Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Nomad101bc, Oct 10, 2007.
Does the .357 mag make a good concealed carry weapon? Is it much stronger than a 9mm?
Yes it makes a very good CCW weapon. The greatest benefit is the easy of use, it also doesn't hurt that it does not rely on bullet shape or wrist strength to function.
It is more powerful than 9mm, but it is not so much so to make up for poor shot placement.
Yes, it should be equal to or superior to the 9mm, powerwise, in most loadings. There's a much wider variety of bullet shapes and weights available in .357 - shapes that are better at expansion and such - since it doesn't need a certain shape to feed properly into the chamber.
As for how good it is to carry... one of the easier-to-shoot .357 revolvers (compared with a snubby .357, which is by all accounts a gun that kicks like field artillery), a 4" barrel K-frame Smith, is about the same overall length as a 5" barrel 1911. When I'm wearing a cover garment, I'm wearing that 4" S&W K-frame in .357. I'm able to strap it on and leave it for several hours, and it doesn't seem bother me.
yes this would be my #1 ccw weapon
My CCW is a Taurus 605 -- a .357 snubby. Not sure what you mean by "stronger." More powerful? Yes, .357 is generally more powerful than 9mm. Of course, in a snubby, you lose a bit of velocity, and thus some energy. But even then, I think the muzzle energy of a .357 out of a snubby will typically exceed that of a 9mm out of a 4" barrel.
But power/energy isn't everything. I wouldn't hesitate to use a 9mm for SD. It will do the job, if you do yours. I just happen to be partial to a snubby wheelgun for concealed carry. But I also have a 9mm that I shoot regularly, and keep loaded in the house for SD/HD (along with other guns).
I recommend the Ruger sp101. I've carried one for several years now and find it easy to fire accurately and quickly. The weight of it helps to tame the recoil of full house loads but doesn't lend itself well to pocket carry. Try several different brands at the range before making a decision if possible.
I carry a S&W Airlight J-Frame @ 11 oz, and even with 38 Special rounds, I've had the 5th round walking out of the case after shooting 4 rounds. (S&W says to check it by shooting 4 rounds and then comparing the 5th to a round that was never in the gun. The recoil is so bad!!!
I've also gotten a 357 Magnum barrel for my Bond Arms and it is not a problem shooting it, but the S&W - wow!!! Keep in mind that recoil is the square of the weight of the bullet, velocity, and weight of powder. It is also indirectly proportional to the weight of the gun.
Keep in mind that the nominal muzzle-energy of the 9mm is 340 ft-lbs and of the 357 Magnum is 535 ft-lbs.
On occasions, I do have a 9mm for Personal Protection, but for the most part I feel better with the 357 Magnum in my pocket (as long as I don't have to shoot it).
I carried a 3" .357 for a while. I found that I didn't like to practice with the full power rounds, so I didn't carry the full power loads. I carried a reduced recoil/reduced power load. I changed to a 9mm after looking at the ballistics.
The reduced .357 launched a 158gr bullet at 1100fps.
The 9mm +P launches a 124gr bullet at 1220fps.
For me, the follow-up on the 9mm is much faster and the recoil is much less. I get more accurate hits more quickly with the 9mm, and I can carry a couple more rounds with a faster reload.
A 4" .357 would tip the scale back towards the .357 because I could carry a full power magnum loading.
There are both fine handguns and cartridge loads designed around the .357 magnum. You could certainly do much worse.
The 357 Magnum 125 Grain JHP is still the round that all other self defense rounds are compared to.
I will be switching back to carrying a 357 Mag with that load after Christmas. Right now I'm carrying a S&W 45 ACP Revolver when I am Off-Duty. I like the 45 ACP Revolver, but I decided that I wanted the "King of The Hill" of fightstoppers. I just ordered a case of ammo to begin practicing.
BTW, I don't shoot this load in J-Frame guns and in snubbies. My EDC will be a Ruger GP100 with a 3" Barrel. Right now I'm packing an N-Frame with a 4" Barrel. The bedside gun is a 5" 357 Mag.
A 3" or shorted barrel S&W K frame is a GREAT .357 Magnum carry revolver. So are the Ruger Six series revolvers like this 2 3/4" barrel Police Service-Six:
My main carry gun these days is a pre-agreement Smith & Wesson model 60 five-shot .357 magnum. It packs enough wallop to stop a crime if needed. Recoil is noticeable, but by no means uncontrollable. It's been 100% reliable since the day I brought it home.
Pocket-carried a Taurus Mod 605 easily...
It is built on the same frame as the Mod 85 Ultralite. For pocket carry, I took the larger grips off the 605 and replaced them with the mod 85 boot grips which makes it a slick carry piece. Shooting characteristics? recoil is stout but manageable, even with the smaller grips. It is much easier to handle than my 340SC.
+1 for the S&W J-Frame. I personally carry a Colt Magnum Carry most of the time. Only difference is I get six shots with the Colt It just conceals so well. Walking around with my hands in my pocket is quite natural when I in condition orange.
not a darn thing wrong with .357 for concealed carry. People may argue about one caliber or ammo choice, but .357 usually falls into the category of "very respectable" for the job.
Yes and yes (with a good load). The downers are flash/bang out the wazzola and recoil. The recoil can be handled in a gun like the SP101, but the flash/bang indoors is a reason some will choose something else. I carry the .357, but don't feel naked with other calibers including the .380 and .38 special. It's not really the hardware, it's the man behind it, or woman as the case may be.
Piggy backing on what some others have covered already. There are a lot of choices with a .357 magnum snubbie as far as combat loads go, thus the links.
I carry a smith model 60 with a 3" bbl not to bad to shoot , and I have a 4"bbl Taurus titanium tracker very pleasant to shoot and carry.
I have a Kel-tec P-11 in 9mm but prefer the 357s .
I use a 3 inch m-66 and a 2 1/4 sp101. 145 grain winchester silvertips in both. I usually carry a .45 lw commander or a 9mm glock. Don't feel undergunned with any of them. Patrick
My wife carries a Taurus 650 about with her. With my reloads even that little 2 inch barrel is pushing a 125gr jhp at abit over 1300fps. It'll do.
Thank you for all your help I definitely forsee a double action only mag as the best chioce for CC.
I would, too, if I could find one at a reasonable price.
I love a 357 for a CCW.
The 9mm is a great carry round, but the 357 is really more versatile.
I won't try to talk you into a different cartridge - that isn't the question you asked. That said I will compare my only pistol I
have that I consider my Carry gun.
A 1911 5" in .45 ACP - I also have a .400 Cor-BOn BBl. for
a different cartridge on the same platform if I thought I needed greater
range. I have the Milt SParks Axiom holster
IN .357 Magnum I have the S & W 686 Plus 7 shot 357 Mag It has
the MIlt SParks PMK which carries the pieced about the same way the Axiom
caries the 1911
THe 1911 is 8.75 inches overall
THe 686P is 9 5/8 inches long
The 1911 is a uniform thickness
THe 686P has a thicker bulge because
of the cylinder.
Each has a pretty darn good selection
of loads in appropos bullet weights.
If you go to lighter weight look at a
S & W 1911 comander length with scandium
frame and the S &W M60 3" BBl. in steel
and both drop respective weights by 12 oz or
so.... but in both cases the Semi-auto has
flat magazines easier to carry on the belt as well
as the reload itself.as
But when it comes down to it in terms of SD or hunting
if you have to reload either there's a problem with your
marksmanship, or you didn't bring enough gun.
9mm comparable to a 357??? My 9mm feels like a toy compared to firing 357s out of my S&W 686. Much more muzzle energy with the magnum too.
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