Before the Desert Eagle, there was the Coonan Arms .357 Automatic. “The gun got started because of an argument with my college roommate Steven Greg Bornus,” Dan Coonan tells TTAG. “Steven said the .357 revolver was the best gun in the world. I said .45 automatic. So we went down to an old gravel pit for a shootout. The gun that could dump 12 rounds into a 55 gallon drum fastest would win. I left him standing in a cloud of gun-smoke . . .

“So then Steven said the .357 was ballistically superior. ‘You should get a .45 automatic.’ I said ‘Well there isn’t one.’ So I made one. I got six college credits for it,” the Mankato State University graduate recalls proudly. “Three for the magazine, three for the pistol.”

The Coonan .357 Automatic was born.

And then, eventually, died. Dan sold Coonan Arms, worked for them for a bit, and then headed for the hills. “They bankrupted out sometime in the 90’s,” Dan says without a trace of wistfulness.

But not before a group of gunsmiths working for the company left Coonan’s employ to start Magnum Research, makers of the now-infamous (and Kahr Arms-owned) Desert Eagle.

Twenty years after he stopped making .357 Automatics, Dan Coonan is back at it. Thanks to a new partner and a fresh team of craftsman, the engineer aims to show the Eagle folks what for, American-style.

“Everything in this gun is America-made,” Coonan says, pointedly. “That was always very important to me.”

The 57-year-old gunsmith reckons his new and improved .357 Automatic is a better gun than the “other” .357 semi-automatic weapon produced by a company that shall—from this point in the conversation forwards—remain nameless.

“The .357 is still a tremendously popular cartridge. It’s extremely versatile, with everything from light to heavy loads . . . Their gun can only handle fully-jacketed bullets. It doesn’t work with light loads. Ours can handle anything. Look at the picture on our website of my girls shooting the gun.”

Note the weapons’ color; it’s the “gun of the fuchsia.” Oy.

Coonan’s new mob are geared up to produce 100 .357 Automatics per month “for right now.” About 100 guns are on order, with shipments starting this month. Well, “by September, anyway.”

Each gun costs . . . Dan doesn’t even bother to cover the phone as he asks someone in the back office for the retail price. “$1199,” he repeats. Spoken like a true engineer.

Dan says he’ll send TTAG a review gun ASAP. That should be a hoot. Meanwhile, I feel obliged to say that Dan hopes that revenge is a dish best served in .357 caliber.

55 Responses to The Return of the Coonan .357 Automatic

  1. its good to see other options out there. I have been thinking of getting a semiautomatic 357magnum but until now I only had 1 option if I wanted a new gun.

    I am extremely happy to see a new one out there, I am also very excited that it looks like a 1911!

    Cant weight to see how they shoot.

  2. I current shoot a S&W model 19. Love the .357 ballistics. Want an auto. Coonan is the best of both worlds. So Coonan is my current dream firearm. Thanks for keeping the dream alive.

  3. Truth be told, I first considered the possibility of a semi-auto .357 magnum because of the game “Resident Evil.” I didn’t think it actually existed, until I did an internet search and came up with the Coonan .357 magnum. Awesome. I fully intend to buy one soon….as soon as the wife let’s me. lol

  4. I am the proud owner of a Coonan 357 Automatic. I love the gun and have used it to hunt wild boar in California. It stops them in their tracks. I have punched holes in engine blocks with it. It produces more pressure than the revolver with the same load due to the closed chamber and not loosing any pressure due to blow by in a revolver. I have only found 2 short comings with the pistol. First the grips. With hot loads it is hard to hang onto with the smooth wood grips it comes with. I replaced mine with rubber grips. Second the factory sites are poor and not very easy to adjust. I replaced mine with fully adjustable target sites. The Pistol will now out shoot any 45 in competition. In the original manual it says you can shoot 38P ammo but you need to change the main spring. I tried this and found it to be not very reliable, so I went back to just using 357 mag ammo. The Pistol likes hot loads and is very impressive in sound and performance with them. I will be interested to see the new model and compare the two. The one I have is excellant in fit and finish and is one of the best made guns I have ever seen. The stock trigger lets off at 3 1/4 pounds crisply but does have some creep to it. Once I got used to that it did not present to be a problem. I bought mine new in 1987 for $825.

  5. There was a similar automatic back in the ’20s. It was the Super .38! It is still super and will hang right in there with the .357 Mag.
    I know, I have one.

  6. This is one he** of a gun! Took me about 100 rnds to get used to the “sound and fury,” then I was able to shoot tight groups with it. I shoot it every bit as well as an accurized custom .45. Buffalo Bore 158gr. SJHP’s cronyed at around 1570 fps, which means this gun delivers almost twice the muzzle energy of a .45! What’s not to like?

  7. That is me in the YouTube video. It is a good gun, just unusual to load the magazines. I think the recoil of a 158 grain 357 magnum round is actually less than that of a 45 ACP. A 125 grain 357 magnum round is a little bit more but still controllable. If you want a full size 1911 style pistol with more power than the 45 ACP then this is the gun for you.

