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Thread: 357 mag worship

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    357 mag worship

    As the title eludes to ... this is a comment on the 357 S&W magnum revolver's usefulness.

    Until the advent of the 357 mag, the 45 Colt was king. The 357 made power with a speeded up projectile ... whereas the 45 Colt does it's deal with low pressures and big heavy projectiles.

    Dont get me wrong here ... I really like my 45's. They might just be my all time favorite revolver chambers.

    Having said this ... the 357 might just be the best all round chambering in revolvers to date. You can tailor them with handloads for mouse size hunting to deer/black bear size critters which fills the bill for MOST of us.

    Loading lite boolits at 550 to 650 FPS gets us into very fun target/small game loads. These loads can feed your belly over a camp fire or give plenty of target style shooting on a budget ... very cheap.

    Loading with medium weight bullets/boolits in the 125 to 140ish realm with very deep hollow point projectiles at around 1000 to 1100 FPS and maybe faster gives a very effective self defense load that is still very viable as a man stopper.

    Loading 158 grain to 200 grain boolits to as fast as safely possible gives a very agreeable hunting load for black bear, deer or any such weight table fodder. These give fair to great penetration on these animals and with proper shot placement ... are really acceptable for hunting medium game.

    Revolvers that fill this general bill are plentiful and relatively affordable. High quality in most cases ... they exhibit very good accuracy and rugged dependability.

    The shootability of these revolvers are just excellent . The recoil is lite and very controllable as well as not developing extreme ... [for the most part] ... muzzle blast.

    4 and 6 inch barrel length give most the perfect revolver size for most shooters. The balance and "grip-a-bility is very good for most of us. The recoil with these middle road revolvers is extremely easy to learn to control. The medium frame size ... smith k and l frames, ruger GP's, single action Colt style revolvers ... are semi concealable, easy belt or shoulder holster carry and plain comfy revolvers to shoot, handle and care for.

    All in all it is my opinion that while not maybe a specialty chambering ... and most certainly not a heavy for Large game chamber ... the 357 mag IS a just rite round for ALL general use for the most of us ... particularly for my use for sure. There is certainly better self defense ... better LARGE game ... better plinking rounds but ya gotta know that in an all around ... all in one chambering ... be pretty hard pressed to find a better built , easy accessible round and handgun combo to be found.

    Letz hear it for the mighty 357 MAGNUM!
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I've owned more handguns over the last fifty years than I can even remember. I've had several custom built in a variety of calibers. For forty years I hunted deer exclusively with handguns and the cartridge of choice when it was all said and done was the .357mag. I've owned other calibers and killed deer with all of them. I've taken over fifty deer with the .357mag alone. The only deer I ever lost with a handgun was one shot with the 44mag using a full power load. The lesson here is that if you hit them right the .357mag is all you need. If you make a bad hit it doesn't matter what caliber you're using. Regardless of all the hoopla I've read over the years about which handgun caliber is best for deer hunting nothing has changed my mind on the .357mag, and that's based on personal experience not what I read in a magazine...or based on a limited amount of experience. Having shot over fifty myself (probably close to sixty by now) I have a pretty good idea of what it can do. If you can shoot...and I mean well, it's all the gun you'll need. If you can't, it won't matter what you have in your hand. For me, it's two thumbs up for the .357mag.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Its perfect; much like the .270 Win. I have no use for either

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    I have 4 pistols and two rifles in
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I especially like this round loaded with the RD 175 grain RNFP boolit over a stout load of 2400. It works well in my 28-2 and 8-shot 627 as well as my Rossi carbines. GF

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I've had 'em off and on. Recently sold my last one. I prefer the boom of the 45 Colt to the loud crack of the 357 in the woods. 45 ACP, 38 Special or 9mm is more than enough for PD. I even carry a 380 on occasion. Don't really have any use for the 357, but I will probably buy one again some day, for some reason......

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Shoot more of them than anything else. Says something!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Yes, the Swiss Army knife of handguns.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    Yes, the Swiss Army knife of handguns.
    Jawhol, mein Herr!

    Early on, 40 years or so ago...my late Brother-in-law and I settled on what we call "Hot.38-Mild Magnum loads for our 357s. His maximum load was an overload of 2400 powering the Lyman 358156 Gas Check boolit (I think that's what his mould was.) FULL case of 2400, squoosh the boolit down on top (good thing he was shooting a Ruger Blackhawk) and let 'er rip! Whoo! Beach ball size muzzle flame,even at noon... small animals hopping around in circles, blinded and deafened by the roar, and bushes 6 feet from the muzzle curling up and turning brown! Welll...maybe not quite, but close!

