Self-Defense Tip: Don’t Shoot .357 Magnum

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When my man Potterfield rates self-defense handguns on the Outdoor Channel, he gives bonus points to firearms that chamber .357 Magnum. And why not? It is a fearsome round. I’ll tell you why not: recoil. Oh sure, a practiced shooter can learn to tame the beast through grip, stance and breathing. But you show me a shooter who can quickly and efficiently place .357 Magnum follow-up shots on target—without changing his or her grip a revolver—in a full-on self-defense scenario. Again, it’s possible. But not easy. So why do it? An “extremely reliable one shot stopper” (Chuck Hawkes) is only reliable if you can hit your target reliably. Why not shoot hollow-point .38s and get more lead on target faster? And don’t forget: no matter what the caliber keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target. Just sayin’ . . .

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

85 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Don’t Shoot .357 Magnum

  1. avatarCarlosT says:

    You don’t you just pick someplace and have at it?

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      And now my comment looks weird because I responded to a comment that was deleted. Awesome.

    • avatarMike Anthony says:

      I own a Ruger SP101 357 Magnum. The first time I fired it I wasn’t as accurate as I wanted because I was used to a Walther PP 32 Caliber. A little practice on the range and I was in there. Good thing…my Walther would have been like a BB gun when I came across a Grizzly Bear while fishing. The 357 scared the ### out of the bear luckily, and would have dropped it if needed. So I agree with 4Strokes and others on their comments, whether it’s a bear or other threat!

  2. avatarspymyeyes says:

    This moron is the EXACT reason I will NEVER go to a public gun range again in my life.

    I got the honor of watching a 4′ 80lb asian woman with a 40. semi auto pistol fire one round down range and the other 7 rounds going higher and higher till she drilled the ceiling full of holes. The response from her and 4 friends was uncontrolled laughter, that is until I and the guy on their other side complained to the management and was told to lighten up, it’s a PUBLIC range.

    The other thing I got to say is the recoil on that gun looks worse than my 454 casull recoil. Either that or this guy is a bigger wimp than a moron, and that’s sayin something!!!

    • avatarMechman says:

      I’ve fired more than a few .357s, and that guy is massively limp wristing. There’s a balance between too stiff and too soft, and once you find it, a .357 is fairly easy to handle. Of course, I started with the ridiculously high recoil guns, so I never really thought a .357 was particularly high recoil until I was shooting .38s out of it later.

      • avatarvirtualjohn says:

        Looked to me the kid is locking his strong hand elbow and teacuppin’ with his left hand. He demonstrates why an isosceles stance does not work for me and why I still prefer and use the Weaver. The locked elbows of the isosceles may work for others, but for me, shooting high powers with locked elbows is a formula for destruction of my wrists. When my forearms can absorb some of the recoil I can shoot longer. One other thing I’ve found to be critical for me shooting high power pistols is where the back-strap of the gun sits relative to the webbing of my hand and whether that is lined up with the line of my forearm. Easier to show you than to tell you. The short of it, this kid hasn’t been taught how to shoot big kickin’ pistols, if anything, judging by the accidental discharge.

    • avatarAharon says:

      I lived in San Francisco for many years. I know exactly what you’re describing and the bs politically-correct behavior of the range’s management. A ‘public’ range does not mean the management needs to or should accept and tolerate every culture’s unsafe and improper behavior…or does it?

  3. avatar4strokes says:

    Most experienced revolver shooters can make good, quick follow-up shots with .357 or bigger guns. Just as most goo revolver shooters won’t miss their first shot…
    I will however give you two real reasons not to use the .357 as a defensive round – the ear splitting volume of the blast and the eye popping of the muzzle flash. You will be both deaf and blind after discharging a .357 in a dark hallway unable to worry about a follow-up shot…

  4. avatarC. Walther says:

    I think .357 for defense is doable as long as you pick the right rounds. Remington’s Golden Saber has a lot less violent kick and flash when compared to their green-box practice rounds.

    Still, when I tried out .38 Special, the follow-up potential was night and day different.

