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Someone can explain to me the 357 Magnum "struck by lightning" myth??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by saturno_v, May 5, 2008.

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  1. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    This is what i read about the good old .357...
    Someone described that people hit by the round seems to react like being "struck by lightning".....it is a myth or reality???

    What that exactly means?? Can someone descibe this particular "reaction" by people hit by a .357 slug??

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. markmc753

    markmc753 Member In Memoriam

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    Sure. But it is more fact. You see, a bullet with the exact diameter of .357 traveling at a velocity of between 1250 and 1500 fps at an elevation between sea level and 5000 feet has the remarkable effect of synthesizing and envelope of highly excited, positively charge ions around it that create static friction as the envelope travels along the bullet's trajectory. Upon impact, this electrical energy along with the energy of the round itself are dumped into the target.
     
  3. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Don't believe the hype about knock-down power from handguns. No pistol is powerful enough to really knock a man down from the bullet impact. He may react violently due to bone splintering or a muscle contraction but the slug doesn't have the hitting power to physically affect a man.
     
  4. DPris

    DPris Member

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    I think Mark has it.
    In fact, I've never seen it put quite so well in my entire life.
    Denis
     
  5. kentucky bucky

    kentucky bucky Member

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    You guys are joking ........aren't you?
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    In it's hottest loadings from a service weapon, energy can kill. It ain't all about what the bullet touches. But, it is still very minimal in a handgun. In a RIFLE length barrel, though, it can kill like a .30-30. It puts up energies in the 1200-1400 ft lb range in the hottest loadings from a 20" rifle barrel. I hit a deer last year with a .30-30 from a Contender at about 90 yards, pushing over 1100 ft lbs on impact. The bullet passed through rib/lung high behind the shoulder and about 3" below the spine. It dropped so fast I didn't see it drop due to the recoil of the gun and I didn't have time to look around the scope before it'd fallen in the grass DRT. I'm convinced it was pressure wave damage to the spinal cord that produced such a quick kill. When you get up over 1000 ft lbs, things like that can happen. They won't necessarily happen, but can. But, in handguns, from 4" revolvers, a good .357 load is only making about 600 ft lbs, so it's not really a lightening bolt. :rolleyes: I've killed deer with the caliber and none went more'n about 25 yards, though. It's pretty effective on medium game. Good to actually shoot and KILL things with a gun to see just how well it works. I won't do the deer the disfavor of shooting 'em with a .45ACP or 9x19, .357 is my minimum for hunting. Out of my 6 1/2" Blackhawk my load 158 grain load makes 760 ft lbs and my 180 XTP/JHP makes 785 ft lbs at the muzzle. That's plenty for a quick, humane kill on a whitetail out past 50 yards where energies have dropped into the range of a 4" service revolver at the muzzle. So figure for yourself how effective a 140 JHP is on a lighter skinned human.
     
  7. wuchak

    wuchak Member

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    Yup. That's why it's also know as "Thor's Hammer". Pretty exciting to shoot them in the dark.
     
  8. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    What they're talking about is the mass/energy ratio that makes the bullet so damaging. You can say that a 44Mag is the most deadly, but you might simply be buying into hype. You can read several Terminal Ballistics papers and never understand anything said in it except one thing: Shot placement is still key.

    A 9mm to the COM or head is more likely to be deadly than a 44 to the gut.
     
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Mark...Can you repeat that again without lookin'??
     
  10. HammerBite

    HammerBite Member

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    Sometimes when shooting .357s at night we will turn off the range lights so we can see the streaks of St. Elmo's fire going to the target.
     
  11. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Do you mean what Mas Ayoob quoted DPS troopers as calling the "lightning bolt" effect? Keep in mind that "myth" does NOT mean something is totally untrue. I have seen footage of people hit with various handgun rounds, and often, they don't even flinch. I have seen a person hit with the 125-grain JHP "Classic" silver-box load by Federal, and the myth was true at that particular date and time. Total cessation of forward movement; total change in demeanor; blood flowing like water hoses; a slow turn to his right; a slow, staggering, dead man's walk for 39 feet. Others standing to the side saw the pink mist effect, from the exit wound. We found pieces of bullet jacket in the red plume on the pavement. The entry wound was impressive. Exit was in his armpit area, with so much blood, it was difficult to see.

    Down here in Texas, the .357 is no myth. Texas DPS went to the .357 SIG for a reason. The .357 magnum has worked for Texas peace officers for a long time, and the 125-grain load made it work much better. Mas Ayoob, Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow did not invent this cartridge's reputation. I am sure there have been failures with this load, and even learned of one first-hand, from a co-worker who saw it happen. I still carry this load in my GP100 sixguns.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  12. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Yes, they're kidding about the "actual lightning" :rolleyes:.

    But, a good 357 round is a hell of a good stopper.

    Buffalo Bore and Doubletap compete for the title of "most thermonuclear ammo". Both have 125gr 357 JHPs that can hit 1,600fps from the better (read: faster) 4" barrels, such as the newer S&W tubes and most Rugers. That's almost 800ft/lbs energy.

    I shot one of these monsters at a bowling ball at 20 paces. Gun was a Ruger New Vaquero 357, 4.68" barrel. Split that thing in half, sent pieces of the concrete innards back past my feet. The guy I was shooting with who owned the ex-ball said that he'd never seen a handgun do that to a bowling ball ever.

