Smith and Wesson’s 1935 .357 Magnum was introduced to a handgunning world far different than the one we live in today. Smith and Wesson .38 K frame revolvers, the Colt Army Special, and even the Colt Single Action Army were popular sidearms. The Smith and Wesson Triple Lock was the choice was many professional shooters.
Posts Tagged ‘.357 Magnum’
A handgun I wanted to shoot for decades was the Coonan 1911-style .357 Magnum. This combination of power and function is uncommon in a relatively compact package. Recently, I finally had the chance to fire the Coonan. The Coonan isn’t a lightweight handgun but it is far more compact than the Desert Eagle .357 or a six-inch barrel revolver, as an example.
As a professional writer, shooter, instructor, and teacher, I test many firearms. I realize the merits of each, although I have my own favorites. As long as the handgun is reliable, the piece has the necessary baseline for personal defense. Just the same, my personal defense handguns have changed little over the past 40 years. The 1911 .45, Smith and Wesson Combat Magnum .357, and Smith and Wesson snub-nosed .38 have been the mainstays of the battery.
The Colt Single Action Army was introduced in 1873 after much development, and the addition of key features including a solid top strap and chambering for the .45 Colt cartridge—there have been other calibers. The original revolver was intended to give troopers an edge against aboriginal tribesman. One requirement was that the revolver be effective against Indian war ponies at 100 yards. However, civilians and lawmen needed a faster handling revolver. Something more handle-heavy than barrel-heavy, and which might be drawn quickly from a well-fitted holster was needed.
I have owned and handled many SAA type revolvers. The one that made the greatest impression on me was an engraved Colt Single Action Army. I am a shooter rather than a collector, and decided I would like to have my own engraved single-action revolver. Attempting to keep some semblance of a bank account wasn’t thrown out of the window as I searched.
With the great and growing abundance of concealed carry permits, as Americans exercise their rights and commons sense, and with a political climate that currently nurtures such progress, armed citizens are flexing their political muscles and choosing to be responsible for their own safety.
In the firearms world, I see much hype and overstatement. As such, the real article with genuine performance is often under appreciated.
When choosing ammunition for personal defense there are many considerations. The balance of expansion and penetration must be maintained. Penetration must never be compromised. It remains the single most important terminal consideration.
Magnum Research has announced two new models of its stainless-steel Desert Eagle chambered in .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. They follow
Over the years, among the most useful handguns I have used have been five-shot revolvers. Light, handy and powerful enough
When personal defense is the goal, the choice of firearms has a direct bearing on the success or failure of the mission. While mindset and training are vital, the firearm itself is material to the individual’s survival. The choice should be reliable, powerful enough for the task at hand and accurate enough to accomplish the mission. Reliability is an absolute, never to be compromised. Powerful enough begins with the .38 Special +P.
A Rifle on the Hip
You won’t find Magnumitis in the dictionary. The term, coined as a derisive nickname for the tendency of shooters to go for broke in the pursuit of power, simply implies a shooter who has succumbed to Magnumitis places power above accuracy.
Powerful, accurate and reliable, the .38 Special is among our most under appreciated cartridges.
Do you love the historical lever-action rifles? Then you’re going to dig this one. How about a Winchester Model 1873 in .357 Magnum. I know the .45 Colt or .32-20 would be historical but .357 and .38 Special are more cost effective so my History degree will forgive me.
It does not have to be flashy just dependable. It’s always there and it always works. It is like a good friend in a pinch you can count on it to be there for you. I am a traditionalist. I prefer something proven over the test of time – not the media or Internet hype. I am not a person who follows fads. That is why the next cartridge is so “Special” to me. That good friend throughout the years is the Smith and Wesson .38 Special.
Kids, do I have something for you this week. These days you would think that the world revolved, no pun intended, around black plastic pistols and rifles. Highly functional but cookie cutter guns, “…there are many like it but this one is mine.” Well back in my day, a gun could be both highly functional and look awesome. In those days, Tupperware was for leftovers and metal was for guns.
They don’t call these bad boys hand cannons for nothing.
S&W Model 500 Revolver .500 S&W
This is definitely the granddaddy of all big honkin’ revolvers. Smith & Wesson says it is the “most powerful production revolver in the world today.” I asked the guys around the office if any of them have shot the .500 S&W and of course CTD Mike speaks up: “Yes. I held on very tightly.” I have no shame in saying that I have not tried the Smith & Wesson 500, although I haven’t had the chance anyway. Historically, S&W pushes the envelope in developing big handgun calibers, but since the 1960s, the .454 Casull overshadowed them. S&W unveiled the .500 S&W in 2007 and Cor-Bon made the round. They designed it for North American heavy, dangerous game. A hunter reportedly used a .500 S&W to shoot the controversial “Pigzilla.” As the story goes, 11-year old Jamison Stone shot the pig nine times before getting a kill shot.
