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.44 Magnum vs .357 Magnum

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Satasaurus, Apr 1, 2013.


.44 Magnum vs .357 Magnum

Poll closed May 1, 2013.
  1. .44 Magnum

    45 vote(s)
  2. .357 Magnum

    203 vote(s)
  1. Satasaurus

    Satasaurus member

    Thanks for all the feedback so far. I just want to point out that I've been shooting for many years and this is far from my first firearm. I just haven't gotten a revolver yet because it was hard for me to get over the capacity difference between a 9mm and a revolver. I've shot relatives .38 and .357 revolvers and I love them and I'm very accurate with them. I've never shot a .44 Magnum, but I don't know how much worse it could be then the polymer .40 I had a while back. That made full power .357s look like baby crap.
  2. Satasaurus

    Satasaurus member

    Dang! I've thought about reloading, and looked into it before all this craziness happened, and it just seemed like it would only be a few dollars less a box so I never did it. Whenever I can get the supplies without selling my car I'll definitely look into it again.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Buy a .22 to learn to shoot a handgun with.

    Then buy a .357 so you can shoot .38 Special in it until you learn to shoot that.

    Then start shooting .357 Magnum, and take a giant step backward in your shooting skill when you start flinching and jerking the trigger due to .357 Magnum recoil & noise.

    Then go back to the .22 and learn to shoot all over again.
    Then work back up through the .38 Special & .357 again.

    Then it is time to buy a .44 Magnum, and start jerking and flinching all over again.

    Trust Me!!

  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    The 357 is an excellent round, powerful, accurate, incidentally so is the 44 Magnum. But I cannot shoot 150 rounds of full power 44 Magnum and not have a tremendous flinch and trembling hands.

    The 357 is a better self defense round in my opinion due to recoil recovery and you can get K frame M66’s in the round. These are quite portable. The 44 Mag recoils so much that subsequent shots are slow and the hand guns are very heavy.

    In my opinion the 44 Magnum is a better hunting round, but I would carry the 357 for defense. At the range, I shoot more 357 than 44 Mag.
  5. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    Skeeter answered this by saying, "It's the case of a good big man beating the hell out of a good little man."

  6. Bigkrackers

    Bigkrackers Well-Known Member

    .357 gets my vote. I have a GP100 and love it. Been looking at a Ruger Vaquero in 45 acp.
  7. rikman

    rikman Well-Known Member

    I have both & love both. I feel 357 is a bit more versatile. But if you need a bit more power 44 is great because you can shoot 44Spl , a real fav of mine.
  8. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Well-Known Member

    For the purposes the OP listed, 357 Mag.
  9. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    If just one, the .357Mag, hands down. If you master that and want a real challenge in a handgun, then try a .44Mag, but don't expect to master it in anything like a short span of time. It took me about twice to become marginally good with the .44 as with the .357, and I'm still sometimes surprised by the power of a full-house .44 Magnum load.

    Yeah, some people shoot bigger revolver rounds, but I cannot imagine why.
  10. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Well-Known Member

    I had two 44mag revolvers and sold them both w/ no regrets. I have a gp100 and will never sell it......get a .357 and don't look back. If you are going to shoot it from a rest, take a look at the 6". When you shoot .38 spec it has the recoil of a .22
  11. tomrkba

    tomrkba Well-Known Member

    Both because they serve different purposes. You can build a small revolver around 357 Magnum, such as the S&W Model 640, but only a medium sized five shot revolver around 44 Special (not even Magnum). The S&W L-Frames and Ruger GP100 are great all around revolvers in 357 Magnum. You can get seven shots in an L-Frame cylinder and eight in an N-Frame cylinder. This is a great feature since you can still shoot full power loads.

    All they can do is shorten the barrel on 44 Magnum revolvers. A 2 1/2" barrel is really better suited for 44 Special unless it's a 50+ ounce Ruger Alaskan. Even medium 44 Magnum loads are tough to shoot in that gun. I prefer 44 Special over 357 Magnum because you can get 200+ grain bullets; I prefer them over "light and fast".

