Originally Posted by canebrake
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Elmer Keith takes a little more credit than he's due in the development of the .357 Magnum. (Yeah, I know-bite my tongue.) The idea of the new magnum cartridge, as yet un-named, began about 1930 or so when Major Doug Wesson and several gun writers convened in the Maine woods for a hunt. Among those were Phil Sharpe.
Major Wesson proposed a very powerful cartridge that could be contained in a Smith & Wesson Outdorsman
model revolver. Sharpe concocted a "blue pill" load to test the revolver, a load generating from 48,500 psi to 49,600 psi. Two hundred rounds of these "Blue pill" loads were fired without any sign of failure.
Cartridge developmnet centered around selecting a case, the .38 Special, the .38 Super, the .35 Win. Self Loading, the .351 Win. Self Loading, and several specially constructed cases made by Winchester were all tried. In all, some thirteen different experimental case/bullet combinations were tested.
Major contributors to the trials were W.E. Witsel, engineer at Remington; Merton Robinson, engineer at Winchester; L.C. Weldin, engineer from Hercules Powder Co., and Wallace Cox from DuPont. At that time Doug Wesson was president of S&W.
The .357 Magnum was a long time birthing.