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Is .357 Magnum Good for Home Defense? CCW?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Para-Medic, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Active Member

    I'm considering getting a 4" S&W 686 .357 Magnum, mainly for home defense, but may consider using it for ccw too. I know it's heavy, but I've concealed just as big. But is .357 Magnum good for self defense and home defense?

    I've probably shot a .357 Magnum about 200 rounds. The recoil and noise didn't seem too bad, but I was outside and wearing ear plugs.

    I've seen some say that .357 Magnum really isn't good for self defense, and especially home defense, because it is very flashy, has a lot of recoil, and a LOT of noise indoors at night. I have a .38 Special and want something more powerful, so I wouldn't get this if I was only going to use .38.

    They say it might cause hesitation or make follow up shots harder using .357. Should I just get a .45 ACP revolver or something? I really like .357's ballistics, but if it's not a good choice I'll just get a .45.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  2. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

    Well they don't really make revolvers in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. From what I understand .357 is an excellent home defense round.
  3. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Active Member

    As far as recoil itself, I don't really think that's a big deal. It's the flash and noise. Would it be too much indoors at night?
  4. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Active Member

    Actually, they do! They use moon clips, if I remember correctly.
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Sure they do.

    .45ACP revolvers have been around about as long as the cartridge itself.

  6. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Well-Known Member

    The .357 Magnum is great for home defense IF you get the electronic ear muffs that amplify sound but dampen gunfire. If you get awakened in the middle of the night, put on and turn on the muffs before you pick up the revolver. If you have someone in the bedroom with you, have another set of muffs. That way you can hear better than the intruder and won't blow your eardrums out with the Mag. Flash isn't the problem it once was with low-flash powders now used uniformly in defensive ammunition. You'll still feel the blast, though.

    I carry a 3 inch Model 13-3 .357 Magnum or a 4 inch Model 10-5 .38 Special as my primary CCW. I have on rare occasions carried a 4 inch Model 681 concealed. It isn't as easy to carry an L-frame concealed, but it can be done.

  7. mes227

    mes227 Well-Known Member

    Sure they do, I own 4: S&W Governor (.45Colt, .45ACP and .410), S&W325, S&W625JM and Dan Wesson .460 Rowland (also chambers .45acp). And any .45Colt revolver can have the cyl cut to allow moonclips and thus chamber .45acp.

    The .357M is perhaps the most successful "manstopper" ever commercialized. It's a fantastic HD ctg. As to carry, they make platforms like the Ruger LCR357 that are easy to conceal. That's what I carry.

    For most SD purposes .38+P is a fine options and doesn't present either the recoil or rapport issues of the mag.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  8. Old krow

    Old krow Well-Known Member

    Try it and see for yourself. If you can control one and make follow up shots then I'd say that it makes an excellent caliber. You're not that far from one of the ranges that I go if you want to try out one of mine. I can tell you that I have an easier time following up with other calibers, but I have seen plenty of folks make it look easy.

    The last report that I looked at the .357 Mag was running about 164dBs and a 9mm about 159dBs. Firing any gun indoors is going to be at least somewhat unpleasant. While it's not a linear scale, I doubt that I would worry about the additional 5dBs in a SD/HD situation given the alternative.

    I believe that there are a couple companies out there, Speer is one IIRC, that makes .38SPL for short barrels. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they'll reduce the muzzle flash to some extent. I have used it before in my LCR, but not in a 4" barrel and when I did it wasn't in a low light condition so I can't say for sure, but it seems like it could.
  9. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

    Well then I stand corrected.
  10. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    It is a fine caliber for HD and CCW. From experience with bullets of .357/.358, I know choose to not trust in a handgun without it being a .44/.45 caliber. A Glock 20 10mm the exception.

    Look for a .44 Special instead of the .357 Magnum. I think it is a better fit for CCW/HD, and is closer to a .45 ACP than a .357 Magnum.

    My current carry is a .32 H&R Magnum Taurus 731 UL. It isn't my main HD gun. That is a shotgun. My .44 SPC is at the gunsmith right now getting customized. I can't wait to get it back.

    Yes, the .32 is smaller than a .357, but it packs some punch with Georgia Arms 100 grain XTPs. They chrony at 1010 fps from my 2" UL, 6 shot revolver. I will still continue to own the .32 H&R Magnum. I really like the caliber. I have put down deer with it out of a 6" single action. It is a good caliber. I like it better than the standard .38 SPC.

    Good hunting.
  11. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

    The question I have to ask now is; Why would you make a revolver in .45 ACP anyhow? I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a noob.
  12. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    For people who like revolvers in .45 ACP. Why else? Not everyone is a 1911 guy, or a polymer auto pistol shooter.

    Why make different style cars, or different foods to eat made out of a tomato?
  13. KW84

    KW84 Member

    Old krow, For every 10db increase, sound volume doubles, so .357 is 150% the volume of a 9mm. (or 50% louder)

    That is significant.

    (EDIT: A .22 is 130db or 1/3 the volume of a 9mm.)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  14. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    You guys must really hate the report from the big bore magnum revolvers. Or the report of .25-06 in a 22" barrel. Man, that rifle really booms.
  15. Old krow

    Old krow Well-Known Member

    It's actually a little less than 50%. :) You used linear division on a log. I'm just yanking your chain, it's more like 4.4-4.5 difference. However, you're right, it is louder. A 12ga shotgun, according to this site is 165dBs which is largely considered to be instant damage. Even then I would take that over the alternative if I found myself in a position in which I must shoot inside my own home.

    This of course not the case with me, as I said, I'm not that great with a .357 in a CCW/HD scenario, but, if it were the caliber that I chose to defend myself or family due to having the ability to follow up and put the shots where I needed them I would consider the hearing damage insignificant.

    For folks that like revolvers it's a suitable choice because it fills a niche that not very many handguns can. It launches a +.40 cal bullet with manageable recoil. The .44SPL is another, however, the .45 ACP is very common and can be found just about anywhere ammo is sold.
  16. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Ever have your picture taken in dim light by someone using a camera with a flash?
    That is what it is like shooting a shorter barrel .357 when your eyes are adjusted to the dark. I prefer a shotgun for home defense.
  17. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

    Thanks Old krow. My experience with revolvers is lacking. I do see a whole lot more .45 than .44 now that I think about it.
  18. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    Unless you plan to shoot through barriers which is horrible idea or plan to use .38 or .38+P loads then NO. The 686 is pretty much a range toy might as well get N-framed .44Mag and use magnum or special loads as needed. The .45Auto revolver is horrible idea.
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't mind carrying a .357 Magnum outdoors and I shoot a lot of .357 ammo at the range but I do not load my revolvers with .357 Magnum ammo for HD. In the house the revolvers are loaded with the FBI Load. (158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P)
  20. charlie echo

    charlie echo Well-Known Member

    I like my 44RM, Federal 240 gr Hydrashok HPs. Hope I still have hearing left if I use it indoors to save live(s). Might buy some Cor-Bon 180s.

    We plan to buy couple of 357s: Model-13 or 65' in 3" bbls.

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