This round is based on the earlier Smith & Wesson .38 Special cartridge. Today, snubbies are, in the main, offered in just a few: .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and either .44 Special or .44 Magnum. Here, then, are the best snub nose revolvers—ever—in each caliber. Still firing one-­handed but using the sights, I fired five-­rounds at 15 yards on a bullseye target. Sadly the range of a .357, one of its best features, is wasted and may be a liability in an urban environment. Controllability is a concern with the .357 Magnum. Based on this metric, the S&W Model 69 is the best in the lot. It was discovered in the Korean War that the 357 Magnum was especially effective against combat body armor worn by the Communist Chinese. Download this stock image: A stainless, snub nosed 357 magnum revolver with five full metal jacket bullets next to it on a white background - WAXT53 from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. Snubbies have been around since handguns were first developed. You could get S&W’s large N-frame with a three-inch barrel, but this gun proved big and quite heavy. In my experience, the triggers lighten up a bit as they are used, and some basic practice will let you master what is still a smooth, even, pull. Since these guns were just short barrel service-sized revolvers with steel frames, they were on the large and heavy side compared to a J-frame. Creative Commons License_No Attribution_Free to Use. A significant advantage of the .357 Magnum over other handguns is the ability to chamber a .38 Spl cartridge, although the .38 round is shorter. The .357 Magnum cartridge is a revolver round with a .357 inch bullet diameter. Its light weight means you stash it just about anywhere on your person as either a primary or backup gun. It was first introduced in 1934 and serves as the foundation of the “Magnum Era.” Then, as now, everyone wanted more powerful ammo. However, which are the true greats? Things have changed, though. As to the .357, a lot of people reckon a pistol about the size of a 4-inch S&W N-frame or L-frame – or a similar Ruger GP100 – is about perfect. This snub-nose revolver is accurate and quite reliable through well over 100 rounds. Bella. The three men pooled their talents. In the revolver community, the argument centers on long barrel length vs. short barrel length handguns. This can be said about all the .44 Magnum snubbies, the Tracker and S&W’s scandium offerings in particular. This ammo has diverse use ranging from target shooting to self-defense and hunting. It weighed less, too. Why do snubbies exist, anyway? A .45 Magnum revolver is a sound choice in some instances but overkill in others. If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; … The 642 is the old Airweight Centennial (1952) but without the questionable grip safety. (Sure, bears do enter camps but it’s usually because they are hungry, not angry. Get Cheap .357 Magnum Ammunition Online. For the most part, you picked either a K-frame Smith & Wesson, such as the Model 19, or Colt’s magnificent Python. The same can be said for the mythical angry bear that invades your camp in the middle of the night. A 2- or 3-inch snub won’t let a magnum round stretch it’s legs, so to speak, as much as a longer barrel will. SERIAL NUMBER: 1079012 DESIGN: EAA of Rockledge, FL imported this 2 1/8" barrel swing-out cylinder 6-shot revolver from Germany. It’s difficult to pigeonhole the type of weapon preferred by all preppers. The .44 Magnum would be a good example. At the same time, Phil Sharpe, a gun writer and NRA technical adviser, set out to design a new type of ammo with higher velocity and more stopping power. Today, there even more choices. To push it up to 747 foot pounds we would need to go to a TMJ round over 13.8 gr of VV N110 for 1,368 fps. If a person wants to carry concealed or keep a gun in the bedside table, then a short barrel snubby is probably your best choice. Doing so can cause a misfire, jam, damage the gun, or worse, injure the shooter. These “bulldog revolvers” have a frame size that is easy to handle but feature a short barrel, usually 3 inches or less. Keep in mind that although the gun is small enough for concealed carry, it will be heavier than a typical .38 Spl. Barsony Gun Concealment OWB Belt Holster for 2", Snub-Nose .38 .357 Revolvers. In 1988, Bill Ruger stood the snub nosed .357 world on its head when his eponymous company introduced the SP-101. These are all fine revolvers. However, a .38 Special cannot fire a .357 because of the high pressure. Frankly, I had been expecting more consistent terminal results with the .357 Mag. For those who know, it’s easy to understand the relationship between the two cartridges. The .