    The projectile was a Gold Dot "high speed variant", which would very likely expand and hold together at that velocity. This is a serious manstopper of a load, one of the nastiest available.

    However.

    The 357 earned it's killer rep in the '70s when most hollowpoints didn't expand. Due to raw speed and energy, the 357 did most of the time despite primitive JHP designs. The Remington "full house" 125 is an example of that breed, still in use because it works despite being primitive as a stone axe. During that same period, there wasn't as much projectile development on the 41 and 44Mag, so despite their higher energy numbers the 357 was considered (rightly at the time) the better manstopper.

    Today, there are some very good 44Mag JHPs out there that would probably hit even harder than even the best 357s like that Doubletap 125 that flattened that bowling ball.

    But...the best 357s leave the 9mm+P, 40S&W and many other slugs in the dust.
     
  13. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Member

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    I think the point behind the lightning comments is that "It wouldn't have been any more dramatic if he had been struck by lightning".

    No, a .357 magnum isn't lightning.

    But it DOES seem to have a dramatic effect on those that it touches.

    It's a figure of speech, and not to be taken literally.

    Kinda like when you say "Bite Me"... you don't expect them to actually put their teeth on you, do you?
     
  14. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Ah, now we're getting down toward the truth,
    said the owner of .357 mag in revolver and carbine.

    FFrank's got a handle on it, too.
    Lightning is a metaphor.
    It's all about metaphor.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    .357 Magnum...

    I don't know about lighting bolts, but I just know the .357's exit wounds tend to be exceedingly nasty: A guy (intoxicated) turned his foot into hamburger with a .357, a suicide literally blew his brains out with one, to name just two which occurred on my shift (at different times, of course.) Both these incidents occurred with revolvers.

    So, yeah, I opine that the .357 Magnum is at least effective as a self-defense round.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  16. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Member

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    What I gather from available data is that handguns are better for self-defense than throwing small rocks. If you can pitch a really big rock it might work better, but they are, of course, tough to carry and conceal. A central nervous system hit will stop your target cold, whether you're using 22lr or 44mag. A hit in any other location and you must wait for blood loss-induced shock to disable your assailant, and that can take a while regardless of caliber. On the other hand, maybe you'll get lucky and lightning will strike.
     
  17. Dan-O

    Dan-O Member

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    Rent or borrow one and shoot it a few times. It ain't no joke.
     
  18. batmann

    batmann Member

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    Cool reponse markmc753, now I/m confused--LOL
    A .357 is no better no worse than any handgun round without proper bullet placement.
    If you go with a .357--get a GOOD 125 gr hollow point. Fastest is not allways bestest.
     
  19. markmc753

    markmc753 Member In Memoriam

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    I was joking... BUT shoot a hot 357 round out of my S&W 360pd and it will feel like a bolt of lightening struck your hand :)
     
  20. Lashlarue

    Lashlarue member

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    357 magnum was the first of the high powered loads, and I can differentiate the distinctive crack it makes when fired.No other cartridge sounds the same.45acp is distinctive also ,but it makes a lower pitched boom.44 magnum is loud but doesn't have crack sound the 357 has.And although I own several 9mm's they simply sound wimpy!Let the flaming begin. Actually I prefer carrying the 9mm, it's like having a silencer when compared to larger calibers.
     
  21. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    I agree. The .357 has a very sharp report which I find unpleasant.

    The reason I have fairly substantial hearing loss today is because of my stupidity in shooting quite a few .357 Mags (couple hundred?) without hearing protection in one session. :banghead:
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  22. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Especially when fired from a short barrel (the 2 1/4" in my Ruger SP101, just the report from the Remington SJHP sounds like a thunderclap. The blast wave will also blow a paper target around from 15 feet. Whether all this noise is actually pushing the bullet faster I can't say.
     
  23. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Member

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    Its not limited to the .357 . If you have ever hit your " funny bone " on your elbow you can understand the sympathetic nerve reaction . Most if not all Officers know that if you smack someone hard enough in the right spot on one leg with any form of baton the other leg will also fold . Its the same principal and not one i would choose to rely on for stopping power .
     
  24. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Don't know about the phancy reaction stuff but: 33 years ago
    when I put a couple 110 grain Supervels from a 2.5" model 19 from 20 feet away into a jacked up Jamaican drug dealer holding a .380 PPK on me he dropped(and let go of the gun) and howled ! One was in upper thigh near hip and one just left of center thru the lower belly. What a nasty looking wound (entrance no exit!).
    Guess I forgot to say "drop the gun" so he gave me a lot of crap testimony, playing the race card,from his wheel chair during his trail. He actually was deported rather than imprisoned, judge felt sorry about his colostomy bag ect!
     
  25. James T Thomas

    James T Thomas Member

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    Once upon a time

    You may have to do a search at "Snopes," but I believe the 357 magnum "Struck by Lightning" myth was the forunner to today's "Global Warming" -theory.

    But remember, it is all backed up by scientists and proveable data.

    -And, and, all of the police brass at the time nodded their heads in approval so that the men on the streets would have great confidence.
     
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