ruger-sp101-courtesy-thetruthaboutguns-com

Tom Claycomb writes [via ammoland.com] Back in the day, the Smokin’ . 357 Magnum was once considered a bad ass pistol round. That was before Dirty Harry hit the scene telling the bad guys to make my day” with his .44 mag. Since then, .44 mag was pushed in the corner by the .454 Casull, .500 SW mag., .50 cal. Desert Eagle and who knows what else? But lest we place the .357 Magnum in the museum along with the Atlatl and sling shot let’s take a second to reconsider its relevance.

No, it’s not as effective a caliber on bears, wolves, and cougars as a .44 mag. but it is still a viable choice ammunition round for a backup gun. I do a lot of bear hunting and just switched maybe 11 years ago from carrying a .357 as a backup gun and upgraded to a .44 mag.

Do I favor a .44 magum? Yes, of course.

As I type this article I’m en route to Alaska for a brown bear hunt and you can bet I’ll have my S&W Titanium .44 mag. but, what if you’re a dainty little 125 lb. girl and you’re going backpacking? Or fly fishing in the backcountry? Or, on a bear hunt. My S&W Titanium is a nightmare to shoot. It’s no fun at all.

So maybe the aforementioned 125 lb. young lady would rather not carry a pistol at all and just take her chances with bears than to shoot a .44 mag, not a great plan.

My wife and daughters carry a Ruger SP 101 3-inch .357 mag. it’s a great little gun. They can carry it into town loaded with .38’s and when they hit the mountains they load her up with .357’s.

I use an Uncle Mike's holster and carry H&K speed loaders when carrying my Smith & Wesson Model 19 Revolver in . 357 Magnum Ammo.
I use an Uncle Mike’s holster and carry H&K speed loaders when carrying my Smith & Wesson Model 19 Revolver in . 357 Magnum Ammo.

My old standby delivery system for the . 357 Magnum Ammo was a 4-inch Smith & Wesson Model 19 Revolver. With the 4-inch barrel, you can obtain reasonable accuracy and it doesn’t kick as much as a lighter pistol. It is a medium sized pistol to carry. I use an Uncle Mike’s Kodra Nylon Sidekick Hip Holster to carry it or you can get a Diamond D Guides Choice S&W N Frame Chest Holster, nice looking leather shoulder holster.

So if you are more recoil sensitive then don’t discount the possibility of carrying a . 357. I’m a big believer in carrying as large of a caliber as you can handle but, if you go overboard then you’ll be scared and not practice as much as you should.

So my advice? Carry as big of a caliber as you’re comfortable with.

Also, due to the improvement in the quality of our bullets, smaller caliber guns can now perform at levels that in the past only their larger cousins could obtain. Decades ago we didn’t have too big of a selection of bullets to choose from but now there are a lot of good options out there.

We don’t have time to cover it in this article but, all bullets are not created equal. So buy good quality bullets. On this bear hunting trip, I’m carrying Federal Premium Handgun Ammo loads.

Beside quality bullets, buy the proper bullet for the task at hand. If you’re wanting to use your Smith & Wesson Model 19 Revolver in . 357 Magnum ammo for bear protection then you don’t want a fast expanding bullet.

In fact, a lot of my buddies preach using solid core hunting bullets. They want the bullet to penetrate all the way through and break down the shoulder so you knock a wheel or two out from under him.

I usually alternate in my cylinder. One solid core . 357 hunting bullet and one top quality soft nose/hollow point .357. So the moral to the last two paragraphs is that if you pick the correct ammo, then you may be able to turn your lowly .357 mag into a decent self-protection pistol when you’re up in the mountains, or downtown for a late dinner.

About Tom Claycomb

Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines.

98 Responses to .357 Magnum. Dead Caliber Walking?

  1. This is where the caliber wars have delivered us? Dismissing .357 magnum? The last time 99% of the population even saw a live bear was ten years ago when they took their niece and nephew to the zoo.

    .357 is plenty capable for just about anything you’re likely to have to defend yourself against.