  5. avatarGary says:

    I had a Mod 19 S&W for years and I had no trouble controlling it. I miss that gun alot. The trouble controlling the .357 Mag is overstated too often and scares people. If I returned to a revolver it would be a .357 mag in a heartbeat. Then again, I am a big fellow with big hands.

    • avatarDirk Diggler says:

      I have the stainless steel version (a S&W model 65 w/ a 3 in barrel). No control problems. However, I shoot .38s for practice b/c of cost. I keep Hornady Critical Defense in for the bad guys

  6. avatarRKflorida says:

    Sheesh! When that “accidental” discharge happened I nearly wet myself.

  7. avatarracer88 says:

    .357 is actually tolerable and controllable in my 2″ snubbie Chiappa Rhino. Firing out of the bottom of the cylinder (lower bore axis) makes a tremendous (and surprising) difference. I can barely tolerate 20 rounds of .38-SPL through my 642 Airweight. But, I can go through a box of 50 (or more) .357 in the Rhino and it’s no bother at all.

    That video is frightening. Even more frightening is the laughter and tolerance for abjectly dangerous gun handling.

  8. avatarJason says:

    I wouldn’t recommend .357 magnum for the average person who may get to the range once a year, but any serious shooter should be able to handle a 4″ steel .357 effectively. If you only have 6-7 rounds in a full-size pistol, they might as well be potent ones.

  9. avatarNR says:

    RF, aren’t you the guy who recently found out he could get rounds on target faster and better with .45 than with 9mm? Why shouldn’t the same be the case for 38 and 357 (for some shooters, with some guns)?

  10. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    How do you get to symphony hall? Practice, practice, practice.

    Certainly, the .357 Magnum has significantly more recoil than the .38 Special, loading for loading, bullet weight for bullet weight. However, the .357 is a perfectly manageable round in the right gun, with the right loading and with a well practiced marksman. Sure, if one is running an airweight snubbie with .357, getting back on the mark will be more difficult and take marginally more time than someone who’s running the same round in a ported, 6″ “N” frame. If you can’t make it work for you, find something that you can. No one wants to get hit by a bullet, big or small, fast or slow.

    If you can find a gun that you can deploy and shoot accurately and rapidly, if need be, then you’ll probably be alright.

  11. avatarSteve says:

    Oh for crying out loud. Don’t be a weenie, its a .357 not a .44. The guy in the video post above didn’t look like he knew one end of that hog-leg from the other.

    Sure, some of the hottest .357 loads are a bit much (650ft-lbs +), but most of them are between 450-550ft-lbs. Most any adult with a proper grip and a decent service-sized revolver can make that work.

    For instance, this lady seems to have it figured out.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1PtjLGCbmA

    You could probably make a case that in a stressful situation, when your adrenaline is pumping, you will be Better able to handle the kick. The Fight-or-Flight response makes you stronger and more focused.

    In all the times I have been deer hunting, I can hardly remember hearing the gun go off…and that is a full power 30-06 with no ear muffs. I certainly don’t remember ever feeling the recoil.

    • avatargreat unknown says:

      Did you notice that she is using a “cup-and-saucer” grip on both guns? Does anyone still teach that?

  12. avatarbontai Joe says:

    My .357 is a Dan Wesson, a fairly heavy revolver, even with the 4″ barrel it usually wears (I have the pistol pac with 2″, 4″, 6″ and 8″ barrels). Watching the guy in the video dealing with recoil, my first thought was he is shooting a .44 mag. I can shoot double taps with my .357 with little difficulty, but I’m 6′-3″ and weigh 295. It would NOT be the gun that I’d hand my wife to shoot, she is a 5′-0″ tall Filipina.

    • avatarGreg says:

      I picked up a Dan Wesson last year as my first gun in over 25 yrs. $275 at a local pawn shop. Very nice 2.5″ in. barrel. Great for carry, I shoot 38sp, 38sp +p, .357 magnum. Carry with the +P mostly for the reasons given about noise and flash of a magnum at night.

