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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents, I'd like your thoughts on which of the various DA .357 Mag revolvers might be sturdiest, for holding up against steady diets of Magnum (and perhaps a bit more) level loads. This was a question posed during a recent gathering of fellow shooters, and I'd like a broader base of survey on the matter.
The "If y'need THAT much pow'r, git yerself a bigger GUN!" recommendation need NOT be revisited, here, as the discussion is MUCH more theoretical than practical. Any answer obtained from consensus will likely NOT see actual application.

The first choice that came to MY mind was a 6-shot Ruger Redhawk, but it fails the "available" test. I don't think very many were made nor sold, and I NEVER see them available in the used market.
I haven't measured the cylinder wall thickness on the 8-shot Redhawk, but I suspect they're quite strong, also. If cylinder wall thickness (CWT) on the GP-100, is greater, I might be inclined to vote for it.
N-frame S&W .357s in either trim are extremely tough. I've NEVER seen one loosen nor quit from the use of heavy loads before its owner (and their shooting hand) thought better of the idea.
I don't know much about the I-frame Colts (Python, ".357 Magnum", etc.), except that they were superbly made, on a frame that Colt originally used for larger bore cartridges, and are quite pleasant to shoot (SLOW FIRE). I've read, heard, and been told personally by people who should know, that steady diets of true magnum-level rounds will mess with the timing of these revolvers, before revolvers of other brands start to act up. Not having exhaustively shot a dozen revolvers from each manufacturer, I don't KNOW this to be the case, but I find it far from implausible.

Your thoughts, please?
 

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No doubt that would be the Manurhin MR 73, however finding one will be an issue, let alone finding an affordable one.
The factory guarantees the cylinder holds up to at least double the maximum .357 pressure and when they were in service with the French they were shot a lot without issue.
Some site state over 100K rounds without issue, but I have not verified it. (If even possible)

Why do you ask though and how much are you planning to shoot? I would just buy a S&W 686 and shoot it without worrying about it, I doubt you will shoot so much you wear it out. And even if you wear it out it's relatively cheap to replace. (Especially compared to the cost of the ammo you ran thru it)
 

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If they made it, you can find it. Might not want to pay for it but it's out there. If I HAD to have one, it would be the 6 shot Redhawk you mentioned. I had one in 45 Colt and liked it but, I liked a Freedom Arms Mod. 97 better....but it's a SA.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd forgotten about the Manurhins, but as you point out, availability/price removes it from consideration. I always wondered about those revolvers and how well they were made.
As stated, the question is more theoretical than applied. I already have a Ruger Police Service Six that REFUSES to die, and a new (to me) S&W M28 6" that I plan to use for whitetail at "under the treestand" distances. I cannot afford to shoot either of the .357s I already own, at least not as much as I'd like. Even with unlimited funds, the two will outlast ME, by a large margin.

If I ever found a 6-shot .357 Redhawk for sale, I might consider buying it. I already have one in .45 Colt, which makes me a better long-range shot than I really am,. I wouldn't let it go for less money than needed to retire.
 

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I like the Redhawk a lot and have about half tried to find another in 45 Colt with the 5 or 5 1/2 in. barrel, whichever they were. The Super Redhawk...no, thought it was ugly when it was introduced and still think so and I remain unconvinced that barrel shroud in front of the cylinder is anymore than a place for a front scope ring.

I'd think a Redhawk in 357 about as indestructible a revolver as could be had. I am not familiar with the Manhurin except as the company made the Walthers under license after the war, if that's the same company.

Right now I believe I'd jump on either a Redhawk in 45 Colt or a S&W, 25-5 like a duck on a June bug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MY Redhawk sure is fun! I used the last of my 2400 working up to the 18.5/2400/250 gr. RNFP load, which seems fairly standard for "+P++++" .45 Colt loads. It does a shade over 1100 f/s from my 7.5" barrel. I intend to try heavier loads, but the one I mention is pretty nice for most purposes.
 

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They're good revolvers.

After leaving grizzly country I cut way back from the 300 gr. bullet at 1050-1100 fps. in the Freedom in 45. I think I used 296. Now I shoot a 255-260 at 900 to 1,000 and it will do anything I need done. Truth be told, 800-850 fps will do all I need done.
 

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Funny, I was expecting to see "Colt Python" brought up. Collectors have driven the prices on those sky-high - way beyond what they should be going for. A good Smith&Wesson would do the trick for you at half the cost and just as sturdy. A shorter barrel is good for carry while a longer barrel is better for target shooting. For a DA revolver I'd stay with either Colt or S&W. Just my two little pennies worth...
 

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In a D/A maybe. Definitely not S/A.
 

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You need to talk to the folks who shot alot of silhouette years ago. I remember hearing about the Smiths not holding up like you thought they might. I seem to remember timing issues being mentioned. Now that may have been the .44s also. Dan Wessons sure were popular in that sport. I'm guessing they were pretty tough. I only owned one briefly. The barrel may have been leaded on that used one and the lgs allowed me to trade it back in for what i'd given for it. Accuracy was not impressive and i just didn't take to it enough to find out why.

I also had a Redhawk but in .44 and 7 1/2. I much preferred the 5 1/2 for balance. I wonder how many were produced in 357? I remember them but at the time I couldn't see the purpose in buying such an overbuilt revolver for 38/357 usage. That and them only using one spring. You were limited in what you could do with that. I much preferred the 686, especially one with a Power mainspring and a smooth action.
 

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Really surprised it took so long and only 1 mention of Dan Wesson.
Had one in a 6" barrel and it was a tack driver
Should never had sold it
Buddy had a S&W 27, good shooter, but my Dan Wesson was better.
The Roger GP100 is a really good gun, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<slapping forehead> Dan Wesson. COMPLETELY forgot about them! I shot a couple of them in long range slow fire situations & liked them. Had HUGE trouble with them, when trying to shoot them under time pressure. Cylinder latch was in the wrong place and HELL to work quickly. Ejector rod looked like it was custom engineered to poke a hole through one's palm when ejecting empty shells. FELT like it, too.
For hunting or silhouette, these things don't matter much, but I'd sure want something else for defensive situations.
 

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Rugers are generally considered to be tougher. They are bulkier because the frames are cast. Weight wise though they are pretty comparable to others. If I was getting a wheel gun just to fire crazy hot loads at the range it would be a redhawk in 357 or a super redhawk for anything bigger. My son has a 454 super redhawk and I doubt you could wear it out. Mainly cause after a few cylinders of hot rounds most people are done with it for a while or ask for some 45lc to shoot lol

Personally though I prefer smith and wesson. I just bought a new .357 5" 686+ Pro a few months back. They are plenty strong and look and feel better to me. It's fun to shoot hot rounds and I'm sure most people do. But let's be honest probably 90% of 357s out there see way more .38spl then they do hot .357 mag. Most people aren't shooting thousands of rounds of hot 357 mag at the range every year. Even if you reload it's just much cheaper to plink with .38spl.
 
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