've fired a .357 Mag hunting will tell you the same.

Repeated exposure will cause damage. Extremely close proximity can cause damage.
Otherwise, the .357 Mag is perfectly survivable from behind the trigger. :)
I've also done nighttime testing using several .357 loads through a ported 3-inch Ruger GP, some were brighter than others, those with flash-retardant powders were barely noticeable. Even the brightest were hardly blinding.
Denis

Water-Man
April 30, 2013, 02:32 AM
I began shooting a .357Mag, outdoors, in the 60's and haven't suffered any hearing problems as a result. This is without hearing protection.

YJake
April 30, 2013, 07:13 PM
Shot mine for the first time ever today (4" 686) with Rem 158gr loads and it's a big pussy cat. The noise was not bad, zero flash in daytime, and the recoil was not noticeable. Even less than my 442 with .38 Wad-cutter loads.

Maybe in a Scandium J-frame Smith noise/flash/recoil can be an issue?

-Jake

F-111 John
April 30, 2013, 07:44 PM
I have a Glock 26, a S&W Model 19 4", a Dan Wesson 715 6", and a S&W Model 60 1 7/8". By far the loudest handgun I own is the snubbie Model 60 shooting .38 spl +P loads.

sleepyone
May 1, 2013, 04:09 PM
I shot a hog with ONE round of Corbon DPX 125 grain from my 4" 686 Plus last season without my hearing protection, and my ears rang and hurt bad for two hours. I was done deer hunting for the evening and about a dozen hogs ran up on me while I was at my feeder. They were as surprised as me I think. I killed the lead one with a shoulder shot from 21'.

I had never experienced that kind of ear pain from a gun blast. I learned my lesson after that and wear hearing protection until I get back in my truck. Never know when an animal might run across your path.

farm23
May 1, 2013, 06:23 PM
When I hunt or at my range I now use electronic hearing protection, it improves normal hearing and protects my ears. When walking in the woods I don't wear hearing protection but probably should. I have some hearing loss [my wife says it is "selective'] that comes from age, shooting loud guns when young and flying loud airplanes. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube but when I was young we did not really think about hearing loss.

Blue1
May 1, 2013, 11:49 PM
I'm kinda surprised at the sensitivity of some of those that shoot full load .357 Mag. I'm a big, reasonably strong man, but hardly exceptional at 53 years old.

I have a 6" 686 and while the Mag loads are noticeably louder with more recoil than .38 special, it is hardly unmanageable. I realize this is a heavy revolver, but didn't LEs carry 6" revolvers? Jeez, it's not a .460 or .500 Mag.

My .45 ACP Scandium-framed and 4" barreled 325 has a noticeably stronger kick than my 686 with Mag loads. Still not a problem with follow-up shots, only a fraction of a second longer than the 686. A little tougher shooting one-handed perhaps, but again, hardly unmanageable.

In summary, if one can't shoot a 6" (or even a 4") .357 Magnum steel revolver competently, I don't think one is qualified to be an LEO.

One last comment; hearing protection is absolutely essential. Hearing loss is cumulative and permanent.

Blue1

Rexster
May 5, 2013, 11:52 PM
I am not yet retired. I did carry .357 Magnum sixguns in the duty rig from 1984 to as recently as 1997, and still carry .357 revolvers concealed. Yes, they are loud and obnoxious when fired, but so are other cartridges; I think the .40 S&W can be about as bad, and of course, .41 and .44 Mags are worse.

The few times I have mistakenly fired .357 mags without hearing protection, my ears rang for a while. The one time I deliberately fired a .357 without hearing protection, it sounded like a muted "pop," with no ringing or pain. Such is the effect of body alarm reaction, a.k.a. fight-or-flight. I am not saying that there was no effect on my hearing, but let's keep in mind that the science says it is prolonged, repeated exposure that really does the damage, more so than the occasional, isolated shot.

Flash? The cheap practice ammo will have a lot of flash. Good duty/defensive ammo has little flash. I qual low light annually, and even the cheap stuff, with its substantial muzzle flash, does NOT blind me, or anyone I know. One time, I drove well out in into a wild area, away from city lights, and after letting my eyes adjust to the darkness, fired several .41 and .357 magnum duty loads. I was not blinded. Magnum flash, of gunwriter legend? Much ado about nothing...

Recoil? If a service-sized .357 sixgun recoils so much that it interferes with follow-up shots, the shooter is doing it wrong. Yes, there is a learning curve with magnums, but follow-up shots can be made quickly. I cannot address the shooting of light-alloy-framed magnum revolvers, which seems, to me, abusive to the shooter.

My formerly-stronger wrist and the base joint of that hand's thumb are, today, feeling the effects of recoil, which I mostly attribute to shooting .44 and .41 magnums in the 1980s, with N-frame revolvers that were/are too big for me to hold correctly. I now shoot powerful .357 loads only from GP100-sized sixguns, and milder magnums from the lighter weapons. When I fired .38 +P from alloy-framed, titanium-cylinder J-and L-frame snubbies, I knew that I would never want to shoot magnums in those guns! All-steel, for me, please; thanks.

Hokkmike
May 6, 2013, 09:54 AM
Shooting any caliber without hearing protection is a bad idea.

Take this from a guy who just spent big $$$ on a hearing aid.

Lj1941
May 6, 2013, 11:29 PM
I am well past seven decades old and have hearing lose. In normal conversation I have trouble understanding what is said.I worked in a noisey work envirnment most of my working life. I however think the reason for my deafness is all of the shooting I did as a youngster with zero hearing protection. I started out as most kids do with a 22 rifle and eventially "graduated" to a DCM 03A3.Ammo in those days was dirt cheap WW2 surplus ball. I fired literally thousands of rounds minus hearing protection. My introduction to hearing protection came when I was inducted into the US Army.I am sure the damage was already done by then at age 22. This is a fools story of why I can not hear normal conversation.:banghead:

Vlad357
May 7, 2013, 12:38 AM
Iam concerned about my hearing and have some hearing loss from my time working for Uncle Sam, and don't want it to get worse. I shoot a lot and really love loud flashy. 357 rounds. With. 22s I wear headphones, anything else it's ear plugs and head phones!

Vlad357
May 7, 2013, 12:41 AM
I am concerned about my hearing and have some hearing loss from my time working for Uncle Sam, and don't want it to get worse. I shoot a lot and really love loud flashy .357 rounds. With .22s I wear headphones, anything else it's ear plugs and head phones!

Deer_Freak
May 7, 2013, 01:34 AM
I have shot everything from a 300 mag on down at night and the flash never blinded me. If I closed my eyes I could see spots. If you are shooting with your eyes closed you are blinded anyway. People saying they are blinded by muzzle flash must have sensitive eyes or they were standing beside the shooter looking at the flash.

If you enjoyed reading about ".357 magnum laud/flash/recoil" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!