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Help Me Pick a Caliber

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by LouisianaGunslinger, Jan 18, 2012.

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  1. LouisianaGunslinger

    LouisianaGunslinger Member

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    I've been reading THR forums for some time now, and I just decided to make an account and post. Hey all! :D

    Up until yesterday my all-around self defense handgun was my Smith and Wesson Model 28-2 6" in .357 Magnum.

    Well, yesterday I was at the indoor shooting range by myself. I loaded up my self defense .357 load for practice: Winchester Silvertip. A relatively mild load for .357 that still keeps it's well earned reputation for power. I had my ear plugs around my neck, and completely forgot to put them in. I shot the first round and immediately noticed. It felt as if someone just slammed two metal pans against my ears with icepicks attached to them. Very disorienting. It hurt. Didn't cause much ringing or noticeable damage, but it got me thinking...

    If I hear a noise during the night and it wakes me up, I grab my Model 28. If someone was actually in my house and I had to defend myself against them, I think the incredible noise and blast of the .357 Magnum would put me at quite a disadvantage to get rounds off quickly and accurately. I'd already be pretty dazed having just woken up in the middle of the night, and the disorienting noise and blast of the Magnum would not be good.

    I know a large caliber, low pressure cartridge would still be loud, but .357 Magnum has a certain high pitched "crack" that isn't very comfortable.





    Bottom line, I'm wanting to switch to a low pressure, big bore double action revolver in a caliber well known for good stopping power. I want it to be reliable and last a lifetime. Anything calibers and/or revolvers come to mind?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  2. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    You should be looking for a .44 special, S&W, early Charter Arms, Taurus, or the venerable .38 special with standard pressure rounds.
     
  3. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Lightly loaded .44Spl? .45Colt with something just a little stronger than cowboy loads? The idea being that a big heavy bullet moving more slowly will produce less blast noise but still carry a good amount of knock down energy for the sort of penetration you want.

    Really though it's a given that any handgun will hit your hearing like a baseball bat to the head. Even outdoors a .22 handgun is enough to make me jump a little without hearing protection if I'm the one shooting it. The soft loads from cowboy action guns are deeper and softer but still pretty hard hitting to the eardrums outdoors, let alone inside.

    I've seen a number of folks on this forum state that they prefer .38Spl for this same noise reason. It'll still feel like a couple of fry pans slammed your ears but at least the ice picks won't be welded to them like with your .357's... :D
     
  4. murf

    murf Member

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    get the load below the sound barrier (about 1100fps) and the crack will go away.

    murf
     
  5. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    I've been working on this same home protection issue and decided that the only real solution to for me to get a supressor for my 1911 or BHP. Its not a cheap route but I think it will be the best.
     
  6. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    .455 Webley? That's about the quietest big bore revolver I have. Otherwise you might want to think about a S&W 625. I would think a big heavy subsonic bullet with a small powder charge would be about as quiet as you are going to get. Regardless it's still going to be loud.
     
  7. OldCavSoldier

    OldCavSoldier Member

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    Believe me...when your adrenalin is pumping because you have an intruder in your house and you are preparing to engage, if you do pop a cap on the bad-guy, you will never notice it......
     
  8. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    You might not. But a) do you want to count on that, and b) you will still have the damage to your ears that you will live with for the rest of your life.

    I am on board with the OP here. If I can save my family without deafening them (and myself) then why not, so long as it's still an effective round.

    My thinking, if you want a wheel gun is:
    1) S&W 610 loaded with 180gr. .40S&W loads
    2) Model 625 loaded with 230gr. .45ACP
    3) Any .44SPL revolver with 200gr. or heavier.
    4) Any .45LC revolver with 225gr or heavier.

    Of course the load weights are all approximate and it might vary from load to load.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    .45 ACP/AR
    S&W 625 or M22 or New 1917.
    Best ammunition selection and availability.
     
  10. Missionary

    Missionary Member

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    Greetings
    Any caliber that starts with a .4 pushing a 240 grainer (or heavier) at 950 fps is going to put a solid hurt on whatever it impacts. Noise level is bearable.
    Mike in Peru
     
  11. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    Why not load 38S for in the house? A 38 with 158gr XTP will be in the vol of 899 fps. That should do good in the house.
     
