State Your Case: .357 Magnum vs. .44 Magnum

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State Your Case: .357 Magnum vs. .44 Magnum

Josh Wayner for TTAG

It’s that time once again, friends. sure, that’s right, it’s time for a faceoff between two of essentially the most ordinary magnum revolver rounds available: the .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum. here’s certain to be an interesting edition of State Your Case as a result of there’s a very extensive division between trustworthy shooters of every of those venerable rounds.

despite being brothers in practically each means, including who got here up with them and the style they were designed, the .357 and .forty four Magnum have come to occupy very different niches in the shooting world. both emerged, pretty much, as the influence Elmer Keith’s tinkering with searching revolvers. For the uninitiated, Elmer Keith is regarded the daddy of handgun looking and turned into a noted writer, fingers inspector, rancher, and common gun enthusiast. Keith is, personally, a more big contributor to the gun world than practically any one. Even, sure, John Moses Browning.

whereas I’m certain I’d ruffle each feather in the coop through writing a John Browning vs. Elmer Keith article, I stand behind this opinion as, while Browning did a fine deal, most of his work changed into founded around mass manufacturing and govt needs. Keith, even so, changed into essentially concerned with the functional use of guns for time-honored life. Keith’s opinions influenced gun design and public thought, which has created a lasting legacy, chiefly in the searching world.

The .357 Magnum become the result of Keith’s want to improve the vigor of the .38 special cartridge. I actually have fired the .38 special substantially and it’s my favorite handgun cartridge. Keith pushed the .38 particular very complicated with what turned into accessible in his day, however he wanted to head beyond these limits. The .38 case became prolonged and heavy, and fast bullets were loaded in the new brass. as a result the .357 Magnum turned into born.

About as soon as it was brought a myriad of noted people started to make use of it, including standard George Patton and Skeeter Skelton. It done pop tradition status consequently. It has starred in hundreds of movies and television indicates as well as books and comics. The .357 Magnum is a largely diagnosed symbol of propriety and sophistication and is doubtless the most powerful cartridge in ordinary use by the well-known public. i will go as far as to say that it’s the strongest ‘regular’ handgun circular accessible.

In contrast, I accept as true with in response to my experience with it, that the .44 Magnum is the strongest handgun round the ordinary grownup will customarily fire in their life. It turned into developed by way of Keith after his experiments with hotrodding the .forty four special. The .forty four S&W particular is an excellent and severely underrated cartridge even nowadays, however not like the .38 special, it faded into obscurity because the .forty four Magnum became extra noted.

The reputation of the .forty four Magnum and its acceptance are the undeniable outcome of the motion pictures, to the aspect that it is practically impossible to think of the .forty four magazine without brooding about how fortunate a given punk is feeling that day. This cultural link has established the .44 Magnum in the minds of the public and it’s nevertheless broadly seen, despite the fact erroneously, because the most powerful handgun cartridge on the earth.

.357 vs .44 magnum ammunition ammo comparison

.357 Magnum (L) and .44 Magnum (R) (Dan Z. for TTAG)

while it has certainly not truly held the title of the most powerful, it actually is in practice because of the proven fact that most americans don’t have any interest in shooting anything bigger and agree with many of these upper-conclusion rounds to be extreme and pointless. Is the .forty four mag as effective because the .500 Smith & Wesson? now not in any respect. Is the .500 too effective to be functional? probably, however that’s up to the individual shooter.

When it come to a head-to-head evaluation, there’s a world of change between these two brother cartridges. The .357 is categorically less potent in terms of obtainable foot-pounds and bullet mass. however the .44 is almost too a good deal to handle when it comes to the equal two criteria. Given an analogous gun and barrel size, the .357 will all the time be less difficult to shoot and usually greater correct. It may well be stated that the .357 has a mild edge when it comes to firearm weight and means, with some models weighing simplest a little bit over a pound and keeping eight rounds.

a lightweight .44 Magnum is downright painful to shoot and hard to handle. i know that almost all people, myself covered, take no joy in firing a cylinder of Hornady 300 grain XTPs from a Smith & Wesson mannequin 69, but would fortunately shoot it with 200 grain .forty four Specials all day lengthy. The .357 under no circumstances definitely gets painful to shoot, even in greater feet-lbs masses.

as far as everyday efficiency in a revolver, I have to supply the edge to the .357 Magnum. The standard grownup is lots stronger ideal to it and can practice quite simply with each 38 particular masses for much less recoil and whole-condominium .357 magazine hole features. The useful conclusion makes use of of the .357 are many and assorted, reminiscent of looking, self-defense (a number of stopping energy), home protection and target shooting. It’s also very forgiving to make handloads for. weapons as small because the S&W J-frame are quite simply attainable and carry quite simply.

The .forty four Magnum, nonetheless, struggles greatly in small weapons. The aforementioned model sixty nine, proven above, isn’t even remotely enjoyable to fire with the rest .forty four Magnum. It’s virtually a .44 particular revolver subsequently. larger handguns do neatly with .44 magazine, but they lose practicality swiftly for each ounce won. where the .44 magazine excels is in rifles, such as the Ruger seventy seven/44 I reviewed here. Even probably the most savage .44 magazine +P rounds are docile in a gun like that.

still, neither of these fantastic rounds will lose popularity any time soon. If anything they will proceed to specialize, with the .forty four mag swaying towards the searching crowd and the .357 dominating the streets.

If I had to only decide on one, I’d doubtless select the .357 Magnum. it is proper for the woods and every day raise alike and might be had in fast-coping with lever motion rifles in addition to some bolt movements. There’s very little that may’t be achieved with it, but there are actually rounds that can do a given thing superior.

Don’t believe my assessment? tell me what you believe within the comments.

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