    • The title was click bait and misleading. The author goes on to recommend the heaviest caliber you can reliably employ…cause we need another reminder of that.

    • Relegating. 357 Magnum to 125 “girls.”

      Why are they called OFWG and stereotypical, again?

      I’m no SJW, but there is just so much wrong with this article.

      • His use of .357 JSPs/JHPs on bear also concerns me. A bear load of .357 should be a 158-180gr hardcast SWC, not soft lead, and the whole cylinder should be filled with those. He could have also offered his wife a Glock 20 instead, since full-house 10mm beats .357 hands-down, and it has a lot more capacity. Also, if Ruger came out with a 5-shot GP100 in .41 I would snatch that m’fer up on the release day.

        • The 10mm fan-boys are loath to admit it, but full house .357 still outperforms full house 10mm.

          I looked up the hottest hard cast rounds that Buffalo Bore makes in the two calibers. These results are for those rounds fired out of a Glock 20 and a 4″ Smith revolver.

          10mm 220 grains at 1140 fps for about 650 foot pounds

          .357 180 grains at 1375 fps for about 750 foot pounds.

          Now, I’ll agree that the Glock may be a better woods gun than a .357 revolver. The Glock is lighter, holds more rounds, and may be easier to shoot accurately.

          Still, from a PURE POWER perspective, the .357 is a bit more powerful.

          Also, I agree with you about the .41 mag GP100. That would be a badass revolver.

        • Yea, it’s like they all pick out the Buffalo Bore in 10mm and compare it to a light carry load designed for J frames and LCRs and think the 10 is way better. From what I’ve seen the 10 can just about keep up with lighter bullets but .357 still has an advantage with higher SD bullet because of it’s longer case. That said, a 10mm pistol makes more sense to me than a Coonan. I’m not a Glock fan, but a Colt Delta Elite is on my list.

        • Another big plus for the .357 over the 10 is that the .357 will fire blunt, big meplat, flat front hardcasts as easily as anything else. In any autoloader, once you step outside the “designed for” roundness/truncation of the front, you are starting to gamble ever so slightly with feed reliability.

          Add it all up, and all else being equal, I’d take a .357 over a 10 into bear (and moose) heavy woods. But more and more, all else is not equal. Most gun people are cracker at running a striker fire auto, while revolvercraft is a dying art. So for all those who are significantly better shots with a 10 than a revolver, whatever small differences there are between the two ballistically, is likely more than outweighed by shooter competence and familiarity.

        • @Art out West

          I have no dog in this fight, but I note you are only comparing *one* shot from each platform.

          6 shot revolver = 750*6 = 4500
          Glock 20 = 650*15 = 9750

          Autos are also easier and faster to reload (Jerry Miculek notwithstanding). Admittedly, we are comparing a slightly more nebulous factor of Firepower vs Energy, but you completely glossed over a very valid reason to favor an autoloader. In fact, it’s the same reason so many CCW and police sidearms are now pistols, rather than revolvers.

        • ‘Autos are also easier and faster to reload…’

          Assuming you’ve got another maga zine loaded and ready to go. If you’ve just got a few loose rounds in your pocket a rev olver is much faster. They each have their advantages. Semi-autos have the round count, revolvers have the edge in reliability, long range accuracy and the ability to make contact shots without being pushed out of battery. And for bear defense they also come in much more powerful cartridges than .357. But then if I’m in grizzly country I think I’d rather lug around something with a butt stock.

        • >> Now, I’ll agree that the Glock may be a better woods gun than a .357 revolver. The Glock is lighter, holds more rounds, and may be easier to shoot accurately.

          “Lighter” is not necessarily true. Glock 20 is, what, 30 oz? You can have a revolver in .357 that weighs 11 oz (S&W 340PD), and is more compact to boot. Granted, it’s an extreme, and is painful to actually shoot… but then there’s the popular Ruger LCR .357, which is ~17 oz. Still lighter.

          More rounds, I don’t think it’s an issue. If you’re charged by some aggressive wildlife, you’ll be extremely lucky to be able to shoot even 5 rounds that you get in a typical snubby, much less dump a full Glock mag.

