Pick your weapon. Snubbie in 357 mag or 44 sp? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Dogbite
12-31-2011, 06:05
Ok, tell me what you would pick for SD and why. Both are snubbies. One is 357 mag, one is 44sp. Please no cupcake answers like whichever is closer, whichever you shoot best, etc. I can shoot both no problem. I know about shot placement. Thanks guys!

aarolar
12-31-2011, 06:34
I'm saying 44 cause it aint gonna shrink none.

barth
12-31-2011, 07:01
1) There is a much better selection of SD ammo in 357.
2) Full house 357 125 gr 1450 fps 4" - is still running 1200 fps 400 E from a two inch barrel.
No 44 special is going to come close to that.

What do I carry in my S&W 640-1 357?
http://www.sportsmanshuntingwarehouse.com/shop/media/images/product_detail/wincpics357mpdb.jpg

CDW4ME
12-31-2011, 07:05
.357 with either Remington or Federal 125 gr. JHP.
Why?
I guess I'm going with greater KE over diameter in this case.

fredj338
12-31-2011, 12:11
Factory ammo, 357mag hands down. Handloaded ammo, I like bigger bullets making bigger holes. A soft 250grLHP @ 900fps would be a good fight stopper (this is 45, but same idea).
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/fredj338/452-251.jpg

Darkangel1846
12-31-2011, 12:34
I like then .44 special...big bullets and you can still hot load them.

ronin.45
12-31-2011, 13:24
I'd go 357 just for availability of ammo. In real life I would pick a .45ACP snubby like my 325PD. It has all the modern ammo choices in a lightweight gun that relaods quickly.

smokeross
12-31-2011, 13:24
I haven't been very impressed with the .44 Special in factory loads. Maybe cause I'm used to full house hand loads in my magnums. There is a world of difference. My .357 hand loads are hella hot too, and no light weight bullets either.

Tiro Fijo
12-31-2011, 14:55
The .44 Special Corbon DPX is unmatched in certified FBI denim/calibrated gel tests. It did close to .80 our of a 2" snubbie and went 14"!! The revamped Win. ST did .72". I know of no street results with either.

glock20c10mm
12-31-2011, 15:19
Ok, tell me what you would pick for SD and why. Both are snubbies. One is 357 mag, one is 44sp.
That's easy. 357 Magnum. Simply capable of being a far more destructive load with proper selection of ammunition. 44 Special is for giving love taps. 357 Magnum is for seriously putting the hurt on an adversary. Go with a lead core JHP, bonded or not, with some fragmentation if possible, that still reaches the vitals 99% of the time.

357 Magnum is like a wolverine. 44 Special is like a geriatric patient. Which one are you going to bet your life on to protect you?

meangreenlx50
12-31-2011, 15:40
.44 Special. More ammo is becoming available and even a cowboy loading would do the job, just like it orginially did. I tried the Critical Defense and its good, and I notice Buffalo Bore now has a Bulldog safe anti-personnel .44 SPC round.

fastbolt
12-31-2011, 15:42
Ok, tell me what you would pick for SD and why. Both are snubbies. One is 357 mag, one is 44sp. Please no cupcake answers like whichever is closer, whichever you shoot best, etc. I can shoot both no problem. I know about shot placement. Thanks guys!

"Cupcake" answer? That some local colloquialism?

I mean, if you can shoot both, does it really not matter to you that you might be able to shoot one or the other caliber faster, more controllably and more effectively under really demanding conditions?

Dedicated defensive weapon, right? Are you really more concerned over caliber than all the other attributes and considerations that might be involved in the actual usage of the chosen weapon/caliber?

Okay, fine.

I've owned both. I like both calibers. I can shoot both calibers. I used to be an avid handloader for both calibers many years ago, but I've long since restricted my use of either caliber to factory ammunition designed for defensive use (reloads/handloads/remanufactured ammunition being prohibited for duty & off-duty use at my former agency).

That being the case, as has been mentioned, the .357 Magnum simply has more defensive loads available, using more of the ndew designed hollowpoint bullets, than the .44 Special. The major manufacturers just haven't been focusing as much attention on the .44 Spl.

Not surprising, considering the .357 is still selling in snub wheelguns, while the .44 Spl doesn't seem to be quite as popular. It probably helps that the .357 can be had in smaller framed guns, perhaps making it more appealing among the folks desiring a diminutive secondary/backup weapon for a dedicated defensive role, or something handy as a convenient off-duty weapon on their own time. The .44 Spl? Not so much, it seems.

