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Another One: SD Only- .357Mag or .45ACP?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by HMMurdock, Aug 29, 2007.

?

Which Has Greating Manstopping Potential?

  1. Sleek, Uber-Strong .357 Magnum

    83 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Big, Fat .45 ACP

    83 vote(s)
    50.0%
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  1. HMMurdock

    HMMurdock Member

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    Probably done in the past... repeatedly. But here we go again. For self defense only-- no mall ninja house-raiding --which is more sufficient at one-shot stopping a giant crackhead nazi?

    Okay, in all seriousness, citing actual experience and/or scientific proof, which round delivers a better chance of halting an assailant?

    Shot placement is key-- this I know. But I'm getting a sidearm for my fiancee who will get enough range time to be comfortable with it but not enough to rely on marksmanship when the chips are down. I know the "whatever works best for her" response that will come flooding in, but I'm just comparing apples and oranges for the sake of it so let's play along...

    All aspects of principle, recoil, reliability, etc. aside-- simple round for round, which one has higher chances of delivering a fatal blow in one round?

    Thanks, all.
     
  2. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    My vote is for .357 magnum, but unless the shot is well-made at one or two places, odds are you won't get a 1-shot-stop. General rule is "at least two shots". Power is no substitute for skill.

    That's a big risk to take.
     
  3. Jimmie

    Jimmie Member

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    The crowd favorite has always been the 125gr .357. But she's not going to like shooting it, she's not going to shoot it well, she's not going to practice with it, and when "the chips are down," she's probably going to miss. Just the facts, ma'am.
     
  4. RoadkingLarry

    RoadkingLarry Member

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    Better a hit with a .22RF than a miss with a .357mag
     
  5. Headless

    Headless Member

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    I'd vote 357...start with low recoil .38SPL standard pressure; work her way up to mild .357.
     
  6. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    BOTH, NEITHER, THE 45, OR THE 357.

    They both are great SD rounds from a handgun, have her shoot the gun first and then get what she needs and can use.
    Go visit the www.corneredcat.com
     
  7. obxned

    obxned Member

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    Both are good, but the .357 depends on proper bullet expansion to do the job.
     
  8. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    She's gonna hate shooting the magnum, which means she won't shoot it at all, or if she does it'll be stoked with .38's. I'd go with a .45ACP as the recoil is nowhere near as punishing as full house .357's.

    Plus, like ned said, a .357 may or may not expand. A .45 ain't gonna shrink.
     
  9. New_geezer

    New_geezer Member

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    Don't think you can really blow by this point. You're talking about your fiancee and she'll be the one pulling the trigger. I would feel well armed with either a 45 or a 357 because I shoot both calibers pretty well. To choose, for HD I really like a 1911, for walking a trail I prefer a 357.

    My 5'4" wife however really likes, practices, and shoots well her Bersa 380. As Roadking said, better a small caliber hit than a large caliber miss.

    Sorry but when talking about someone else I don't think you can frame your question that way.
     
  10. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Member

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    125 grain Corbon DPX all copper Barnes Bullet .357 magnum. Rantingredneck: My new hybra ported GP100 is a popgun compared to my .45 ACP and the Corbon will expand all the time...every time.
     
  11. earplug

    earplug Member

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    I don't understand the problems people have with A .357? Don't they practice and develop skills with A lesser cartridge?
     
  12. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    Granted, but that's one model and one round we're comparing here.

    That's just the point though. The OP said she'd get enough practice to be comfortable but not enough to rely on her marksmanship skills. That to me says there's a real risk of her going to the range, shooting the .357's and deciding to drop to the .38's or worse stop going at all. Not to say a .38 isn't adequate for SD, it most certainly is, but then we're not comparing .45 to .357 any more.

    The best thing I can suggest is what the OP asked us not to mention. Take her to the range and let her try them out and find out what works best for her.

    It may be a .45, a .357, a .380 or a .32. Bottom line is if she can hit what she aims at with a mousegun it's better than missing with a magnum.
     
  13. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    No disrespect intended, but if that's all she's intending to practice, and if marksmanship (markswomanship???) isn't a forte, perhaps a Mossberg 500 - 20 gauge with BB shot would be best. At least if she doesn't practice much, she still has a snowball's chance in Houston to hit the target.

    Q
     
  14. WVMountainBoy

    WVMountainBoy Member

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    I vote the .357 for the reason of being able to practice with the .38 spl loads and working the way up to the full house .357 Both these round are more than capable of a one shot drop, but the .357 gives the ability of practicing with a reduced recoil load in a simplified platform as a revolver is point and click when loaded. The .45 really only whens in my opinion when you consider 8-10 rounds compared 5-7 rounds in magazine capicity.
     
  15. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    I vote for the .45acp. I just finished assisting in a tactical pistol course comprised of both men and women. I brought several different revolvers for the students to try during the breaks and the women all felt the .357 was a bit much recoil-wise. Follow-up shots were out of the question.

    Shot placement is the key and few rounds have BOTH the stopping power and follow-up shot capability of the .45acp.

    The pistol must fit the hand and practice is paramount.

    Let her try different pistols and whatever she selects, practice, practice and practice some more.

    ps

    I agree that the 125g HP out of a .357 is THE preeminent SD round, but over penetration tips the hand to the .45acp for me.
     
  16. HMMurdock

    HMMurdock Member

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    I shouldn't have mentioned my fiancee's search for a defense pistol. That is simply what brought about the "Apples v. Oranges" of .357 and .45. I meant to push aside the "attributes" of the rounds, such as mag capacity and recoil and simply comparing the terminal capability of these two rounds, say, from benchrest?

