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.357 vs .44 Special for Home Defense

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by mrstang01, Jan 12, 2003.

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  1. mrstang01

    mrstang01 Member

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    Let's open a can of worms and see who likes what for home defense. The .357 has a better track record, but do you really want to blast off a couple of those 125 grainers inside with no hearing protection?

    Is the big .44 that much better on noise levels?
     
  2. Brian D.

    Brian D. Member

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    My $.02:

    The .357 in 110/125gr is not only loud, but due to all that powder there's a good deal of muzzle flash, which may cause the "sender" as much difficulty as the intended "receiver", at least til the sender connects SQUARELY with the receiver. Do some experimenting outside at sunset or later if you have an appropriate facility for this. As to "stopping power" (oh brother, does that term get thrown around recklessly at times), I'd say both are adequete, shot placement means much more.
     
  3. JohnK

    JohnK Member

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    Pick the one that fits you best that you shoot best and is most reliable. Then load it with whatever defense load you want. The 357 seems to have a better track record but the 44 with quality defense loads is hardly a slouch, only hits count so use the one that you feel most comfortable with.

    People talk about the blast of a 357 indoors being stunning, well I've been in a fairly small room when someone else had a AD (or ND if you prefer) with a HK 91 and 7.62 NATO. Surprised the hell out of me, ears didn't even ring - but talk about an adrenaline rush, whew!. I doubt a 357 is going to be louder. The body does some amazing self protection when under stress, that 308 going off didn't seem as loud as a 22 LR from a revolver when out target shooting.

    There's little doubt about the flash from a 357 though, you can get some amazing fireballs when shooting at night. Think fireballs measured in feet not inches. :)
     
  4. ms1200

    ms1200 Member

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    i think that both calibers would work very well for defence.

    personaly i would pick the .44spl because i am a fan of heavy slow moveing bullets in a handgun
     
  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't own a 44 special, but my 44 mag will shoot them. I have no doubt that the 44 is serious round, even in its downloaded state. I've often practiced with 240 Ultramax cowboy loads, which is a soft lead flatnose at 750fps, not a barn-burner but a whole lotta lead.

    I'd prefer the 357 loaded with 158gr swchp. Even in my snubby the flash isn't that bad, and its a stout load.
     
  6. Dan Morris

    Dan Morris Member

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    Either one.....trust me, in a firefight, you ain't gonna hear the noise!
    Dan
     
  7. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    The .44 special stands less of a chance doing collateral damage also.
     
  8. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Member

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    Mmmmm....this is the revolver version of "9mm or .45" threads that pop up once a month elsewhere:D

    I would expect that a quality .44 special Defense load, like Silvertips or Corbons, would be about like the .357, i.e., both stop the BG 90% of the time.

    It's harder to find good defensive loads for the .44, than the .357, or 9mm & .45 for that matter.

    Of course, if the BG sees the big holes in the .44 & runs, then you don't have to shoot him, which is the best solution of all.:D

    Those Smiths with the alloy frames in .44 Special look awfully attractive as a defensive gun, even though I still like my 1911.
     
  9. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Member

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    Mmmmm....this is the revolver version of "9mm or .45" threads that pop up once a month elsewhere:D

    I would expect that a quality .44 special Defense load, like Silvertips or Corbons, would be about like the .357, i.e., both stop the BG 90% of the time.

    It's harder to find good defensive loads for the .44, than the .357, or 9mm & .45 for that matter.

    Of course, if the BG sees the big holes in the .44 & runs, then you don't have to shoot him, which is the best solution of all.:D

    Those Smiths with the alloy frames in .44 Special look awfully attractive as a defensive gun, even though I still like my 1911.
     
  10. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Personally my HD gun is usually my K-frame .357, a S&W 65LS, with my 6" L-frame (a 586) occasionally taking over. I like a .357mag loaded with .38s or .38+Ps. In modern hollowpoint ammo this round will more than do its job if I do mine. The .38 and some +Ps will have far less flash than a mag which is important if I ever need to fire in the dark and the noise is far less so there is less chance for hearing damage. If I had a .44mag or .44spl I may use .44spl but the gun would have to fit me very well as I don't think any gun (with the possible exceptions of the CZ 75, BHP and 1911s) have the ergonomic fit of a K or L frame or the balance of a K-frame .357 revolver.
     