  8. i had a coonan model B about 10 years ago. it was by far the best pistol i owned., out of the guns that i had. in the club it was nicknamed the cannon as it drowned out the other guns in use. it was loaded with a150 grain lead bullet using 2400 powder giving approx 1600ft per second. it was also a very accurate gun. best wishes to dan in his future exploits

  9. Is it possible to convert some semi-auto pistol to fire the .357 Magnum cartridge?
    By using a barrel reamed/chamber to the .357 cartridge. As long as the barrel can drop-in the slide and line-up with the breech so it can extract and eject in any current handguns out there.

  10. Is it possible to convert a semi-auto pistol to fire the .357 magnum cartridge?
    Just by chambering a barrel to the .357 cartridge and as long as you can drop-in the barrel/slide and fits the breech face for firing, extracting and ejecting the mt case.

  11. The magazine was the unique part about the Coonan pistol. The extraction and ejecting was pretty straight forward. Smith and Wesson had a pistol that shot .38 specials. If you want a factory 1911 with .357 power, the 9×23 by Colt is an option although hard to find. .38 Super is still a good round. I think .357 Sig is best any factory will come to the Coonan in mass production.

  12. Thus, the ectomorph will be pushed to the required calorie zone.
    You can also eat all the fruits you desire, except for bananas.
    Eat any foods they liked, as long as they were low
    on the glycemic index.

  13. But, once you have been doing it for awhile,
    you will find that you have most of what you need, and
    that you need to pick up the occasional item or two. Although I am focusing on
    parents as teachers in this article, all can benefit from reading through this.

    Does the machine shift mild and hefty fabric evenly.

  14. The hard-shell cover with microfiber lining inside is nowhere near
    as pretty as Logitech’s but this i – Pad buddy does
    offer superior protection. After all, I’m not going to write a novel on
    this thing. Dell’s first tablet PC followed,
    then the i – Phone, and now the i – Pad and i – Pad 2.

  15. Countless whiteboards are thrown out on a regular
    basis because eventually, they become worn and unusable.
    Stoddard recommends engineered wood flooring for seaside homes,
    because it’s scratch-resistant—and less
    like to be damaged by tracked-in sand—and requires less maintenance.
    The other side of the easel is a chalkboard, so we also included the MALA chalk in our purchase.

  16. Can I just say what a relief to find somebody who genuinely knows what they are
    discussing online. You actually know how to bring
    a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people really need
    to read this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more
    popular since you certainly have the gift.

  17. So you’ll want to know the truth about the book InThe Truth About Six Pack AbsIn?
    Speaking spanish training would be the best option for you.

    And in european request there are actually several levels or quantities.

  18. Choose darker woods, like walnut or cherry, for a den or a bedroom.
    The future is bright for dry erase boards and more efficient communications.
    That means teachers need to make necessary changes in
    the classroom to protect allergy-sensitive students.

  19. Termite inspectin onbly inspections for termites, it’ll not examine the heating and aair units.
    Twice today, I have noticed a bat in our household. As cautious, firsttime buyers-we made sure to dot
    all of our i’s and cross all our t’s.

  20. These impressive games may also come with a excellent version,
    with more packs and maps of new diverse autos and weapons.
    In my opinion, this is probably the most genius concept in gaming history.
    Be sure to place a self-healing cutting mat or old phone book under your project to protect your work surface as you cut.

  21. I got this web site from my friend who told me on the topic of this
    site and now this time I am browsing this web site and reading very informative articles here.

  22. Excellent way of explaining, and nice post to get information regarding my presentation
    focus, which i am going to present in institution oof higher education.

  23. cyanitic cyanogen cyanosed cyanoses cyanosis cyanotic cybersex cycasins.
    pettable pettedly pettiest pettifog pettings pettling petulant petunias.
    chippy   chiral   chirks   chirms   chiros   chirps   chirpy   chirre.

  24. First-time home-buyers programs allow visitors to become Florida
    property homeowners. The second reason is to discount cash out
    of the final for your consumer to accomplish it. My partner and I recently purchased this home.

  25. Like language barriers and cultural barriers, system platform barriers are setting out to fade away quickly.
    We’re doing the Morgan Page tour up until then and then after that we’re doing a couple more weekend shows and then
    we’re going to take two weeks off in December and hit the
    ski slopes and just relax and hit some studio time and then we’ll be back at in January for touring and stuff.

    If you are a guy who is chatting in a girls chat, you need to be
    armed with the right information.

  26. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some
    help from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog?

    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.

    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure
    where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
    Thank you

  27. certainly like your web site but you need to take a look
    at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems
    and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the reality however I will definitely come back again.

  28. what a handgun I love it and had one for 10 in security and law enforcement its the elite of weapons thank you are you still building the smallest cadet one .i have both a eye catcher at the federal courts when a judge ask me why coonan and i said my life depends on it.