Now, if you're an owner/shooter who appreciates a good revolver and still finds them practical and useful for carry as a dedicated defensive weapon? Well, then you're back to the greater variety of defensive loads in the .357, as well as more support by the major ammunition companies.

Personally, I'm a long time revolver shooter, myself. I carried issued and personally-owned revolvers as young cop, and I still carry one or another of my 5-shot .38 & .357 snubs. I find revolvers to be both practical and useful as off-duty & retirement weapons. I don't consider them "obsolete".

However, while I used to carry .44 Magnum revolvers as off-duty weapons (and I knew a number of guys who carried them as duty-weapons back then), I gradually decided the Magnum loads were just too much for regular use in urban areas. On the other hand, the Special loads of the 80's & 90's were just too limited (in either design and/or availability) to really make them practical for my desires. I shifted away from the venerable Magnum & Special calibers for ordinary off-duty use. (I'd still consider the Magnum revolvers I own for some 'field' or 'backwoods' use, though.)

When it comes to dedicated defensive ammunition, I've come to really dislike limiting myself to choices involving a single small manufacturer, or what may still amount to a 'specialty', or limited availability bullet/load. I'd rather be able to buy a load more easily found on gunstore shelves ... and one that's affordable to training, practice, live-fire testing for QC confirmation, etc ... and that's where the .44 Special is still seemingly a bit weak.

So ... I'd have to remain with the .357 Magnum snub wheelgun, at least for the purposes of your thread.

In actuality, while I own 4 .357 snubs (3 of which are 5-shot models), I pretty much only carry the 5-shot guns nowadays, and only 1 of them (SP101 DAO) ever gets loaded with Magnum rounds. The other 2 (pair of M&P 340's) see +P loads for normal carry.

I no longer own the pair of 5-shot .44 Spl snubs I owned in the 90's, nor would I have much interest in ever owning one again, aside from nostalgia, perhaps.

Suit yourself, though.

It's not like you have to justify your own desires and preferences to anyone else, right?

I won't get caught up in trying to justify the "superiority" of either caliber, either, as that subject has never produced much in the way of agreement, even back when revolvers were still commonly seen as service weapons. There's probably a reason the .357 Magnum became such a prevalent caliber in LE holsters back in the revolver days, though. :whistling: Again, suit yourself.

Tiro Fijo
12-31-2011, 15:42
...357 Magnum is like a wolverine. 44 Special is like a geriatric patient. Which one are you going to bet your life on to protect you?


So, an .80" hole bored through a bad guy is geriatric? :upeyes:

glock20c10mm
12-31-2011, 16:28
So, an .80" hole bored through a bad guy is geriatric? :upeyes:
Compared to the damage a proper load in 357 Mag is capable, YES.

writwing
12-31-2011, 16:34
44 without reservation.

But who makes a reliable 44 snubbie??

fredj338
12-31-2011, 17:29
Compared to the damage a proper load in 357 Mag is capable, YES.

In most factory 44sp loads, I would have to agree. HAndloading it though? You can get pretty close to a 44mag if you so desired, hardly geriatric. Push a 250grLSWCHP or well designed JHP thru a BG @ 1000fps, it's going to leave a very large hole in & out.:shocked:

PghJim
12-31-2011, 19:46
I do not really think it makes a big difference. Did not the Son of Sam use a 44 special. For me though, I would go with the 357, unless I could carry handloads.

PlasticGuy
01-01-2012, 00:17
The .44 Special is easier on both the gun and shooter (wrists and ears), which makes it my choice.

Tiro Fijo
01-01-2012, 00:29
In most factory 44sp loads, I would have to agree. HAndloading it though? You can get pretty close to a 44mag if you so desired, hardly geriatric. Push a 250grLSWCHP or well designed JHP thru a BG @ 1000fps, it's going to leave a very large hole in & out.:shocked:


I agree, however there is one LARGE caveat: no one makes a concealable DA .44 Special that will take that hot of a load for very long. The CA Bulldog will beat itself to death and the S&W 696 will go out of time ASAP as well. If you call a 624 concealable then fine, but I don't consider N Frames to be so for the vast majority. Too damned big. The Barnes SCHP in the DPX solves this dilemma IMO.

I have shot many hot rounds through a .357 snubbie and it ain't fun with the 125 gr. Magnum loads. Lots of "shock & awe." I think a person would be better served to shoot the Speer .38 135 gr. +p Short Barrel rounds as they are fantastic, have great street cred with the NYPD, are extremely accurate and you can get more lead on the target faster & more precisely than with a full bore magnum.

