1911Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know next to nothing about magnum rounds, so I'd appreciate any info on the subject.

The two magnum rounds I seem to hear about the most are .357 and .44. What are the characteristics of these cartridges? What are the advantages/disadvantages of each? And are they only available for revolvers?

(By the way, my apologies if this topic is just as worn out as the typical "9mm vs .45" debate.
)

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
.357 and .44 are the calibers (think diameter); "magnum" means they have a hell of a lot of gunpowder behind them. The .357 is pretty much the same diameter as a .38 special or 9mm; the difference is the length of the cartridge. Same idea with the .44.

These are revolver cartridges, but there are close equivalents for the .357 in semi-autos. The .357sig is an auto cartridge, as is 9mm. Neither has as much oomph, although the .357sig is closer.

To my knowledge, there's no semi-auto cartridge along the lines of a .44mag. The closest might be something you could use in a Desert Eagle. Of course, a .45acp round is plenty big. The way I see it, if you need more punch than a good-old .45, you need a rifle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
The .357 and .44 magnums are more powerful versions of the older cartridges from which they were developed, the .38 and .44 specials, respectively. With either of them, I would stick strictly with revolvers. The advantage is that in a .357 magnum revolver, one can fire .38 specials, and the same is true with a .44 magnum revolver. The bullet diameters are the same; they differ only in case length, with the magnums being longer. Recoil is the main problem with magnums, being able to manage it and shoot them accurately. Ammunition cost can be a disadvantage, albeit a manageable one with handloading. However, with handloading, at least in my experiences with the .44, you can vary your handloads according to charge and bullet weight and make everything from light target loads which save your hand and wear on your gun to high energy big game hunting loads. The advantage of magnums are their versatility, and in my opinion the best magnum is the one in between, the .41 magnum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
Can these two even be compared? I will own both when I buy my buddies Desert Eagle for hunting. I have shot both extensively. My 357 is a 2.5" S&W with mag-na-porting. It is a good pocket gun. The 44's, I've used were for deer and big game. I don't reccommend the 357 for that. They are two seperate animals like comparing a pocket gun to a 1911, IMHO.



------------------
"I don't want to use a 2 million dollar bomb to bomb a 10 dollar tent and hit a camel in the ass. . ."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
The .38 and .44 specials push a standard weight bullet to about 850 fps -- standard weight being 158 grains for the .38 and 240 grains for the .44. Bullet diameters are .357 and .429, respectively. There are a lot of variations in ammunition and firearms, but this will serve to define things.

In the magnum versions, they up the velocity to about 1350 fps. Again, there are variations, but this will define things.

The .357 Magnum is fairly reliable for animals up to about 200 pounds, including men, with the right bullets, while the .44 can be effective to around 1,000 pounds.

Both have killed substantially larger animals, but so has the .22 rimfire.

Both have lots of muzzle blast, but the .44 kicks twice as hard as the .357.

It is difficult to harness that much power in an auto pistol. It has been done, but not often and not entirely successfully. Thus they are most often seen in revolvers, which can easily handle the power.

In modern revolvers, the .45 Colt is better, pushing a 325 grain, larger diameter bullet to 1325 fps with commercially available loads, and capable of taking nearly anything.

The question is, how big an animal are you after?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Yeah, it's like comparing .45 and 9mm in a sense.

[This message has been edited by BKC45ACP (edited 10-28-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
I love both of them...I've never shot anything other than a target with the .357 mag but I have shot 2 deer with the .44 mag and both times it rolled them over and they never so much as moved after that...I can't say that my .308 rifle, .243 or .270 has ever done that...of course I make much longer shots with a scoped rifle so maybe it's not fair to compare....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
I like the way JMAC put it although my 44 mag shots weren't always so positive. IMHO, keep 44 mag shots under 100 yds on Deer and 50 on anything bigger and it is a great gun. Keep the 357 in the holster in case someone is trying to fight you for your buck. IMHO, it has little place in Deer and larger hunting.

That said I too am very excited about the second coming of the 45 Colt. With powder puff loads and the Colts which shoot them, it is an ok gun, but with a Linbaugh conversion or the new Redhawk the 45 Colt is like a new round.

