Heavy Calibers

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I have the opportunity to buy one gun, .357, .44 Magnum or .45 Long colt. Please rate them in stopping power and recoil management. Thanks, guys
 

MolaKule

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In pistol or rifle? In a lever action carbine the .45 Colt has low recoil and decent stopping power. In terms of recoil management in a pistol frame, I would say the .357 in a revolver. My lineup is two .38 special cartridges followed by four .357 Mag cartridges.
 
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I do believe 45 long Colt will be least recoil, followed by 357 then 44. The 45 runs the lowest pressure; quick look shows both magnums at the same pressure so the 44 will have more recoil (larger diameter). In terms of "stopping power" the ratings run backwards from that but with a big caveat: the 45LC, despite being a cowboy round, put its fair share of cowboys six feet under. Not sure what you are after but unless if I was walking in the woods I'd probably not use any of them. I suspect ammo for the 45 is pricey; the magnums tend to have lots of recoil and noise and blast. For self defense I'd probably go... err, do we really want to get into a caliber war here? Suffice to say, I'd err on the "less is more". Now for a range toy any of them ought to be fun in a full sized gun. If I wasn't into reloading then I'd pick on the basis of ammo price. If I was into hunting then I'd pick the round on the basis of what I was hunting and at what distance.
 
Pick the round that you can hit your target with every time. As mentioned, shot placement is more critical than size; review the Los Angeles machete wielder video for proof. 10 rounds hit him yet didn't stop the advance... center mass/vitals is better than a peripheral shot with a bigger hole.
 

JHZR2

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Define heavy. 9mm is roughly the same diameter as .38/.357, and can be had in 124 and 15xgr weights. NOT saying that 9mm and .357 are in any way the same... I just think of 200gr+ bullets when saying heavy. A simple wiki search will easily tell you how many ft-lb of energy each will give. Bullet size and propellant charge will relate to recoil behaviors and stopping power for the same hit location. You dont mention the consideration of cost (.38/357 is favored here), ammo availability, etc. I am a fan of the .38/357 and the .44spl (I dont have enough experience shooting .44 mag to speak to it). The .44 spl is a gentle giant, by the numbers not as powerful as the .357, but with a good deal more energy yet a feel like .38, IME. But ammo availability for .44spl isnt great, and it and .44 mag are $ compared to .38/.357, which is $ compared to 9mm and even to some extent .45ACP. Of course these numbers are always changing, but thats my general observation. On the .45LC side, Ive always found it to be dirty and not that many great ammo options to shoot cheaper. So for overall cost, availability, performance, etc., the .357 magnum is the one to beat, IMO. Train with .38spl as needed, and even perhaps leverage some of the .38 defensive rounds, and then load .357 if needed. Its a good happy medium, IMO, which is why it was popular with police, I suppose...
 
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I can't help you with the incapacitation/kill factor, but I can give you my personal experience shooting some of the rounds you mention. I currently have a S&W Model 19 .357 Mag with a 4" barrel and a Model 29 .44 Mag with a 6" barrel. I fired both the same day back to back during a qualification event. Both used self defense ammo, the .357 CCI Blazer 158 grain JHP cartridges, the .44 CCI Blazer 240 grain JHP cartridges. I believe my hands are average sized, but I use gloves with size large. I have very good grip strength. At the time, I did a significant amount of range practice with a 1911/Commander chambered in .45 ACP, but not much with the magnum revolvers. For my hands, recoil was more noticeable with the .357 Mag. The magnitude of recoil was similar with both pistols, but for some reason the .357 had more of a twisting motion to the kick (perhaps related to the shorter barrel and spin rate?), and for me was less comfortable to fire. This is counterintuitive since the aluminum case CCI Blazer in .44 mag is rated at 50 fps faster velocity with an 82 grain heavier bullet. Both revolvers were easy to shoot accurately, recoil impacting timing for follow on shots only. I wouldn't even attempt a double tap with either of these guns. Before you buy, I suggest you borrow or rent guns at a range and give them a try. See which fits you the best.
 
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Pick the round that you can hit your target with every time. As mentioned, shot placement is more critical than size; review the Los Angeles machete wielder video for proof. 10 rounds hit him yet didn't stop the advance... center mass/vitals is better than a peripheral shot with a bigger hole.
This about says it all right here. 357 is about the best all around cowboy all things considered. Bear country .44
 
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I have two .44 mags and they are beasts to shoot, much less carry around. One is for hunting, a heavy Ruger Super Redhawk with a 12" barrel and even that has considerable recoil. The other is a S&W Mountain Gun with a 6" barrel and the recoil is quite high. Fun for a day at the range, good to carry in bear country but NOT an everyday carry gun or one to use in an apartment building because of penetration.
 
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Originally Posted by rrretiree7
I have the opportunity to buy one gun, .357, .44 Magnum or .45 Long colt. Please rate them in stopping power and recoil management. Thanks, guys
If you're just going to use it for home defense, I'd go with a .38/.357 revolver. What's your planned use of this firearm?
 
