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Old August 14, 2010, 11:20 PM   #1
roy reali
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.44 magnum vs. .357 magnum

No, I'm not trying to be silly. I am not trying to compare these cartridges on power alone, we know which one would win. I wonder which round do you think is a more useful, all-around cartridge.

My vote would go to the .44 magnum. I am refering to revolvers that are not compact or meant for easy concealment. I am talking about a person having one revolver to cover anything that might be expected from such a firearm.

The .44 magnum could launch a 240 grain bullet from 600 feet per second(special load) to over 1400 feet per second. It is almost like a Star Trek phaser, you can go from stun setting to full power in the same weapon.

I know some will bring up recoil. I used to own a Colt Anaconda in .44 magnum. It did not break my wrists, it didn't smack me upside the head, it didn't briuse me or cause any blood loss, in fact, I did not think the recoil was that bad. I have shot smallish .357 magnum revolvers that were much more unpleasant to shoot.

I believe if a person had a medium sized, 4 to 6 inch barrel, revolver chambered in .44 magnum, he would have one of the most versatile handguns around. While I do think the .357 magnum is useful, it doesn't hold a candle to the bigger round.

Who agrees?

Who disagrees?
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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So you set your question in such a way that it can only be answered one way.

The .44 mag is more powerful than the .357. T or F

You even go so far as to restrict it to full sized revolvers.

There are a few ways in which the .357 would be superior to the .44 mag, but they would be off topic.
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:36 PM   #3
roy reali
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Re:Buzzcock

Forget any parameters, which cartridge would serve the one gun man the best?

The .44 magnum can handle any task that the .357 can handle. The reverse is not true.
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Forget any parameters, which cartridge would serve the one gun man the best?

The .44 magnum can handle any task that the .357 can handle. The reverse is not true.
Given the scenario "one gun man," I think you answered your own question.
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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A 4" or 5" S&W Model 629 Outfitter Series or Colt Anaconda would arguably fill the 'most usefull all-around .44' niche pretty well. I prefer stainless and 5" barrel size double-action revolvers for a variety of reasons..
Carry spare speedloaders stoked with .44 Special or .44 Mag-level loads to cover a wide variety of scenarios as one might expect to encounter in a given situation.

Both .44 Mag and .357 Mag also feature commonality with various types of carbines chambered in the same caliber, further increasing both of their versatility

I'll say the .44 Mag will cover a wider array of medium to big game due to the available bullet weights ranging from light 180gr softpoint and JHP to heavyweight gas-check hardcast hunting loads weighing up to 340 grains.

To quote Clint Eastwood, "a man's got to know his limitations"
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Old August 15, 2010, 12:03 AM   #6
roy reali
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re: Rampant Colt

Quote:
I'll say the .44 Mag will cover a wider array of medium to big game due to the available bullet weights ranging from light 180gr softpoint and JHP to heavyweight gas-check hardcast hunting loads weighing up to 340 grains.
I would include small game too. If you were going to shoot a small, edible creature with the .44 magnum, even with special loads, a head shot would be almost mandatory. But, the same can be said about the .357 magnum. If you body shoot a grouse or squirrel with either round, the eating will be slim.
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Old August 15, 2010, 01:16 AM   #7
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If I could only have one handgun and it had to be one of the two, it would be a 4" Smith & Wesson 686. The ability to plink with .38s and hunt with 357 is what I would like. I know the .44 has more ability to knock down bigger targets and faster, but I would still like the .357. JMO
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Old August 15, 2010, 01:24 AM   #8
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Unless you are in Grizzly country the .357 can do anything the .44 mag can do, and some things better.

I carry a big bore (a .41 mag) in the woods, but my .357 will stop a man without the extra over penetration, less recoil for easier follow up shots and cheap range shooting with .38 specials.