Ak.Hiker
01-01-2012, 00:44
I would go with the 357 Magnum because it is available in the Ruger SP 101. One of my favorite handguns. Loaded with a 125 grain JHP 357 Magnum load it is very effective.

Dogbite
01-01-2012, 09:28
Thanks for all the replies guys. As always, a lot of good food for thought.

fredj338
01-01-2012, 13:21
I agree, however there is one LARGE caveat: no one makes a concealable DA .44 Special that will take that hot of a load for very long. The CA Bulldog will beat itself to death and the S&W 696 will go out of time ASAP as well. If you call a 624 concealable then fine, but I don't consider N Frames to be so for the vast majority. Too damned big. The Barnes SCHP in the DPX solves this dilemma IMO.

I have shot many hot rounds through a .357 snubbie and it ain't fun with the 125 gr. Magnum loads. Lots of "shock & awe." I think a person would be better served to shoot the Speer .38 135 gr. +p Short Barrel rounds as they are fantastic, have great street cred with the NYPD, are extremely accurate and you can get more lead on the target faster & more precisely than with a full bore magnum.

I have a 3" M629, certainly concealable, not a ltwt, but as manageable as any other steel framed gun of sim size. I imagine M696 would easily handle hotter loads for carry & practice w/ mild stuff, just like you would a 357snub. All of the ltwt 357snubs on the market will shoot loose w/a steady diet of full mags. The Ruger SP101 is probably the exception, but it's nto a ltwt snub.:dunno:

glock2740
01-01-2012, 13:28
I'd go .357 Mag. Never been a fan of the .44 Spl. Love the .44 Mag though. :cool: It's very hard to beat the .357 Mag with a 125gr JHP for SD. Especially in a snubby.

happyguy
01-01-2012, 13:41
Much much less muzzle blast out of even a fairly hot loaded .44 as opposed to a full house .357 magnum load.

I'm fine with .38Special +P in a 442 though.

Regards,
Happyguy :)

wdp
01-01-2012, 13:51
Good thing Elmer Keith isn't around. Can you guess his response?

Tiro Fijo
01-01-2012, 14:45
Good thing Elmer Keith isn't around. Can you guess his response?


He lived in rural MT where concealability was not a priority. Elmer was also a proponent of HP bullets. The only problem was that he lived in an era of unreliable HP's, hence his usage of alloyed lead HP bullets for different purposes. It's only fair to assume that today he would like the SCHP bullets as they always work, except for shooting through steel or auto glass in which case nothing reliably expands afterwards.

Fred, I have 696 'no dash' and while it is a wonderful revolver it is heavy. I much prefer my CA Bulldog DAO with Eagle Secret Service grips for pocket carry. It is VERY controllable and carries like a .38. By sheer luck I have one that shoots dead nuts on 200 gr. bullets to 15 yds. I also sometimes carry a Colt DS. The greatest .38 made IMHUO (in my humble & unbiased opinion). :supergrin:

Ak.Hiker
01-01-2012, 16:54
Good thing Elmer Keith isn't around. Can you guess his response?

Heavy Keith loaded 44 Special. No need to drop below 4 inches on a gun worn on the belt. The 357 Magnum is a good small game gun.

Metal_Tiger
01-03-2012, 05:31
For a reloader like myself itís really a tough call between the .357 and the .44 special. Both can be loaded up of down. I have to confess that personally I am not a fan of the .357 in a small snuby, it just hurts too much. The .44 sp is a different animal and more comfortable in my hands. In SD loads both can be a handful. Old Elmer Keith did quite a bit with that tame .44 sp remember.

So, I have to pick one only? If I had to pick only one it would be the .44 sp simply because I reload. If I had to rely on commercial ammo it would hands down be the Ruger SP101 3 incher .357 baby.

Brucev
01-03-2012, 08:19
Ok, tell me what you would pick for SD and why. Both are snubbies. One is 357 mag, one is 44sp. Please no cupcake answers like whichever is closer, whichever you shoot best, etc. I can shoot both no problem. I know about shot placement. Thanks guys!

SD? 4 inch S&W 24-4 in .44 Special. Now... for CC... that is an entirely different matter. Then it's be a 2.5 inch S&W 19 in .357 Magnum.

Ak.Hiker
01-03-2012, 22:27
SD? 4 inch S&W 24-4 in .44 Special. Now... for CC... that is an entirely different matter. Then it's be a 2.5 inch S&W 19 in .357 Magnum.

I bet Skeeter Skelton would like your response.

