my 357 or my 44 Special?


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Hickok44
December 13, 2013, 11:55 AM
I carry a Ruger Speed Six in 357 as a ccw. I also carry a Rossi 720 or a Taurus 431 in 44 special as a ccw. I love all three guns. Each shoots great, reliable, and the all conceal real well.
I love all equal. I am a huge fan of the 357. But I am thinking for a ccw the 44 may be the better caliber. I shoot Remington 125's out of the Ruger. And I shoot Blazer 200's GD out of the 44's.
Input and thoughts are appreciated.

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Vol46
December 13, 2013, 12:55 PM
A matter of personal preference. The .44 will make bigger holes, but in my never humble opinion, full house loads in .357 will definitely get a BG's attention.

rcmodel
December 13, 2013, 01:02 PM
The .44 Spl. will be way more user friendly in confined spaces if you value your hearing.

rc

19-3Ben
December 13, 2013, 01:07 PM
The .44 Spl. will be way more user friendly in confined spaces if you value your hearing.

This.

The other side of it, is that if you ask the bad guy which caliber he was being shot with, do you think he'll notice the difference? Don't worry about which caliber is going to be more effective, as they are both perfectly adequate.
With the Speed Six, you do get an extra shot, for whatever it's worth.

I carry a Speed Six, but would have no problem with a 431 or similar. They are great guns.

2zulu1
December 13, 2013, 02:14 PM
Test your bullets for expansion when fired through short barrel .44Spcls. I bought a S&W M696 NG (scandium L-frame 5 shot .44 Special) for the same reasons as the OP. However, at reduced velocities, JHP bullet expansion was VERY unreliable.

Now, I only load hardcast WFNs for the 696 and carry it as a BUG at my place, next to wilderness, or on the trail. :)

DM~
December 13, 2013, 05:52 PM
I'm thinking if you are shooting someone, how much noise the gun makes will be the least of your worries!

I have both, personally i like the 357 better...

DM

gunhappy
December 13, 2013, 07:29 PM
The six is a much classier piece....

rswartsell
December 13, 2013, 07:43 PM
The one you hit most consistently with. If you need to use a CCW, hitting your target reliably is paramount, so that would make my decision. All due respect to rcmodel, but I can get fitted for a hearing aid if I'm alive, and a .44 (or .357) miss is no more useful than a .22 miss.

btg3
December 13, 2013, 07:56 PM
Given the lack of consensus, perhaps the hair splits along the line of opinion and preference, as opposed to an elusive truth.

Jaymo
December 13, 2013, 08:22 PM
Gold Dot and Buffalo Bore .44 Special ammo is pretty impressive.

.357 is a fantastic load, when loaded to it's full original pressures.
I'm nowhere near as impressed with the current ".357 light" ammo put out by most ammo companies.
Not impressed with their .38+P or .44 "Magnum" offerings, either.

Even with the modern, wussified (K and J frame friendly) ammo, .357 is still a good load.
I just prefer my magnums to actually be magnums.
My GP100, Dan Wesson, Dan Wesson, and 586 don't mind the hot stuff at all.
My 66-1 gets the .357 wussified loads, and .38 "+P".

My Charter Bulldog gets Gold Dot .44 spl.
I used to run some pretty stout .44 Spl loads through my 431.
I wish I'd never sold it.


The real question is why would you carry a revolver for self defense?
Don't you know they're outdated, obsolete, don't hold enough rounds, and aren't Tupperware enough for "serious" self defense use?
Geez. Get a clue.


Yeah, I'm just kidding. I frigging love revolvers. I feel just as secure with my Bulldog .44 as I do with my SR9 or 1911.

Sometimes, I go really old school and carry my Ruger Blackhawk .45.
Talk about obsolete and outdated. It's so obsolete, I can't believe it's as accurate and reliable as it is.

Yeah, I'm a dinosaur.
I'm happy to be.
I love revolvers, especially old ones.


BTW, .357 and .44 Spl will both ruin a bad guy's life.
Difference is, .357 will ruin your hearing.
I love .357. I'd better, I have enough of them. But, the temporary deafness, ringing ears, and hearing damage just aren't fun.
Outdoors, not so bad. Still bad, but nothing like indoors.

shafter
December 13, 2013, 09:45 PM
If I had to trust my life to one of the three, it would be the Ruger and 357 magnum combination. Ruger definitely has the edge with reliability and 357 is the proven #1 manstopper. Does that mean the others are poor choices? No.

tomrkba
December 13, 2013, 10:05 PM
Why choose? Carry both at the same time. You should have a backup when you carry a revolver and either one is a great backup for the other.