    Buy both and be happy.
  12. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Well-Known Member

    I own and shoot both, and in my opinion the .357 is your best bet. As others have pointed out, the .44 has more recoil and is much more expensive to shoot.

    The .44 Magnum is at it's best when used for hunting and protection from large predators. They are generally larger, heavier guns that are a bit more work to carry than the average .357 revolver. I carry one primarily because I live in grizzly country and am out and about in their territory on a regular basis. I also hunt mule deer with it, usually at bow ranges (50-60 yds).

    The .357 is my go to round for target shooting, plinking, trail walking (in areas without grizzlies), home defense, etc. It is inexpensive to reload for and relatively easy to shoot.

    If I had to pick just one, it would definitely be the .357, probably in a double action revolver.

    Of course, you could always buy both...........:evil:
  13. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    For range use and SD/HD you do not need anything more than a .357. If hunting deer size game and larger was a factor than I'd advise for the .44 given your options. I myself own more .44s than I do .357s. But I still prefer the .357s at the range because of how pleasant they are to shoot.
  14. Valkman

    Valkman Well-Known Member

    I shoot my .44 Mag way more than my .357, but I reload and load 'em mid-range for the .44 and just love shooting it with those loads.
  15. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    I'm the odd guy out, here...

    .44 Magnum with .44 Special loads is just a joy to shoot. I enjoy it more than .357 Mag. For self-defense, it's what I'd keep in it.
  16. 4season

    4season Well-Known Member

    I find this thread funny because just the other day I started one asking about lightweight 357's. Now it seems that everyone seems to think that a 357's recoil is a kitten compared to a 44. Wasn't it yesterday that I said I don't care if you think a 357 is painful, I don't want a 38? Now everyone is saying go with the 357 because the 44 is too painful. I think maybe we need to train some shooters here how to handle recoil.
  17. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    As usual RCMODEL hits the x-Ring

    I would like to ask the O.P. Satasaurus

    What experience do you have with handguns ?

    A S&W .22 LR Revolver, with the same Bbl. LEn.
    4" - 6" paired with a S&W .357 Magnum ( when
    you're ready ) will be a fine pair to take to the

    I have a S&W 617 6" Bbl. and a S&W 625 .45 ACP
    At the range, I start with the .22, practicing Single
    Action and then Double Action.... and then switch
    to the .45

    As Far as .357 or .44 Mag as a Home Defense platform
    with a 4" Bbl. with full house loads you'll have a lot
    Recoil, Muzzle flash and Supersonic BOOM so youll
    be deaf and dumb for sevveral seconds, besides
    using a round which could penetrate a wall and hit
    someone/something beyone... a subsonic .38 Special +P
    or a .44 SPecial would serve better.

    Just my $.02

  18. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Well-Known Member

    For your first gun, yes get a .357 magnum.

    Way to many people overgun themselves for their first gun.

  19. DWFan

    DWFan Well-Known Member

    "With the variety of factory loads available the .357 is the most versatile handgun caliber extant before you get into reloading. The only place it won't reach is the truly big/dangerous game territory. If you do not intend to hunt or defend against something in the neighborhood of brown bear, it's a no brainer. Your first revolver should be a .357."

    I beg to differ. You can get factory ammo for the .44 Magnum from a 240gr SWC cowboy load at 750 fps to a 340gr WLN launching at 1450 fps. The .357 Magnum versatility is a distant second. More expensive? Certainly, for the premium ammo; but those reduced loads bought in bulk aren't that different in cost for both calibers. (500 rounds Load-X reman. 158gr SWC .357 = $175, 500 240gr SWC .44 = $215) Constantly using full power ammo for practice with either the .357 or .44 can lead to deteriorated shooting skills.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Love my .44. I've put 10k rounds through it in a year, as I primarily shoot specials. I just never seem to warm up to a .357 the same way.

    Yeah, I could ... But why? The .44 does everything I could want and has the extra HP on tap if I've got a need for it. Besides, the n-frame is just so much more comfortable in the hand and big bullets seem to find big chamber mouths just that much easier.

    But, YMMV

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