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and 9×19mm Parabellum models hold 5-shots, while the .327 Federal Magnum and .32 H&R Magnum models hold 6-shots, and .22 LR model holds 8-shots. Applications include law enforcement, self-defense, target shooting, competition shooting, and hunting. They are, as a rule, built on a gun maker’s smallest revolver platform so they are the most concealable snubbies available. You are currently reading "357 Magnum Vs. 38 Special In Snub Nose Revolvers", entry #26359 on The Captain's Journal.This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published December 10th, 2020 by Herschel Smith. Dubbed the “Chief’s Special,” the original Model 36 offered a carbon steel frame and cylinder, a two-inch barrel, a strong two lug locking mechanism, and a five shot cylinder. For as little recoil as the .32 Long and H&R Magnum deliver, this is impressive ballistic performance. It can also shoot through large animals and emerge on the other side with enough velocity to hurt someone else. The group was better than when point shooting but was still high and left when I … For the Model 360, S&W put together a list of many frequently requested features. The design modified a .38 Special case, lengthening it by .125-inch. It greatly depends on the firearm you put that cartridge in. An issue with .357 Magnum ammo is its penetration. Its levels of kinetic energy are enough to cause hydrostatic shock, a true benefit when a target needs to be put down. © 2011 - www.snubnose.info - No part of this site may be copied or reproduced without permission. Smith and Wesson Model 642. An old fashioned rifle may be a better bet if you’re going up against big game. Setting off a .357 indoors without ear protection would most certainly do damage to one’s hearing which could be permanent. Comments, suggestions, contributions? So if you want a revolver that won’t jam on you at a time when it’s needed most, this just might be the one that you’ll want down the road. Some believe that semi-autos are more powerful than a .357 Mag, but that’s not necessarily true. Caliber:.357 Magnum/.38 Special. It’s a tail kicker, but it has its downside. Length: 7.5 inches. In this article we aim to explain the nuances between the two different cartridges. Since more of the bullet’s mass is outside the cartridge, there is more ro… The .357 Magnum continues to offer a high level of stopping power. The, would be a good example. A .357 round is too long to fit in the chamber and a .38 Spl cannot withstand the pressure of the more powerful .357 Magnum round. There is little dispute that the .357 Magnum works. The .44 snub noses present unique challenges for designers and shooters both. Snub nosed revolvers have been produced in almost every handgun caliber ever invented. You can control it if your hands and arms are strong, you can control it, but I think that even for a strong person who is used to powerful handguns, shooting performance would be improved by using .38 +p, especially on follow-up shots. Proper training is key to find the gun and ammo that are right for you. But obviously not completely because I carry magnu… Its levels of kinetic energy are enough to cause hydrostatic shock, a true benefit when a target needs to be put down. There is a good chance of overpenetration and collateral damage if used in the home or other tight spaces. The little steel frame Taurus Model 85 is a snub-nosed revolver that holds 5 rounds. I once owned a blue steel Model 36. Ruger LCR Double-Action Revolver – .38 Special. Like all three guns in this list, the Taurus … The gun couldn’t compete with the original since it could only shoot bullets 125g or less. It was originally introduced for large-frame guns. It’s easy to see why the range and ballistics of the .357 would be an asset in the country and a liability in the city. The ultimate snub nose .38 in author's opinion. It can handle the hottest .38 Special and .38 Special+P loads you care to fire through it. For most situations, and especially in an urban setting, a solid .38 Special +P would be a better choice for personal defense. They aren’t hard to scare off.) Fortunately, newer styles don’t have such limitations. In a bygone era (the mid to late 20th century) a person had just a few choices when it came to snubbies chambered for the fabled .357 Magnum. Some complain the factory trigger is a bit heavy, but if you carry it in a pocket or handbag, you’ll appreciate the extra safety margin this provides. With some testing, this is an easy question to answer. The 2- to 3-inch barrel makes the gun easy to handle and carry. It is difficult to balance size with power due to a .44 cartridge’s diameter. The gun did have some short comings—which lead me to sell it. The Ruger LCR is built with a monolithic frame of … However, despite the .44 Mag.’s celebrity, the market offered few snubbies. It’s not as bad as you might imagine. By the late 19th century, snubbies (the British called them “Bulldogs”) evolved with the then new double-action revolver into the form we recognize today. The goal was to hit a muzzle velocity of 1,400 feet per second (FPS) using a 150g bullet. Most of the other handguns that can lay claim to felling large game are generally considered to be too large and have too much recoil for practical self-defense applications. The 642 is also rated for +P ammunition so it gives a bit more thump at the business end than my old Model 36—with increased recoil, though. In most cases magnum ammunition in a small revolver is uncontrollable and unnecessarily loud. So really, the only catch preventing a .32 from being the ideal caliber for a snub nose is the lack of industry support. First, this five-shot revolver is chambered in .357 Magnum… The fact it can shoot either specials or magnums gives it a versatility which the dedicated .44 Special guns do not possess. Seven-Shot Snub-Nosed .357 Magnums: Taurus, Smith Go At It. Its more controllable for follow-up shots, less prone to over-penetration, and less damaging to the sensory organs. This stainless steel revolver is about as classic as you can get. This allows .357 users to load the lighter ammo, save money at the range, and enjoy the benefits of lighter recoil and less muzzle flash. I have a Taurus 605 .357 and a Sig .40 cal. The large frame guns are less than comfortable to carry concealed all day, but they offer the best shooting dynamics when stuffed with .44 Specials. My Sig rides in a Crossbreed Supertuck. The .357 Magnum was a different story altogether: 14 of the 20 loads met FBI standards with 5 out of 5 expansion, and 9 of those loads gave the recommended 150% expanded diameter. J-frames have been produced in many variations: shrouded hammer; DAO concealed hammer; aluminum frames; even lighter Scandium frames and cylinders; stainless steel frames and cylinders; and many grip options. Over-engineered, all stainless steel construction meant you could carry it next to sweat soaked skin and it wouldn’t corrode. It can also shoot through large animals and emerge on the other side with enough velocity to hurt someone else. If I ever go this route again, I’ll get a Model 65 with a three-inch barrel and its attendant full-length ejector. A normal 158g .357 hollowpoint can penetrate about a yard in ballistic gelatin. This means that the .357 Magnum snubnose gives its owner 4-4.5 times the choice of suitable defensive ammunition that the .38 only revolver gives! The 642 is near perfect. Smith & Wesson joined up with the ammunition division of Winchester Repeating Arms, and by 1934, the design had been completed. Think enough muzzle blast to induce a migraine, muzzle flash akin to a flamethrower, and ballpeen hammer recoil. A good enough gun, but not the Smith’s equal in overall quality. Setting off a .357 indoors without ear protection would most certainly do damage to one’s hearing which could be permanent. This is a first for Kimber, who is mostly known for their 1911s, but the K6s now has them competing with other small, steel frame revolvers like the Ruger SP101, the Smith & Wesson J-frames, and, as of last week, the new Colt Cobra. It is Smith and Wesson’s ubiquitous J-frame. The bonus to carrying a .357 is that it can also be used with .38 Special and .38 Special +P ammo. You could also go for a compact K-frame or a Ruger SP101 snub nose. There is further division. A current variation of the hammerless snub is this M&P in .357 Magnum and with a Crimson Trace laser. In hunting, a .45 may leave nothing behind which often defeats the purpose. Over-penetration is a definite possibility. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Prohibition sent the United States into a tizzy. The Ruger brought innovative polymer frame technology to the revolver world. Some people want a big bore carry gun and the market has responded. The major motion picture, Dirty Harry, catapulted it back into the mainstream in 1971. It can be used in a small number of semi-auto pistols, lever-action rifles, and carbines. I would hesitate to constantly run +P loads through the gun. Cardini Leather USA - IWB Ultra Soft Leather Holster - Concealed Carry with Clip - for S&W J Frame, S&W Models 442, 642, for Airweight 637, 638, 640 - and Other Snub Nose Revolvers in … The .357 I carry in-pocket using a Blackhawk holster. Its medium frame and five-shot cylinder allow it to carry as well as a big bore can, yet it has enough heft to dampen recoil. The introduction of semi-automatic weapons caused the .357 to lose popularity. 