Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - THE ARMORY -

For my money, prob­a­bly the most ver­sa­tile re­volver cal­iber is the .357 Mag­num, a cal­iber that lit­er­ally does it all, and this is from a guy who is widely known as an ad­vo­cate of the .41 Mag­num. It is a proven fight stop­per, a game killer (big and small), a mar­velous round for shoot­ing steel plates and metal­lic sil­hou­ettes, and round guns of all sizes are cham­bered for it. I own, shall we say, more than one .357 Mag­num wheel­gun, but I also oc­ca­sion­ally carry a .38 Spe­cial. I strongly rec­om­mend ei­ther the 125- or a 158-grain JHP or soft nose for most ap­pli­ca­tions. I know there is a much wider choice of bul­let weights and types, but as noted ear­lier about se­lect­ing am­mu­ni­tion, these choices seem to work well with any sin­gle- or dou­ble-action re­volver. Com­mer­cial loads are avail­able from Fed­eral that will launch a 158-grain JSP at 1,240 fps from the muz­zle, or a 125-grain JHP ad­ver­tised at 1,440 fps muz­zle ve­loc­ity. Rem­ing­ton of­fers a 125-grain JSP that warps out at 1,450 fps and a 125-grain hol­low­point with a brass jacket in its Ul­ti­mate De­fense se­ries that runs at a re­ported 1,220 fps. Winch­ester’s 125-grain De­fender launches a JHP at more than 1,300 fps and Hor­nady’s 125-grain FTX Crit­i­cal De­fense load is a siz­zler with a patented “Flex Tip” bul­let that is de­signed to ex­pand even when fired through heavy cloth­ing. There’s a Sig Sauer tar­get load that pushes a 125-grain FMJ pro­jec­tile at 1,245 fps, and Sig’s V-Crown 125-grain JHP for street use that ran over my chrono­graph screens from a Ruger LCR at 1,244 fps. The typ­i­cal ve­loc­ity range of the .357 Mag­num roughly stretches from 1,175 fps to 1,250 fps, but leave room for rounds that clock much faster, de­pend­ing upon bar­rel length and how tight the gap is be­tween the cylin­der and forc­ing cone. One loses per­haps 100 fps or more when shoot­ing the .357 out of a short bar­rel, but at close range, that may be in­con­se­quen­tial. Even out of my Model 19 snub­nose, the .357 Mag­num packs a wal­lop. In addition to the full ar­ray of mag­num loads avail­able, the .357 Mag­num cham­bers .38 Spe­cial am­mu­ni­tion, which is good for prac­tice, dif­fer­ent so­cial oc­ca­sions and will stop a coy­ote, bob­cat or sim­i­lar-sized preda­tors in their tracks. Against two­legged preda­tors, it can be dev­as­tat­ing.

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