Have only one 357 revolver, a 3” heavy barrel S&W M13, at first thought it a great handgun for trail or street. Handloading one day I noticed that the 9mm and .357 bullet are similar… a hot 9mm should do what a .357 does … and there are plenty of excellent 9mm handgun manufacturers, (with better capacity) so why does anyone need a .357?
Ah yes, there is history… Patton carried one… but he took on Nazi ground attack aircraft not with a .357 S&W but a .380 Remington.
At the range everyone I see shoots 38 specials out of their 357s (which means more chamber clean-up) … it’s a rare day that I find any .357 shell cast-offs. In fact they gather up the 38 spl cases and offer them up to me… when what I’d prefer is .357s.
The bottom line is not that the .357 is a bad cartridge, no, its that folks who own them don’t shoot’em. They ain’t fun. To make’em tolerable you need a heavy revolver.
Perhaps the best .357 SD handgun is the J-frame or small frame size, but for those who have ever fired a small .357 snubby…. goodnight to that.
And there’s the 40 factor: the 44 spl, the 44 mag, the 45 Colt, and the 45 ACP are simpler to handload (flexible too) and with the exception of the 44 mag, most folks really enjoy shooting them, not only are they fun to shoot they do a good job defending vs 2 or 4 legged predators.
As much as I would like to shoot the .357 S&W M13, it gathers dust, its the 44 spl, the 44 mag, (the 45 Colt), and the 45 ACP that get range time.
PS…oops, forgot to mention the .41 mag.
For 20 years the sea was my home, always recall the sun going down, and my trusty friend, a 1911 pistol, strapped to my side.