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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. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Staying on point...

    I have always liked the .357 Magnum, but I know it’s limitations, but more importantly, I know mine.

    I would use it for SD & HD, but prefer 9mm or .38 Spl. For hunting I would limit it to Whitetail sized game, but in a rifle. A .357 Magnum revolver on a hunt is a backup gun for me and mostly carried in case of 2 legged critters, small game or finishing off a deer.

    I am a decent handgun shot but I prefer rifles when hunting, though I haven’t hunted in years.
     
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  2. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    sure I will try to watch it. EDITED: I could not find it in Amazon Prime. May be not available in this region.

    I am also searching some youtube channels etc where experts talk about 357 and its capabilities.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  3. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    The main issues with using a .357 Magnum for self defense/home defense is interpenetration and well the limited number of shot revolvers can carry.
     
  4. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Model 27 - I believe its a collectors item.

    I live in Pakistan. Here either everything (import weapon and ammo) is too expensive or simply not available.

    The other day I was talking to one of the top dealers and he told me he was looking for m.27 as it was the original 357.
     
  5. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    I am just going to respond from the big game hunting realm.
    I would easily hunt up to mule deer with a 357 Magnum.
    In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to use it for elk with the proper bullet.
    For deer sized game I have used the 357 Mag out to just around 200 yards, with more being from 90-150 yards.
    Black Wildebeest at 155 yards.
    QwQp1oil.jpg
    M71BgIVl.jpg
    Under 50 yards with the Warthog
    Springbok 90-100 yards standing, using Bog-Gear
    ewzrQt8l.jpg
    357 Mag with 158's will drift less in wind, and will drop less than the 44 magnum.
    They are easier to shoot, with less recoil as well.
    I have shot one 357 Magnum out to 500 yards on steel...And it grouped quite well FWIW.
     
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  6. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Is that a custom .357 revolver? Who makes that revolver?
    Thanks for posting. Love the photos.
     
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  7. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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  8. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    The 357 is a great all around gun, in fact when we moved back in the woods i got my wife a 7 shot 357 tracker. With some heavy Buffalo Bore rounds it'll surpass 800ft lbs of energy and be great against bear. The 125gr is well noted to be a great manstopper and it'll shoot 38spec for target practice and 38+p for home defence too. It's a versatile and fairly inexpensive round to shoot. It's also suprisingly new shooter friendly all around

    It is though, the lowest powered round I would want to have on me in the woods in the lower 48. It is good enough for bear, well powered for cougar and such plus most anything else you would come across besides say moose.

    If I had only one gun, it would be a 357
     
  9. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Awesome photos and thank you so much for sharing your invaluable experiences.

    Truly gifted life to be able to enjoy and experience hunting like you did.

    It basically reinforce some of my beliefs in .357 with respect to what it can do in a straight out offensively posture to hunt- if it can do just that what you posted then in a defensive manner it can do much more.
     
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  10. HB

    HB Member

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    Eh, 357 sig can’t handle the heavy bullets that a revolver can. 10mm is more or less the same as a 357 but without the snake shot or .38 wadcutters. Not to mention lack of SA trigger option.

    I own a Glock 19 and its probably the best gun for its size/weight. But I’d wager your average 686 is 2x more accurate at 50 yards than your average Glock from a ransom rest.
     
  11. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    For accuracy and for hunting a revolver and a 357 Magnum over a 10mm...All day every day.
     
  12. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I have a 6.5 inch revolver in both cartridges and would have to say with my hand loads I am getting better accuracy with 10mm Auto than 357 Mag. I suspect that has more to do with the revolver S&W vs Ruger than the cartridge. I don't believe there is anything inherent in either cartridge that will make one more or less accurate than the other. The quality of the ammo combined with the quality of the revolver is going to have far more to do with the resulting accuracy than the cartridge when comparing these two particular cartridges.

    l48IrH7l.jpg
    10mm Auto in a revolver putting meat in the freezer.

    xtUKv8Xl.jpg
    6-shot 50 yard group with handloaded 180gr XTP @ 1300 fps on a 3-inch target spot. One lousy flier but still not bad.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  13. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    I am not opposed to 10mm for hunting...They work.
    Most 10MM semi-autos will not group MOA (little alone Sub-MOA) at 100 yards.
    I have never seen a semi-auto 10mm group 1.5 MOA at 100 yards.
    I have never seen a revolver 10mm group 1.5 MOA at 100 yards.
    Can you do 2 MOA? I don't see much grouping from field shooting positions or from the bench at 100 yards with a semi-auto.
    When shooting from field positions a revolver is easier for most. Typically get a better trigger pull as well.
     
