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Limitations of .357 Magnum

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by el Godfather, May 17, 2020.

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  1. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Howdy

    Usually threads are posted with comparison between calibers or questions about what can you do with certain caliber.

    My question today is: what you cannot do with a 357 magnum that will require you to go for a bigger caliber? In other words where does the line end for the 357 magnum, making it useless while still remaining in the realm of handgun calibers.

    My hypothesis is that there isn't any limit if the gun is in seasoned hands. Certain scenarios are conceivable where its bigger brother 44 can do a better job, but it does not mean a job 357 cannot do. Furthermore, anything over 44 is unnecessary and impractical anyways, but thats a different debate.


    PS: we are discussing SD, HD and Woods/Hunting.
     
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  2. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    For me the .357 is a great SD/HD round and very hard to beat if you can run the gun well and the noise/flash isn't a huge issue in your use case. For woods/hunting I think it is great in most of America unless you have large predators then need to step up. I'm good with it for deer but think I would go larger for things bigger than that hunting.

    I'm a big fan and for my east coast life it does about all I need a daily gun to do.
     
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  3. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    I think it's as good as you could want for SD, maybe a bit much for HD (overpenetration of walls, etc. , but great for stopping the perp). For hunting, anything up to a whitetail deer within 50 yards, and maybe for black bear as a defense round, IF you're using a 6" barrel and can look him in the eye before pulling the trigger. Beyond that, .41 or .44 Magnum.
     
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  4. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I am a 357 Mag hater. There is nothing I use 357 Mag for currently. I own two 357 Mag revolvers. One rarely gets used, a Ruger Blackhawk that has had more 9mm through it than 357 Mag. The other one is my competition revolver a S&W 627 that gets a steady diet of 38 Short Colt in competition. My woods carry and conceal carry revolvers are both 38 Special. My hunting revolvers was 10mm Auto and that has now been upgraded to a 44 Mag. There is nothing really wrong with 357 Mag other than its very noisy for what it is. I have simply found for my uses other cartridges do what I want better than 357 Mag. YMMV
     
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  5. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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  6. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    I think it's a great target gun and a good S/D round outside inside i will load 38 For hunting for me it starts with a 4
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    1 is less than 2, 2 is less than 3, 3 is less than 4......pick the number for the job at hand. All things have limitations.

    Self defense? The .357 Mag is more than adequate.

    Large dangerous game? I want something bigger, such as .44 Mag.

    People en mass one will never agree where to draw the line on where .357 Mag ends and something larger picks up.
     
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  8. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    Thread needs pics of some .357s... :) BB14FBA0-A831-4EBC-8C2A-20EEC22D60F2.jpeg 5B6D1719-D336-46BB-9156-AC01D9DB4A2D.jpeg
     
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  9. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    An excellent duty revolver for LE and hunting medium size game. Fed .38+P Specs it will serve for SD/HD and .38 Spls it can be a very accurate target round. The K frame is as large a revolver I'd want to CC.
    For dangerous critters and hunting large game I'd prefer a .44 Mag, which, when fed .44 Spls, is excellent medicine for HD/SD and accurate target work, but too large (for me, not Inspector Callahan) to CC.
    I said goodbye to the mighty .357 when I left the SO, but still have fond memories.
    If all I had was a good .357 with a 4" barrel I'd be GTG.
     
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  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    If it’s what you have then use it to the best of your ability.

    If you have a choice then.....no one ever seems to remember so just read the sig.
     
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  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    In many respects the reverse is often true.
     
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  12. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Shoot a larger diameter, heavier bullet, farther and with better penetration and expansion upon impact.

    The .357 Magnum is the entry level Magnum. Most adventures into the realms of Magnum handgun cartridges start here. If they end here? Well that's not much of an adventure now is it.
     
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  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I killed deer with this .357 20160824_094659.jpg ...and this .357
    20180912_213405.jpg and this one...... 20160920_223131.jpg all were successful, but definitely not clean. A pencil sized hole is a slow death. 158gr LNFPSWC. And 158gr XTPs.
    Once when resting that ported Taurus against a tree, I was certain that I had lost my hearing from one unprotected shot. It was painful.
    I migrated to a .45colt for deer hunting.
    20170130_075926.jpg I decided that bigger holes worked better.