The .44 mag is a fine round, but it's not the best of the two for most people....if I could have only one I'd take the .44 mag simply because of where I live, but if I didn't need the bear protection I'd take the .357 every time. And most people don't live in Grizzly country and never will.
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Old August 15, 2010, 01:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roy reali
Forget any parameters, which cartridge would serve the one gun man the best?
It depends on the man.

A .357 would do anything I NEED a revolver to do and do it very well at a fraction of the cost of feeding a .44mag. (Maybe not a small fraction, but a fraction none-the-less.)

That didn't keep me from buying the .45 Colt Redhawk that gives me the same versatility of just about any .44mag because I WANTED it. I don't put many of the "nuclear" loads through it because I just don't find them enjoyable to shoot...
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Old August 15, 2010, 09:18 AM   #10
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Baesd on your own logic you should get a .45 Colt it can do everything the .44 mag can do but uses bigger bullets and does it with lower pressure. For most every situation a .357 is more practical. If you need to shoot large dangerous animals then the .44 mag is the choice.
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Old August 15, 2010, 09:54 AM   #11
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I still prefer the overall versatility of the .38/.357 platform, especially for everyday carry.
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Old August 15, 2010, 10:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Unless you are in Grizzly country the .357 can do anything the .44 mag can do, and some things better.
Quote:
The .44 mag is a fine round, but it's not the best of the two for most people....if I could have only one I'd take the .44 mag simply because of where I live, but if I didn't need the bear protection I'd take the .357 every time. And most people don't live in Grizzly country and never will.
I agree.

I live in Michigan, and there is nothing I can do with a .44mag that I cannot do with a .357 (the nearest Grizz is in the zoo)
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Old August 15, 2010, 10:16 AM   #13
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The 357 magnum is far superior to the 44 magnum as a self defense cartridge that can be carried in a handgun for concealed carry.

Simply because of it's smaller size.

That said,I hate the 357 magnum for it's horrible sound when it fires.

I don't think there is another cartridge made that has as horrible a firing note as this cartridge,the 44 mag included.

It might be a combination of it's very high case pressure and the speed at which this bullet leaves the barrel but it's just awful.

I could just see myself shooting this thing from a snub revolver and being deaf in the ear nearest the cylinder for the rest of my life.

Fire it several times without hearing protection and you will have hearing damage,I guarantee it.

I proved that to myself with a 357 mag Dan Wesson (that I dearly loved to shoot except for that awful 357 sound note) I used to own.

I prefer any other cartridge to the God Awful Sounding 357.
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Old August 15, 2010, 11:53 AM   #14
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Looking only at ballistics is a bit of an oversimplification I think. The answer to the question ultimately depends on the individual, where he or she lives, and what type of lifestyle he or she has.

For someone who lives in a fairly rural area, particularly in a colder climate with larger animals, the .44 Magnum is probably the better choice. Also, .44 Magnum is an excellent choice for a handloader as expense and ammo availability are of much less concern.

For a city-dweller, particularly one in a warmer climate, I think that .357 Magnum would probably be the better choice. Simply put, the .44 Magnum requires a pretty big gun. Choices any smaller than a S&W N-Frame are pretty slim while smaller gun in .357 Magnum abound. I find that a S&W K-Frame (far from the smallest .357 Magnum available) is much easier to conceal than an N-Frame with the same barrel length.

Recoil is another factor, I find the recoil of 158grn .357 Magnums from my 2 1/2" barrel M66 to be much more pleasant and controllable than even 180grn .44 Magnums from my 4" barrel 629. Likewise, while neither is unpleasant, I find .38 Specials from the M66 to be softer shooting than .44 Specials from the 629.

You also have to take into account ammunition availability and cost. Not everyone is an handloader and even those of us that are often use factory ammo for certain applications (I only use factory ammo for self-defense). .357 Magnum ammo is less expensive than either .44 Magnum or .44 Special ammo and .38 Special ammo is cheaper still. Also, nearly any halfway decent gunshop in my area will have both .357 Magnum and .38 Special ammo in both JHP and cheaper LRN, FMJ, or JSP varieties. .44 Special ammo can be a chore to find at all, much less to find any sort of variety. While .44 Magnum ammo is usually available, it is often only available in JSP with good JHP's being a bit more difficult to find.