  13. avatarJim Barrett says:

    This post raised a question for me. Recently, my wife has gotten into hiking. At the same time, I just read an article in the local paper talking about how Black Bear sightings are getting much more frequent. None of the handguns I currently own would really be all that effective against a bear, so I had been thinking about picking up a magnum revolver just for that reason. Some folks will tell you that .44 mag is the way to go for bears while others suggest that a .357 with the right load will do fine. I don’t plan on hunting bears, but if the choice was shoot it or die, I want something that will either kill it or else really make it think about going somewhere else.

    I have shot .357 before and don’t recall it being all that bad, but was wondering what the sages here on TTAG think. If I did get a .357, I’d probably steer clear of the snubbies and look at something with a slightly longer barrel.

    Thoughts?

    • avatarMichael says:

      Haven’t had a chance to shoot it, but the Ruger SP101 .357 with a 4.2″ barrel looks like a good “woods gun” to me. Glock’s slimline .45 would be another, much lighter and more packable, option for bear protection.

      Btw, I’ve hiked in black bear country for a little over 20 years and never had a problem with bears or anything else. I only carry if I’m going to do a little plinking while I’m out and about.

      • avatarJim Barrett says:

        From what I’ve read, the .45 does not have the punch necessary to get through the thick skin, fat, and muscle of a bear.

        I agree – I’ve never had a problem with bears, but all it takes is one time.

      • avatarOlivier says:

        Beats hell out of me. I researched it and came acrsos the same thing everywhere: if you have a live round in the chamber and a second trying to feed, it’s the mag spring losing tension. Except I tried new springs in a couple of mags, and different mags: no change. And it would happen at any point in the load: after first round, or second, or sixth, at random. Original power recoil spring installed: problem gone.Dan, my understanding(if you can call it that) is that in the right combination of things, during the slide back/ejection stroke, if the mag spring is light it can allow inertia to cause the top round in the mag to ‘stay in place’ and the mag & frame move out from under it, and it then winds up going at least partially into the chamber; then as the slide comes forward and strips the next round out of the mag, it either drives the first into the chamber or just runs into it, giving the double-feed jam.

      • avatarMatee says:

        Appreciate the enlightenment… it never ocrcured to me that the double feed could be caused by the magazine moving relative to the round. Still, the double feed phenomenon happened with the magazines that came with the handgun (all purchased used about 5 months ago) and with all four of the magazines that I purchased afterward. Yes, after resolving the issue, I had to see if I could recreate the problem with new magazines.And yes, somewhere between round 4 and round 7 it would either double feed or not clear the spent casing correctly… the spent casing would get caught by the returning slide, thereby getting mashed against the breech sideways with an unfired round under it. All problems were once again resolved when I increased the “weight” going from 180 gr to 240 gr. Do appreciate the insight.

    • avatarvirtualjohn says:

      I think a pre-lock S&W Model 66 .357 Magnum with a 4″ barrel is the perfect mountain gun if grizzlies are not a problem. If black bear, mountain lion, and dangerous humans are the predators to be on guard against, .357′s are great.
      If grizzlies are around, I feel most comfortable with my Marlin 1895 Guide Gun in .45-70 Gov’t.

    • avatarfrankgon4 says:

      If you want a .357 for Black Bears, go with a 4 inch barrel. Ruger has come out with an SP101 in 4.2 inch and they have a GP100 in 4 inch barrel.
      Be advised a handgun against a bear is not optimum choice. A handgun can stop a bear, but you have to brain or spinal tap to stop it in it’s tracks.
      .357 is still better than a sharp stick. Ammo choice will be important. Keep in mind that the .357 was designed to be a man stopper so most ammo is geared toward that. There are some good hunting rounds available. If you can handle .44 mag then go with it. as .44 is more of a hunting type round.

    • avatarmiforest says:

      ge a 9mm with fmj 147 gr bullets. you need penetration, and that load is an overpenetrator on people, but will go stem to stern on even a big bear.
      you will have lots of mag capacity and controllable recoil. I have hunted black bear, and they take more penetration than deer. you will be shooting t the head anyway , so if you get enough penetration , caliber won’t matter

    • avatarDan says:

      I live in central Maine. When I walk in the woods I carry a 4″ Ruger Security Six with HSM .357 180 grain “Bear Loads” (lead RNFP gas check). Buffalo Bore makes a similar load, also in .357 and 180 grain. Barnes Vortex all copper 140 grain HP might be effective as well. I think there are even heavier .357 (.38) bullets out there but you might have to handload those.