          Accuracy, I also doubt it would matter much. We’re talking about very rapid draw and fire here at very close distances, at a target that’s larger than a human.

          Revolvers also get a minor bonus in that they don’t have FTF/FTE, and can deal with primer failure (just keep squeezing the trigger). In a semi-auto, if any of that happens while you’re being charged, you won’t have a time to do your usual clearing procedure – you won’t get the time.

      • “because my titanium revolver* in 44 mag is a monster to shoot, I recommend an all-steel 357 mag. I could also recommend an all-steel 44 mag, but I get paid by the word and need the money.”

        *And who the hell makes a titanium revolver (not titanium cylinder) anyway?

        • I think Taurus did, but they found out the barrels would warp with heavy magnums or something.

        • Smith & Wesson 329PD.

          Titanium cylinder, Scandium Frame. 6 rounds of 44 Mag, 25.1 oz empty.

    • Here I am getting ready to be a 3 percenter and now I’m a 1 percenter because I’ve seen bear in the woods?! So confusing.

  2. To say the the 357 is DOA is just wrong. Its a very versatile cartridge. You can shoot 38s at the range and load it up with 357 HP for defense. All the BS over the small penis calibers makes me laugh. The S&W 50 magnum is one such gun. Its on the verge of being useless, It does have one value that is to make small penis men feel acquitted.

    • I believe the S&W .500 magnum was intended as a pistol hunting round. When I hunt bears, I take my AR10 loaded with 180 grain accubonds. If I were into hunting bears with a pistol the .500 magnum might be a consideration.

    • One thing that I appreciate about .357 is how inexpensively you can buy quality defensive ammo for it. It seems like almost all the .357 ammo I see is hollow point (and comes in 50 round boxes). The HP ammo doesn’t cost any more than the FMJ does.

      That isn’t the case with .380, 9mm, .40, or .38sp. For those calibers, HP ammo usually costs a lot more than FMJ, and only comes in 20-25 round boxes.

      Plus, with .380, 9mm, and .38sp., I wonder if the cheaper non-premium hollow points would really be effective. I don’t worry about that with .357 magnum. I’m sure that any type of 125 grain HP would work just fine (for human defense, plus dog, wolf, cougar) out of my 4″ Security Six.

      All that, plus the fact that I reload .38 special (inexpensively) to practice with. That gives the .357 a lot of versatility in my book.

        • I like my 357 Security Six too. But, When I am in Bear Country, I keep my Ruger 45 Long Colt with my handloads in it. Using my old Speer Manual, they push 1100 Ft Lbs….

    • Exactly! I think of .357 primarily as a defensive firearm to use against human predators.

      Unlike .380, 9mm, .40S&W, .45acp. and .38sp., the .357 mag. can also do reasonable double duty as a minimally effective “bear gun”. The 10mm is similar to .357 in this regard. The 10mm and the .357 work fairly well for CCW-home defense-woods gun.

      Going to calibers like .44 mag. on up is another matter. These are the dedicated “bear defense” guns.

      • I converted a G23 to 357Sig and man was that thing laser accurate. A soft shooter, too. I can’t believe I sold it…

    • Yup! And I’m a non-firearms owner. Saw a few shootouts on YouTube with .357 mag. Those 125-gr. SJHP’s hit hard…One case, a early 90’s vid.of Texas highway patrol fighting with a giant, muscular black dude about the size of bigfoot…This guy was beating up the the Good’ole boys patrol with fists the size of can hams…Until one of the officers recovered from his beating .Drew his 4″ inch bbl. S&W 686, and shot the perp twice from about 10-15 yards. First shot stumbled him, and the second shot hit him in the right side…Knocking him to the ground…Where he didn’t get back up again…And the assailant survived his injuries…Minus a foot of small intestine, and some colon…But, the perp lived, and it dropped this Sasquatch sized dude!