    I don't mean this to be "which is best for her?" thread. She already has a Remington 870 for home and whatever you guys say won't affect what she gets. I shouldn't have mentioned her. I'm just curious, when analyzing .45 ACP and .357 Magnum, which is more effective at it's job once it has entered the target?

    For the sake of argument, let's say I'm choosing the round for myself and I will be living at the range and a demi-god of a shot. I already said I know shot placement is key, but let us pretend the moons and stars aren't aligned right and the round lands in a non-vital area... see what I'm getting at?

    With proper loads, the .357 Magnum provides more "stopping power" (I hate such a vague phrase), but also lends itself to over penetration while the .45ACP is a consistent manstopper regardless of bullet-type and is not as likely to exit the target's body after impact? Is this the common consensus?
     
  17. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    The 45 doesn't shrink and the 357 may not expand in a non vital hit. This is the crucial point.
    And the physics of 255 graners moving at 900 fps versus 150ish grains moving at 1200 fps seems quite elementary to me in terms of what I want to see happen.
    BUT
    With the proper load and the proper weapon to fire it from (long enough barrel for the 357) it should be 6 of one or half a dozen of the other when it comes to an average subject.
    I'm going to go with the 45, since I know a great big guy who actually took 6 rounds of 357 and lived to tell about it, but can't say the same for 45.
     
  18. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Overpenetration of the .357, at least with the 125-grain loads that developed such a rep for stopping power? That is a MYTH that should have died in the 1970's. With the bullet R&D that has occured since then, the premium duty-type loads of either cartridge will penetrate the optimum distance, from service-handgun barrels. More important is the weapons themselves. An inordinate number of women are intimidated by the slide of a large service pistol moving toward them. A large number of women, and men, too, are intimidated by the .357 mag full-power loads. Both can be mitigated with training. Moreover, get real; there is no one-shot solution to a broad range of assailants. My recommendation is a medium-large frame .357, and let her work up to her comfort level.
     
  19. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    I'd prefer .40 S&W. But given those two, I'd prefer .45 ACP 230 gr Winchester Ranger Talons.
     
  20. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Common consensus? Not a chance.

    Sweeping generalization, which will be supported by some and disputed by an even greater number? Yep, probably.

    My .02? While I love both rounds, the .357 is typically chambered in revolvers, which have a higher bore axis and transmit, rather than absorb recoil. A 1911 type pistol's lower bore axis, plus it's energy-absorbing recoil system mean that, all things equal, a 1911 is far more pleasant to shoot. It's trigger makes it easier to shoot well.

    I own, shoot and enjoy both. I shoot a 1911 better. That, combined with the fact that that it holds 2-3 more rounds to begin with, and reloads quicker...well, you can see which way the scales are tipping, can't you? :)
     
  21. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

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    You already screwed up! :)

    The bottom line, from what I have heard on the web (and what I know about women) is that any sentence that starts with that phrase is already way, way off course.

    I forget whether this was from SpringMom or one of the other ladies on THR, but the right way to help a wife or fiancee buy a weapon is to take her someplace where you can rent a number of guns, let her try a number of weapons in any number of calibers, and let her pick any handgun in any caliber she wants. Buy it for her, but you're basically a cheerleader - not an advisor - for whatever she wants.

    The key words in the above are "any handgun in any caliber she wants".

    The only important words in the above paragraph are "any handgun in any caliber she wants."

    Notice it doesn't matter at all what your or the entire collective wisdom of THR wants - all that matter is what she wants.

    And I do really suggest you not try to share your vast wisdom about what women like. If you hit the range regularly, you will see skinny little women perfectly comfortable with 357 magnums and 1911s.

    Here's a quote from Conered Cat:

    Check out:

    http://www.corneredcat.com/

    The only important words in the above paragraphs are "any handgun in any caliber she wants."

    Mike
     
  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Nothing wrong with a big-bore cartridge but the .357 Magnum is a proven "knock-down" round. It's hard hitting with a lot of energy and velocity.
     
  23. hexidismal

    hexidismal Member

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    There should have been a poll option for 'both'. There are two guns I use as my primary carry guns now. One is a .357 (SW 66 2 1/2") and the other one is a .45 (1911 5"). Without getting into caliber wars.. those two are the only calibers I want to carry, but I feel equally comfortable and protected with either one. Even though I normally carry the .45 though... if I really had to pick one of the two to answer your original question, I suppose I'd have to say I believe the .357 has a slight edge if you're talking specifically about the chances of a 1 shot stop based on the cartridge alone. I also believe though, that I personally would make a better shot with the single action .45 over the double action .357 .. so even though I think the .357 has a potential edge in the right hands, MY chances of making a 1 shot stop would be better with the .45.
     
  24. john1911

    john1911 Member

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    Either one will work fine. Let her pick the one she is most comfortable with.

    Someone else mentioned a shotgun. That is probably the wisest choice if she's not going to carry. It's easier to learn to shoot a shotgun (or rifle) well than any handgun.

    Personally, I choose a 45acp for self defense. If I'm gonna shoot something with the muzzle flash and recoil of a .357, I'll choose a proper magnum round and use a .44.
     
  25. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    158 grain JHP .357 = 428-451 lb. ft. of energy out of a 4" barrel @ 50 yards.
    230 grain JHP .45 = 326-377 lb. ft. of energy out of a 5" barrel @ 50 yards.

    I'll take the .357.
     
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