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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Memphis TN

    More on .357 Mag penetration.........

    In response to the query regarding the penetration of .357 Magnum ammunition, I'll offer the folowing:

    In May of 1956 I had just bought a Ruger Blackhawk .357 Magnum, my first brand-new revolver, and my first Magnum. I was anxious to try it out, having heard the stories of "shooting through an engine block" and that type of stuff. So, along with several of my buddies we drove out to a dump near Camp Roberts, California. There were old washing machines, car bodies, etc., and the area was remote enough that we could do our testing there.

    I picked out an old '49 Ford and let fly. My ammunition was the old Remington and Winchester 158gr. swaged SWC bullets, very soft lead, if you will remember. My first shot was at the center post between the doors. My bullet put a hole in the first ply of steel and made a terrific dent. It went no further, lead splatter evident all around the impact area. Similar results from rear shots through the trunk lid. My bullets penetrated, leaving awesome holes and dents, but went no further through the car body.
    Washing machines suffered greater damage, especially through the porcelain finish, which crackled several seconds after impact. Still, no spectacular damage from penetration.

    Later I got hold of some of the old Hi-Way Master metal penetrating rounds used by the Police and Highway Patrol of the erea. These were very pointed steel jacketed bullets with copper bearing surfaces, and hardened lead cores. One round, shot from head on, penetrated the radiator, skidded along the engine block, passed through the firewall and exited the trunk lid. These DID penetrate! But only through the sheet metal. Shots into the engine did break through the water jacket, but no horrific damage.

    Dick Tracey had led me wrong. From that comic strip I had read how the Magnum could stop a car cold in its tracks. Not so!

    Granted, the .357 Magnum is a powerful, and accurate, revolver, but its armor piercing qualities are greatly exagerated. Make no mistake, though, on game, it'll still bring home the bacon.

    Bob Wright

  2. #2
    Member clanger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    So. Cal.

    Thumbs up

    Bacon is a good thing!

    Neat story 'bout them old rounds.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    mmMMMMMmmmmmm baaaacon.uuhhh

    I like the 357 for it's accuracy over longer distances. I'm sure someone knows a guy that his brohter in law tolf him about this time when his brothers neighbor seen a gut that....umm..what was I saying? o...oh yeah....baaaacooon

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Thumbs up Camp Roberts

    Been there a zillion times with the 6/80th field artillery from 1976-1978. Good info on the 357. I have the S&W model 66 stainless.

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