    Point is he liked to shoot it. Me, not so much. With the 357, we can shoot/load what we like best, and can have fun doing it! For some, the ooold argument "You're not getting your Money's Worth from your Magnum, shooting "Mouse loads" has charm. Mouse? I'd like to see the mouse that could stand up to even a standard pressure .38 Spl. wadcutter at ~700 fps. Orrr...maybe not; at my age I couldn't outrun it after I had just made him mad!

    Now, I enjoy shooting "Warm" .38 +Ps as a very satisfactory recreational load with other uses, too.
    Last edited by sniper; 01-14-2020 at 04:50 PM.
    IT IS A FINE AND PLEASANT MADNESS !

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I can only tell of my experience, having shot deer with both the .357 Magnum and the .45 Colt. While the .357 Magnum will definitely kill them, the effect of a .45 Colt on them is much greater. Big hole in, big hole out, adds up to lights out. Just my observation.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Yes I have read and seen and heard most of the reasons why the 357 is anemic, sub-calibre and hum drum for a handgun round. For me tho ... I do see it as the 270 WCF of revolvers ... I like em both!

    The 357 can and does deliver on all counts. It does so with flat trajectory, plenty of power and while not a huge bore ... the medium bores have been gettin it done for decades now.

    As a lite plinker that is economic ... it may not have any peers.

    Thanks for the reply's. Keep em comin
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    357, For me the The best all around handgun cartridge. 90% of my handgun shooting is range time and for that it is perfect. Handload mild to wild with no brass to chase or pick up. And for camping, a mid frame and for SD or carry a small j frame.
    That's my story and along with my boyhood hero , Skeeter skelton, I'm stickin to it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    so why is bulk ammo so hard to find. 9mm, 38 special, et all but I have never seen bulk buys on 357 magnum
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rancher1913 View Post
    so why is bulk ammo so hard to find. 9mm, 38 special, et all but I have never seen bulk buys on 357 magnum
    Good question.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    and because no one posted this yet, a Skeeter classic;

    http://www.darkcanyon.net/MyFriend_The357.htm
    ..

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Bigted -

    Howdy

    You're "preachin' to the choir " !

    "N' frame .357Mag's have been my carry gun for 45yr now. First... a 6" M-28, then for a long time a 5" -27; then on o a M-58 frame outfitted w/ a liner for .357Mag along w/ a M-28 cylinder; and finally to my idea of CCW perfection..... an former NYSP M-520 fitted w/ a custom 4" bull barrel, trigger guard relieved on front right side, combat trigger, bobbed hammer ( no spur ), action work by Dave Schwarze, manganese phosphate finish; and completed w/ custom Herretts Jordan Trooper stock in Goncalo Alves. I had Herretts include a superbly fashioned and well placed speedloader relief in the top of the Lt grip.

    Rem 125JHPs get the nod. Practice and other shooting accomplished using 158-172gr Lyman SWCs over 14.5gr WW296 and SP Mag primer.

    Carried often in a Ken Null custom ultra-high ride of my own design, which includes a notable fwd rake on the muzzle angle (keeps arm/wrist geometry
    in-line w/ barrel axis to prevent a bent wrist draw ). Cylinder located above top of belt line on strong side. I also use a Bianchi Pistol Pocket intended for a
    4" M-19, which I stretched out to hold the larger "N". Clips-on inside belt in small of back. w/ barrel located.....well.... you know where. This under-shirt carry mode works very well under summer wt shirts, and the gun's finish resists any propensity to rust unbelievably well !

    .357Mag..... all-the-way !!


    Check this out.....

    With regards,
    357Mag

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    My first center fire handgun was/is a 6inch 27. Then I discovered the.44 Magnum and then the .44 special. I shoot a lot of .44 special. I read once a quote to the effect that .357's make excellent. 38 specials. I have to wonder how many .357's spend most of their lives as .38 specials. Still despite my personal biases, I usually reccomend a da .357 as a the handgun for a person just starting out who wants one handgun.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Doughty's Avatar
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    I carried one a lot in my younger days. On the range with ear plugs and muffs, it was okay. But in the field, I just hated it. I passed up so many "shots of opportunity" because I didn't want an earache afterwards. The .45 auto and the .45 Colt can be loud, but I don't pass on shots because of the noise.
    AKA "Old Vic"
    "I am a great believer in powder-burning".
    --Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Funny I I've told my wife several times lately that with all the political issues going on. If I had to give up most of my guns (never gonna happen!) That a medium frame single or double action revolver in 38/357 would be what I would keep. First centerfire handguns I got as a teenager. Ive had one or the other for at least 40yrs.

  20. #20
    357mag. the 30-30 of handgun cartridges!
    Put it in the right spot, it'll get the job done!

    BigboreShooter

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check