Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

4" 357 Mag revo, best all around handgun ever?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Bob79, Dec 25, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    USA
    I've been doing some more reading on this caliber lately and I've come to appreciate how good a round it is. I think a quality 4" revolver (Ruger/S&W/etc) chambered in .357 magnum is VERY versatile, reliable, and effective.

    We all know that quality revolvers are very reliable, and yes I do understand that when they do jam up they are tougher to get back working than semi-autos. But for the majority of the time, revolvers don't fail, and when they do often times it seems like its from using some bad ammo.

    Revolvers too seem to have more options when it comes to modifing the gun to suit what you want. You can change the grips to suit your taste for looks, you can have smooth grips, finger groove, rubber, 2 finger, 3 finger grips, covered back strap, open back strap. Sights can be pretty much anything you want, and if you get a gun with fixed or no sights you can have them modifed to accept whatever you want. You can even have moonclips added to make your reloads faster. They're also not restricted on ammo configuration because you don't have to worry about the bullet feeding, because it will feed. And with modern metals you can have your revolver pretty light in the weight dept, only thing you trade is some more recoil. About the only area to me that revolvers don't outshine semis is capacity

    The gun in this caliber can shoot .38 special or wadcutter loads for target practice that are very accurate, and very low in recoil. 38 ammo is pretty cheap, so it makes range time easy on the wallet, and ammo can be found anywhere. And for those who are more sensitive to recoil, a good .38+P round is very effective as a self defense load as well.

    .357 mag rounds are also very versatile, the 130 grain and less loads provide less recoil, are accurate, and generate pretty good energy figures. Usually equal with most 9mm/40cal/45 rounds as far as performance. Once you move up to the good 158 grain loadings you have passed pretty much all 9mm/40S&W/45ACP/10mm rounds in terms of energy deposit. And then once you factor in the ability to shoot the massive 170/180 grain hunting loads that will take down medium sized game, you have a firearm that can do a lot, and do it well.

    So thats just one guy's opinion, but I recommend to everyone I know and meet that is thinking about getting a firearm for home protection/fun at the range I tell them everytime "Get a 4" revolver in .357".
     
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,276
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Capacity doen't bother me when the average number of shots fired in a gun fight is under 2 rounds, I believe. Anyway, making your shots count is a might easier with a revolver for me, at least. Therefore, I carry a five shot .38 a lot, though I do admit to carrying a compact nine a lot and even a .380 for convenience/pocket carry.

    But, if I had to own just one handgun to do it all, I think it'd be something like the all titanium Taurus "Tracker" in .357 magnum. I do love the caliber for its versatility and while the big bullet .45/1911 freaks think the .45ACP is its equal or superior, they're just simply full of it. I've taken deer with the magnum, never would use a .45 ACP on deer sized game. :rolleyes: With a heavy hardcast SWC, the .357 is even viable against black bears! Yet, you can take the same gun, stick .38 wadcutters in it, and hunt small game. That's the reason I own several .357s. They're just superb outdoor guns. A titanium K frame size gun like the tracker, would work afield and for CCW. It'd be fairly easy to carry IWB given good leather. And, for self defense, it don't get any better than the old standby 125 grain JHP in .357 magnum.
     
  3. Dollar An Hour

    Dollar An Hour Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Amen

    Yep, I'd have to agree with you. Simple, (relatively) affordable, damn effective, versatile with .38 Spl as an option, reasonably-priced ammo, reliable.

    What's not to like about a .357 revo?
     
  4. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,108
    Location:
    Manassas, Va
    I couldn't agree more. It's hard to beat the 4" medium framed 357mag for all around versatility, especially if you don't handload.

    During the summer, while camping and hiking in the national forest, I carry my GP100 loaded with 1 shotshell first for snakes, then the remainder of the cylinder loaded with my 180gr handloads. During the cooler months, I load it full with those heavy handloads. At home, it's loaded with 38+P LSWCHP as a home defense gun. I use that same gun with medium 38special loads for falling steel plate and target shooting.

    If I could only own one handgun, that would be it.