      Regarding barrel length I think 4″ is good for an open carry sidearm. All my .357s are that length. I used to have a 686+ in 6″. It was decent but a little too front heavy for my liking. I have a SP101 in .22 and believe it is a good platform in the .357 chambering – the 3.1″ or 4.2″ barrels might suit your needs for “bigger than snubbie but not too big.”

    • avatarTed says:

      Jim,
      I believe the potential issue will be if your wife can handle a high enough caliber pistol to kill or deter a bear. If you shoot and do not kill the bear there is a good chance the bear won’t be “going somewhere else”, but on a full rage attack toward your wife. My brother does wilderness hiking and carries a SW custom .50, 2″-3″, 4 rounds that has the wallop of an elephant gun or more. It is a risky proposition shooting a wild animal and not being able to stop it so your wife would need to feel comfortable and secure in knowing that she had the means and ability to end the confrontation in her favor.

  14. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Wow. Glad I don’t frequent his range. Also, I hunt deer with a .44 Ruger Super Redhawk. 240 grain JHP loaded to 1350 fps. Tame as a kitten. I have no idea what that idiot is loading.

  15. avatarfrankgon4 says:

    Fortunately I can handle rapid fire out of my Ruger SP101 .357 magnum 3 inch barrel using standard factory .357 hollow point. I even recently hit a 100 hard target twice with 2 inch spread. So yes, the .357 is not for everyone including the guy in the video. They should have stopped after that first round and changed guns for him or given him .38′s to shoot.
    I have found that the pistol grip has a lot to do with handling the recoil I changed the angle on my grip and it made a world of difference. I went from slow fire to rapid one hand shooting. Of course it took me 7 years to get there.

  16. avatarJones says:

    Personally anyone that laughs after mishandling a firearm is a moron along with those laughing along with them.

  17. avatarAharon says:

    While I own a .357 capable revolver (Ruger SP101 4″ barrel), for home SD I use .38 +p critical defense. Should I change my mind for home SD, I can always go buy a Ruger .22 Charger and load in a 50 round drum magazine to keep the recoil as low as possible to ensure many accurate follow-up shots. For now, when I’m out strolling in Big Foot Country, I will load up with .357 ammo just in case.

  18. avatarAccur81 says:

    Self Defense Tip:

    If you are a limp – wrist wuss, don’t use a .357.

    If I can shoot a running deer with a .454 Casull, I can shoot a .357. It isn’t that hard, man. My snubbie 5 – shot .357 actually kicks more violently than my .460 Smith, but its a close in, last ditch, SHTF handgun. Yes, the muzzle blast, even with Buffalo Bore .357 short – barrel ammo, is deafening. Again, it’s an SHTF handgun – lighter and smaller than my Glock 27, and still packs a punch.

    So when the summer hits full swing in SoCal, I’m better served by my 12 oz titanium scandium .357 strapped to my shorts than without a firearm.

    • avatarokto says:

      Where exactly in Kalifornia are you able to strap ANY gun to your shorts?

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        I have a CCW. So all over. They do issue them in Orange County, but LA county is exceptionally difficult.

        I’m also 5-0. So I have the HR218 exemption.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        I have a CCW. So all over. They do issue them in Orange County, but LA county is exceptionally difficult. If I’m wearing
        shorts, I use a cloth belt and my 12 oz .357 Smith titanium / scandium snubbie.

        I’m also 5-0. So I have the HR218 exemption.

  19. avatarbobby b says:

    One practical advantage to the .357:

    You may only get that one first shot off with any accuracy, but anybody downrange of that muzzle is too busy peeing in their pants from that gawdawful BOOM to bother you anymore.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      That’s one theory, usually filed in the same folder containing “racking a pump action shotgun may be all you need to stop an attacker.”

