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Old March 19, 2013, 03:33 PM   #1
aquatopia
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.357 and .44 clarification

I’ve been shooting since I was young but have yet to buy my own firearm. I’ve narrowed it down to either the .357 carbine and revolver or .44 carbine and revolver (I’ve done some spying on a lot of sites and this is a common problem for many people). I don’t want to compare the two, they each are great rounds with pros and cons. This carbine and revolver combo would be used for everything, hunting, personal defense, home defense, and of course 95% of the time, plinking/target shooting/fun. I plan on putting a lot of time into practice and training. These are my questions:

1. Could a .357 16” bbl carbine (assume you’re using the best .357 hunting round) take an elk or moose at 50 meters with a classic boiler room shot? At 100 meters? At 150 meters? Not should, could, (I know I should not but if I had no other option, could I do it with one shot).

2. Could a .44 16” bbl carbine (again best hunting round available) take an elk or moose at 50 meters with a classic boiler room shot? At 100 meters? At 150 meters?

3. Can a .44 be down-loaded to resemble a standard .38 round in recoil and use (so even less power than a .44 special)?

4. Is the price difference between hand-loading .44 and .357 significantly different? (I know that off the shelf .357/.38 is a cheaper combo.)

5. Which caliber has a longer effective killing range in a carbine (on let’s say, deer sized animals)? .357 is flatter shooting but is this significant compared to each rounds effectiveness past 100 meters? In other words, a .357 has a higher velocity so it should have a longer range, but is it lethal, or will it simply produce an impressive surface wound?

6. In either caliber does barrel length make any significant difference past 16”? From some sources (Ballistics by the Inch for example) it actually seems that both .357 and .44 lose velocity around 16-17”.

Any insight would be appreciated, personal experience, ballistic data, a brief lesson in physics, etc. Thanks!

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Old March 19, 2013, 04:07 PM   #2
hardworker
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From what I've seen 100 yards is about all you can expect out of a lever gun in either caliber without aiming really high. And I wouldn't expect rifle accuracy at that range. And while a 357 can do the job, for an animal that big I'd rather have the 44.

As far as costs, I can reload a box (50 rounds) of light 44 magnum lead for around 9 bucks, or at least that was the cost before this panic set in. 38 was about 8 dollars per box of 50 lead rounds.
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Old March 19, 2013, 04:33 PM   #3
buck460XVR
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On deer sized game, using the proper bullets, I think it's a toss up. On game the size of Elk and Moose, I'd stick with the .44mag. .44 can be downloaded to comfortable levels, but will never be the same as low recoil .357. If you buy bullets, especially jacketed, it is cheaper to reload for the .357 as it is to reload for the .44. Figure 3-8 cents a bullet difference in jacketed. Powder needed for hunting type loads will require about a third more for .44 than for .357. In other words, with most powders you could load 4 .357s for every 3 .44s. This is my opinion based on my experience of reloading and shooting both .357 mag and .44 mag in revolvers and carbines.
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Old March 19, 2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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On the ballistics side of this, I got nothing.

On the other hand, I will stop in long enough to say welcome to TFL.
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Old March 19, 2013, 04:40 PM   #5
carguychris
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Quote:
Can a .44 be down-loaded to resemble a standard .38 round in recoil and use (so even less power than a .44 special)?
You can't realistically go much lower that published minimum .44Spl loads without a danger of squibs, particularly out of a carbine.

The felt recoil characteristics of .44Spl will never be quite the same as .38Spl because it uses more massive bullets. That said, both should have pretty negligible recoil from a carbine.
Quote:
Is the price difference between hand-loading .44 and .357 significantly different? (I know that off the shelf .357/.38 is a cheaper combo.)
Define "significant". OK, in all seriousness, .44 typically costs roughly 30%-50% more per round if you purchase off-the-shelf bullets. The difference is potentially less if you cast your own, particularly if you have a free-to-cheap source of recyclable lead, but these are becoming fewer and farther between, and many handloaders don't want to expend the time or effort to cast their own bullets regardless.

Furthermore, new .44 brass costs significantly more, and recycled range brass is also more expensive because the supply is smaller; however, brass in both of these calibers usually has a very long lifespan, particularly if the loads are mild.
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Old March 19, 2013, 06:32 PM   #6
Newton24b
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a 44 mag carbine feeds 44 special just fine. compare that to what can be loaded in 38 cases. heck you can get some of the carbines tofeed 44 russian just fine to.


but in the end, the 44 magnum carbine is the better cartridge for elk.
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Old March 19, 2013, 06:42 PM   #7
Revolver1
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If you want a hunting rifle, get a 270 win. As for the 357 vs 44, 357mag hands down! More versatile, 38spl/357mag. Ammo is less wether or not you reload. Will take a whitetail at Reasonable distances.
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Old March 21, 2013, 03:26 AM   #8
DaleA
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I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about a handgun and rifle set in the same caliber (my favorite would be .454 Casull) but I’m always held back by the fact that I would be lugging around a rifle but I wouldn’t be getting ‘rifle’ performance out of it.

Being able to share ammo between the two would be neat but not neat enough, IMhO to give up the performance advantage a rifle COULD provide.
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Old March 21, 2013, 06:11 AM   #9
Salmoneye
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Quote:
I'd stick with the .44mag. .44 can be downloaded to comfortable levels, but will never be the same as low recoil .357.
.44 can easily be downloaded to .44SPCL levels, and even to a few grains of fast powder under a round ball...
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Old March 21, 2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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If forced to choose only one, it would be 44 Mag. Better would be 45 Colt. Nothing at all wrong with .357, if that's what you want. If you cast your own bullets, cost would be primer and powder, less than five cents a round, or call it 10 cents a round really high siding it with the current state of prices. Cost of the brass is a one time thing, and prorated over it's life, if loaded reasonably, is hardly a factor. If you have to buy your lead for casting, then that is a factor. Initial start up cost for casting, along with buying new guns, and loading equipment, can really stretch a budget. For most of us it happens over time (years).
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:18 AM   #11
g.willikers
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Either one is a good choice.
Both is even better.
So, it doesn't really matter which combo you choose first.
The other one will probably follow.
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Old March 21, 2013, 02:38 PM   #12
dmckean44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleA
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about a handgun and rifle set in the same caliber (my favorite would be .454 Casull) but I’m always held back by the fact that I would be lugging around a rifle but I wouldn’t be getting ‘rifle’ performance out of it.

Being able to share ammo between the two would be neat but not neat enough, IMhO to give up the performance advantage a rifle COULD provide.
44 mag out of a rifle is pretty nice. You're talking 240gr at 1750 ft/s. It's not a .308 but it should still take about anything in North America.
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Old March 21, 2013, 06:37 PM   #13
Buzzcook
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Both moose and elk have been taken with a .357 handgun. Should be possible with a .357 carbine.
I'd check with your states game rules about minimum requirements.

I've seen data for .44 special cowboy loads in the 650fps range. Wouldn't want to try something that slow out of a rifle barrels because of the squib issue mentioned above. Shouldn't be a problem from a revolver.
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:11 AM   #14
DaleA
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Quote:
44 mag out of a rifle is pretty nice.-
Well yes it is.

And you don't have to shoot the max loads - you can shoot mild loads or for plinking go with .44 specials (if I did the .454 Casull I could shoot .45 Colt).

Dang. Might have to go check out the Gun Broker. With all the hi-cap mag and evil black rifle hysteria maybe some revolvers and lever actions are going unappreciated.

What I think I would really like though is a butt stock for my handgun. Alas...such a very useful and practical (and historical!) accessory is not allowed.
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