View Full Version : pistol calibers in rifles - 44mag vs 357mag

Cousin Pat
March 3, 2014, 05:39 PM
Looking at ballisticbytheinch.com, it looks like the faster 357mag gains at lot more energy from a 18" barrel than the slower 44Mag -- so that the muzzle energy advantage of 44 over 357 is only about 15% coming out of a rifle. This is of course at the muzzle -- I wonder what the comparison is at, say, 50 yards...

March 3, 2014, 06:10 PM
Down load one of the ballistic apps and check out some specific loads.

March 5, 2014, 02:46 AM
Own and shoot both........and the ME/chrono figures are not necessarily the end of the story. No doubt in my mind that an all up .44 carbine, particularly one of the heavy bullet loads at full house, say 265 grains and up, is far more gun than any .357 load.

It'd be interesting to see how much penetration one got in various mediums with a heavy/ tough slug from a .44 carbine.

March 5, 2014, 08:07 AM
Muzzle energy is a poor benchmark for performance, using it alone overlooks many other much more important factors. While the 44 from BBTI only has 15% more energy the 240 hydra shok has about 50% more momentum.
I'd also add that there are no full power 44 mag loads listed on BBTI.

And the correct answer as always is get both.

Deja vu
March 5, 2014, 08:13 AM
I am a huge 357 magnum fan. That said the 357 magnum is not the rifle the 44mag is. There is a little over lap. The Hottest 357s are hotter than the mildest 44 mags but in the upper (and even middle) ends the 44mag out does the 357 by a pretty big margin.

The 357 magnum out does the 44 only in recoil and price point. I guess you could say trajectory but not by much. :rolleyes:

March 5, 2014, 09:06 AM
Depends on whether you just want to PLAY with it or need it to do more. I've seen the difference between the two on deer and it is significant. If something bigger was on the game card, there's simply no comparison.

March 5, 2014, 09:45 AM
In an 18 in rifle, the trajectory difference in negligible (.5 inch @ 100yds). However, the 44 mag delivers 250 more ft/lbs at 100yds than the 357. I'm comparing 240 grain 44 mag @ 1600 FPS to 158 grain 357 mag @ 1700 fps.

That's likely the 2 most common off the shelf loads for each.

44 AMP
March 5, 2014, 02:54 PM
Looking in one book, I found 240gr in the 1700fps range from a 20" carbine, and in another book, a load in the 1800fps range from an 18.5" barrel.

I've had both the Marlin carbines in .357 and .44, and I can tell you that the difference in recoil is quite noticeable. There may be only 15% difference in muzzle energy (cherry picking which loads to compare), but it sure feels like more than 15% in recoil to me.

A 158gr .357 bullet at 1700fps has a muzzle energy of 1014ft/lbs
A 240gr .429 bullet at 1600fps has a muzzle energy of 1365ft/lbs

At 50yds, the .44 has 1003ft/lbs
At 50yds, the .357 has 765ft/lbs

That's NOT 15%, its more like 1/3!

Art Eatman
March 5, 2014, 08:43 PM
Beaucoup comments from hunters who rarely need to shoot at Bambi beyond 50 to 100 yards. For them, a .357 or .44 is as useful as an '06 is for me in wide-open country.

March 7, 2014, 10:04 PM
44 mag out of a16.5" barrel has worked well on deer for me.

The woods I hunt make a hundred yard shot "long."

March 9, 2014, 01:33 AM
As mavracer mentioned, bullet momentum will often be more important than kinetic energy of the bullet, especially for penetration. Mass is the more important component for momentum and velocity is the more important component for kinetic energy. You can see this in the formulas where M is mass and V is velocity:

Kinetic Energy = 1/2M x V2

Momentum = M x V

March 9, 2014, 04:23 PM
A lot depends on the bullets you choose. In .357 you pretty much need a quality 158 JHP at max velocity. Muzzle energy will look impressive here.
.44 Mag, or better yet the .45 Colt, will do well with cast 240-255 SWCs or heavier LFPs at 1000-1200 fps, with less than impressive energy figures.

My allarounders in pistol caliber carbines are the .357 158 XTP with a full dose of HS-6 (~1500 fps? in my 22" Handi) and a 255 grain .452" LSWC over 8.0 Unique (~1050 fps) in my 20" H&R classic carbine.

The big bores are more fun to shoot.

March 12, 2014, 04:08 PM
These are the velocities I got with 240 grain bullets in my Marlin 1894. At 100 yards a 44 Magnum from a rifle hits my gong targets very hard.

I was never interested in the 357 Magnum out of a rifle. Sure it will have less recoil, but I want more power.

I always thought using Kinetic Energy (mass times velocity squared) as a comparision between bullets was bogus, since only momentum (mass times velocity) is conserved. Gunwriters love KE because it squares the velocity and it is a lot easier to increase velocity, and thus KE, than increasing momentum.

The 44 Magnum has more momentum than the 357 and always will.