  3. Any issue with the .357 isn’t with the caliber, it’s with the platform. Simply, semis are more popular than revolvers. The Magnum round per se isn’t suffering, it’s the revolver that’s suffering, marketwise.

    All said, my wife loves her SP101.

    • My wife can’t stand the SP101 in our house; to which I respond,”so? It’s mine and I love it.”
      It isn’t an Every Day Carry gun, but a most-days carry one (MDC?). As far as .357 as a cartridge is concerned, I’d like at least one more – a 4″ Security Six to play the role as my SP’s big sister.

      • I love my 4″ Security Six. A 4″ .357 is a great “all around” handgun. I’d like to also have an SP101 (for pocket carry). I’ve got a 2″ 6 shot Rossi 461 which is pretty decent (but not as nice or small as the SP101).

    • While revolvers aren’t as popular as pistols these days, they’re hardly on the way out. Smith, Ruger and Taurus sell them as fast as they can make them.

    • Yeah. That was a needlessly provocative headline. Shows a lack of confindence in what the author had to contribute.

  4. Revolver calibers have there uses and a .357 Mag/.38 is a versatile revolver.
    If you want a revolver. I favor semi-autos and use 9mm in town and 10mm for bear country. I also have a .357 Sig which I like a lot (.357 Mag ballistics in 110 gr in a semi-auto 9mm round) but I realize it is practically a wildcat these days.

  5. A few years back a friend of mine was working in AK as a glacier and snowmobile guide. He carried a .357 in a guide holster. Well, he asked me to bring him some quality JHP and cast rounds because their so expensive to buy up there.

    So I did. Now he wanted to shoot a few of each to get a feel for them so we packed up the truck and went out to a more remote area. Once there we found what appeared to be an empty propane tank floating in a river. Problem was, it wasn’t empty and floating it was stuck on something.

    So from about 15 yards by buddy shoots this tank. It jumps up out of the water spinning and then comes straight at us. Now you can’t shoot it again to stop it so we just hit the deck and it went flying over us.

    We laughed for a good 20 minutes or so. I dunno if those cast .357 rounds will stop a grizzly but they sure a hell don’t stop an angry propane tank!

  6. Yeah, maybe .44 mag is better for bear hunting. Or hunting most things. Who cares? What percentage of handguns or even revolvers are used for hunting? .357 mag can still spit out a bullet with more energy than all of the popular handgun calibers. Really, who’s calling the .357 irrelevant? I don’t want to carry a revolver because I’m partial to autoloader 9mms so it’s not directly relevant, but if I purchased a revolver, it’d be in .357 for the versatility of using a very shootable as well as a very effective round. What’s irrelevant about it?

  7. Evidently TTAG advertisers have purchased TTAG and are using clickbait journalism.

    BOOOOOOOO! TTAG.

    The 357 is a great round and powerful for plenty of things.

    The 357 125 grain JHP is great for most any predator.

    Wild animals may need a different load like a 158 grain hardcast SWC or LBT bullet (180grain).

    Or you can pull your bearspray instead and get mauled.

  8. If I were hunting Brown Near in Alaska I am doing it with a 30-06 at a minimum. And after reading numerous man vs bear accounts and talking to a few Alaska natives I will be carrying a 12 gauge loaded with 3″ slugs as my primary defensive weapon when not hunting.

    • Caution if using 3″ slugs in your shotgun, the hull is typically longer than a 3″ shot shell, which leaves less room for error as far as “short-stroking” a pump gun in a high stress situation. I still believe that the 2 3/4″ will do most everything teh 3″ slug load is capable of with less potential for errors at teh critical moment.

  9. …and if you run the hot stuff (ie- Buffalo Bore) out of a lever gun, you can really get the full juice out of the cartridge.

  10. 9mm fanboys declare every other cartridge dead. Because 9mm is the only cartridge to benefit from “new bullet construction”.

  11. Your tone is quasi-facetious but you do not realize that 9mm was the only caliber to survive the caliber wars. So now all calibers are 9mm.

