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Old September 19, 2005, 09:15 PM   #1
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.357 mag, what size should I get?

Howdy all. I am almost decided on purchasing a .357 mag. I intend to use it for target practice, possibly some hunting, and I want to be able to use it in defensive and offensive situations. It may become a bugout gun I put in behind my belt, if need be. Currently, all I have is a Baretta Cougar in .45 acp. It is a good auto, but something in me longs for the wheelgun. Question is, should i get a 4 or 6 inch barrell. And also, should I think about the extra capacity smith's and taurus's in 7 and 8 round. Any advice is much appreciated.
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Old September 19, 2005, 09:41 PM   #2
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4 or 6 inch? Hmm, much can be said for either one. Neither is perfect, but both are useful. As an offense/defense weapon and one to tuck in the belt, I'd opt for a 4" model, as the shorter barrel is able to be drawn quicker and is more convenient to carry, and the shorter barrel gives an adversary less to grab on to when up close and personal. You will get better performance out of the 6" barrel for a given load, however. And the longer barrel gives a longer sight radius and a more weight forward balance, which is advantageous for target practice as well as hunting. That said, my 4" one is plenty accurate, and is quite capable of handling just about anything I'm liable to run across here in the southeast (except for black bear, for which it is at most marginal).

In the end, you have to weigh these factors for yourself. Is the revolver going to be primarily a SD gun? If so, you would be better served with the shorter barrel. Are you going to just be using it as a bedside gun from a SD standpoint, but do a lot of target shooting (esp. long range) and hunting with it? If so, you would be better served with the longer barrel. Personally, I found myself facing the same quandary and I opted for the shorter barrel.

About the 7 or 8 shot cylinders -- well, mine is a 6, and I don't feel undergunned. I respect the rule of 3's, in that SD encounters are over in 3 seconds, are usually 3 feet or less in range, and the matter is settled with 3 or less shots. You aren't going to get anywhere near 6 shots at once in a hunting situation, so those extra rounds don't help you there, and unless you are doing the tactical games sort of target shooting, you won't need to shoot any more than 6 shots at a loading there, either. Just my opinion, but I don't particuarly find myself wanting any more shots in my revolver than the 6 I've got. YMMV.
Formerly lived in Ga, but now I'm back in Tx! Aaaand, now I'm off to Fla...
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Old September 20, 2005, 06:23 PM   #3
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A 4 inch model 66 by S&W
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Old September 20, 2005, 06:34 PM   #4
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4 incher gives you more options.....
Have a nice day at the range

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Old September 20, 2005, 07:08 PM   #5
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Go for a 4 inch - unless you want to do mostly target shooting for lunch money.

I have a SW 66 and a Ti Taurus Tracker (7 shot). Both shoot well, but there's something nice about an old SW....

The Ti wheelgun is on my hip when I'm walking a long way through the woods.


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Old September 20, 2005, 07:16 PM   #6
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either an old used in mint shape (better built quality) smith in a 4 or a ruger gp. Both are good for a variety of reasons. My buddy has dumped his 6 inch smith off on me...Its one big piece of metal...I dunno I shoot mainly .38 with it though.
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Old September 24, 2005, 10:31 PM   #7
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Thats a pretty tall order for one gun. For target work and hunting the six'' would be good. But I think your Couger is fine for HD and carry so why not just get a target/hunting revolver? Both 4 and 6 will be hard to carry concealed and later you can get a 2-3'' which would be good for CC and HD.
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Old September 25, 2005, 08:17 AM   #8
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If you intend on hunting, get the 6". You already have a Couger that you can carry for SD. I'm getting a Ruger GP100 with a 6" as a woods carry and short range hunting gun. It will probably get night stand duty as well. I had a 4" S&W 629 but the it was too bulky and I didn't feel confident shooting it at longer ranges on deer. The 6" barrel will give you a longer sight radius adding accuracy at those longer ranges.

Also, 6 is plenty. 8's are huge and I don't like bulk. I have a 5 shot snubby and don't feel under armed. If I want more rounds, I have a speed loader as well as Biachi Speedstrips - I really like these. Again for hunting, a three shot should be plenty, so 6 is fine. Why lug the extra weight.
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