.357 Magnum Revolver recommendations

Gun, shooting and equipment discussions unrelated to CHL issues

Moderator: carlson1


K-Texas
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 5
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:34 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: .357 Magnum Revolver recommendations

#31

Post by K-Texas » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:52 pm

L-Frame 586/686 and the GP100 are about the perfect size for .357 Mag carry/field revolver if you're going to be firing full power factory loads or handloads. Smith N-Frames have been mentioned, and while their frames are larger, it's the extra weight of the barrel lug on the L-Frames that makes them more comfortable to shoot for me, and tested with a 6" 586 and a 6" M28.

It kinda comes down to how much you shoot .357 Magnum. If you want to become proficient it will take practice. Especially in proficiency firing Double-Action with full power loads above 500 Ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

It's great that Colt is bringing back the Python. I heard a few weeks back that Tom Gresham and his son were among the gun media at the Colt gathering. Tom had a Python he inherited from Grits and passed to his son, and they took it with them to the media event. Tom stated that the DA of the new Python might be better than the original, and that the new Pythons are built stronger, mentioning some incidences where full-time use of full power loads proved problematic for the original. That's been so long ago that I had nearly forgotten about it.

It will likely take some time to get past the initial surge and lack of availability for new Python sales, and the first ones will likely come at scalper's prices. Not quite in the same market as the 586/686 and the GP100 due to MSRP that's closer to the CZ owned DW 715. The Colt that was intended to compete more closely to the 586/686 and the GP100 was the King Cobra from the Mark V series that preceded it. Good revolvers, but not quite the equal of the L-Frame Smith and GP100.

For handloading with Magnum Handgun propellants like those based on W296, I long believed that 5" of barrel length was a good choice in order to get all of the powder to burn completely. The good news there is that there is a 5" GP100 readily available, albeit listed as a "Distributor Exclusive." Finding a 5" Magnum Smith won't be so easy, and prepare to pay a premium with most of them belonging to collectors.

Recently, I've been pleased with what I've seen from my full-power handloads charged with AA 11FS that is essentially a flash-suppressed version of W296. Flash is actually lower than other powders I use for .357 Mag defense type loads with True Blue for barrels shorter than 4". AA No 7 and No 9 being good choices for a broad range of loads and barrel lengths. But from the 4.2" GP100 I fire the most, 11 FS shows promise.

For those who plan to shoot at least 50% of the time with full-power loads, or plan to handload their own, the revolver needs to be up to the task. Smith L-Frames and the GP100, in particular, are very good choices.;-)
Anything that can be corrupted by man; will be corrupted.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want . . .


patterson
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:51 pm

Re: .357 Magnum Revolver recommendations

#32

Post by patterson » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:10 pm

The Ruger SP101 .357 with a 4.2 inch barrel is a good revolver Ive shot 38s and .357 rounds through it and is very accurate.


K-Texas
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 5
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:34 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: .357 Magnum Revolver recommendations

#33

Post by K-Texas » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:51 pm

patterson wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:10 pm
The Ruger SP101 .357 with a 4.2 inch barrel is a good revolver Ive shot 38s and .357 rounds through it and is very accurate.
Haven't fired a 4.2" SP101 yet, but I've fired plenty of magnums from the 3" model. The SP101 is surprisingly robust. A good many of the rounds were .357 Mag Defense handloads with the REM 140 gr. SJHP made specifically for the 3" SP101 and a 3" M65 Lady Smith using powders that don't lose as much velocity from shorter barrels, and are low in muzzle flash. ;-)
Anything that can be corrupted by man; will be corrupted.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want . . .


Armybrat
Member
Posts in topic: 3
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:01 pm

Re: .357 Magnum Revolver recommendations

#34

Post by Armybrat » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:32 pm

Yes, the Ruger SP101 is a fine little magnum in both .357 and .327.
8F758BE7-5504-4307-91B0-EEAF640A1E63.jpeg


K-Texas
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 5
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:34 pm
Location: Heart of Texas

Re: .357 Magnum Revolver recommendations

#35

Post by K-Texas » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:06 pm

Armybrat wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:32 pm
Yes, the Ruger SP101 is a fine little magnum in both .357 and .327.

8F758BE7-5504-4307-91B0-EEAF640A1E63.jpeg
Glad that came up! The .327 Mag is a very interesting cartridge and it increases the capacity of the SP101. There are more similarities with the .357 Mag than some may be aware of. The sectional density of the .357" 125 gr. XTP is .140 while the sectional density of the .312" 100 gr. XTP is .147 and slightly higher. And sectional density plays a very large roll in penetration.

Looking at handload data shows that the .327 Mag is no weakling. From a 5" barrel using a MAX Charge of AA No 9, the Western Handload manual shows velocity at 1574 FPS at 8000 PSI below the cartridges Max Average Pressure, or MAP of 45,000 PSI. And there's another bonus there. Older Magnums had their MAPs determined by the Copper Crusher method, or CUP. Rating this cartridge in the PSI system should help give a better understanding of the pressure levels.

Unfortunately, I've only had 1 chance to fire the Ruger LCR with factory loads at a slightly more sedate velocity. Still potent, and recoil seemed quite controllable. I have not run any loads through the QAS computer program as yet, but I know it will impress. If anyone wants to see those results from water testing, just shoot me a PM or post in the Reloading section. The test parameters are easy enough to collect while I still use the 1 - gallon water jugs, formerly milk jugs. Velocity upon impact, or chronographing at the same distance as the 1st jug is placed, recovered mass and average recovered dia. are all that's needed. As far as average dia., that's the 3 greatest dia. measurements on the expanded petals and the 3 inner dias., between the petals.

For anyone who's not quite comfortable with .357 Mag. recoil from small revolvers, and Ruger shows the weight of the LCR at 17 oz., the .327 Mag appears to be an excellent alternative. Handloading should make it a blast! ;-)
Anything that can be corrupted by man; will be corrupted.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want . . .

Post Reply

Return to “General Gun, Shooting & Equipment Discussion”