The revolver illustrated in these pages is a rare piece with only 15,000 made from 1951 to 1961. It is more rare than any Colt Python variation but doesn’t command the prices the snake guns do. Yet, the Colt .357 is perhaps as accurate as the Python and offers a shootable piece of history for less money than the snake guns.
Posts Tagged ‘.357 Magnum’
I do not buy into the ultra compact handgun for concealed carry and feel any caliber below 9mm or .38 Special +P isn’t suitable for personal defense. I work my wardrobe around concealed carry, not the other way around. While I occasionally bow to necessity, most often I carry an effective handgun in a service grade caliber.
Smith and Wesson has earned an enviable reputation for quality revolvers well suited to personal defense. The small five-shot revolver is among its most popular handguns, with the Model 649 carrying honors as the best of Smith and Wesson’s snubbie lineup.
Snubnose revolvers are a favorite of armed professionals and have been for many years. The balance of lightweight power and maneuverability are excellent. About the only thing about these revolvers we may change are the grips.
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.
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.