4.5 out of 5 stars 276. Libertas Again, there are good points on both sides. In the end, it comes down to which gun meets the majority of your needs and makes you the most comfortable. Accepts .38 Special and .357 Mag… Short barrels make them easier to conceal than their long-barreled brethren. The first side of this debate says you cannot carry magnum ammunition in a revolver. Ruger’s newer LCR comes in .357 as do several S&W J-frames, and Kimber’s new K6s offers the smoothest trigger in the segment. Small, concealable wheel lock, flint lock, and percussion cap muzzle loaded pistols were quite popular in their day. As a former S&W Model 19 owner, I can attest a 2-1/2-inch barreled .357 Magnum is a challenge to shoot. It was first designed with a 158-grain semi-jacketed soft point( flat) bullet. Updated, Tauruss Model 617 and Smith & Wessons latest 686 Plus are revolvers that come up big when buyers are deciding whether to carry a pistol or a wheelgun. The pressure of a .357 is significantly stronger than a .38 Special. Elmer Keith, Idaho rancher and firearms enthusiast, began to work on a new type of ammunition that would surpass the commonly used .38 ammo. About a year ago, Kimber announced that they would be producing a .357 magnum 2-inch barreled snub nose revolver called the K6s. is its penetration. No ifs, ands, or buts. During the Korean and Vietnam wars the 357 Magnum served its home country with distinction. 4.5 out of 5 stars 13 A revolver has the intimidation factor for the target but doesn’t overcomplicate the process with unnecessary bells and whistles. Conclusion on the Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum Snub-Nosed Revolver If I lived closer to very rugged mountainous areas populated by an array of large, potentially dangerous animals, I would make the Ruger Redhawk .357 my primary Mountain Gun and stoke it with Buffalo Bore’s ( www.buffalobore.com ) .357 Magnum Outdoorsman 180-grain Hardcast Lead Flat-Nosed solid … +P would be a better choice for personal defense. However, it isn’t a good choice for home defense, self-defense, or hunting. Yet, the .357 Magnum has done it while remaining manageable in a personal defense sized handgun. Contact me here, Pick up a I'd either carry the .357 with a speed loader backup or the Sig with just my 13+1 magazine. A normal 158g .357 hollowpoint can penetrate about a yard in ballistic gelatin. The 1920s launched an era that would change firearms history forever. The .357 Magnum cartridge can generate almost double the recoil energy in a lighter pistol. What are the best .38, .357, and .44 caliber snub nosed revolvers—ever? View sold price and similar items: EAA .38/.357 Mag. Follow-up shots could be difficult or at least slower as the shooter struggles to regain control of the gun after the recoil. In a snub-nose revolver...it hurts. The mid-range trajectory of the .357 Magnum at 100 yards is only 3.5. The cartridge held a 158g bullet that fired at 1,515 FPS. (It won’t go through the block of a ‘49 Buick unless you are firing steel core ammunition). Yeah, I sold it. Its more controllable for follow-up shots, less prone to over-penetration, and less damaging to the sensory organs. The tried and true Detective Special and a Rock Island model offer six shot cylinder capacity as opposed to the segment’s normal five. Not the best to cart around tucked into a waistband when you’re in summer attire. While the weapon is a good choice in some instances, it is not ideal for concealed carry. In the past decade the .44 Special has risen from the ashes. Several models have come and gone but the basic framework remains the same. (It won’t go through the block of a ‘49 Buick unless you are firing steel core ammunition). Today, snubbies are, in the main, offered in just a few: .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and either .44 Special or .44 Magnum. new in 2020 - semi bright stainless steel finish, walnut grips, capacity 6, red ramp front sight, adjustable rear sight. Today’s .357 Magnums are a far cry from what was available in 1935. It is still powerful and will provide the necessary stopping power in a home defense or self-defense situation. Cops demanded better guns and more firepower. Along with the illegal operations came organized crime. You should also be aware that ammo selection is critical for accuracy and recoil. These are serious considerations that should be weighed before adopting the .357 Magnum as a carry load. S&W .357 Magnum Snub Nose Need to Know. There is also an issue of the “us vs. them” mentality. If you are considering a .357 for a concealed carry gun, your best bet is to latch onto one of the Smith & Wesson short barrel, or J-frame models. Once a popular bore size, and epitomized by the .44 Special, it fell on hard times until the .44 Remington Magnum hit the scene. These are serious considerations that should be weighed before adopting the .357 Magnum as a carry load. The SP-101 had a five shot cylinder which made it thinner by a significant margin than the six-shooter Smiths and Colts. The following year, Smith & Wesson launched the .357 Magnum Revolver. What's the best option? We’ll start at the bottom, price wise. At the core, pros recommend a revolver to beginners or those that don’t fire guns regularly. A snub-nosed revolver is the most elusive concealed carry weapon in existence and has a history that proves it’s worth its weight in gold. .44 caliber snub nose revolvers lay moribund for decades after World War