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Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk .44 Remington Magnum
Outdoor Life named the Ruger Super Blackhawk one of the 50 Best Guns Ever Made. The movie Dirty Harry made the S&W Model 29 and the .44 Remington Magnum calibers a hot commodity in 1970s. Ruger’s Super Blackhawk was the more affordable answer to those who didn’t want to fork out the cash for the Model 29. Ruger released the original single-action Blackhawk revolver in 1955, with the .44 Magnum versions becoming available in 1956. The “new model” Ruger revolvers incorporated new safety features and started production in 1973. In 2000, Ruger introduced a new action and steel injector housing to the Ruger New Super Blackhawk. It has a ginormous 10-1/2 inch barrel, making the Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk a whopping 16-5/8 inches overall. It holds six rounds with Western-style rosewood grips and a ramp front and adjustable rear sights.
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Taurus Model 608 .357 Magnum
The .357 Magnum caliber isn’t as a hard-hitter as the .44 Magnum or the .500 S&W, but it ain’t no wuss either. The Taurus Model 608 holds eight rounds of this massive caliber as well! The 608 revolver features an eight-inch ported barrel. The porting helps reduce recoil and muzzle climb. The Taurus Model 608 has a large steel frame and black rubber grips for comfortable shooting. There is a fixed front and an adjustable rear sight.
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Magnum Research BFR .45-70 Gvt
A caliber usually found in lever-action, big game hunting revolvers, Magnum Research’s BFR (Big Freakin’ Revolver) is a stupid big anti-bear cannon. Originally made by Springfield Armory, the .45-70 Government has been around since 1873. The .45-70 Government is an excellent North American big game caliber, as it the round has a somewhat low velocity. It has also been popular with hunters who have the opportunity to hunt in Africa. The Magnum Research BFR in .45-70 has a 10-inch barrel and an overall length of 17.5 inches. It comes with a scope mount and fixed front and an adjustable rear sight.
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S&W Model 29 Classic Revolver .44 Magnum
Originally, when I started this post, I purposely was going to leave out the S&W Model 29. However, I concluded that it wasn’t fair to exclude the one revolver that started the whole stinkin’ big revolver thang. So here it is, Dirty Harry’s “go ahead make my day” S&W Model 29, .44 Magnum revolver.
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Walther has been successfully making reliable semi-auto pistols for over 80 years and the Walther PK380 is no exception. The Walther PK (Pistol Kompakt) 380 is chambered…well… for the .380 ACP. It operates on a locked-breech, short-recoil action and has ambidextrous controls. It has a 3.66-inch barrel and holds eight rounds. Perfect for home defense, the Picatinny accessory rail is already decked out with a laser sight. It has a lightweight and ergonomic full grip for ease of control. Since it is bigger than the newest, compact .380 semi-autos, it’s not a palm-slammer. The slide on the Walther PK380 is super easy to operate, making it perfect for seniors and women. If you or someone you know shies away from the semi-automatic pistol, then I would highly recommend trying the Walther PK380.
For those of you unconvinced of the 9mm’s stopping power, have you ever looked at the Kahr PM40? When looking at personal defense guns, I’ve always had plenty of gun counter guys tell me they suggest looking at Kahr Arms. About half of us here in the office carry a Kahr. The Kahr PM40 is a double-action only, polymer-framed compact handgun chambered for .40 S&W. It has a 3-inch barrel and holds five rounds standard without the grip extension magazine. Kahr designs their handguns specifically for concealed carry and the Kahr PM40 is thin enough to carry comfortably whichever way you choose. It packs a punch, though. This ain’t no target pistol, but with the Crimson Trace laser sight and constant reliability, it makes a perfect carry gun. They are also made in the USA.
If you are looking for a truly handsome pistol, then stop right here, the SIG Sauer P229 Equinox spares no expense in the looks department. Designed by SIG’s custom shop, the P229 Equinox features a black hard-anodized alloy frame with nickel accents. To top it off SIG has added gray laminated wood grips. The P229 Equinox holds 12 rounds of 9mm and has a barrel length of 3.9 inches. Not only does it have fixed sights, but this model also has a laser sight. The SIG Sauer P229 Equinox has a compact frame and an accessory rail if you want to change out your laser or add a light.
If you think the .38 Special round just won’t cut it, and you’re not afraid of a little recoil, then check out Taurus’ 605 revolver in .357 Magnum. Okay, I’m going to be honest with you, with a 2-inch barrel, you aren’t going to be target shooting a ton of rounds through this bad boy, but I guarantee you, as a home defense or back-up weapon, the Taurus 605 won’t let you down. The Taurus Model 605 revolver will fire single or double-action, has a small steel frame, and a transfer bar safety. The sights are fixed and it comes with a Crimson Trace lasergrip. Taurus has a Zero Tolerance policy, meaning the design, fabrication, fit, and performance will not fail you when your life depends on it.
Para-Ordnance usually doesn’t immediately pop into one’s head when you think of 1911, but everyone I know who has had a Para-Ordnance has really like the gun. The Para-Ordnance PXT 1911 SSP is a no-nonsense full-sized, full-capacity 1911. With match-grade hammer, trigger, and a 5-inch ramped barrel, the Para-Ordnance stands up to the more expensive 1911s on the market. The PXT is a traditional single-action 1911 with a 5-inch barrel and an eight-round single-stack magazine. It has a covert black finish and comes with Crimson Trace laser grips. When you don’t want to use your laser, it also has three-dot fiber optic sights. The Para-Ordnance PXT 1911 SSP is 8.5-inches overall, 5.75-inches tall, and weighs 39 ounces.