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45 Colt in standard pressure smokeless loadings is in a lot of ways the tamest of the three. In a single action(SAA) type frame, what I was taught, and what I tell other people who handle mine, is to "let it roll." Basically the grip is made in such a way that it will "roll" in your hand if you're holding it right, and this lessens the felt recoil. BTW, I have loaded and shot SAAs with black powder(usually around 37gr Goex FFF in a modern solid head case) and it packs more of a punch to your hand than a typical smokeless load. You CAN get stronger-than-normal guns chambered in 45 Colt. The Ruger Blackhawk and old model Vaquero are two such guns. Those can be safely loaded much more stoutly than a Colt-type frame. I still have some that are something like 27gr of Win 296 under a 250gr softpoint-those can be a handful, and there's a reason why I've only shot about half of the 50 or so I loaded several years ago smile . Of note on those-they launch a heavier projectile than a 44 Mag at roughly the same velocity out of the same length barrel, and they actually do so at a somewhat lower peak pressure than a similarly loaded 44 Mag. Buffalo Bore sells ammunition like this pre-loaded if you don't handload. 44 Mag can range from anything to painful in the super light scandium guns to not that bad in something like a Ruger Redhawk or even a long barrel S&W 29. The only one I have now is an S&W "Mountain Gun", which has a 4" tapered barrel. It can be a handful with a full power magnum load. Snub 357s can be a bit "flippy" in my experience and difficult to control, but once you get to a 4" barrel or so in a mid-size frame(something like an S&W 19) they get a lot more controllable. 357 Mag is one of my favorite calibers, and all around it's my choice for a self defense revolver. Among other downsides, though, it's loud, and to me loud in a way that a 44 Mag or hot 45 Colt isn't. I can't quite place it, but the report is a fair bit "sharper" than the lower pitched "boomier" 44 Mag.
 
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Originally Posted by rrretiree7
I have the opportunity to buy one gun, .357, .44 Magnum or .45 Long colt. Please rate them in stopping power and recoil management. Thanks, guys
I thought we would be talking about brake calipers weighing a lot? Guess not.
 
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Originally Posted by rrretiree7
I have the opportunity to buy one gun, .357, .44 Magnum or .45 Long colt. Please rate them in stopping power and recoil management. Thanks, guys
You need to do a bit more research. I suspect you have never shot a 44 Magnum. Are you going to conceal carry? Are you planning to shoot a 44 magnum in your house or apartment? Have you thought about wielding a 357 or 44 in a close in hand to hand confrontation in a dark bedroom? Are you going to holster carry? Are you going to practice a lot?
 
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Go to a gun range that rents guns and fire them all. Recoil tolerance is really individual dependant, myself and several guys from work all went to the DFW range and rented a pile of guns. One guy got so trigger shy on the .45 that he couldn't stop shaking while I personally had no issue with the .357 or .44 mags shrug My favourite was, and continues to be the .357 in reasonably long barrelled revolver, but everybody's preference is different which is why it only makes sense to give them all a whirl and figure out what works for you.
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted by rrretiree7
I have the opportunity to buy one gun, .357, .44 Magnum or .45 Long colt. Please rate them in stopping power and recoil management. Thanks, guys
I would need to know more to give you a good recommendation on caliber. Stopping power? Well, the .357 Mag has the best statistics, but that's because it was a common police caliber for many years. No cops have carried the .45 Colt in a hundred years or so, and so few cops carried the .44 Magnum that statistics on that round are really meaningless. For pure power? .44 Mag, hands down, has the most power. .45 Colt can be loaded up to similar power, if the gun can handle it. But I don't know in what gun you're going to use this, or your intended purpose. Those have huge implications and bearing on a caliber recommendation. So, in the absence of a need to shot cowboy action, or to shoot bears, or really heavily clothed, large individuals, I recommend: .357 magnum Here's why: 1. of the 3, it's the easiest to manage in recoil. 2. It has a great track record in self-defense/LE real-world experience. 3. It is the cheapest and most available caliber and 4. You can load up a .357 with .38 Special for range day, which allows you to shoot at even lower cost, with lower recoil.
 
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Thanks, guys for all your help. I like to hear guys advocating a .357, with the best all around performance. I sold a Ruger Security 6 and now I am looking for the SP 101. This gun will be used for Self Defense
 
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SP101 is a nice gun. I forget exactly what I did, but I know I swapped in some Wolf springs and that did help the trigger. Not quite LCR good but close enough. I think I only changed the main spring, and IIRC the package had 4 different springs I could use--I went just one down from stock so as to avoid any light strike fears. It's still a long and heavy trigger, no fears of the gun just going off on it's own here. They did sell some in DAO which should slightly improve the trigger, and the lack of a spur should help in draw (although I don't know what holster you want to use and the lack of a hammer spur might limit holster kind). I've only ever shot magnums once or twice out of my 3" LCR and that was enough for me. I'm sure recoil would have gotten me before long, but the muzzle blast did me in, along with the noise. No way I'd use them. Tried some +P 125grn 38spl's the other day and that was unpleasant too, despite foam ear plugs and shooting outdoors my ears would ring after each shot. Just tossing that out there. IMO, if you can get a chance, try the LCR, it should be easier to carry. I had the 38spl version but traded into the 357 version--the extra weight helps with recoil, and I find 38 standard loads not that bad in the 357 mag version. The LCR will have more recoil than the SP101 but will carry better, so like everything else in life, it's a tradeoff. Now if you aren't going to do carry then I'd go up in size to really mitigate recoil, but I'm guessing you got rid of the Security Six for a reason, and that was probably so as to get a smaller & easier to carry gun, no?
 
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