M1894 Marlin Ballard Barrel

240 Speer JHP 22.0 grs 2400 CCI 500
21-Dec-01 T = 54 °F

Ave Vel =1747
Std Dev =21
ES =68
Low =1717
High =1785
N =7

240 Nosler JHP 24.0 grs W296 WLP Fed cases
23-Mar-05 T = 65° F

Ave Vel =1725
Std Dev =7
ES =21
Low =1715
High =1736
N =5

240 Nosler JHP 24.5 grs W296 WLP Fed cases
23-Mar-05T = 65° F
Ave Vel =1752
Std Dev =12
ES =28
Low =1735
High =1763
N =5

240 Nosler JHP 24.0 grs H110 WLP Midway cases
23-Mar-05 T = 65° F

Ave Vel =1710
Std Dev =3
ES =9
Low =1705
High =1714
N =5

240 Nosler JHP 24.5 grs H110 WLP Midway cases
23-Mar-05 T = 65° F

Ave Vel =1745
Std Dev =12
ES =45
Low =1723
High =1768
N =10

240 Rem JHP 24.0 grs H110 WLP Midway cases
23-Mar-05 T = 65° F

Ave Vel =1719
Std Dev =10
ES =29
Low =1705
High =1734
N =10


March 13, 2014, 03:33 AM
Marlin 1894 pre-safety with Lyman receiver sight?

March 14, 2014, 07:00 PM
I don't know much about the 44. But I can tell you my info on 357.

20" Henry 357 and chrono @ 10 ft

125 grn bullet
22.2 grains w296
Magnum primer

Pushes 2250 f/s muzzle. 1440 ft/lb
2068 f/s 50 yds. 1188 ft/lb
1886 f/s @100yds 986 ft/lb

March 16, 2014, 12:37 AM
2250 fps? That's mach 2!
Well done.

44 AMP
March 16, 2014, 02:35 PM
I have gotten 2200fps from the 18" Marlin .357 with 125s and a case full of 2400. Its neat.

BUT, the regular 125 JHP tends to come apart very violently when it hits something at that speed. Think varmint bullet or small grenade.;)

NOT a good choice where some penetration is needed.

March 16, 2014, 03:07 PM
Yeah, I had a Marlin carbine paired to a L-frame Smith for a while, both zeroed for 125 factory JHP. From the carbine, the 125 load was just absolutely explosive on vermin and ferals.

December 6, 2014, 04:57 PM
I have one of each in the limited run Marlin 16" 1894cp and 1894p rifles. I just love these things. They both gain alot from a rifle barrel. Never chronographed them but I will for sure say the 44 kicks ALOT harder (you wouldn't expect a pistol round to kick in rifle:) and hits alot harder. Both are very accurate as I was hitting a 4" mower blade stuck in the dirt in our front field at about 270 yards about 50% of the time, a bit easier with the 357, of course I was holding high on target, but pretty fun:) I'm sure the 357 would down a whitetail if well aimed but If I was hunting deer, I would for take the 44 just to be safe.

December 21, 2014, 08:11 PM
I have killed deer with both in marlins. Both work very well. I load the 44 with 265gr cast over 9.5gr of unique. Sort of a pistol load out of the rifle. Still shoots thru both sides and they fall down. In the 357 its a 180gr cast over 16gr h110. Works as good as you need it to. Deer fall down. Pick one and use it. The 357 is more fun for playing at the range. I didn't buy them for brute force, but , for daily 'shooting what needs to be shot' duties at farm distaces they both can't be beat. My distances top out at around 100 yds and trajectory and power are fine out to there. I hunt in the timber for deer and 100 yds may not sound impressive but it is mighty far in the brush. If you are really wanting mainly a big game rifle the 44 wins on power, the 357 on versality with plinking and small game.Both kill deer. Remember, deer aren't that hard to kill. By my experience most guys go way overboard in power for deer. Really, using a 300 mag on deer in the timber? (it is way better if you are sitting in a long field) It works but not much fun to shoot on anything else. I'd rather shoot for fun most of the year.

December 22, 2014, 10:42 AM
Both of them do, but the level of performance gain for the .357 makes for a quite impressive camp gun.

December 22, 2014, 03:06 PM
I have really gone from the idea that the 44mag is a good deer caliber to it is a great deer caliber. Almost all deer I have shot with the 44mag from a handgun are bang-flop kills. These were from mid power 240 XTP loads out of a handgun. In a lever action the 44mag is about as good as they come as a versatile deer slayer. I have killed a few deer with the 357mag and 10mm. They were just o.k but the 44mag is in a completely different league.

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/TheMystro1971/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/44magdeernet-1.jpg (http://s272.photobucket.com/user/TheMystro1971/media/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/44magdeernet-1.jpg.html)

Fully expanded 240xtp recovered on the opposite side hide.
http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/TheMystro1971/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/Entryholenet.jpg (http://s272.photobucket.com/user/TheMystro1971/media/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/Entryholenet.jpg.html)
http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/TheMystro1971/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/44bulletnet.jpg (http://s272.photobucket.com/user/TheMystro1971/media/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/44bulletnet.jpg.html)

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/TheMystro1971/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/Huntingscenenet.jpg (http://s272.photobucket.com/user/TheMystro1971/media/Hunting%20Guns%20etc/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20629-6%20Stainless/Huntingscenenet.jpg.html)

January 5, 2015, 01:58 AM
Nice shot!

The 44 Mag will always have more energy then a 357 Mag.

The reason I would want a 357 Mag lever action, is ammo compatibility- same ammo for revolver and lever gun. And two cal (38 Special & 357 Mag). Granted, 44 Special and 44 Mag also..... but the 38 and 357 is more common in places I go.

January 5, 2015, 02:06 AM
.44 magnum makes more sense in a rifle barrel.

You get the big bore factor, but much higher velocities than out of a handgun. Much more weight. Should be perfect for deer, or wilderness defense. A full power .44 magnum hard cast 300 grain SWC would do well on even a large bear coming out of a carbine. They also will deal a mighty blow for self defense if needed, with a good JHP.