Comparison::.357 Magnum


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Colt Pythons in 8" and 6" barrels
1956 made Colt "357" Magnum

The .357 Magnum was a direct competitor with the .38 Super.

In terms of accuracy, the .357 Magnum has at least the same potential for precision shooting as the benchmark .38 Special wadcutter round—indeed, a good .357 Magnum revolver will happily shoot .38 Special wadcutter ammunition with good results. It is this accuracy and power, and the versatility of also being capable of using less-expensive, milder .38 Special ammunition, that makes a .357 Magnum revolver an excellent gun for many different disciplines, from {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} precision shooting to long range falling-plate events. It is an excellent round for those considering handloading ammunition, as it is economical and consistently performs well.

The .357 Magnum was developed from the earlier .38 Special. This was possible because the .38 Special was originally designed to use black powder, which requires two to five times as much powder, by weight, to produce the same velocity with the same bullet as does the much-more-efficient smokeless powder. Thus the .38 Special has a relatively large bullet case. The 9×19mm Parabellum was introduced the same year (1902) but was originally designed for smokeless powder, and for higher pressures (~{{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}).{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} It therefore produces considerably more energy than the .38, despite its case having less than half the powder capacity. Most 9 mm powder charges fill the case to the base of the bullet, and some are heavily compressed{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}. Many .38 Special loads use the same powders, in similar charge weights, but because the case is so much larger, those charges only fill the case about half full. Light-target loads with fast-burning powders may only fill the case perhaps 1/8 full. Filling the case with slower-burning powders produces much more power, but also much more pressure; far too much pressure for older, smaller-frame revolvers chambered in .38 Special. It was to accommodate these high-pressure, high-power loads that the longer .357 Magnum, together with the stronger revolvers designed to handle it, were developed.

The .357 SIG that was developed in 1994 was named "357" to highlight its purpose: to duplicate the performance of {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} .357 Magnum loads fired from {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} revolvers, in a cartridge designed to be used in a semi-automatic pistol. Performance is similar to the 9×23mm Winchester. The .357 SIG provided a self-defense cartridge close in performance to a 125 gr .357 Magnum, but from a semi-automatic pistol with greater ammunition capacity.

.357 Magnum sections
Intro  Design  Performance  Comparison  Synonyms  See also  References  External links  

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