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Old April 23, 2013, 08:16 AM   #1
old fart
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40s&w or 357 magnum?

i am looking to get me a gun to wear for self defense, i will use it in public as well as in the woods. right now i can only afford one gun so my choices at my shop are the 40 or 357 mag. the 357 is $100 more than the 40 so thats something to consider. which would ya'll choose having only one choice?, i live in kentucky. thanks
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:18 AM   #2
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Both calibers are within what I call "the window of acceptable performance," so there's more to consider:
1) Do you want to CC it?
2) What are the models of the pistols?
3) Are there other intended uses? Range? Rural pest control?
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:33 AM   #3
deepcreek
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Most people consider a 357 minimum for bear protection and a 40cal to small. Not sure how many bears you have in Kentucky?
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:34 AM   #4
old fart
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i will open carry right now, the guns are a 357 mag taurus 66 at $475 or a stoeger couger in 40s&w for $375 both are new. i will be taking it hiking in the woods too, where i live the biggest threat in the woods is man with a rabid coyote next, there is a outside chance of a wild hog too though sightings around here are rare but do occur. thanks
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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By no stretch of the imagination am I a ballistics expert. However, for those purposes, I'd go with the .357 Mag revolver.
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:47 AM   #6
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IMO, the biggest benefit to .357 is you can shoot cheaper .38 special in it for plinking/practice.

Can't do that with a .40 gun.

Then there is the whole revolver vs. auto argument.
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Ky guy here too. Both cartridges are very good all around choices. For me I prefer the platform of the semi-auto just because it's going to be lighter (depending on model) and hold more ammo. As for a good woods load, Buffalo Bore just came out with what they call the .40 S&W "Outdoorsman", plenty for deer and would punch through a black bear in the ultra rare chance you ran upon one. It's a:

.401" 200gr hardcast
Muzzle velocity: 1,000 fps
Notice it's standard pressure too.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_images&p=347

With that said, I don't see anything the typical 180gr FMJ/JHP .40 wouldn't put down in a hurry here in KY.
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Old April 23, 2013, 10:09 AM   #8
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Depending on the length of the barrel on the .357, the .40 is very comparable to it with off-the-shelf factory ammo. They're close enough that I consider the "knockdown" comparison to be a moot point. In MY OPINION, this comes down to a platform preference. Do you prefer a semi-auto or wheelgun?

My two handguns are a .40 and a .357 and the main reason I select the .357 for carry is because it looks nicer. I have never had my Beretta .40 jam on me, I consider it every bit as reliable as the revolver.

However, I find that I am more accurate with the revolver and don't know why. I was never very accurate with any handgun before but the revolver triggers my latent Doc Holliday superpowers.

The only clear solution I see here is to buy both.

Ivan
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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Actually we do have bears in the eastern part of Kentucky. Not a huge population, but they're there and I believe there may be a permit-only hunting season for them.

As to the .40 S&W versus .357 Magnum question, I've owned both but I'm a revolver guy in my old age. Still, another possibility would be a semi-auto, possibly a Glock, in .40 or .357 SIG, with a drop-in barrel for the other caliber.
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:45 AM   #10
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old fart You can conceal a thinner, lighter 40 cal easy than a 357 mag. There are some nice compact labels out there too form glock 27 and 19 , m&p shield and kahr has a a few. If recoil is not an issue for you there several under 20oz to look at. I grew up hunting with a 357 DW revolver but for personal defence a carry a thinner lighter pistols.
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:45 AM   #11
MrBorland
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How 'bout the best of both?: A revolver chambered in .40S&W, or even 10mm. The 10mm revolver can also shoot .40S&W.
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Old April 23, 2013, 02:07 PM   #12
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I carry the excellent CORBON DPX in 40 in my Shield


Not quite as fast as a 357 magnum, but hits hard enough for me, as well as
Being able to quickly reload, and have more rounds than a wheel gun
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Old April 23, 2013, 03:55 PM   #13
eman
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If it were me I would go for the 357 mag & practice with 38 specials.
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:05 PM   #14
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Honestly, I'd select what aims/points most naturally in your hands. Close your eyes, raise the empty handgun and open your eyes. Repeat several times, and see which sights are aligned closest with where you are looking. Either that or just go with what feels best.

Personally, I'd go with the Taurus 66. I owned one years ago. Very nice gun, super accurate ... should never have sold it. But just because I liked it doesn't necessarily make it right for you.
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Most people consider a 357 minimum for bear protection and a 40cal to small. Not sure how many bears you have in Kentucky?
Most people who have never even seen a bear in the wild much less had one come at them.

Against black bears in the lower 48 a .40 would most likely do the job just fine. You have to make just the right shot with almost any handgun, if you do then the caliber isn't so important. If you don't....again, it won't matter. Crunch, crunch, gulp!

That being said I would go for a 357 magnum since I prefer revolvers and love the versatility that caliber provides.
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Old April 23, 2013, 05:29 PM   #16
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Without posting a suggestion that you need something other than the two guns mentioned in the OP I would say the 357 would possibly be the more versital round choice. However, with the crazyness of today's ammo situation the choice could be as simple as which one has readily available ammo in your area.
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Old April 23, 2013, 05:48 PM   #17
deepcreek
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Quote:
Most people who have never even seen a bear in the wild much less had one come at them.

Against black bears in the lower 48 a .40 would most likely do the job just fine. You have to make just the right shot with almost any handgun, if you do then the caliber isn't so important. If you don't....again, it won't matter. Crunch, crunch, gulp!
Personally i would be scared to shoot a aggressive bear with 12gauge slug, they are some tough animals.. A lot of people have put a decent of bullets in them and never recovered them.
We have a good amount of black bears in Colorado they are usually reclusive but, they can get weird. I have came a crossed a couple that were not scared of people.