  29. Awesome things here. I’m very happy to look your article. Thank you a lot and I’m having a look
    forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  30. Maintenant pour selectionner le film que vous voulez, il suffit de selectionner le genre
    de film que vous voulez, comme l’action, parcourez la
    liste de film et cliquez simplement sur l’icone “regarder maintenant”.
    J’espere une reponse ou une adresse.

  31. I just had an opportunity to rent one at a pistol range. This was a basic stainless fullsize model with smooth wooden grips and fixed three-dot sights.

    My impressions are:

    Eight rounds fit in the magazine, but you are NOT going to seat a fully loaded magazine in the gun with the slide in battery, so you have to treat it as an 7+1 gun, not an 8+1 gun.

    The grip frame is long from front to back. It’s a big, big pistol. It’s not for people with small hands. Or even medium hands. The grip frame isn’t as enormous as a Desert Eagle but a lot of people just aren’t going to be able to shoot it well due to its size. The dimensions of the .357 Magnum pistol cartridge make this unavoidable. But if you’re over six feet tall and can palm a basketball, it should feel just right to you.

    Getting the first five or six rounds into the mag is easy. The last two are a challenge. The mag spring is heavy.

    The recoil spring is also heavy. I guesstimate it at 20+ pounds. This may help to reduce muzzle rise, which is significant. It’s not unpleasant or uncontrollable but it’s definitely got some snap to it and you definitely know significant things are happening when you press the trigger. Recoil, subjectively, is significantly greater than .45 ACP. It’s loud (LOUD!) and gets a lot of attention on the range.

    Ammunition was Blazer Brass 158gr JHP, the only .357 ammo the store had. It’s full-power stuff that leaves the primers very flattened, with a teardrop shaped firing pin imprint indicating that the breech is dropping to unlock faster than the firing pin can retract, and lights up the range with every shot.

    The trigger is outstanding, with short takeup, a crisp break (I guesstimate it in the three pound range) and a short reset.

    I was able to put two full magazines–sixteen shots–in one ragged hole 1 1/2″ across at seven yards. The pistol is tightly fitted and very accurate. The trigger makes it very easy to shoot well. It wasn’t so easy to shoot well that it became impossible to make mistakes. I was trying for fast head shots on a half-size silhouette and one of them missed. This is because I don’t get enough practice. Except for the elevation problem the gun puts them exactly where I put the front sight.

    The pistol hits about 4″ low at seven yards with the fixed sights. Either I need new glasses or the gun needs a taller rear sight.

    The pistol was extremely dirty and had no detectable trace of lubricant on the slide rails, which may be why twice in fifty rounds, even with very stoutly loaded ammo and a very heavy recoil spring, the pistol failed to go completely into battery. In both cases a light slap on the rear of the slide fixed it. I hope it’s more reliable when properly maintained.

  32. Still devastated after theft of my Coonan in Branson, Mo.. I bought when they first came out. Serial number 178. They didn’t get the clip! Sure it has changed hands several times but would love to have back. No questions asked. Will pay nicely! Know they bought clips. Thanks, Mike Day

  33. Start-up costs also depends upon the items included in your gift baskets.
    Gift baskets serve as a suitable gift for
    any occasion, and for Christmas, appropriate inclusions inside the gift basket are foods such as chocolates or other sweets, baked items,
    gourmet goodies or a bottle of wine. However, you use
    Windows; you may not understand the Mac way of
    life.

  34. Well let put my two cents worth in here. I have owned and still do just about every semi auto out there and this by far is very impressive. I have put all sorts of hand loads thru it and nothing seems to stop it from working except when I tried to down load a lighter load and ejection of the spent case did not eject. This sure beats shooting the 357 desert eagle for sure. I still believe that 158 gr is the best load for it.

  35. All gold shop are having their own selling or buying spread.
    Their business plan was simple. Higher unfold value and they are making your are
    selling or resale of gold, the shop try to buying at lowers attainable value,
    make a new jewellery from that gold and promote it at larger price.
    Most gold store have worst gold worth unfold between 12 – 15% of gold
    worth.

  36. Shop for beautiful Danon jewelry including bracelets, necklaces, Danon rings and
    extra right here at The Alphabet Reward Shop.

    We now have chosen a number of the absolute best of Danon’s great products out there so that you
    can browse and choose from, from a Danon necklace to a Danon bracelet there is certain to
    be a wonderful merchandise that appeals to you.

  37. The earlier models included the Borders App which later switched to
    the Kobo Books App. The biggest difference between the 2 tablets is
    a whopper. Nextbooks have incorporated different App stores for your convenience.

  38. While you remain in methadone upkeep treatment, you will should take methadone
    at regular periods to prevent withdrawal signs and symptoms,
    just as a diabetic depends on insulin, yet you do not experience the uncontrollable thoughts as
    well as actions that specify obsession.

  39. Cops on Long Island are examining a crash that eliminated a woman which had actually been waiting for assistance from a tow vehicle.
    Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *