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.357 magnum laud/flash/recoil

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by MagnunJoe, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. MagnunJoe

    MagnunJoe Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  2. Blackstone

    Blackstone Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. MagnunJoe

    MagnunJoe Well-Known Member

    Good point, U should always practice with what U carry! No surprises.
  4. X-JaVeN-X

    X-JaVeN-X Well-Known Member

    When I flash my muscles nobody goes blind?
  5. rugerman

    rugerman Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. JFrame

    JFrame Well-Known Member

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

  8. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

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

    Archie Well-Known Member

    I carried such revolvers...

    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.
  12. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    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:
  16. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

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

  17. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

  18. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    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.


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

    Kiln Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. beag_nut

    beag_nut Well-Known Member

    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.

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