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Is .357 Magnum Good for Home Defense? CCW?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Para-Medic, Feb 22, 2012.

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  1. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Member

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    I'm considering getting a 4" S&W 686 .357 Magnum, mainly for home defense, but may consider using it for ccw too. I know it's heavy, but I've concealed just as big. But is .357 Magnum good for self defense and home defense?

    I've probably shot a .357 Magnum about 200 rounds. The recoil and noise didn't seem too bad, but I was outside and wearing ear plugs.

    I've seen some say that .357 Magnum really isn't good for self defense, and especially home defense, because it is very flashy, has a lot of recoil, and a LOT of noise indoors at night. I have a .38 Special and want something more powerful, so I wouldn't get this if I was only going to use .38.

    They say it might cause hesitation or make follow up shots harder using .357. Should I just get a .45 ACP revolver or something? I really like .357's ballistics, but if it's not a good choice I'll just get a .45.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  2. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

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    Well they don't really make revolvers in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. From what I understand .357 is an excellent home defense round.
     
  3. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Member

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    As far as recoil itself, I don't really think that's a big deal. It's the flash and noise. Would it be too much indoors at night?
     
  4. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Member

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    Actually, they do! They use moon clips, if I remember correctly.
     
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Sure they do.
    [​IMG]



    .45ACP revolvers have been around about as long as the cartridge itself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1917_revolver
     
  6. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

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    The .357 Magnum is great for home defense IF you get the electronic ear muffs that amplify sound but dampen gunfire. If you get awakened in the middle of the night, put on and turn on the muffs before you pick up the revolver. If you have someone in the bedroom with you, have another set of muffs. That way you can hear better than the intruder and won't blow your eardrums out with the Mag. Flash isn't the problem it once was with low-flash powders now used uniformly in defensive ammunition. You'll still feel the blast, though.

    I carry a 3 inch Model 13-3 .357 Magnum or a 4 inch Model 10-5 .38 Special as my primary CCW. I have on rare occasions carried a 4 inch Model 681 concealed. It isn't as easy to carry an L-frame concealed, but it can be done.

    ECS
     
  7. mes227

    mes227 Member

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    Sure they do, I own 4: S&W Governor (.45Colt, .45ACP and .410), S&W325, S&W625JM and Dan Wesson .460 Rowland (also chambers .45acp). And any .45Colt revolver can have the cyl cut to allow moonclips and thus chamber .45acp.

    The .357M is perhaps the most successful "manstopper" ever commercialized. It's a fantastic HD ctg. As to carry, they make platforms like the Ruger LCR357 that are easy to conceal. That's what I carry.

    For most SD purposes .38+P is a fine options and doesn't present either the recoil or rapport issues of the mag.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  8. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    Try it and see for yourself. If you can control one and make follow up shots then I'd say that it makes an excellent caliber. You're not that far from one of the ranges that I go if you want to try out one of mine. I can tell you that I have an easier time following up with other calibers, but I have seen plenty of folks make it look easy.

    The last report that I looked at the .357 Mag was running about 164dBs and a 9mm about 159dBs. Firing any gun indoors is going to be at least somewhat unpleasant. While it's not a linear scale, I doubt that I would worry about the additional 5dBs in a SD/HD situation given the alternative.

    I believe that there are a couple companies out there, Speer is one IIRC, that makes .38SPL for short barrels. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they'll reduce the muzzle flash to some extent. I have used it before in my LCR, but not in a 4" barrel and when I did it wasn't in a low light condition so I can't say for sure, but it seems like it could.
     
  9. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

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    Well then I stand corrected.
     
  10. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    It is a fine caliber for HD and CCW. From experience with bullets of .357/.358, I know choose to not trust in a handgun without it being a .44/.45 caliber. A Glock 20 10mm the exception.

    Look for a .44 Special instead of the .357 Magnum. I think it is a better fit for CCW/HD, and is closer to a .45 ACP than a .357 Magnum.

    My current carry is a .32 H&R Magnum Taurus 731 UL. It isn't my main HD gun. That is a shotgun. My .44 SPC is at the gunsmith right now getting customized. I can't wait to get it back.

    Yes, the .32 is smaller than a .357, but it packs some punch with Georgia Arms 100 grain XTPs. They chrony at 1010 fps from my 2" UL, 6 shot revolver. I will still continue to own the .32 H&R Magnum. I really like the caliber. I have put down deer with it out of a 6" single action. It is a good caliber. I like it better than the standard .38 SPC.

    Good hunting.
     
  11. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

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    The question I have to ask now is; Why would you make a revolver in .45 ACP anyhow? I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a noob.
     
