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’ . . .