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Zappa 02-02-2008 05:35 PM

Anyone still shoot .357 Maximum?
I remember when this round hit the market with a lot of hoopla and fanfare in the gun mags, (as most new calibers usually do) but it's popularity with the public didn't last long. Some manufactures jumped on the bandwagon and cranked out some guns for this new round, but quickly dropped them from their catalogs. Nowadays, the ammo companies have abandoned it and no longer make factory ammo, but unprimed brass is still available from Remington. Reloading dies are also available from the major diemakers, so the round is not completely dead, but if you want to shoot it, you have to roll your own.
IIRC, the two things that led to its demise were the size and weight of the revolvers made to shoot it, due to the cylinder length, were found by many to be unwieldy. But more importantly, "Flame Cutting" of the topstrap became a problem due to the pressure and velocity of gasses escaping from the cylinder gap. Smith & Wesson encountered this same problem while they were designing the "X" Frame revolver for their new hyper-velocity.460 round. They found a cure for this problem through design and materials used in the forcing cone area of their barrels.
Judging by the popularity of the new "X" Frames, in both .460 and .500, and other monster guns like the BFR, I'm guessing that the public perception what's "unwieldy" has changed since the days of the .357 Maximum. Seeing as the flame cutting thing has been licked, I'm wondering if (and hoping) this will lead to a resurgence of the .357 Max in the future.
I currently have one Max in my collection, but it's not a revolver, it's T/C Contender barrel. It sure would be nice to have a modern revolver in this caliber to go with it.

matt g 02-03-2008 03:23 AM

Have you thought about contacting Smith's customer service to suggest a re-issue of the caliber?

Catfish 02-04-2008 04:17 PM

I don`t think that you will ever see a new production of revolvers in .357 max. I have a 15 in. barrel on an Enocre and have taken afew deer with it, and really like it for deer. Since we cannot use rifles here in Oh. for deer, and always looking for an advantage, I`ve been considering a new .460 barrel, 21 in. long for my handgun. :rolleyes: Will probily just use the .357 max. unless I can find a real steal on the .460 barrel.

crossfire 02-06-2008 01:44 PM

the Max
Yep. A Dan Wesson M40-10HV with a 1.5-4X Burris using the 180gr Hornady XTP over 24.2gr of AA1680. Dunno the velocity and don't particularly care; it shoots very small groups at 50 yards from a rest, stays inside a 5" circle at 100 yards shooting offhand and is very effective on deer.
I doubt the Maximum will make a comeback due to all the bad press, most IMHO, "embelished" for the sake of attention. After two decades, I'm still using the original barrel, (the spare has never been out of the wrapper), and my topstrap barely has a line across it.
I wouldn't mind it if Taurus rechambered their Judge 5-shooter for the .357 Maximum though. The cylinder is long enough to allow the use of the Hornady SSP or any of the bullets meant for the .35 Remington.

npbwbass 04-07-2008 05:49 PM

357 maximum fun
I am new to the grid but though I would jump in on the 357 Max. I shot it years back in competition and really liked it. I traded that gun but just got another Contender and a 357 mag barrel. I just re chambered a new TC 357 magnum barrel for 357 Max rounds. The new chambers on TC barrels are junk so that is why I bored it for the longer round just to get rid of its nasty forcing cone setup. Got the idea from Mike Bellm's web site. The bore measures .356 in the grove and has an equal land and grove rifling setup so it displaces a lot of metal on the bullet during firing. It is accurate as heck with Hornady's 180 grain bullet over 16 grains of Enforcer. But it is a one hole 5 shot grouper at 100 yards using 147 grain 9MM Reminton hollow points over 17.6 grains of the same powder. I headspace this round in my TC like an auto round on the shoulder and neck size with my 9 x 23 sizer die when I shoot the 9MM bullets. Brass seems to last forever when I shoot it this way. I think the 357 Max is a forgotten jewel for just plain fun to shoot and tinker with.

daveyb 07-02-2008 09:52 PM

You can still find Ruger Blackhawks in the .357max caliber, but they're not cheap. Check with the usual gun auction sites and they usually have some listed. When shooting .357 Max out of a Blackhawk, you should use heavy cast lead bullets with a gas check. at least 180 grain, and extruded powder, such as IMR4227. I have good luck with 16.5gr. of Hogden's H-4227 and Cast Performance 180gr. cast lead, gives me 1450fps on average, with deadly accuracy out to 100 yards and even beyond. It's a great caliber.

RePete 07-03-2008 01:27 PM

The only people that I know used it were IMSHA shooters, and then it was in barrels for the Thompson Contender.

Zappa 10-24-2008 02:57 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's a pic of the T/C Contender carbine w/ .357 Max Custom Shop barrel.

TX76 04-22-2009 03:31 AM

Anyone want a 357 Max ?
I have one a Dan Wesson 357 MAX super mag,
Stainless steel, 3 eight inch barrels, barrel wrench.
Barely any line from flame cutting,
Shoots great,
I will take $550.00 cash plus $25 shipping
MY FFL to your FFL

spittinfire 04-23-2009 12:37 AM

I have been thinking about picking one up but it hasn't happen yet. I really like the round. Once the mrs gives me the go ahead I might round one up along with some dies to reload with.

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