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ninjatoth 10-12-2009 09:31 PM

Short Barrels/Long Barrels,I can't make up my mind
I just got into handguns less than a year ago,and I immediatly purchased a snub nose Rossi .357,and I don't carry,and have no reason to have such a short barreled gun,since it's for home defense only.I liked the way snubs looked I guess,but as time goes on,I am getting fed up with my snubs' shortcommings.It has non adjustable sights,a tiny sight plane which I can't hit anything with,and as cool as .357 magnum sounds,it really isn't anything but a glorified .38,ballistically,frame size,durability wise.I have been thinking about it,and I think I want a full sized .357,something that has like a 6" barrel and is a "true" .357.I have had my eyes on the Ruger gp100,but haven't ruled out other guns also.What should I get?Should I limit myself to a .357,or maybe I could go with something else,I think .357 because ammo is cheap and it will get the job done,but I think I might try hunting whitetail with it too,so maybe I need a bigger caliber?Or in such a long barreled .357,will a .357 take whitetail,and will it do all the jobs I need it for,Home defense,plinking cheaply,possible hunting?

c3shooter 10-13-2009 01:45 AM

Yes, a .357 CAN take Eastern Whitetail (for all of you Westerners about to shout HERESY!- Eastern deer are a LOT smaller) However- my .357 has a 10 inch bbl, HEAVY handloads, and shoots more like a carbine. A .44 Mag would be much better choice for deer.

Another advantage of a longer barrel- longer ejection rod. The stubby little ejector on my 2" revolvers does not push far enough to completely remove fired cases.

WDB 10-13-2009 01:59 AM

Take a look at the S&W 586 or 686, well made and good sights.

CA357 10-13-2009 02:53 AM

You won't go wrong with either the S&W 586/686 or a a 6" Ruger GP100. In .44 magnum, either a Ruger Redhawk or a S&W model 29/629 will get the job done for you.

diggsbakes 10-15-2009 07:00 PM

I agree with the the notion of a .44 mag if it is to be used as a mountain gun. While a .357 might have the capability of taking a whitetail, (I understand they are about half the size of the mule deer we have here) the .44 mag is what I take camping in the case of a bear encounter.

I would never kill a bear (or deer) unless I had to and would feel terrible if I did like this guy:

Bear shot inside west-side home | bear, way, yama****a - Top Stories - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

This was only a 100 lb black bear and he had to shoot it 4x w/ a .45 to kill it. The poor man felt like sh*t. This happens about on a weekly basis (at least) here in Southern Colorado during the hotter months. I don't know if there's bear attacks/encounters where you're from, but it's something to think about. The .41 Rem Mag is also reliable enough for protection.

ninjatoth 10-15-2009 07:13 PM

There really are no bears where I am.It isn't unheard of to hear of a blackbear sighting every couple of years here,but I have never personally seen one in my lifetime around where I live,and i'm 29.I would like a .44 magnum,but I think that a .357 is the way i'm going to go.I am not a huge hunter,and I like to go target practice quite a bit,so a .357 is good,since I can get .38s or .357 ammo for 15-20 bucks for 50 around here.

utf59 10-15-2009 07:30 PM

I think .357 is a good choice. You can practice with .38 special (cheaper). And for whatever need you have, you can find a load for it (.38 sp., +p, +p+, .357 mag).

As for hunting, that's what the .357 magnum was designed for. And I don't know about your neck of the woods, but around here, .38 special and .357 are easier to find (at reasonable prices) than .44 mag.

OC357 10-15-2009 08:59 PM

For hunting deer as you asked, .357 is minimum and .44 mag is better. Longer barrels would be better. So a .44 mag in a 6" absolute minimum barrel length would be a good pick I would think.

Just my opinion on your question.


diggsbakes 10-16-2009 02:21 AM

Amen to the .44 mag (or .41 mag) being the minimum for hunting, especially if you are doing so w/ a revolver. I'd feel like a huge pile of sh*t if I shot a deer with a poor shot or a insufficient round and he/she still had enough adrenaline to get away, only for long enough to suffer for days or weeks before death.

Hunting with a revolver requires quite a bit of skill and familiarity w/ that type of firearm and it doesn't sound like you have that from your post. I'm not being judgmental, however it would be irresponsible to attempt to take any life with out purpose or skill. It would also be terrible to for a white tail to find out the hard way that a .357 couldn't take him/her down.

So if you are using a .357 for cheap, fun practice and self defense then that's a great choice, but if using a revolver to hunt, get a .44 or .41 mag (at least), possibly w/ a scope and spend hours (or days) and hundreds of rounds (and dollars) practicing for the ritual of killing an animal to ensure you have enough skill to make a kill with one shot, if given the opportunity.


crossfire 10-23-2009 07:59 AM

Get a Dan Wesson M15-2 Pistol Pak. You'll have your choice of barrel lengths and 10" barrels are still available from CZ Arms. Forget a scope. At handgun ranges for someone relatively new, a dot sight is better.
Despite rumors to the contrary, the .357 Magnum is perfectly functional as a hunting caliber. A larger caliber cannot make up for lack of shooting ability. Practice, practice, practice, and the .357 is less expensive to practice with. The furthest distance you can put every shot into a 4" circle is your maximum range...don't exceed it. All of these .357 Magnum factory loads are capable of taking whitetail.
Buffalo Bore 158gr JHC:
Heavy 357 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
Buffalo Bore 180gr WLN-GC:
Heavy 357 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
Double Tap 180gr WLN-GC:
DoubleTap Ammunition
Double Tap 200gr WFN-GC:
DoubleTap Ammunition

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