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Old October 14, 2012, 06:44 AM   #1
kcub
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better all around revolver: .357 or .45 Colt?

I have and love both but if I had to pare down to one it would have to be the .357 for where I reside in Texas. It can be used to hunt anything around here and no better defense cartridge exists.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:02 AM   #2
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For availability and all around usefulness in the lower 48, I'd probably pic the .357. You can use light .38 Spl wadcutters for practice and training if recoil sensitivity is a factor, and go to the big magnum for SD, HD, or close in deer and hog hunting. It's a pretty all around cartridge.

But if that .45 Colt came with an add'l cylinder chambered in .45 ACP, I'd have to ponder long and hard, especially if it were housed in one of Ruger's new Flat Top Blackhawks, the stainless steel one.

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Old October 14, 2012, 07:34 AM   #3
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I have both with matching Rossi Model 92s. I'm very fond of both and would be hard pressed to pick one over the other. For hunting I prefere my RBH in 45 Colt. Loaded hot I feel it is a more devestating round but for SD purposes I'd lean towards the .357. The GP 100 being double action and the ammo being much lighter and easier to carry.
Both will do the job. I guess I'm not being much help here as I have no plans to pick just one.
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Old October 14, 2012, 08:10 AM   #4
Nathan
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To me, this looks like 2 guns:

The 357 mag would be a S&W 19(or bigger) 4". It is a very versatile gun in the target shooting, SD, HD realm, but limited in hunting. Limited as in I like to be able to hunt out to ~75 or so yards when thinking about deer. I would have a hard time shooting over 50 at a deer with a 357 magnum. A 6" would add to this. 38 special is super accurate ammo, in general. In a good, K to N frame 357 magnum, I think accuracy could be superb like 2.5 - 4.0 at 50 yards!

To me, 45 Colt is best bought into as a Ruger SA(I prefer the Bisley grip with heavy loads). In a Ruger SA w/ 45 ACP cylinder, you could happily shoot anything from 185 gr SWC's at 800fps - 325gr hard cast at 1300 fps. IME, you will need 2 - 3 front sights for this range. I have 2. The 1300 fps 300gr cast loads just had that much recoil! I think this because it is an SA is kind of meaningless as an SD, HD or CCW. It is a fine wilderness packing gun or general outdoor work gun. It will likely have fine accuracy to 100 yards or so, depending on your ability to hold it. It will have the power to take most north american big game and all small game. Really too much for small game.

If I lived in town and was leaning towards Range,SD, HD and CCW, I would go S&W 13/65.

If I wanted a ranch/outdoors packin piece, I would go Ruger SA in a 5.5" or 7.5".
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Old October 14, 2012, 09:24 AM   #5
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Depends a lot on the person I think...

To me, the .45 Colt makes a dandy defence round in town and out. Has for a lot of years too... And a hunting round if that is something you like to do in a revolver that can handle it.... It's noise level is 10 times less than the .357Mag (of course you can load down to .38s) . Plus I like the history of the round. Does everything I will ever need doing .... Big and slow is the way to go... I have my .22s for a lot of cheap target practice. So for me, I skip the peanut round and move up the big bore for most of my shooting.


To someone else the .357 does what they need doing and will argue the point vigorously. To me the only thing going for the .357 is ammo is more available. Cheaper too. I reload so that isn't as big an issue. Also, if recoil is an issue the .38/.357 is the way to go. At the range, I had a person shoot my .45 Colt BH and he said he'll stick with his peanut round. His choice .

Glad we have choices as we all have a person preference. Oh, I actually prefer to have both calibers in my stable . My wife likes the .38/.357 . So does my dad as he doesn't like the higher recoil of the big bores (any more) . But as for me ...
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Old October 14, 2012, 09:36 AM   #6
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just one(?)

If buying ammo, the 357 Magnum.

If making ammo, the 45 Colt.
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Old October 14, 2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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.357 magnum....
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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The .45 Colt is a far "better all around revolver." It can far beyond anything you can do with a .357. It is twice as much gun with "Ruger only" loads. There is nothing the .357 can do better. But if you live in an area for self-defense and for deer size game max, then the .357 will work. If there is large/dangerous game then, again, the .45 Colt is twice as much gun, and will kill anything on earth.
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:19 AM   #9
Hal
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Quote:
There is nothing the .357 can do better.
A gun chambered for the .357 can slip into a pocket...
One chambered for .45LC - and that's usable for anything beyond a couple of feet - can't. unless you have big pockets ...

Take away the concealability factor & I'm right with you on the .45LC.
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:22 AM   #10
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I prefer the .45 Colt, as I reload and can make soft target loads to the heavy hitting rounds, and everything in between. If I didn't reload, I'd say .357 Mag as you can buy less expensive .38 Spl for practice.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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For me the 357 magnum.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:57 AM   #12
rodfac
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Quote:
If buying ammo, the 357 Magnum.