  11. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    A better question is "would I rather have six rounds of very good 38+P from a 4 inch tube versus five rounds of 44Spl in the same package?" and I think the answer is "yes". Esp. if I can load up monster 357s that will be more effective than the 44Spl if the circumstances warrant.
     
  12. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    A better question is "would I rather have six rounds of very good 38+P from a 4 inch tube versus five rounds of 44Spl in the same package?" and I think the answer is "yes". Esp. if I can load up monster 357s that will be more effective than the 44Spl if the circumstances warrant.
     
  13. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    A better question is "would I rather have six rounds of very good 38+P from a 4 inch tube versus five rounds of 44Spl in the same package?" and I think the answer is "yes". Esp. if I can load up monster 357s that will be more effective than the 44Spl if the circumstances warrant.
     
  14. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    A better question is "would I rather have six rounds of very good 38+P from a 4 inch tube versus five rounds of 44Spl in the same package?" and I think the answer is "yes". Esp. if I can load up monster 357s that will be more effective than the 44Spl if the circumstances warrant.
     
  15. mrstang01

    mrstang01 Member

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    I guess I should have mentioned that the .44 special I'm considering is the N frame 624 Lew Horton special with 3 inch tube. My usual bedside gun is a Taurus 65 w/ a 3 inch tube in .357
     
  16. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    JohnK,
    assuming you weren't stone deaf already when this happened, how is that possible? A 9mm in an open field leaves me with ringing ears, I'd expect 7.62 NATO *indoors* would make my ears bleed.
     
  17. mrstang01

    mrstang01 Member

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    Double Tap
     
  18. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    My personal preference is for the .357 magnum, which delivers lower recoil than the .44 magnum. Between the .44 special and the .357 magnum, I'd choose the latter, primarily because I've had more practice with it, also because I believe it's more likely to stop an intruder right this instant.
     
  19. Poohgyrr

    Poohgyrr Member

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    MRSTANG, Congrats on your 3" M624.

    I have a "regular" production 3" 629 and a 4" M24, both loaded with Fed 200 LSWCHP's. This basic combo worked very well in the past, and should work as well today.

    Also have one or two .357's that should also work well.

    I think you should have both available :D ........
     
  20. Gila Jorge

    Gila Jorge Member

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    For home defense: my wife has the 357 Mag on her side of the bed and I have the 44 Spcl on my side of the bed....also a 40 S&W and a 12ga Browning 2000 auto as back up. My gun safe and ammo are in my bedroom as well as cell phones. Must plan for attacks and defense.
     
  21. mete

    mete Member

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    First for a home defense gun you don't need concealable short barrels, the shorter the barrel the greater the muzzle flash and blast. While any gun is loud indoors the 357 will be louder than the 44. My ch oice would be a 4 or 6" 44 loaded with the Fed 200 LSWHP which gives you 900fps ,a good performer.
     
  22. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Get a .45LC if .357 is not enough.
     
  23. mrstang01

    mrstang01 Member

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    Not a question of if .357 is enough, as far as I know, it's still the top man stopper. The question was comparing .44 Special to .357.

    I'm very interested in actual experience firing one vs the other and comparing noise and flash of the best performers.

    Thanks!

    Michael
     
  24. DrDremel

    DrDremel Member

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    I have a S&W 296 airweight snubbie in .44 special. It kicks much more than a .357 magnum snubbie with the same weight. I will take a big bullet that is slow over a fast little bullet any time.
     
  25. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Well, since I've had a S&W 686 as my primary anti-badguy arm for a couple years not, I guess I'd have to go with the 357. Have it loaded with 4 blue Glaser 38s and the last two rounds are 158 Gr LSWC just in case I need to do 'skull damage' or somesuch.
     
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