I'd prefer if you upgraded both the Rossi and Taurus, but that's your call based upon their performance.

wnycollector
December 14, 2013, 10:26 AM
For years I carried a 2 3/4" SS Ruger Security Six 357 as my ccw. That is, until my wife tried it at the range and then it became her CCW! I currently carry either a S&W M12 snub .38 IWB or a 3" Taurus 431 44 special OWB. The 431 is a fantastic CCW. Even though I loose one round compared to a 6 shot K frame, I never feel undergunned. I carry the Underwood "Bull Dog" gold dot load in my 431.

If I were the OP, I would feel very comfortable with a 44 special revolver on my hip.

35 Whelen
December 15, 2013, 02:59 AM
By all accounts the .357 gained its reputation because of violently expanding, light-weight bullets. I like to think of large caliber bullets such as "pre-expanded". I also much prefer subsonic loads because they're so much more gentle on the ears.

When decided to try handgun hunting this year, it never entered my mind to use one of my .357's. Instead I unhesitantly chose one of my .44 Specials and it didn't let me down either time. As such, I'd select a .44 Special for self defense.

35W

USAF_Vet
December 15, 2013, 06:02 AM
I am going to have to go with the .44 as well, based on personal preference.

But the real answer is "which ever is most reliable". I like Taurus, own two and one is my EDC. My next wheel gun will probably be a .44 special, for no reason other than I like it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Ruger or the .357, so whichever works best for you, carry.

GaryP
December 16, 2013, 05:05 PM
Me thinks either one will cause a BG to have a Bad Day. I prefer the .44 SPL as I like big bullets, but the .357 Mag will not let you down.

:evil:

ArchAngelCD
December 16, 2013, 06:02 PM
I'm thinking if you are shooting someone, how much noise the gun makes will be the least of your worries!

I have both, personally i like the 357 better...

DM
Yeah but considering the .357 Magnum and .44 Special will both stop the bad guy it would be nice to be able to hear well when it's all over.

The OP could always carry the .357 Magnum loaded with a good .38 Special +P SD ammo.

CraigC
December 16, 2013, 06:58 PM
Give me the .44Spl any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The .357 is dependent on proper jacketed bullet performance. The .44 is not. Given the choice of stopping the bad guy AND keeping my hearing, I'll take both. Gunfight or not, I'm too young to spend the rest of my life with tinnitus any worse than it is now.

Jaymo
December 16, 2013, 10:30 PM
I'm with CraigC.
I've fired both .44 Spl and .357 mag without hearing protection.

.44 Spl is loud.
.357 Mag is LOUD!!!!

IF I ever have to shoot a bad guy with a handgun, I'd prefer it be .44 Spl, .45 ACP, or .45 Colt.

High pressure rounds are very painful to the ears.

And I prefer to NEVER have to shoot another human.

tomrkba
December 16, 2013, 11:01 PM
I must say, this photo I took says quite a bit:

http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/bb425/tomrkba/firearms/Misc/photo-28.jpg

Steve C
December 17, 2013, 01:46 AM
Watch this .44 spl Gold Dot http://www.brassfetcher.com/Handguns_files/44SpecialSlowMotionvideo.htm.

Then watch this .357 mag 4 bullet weight and type comparison in a similar format and you can see how much more potent, versatile and better penetrating the .357 mag is vrs the .44 spl. http://www.brassfetcher.com/Handguns_files/357MagnumSlowMotion.htm

I choose the .357 mag. Your choice may vary.

ArchAngelCD
December 17, 2013, 02:47 AM
And I prefer to NEVER have to shoot another human.
For some people it's too late for wishing that...

bannockburn
December 17, 2013, 06:31 AM
Given a choice between the two calibers I would go with the .44 Special as well. Wouldn't mind having a Taurus 431 either.

DM~
December 17, 2013, 05:45 PM
How many times you guys going to shoot someone in your house?? Once a week? Once a month?? Once a year??

I don't figure i'll have to do it even once in my lifetime, BUT, if i do, i don't think hearing loss is going to be something i'll need to be worrying about!

NOTHING you fire in your house is going to do your hearing any good!!!

BTW, chances are, i'll have a shotgun in my hands, not a handgun...

DM

farm23
December 17, 2013, 06:25 PM
Shotgun very good. With revolvers I practice with my 44 or 45 the most and on game including large ones the 44 works best for me. I have had to defend myself and my family and the large bore did the job.