  12. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    For people who like revolvers in .45 ACP. Why else? Not everyone is a 1911 guy, or a polymer auto pistol shooter.

    Why make different style cars, or different foods to eat made out of a tomato?
     
  13. KW84

    KW84 Member

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    Old krow, For every 10db increase, sound volume doubles, so .357 is 150% the volume of a 9mm. (or 50% louder)

    That is significant.

    (EDIT: A .22 is 130db or 1/3 the volume of a 9mm.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  14. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    You guys must really hate the report from the big bore magnum revolvers. Or the report of .25-06 in a 22" barrel. Man, that rifle really booms.
     
  15. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    It's actually a little less than 50%. :) You used linear division on a log. I'm just yanking your chain, it's more like 4.4-4.5 difference. However, you're right, it is louder. A 12ga shotgun, according to this site is 165dBs which is largely considered to be instant damage. Even then I would take that over the alternative if I found myself in a position in which I must shoot inside my own home.

    This of course not the case with me, as I said, I'm not that great with a .357 in a CCW/HD scenario, but, if it were the caliber that I chose to defend myself or family due to having the ability to follow up and put the shots where I needed them I would consider the hearing damage insignificant.

    For folks that like revolvers it's a suitable choice because it fills a niche that not very many handguns can. It launches a +.40 cal bullet with manageable recoil. The .44SPL is another, however, the .45 ACP is very common and can be found just about anywhere ammo is sold.
     
  16. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Ever have your picture taken in dim light by someone using a camera with a flash?
    That is what it is like shooting a shorter barrel .357 when your eyes are adjusted to the dark. I prefer a shotgun for home defense.
     
  17. steam.atomic

    steam.atomic Member

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    Thanks Old krow. My experience with revolvers is lacking. I do see a whole lot more .45 than .44 now that I think about it.
     
  18. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    Unless you plan to shoot through barriers which is horrible idea or plan to use .38 or .38+P loads then NO. The 686 is pretty much a range toy might as well get N-framed .44Mag and use magnum or special loads as needed. The .45Auto revolver is horrible idea.
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I wouldn't mind carrying a .357 Magnum outdoors and I shoot a lot of .357 ammo at the range but I do not load my revolvers with .357 Magnum ammo for HD. In the house the revolvers are loaded with the FBI Load. (158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P)
     
  20. charlie echo

    charlie echo Member

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    I like my 44RM, Federal 240 gr Hydrashok HPs. Hope I still have hearing left if I use it indoors to save live(s). Might buy some Cor-Bon 180s.

    We plan to buy couple of 357s: Model-13 or 65' in 3" bbls.
     
  21. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Put in the training time and it's an extremely versatile caliber that's still very popular. There are 686 models that come with target triggers, I have one of these triggers in a 6" and it's very smooth, and light, in DA mode.

    There are a number of personal defense ammunition choices that rate top tier performance and will do you well. Most of the flash comes from the cylinder gap rather than the muzzle, even with some of the flash suppressed powders.

    I've been issued and carried the mag back in the day, furniture and carpet soften the muzzle blast a bit; it's not a serious concern for me but YMMV. :)

    Enjoy, it's a fun and versatile caliber to shoot that will protect you against motivated felons if you take your training to revolver levels.
     
  22. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    I have a 1955 Target, M25-2 that's been used in competition. This model Smith held a number of bullseye target records, also, Sierra has separate handload revolver data that takes 45auto performance up a notch or two adding to its versatility. Moonclips also make for very fast reloads at the range or for personal defense, it's a nice platform/caliber combination either way. :)
     
  23. CSestp

    CSestp Member

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    For home defense I dont think the .357 is the way to go. The flash would be incredible, sound wise a .22 indoors would be painful without hear pro so that a moot point on any gun. I like to keep my PK .380 for home defense just because of the strobe light thats on it with a good count mag, and not worried about the rounds tearing all through the house.

    I carry a Ruger SP 101 5 shot snub nose .357 for personal defense.
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    IMO round count isn't as important as reliability and making good hits. All the ammo in the world means nothing if you don't hit the bad guy.

    I feel a 6 round revolver is just fine for HD especially if you shoot it well. If you think 6 rounds aren't enough go to a rifle or a shotgun. I also have a short barrel shotgun loaded with #4 Buckshot on hand. A levergun is a good choice for HD too.
     
  25. CSestp

    CSestp Member

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    I think round count matters in a HD situation more so than a personal defence situation. Google home invaisions and you will see most have 3-5 bad guys in them. I agree hits count more than anything. But misses happen. With multiple targets you might need xtra rounds.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
     
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