.357 Magnum
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Thread: .357 Magnum

  1. #1
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    .357 Magnum

    Can anyone tell me why it is so hard to find a semi-auto that is designed for .357 ammo? It's more powerful than the .38 and I understand it has a higher velocity and range than the .38 Special or the larger 9mm's for that matter.
    I've been thinking of buying a reproduction of a revolver carbine. They're refit for .38 specials, yet the revolver pistol of the same make gives an option of .38 special or .357 mag!
    Even in our modern guns, .357 semi's are rare as hens teeth! Why?
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  2. #2
    Member Donn's Avatar
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    The quick answer is the 357mag is a rimmed cartridge.

  3. #3
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    Yes, the case rims that are larger diameter than the case makes it challenging to design a gun that feeds reliably. Also, the 357's overall cartridge length makes a large grip necessary (Desert Eagle). You can get rather close to current 357 Magnum ballistics with the 357 Sig.

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  5. #4
    Member Desertrat's Avatar
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    Coonan makes a .357 1911 style auto....check it out.

  6. #5
    Member shaolin's Avatar
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    Desert Eagle Auto Mag .357 but If I were you I would get the .357 sig and it will give you good results. If you have a Glock 22 or 23 then get the drop in barrel in .357 sig as they use the same mags.

  7. #6
    Member Argon18smith's Avatar
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    The Coonan classic 1911 has been tested by Hickok and by Jerry Miculek (and other shooters as well). The videos are on youtube under Coonan. They make shooting look so easy. They had no complaints using factory ammo. The Coonan Classic also comes with a second recoil spring. You switch it out if you want to shoot 38 spl. Other shooters say the Desert Eagle only works with magnum loads and not all factory bullets work the same.

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    I know nothing about revolver carbines. But I can't see much demand for an auto-loader pistol chambered in 357 Magnum apart from a curiosity.

    Besides the issue with the 357 Magnum being a long, rimmed cartridge, the projectile profile of many 357 Magnum HP loads would likely not feed well in an auto-loader. In a 125 grain projectile, the 357 SIG comes close to the ballistics of the same weight 357 Magnum, although it typically falls 100-150 fps short comparing hot loads to hot loads.

    But the 10 mm auto cartridge can exceed the ballistics of the 357 Magnum in all categories: projectile diameter, mass, and muzzle velocity, and with a shorter cartridge length overall, although it would give up a little in magazine capacity.

  9. #8
    Member HGF Gold Member
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    cartridge length, rimmed casing, too many special parts, too finicky of a gun( most .357 semis have issues with extraction, ejection and feeding)
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  10. #9
    Member Craigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatdoc173 View Post
    cartridge length, rimmed casing, too many special parts, too finicky of a gun( most .357 semis have issues with extraction, ejection and feeding)
    Boatdoc is so right. 357 Magnum was designed with a rimmed case for revolvers, not autoloaders. Obviously, it's been done, but it isn't easy. Add this to the fact of the length of the 357 Magnum cartridge. I've never owned but have shot both the Desert Eagle and Coonan 1911a versions and can tell you, because the size of the magazines, the grip feels like a brick to my average sized hands. I cannot get a proper grip on them and yet still have good trigger control. If they increased capacity by going double stack, it would be worse.

    Moreover, I personally don't see the point. Why not buy a revolver to shoot revolver rounds and an automatic to shoot automatic pistol rounds? After-all, most any revolver round ballistics can be close enough with some pistol round. Personally, were I to want a hot round like 357 mag in an autoloader, I'd probably opt for a handgun chambered in 10mm Auto. There are several to choose from. Admittedly, it has slightly wider dimensions, but I think does close enough to a similar job. Because of a somewhat shorter length overall, the grip is less brick-like, IMO.

    On a side note, reliability can be achieved shooting rimmed cartridges in an automatic. For a short period, I used a Smith and Wesson Model 52 in competition, covering center-fire. It was a very specialized handgun which only carried 5 rounds of flush-seated 38 Special Wadcutter ammunition. Tolerances had to be very exacting to reliably feed flat faced ammo. I was a young single dad at the time and felt I didn't have to time to maintain a three gun training schedule, so sold that gun and went back to using my 45s for both Centerfire and 45 courses of fire.

    Take care,

    Craig

  11. #10
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    I think the rimmed 357 casing was designed to fit the revolver design.

  12. #11
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    The .357 Magnum is a LONG cartridge by pistol standards and requires a LONG slide stroke when incorporated into a semiautomatic design.

    The .357 Magnum is also a rimmed cartridge that does not lend itself to reliable functioning in an autoloading pistol.

    At present, with the advent of 8-shot .357 revolvers, a autoloading version is pointless...just buy the revolver for the same or less money!

  13. #12
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    Unfortunately the .357 Magnum RIMMED case is also quite LONG to fit inside a pistol grip.

    At one time you might have wanted the option, but with the 10mm now extant, why bother? The 10mm matches or exceeds the .357 on every level and easily fits into a 1911 size semiautomatic stroke length!

    Commercial 10mm loads run between 700-800 lb-ft of kinetic energy which is right in the wheelhouse of the .357 Magnum!
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