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357 Magnum

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by el Godfather, Apr 1, 2012.

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  1. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Dear THR.
    What are the advantages of 357 over a 9mm and 45acp? Are there any disadvantages?

    How effective is a 357 as a SD weapon?

    Is 357 sufficient for self defense or a step up to a 44 magnum is a better decision? 10mm is not in consideration.

    Thanks
     
  2. mrvco

    mrvco Member

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    I think most would say "more than adequate" for all but the most extreme circumstances... And even too much with full-house magnums in HD scenarios.
     
  3. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    357 magnum is widely accepted as suitable for deer hunting amongst sportsman. 45acp and 9mm are not due to being much less powerful.

    You draw your own conclusions about how this relates to effectiveness as a defensive round. But its been often stated that the 125 grain 357 magnum load is the manstopper all other handgun rounds aspire to be.

    Downsides to consider
    Recoil
    Low capacity

    posted via mobile device.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Like said above, a 125gr .357 Magnum is considered the best man stopper ever. It's an excellent SD caliber and no, there is no reason to move up to a .44 Magnum unless the bad guys are Bears... As a matter of fact, the .357 Magnum's brother, the .38 Special is also a good SD caliber...
     
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    My daily carry gun is one of my S&W K frame snubs with 125 gr. JHP's of wither Gold Dots, XTP's, or Sierra's, on top of a healthy charge of H110 / 296. Those loads are producing a MV of just under 1600 fps. Those .357 mags with those full house loads will produce through and through penetration in just about any circumstance. To be honest, if I ever had to take a center mass shot at a person, I would imagine the result would be a very large exit wound and massive bleeding. Hydrostatic shock damage on animals like coyotes and jack rabbits is extreme, and penetration and expansion testing on rolled up wet denim proves extremely effective also.

    The Auto loading cartridges such as 45 ACP and 9mm just don't produce the velocity capable of doing what the .357 mag. will do in tis respect. One of my Son's is a die hard 9mm fan and carries my hand loaded 115 gr. JHP's producing a MV of 1300's fps, but they just don't perform nearly as well as the .357's for expansion.

    A couple of years back one of my Son's shot a large mule deer in the head with my hand loaded 125's from the .357 and it blew a huge hole through the head. Not too long after that one, another one of my Boy's shot another large mule deer through the lungs with the same loads, and it went through and through the shoulders also leaving behind a large exit wound.

    GS
     
  6. sirsloop

    sirsloop Member

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    Idk why people think that .357 is "the best man stopper ever". Like there is nothing particular about the cartridge that makes it a magical combo of death. It's just on the hotter end of what the majority of people are willing to carry that gets the job done. Ya know it's not "more lethal" than .500s&w magnum, a sabot slug outta a 12 gauge, a high powered .30cal+ rifle, etc. Plenty of stuff that packs more punch. I'm just sayin... Not considering shot placement, etc...

    I would say .357 is a decent SD choice for an experienced shooter. Too much pony for a rookie shooter.
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    There is no doubt that this loading has proven to be among the best, but when you actually chronograph these loads in real guns, not test barrels, you usually come up velocities in the 1250-1300 fps range.

    Yet the many of the same people will tell you that a 124 gr +P 9mm bullet at a chronographed 1250 fps is totally inadequate. Those are real numbers you will get from real guns, not some numbers published in a ballistics chart.

    The truth is that any of the common rounds, 9mm, 357 mag and 357 Sig, as well as 45, and 40 are all pretty much equal in terms of effectiveness when the best loads are chosen for the individual gun.

    As a SD round a 357 mag works, but has several huge disadvantages. Much more muzzle blast and recoil, considerable loss of velocity when used in barrels shorter than 6", and very limited ammo capacity. They are at their best when loaded with heavier bullets and with longer barrels and used for hunting or long range shooting. A 357 mag with a barrel shorter than 4", and loaded with 125 gr bullets is pretty useless in my opinion because you get all of the disadvantages magnified, and with LESS velocity than from a 9mm pistol.
     
  8. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    357 and 45 are my only carry calibers.
     
  9. HGM22

    HGM22 Member

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    Yeah, I'm not sure why its "the best". I can see it being a good benchmark for judging handgun rounds, but there are too many options out there for it to be simply the best.

    As to the OP: There is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is no perfect caliber. What you gain in one criteria you lose in another. For example, a .45ACP has a larger diameter bullet, but a 9mm pistol will have more ammunition capacity. The .357Mag has more power than the 9mm and .45, but its also got more muzzle blast and recoil (and slower follow-up shots).

    You need to look at various aspects like power, capacity, recoil and muzzle blast, platforms (which gun), platform size, etc. and match them to your skill set and situation. If you are a novice shooter you'll probably want to go with something lower on the power scale. What I'd be most looking at is if you want a revolver or auto, and what you intend the gun for. Will it be a concealed carry, home defense, or both gun? Something for CC will need to be smaller (most likely), and you may want to take a step down on caliber since recoil will be greater in the smaller gun. On the other hand, a gun used solely for self defense or open carried can be as big as you want, and recoil becomes less of a concern.

    No matter what, though, .357 Mag is a great round.
     
  10. XTrooper

    XTrooper Member

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    My favorite revolver cartridge for over 40 years now.

    Sufficient for self defense? It was the premier law enforcement cartridge of the revolver era and has put innumerable bad guys under the ground.
     
  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Being old, the advantage of my .357 revolvers over my .45 ACP autoloaders is that I don't have to bend over to pick up my empties.
     
  12. sirsloop

    sirsloop Member

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    HAHAH... no doubt! I love revolvers (and single shots) for the same reason... easy to police brass.
     