  12. KansasPaul

    KansasPaul Member

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    Okay, so you've all got me thinking about this now. How about a BFR in 45/70 loaded with a 420 grain bullet and Trail Boss.... a nice 850 fps.... yeah, I know, silliness but it fits the bill.

    Blessings,

    Paul
     
  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    FWIW I was deer hunting with ported .357's until the time that i rested my gun against a tree trunk to steady the shot. The resulting report was deafening. I actually thought I surely had ruptured my eardrums.

    I now hunt with .45colt. It is a fun cartridge to load (reload). The .45Colt can go from mild to wild.....whatever you want.
     
  14. DTesch357

    DTesch357 Member

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    You have a 357 already, just shoot some 38+P defensive ammunition out of it.

    Problem solved.
     
  15. LouisianaGunslinger

    LouisianaGunslinger Member

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    Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, I'd rather not find out. I've shot a .45 ACP without hearing protection once. While it was loud, it wasn't near as bad as the .357 Magnum.
     
  16. LouisianaGunslinger

    LouisianaGunslinger Member

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    Well, that's certainly an option, and it's what I'll do for now, but I want to make the switch to a larger caliber. It'll be more powerful than .38 Special without the noise of .357 magnum.
     
  17. LouisianaGunslinger

    LouisianaGunslinger Member

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    That's about what I'm thinking. I have a preference for pre-lock S&W's, which makes the 625 and 624 options a bit tricky.

    To clarify, the lock doesn't really bother me, but from my experience S&W's quality control seemed much better before the lock.




    Also, I don't know a whole lot about .44 Special. I know Elmer Keith and Skeeter liked it, so it must be somewhat promising. How does it compare to .45 Colt or ACP? Is it a smaller diameter bullet, and if it is, is it enough to matter? Please educate me on the .44 Special.


    And what are my choices for DA .45 Colt revolvers?
     
  18. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    Why not a 40 cal 15 Rd
     
  19. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

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    If I had to shoot someone, I doubt the noise level of my firearm is going to put me at a disadvantage.
     
  20. LouisianaGunslinger

    LouisianaGunslinger Member

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    I dunno... I think shooting full power .357 Magnums in the middle of the night, suddenly awoken from a deep sleep would be a little disorienting. The noise and blast that hits your head like two iron pans is quite impressive.
     
  21. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    Up until yesterday my all-around self defense handgun was my Smith and Wesson Model 28-2 6" in .357 Magnum.

    The model 28 (Highway Patrolman) was my duty weapon for years, do you carry this tank as a CCW? I would agree with those recommending a .38+P, but you mentioned wanting to move to a larger caliber, so the .44 special or .45 Colt would be my choice. The ultimate "Keith" load is a 250 grain bullet at about 950 fps and either caliber could accomplish that, but as my screen name implies, the .45 Colt is my preference. As a side note to your OP, most people also don't consider the blinding muzzle flash in a dark room from a magnum!;)

    LD
     
  22. LouisianaGunslinger

    LouisianaGunslinger Member

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    In cold weather when I'm wearing a light jacket, yes, I can conceal it and do sometimes. But it isn't exactly the most concealable handgun so I'm usually stuck with carrying my detective special.

    And yup, it sounds like .44 Special and .45 Colt are the two main contenders, with a possibility of .45 ACP. Do you have a Double Action .45 Colt revolver and if so, what is it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  23. LouisianaGunslinger

    LouisianaGunslinger Member

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    Actually, I'm thinking since I have a 1911, I should probably get a .45 ACP revolver for consolidation.

    I know I could just use the 1911 for home and self defense, but I much prefer a revolver.
     
  24. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    I don't notice the report from my rifles when I am hunting, 243 is quite loud but I have never noticed it when I have that adrenaline pumping bringing down that trophy buck. I highly doubt you will notice it in a SD or HD situation either.
     
  25. foxtrotter

    foxtrotter Member

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    Nobody has addressed the issue that if you actually use your firearm in a situation where the police get involved the firearm will be confiscated for evidence until the case is cleared; hence do not use a rare or valuable firearm for SD.
     
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