  12. Even though many gunner diss the .357 snubbie, I can never bring myself to sell my S&W 640. In fact, I just gave up and put a set of Altamont walnut grips on it. Now I carry it even more. I added an inexpensive Security Six to my battery for treks deep into our land (bears up there) and carry the 640 when I brush-hogs — y’know, for snakes.

  13. .357/38 is one of the most versatile calibers there is and everyone posting in this thread and the author of the article knows it.

    Hyperventilating click-bait bullshit.

    On a more positive note, I have the version of SP101 picture at the top of the article and it is fantastic.

  14. Every caliber is “dead” to someone.

    Sadly, though, the article doesn’t match the title. Crappy journalism, crappy blogging.

  15. This is poor “gun journalism”. There are other calibers that are far less popular than the .357/.38 platform. You can write better than this.

    What is wrong with you?

  16. .357 Magnum had its heyday when semi-autos did not – or were perceived as not being able to – cycle a wide variety of bullet types. Those days are long gone and heavier 9mm +P loads satisfice in many situations where .357 was once king. Luckily revolvers still have a few distinct edges over semi-autos.

    That being said, the O.G. Magnum is still effective and available in heavier weights than the 9mm Luger cartridge. So it occupies a narrower market niche but still kicks on. I wouldn’t feel undergunned with one anywhere in the Western Hemisphere ( save Grizzly/Kodiak country). Neither should you.

    • If I recall yesterdays comments correctly, Nyne, you’re the proud new owner of a Korth.
      I figure .357 will soon become your go-to load for whatever you feel needs shootin’.

  17. “… what if you’re a dainty little 125 lb. girl and you’re going backpacking?”

    Then you either take your chances or you learn to shoot a medium/full size .357 Magnum revolver with rubber grips and a ported barrel to reduce recoil.

    People who claim that decently heavy Magnum revolvers still produce too much recoil do not know proper grip technique. I know a female who thought .40 S&W produced a LOT of recoil in a full-size semi-auto handgun. After I instructed her in the art of isometric exercises and how to apply that to her handgun grip, she discovered that .40 S&W recoil is minimal with proper technique. Taking advantage of that momentum, we went all the way up to .44 Magnum and she had no trouble whatsoever shooting 240 grain soft points with middle-of-the-road powder/power loads.

    As long as you are in decent physical condition, have very good technique, and stay away from “airweight” revolvers, you should be able to shoot Magnum revolvers without any trouble.

    • The one distinct disadvantage of the .357 is not the round but the revolver. .357 out of a titanium snubbie is, in my experience, downright unpleasant. But out of my 7.5″ Colt (clone) 1873 SAA, it is a lot of boom, more muzzle flip, but accurate and fun to shoot. Plus the ballistics are substantially better out of longer barrels. I haven’t shot one, but I’d bet a 4″ SP101 would be an excellent “woods” gun.

      On the other hand, a 9mm full of Leigh Xtreme Penetrator copper solids (which despite not having a +P rating have a much larger kick than 124 gr FMJs or JHPs) would also do the trick, if all of the reports of massive overpenetration is true. They’d work just like a hard cast solid. Would I take one into grizzly country? As a back up to a .45-70 guide gun, sure.

  18. The best defensive gun/caliber is the one you are most likely to always carry…my 649 is always in my left pocket.

    My left is my weak hand and, for some odd reason, I shoot the 649 more accurately with my weak hand.

  19. Until the “Aloha Snackbar!” types made it to this side of the pond, I used to carry a 3″ Smith 65 (only because I never found a 3″ 13) on a regular basis. Probably the ideal combat revolver.

    • One of the reasons I carry a revolv er (3″ GP 100 Wiley Clapp) is because of the jihadi crowd. I have complete confidence in my ability to take out a bad guy as far away as 100 yards if I can find a rest. And the Double Taps I carry will hit at that range like 9mm+p will at the muzzle. If you’re going to go up against a maniac with an AK47 armed with only a handgun you’d best bring something that can reach out a little.