If you want a real magnum, try this. . .a SSK Contender in 375JDJ! That really put the 44 mag in perspective for me. It is a great Deer/Elk round out to maybe 300 yards, if you can hold it still enough. I can't yet. I can shoot inch groups at 100 with a decent rest though. I have no concern taking 100 to 150 yard shots with it sitting in a backpack or fanny pack well(sniper style). www.sskindustries.com Get the scope mounts too. I had them do the whole gun for me. Good work.


------------------
"I don't want to use a 2 million dollar bomb to bomb a 10 dollar tent and hit a camel in the ass. . ."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
You can get a good explanation of each cartridge in any gun book (Gun Digest, etc.). If you DON'T handload, the .357 Mag. is more verstile for most people. If you DO handload, I prefer the .44 Mag. for it's wide range of applications. I can load a 250 gr. solid at 700 fps or up to 1400 fps. Same for hollowpoints, of course, but they need a little more velocity to ensure expansion. A 250 gr. solid SWC, at 750 fps, makes a really fine self-defense load! Accurate, easy on recoil and does all of its damage INSIDE the badguy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
I have to agree with one here; and that is that the .41 magnum is the best of them. Matter of deep regret that I parted with two 4" model 57's many years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
963 Posts
Personally, as time goes by, I have less and less use for 357 Magnum. It has Magnum kick, flash and blast, but it doesn't produce enough difference in wounding power from non-Magnum loads to make that pain worthwhile. Plus, you don't really get the benefit of the 357 Mag ballistics unless you're using a four inch or longer barrel.
44 Magnum isn't really a defensive round for normal use (it's good for use in the backcountry, where you may have to face wild animals as well as humans) but I think it's more versatile than the 357.

------------------
A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
The modern equivalent for the .357 in an autoloader is the .357 Sig. 125 gr. JHP at around 1300 fps, from a pistol barrel.

The .40 has even weighed in, with the .400 CorBon--the .45 ACP case, necked down to .40 cal.

I also know for a fact that Magnum Research (I believe) has been experimenting on a bottleneck case for the Desert Eagle. This round is the .50 AE, necked down to a .430 (.44) caliber bullet. Wish I knew more about it--sounds interesting.

------------------
"Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size;

When trouble rises, call on me and I will equalize."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Powderman,

You refer to .440 Corbon. Magnum research isn't developing the round, but has barrels for their eagles so you can shoot them. Magnum Research has the 240gr JHP muzzel velocity 1800fps out of the 6in DE barrel with 1727ft lbs. The 260gr Bonded-Coree muzzle velocity at 1700fps, 1670ft lbs out of the 6 inch DE barrel. Instrumental Velocities at 15 feet with production pistols. In reality it may be slower, but I don't suspect it to be too far off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I have a .357 magnum and really like it. Have only shot a .44 magnum a couple of times and boy does it kick. Liked it just fine though.
Only experience I have with a .41 magnum is related to being a paramedic and it wasn`t pretty. A 21 year old (used to be pretty) girl decided to end it all and put the barrel behind her right ear and pulled the trigger. Most of her head exited out the drivers side of the window leaving the back right side of her head and little else. Brain and bone fragments scattered in a wide arc about 10 feet out the window. Quite a shocking scene believe me. Bullet made a hole and the muzzle blast took everything else out behind it. Strangely enough, women rarely shoot themselves in the head. Usually the body or even more frequently, they overdose. Men seem to more like blowing themselves away.
Didn`t mean to get off on a tangent but the mention of the .41 magnum reminded me. It looked like a S&W with about a 4" barrel. If I offended anyone, sorry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
I got my .357 mainly for the heavier frame for target shooting .38 Spl. Thought that was a good idea until I borrowed an S&W K38 this weekend. I used to own one, and it was as smooth and accurate as I remembered. Now I'm second guessing myself again. Haven't shot a .44 mag in years. Since I don't hunt, it's not an option for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
I got my 44mag for hunting and tracking deer. In Georgia the 357 barely qualifies and only if you're using hot loads in longer barrels. I like a 4" barrel. I use 44spcl equivalent loads for nightstand duty.

tjg
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top