  20. avatarAdam says:

    I dunno, Here, in Canada, it’s actually legal to shoot COPS with a .357:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Parasiris

  21. avatarTarrou says:

    There’s the usual equivocating about here, but I think Robert was right. The .357 is not a top-5 defensive round. You can carry it, sure. But it’s not an improvement on other, better cartridges. I’ve fired them, and yes, with proper grip, training etc. you won’t look like the idiots in the film. It’s still more blast, recoil, slower recovery time and all that over a .38 sp. And being a good “woods” gun doesn’t make a 4-inch steel revolver a superior concealed carry weapon. My hip hurts just thinking about it.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      A self defence gun doesn’t necessarily mean a carry gun. I think of my .357 as mostly a home defence gun, or the one I grab if I hear stuff going on outside the house, especially in winter when the bad guy might be wearing 4 layers of clothes.

    • avatarMike says:

      Since the 125 grain hollowpoint has the highest percentage of one shot stops, I’d say it’s more than a “top 5 defensive round”.

      Carry a 4 inch Smith concealed? No. Have one in your nightstand as a home defense gun? Absolutely. Would I be happy carrying one if I was a police officer? Definitely.

  22. avatarScuba Steve says:

    Self-Defense Tip: Don’t listen to people telling you what caliber you should or should not shoot.

    • avatarBruce says:

      Agreed. I’m not a revolver fan, just don’t like em, so a .357 is not likely to end up in my holster. My coworker however, loves the .357. So much so that when he gave is S&W to his son, he bought a DE, and now he’s looking for a Coonan. Seriously, these are his go to handguns! To each there own, like the tired old saw goes, I’m not going to stand downrange from it.

      • avatarGS650G says:

        A friend has a Coonan in .357 I’ve fired a lot. It requires some hand loading for best results. Clips are rare and 100 dollars a piece.
        It does have a lot of fire from the compensator. It’s a fearsome round to say the least.
        There is a forum on the net for Coonan owners and Dan Coonan frequents it.

        • avatarDan says:

          Where do you get a coonan that uses clips? Every coonan i’ve seen uses magazines.

    • avatarMatt G. says:

      Self defense tip #1: Dont get your self defense advice from the same place you go for funny cat pictees and videos of fat guys falling off of mopeds.

  23. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    RF is right on target because I’ve tried this with my lil 357 and it’s a bitch to get the follow up shots on target. I wouldn’t want to try it in an emergency because it’s hard enough when I’m just standing there with no one trying to kill me. Now my 30SF can hit that same target multiple times with extreme accuracy with a lot less recoil.

    • avatarBlake says:

      Joe, I have a Taurus 2″ barrel .357 that was very unpleasant to shoot until I discovered .38 special +P.

      World of difference.

  24. avatarRokurota says:

    If anyone’s still reading comments, I really wonder if recoil sensitivity is partially genetic/hardwired into us. Some big guys I know hate .40s and .357s, but I’m a small guy and have never had a problem with them. I carry a S&W 640 with a 2.125″ barrel and .357 loads. The only thing I don’t like is the muzzle flash, but with an all-steel gun, the recoil and follow-up ain’t too scary,

    • avatartdubb says:

      That video is just a bad example. You see people adjusting their grip after each shot with all kinds of firearms especially pocket guns that lack full palm support, even if they do have a pinky extension, how cute.
      My 6 inch stainless GP100 recoil seems mild compared to my 1911. .357 out of a Ruger LCR is probably a real bitch, but they aren’t that bad out of my stainless snubby.

      Practice, practice, practice

  25. avatarMike says:

    I’ve fired 125 grain .357 hollowpoints out of a friend’s Airweight snubbie, and it was painful, not an experience I’d like to repeat often.

    But firing them out of my 4″ barrelled 686 isn’t bad at all. Heck, firing hot .44 magnums out of a 629 isn’t as unpleasant as that lightweight snubbie.

  26. avatarokto says:

    “Why not shoot hollow-point .38s”
    Because they don’t expand as reliably, and their penetration is pathetic. .357/38 fires a fairly small bullet, so Newton says it’s gotta be moving pretty quick to do much damage. Small and fast or big and slow, you have to get that KE on target.

