thoughts on a 357

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Appliancedude, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Active Member

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    So I've decided to by a 357. My old man has a SW mod 57 so I'm leaning towards the SW. I was looking at 2 different guns a t sportsmans the other day, but for the life of me I can't remember what models. Both were 5 shoot exposed hammers. 1 was a SW and the other a ruger. The ruger was about $80 cheaper. I know the reliability of the SW but how well do the rugers hold up.

    This is gonna be mostly a home protection and sidearm for hunting. It will get it fair share of plinking too but not as much as the other guns I intend to buy
  2. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I own two ruger sp101 357s and they are great revolvers. I dont own the smith so I cant compare, but you wont go wrong with either one.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Unless you have a lot of experience with them, I don't believe you will like either one.

    A 357 has a fair amount of recoil, and to make it fun to shoot you need a fairly heavy gun. Smith originally put it in the large frame gun (same size as your dad's 57) for a reason. The K-frame (the mid-size frame) Smiths are not really fun to shoot 357s out of for long periods of time, unless you get one with a long barrel. The long barrel adds weight, which helps tame recoil.

    A 5-shot S&W is a J-frame (the smallest frame size). A J-frame 357 is going to weigh in the neighborhood of 18 ounces. That's too small. It's going to hurt. It's going to be fine for carrying, but not for shooting.

    If you want a 357, get a bigger gun. Get a used Ruger Single Six, or a new GP100. Get a Smith 686 or a N-frame.

    Now me, I got a pair of 6 1/2 inch Ruger Blackhawks and a 6" Python. Fairly heavy guns and fun to shoot with 357s all day long. I also have a 2 1/2" Model 19 and a 3" 65. Both Smith K-frames, and while fun for occasional 357s, they are much more fun with 38s.
  4. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

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    Taurus makes a nice .357 magnum. Have you looked at those?
  5. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I completely disagree. The sp101 is a great gun and is plenty heavy to handle the 357 loads. If you dont want recoil, buy a small caliber.
  6. al45lc

    al45lc New Member

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    The advantages of using .38 special in a .357 negate the recoil thing.
    However, I would agree that a larger .357 is better to shoot from a recoil standpoint for hunting purposes.
    I regard the .357 mag as a fanatastic 'all around' gun for defense and hunting, with a wide variety of bullet weights and shot loads available, and great accuracy as a norm.
  7. garydude

    garydude Member

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    What do you plan on hunting with your pistol? If you need to shoot at anything up to and over 50 yards then you will want to consider at least a 6" barrel.
  8. gcalloway

    gcalloway New Member

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    I think the 357 is a good round also. You can practice with 38s and load the bad stuff for self defense. Have you ever felt recoil when you were shooting at something or someone live? I did not think so. Recoil is only a problem when shooting paper targets or tin cans. I have the ultimate torture weapon. I have a smith 460 magnum with a 2 inch barrel. I practice with 45 colt cowboy ammo so it is a joy to shoot in practice. I have shoot a box of full house loads and decided the next time I shoot full house loads something is going to die.
  9. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    First question to ask...are you looking at the small-frame concealed carry type revolvers or medium frame revolvers?

    Like Alpo suggests, for home defense and/or hunting carry stick with a medium frame .357.
    A lot more gun to soak up the recoil of full-power .357 loads.
    Either the Ruger GP100 or the Smith mediums (K or L frame) are excellent choices.
    My recommendation for trail gun carry is 4". That's about the perfect size to carry around and not get in the way.
    If it'll be a primary hunting weapon stick with 6" or longer though to squeeze the extra velocity out and to get a longer sight radius.


    If you're looking at a small-frame (Ruger SP101 or the J-frame size Smiths)...
    Both brands are good quality, but neither will make an ideal hunting sidearm.


    Me? Out of those two brands, I'm decidedly biased in favor of Ruger over Smith so I would choose a 4" GP100.
    In fact that's what I bought for myself...but mom fell in love with it so she pretty much claimed it as her "coyote medicine" to carry during calving season so I gave it to the folks. I'm still shopping for another one. :)


    Try out both of em at the store and go with whichever one feels right in your hand.
  10. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Active Member

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    Thanks for the replys guys. I don't intend to hunt with it, I would just like to have something I can point and shoot fast if something wants to eat me. Where I hunt, mountain lions are known to be seen every season.

    I have alot of experience shooting 357's. Thats what I grew up shooting. I was thinking of the small frame mostly because of how light it is. I took my dads mod 57 out one year. After about an hour hike it ended up back in the truck. Just to heavy. Also could have been the service holster it was in too though. My ideal gun would be the 1911, but I have all the reloading equipment for the 357. And since I don't have a handgun and definitely want to get one in case tweedle dumb gets reelected, I figure I better get the one that I can make my own rounds for.

    The one place I was looking at the Taurus the guy showing me said they wern't as good as the SW or the Ruger. That they didn't hold up as well. And I'm just not a fan of the western single six look.
    Thanks again
    Dan
  11. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    I chose the S&W 649 so that I have the option of single or double action. It is heavy enough to absorb some recoil which is nice. It is 25 oz. without any rounds in it which isn't too bad. Not a pocket gun due to the weight, but a good belt holster and it rides well.
  12. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    Smith & Wesson all the way here.
    If your not in favor of the "western" style of the Ruger, S&W!
    I like the Ruger's, like the GP100 and the SP101, but you have alot more, IMO to choose
    from with S&W. Small frame to large frame and I'm not sure why people think the
    .357 mag has so much recoil? I have a few of them and it isnt a problemo with me as
    far as recoil. Plus, you can shoot the .38 special through the .357 Mag, (if recoil is a factor).
  13. jstgsn

    jstgsn Well-Known Member

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    Be sure to check with local laws, in Delaware the barrel has to be a certain lengh to hunt with.
  14. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    Same here jstgsn.
  15. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I totally but respectfully agree. My wife shoots her Smith model 60 with no problem. My sp101 is just a great gun and my wife likes it as well. If recoil is a problem I would say choose a smaller caliber or shoot 38's through the 357 and work up to the 357 loads.
  16. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

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    I have the .357 in both 4" and 6" and like both in both single action and double. Mine are Rugers which I think are very well made. And when I want to notice recoil I grab my .454 with full house loads. Now there's some recoil you might notice.
  17. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I also shoot 357 in blackhawk, Vaquero, and in a GP100 and like all 3.

    I have never shot a .454 but will have one in Freedom Arms one day. What a tank of a round. Brisk, whats the make of your bad .454?
  18. thunderchild223

    thunderchild223 New Member

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    just get a S&W 686 and enjoy it.
  19. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I have one of those too and it is also a great choice. Easy to conceal, points nice, great trigger pull.
  20. langenc

    langenc New Member

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    For two legged or four legged monsters get a 4 or 6" Smith. The 66 (k frame) is ok for shooting an occasional lion, deer skunk etc.

    Longer range as mentioned go for the 6". Six will work for all around. Might be a bit more difficult to draw but when you do--wow. Good holster helps with carry.
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