  13. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    357 is my favorite handgun round for the following reason. You can do anything with it, more or less, compared to other rounds. You can load it mild or hot. You can use light bullets or heavy. It is good for varminting, self-defense, or hunting. In a mid frame you can carry open or concealed. If a guy is only going to have one handgun I don't think you can do better. It's the right tool for many jobs.
     
  14. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    .45 acp pushes twice the amount of mass down range as most calibers in the 9mm diameter this includes .357. 38, and 357 are essentially 9mm with longer cases. I know I can get 158 gr 38,357 but I usually shoot 125 gr HP with those weapons.
    All that being said I would probably be hesitant to shoot a deer with a .45 or a 9mm Luger unless I was absolutely certain it was a kill shot. Read the animal is wounded and immobile.
    I have however hunted with a .357 Revolver and Carbine in .357, why? because I am much more certain that they will do the job I need them to do at distances the .45 just won't handle. I wish I was as confident in my shooting skills as I am in the round. I've passed on a few shots due to my own limitations. That is another advantage of the .357 it is slightly less expensive to practice with and improve shooting skills.
     
  15. DanGuy48

    DanGuy48 Member

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    Sir sloop

    Probably the main thing that really catapulted the .357 Mag to stardom as a man stopper was Marshall and Sanow's study on that topic with the .357 Mag ending up with something like a 94or97% one shot stop efficiency (been a while since I read it). One shot stop was defined as taking no more than one additional step towards you or immediately breaking off attack activity on being shot.

    http://www.amazon.com/Handgun-Stopping-Power-Definitive-Study/dp/0873646533

    Yep, I'm aware of all the controversy around it but I think there's still some good data there.
     
  16. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    From my 5" m60 my carry load the widely reguarded as midrange 125 golden saber still hits 1400fps. Winchester 124g ranger t 357sig in my g32 hits 1340fps. In a glock34 speer +p 124g gold dots hit 1240fps

    Yes even with "weak 12x grain loads" todays 357 magnum is still a great deal more powerful than even 357sig much less 9x19mm. The ballistics that make 9mm quite good make 357 even better because it has that much more to give.

    We are in agreement though that a sub 3" 357 is at best a 38 spl.
    posted via mobile device.
     
  17. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 Member

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    Lest we forget the mind altering, equilibrium debilitating, decibel producing BANG!

    That comes from them! Average 164 Db from Revolver.... Hearing Damage can occur at 85 Db and 120 Db is Threshold of pain. A Lawn Mower is 90Db

    (hmmm this is thread material! )
     
  18. jeepnik
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    jeepnik Member

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    I wouldn't say the .357 is "widely" accepted by handgun hunters. I and those I know really prefer a minimum of .41 mag. Can it be done? Sure. But a bit more energy is not a bad thing in a handgun for taking deer.

    As to the OP. The only drawback that a .357 wheelie has compared to semiautos is capacity. And there are .357 8 round revolvers out now. Kinda bulky, but they are about.

    Truthfully, back in the '70s while stationed in a country with some terrorist problems, I carried a 4" barreled .357 daily. Never felt undergunned, still wouldn't today.
     
  19. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Few for SD, unless for SD you favor bullet weights of 158 gr and up.

    Disadvantages are the platforms. You can get up to 8 shots of .357 in a big revolver, 5 in a small one. .357 autos tend to be bigger even than .45 autos; take a look at a Coonan and compare it to a Glock 30, for example. And .357 autos suffer from the potential problem of rimlock in the magazine.

    How effective is .357? I doubt there's a SD handgun caliber that's more effective. But maybe there are some as effective with less muzzle blast and recoil--two other disadvantages.
     
  20. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Ungodly muzzle blast is a disadvantage. I love .357 but, DANG it's loud.
     
  21. azrn

    azrn Member

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    all other calibers are constantly being compared to the 357 and 45 for SD effectiveness. this alone should tell you what is needed on a daily carry option.
     
  22. sig220mw

    sig220mw Member

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    The 357 is a great round and will do well for you for self defense. I carry 3 different handguns for self defense (not all at the same time). A 357, 44 special and a 45 acp. Shooting the 44 special and also a 45 colt with mildly hot loads makes the 357 feel like a pussycat. As far as advantages over the 9mm or the 45 acp I look at it as a subjective thing. If you like it and shoot it well it will fill your need. Don't let anyone tell you what you need to like. You don't need high capacity for self defense but if that's what you want then get it.
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Why is it considered the best man stopper? Because statistics from shooting from all over the country for decades prove it to be. From what I've read it does the job better than any other caliber carried. BUT, like I said above, I like the .38 Special for SD and carry.
     
  24. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    It can do more...

    With my leveraction carbine my XTP handloads (180grn) hit 1600+fps, thats a great deer rifle.

    With those same loads my 6.5in Blackhawk I can get around 1400fps, and over 1550 with 158grn XTP's, a great hunting handgun (here in Ind.)

    My 4in Service Six is my do-all, ( field gun, carry, HD) but usually loaded with Barnes 140grn XPB's loaded to around 1350fps, not terribly hot, but very effective.

    My DAO 2.25in sp101 is my everyday carry, loaded with 125grn XPB's to bout 1200fps, again not real hot, but very effective.

    With the 357 mag you can just do.....more.
     
  25. mes228

    mes228 Member

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    .357

    No expert here, and I've shot them little (though I've owned several). Just a comment. I've read the current loadings are VERY anemic compared to the original loadings. Hard to believe with all the "flash bang" that goes on when shooting even a 4" .357 revolver - much less a short barrel pocket type.
     
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