I don't feel that secure with a semi-auto handgun in a situation like that. I would rather have a revolver even if it is less shots. Personally I think a lot of it is attitude if something makes you feel more bad@ss you are going to have a better chance of a aggressive bear not wanting to mess with you.

.357 Magnum Speer Gold Dot Ammo Gel Test
http://youtu.be/KxXTNzpBcvM

.40 Speer Gold Dot 155 gr Ammo Gel Test
http://youtu.be/Gee4lYnxAWY
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Personally i would be scared to shoot a aggressive bear with 12gauge slug, they are some tough animals.. A lot of people have put a decent of bullets in them and never recovered them.
Slightly off topic, but for those that are interested in the topic of "bear" defense.

The Alaska State Troopers carry 3 firearms. They have a Glock 22 on their hip, an M4 Patrol Carbine, and a Remington 870 shotgun. I was friends with one of their firearms instructors, and this is what he had to say.

"The Glock is for situations where it won't look good carrying a long gun. Traffic stops, DV's, etc. It's purpose is to protect you, and so you can get to your car and get your M4. The M4 is for situations where you are in or could be in trouble with violent humans. Longer range, more effectiveness than the Glock. The 870 is for bears. Period."

Though he said they usually keep them loaded with buckshot as a backup to the M4, just in case, or in a situation where the M4 isn't optimal. Their bear slug of choice? Brenneke Black Magic 3in Magnums. That, my friends, is a 600gr slug travelling at 1500fps. A good hit will drop even the biggest, scariest Grizzlies. I have a couple boxes. I've fired exactly 2 of them. Not a fun round to shoot, but if I were face to face with a hungry grizzly, the pain in my shoulder would be the least of my worries.

For bear, I'll take a 12ga over anything else. If weight/comfort is an issue, .357 is the least I'd go, but I'd really want a .44 Mag or bigger.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:38 PM   #19
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Remember this. Almost all of the published ballistics you see for 357 magnums are from 8" test barrels. The 40, 9mm, 45, and 10mm published ballistics are from 4"-5" barrels that people actually carry. The real world 357 ballistics you get from a 3-4" barrel will be far less than published. The semi auto loads will be almost exactly what is listed. In the real world 124 gr 9mm loads are are faster than 125 gr 357 mag loads from 3" barrrels.

A good 40 S&W 180 gr load is probably closer to 357 than you think for large animal protection. For SD from 2 legged predators I'd take the 40 anyday. Lets be realistic and consider where the threats are coming from. Bears are not that big of a concern, and they are not that hard to kill. In reality a 250 lb bear is no harder to kill than many 250 lb men.
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Old April 24, 2013, 04:58 PM   #20
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In a hunting scenario where the bear is shot from ambush I'd agree with that. However, that enraged 250 pound mass of muscle, hair, grizzle and bone is going to MUCH more difficult to stop than a human of the same size. . .unless you can make the perfect shot. Carry whatever you feel the most confident in making that perfect shot with.
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Old April 24, 2013, 05:29 PM   #21
draidt
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Love my nickel plated 25 year old Model 66 Taurus .357, also have a new KSR40C which I like a lot but have not fallen in love with YET. Right now I would feel more comfortable with the .357 in stopping anything I have to in a pinch. All be it 6 chances with the Taurus and 15 with the Ruger
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Old April 24, 2013, 05:48 PM   #22
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Get to a range where ideally you can rent ...and shoot both guns before you buy....its not just a caliber issue....its weight, trigger pulls - single and double action - reset - how they break, and grip angle and how they feel in your hands ( not my hands ) ...

You're looking at 2 guns that are radically different in terms of feel, controls, etc....

either caliber is probably fine..

Personally for a woods gun ...open carry ...I like a revolver in .357 Mag in a 4" barrel ( S&W model 66 or a model 686 would be my choice) with a good leather holster to specifically fit that model.
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Old April 24, 2013, 05:52 PM   #23
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I carried my S&W .357 4"loaded with Hornady 158 grn Xtps on one hip and and my 10rnd 40 on the other as a backup for black bear when i lived in Tennessee.
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Old April 24, 2013, 11:39 PM   #24
JimmyR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old fart View Post
i will open carry right now, the guns are a 357 mag taurus 66 at $475 or a stoeger couger in 40s&w for $375 both are new. i will be taking it hiking in the woods too, where i live the biggest threat in the woods is man with a rabid coyote next, there is a outside chance of a wild hog too though sightings around here are rare but do occur. thanks
For outdoor use exclusively, I would lean towards the revolver. HOWEVER, assuming those are your only two options, I would probably go for the Couger. At the price point you list, I would feel more comfortable with a used Ruger or Smith and Wesson revolver- the quality just seems to be that much better. Combined with the fact that this will be primarily a self defense weapon, I think you are better suited getting the Couger. As for holsters, AFAIK any holster that fits the Beretta px4 should fit, since they are largely the same weapon.
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:52 AM   #25
old fart
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well i went with the stoeger couger in 40cal., i was leaning real hard toward the 357 as i prefer revolvers but price and ammo was my deciding point. the gun shop said he would take $350otd for the stoeger as he said he had it for about a year, he said new ones that are ordered now are $419+tax. the 357 would have been over $500 with tax, and he had no ammo he had several boxes of 40 cal. thanks everyone
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