Warning potential caliber war

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by mesinge2, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. 357 MAG

    34 vote(s)
    72.3%
  2. 44 SPL

    13 vote(s)
    27.7%
  1. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    I often carry my S&W 3" 44 magnum model 629. And for the sake of recoil control and rapidity of rounds fired I often carry it with the new 44 SPL Critical Defense load from Hornady. I also often carry my 2 3/4" Security Six with 158 grain Fiocchi XTP loads.
    I began wondering about the difference between these loads based on the shorter barrel lengths and the relatively light 44 SPL bullet weight.
    So I did some testing with my chrony (average of 10 rounds).

    The Critical defense round clocked in a 165 grain 44 SPL round traveling at 915fps from the 3" barrel and the Fiocchi 158 grain 357 mag round clocked in at 1178 from the 2 3/4" barrel.

    The bullet weights are very close. The velocity edge goes to the 357, but the diameter of the round goes to the 44 SPL. I just wish I had gelatin blocks to test expansion of the two rounds.

    So, based on this data and ignoring weapon size.

    What's your opinion?

    Which is "better" ?


    P.S. I used the word better loosely for the lack of a more suitable word.
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  2. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

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    I've always preferred the .357 magnum: however, I have shot the .44 very little.
     

  3. chainsaw

    chainsaw New Member

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    I like the thump of a 300 gr. .429 coming out of my .44 mag.Not too viable for a carry gun but it shure puts a hurt on stuff.
     
  4. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    Personally I would rather carry the Security Six with 125 HPs. Certainly nothing wrong with the .44 sp though, it starts out halfway to what you're trying to get the .357 to expand to.
     
  5. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    357 mag for carry.

    Why carry the extra gun when the smaller frame will do as good?
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    On what you have presented, I went with the .44 only for the manufacturer's name.
    Under different conditions (like the same manf name for both), I would go with the .357 ala Mr canebrake.
     
  7. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    The 44 (41oz) is about the same size and weight as a 1911 (38oz); although it is much thicker:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Clem

    Clem Member

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    I live in a state where concealed carry is for all intents and purposes, impossible. I am a big guy, but I don’t think I would carry an N frame Smith as a concealed carry piece in any caliber. If I wanted to carry a 3” gun, it would probably be either my 3” Model 60 Pro or SP101. The bulk of an N frame is a nonstarter for me.

    While I tend to feel that “real” guns begin with .40 caliber, I am not sure it makes much difference what the size of the hole in the barrel is. Ammo in important, in any caliber, but shot placement is more important.
     
  9. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    The gun is quite accurate. Here is a group I shot with 300 grain 44 Mag loads, It is 100 times easier to group even tighter groups with the lighter loads! Pay atention to the recoil and understand why I like the Special loads for this 3" monster, :D

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTVjtoAfum0]YouTube - 3 inch barrel .44 Mag S&W 629-6 Deluxe Talo Edition with Corbon 300 grain Penetrator loads[/ame]
     
  10. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

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    I also prefer the .44sp over the .357 mag for carry. Recoil is very manageable in the N frame Smith whereas the .357s sharp bark is hard for many people to handle with quick follow-up shots, even in an L frame Smith. JMHO.

    Jim......
     
  11. Theunsb

    Theunsb New Member

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    Just wonder maybe the issue is which kills faster.:eek:
    357 carries easier and self defence is close range I pressume.:)
     
  12. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    While I freely admit that my Security Six is easier to carry than my 629.
    My question was basically one of effectiveness and not necessarlily ease of carry.

    I know that its hard to compare but the idea is:

    Does a 165 grain 44 SPL round traveling at 915fps from the 3" barrel out pace a 158 grain 357 mag round clocked in at 1178 from the 2 3/4" barrel?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  13. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    I chose .44 special as it's closer to my preferred choice of the .41 mag. Why no love for the .41 mag?:confused:
     
  14. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    I normally carry my S&W 586 .357Mag in the field if I am going where their are Large predators I take my .44 with full house loads secondary and a 12 GA primary. with Sabot type slugs.
     
  15. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    I just never fired one, that's all. Maybe In the future, you can never have too many guns :D
     
  16. deathkricket

    deathkricket New Member

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    .357 unless your hunting these bad boys.
     

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  17. Texgunner

    Texgunner Member

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    First, shot placement is the most important thing to consider. As for caliber I prefer the larger frontal area of the .44.
     
  18. misterballistic

    misterballistic New Member

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    Good thing no one has mentioned .327 Federal and whether it will catch on -- to bring in even more controversy. Oops. I just did.
     
  19. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    IMO, the 327 will not catch on and is another answer to a question that wasn't asked.

    Now as for 357 mag vs 44 spl....I think it's preference and right now I can't decide. Both rounds will do the job and do it well. I think I would lean towards the 44 for the recoil being more of a push and less snappy. I like a 357 and carry one from time to time but I'm going 44 here.
     
  20. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    What he said. ^^^

    Personally, I think a lot has to do with availability for the .357 and .44 sp ammo at the present time in one's neck of the woods, where as the other calibers mentioned, sometimes requires self-loading, or a lot of reconing for that specific ammo flavors.