    Also, recoil sensitivity seems like fussiness to me. It’s a gun. It’s a harsh thing. It’s designed to kill. I know excessive recoil kills second-shot accuracy, but that’s why we train. And train. And train. I’d rather have a gun that’s challenging to shoot and practice until the complex muscle memory required to shoot it well is second nature than a gun that’s so easy to shoot that I don’t feel motivated to practice. That’s dangerous.

    Another point to consider: with revolvers, the grip shape isn’t dictated by anything. If your revolver is uncomfortable to shoot and you haven’t tried different stocks on it, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot. Or hand, as the case may be. The difference in perceived recoil (which is the most important aspect) and controllability between a pair of stocks that don’t fit your hand and a pair that do is night and day.

  27. avatarOkto says:

    [just watched the video] HE WAS TRYING TO ADVANCE THE CYLINDER ON A LOADED REVOLVER BY PULLING THE TRIGGER.
    http://db.tt/H7Blww7H

  28. avatarDon says:

    I agree in the context of lightweight .357 revolvers, but .357 out of a steel revolver is no snappier than .40 S&W in a similarly sized plastic fantastic.

    -D

  29. avatarRalph says:

    .357 is a red hot round that I hate — HATE — firing from a snubby, but with a large frame revolver, .357 recoil is a minor concern. And frankly, if I actually wanted to blow someone’s heart right through their back and into the middle of next week, the .357 is one of the rounds I’d choose.

    It’s not my favorite round because I don’t have a favorite round, but I have to admit that the venerable .357 Mag does the business quite well.

  30. avatarnew guy says:

    I am hoping a range near me will have a Rhino in the rental case. The videos show little recoil which would be nice. Complicated trigger mechanism for sure. In 2012, that may not be a big deal anymore.

  31. avatarTom says:

    .357 is OK, but it works best with a larger heavier gun.
    Small guns are best with .38 special.
    A lot depends on who is doing the shooting.

  32. avatarChris Dumm says:

    According to Sanow and Marshall, the .357 Magnum has the highest percentage of one-shot stops of any handgun cartridge. In a large-frame service revolver like a 686 or GP-100, its recoil is no worse than the recoil of a compact .40 S&W, but this is still a considerable amount of recoil. From a much heavier pistol. With a much smaller capacity. And much more muzzle blast and flash.

    The Rhino, as others have commented, is a delight to shoot with *any* .357 loads as long as you’ve got your ears on. Hopefully they’ve sorted out their trigger troubles from this time last year.

  33. From a service size revolver, the .357 magnum has less felt recoil than a .380 from one of the little Kel-tec’s. From a snub-nose the blast can be pretty fearsome.

    I normally won’t carry one because I simply cant shoot a D/A revolver half as accurately as I can a S/A autoloader such as a 1911.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      I find the recoil from my P3AT to be minimal, the 38 special snub nose is worse.

    • avatarJoshua says:

      A lot of people say they are more accurate with their semi-auto’s, but I’m substantially more accurate with 125 grain .357′s in a 3″ GP-100 than I am with a 9mm or .40 S&W service auto. And if I only have 6 rounds to work with, I want something potent. At 15 yards I can put 3 rounds of .357 in minute-of-bad-guy groups in 3 seconds.

  34. avatarSinovuyo says:

    Got the same sort of double feed iuesss with my Desert Eagle Mk VII when I first brought it home. I didn’t think to purchase ammo with it… already had .44 at the house, but didn’t realize that it was ALL 180 gr. Winchester white box stuff that I keep around for target plinking with my Super Blackhawk.Anyway, long story short… went back out, bought the 240 gr that the manual… hate it when I have to read that… clearly states is the minimum that will cycle the firearm properly. Needless to say, everything from 240 gr up to 305 gr has cycled it perfectly. Oddly, the Hornady rounds (all that I have tried) will not fit the magazine. And, I am still a bit confused about the action required to double feed.I mean, the slide is forced back, it ejects the spent casing and chambers a round on return. How does the second round get involved?