    Chris
     
  5. 461

    461 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    NE.
    Yep, it's one gun that can do it all and most of it very well. My Gp-100 is one of my all time favorites. Now that that's out of the way, do you really think that we should be saying this in a public forum? I mean if the wife ever found out I had one gun that could do anything I need done then my gun buying days would be over!
     
  6. Marko Kloos

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,587
    Location:
    Enfield, NH
    Yes.

    A four-inch .357 magnum revolver is the One Gun That Does It All. It will perform competently in any function you can ask of a handgun...CCW, home defense, plinking, target shooting, and (in a pinch) even hunting. It will fire anything from soft .38 Special wadcutter target loads to .357 Magnum deerstoppers moving 158 grains at close to 1500 fps.

    If I had to decide on only one handgun to own, it would be a 4" .357 Magnum wheelgun.
     
  7. bpisler

    bpisler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,386
    Location:
    Phoenix,az
    Whats not to like?,Lets see,there's always the
    muzzle blast and recoil.With that said i have 3
    357's,4" 686-3,3" 65-3 and a 2 3/4" service 6.
    They are the 3 guns that i shoot the most
    and almost always with near full power loads.
    I must agree that they are very versatile,i've
    hunted rabbits,carried one for personal defense
    against 2 and 4 legged creatures.Long live
    the 357 magnum.
     
  8. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    832
    Location:
    Texas
    Of course.

    So often the tacticool kids forget that the only part of your piece that ever actually touches the target is that little piece of metal that comes out the end ever so quickly. It's oftimes much simpler to change the ammunition than it is to go get another gun.

    Compare the sheer number of loads you can use such with a launching platform for against what you can do with a Glock wondernine or a custom 1911 or whatever service pistol you please.

    The .357 L or K frame size revolver with about 3 or 4 inches of barrel can facilitate any kind of handgun ammunition I could ever need for any task, and will launch it all without fail.

    For specific jobs or aspects, other guns are better do not get me wrong, but if I only had to have one handgun I know exactly which one I'd reach for.
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    About the only thing I could like better than these two four-inch Pythons would be some five-inch Pythons.

    I've never understood why Colt didn't ever make them.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,276
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Absolutely beautiful... ;)
     
  11. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,176
    Location:
    IDPA junkie in DFW, TX
    Ohhh Nill grips are good. :)
     
  12. Frandy

    Frandy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,354
    Location:
    NC
    I can't top a Python, but here's my vote for 4" .357s... Actually, two votes... :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. rock jock

    rock jock Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,008
    Location:
    In the moment
    Yes, it is.
     
  14. mndfusion

    mndfusion Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    178
    [​IMG]

    hey everyone, new to this group -- my 1st post.

    chk it, you can keep .357 on sks strippers. And thats my model 60 3in S&W.

    cheers
    Daniel Abednego
     
  15. mndfusion

    mndfusion Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    178
    great thread topic BTW and I agree to the point that .357 is most versitile round!!!Big time agreement!!!
     
  16. mndfusion

    mndfusion Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    178
    if I were left with only one handgun it a .357.
     
  17. Warren

    Warren Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,454
    Location:
    Northern California
    What makes the three five seven more versatile then the four-four?
     
  18. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    832
    Location:
    Texas
    Perhaps in a perfect world where we could all carry our arms openly or concealed or even not at all as we choose, in a perfect world where we all had the capability of reloading our own ammunition or had access to commercial cartridges which tapped the full spectrum of what the chambering is capable of, perhaps if we lived in a perfect world where there were more made and they were more affordable, we'd all have a 4" .44 Magnum as our all around handgun.

    I love my .44 Magnum chambered firearms and I plan to start reloading and will start on this very caliber, but the fact is as I see it that it takes a big framed gun and it takes that much more effort and expense to explore what it's capable of.

    Go to the store and you're likely to see maybe three or four loads for that chambering available, typically a 180 grain load, a 240 grain load, and maybe if you're lucky some 200 grain .44 Specials.