  14. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Not sure I have seen a 357 Mag revolver shoot 2 MOA at 100 yards either. But then again I have never run optics on any of my revolvers or handguns. That said 2 MOA at 100 yards is meat in the freezer on a deer.
     
  15. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    The op asked about the limitations of the 357 magnum from a handgun.As someone else said it's limitations have more to do with the shooter's limitations and the gun's limitations than the round itself.

    This is not a big bore caliber but a mid size 38/9mm caliber. Do not expect it to do what big bore calibers can do. So while a few have used mid bore calibers like the 357 Mag as defense against bear it is better at hunting bear than as a defensive tool. At the same time if a person cannot shoot a larger caliber gun fast and accurately under pressure but can shoot the 357 well than it would be the better tool for the job.

    This is a versatile round. It can be a very effective self defense piece with a wide variety of loads. This includes from loads that begin at 38 Spl +P power ranges to 180 gr and 200 gr. loads that will reliably take down deer, hog, coyote, mountain lion and Black Bear at beyond 100 yards if the shooter and gun are capable. With a scope mounted you can get more range. The limitation is not the round but the shooter.

    What load and bullet to use are more important than the caliber per-se.

    The 357 Magnum is a more powerful round than the 357 Sig, the 9mm, 38 Super, or the 40 S&W. It is so because it can handle more powerful loads.

    It's the choices that people make for the 357 that are it's greatest limitations. Getting a light weight J frame revolver and putting the hottest loads you can find in it are in 99% of cases a mistake.

    Taking a scoped revolver hunting and intending to take a 200 pound hog at 130 yards when you know that you can't keep your bullets in the black of a stationary target at 50 yards will also lead to trouble and lead to hearing stories about how the 357 is underpowered.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  16. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    @xphunter thanks for the photos and the insight. It's definitely good to hear real world experience.

    I have a quick question. I see that you do a lot of hunting on open plains. Would your opinion of the .357 mag change if you were hunting different terrain like densely wooded, hilly terrain? Or maybe not your opinion of the cartridge, but would you consider a heavier caliber in that situation? Or stick with the .357?

    Sorry OP, but I think this is in line with the spirit of the thread still.
     
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  17. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    357 good pistol round.
    44 mag good pistol and rifle round.
     
  18. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Sub MOA is very possible with a good revolver in 357 Magnum at 100 yards and even out to 500 yards.
     
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  19. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    It really doesn't matter.
    The 357 Mag, like the 41 Mag or the 44 Mag will kill up close just fine.
    Pick the right bullet for the job at hand, and then it is all about shot placement from whatever field rest you are using.
    I hunt with 44's as well.
    yukF7y3l.jpg
    Jd834oyl.jpg
    Fp1OUwRl.jpg
     
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  20. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Impressive shooting and impressive revolver.

    That is a fair touch of an upgrade from you standard GP100 or 686 both in barrel and sights. Does not look belt friendly though.

    As I said earlier neither 10mm Auto or 357 Magnum is a limiting factor when it comes to accuracy for most revolver shooters. Its usually all about the quality of the ammo and gun, assuming there is a good shooter to drive it.
     
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  21. mcb

    mcb Member

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    That is a unique configure with your revolvers. Is the large slab sided section of the barrel starting at the frame just a barrel shroud/sleeve (for lack of a better term) to give the gun weight and protect the ejector rod or does it server another purpose? I assume the longer barrel you see extending beyond pass through the slab side section and threads into the frame of the revolver?
     
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  22. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    .357 from a 2", 3", 4", 6", 7", 8", they're all different animals. Hollow point, SWC, JSP? Your gun, bullet and target are each, and comnined more limiting than the round itself. If a hollowpoint will expand reliably in an LCR, it probably is going to come apart out of a carbine. .357 is plenty capable, but where it sits ballistically, you need to make careful choices in ragards to its intended purpose.
     
  23. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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  24. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    The shroud/forend, allows the barrel to be free-floated. Now I have forward and a rearward point to get the revolver steady, without worrying about changing harmonics.
     
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  25. mcb

    mcb Member

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    That's even better. So the barrel only touches that shroud right back at the frame then I assume? If you don't mind who was the smith that built it? Did you build it?
     
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