  35. avatarjoe says:

    looks to me like the guy in the video had a bad grip. that said, its the indian, not the arrow. the gun you choose has to fit your abilities and comfort leverl. better to be good with a .22 and use that than to have a .44mag your afraid to practice with.

  36. avatarndh says:

    You should learn to shoot before passing judgement on anything firearms related. 357 is NOT hard to control out of a 4 inch steel frame revolver. Emptying all six rounds into the A zone of an IPSC target only takes me about a half second longer with 357 as opposed to 38spl

  37. avatarAlex says:

    That video is a guy shooting an x frame 4″ s&w 500. Can’t really compare the recoil of a 357 magnum to a 500 can we? 357 magnum is a fantastic defense round until it come to over penetrating and hurting bistandards around you. If you think 38 special is a great round because of follow up shots you shouldn’t be shooting the gun to begin with if you can’t hit the target the first time! I wouldn’t want to be in front of a jury telling them how I emptied my j frame 38sp on the attacker……looks a lot better in court when you only shot once :) liability of extra bullets down range isn’t something I want to answer for either. One shot one kill. No suspicious stuff crap to display to the jury.

  38. avatarJulie says:

    I am 5’5″ and weigh 120 female. I shoot a .357 Taurus accurately. It’s my favorite piece. I have been shooting for years. It’s not the size of the gun it’s how well the owner/user can handle it.

    • avatarJulie Admirer says:

      You sound hot. What’s your sign? Wait a minute! When you say you weigh 120…Pounds or Kilos?

      • avatarJulie Admirer says:

        And I admire you, and agree with you about size not mattering. I’ve been telling my girlfriends that for years. I pack a .22 short 24/7. If you know what I mean.

  39. avatartwrol says:

    I own several snub and 3 inch 357 revolvers, and with this rounds reputation I am more concerned with follow on targets than follow up shots.

  40. avatarDion says:

    With my 6″ Ruger GP100 .357 magnum revolver, recoil isn’t bad even with full-power 125 grain defense loads.

  41. avatarWOW YOU GUYS HAVE AWFUL AND FALSE INFORMATION says:

    Learn from real professionals not these people who clearly don’t know what in the hell they’re talking about.

    1. Revolvers have like .5% chance of jamming and even thats based on if you don’t take care of you’re firearms.
    2. Most revolvers are very accurate once you learn them and with the type of power the .357 magnum puts out.. you might only need one round… placement is key… but i guarantee even if you did shoot the guy in the arm or elbow, if it isnt blown off its dangling from a strand of muscle.
    3. The only down fall to using a 357 magnum would be over penetration.
    4.Learn more about firearms before you get somebody killed by giving out false info.
    5. Yes, a semi-auto handgun might hold 14 rounds but if it jams on the first or second round well then you are done and there is also alot of moving parts. but with a revolver it’s pretty much straight shooting i mean it’s like comparing a bolt action rifle to a semi auto AR-15.. if i’m hunting i’m going with the bolt action.

    • avatarOld timer says:

      Proper fitting of any weapon is the first step , and discharging your weapon more then 6 Feet from your attacker unless in your home will put You in front on the D. A. .As for as 357 Great weapon designed to be shot from 6 Inch barrel , but ammo and frame design has changed its original purpose. , I have two 6 Inch s& W model 19 357 With packmeyer grips wouldnt trade for anything , practice is what makes a marksmen . Most weapon owners will, never need their gun for selfdefense but out doorsman will , hog hunting 357 Comes in handy . Aim low if use shorty you’ll blow hole thru the gut or leg of a attacker , head shots or for the movies and navy seals and scoped rifles . Trick is having the calm release when you sqweeze the trigger And the guts to do it . Life will change after you do , like the man says make sure you get the proper training , not bs on the internet

  42. avatartito bravo says:

    doesnt matter if it is 357 or not a 22 in the heart will kill so,learn to shoot to kill caliber not matter

  43. avatarPaelorian says:

    David “The Rabbi” Kenik, a .357 Magnum devotee, should write a follow-up post on this subject.

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