    I dont know what's wrong with me, but I still buy .357s, and carry them as a ccw from time to time despite their poor performance on my deer hunts.
     
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  14. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    The only 4-footed critter I ever killed with a .357 mag and 158 gr JHP bullets was a big-old dairy goat who had finally gotten so arthritic she had to be put down. One shot through the shoulder that wrecked her lungs and she died pretty quickly.

    Like any medium-bore it'll work when conditions are favorable. As the others have stated, a .41, .44 or stiff .45 Colt gives you a lot more wiggle room when things aren't perfect.

    Stay safe.
     
  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I never have hunted big game with a .357 Magnum. I love the cartridge and would very much like to hunt with it, but am afraid to learn for myself that it is not quite adequate.

    I strongly suspect that with a heavy LBT shape - either cast or monometal - it is perfectly reliable if the hunter is willing to wait for the right shot. I also would much rather have something quite a bit bigger if things were to go wrong.

    And I suppose that last line is why I have not yet hunted big game with the .357, and probably will not.
     
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  16. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Indoors, I would prefer something with less concussion, such as .45 ACP or .45 Colt, but in the open, the .357 Magnum is quite versatile, with ammo that is suited to the task. I reckon I would up-gun, for walking about in large-bear habitat, but “up-gun” might well mean carrying a Benelli M2, with appropriate slugs, while the GP100 remains the belt gun. If I cannot have the long gun, well, I do have a Ruger SRH Alaskan revolver.
     
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  17. HB

    HB Member

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    Its the biggest gun most people can hit something with. Its the jack of all trades And master of none.

    Shoots flat compared to most handgun rounds. But its a pea shooter compared to a 44.

    In a CCW most 357s would be same size/weight as a 15-20rnd semi. But, a 3” 5 shot 357 for a woods gun cant be matched in semi auto form.

    Realistically a 5 shot snub or a glock 19 would fill 99% of a 357’s roles... but i’d still pick a 4” 357 if I could only have one handgun.
     
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  18. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I would not choose it for ccw, or for dangerous game. In a 20 in or longer rifle it makes a decent deer brush gun, a great kids hunting rifle, pest/varmint control, and a fun target gun. My favorite is for pistol caliber siloette but I also like 45 colt.
     
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  19. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    The closest I been to deer has been on my bicycle riding a bike trial. The first time was in daylight, catching sight of it of eating ~12 Yards away. I sudden made a sound and the animal quickly took off. The Second time was at night time coming home from work, it came right out on the trail running aside me some mere feet away. I could see the Stag's eyeballs, and it's multiple points of it Antlers in great detail... It went back in trees after maybe ~5 minutes or so of running.

    I certainly haven't forgotten that event...
     
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  20. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    I'm a .44 Mag. guy when it comes to revolver hunting. But when it comes down to target shooting and plinking, I love 357 revolvers.

    I reload my 586, 686, Blackhawk, DW 15 and GP100 with light 38 special rounds for target use. But I also have mag loads that I will use on whitetail inside of 50 yards. I use irons and that's just where I'm comfortable with handgun hunting.

    Also depends on what your hunting. "The line ends" with 357 for me if I were to be in bear country. I'd feel more comfortable with a 454 or better yet, a rifle. Or both.
     
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  21. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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  22. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Here are the two 357s I own, provided that I would to add another in 8”. I was told someone was selling Colt King Cobra in that configuration around my neck of woods.
     

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  23. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    10mm is its equal. I prefer it in a 1911.
    Change that to 'revolver' and I'd agree.
    DSC01535.JPG
     
  24. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I agree 10mm is very similar to 357 Mag ballistically. And a 10mm revolver reloads quicker with it's shorter fatter cartridges on thicker more robust moonclips. Not an attribute many revolver shooters look for but something to consider maybe.
     
  25. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    In reality, other than Dangerous Game, the only thing that limits the .357 is the person pulling the trigger. While there are handguns that make bigger holes, shoot farther and hold more rounds, in capable hands, the .357 is very capable within it's parameters. Parameters and limitations are two different things.
     
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