  20. 357 is more than adequate for personal defense against mt lion , wolf , black bear, and the real threat in modern times- the pit bull mix that kill several people a year here in Detroit. It is also wonderful at protection from two legged predators.

    I also bear hunt, it is a wonderful hunt and I highly recommend it. Success rates in Michigan run from 12% to 35% depending on the area, so don’t buy the “it’s too easy with bait and dogs” line. the meat is good too.

    BTW, my D*** is so large I also own a 950 baretta, in 25 acp.

    • miforest,

      A .357 Magnum revolver with a 6-inch barrel and full-power loads behind 180 grain hardcast bullets is adequate for a typical black bear that you would encounter in Michigan.

      That platform, however, is lacking should you encounter black bears at the top of their weight range (600+ pounds in Michigan and 800+ pounds in North Carolina for example). In those cases a .44 Magnum revolver with 6-inch barrel and full-power loads behind 240 to 320 grain bullets provide a much greater margin of error.

  21. I’m struggling to see the point of the article. Here is what I know for sure. The point of this article is NOT “.357 Magnum is a dead caliber.” Neither is it “.357 Magunum is not a dead caliber.”

    In other words: wat

    • My wife (then girlfriend) earned my undying love when she drilled the bullseye with the first shot from a Ruger Alaskan loaded with 240 gr Elmer Keith loads that my dad handed her. MY girl can shoot a .44.

    • I ended up coming into a SW 686 dash 4 (pre-lock/pre-mim) beauty that I love so much I got a 16″ Chiappa 1892 lever-action takedown in 357 to match it up with. Very cool, fun little combo. it’s my homage to the spaghetti westerns 😉

  22. This article is terrible. .40 S&W is dying off faster than .357. The author also says that .357 isn’t effective on wolves. Does he realize how big a wolf is? Grizzly bear probably need bigger calibers, sure. Cougar? I could see both sides of that argument, but wolves? No. Wolves cannot take a full house .357 magnum in stride like a grizzly.

    Mr Farago, and TTAG in general, you are better than this. I’m not mad, just disappointed.

  23. “What’s the matter with the (Insert caliber, cartridge, model, manufacturer, action of your choice)

    Answer: “Not a Gosh Darn thing.”

    Typical gun writer deadline headline.

  24. “Is .357 magnum dead?”

    No. What it is shot at is.

    And I dare you to find a semiauto handgun with as good a trigger as my Ruger GP100, 1.75# single action. It’s drool-worthy.

    • Completely off topic here. But as a class of handguns the most consistently accurate without modification is the S&W K frame in .38 special.

      If you want something more accurate than an off the rack K frame you will spend large amounts of cash.

      • You’re going to need a serious trigger job to get a 1911 trigger pull down to 1.75#, although I doubt Heartbreaker’s GP started out that way either. GPs usually start around 4.5# and a $10 spring kit will get that down to 3.5#. Very crisp out of the box though.

  25. I started in law enforcement in 1991 carrying a 4″ Smith 686 loaded with 125 gr Federal hollow points. My backup was a Smith Model 38 .38 special. When the Smith 640 came out I picked one up. I still own both pistols as well as a Uberti Cattleman and Rossi 92 with the John Wayne lever. I like the caliber – .38s for plinking and practice, hot .357s loads for social purposes and hunting. .38/.357 is one of the most economical and versatile cartridges out there if you reload and if things go bad in November its also one of the most politically inoffensive because people see it as obsolete and low powered (as opposed to “high power” 9MM and 5.56mm rounds). I trade off between a Springfield 1911 and XD-9 these days but I wouldn’t feel poorly armed if I had to go back to the old 686.

  26. Dead caliber? Seriously?? I’ve bought three .357 pistols in the past year! The .357 mag is, in my opinion, far more alive than the .40

  27. Actually the real dead caliber here is 9mm. Only b*ches and stupids use it and all the worlds militaries and police forces will switch to 10mm by the 2050s. So laugh it up 9mm fan boys you only got another 30 years to shoot 9mm before its all gone forever because some d*ck weed on the internet says so.