If making ammo, the 45 Colt.
Good points Weshoot2 Best Regards, Rod
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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Funny , I was just at the pistol range shooting my S&W 627 Pro Series 357 magnum when the only other fellow there was armed with a very nice S&W model 25 in 45 long colt......we talked for awhile and he showed me his revolver that he got used and was in excellent shape ( almost looked brand new ) ! I think for the avid handloader the 45 long colt would be very versatile and fun to own.....however , I'm rather lazy about loading large amounts of handgun ammunition and often buy bulk ammo on sale for range use so the 38 special & some 357 magnum ammunition is cheaper and my full power 357 mag loads are plenty for my needs !
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:42 PM   #14
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Arguments can be made for both, I think it is mostly s matter of preference. If forced to have only one I would have a very specific preference for my S&W mod. 28. I have had it the longest, shot it the most, and can target shoot out to 100 yards with it. I can not shoot any of my other hand guns as well even my mod. 27 and it is nearly the same gun. Go figure??
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:46 PM   #15
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With this thread inevitably headed for a popularity contest of personal favorites I will say if one considers all facets, the 357 Magnum is a hands down winner.
1. Excellent power for both SD, and most hunting.
2. Easier availability of common comercial ammunition.
3. Smaller size weapons available for CCW, and lighter weight for extended carry in the woods.
4. Lower cost of commercial ammunition. Including much lower cost for 38 spcl as practice ammo.
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Old October 14, 2012, 01:56 PM   #16
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If I could have only one, the 357. Simply put even a 686 or gp100 packs better and easier than any N frame or redhawk.

I realize for carry afield many don't care however you do notice after awhile the weight and size.

Even in the same size gun It's not an easy call for me unless the appliction is something that is clearly calling for the 45 colt power level. I thought about this a bunch as I had a chance to buy a reasonable priced smith 696.

I really like the 696 however at the end of the day I could not imagine an application where I would rather have 5 of 44 special as opposed to 7 357's I carry in the 686.
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Old October 14, 2012, 02:25 PM   #17
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To me the .357 as far as better choices for concealability , more capacity and as has been said, loading down to the 38 would be my choice of the better 'all purpose' pistol.

But for hunting, I'll take the heavier 45 lc with some taylored handloads every time.
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Old October 14, 2012, 02:42 PM   #18
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For those looking for a .45Colt to slip in your pocket.....

http://bondarms.com/bond-arms-guns/texas-defender
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Old October 14, 2012, 02:50 PM   #19
Pointshoot
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I own revolvers in both 45 Colt & in 357 mag. - - I prefer the 45 Colt (and the 44 Special). The reason comes down to muzzle blast. Like a lot of shooters, I have experienced some high frequency hearing loss (while hunting, when my stocking cap interfered with the seal on my electronic ear muffs. Everyone is different in terms of their sensitivity to loud noises according to my hearing doc). The sound energy levels of the 45 Colt are half that of a 357 mag. In a hunting or target range situation where you have your ear plugs or muffs, it doesnt matter so much. But in a quickly moving emergency situation where you need to use your gun Now, I choose to use the very effective bigger bore guns that do the job at much lower pressures. Youre a lot less effective in a self defense situation if youre deaf ! For these reasons I tend to use the 45 Colt and 44 Special in my field and self defense revolvers.
My first handgun was a .357 Magnum. There's a lot I like about the cartridge, but I don't shoot them much now.
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Old October 14, 2012, 06:01 PM   #20
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I prefer the .357 in revolvers, but prefer the .45 Colt in carbines. So much for compatibility.
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Old October 14, 2012, 06:02 PM   #21
ligonierbill
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Funny, my "woods gun" is a RBH .45 Colt, but I was just thinking I need the new SP-101 4.2" .357. Why? Why not? I like the fact that I can literally be "loaded for bear" with the .45, but in truth, I mostly shoot 250 hard cast at just under 1,000 fps. Cheap to load, fun to shoot, crushes most critters with little meat damage. Still want that .357, though.
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Old October 14, 2012, 06:07 PM   #22
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
Quote:
If buying ammo, the 357 Magnum.

If making ammo, the 45 Colt.
Great points and for me that holds true. I don't reload and the .357 does every thing I need it to do.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:05 PM   #23
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I prefer the .357 magnum. I like the various functions it serves me. I use it in a J-Frame, a N Frame, a Desert Eagle, and a Marlin Carbine.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:13 PM   #24
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I had to make that choice when I chose my Vaquero. I had a 45 long colt before and liked it. I chose the 357 mag though because it is much cheaper to shoot 38spl.

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Old October 14, 2012, 07:20 PM   #25
Bob Wright
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When Ruger first came out with the .357/9mm convertible Blackhawk many years ago, one of their advertising claims was:

"There is hardly any place in the world where you can go and not find ammunition for it."

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