    You may be lucky enough to have places that sell a variety of .44 Special/Magnum cartridges, but you can probably still find a wider variety in the .357 chambering at the same venue.

    At most places I'm aware of you can find several weights of .357 Magnum and .38 Special available. It's just that much easier to enjoy the versatility.

    And bottom line is the ammunition is cheaper.

    As I said before, .44 Magnum calls for a good sized handgun. I have pretty good sized catcher's mitts and I like L and N framed sized revolvers, but it seems the great majority of people who plan to use a revolver for personal protection prefer a smaller, trimmer, lighter gun. My own mother for instance thinks my 629 is simply huge and can't even hold onto it, much less hold it steady enough to fire or press the cylinder release. It doesn't seem that much bigger than a .357 Magnum to me, but to her it is.

    Human factors always trump what looks good on paper or in theory.
     
  19. EZ CZ75

    EZ CZ75 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    92
    Location:
    Valdez, Alaska
    Well...

    I don't mean to cause any trouble b/c I love the 357 for is versatility, but 15+1 rounds of 10mm pushing 700+ft/lbs at the muzzle can't be ignored. This is not to say that one is better, but just FYI. Since this is the revolver area, though, I would take a 357 wheelie over a 10mm wheelie any day.
     
  20. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    612
    I will not go so far as to claim that a 4" 357 is the best handgun ever, but I find my self buying them left and right lately and passing up guns my collection really needs more. I think another potential choice for best handgun ever is 10mm 1911 along with a 22lr conversion upper.
     
  21. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,276
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Hmm, never thought of that. That'd be a good idea in the field, but bianchi speed strips fit better in a pocket. I usually carry a speed strip and one HKS speed loader when I'm carrying my revolver.
     
  22. wundudnee

    wundudnee Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    N.E. Kansas
    Mine's shorter!

    But it still works well.:) My pre 27, 3 1/2" S&W.

    picture.jpg
     
  23. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,276
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    .44 mags fall on their faces for self defense and concealed carry. I ain't packin' no mountain gun, much less a bigger N frame, IWB...:rolleyes: And, yes, the load availability is quite limited. .44s are seen by the manufacturers as hunting/outdoor guns. They're not as useful in the concealed carry, SD roll. Even the really light unobtainium ones are physically large for IWB carry.

    I don't own a .44, but I'm not sure why. The caliber has never moved me as a handloader. I do handload a .45 colt to near .44 energy levels. Another caliber I like very much is the .41 mag, but don't own one. That one's even MORE of a handloaders cartridge. I wouldn't mind getting into a .41 mag Taurus Tracker, though, a little more horsepower in the bear woods. If I wanted to carry it for defense, I'd have to rely on my own handloads, I reckon. And, even bullet selection is poor in that caliber for handloaders compared to .357. Jeez, there's a bullet for ANYthing in .357.
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,276
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Point made, but this topic is versatility. Can you load a light forty in that ten and hunt rabbits with it? Or, are you gonna blow 'em in half with the 10mm load? :D

    Anyway, give me a revolver in the woods. Autos are fun, useful fighting tools, but revolvers are where it's at outdoors because of the ability to interchange hot, light, shot, whatever loads. JMHO of course. Not only that, but they do a fair to middlin' job of self defense for the guy like me that appreciates a fine revolver. That's probably why most of my collection is revolvers. I have but two big service sized autos and a couple of compact carry sized ones. Even my favorite .22 is a revolver.

    And, for hunting, you sorta have two REAL choices, revolver or single shot like my Contender. Oh, you CAN hunt with something like the Desert Eagle or even a 10, but I'll choose revolver or single shot for serious hunting with serious calibers, thanks. The ten certainly makes enough horsepower for hunting thin skinned game, deer size stuff. I haven't found too many reliable autos that can shoot with a good revolver or especially a single shot pistol, though.
     
  25. 357wheelgunner

    357wheelgunner Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Messages:
    942
    Location:
    Rural South
    Great writeup, I love 4" .357s. I have 3, a model 19, model 66, and model 65

    Sisters.gif
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page