  28. A .357 magnum out of a 6″ barrel has about the same amount of energy as most .44 magnums out of a 4″ barrel. Significantly less recoil (smaller cartridge in a slightly heavier gun), and the longer sight radius helps also to contribute to a more accurate first shot and follow up shots. Load up fairly hot 180 gr. cartridges in a 6″ revolver and you should be good to go, right?

    I suppose you could simply go with a .44 mag in a 6″ barrel, then obviously, that’s more energy than the .357 and would be a little easier to shoot than the 4″ barrel .44 mag. Just a thought. I don’t enjoy shooting .44 mag, that round gives quite a pounding.

    For me, if I ever get a dedicated woods gun, it’ll be a 6″ .357 magnum revolver.

  29. [soapbox]

    The definition of a pistol is a Handgun with a chamber that is integral to the barrel.

    Revolvers are not Pistols. Revolvers and pistols are both subsets of Handguns. The two terms are mutually exclusive categories.

    There used to be revolving chamber rifles, but I don’t think they have been commercially viable since mechanically reloading a chamber became feasible.

    [/soapbox]

    • [can I borrow your soapbox?]
      Since when? The term pistol predates revolvers. Just because many websites (and yourself) nowadays like to separate revolvers from semis in their search criteria by using “pistols” for one category,. and “revolvers” for the other, doesn’t change the definition, nor the etymology of the word. “Pistol” and “Handgun” are completely synonymous. “Revolver” is now acceptable shorthand for a revolving-pistol or revolving-handgun, precisely because revolving-rifles have fallen into disuse – otherwise the additional qualifer would still be used.
      [thanks]

      • Yes, the term pistol does indeed pre-date revolvers. Note that most, if not all pre-revolver pistols meet the definition (Merriam-Webster, btw).

        Revolvers were called that because they were new, and different from the pistols that came before. Semi Auto pistols still meet that definition, and it works nicely. Rather than saying “magazine fed semi-automatic handgun”, like so many “news outlets” are prone to do, one can just say pistol. This was noted by the Late Col. Cooper in one of his musings that used to be printed on the back page of Guns&Ammo, which is where I learned that version of the definition.

        Words have meaning. If we do not acknowledge a difference between handguns and pistols, and argue that all handguns are pistols and vice versa, then one of the terms is unnecessary. The fact that the British choose to use the terms interchangeably does not bother me; they also spell words different and use words we don’t. Do you put your trunk in the boot, or your boots in the trunk?

        Feel free to continue using your definition, if you like; I will continue to assert that there is a difference in the terms.

  30. 9MM is a dead round, ever since 45 GAP was introduced. In other news, Hillary will ban every caliber. Carry on.

  31. My opinion is that the .357 magnum has proven itself as the most versatile and usable magnum cartridge just as the 30-06 has proven itself in the same way for a rifle cartridge. Some people may need the bigger punch of the 44, 454, or 500 in certain situations, such as hunting or hiking in grizzly bear country. Most of us do not, though. The heavy recoil and greater cost also means most people will not actually practice with those cartridges, which reduces their effectiveness. The 357 is powerful enough to be versatile but manageable enough to be shot on a regular basis. I think it will stand the test of time with the 9MM, 45 ACP, and 30-06.

  32. 100% reliability when seconds count…
    Not finicky about ammunition or cleanliness…
    Will fire in full contact with the muzzle…
    No safety to get in the way…

    I’d have real problems using anything but a revolver in a backwoods situation. And yes, hardcast for bear and just fine for 2 legged threats as well in an emergency.

    If you can learn to shoot a revolver well, it will improve your ability on auto pistols as well.

  33. I’ve run many rounds through a revolver in rapid succession.. I’ve also run many rounds through a semi automatic. After about 36 357mag loads, most revolvers are VERY toasty. I can dump 36 10mm rounds out of a glock no problem in the same time frame.
    I’ve no idea where the breaking point is in this equation. It’s easier to shoot more on a semi auto for a longer period of time from a temperature standpoint.
    Does anyone know where a revolver becomes “unsafe”?

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