Really, I've never been fond of the one-gun-for-everything school of thought. Different tools are for different jobs and using the wrong tool for the job will always yield mediocre results at best.
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Old August 15, 2010, 11:58 AM   #15
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What would you rather carry around all day, a Ruger SuperRedhawk or a K frame Smith in 357?

Forty four magnums are heavy and are big.

If power is the only critieria then I want a Navy 16 inch Mark 7 gun

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Old August 15, 2010, 12:07 PM   #16
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More useful all around for you or me? There is a difference. All around for me includes big game so I have to say a good 4" 44 mag. If big game wasn't a consideration then I would say .357.
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Old August 15, 2010, 12:31 PM   #17
roy reali
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Better?

Quote:
Unless you are in Grizzly country the .357 can do anything the .44 mag can do, and some things better.
Name one thing the .357 magnum can do better then the .44 magnum.
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Old August 15, 2010, 12:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Name one thing the .357 magnum can do better then the .44 magnum.
Be used in a 7 shot revolver.
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Old August 15, 2010, 01:18 PM   #19
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Or better yet an eight shot revolver. It is also flatter shooting but the O/P had his mind made-up when he started this "caliber wars" thread.
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Old August 15, 2010, 02:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Name one thing the .357 magnum can do better then the .44 magnum.
1. The 357 magnum is much better for urban use and has proven over the years to be the best manstopper. Its does not penetrate as much in a indoor situation which could cause a accident and a innocent victim getting killed. It could happen but not like a 44 mag round.
2. Ammo is less expense than a 44 magnum.
3. Better options for carry with a 357 revolver.
4. The 357 round can be used for defense against almost anything short of large game like bears. Personally, there are better options for Bear than a 44 magnum revolver.

Summary: The 44 magnum is a fine larger caliber round just like the 45 LC. But for most people the 357 magnum the best all around round in a revolver. My opinion only.

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Old August 15, 2010, 02:10 PM   #21
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Quote:
Buzzcook

Be used in a 7 shot revolver.
Or 8
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Old August 15, 2010, 09:40 PM   #22
roy reali
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Rebuttal

You can shoot loads in a .44 magnum revolver that replicate .45ACP rounds. Over-penetration shouldn't be too different then a .357 magnum.

Yes, some .357 revolvers have more then a half dozen rounds carried in them. You don't need as many rounds from the forty-four.
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Old August 15, 2010, 09:44 PM   #23
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I have three of each caliber myself.
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Old August 15, 2010, 10:06 PM   #24
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I'm in the "it depends where you live" crowd. My opinion is that .357/.38 is the perfect caliber for most of the lower 48; by simply changing the ammo you can use it for deer hunting, small game hunting (using headshots), animal protection, concealed carry, or as a duty gun. .357 magnum also has the best 1-shot stopping record, at least according to the charts I've seen online.

I grew up in SE Alaska, and I'd say that .44 magnum is definitely the sidearm caliber of choice around there, at least for open carry. It can do just about everything the .357 can but it has more oomph for animal protection. The cost is that you end up carrying a larger, heavier gun.

I now live in the lower 48, and I now prefer .357 magnum. If I still lived in Alaska, I'd sell it for a .44. The concept of "one gun" isn't sold on me, though; I like having one full-sized one for the trail & range, and a smaller one for daily carry. I like their calibers to complement each other, i.e., my CCW is in .38 and my trail gun is in .357.
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Old August 15, 2010, 11:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Name one thing the .357 magnum can do better then the .44 magnum.
Fit in my pocket in a S&W J Frame revolver.

In a S&W N Frame revolver, I would prefer the 8 shots of the .357 magnum 627PC, than the 6 shots of the S&W 329PD, or 629 Classic.

However in my world the pocket pistol has priority over the hunting handgun.
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