JJHACK
December 17, 2013, 07:31 PM
Having seen a lot of black bears shot with both 44's and 357's, there is no question that the .44 bullets rock them with significant force. I've seen them run a long way after a 357 hit. Don't recall ever seeing them handle a big 44 bullet as well. Hard cast flat point 240-260 grain bullets disrupt massive amounts of tissue. They also nearly all exit. The 357 bullets rarely exit.

I would be packing the .44 in every case I can imagine

351 WINCHESTER
December 17, 2013, 07:49 PM
I'd take the Ruger over a Rossi or Taurus any day of the week. If you can handle the .357 that's the way to go. Even from a short barrel with the right load it's a very powerful round. RC is spot on as usual, it will make your ears ring, maybe for the rest of your life.

JudgeHolden10
December 17, 2013, 07:59 PM
The one time that I took a shot with a .38 Special, wearing no hearing protection, my ears rang for a quarter hour afterward. I cannot fathom what a .357 Magnum at supersonic velocities, especially from a shorter (under 6") barrel would sound like without hearing protection.

I am not trying to suggest that that's necessarily the most important factor in choosing the round. But it might be the case that such a massive flash and crack from a .357 might cause trigger flinch without hearing protection. Maybe not, of course, but given that both are fairly effective, I'd choose the subsonic one.

DM~
December 17, 2013, 08:48 PM
Having seen a lot of black bears shot with both 44's and 357's, there is no question that the .44 bullets rock them with significant force. I've seen them run a long way after a 357 hit. Don't recall ever seeing them handle a big 44 bullet as well. Hard cast flat point 240-260 grain bullets disrupt massive amounts of tissue. They also nearly all exit. The 357 bullets rarely exit.

I would be packing the .44 in every case I can imagine

Are you saying you've seen a lot of blk bears shot with 44 spl's?? That's a 250 grain bullet at around 900fps?? OR are you talking about a 44 bullet at 44 MAGNUM velocities???

I've shot a lot of big game with a 44-250 at 1,350fps, and it does a LOT more damage than 44 spl. and of course, it's a LOT more than a 357 mag. too.

I've seen 44 spl. factory loads bounce off a dry oak board on a pallet at 50 yards, and every 357 mag. factory load i shot at the same pallet, went right on through, as did the above 44 mag. loads...

DM

CraigC
December 17, 2013, 10:07 PM
How many times you guys going to shoot someone in your house?? Once a week? Once a month?? Once a year??
Once is enough and all the reasons stated are enough for me to disregard the .357. You are certainly free to choose differently. Like I said, I'm not quite 40yrs old and FOR ME, that is far too young to spend the rest of my life either nearly deaf or with tinnitus worse that it already is.


I've seen 44 spl. factory loads bounce off a dry oak board on a pallet at 50 yards...
Factory .44Spl loads are a joke and always have been.

Detachment Charlie
December 18, 2013, 12:32 AM
I love my .45ACPs and have a flock of them. However, I find my .44Spl., 2" Charter Arms Pug, 5 shot an ideal carry piece for unexpected social encounters. I load. My own with either a premium heavy JHP or. A heavy LSWC. The exterior. Ballistics on these are very close to a .45ACP.
YMMV
Seriously, at 10' the bad guy is not going to be able to tell the difference. And, as always, where. You shoot him is much more important than what you shoot him with, 12 ga. Slugs and .500 Nitro Express excepted.

Ash
December 18, 2013, 06:19 AM
A single shooting in an emergency isn't going to make you deaf.

35 Whelen
December 18, 2013, 06:55 AM
If a .357 sounded like an air rifle and a .44 Special like a 50 BMG, I'd still use the .44. When you're trying to hurt someone or something, a bigger hole is always better.

35W

CraigC
December 18, 2013, 10:49 AM
A single shooting in an emergency isn't going to make you deaf.
A single shot with a .357 revolver in an enclosed space can certainly cause permanent hearing damage. Like I said, my ears ring enough already and I don't want to spend the rest of my life with the tinnitus any worse because some scumbag broke into my house.....again. If you want to use it, fine. I choose not to for myriad reasons and unlike many with an opinion on self defense cartridges, I know what they do to flesh.

Paladin7
December 18, 2013, 02:08 PM
Depends on your perceived threat scenario...

The 357 is an awesome SD caliber when loaded with 125 gr Semi Jacketed Hollow Points, but noise and flash are a major issue. If your perceived threat scenario includes you shooting in a confined space (room in your house, or in your car) or in low/no light, then I would strongly recommend the 44 Special.

The 44 Special with 200gr Gold Dot Hollow Points meant to expand violently at 44 Special velocities, esp. out of short barrels, is a very effective round with less muzzle flash and noise than the 357 in defensive loads.

My preference is the 44 Special for the reasons stated above.

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