1canvas
01-03-2012, 22:37
anyone have any ballistics on the .44 special out of a snubnose?

Glockbuster
01-03-2012, 22:41
"Cupcake" answer? That some local colloquialism?

I mean, if you can shoot both, does it really not matter to you that you might be able to shoot one or the other caliber faster, more controllably and more effectively under really demanding conditions?

Dedicated defensive weapon, right? Are you really more concerned over caliber than all the other attributes and considerations that might be involved in the actual usage of the chosen weapon/caliber?

Okay, fine.

I've owned both. I like both calibers. I can shoot both calibers. I used to be an avid handloader for both calibers many years ago, but I've long since restricted my use of either caliber to factory ammunition designed for defensive use (reloads/handloads/remanufactured ammunition being prohibited for duty & off-duty use at my former agency).

That being the case, as has been mentioned, the .357 Magnum simply has more defensive loads available, using more of the ndew designed hollowpoint bullets, than the .44 Special. The major manufacturers just haven't been focusing as much attention on the .44 Spl.

Not surprising, considering the .357 is still selling in snub wheelguns, while the .44 Spl doesn't seem to be quite as popular. It probably helps that the .357 can be had in smaller framed guns, perhaps making it more appealing among the folks desiring a diminutive secondary/backup weapon for a dedicated defensive role, or something handy as a convenient off-duty weapon on their own time. The .44 Spl? Not so much, it seems.

Now, if you're an owner/shooter who appreciates a good revolver and still finds them practical and useful for carry as a dedicated defensive weapon? Well, then you're back to the greater variety of defensive loads in the .357, as well as more support by the major ammunition companies.

Personally, I'm a long time revolver shooter, myself. I carried issued and personally-owned revolvers as young cop, and I still carry one or another of my 5-shot .38 & .357 snubs. I find revolvers to be both practical and useful as off-duty & retirement weapons. I don't consider them "obsolete".

However, while I used to carry .44 Magnum revolvers as off-duty weapons (and I knew a number of guys who carried them as duty-weapons back then), I gradually decided the Magnum loads were just too much for regular use in urban areas. On the other hand, the Special loads of the 80's & 90's were just too limited (in either design and/or availability) to really make them practical for my desires. I shifted away from the venerable Magnum & Special calibers for ordinary off-duty use. (I'd still consider the Magnum revolvers I own for some 'field' or 'backwoods' use, though.)

When it comes to dedicated defensive ammunition, I've come to really dislike limiting myself to choices involving a single small manufacturer, or what may still amount to a 'specialty', or limited availability bullet/load. I'd rather be able to buy a load more easily found on gunstore shelves ... and one that's affordable to training, practice, live-fire testing for QC confirmation, etc ... and that's where the .44 Special is still seemingly a bit weak.

So ... I'd have to remain with the .357 Magnum snub wheelgun, at least for the purposes of your thread.

In actuality, while I own 4 .357 snubs (3 of which are 5-shot models), I pretty much only carry the 5-shot guns nowadays, and only 1 of them (SP101 DAO) ever gets loaded with Magnum rounds. The other 2 (pair of M&P 340's) see +P loads for normal carry.

I no longer own the pair of 5-shot .44 Spl snubs I owned in the 90's, nor would I have much interest in ever owning one again, aside from nostalgia, perhaps.

Suit yourself, though.

It's not like you have to justify your own desires and preferences to anyone else, right?

I won't get caught up in trying to justify the "superiority" of either caliber, either, as that subject has never produced much in the way of agreement, even back when revolvers were still commonly seen as service weapons. There's probably a reason the .357 Magnum became such a prevalent caliber in LE holsters back in the revolver days, though. :whistling: Again, suit yourself.


Very well written, I could not agree more.

Ak.Hiker
01-03-2012, 22:50
anyone have any ballistics on the .44 special out of a snubnose?

Double Tap and Buffalo Bore have ballistics from a snub on several of their loads.

dkf
01-03-2012, 23:57
I'd go with the .357mag snubbie for better concealibility and smaller overall sized gun. The large amount of proven SD ammo for the .357mag helps also.

Tiro Fijo
01-03-2012, 23:57
anyone have any ballistics on the .44 special out of a snubnose?


http://www.snubnose.info/docs/44v357.htm


I sometimes carry a CA Bulldog DAO as a backup loaded with Corbon 200 gr. DPX and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. :hearts:

That said, I sometimes have a Colt DS as a backup as well. A true gun aficionado loves many different guns and just like a good golfer selects the right club to make the right shot. :winkie: