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Handloads.Com ForumGeneral DiscussionPoll: 357 Magnum: Jack of all trades, master of none, or the best all around caliber?
This poll got a good response when it was last asked (almost 2 years ago, time sure flies...) so I thought it was time to toss it out for discussion again and see if opinions have changed.

I値l start out saying that the 357 Magnum is possibly the best all around caliber. It can be used for nearly any task from light target shooting to medium game hunting and has one of the best reputations around as a defensive round. You can get them in anything from tiny ultralight 5 shot guns for CCW to large frame revolvers, semi autos or rifles for any other purpose. Ammunition can be found virtually anywhere, another point in it favor especially if you don稚 handload.

So what say you? Best all around, or jack of all trades master of none? The question didn稚 impose the limitation but would limiting the question to factory ammunition change your opinion?

Don稚 forget to vote.

See the current results.

John

We値l raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
Master of none.
If my first pistol was a 357 mag(given to me) and I could not afford anything else I'd try it out. But I tend to stir clear of them for something a little bigger.
I know of guys who wack critters with them on a regular bases and my retired detroit metro cop uncle swears by it.
I now a own one in a 3 screw and I may try it hunting, it just don't blow my hair back is all. (Thats if I had any)
 
Well, having 2 pistols in 357 I'll admit being highly prejudiced towards that caliber. It has done everything I've asked it to do for 20 some years. And it's done extremely well with everything I've asked it to do.

Before owning a 357 I carried a 38 spl mod 10 while in the service. It never let me down either for it's intended use.

If I lived out west and hunted where there were big animals yes I'd have something else. But for everyday use you can't beat it.

There is a good selection of bullets and weights for the 357 allowing to do many jobs.

Joed
 
Master of none. I have two 357's and they are both good guns:a SP101 for deep concealment, and a 627 for racing. As far as a main sidearm I don't like it at all. My thinking is that if you are going to carry a fullsize revolver, you can carry a 44 or 45 as well as a 357, and have more power and more versitility to boot. For pocket pistols, the 357 can't be beat. You couldn't fit a 44 into a package as small, and the 357 is a good self defense round. for racing is is very good also, in a large frame revolver, and light 38spl loads you have a very fast combination. The 357 is a great little round, but it is little.
Joe44

Chance favors the prepared mind.
Master of none. Too many cartridges are better for it to be considered the master of anything.
God Bless
Terry
It doesn't have to be the best to be a master, it just has to excel.

I'd consider it a master of defense and a master of concealment. But everything has it's limits.

Sure you can get a 44 Bulldog for concealment but as far as I'm concerned that gun is a throwaway. It's the junk guns like the Bulldog that ruined the factory loads for the 44.

Joed
 
Eooow, John you sure like pullin peoples chains. The question posed is, "Jack of all trades, or master of none?" well my brother once hunted whistle pigs with his 357, just to asy that he had done it. It worked, I've shot partridge with mine, taken deer with it, and once looked for a wounded bear (shot by someonelse) with one (felt very undergunned, and got a 41 mag the next day). I haven't yet shot ducks with one, and doubt that I ever will. I have used it on people in the vietnam thing, I have shot it in revolvers, auto pistols (desert eagle) and rifles. I even have shot shotgun type 357's so I would have to say that it is very versitile in its applications. I have also used several other calibers for most all of those tasks, As to the 357,I would have to say that it mastered only a few of those situations, but it did suffice, therefore I would vote that it was a jack of all trades. I would always have one in my battery, and it would get heavy use, but true mastery...I don't think so. Well that's my opinion, I leave your opinion to you. Love to all, Buddy Little
 
after 69 years it is lagging a bit, and i dont know why my finger slipped on the mouse, i voted best all round, , if ya could correct that for me please hehe.
kinda like askin what caliber has killed the most deer, i guess the 30-30 is still out front but look at how many were sold over many many years, heck i bet that answer has changed too given the time factor.
so i would say my best answer would be it is relegated to jack now, just jack, hahaha.
"If it’s about the lives of my men and their safety, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can,"
Lt. Col. Allen West, U.S. Army, Tikrit, Iraq
Having started out on SAA revolvers (not high quality or high caliber) after a while I sought out .357s. I first had a nice 4 3/4" Single action and then an 8 3/8" S&W 27 (which was beautiful and accurate). Long use with both on stuff that bleeds and junk cars sort of left me underwhelmed (though a 125 JHP at 1800 fps is a fair woodchuck load).

To be truthful, for practical use in the field, a good .38 SPL handload is probably more useful (not to say more powerful but at least you can hear later).

I am sure the 4" .357 is somewhat effective in defense (though I have seen the 125 gr loads fail as often as they have worked in interviews I have had with gunfight survivors) but most skilled operators can work a 9mm or .45 auto about 3 times as fast and accurate - this One Shot stuff is for the birds when someone is trying to "revoke your birth certificate". That is on average...folks like Jerry M. can work a S&W 65 just fine!

The other irony is that people always hang the "versatile" monicer on the .357 because you can load it with factory loads from 110 to 180 grs. Well guess what...you have to go zero it every time you change loads! If you want to pick it up on the spur of the moment with the load of choice for that job then you have to have a gun sighed for each load. OTOH a 1911 in .45 will print everthing from 185 to 260 grs. to within practical limits at 50 yards so you can use ball for squirrels (it works great if there is no one to hit within a mile) or a 185 for vermin or a 230 JHP for deer or lethal vermin.

Just musing...there are probably good reasons for just about any caliber (that's how come guns always follow me home I guess)

Best regards,
Jim Higginbotham
The Technician is more important than the Technology
See that's the great thing about posting a subject like this, it never fails to get people to comment on it.

And argument, maybe even a better argument, can be made for several other calibers, especially the 44 Special if you include handloading. But there really isn't any one caliber the excells at everything.
John

We値l raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
you are right JohnK, but the 44mag comes as close as you are ever likely to get!!!! Close second might be your 45 colt!!
Joe44

Chance favors the prepared mind.
Well... (thinking about stiring the pot some more...)

I'd say the 45 Colt would make a better all around caliber than the 44 Mag - if you handload. Why? Because you can get a compact ultra light revolver for CCW use in 45 Colt but not in 44 Magnum. If you want to include the 44 Special along with the 44 Mag (kind of cheating since you use 2 calibers ) then I'd say they're about equal, maybe a slight edge going to the 45 Colt since you wouldn't have to adjust your dies between magnum and special length with the 45 Colt.

Now if only Ruger would chamber the Super Redhawk for the 45 Colt.
John

We値l raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
And if the Super RedHawk wasn't so butt ugly. I like the looks of the RedHawk much better and it is available in 45

Edited on 3/4/2003 5:56:08 PM.
God Bless
Terry
If Ruger would step up and put the GP/SRH grip on the Redhawk I'd get a 45 Colt Redhawk for certain. :)
John

We値l raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing; whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Molon Labe!
Had a neat little S&W snubbie in .357 once...It shoot alot better with the .38spcl +P ammo.
I think a good Ruger NBH would be cool in that caliber for plinking and small game!
Javies and 'yotes wouldnt hold up to it!
De Opresso Liber!
Handloads.Com ForumGeneral DiscussionPoll: 357 Magnum: Jack of all trades, master of none, or the best all around caliber?


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