Two. This side seems to have the most acceptance, and I don’t mean to suggest that this bit of conventional wisdom didn’t come from somewhere. Using a .357 for concealed carry usually conjures images of long barrel length. At 50 yards it is only .8. When Samuel Colt introduced the world’s first viable mass produced revolver in the 1830s, it didn’t take long before he, and many other gun makers who followed, developed short barreled versions. Lighter, more compact guns, such as the Bulldog and M445, ramp up the .44 Special’s recoil and they intimidate some shooters. Regardless of which camp you’re in, the revolver or semi-auto camp, there is a .357 Mag ammo to fit your needs. (Yes, I know the .41 Magnum has done it, but I have yet to run into a person packing a. for personal protection?) The .357 is credited with introducing the “Magnum Era.” Despite ups and downs, it remains a superior self-defense round often used by law enforcement. A secondary benefit is a shorter barrel clears a holster’s mouth quicker on the draw than a longer weapon. The muzzle flash is very bright in the dark and could cause temporary vision impairment. Revolver T-Shirt LJ Bonham is a semi-subsistence hunter, hunting magazine editor, and firearms enthusiast who lives in the Rocky Mountains. The good news is there are so many to choose from, the bad news is it’s difficult to tell the exceptional ones. Even with the optional, easier to shoot three-inch barrel it still took up less room in a waistband than its rivals. Plus, use by infamous “Son of Sam” serial killer, David Berkowitz, in the 1970s cast a pall over the Bulldog in many people’s minds. The sound of a .357 going off is tremendously loud, even when wearing ear protection. It’s a tail kicker, but it has its downside. $21.99 $ 21. I tend to come down on this side…mostly. Plus, you can fire it from inside a coat pocket in an emergency! Smith and Wesson have their ubiquitous N-frame available with three or even one-inch tubes and now the Model 69, a five-shot L-frame, both in .44 Magnum. The diminutive J-frame evolved from the company’s I-frame in 1950. I’ve shot a custom three-inch barrel S&W Model 57 in .41 Magnum. The trigger is pretty good, to boot. Illegal gin mills, moonshiners, bootleggers and speakeasies secretly fought against the new law, refusing to be forced into a dry nation. Author's pick for best .357 Magnum snub nose. The Smith & Wesson Model 360 is a new five-shot .357 Magnum with a stainless steel cylinder and a scandium frame. The undersized ejector rod wouldn’t always free stubborn spent cases, either. There is little dispute that the .357 Magnum works. FREE Shipping. The .357 is credited with introducing the “Magnum Era.” Despite ups and downs, it remains a superior, round often used by law enforcement. After all, there aren’t many handgun cartridges that can claim to have brought down moose, elk, and grizzly bears. For most situations, and especially in an urban setting, a solid. According to Chuck Hawks recoil table, a 2.75-lb revolver firing a 125-grain load at 1220 fps generates 4.6 ft-lbs of recoil energy. Capacity: 7 Rounds. Snub nosed revolvers have been produced in almost every handgun caliber ever invented. Revolvers vs. semi-automatics. The .357 Magnum has been popular since its introduction in the 1930s and shows no sign of vanishing from the military, law enforcement, and/or civilian use. The best .44 snub nose revolvers offer a balance between bulk and power. Wesson saw the need for the new round and jumped on board. Their weapons simply could not penetrate the bulletproof (ballistics) vests worn by the gangsters, nor could it combat the steel and glass of the automobiles that were coming into common use. if you want to target practice do so with standard velocity .38 Special loads, and reserve the hotter +P load for self-defense. J-frames are so small, even the heavier all steel guns are a bit snappy to shoot with standard pressure .38s. ... cal38 Handcrafted Leather Belt Holster for Taurus 605 357 Magnum Snub Nose Left Hand Black Tan. Ruger offers the Super Redhawk .44 Magnum with a two-inch barrel and their GP-100 in .44 Special. over at (Yes, I know the .41 Magnum has done it, but I have yet to run into a person packing a .41 for personal protection?) Regardless the brand, snub nosed revolvers have one definitive characteristic: barrels three inches or shorter. This profile makes the snub revolvers extremely easy to keep hidden, and with options in caliber ranging from 22LR to 357 Magnum and more, powerful … would prove just as manageable as the .41 if stuffed with moderate 185 or 200 grain loads. This means you won’t have to deal with any jamming or reliability issues. S usually because they are hungry, not angry by well-heeled gentlemen women. Without ear protection would most certainly do damage to one ’ s readily available and adaptable to many.! 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