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Heavy Calibers #5327857 01/20/20 01:09 PM
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rrretiree7 Offline OP
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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

Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327866 01/20/20 01:16 PM
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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.

Last edited by MolaKule; 01/20/20 01:22 PM.

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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327897 01/20/20 01:49 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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All 3 will do the job if you have good shot placement


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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327898 01/20/20 01:50 PM
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supton Offline
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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.


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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327908 01/20/20 01:57 PM
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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.


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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327916 01/20/20 02:02 PM
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JHZR2 Offline
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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...

Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327939 01/20/20 02:27 PM
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I am a .45 Colt fan.


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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327946 01/20/20 02:35 PM
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I believe that FBI stats show the .357 Magnum as the number one gun for one shot kills!


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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5327994 01/20/20 03:30 PM
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To a large degree it depends on the particular gun you plan on shooting them from.

Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5328002 01/20/20 03:39 PM
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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.

Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5328003 01/20/20 03:40 PM
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Driz Offline
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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

Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5328017 01/20/20 04:03 PM
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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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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5328041 01/20/20 04:28 PM
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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?

Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5328052 01/20/20 04:44 PM
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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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Re: Heavy Calibers [Re: rrretiree7] #5328069 01/20/20 05:10 PM
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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


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