357 Mag. vs. 45 ACP

This is a discussion on 357 Mag. vs. 45 ACP within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Sorry if this has been asked and answered before, but I could not find it on a search. As between the 357 mag. round and ...

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Thread: 357 Mag. vs. 45 ACP

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    357 Mag. vs. 45 ACP

    Sorry if this has been asked and answered before, but I could not find it on a search.

    As between the 357 mag. round and the 45 acp round, is there research which demonstrates which is the more effective round for self defense purposes.

    Thanks.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I am sure I have seen the results of both on stopping power some place, but can't remember off hand. Personally I would not want to be shot with either one of them. As far as energy goes the .357 is going to be capable of delivering a considerable amount more than any .45 acp round is capable, you will however be giving up mass of bullet on the .357.

    If I remember correctly the 125 gr. hollow point somehow is supposed to be the ideal round for the .357. I however like the hunting round I have developed using a 158 gr. Hornady HP/XTP or a JSP lead that is delivered with a tad over 700 ft lbs of energy.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version


    You can check this out. Personally I don't think there is enough difference to switch platforms ie revovers to autos.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version


    You can check this out. Personally I don't think there is enough difference to switch platforms ie revovers to autos.
    Thanks. That is what I thought. Actually, I already have an auto and am thinking of a .357 revolver.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    I have both auto's and revolvers. I'm a 9mm guy myself but I really like the .357mag.

    I carry snubbies from time to time and that what I carry around the house. I carry a full size .357 hunting with me. I would not feel under gunned with a full size revolver and a couple of speed loaders. It is a matter of practice and preference.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    Member Array dmorris68's Avatar
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    Oh no, not another caliber debate!

    I tend to put more stock in real-world results such as wound analysis, morgue reports, gunfight accounts, etc. than from gelatin and "calculator" stats, and from everything I've seen on the subject, both are excellent "manstoppers" if there is such a thing. But the .357 has an excellent track record that is matched by few if any rounds, and its combat performance seems to defy the conventional wisdom on ballistic data. Its velocity and bullet design tends to compensate well for its reduced bullet weight.

    That said, .45 is certainly no slouch and ranks way up there too. I prefer .45 because I prefer autos, and I like heavier bullets out of a SD handgun.

    Personally I would say this particular decision boils down to more a revolver vs. auto preference. Choosing one or the other will tend to make the caliber decision for you (although there are a few exceptions, for practical SD purposes each round is better suited to one gun type or the other).
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  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmorris68 View Post
    Oh no, not another caliber debate!

    I tend to put more stock in real-world results such as wound analysis, morgue reports, gunfight accounts, etc. than from gelatin and "calculator" stats, and from everything I've seen on the subject, both are excellent "manstoppers" if there is such a thing. But the .357 has an excellent track record that is matched by few if any rounds, and its combat performance seems to defy the conventional wisdom on ballistic data. Its velocity and bullet design tends to compensate well for its reduced bullet weight.

    That said, .45 is certainly no slouch and ranks way up there too. I prefer .45 because I prefer autos, and I like heavier bullets out of a SD handgun.

    Personally I would say this particular decision boils down to more a revolver vs. auto preference. Choosing one or the other will tend to make the caliber decision for you (although there are a few exceptions, for practical SD purposes each round is better suited to one gun type or the other).
    David, my post was in no way intended to start a caliber debate. I asked about whether there was "research" specifically to eliminate and avoid just that. I, too, have had enough of the caliber debate threads.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Thanks. That is what I thought. Actually, I already have an auto and am thinking of a .357 revolver.
    Pssst, Ron, if your going to get a revolver in .357, get a Ruger, they are great guns.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Pssst, Ron, if your going to get a revolver in .357, get a Ruger, they are great guns.
    Heard you farronwolf, and will be sure to check out the Ruger web page to see what they have. Thanks for the advice.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I'm glad I saw this thread because I have been debating this exact same question myself for two years now in regard to a HD (bedside) sidearm that can do duty for carry and is MA legal toward carry in woodlands.

    I too am a pistol and .45 guy (1911).
    I've been looking at the .45 revolvers that S&W offers as well as .38/.357 offerings from them too.
    The snub nose carry models are just 2 and 3" barrels so the benefit of having a magnum cartridge there is lost. Even from a 5" barrel .45 and .357 are pretty much a wash against each other as per sources other than that indicated above.
    The upside to a revolver though is it will always work and not go out of battery.
    As well I can carry it in the field, in MA, and not be dinged by wildlife laws as it's under .38 caliber.

    If you guys had to choose one or the other for all around HD/carry/outdoor use what would you select?
    Short barrel (2" or 3") .45 or .38/.357 or Long barrel (4" or 5") .45 or .38/.357 Magnum.

    - Janq
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  12. #11
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    I choose to carry as my woods gun and it is one of our bedside guns a 4" .357

    It is my wife's prefered pistol because she doesn't have to worry about a safety or clearing a jam if she is awakened at 2am
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    My preference, and the wifes prefered gun all around is the GP 100 with a 4 inch barrel in stainless. This is the one I have a round worked up with just over 700 ft lbs of energy. Not a gun I would choose to carry every day for concealed carry, but for HD/outdoor use it is probably very close to the top of any list I could make.

    Like Pgrass says, no safety just pull the trigger and hold on for the ride.

    If your going to use it to hunt with you can shoot it in single action mode for better accuracy. For defensive measures just keep pulling the trigger in DA mode, and hope that when you hear the click, click, there is not a BG left standing.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I have a S&W .357 - 7 1/2" barrel, Taurus 617 (.357 -7 shot-3 " brrl) and a Taurus 605 (.357 - 5 shot), and a .38 - 6 shot, 5" barrel. As well as 9mm semi-autos.

    I never went to a .45, although I've shot plenty. There was no advantage in my mind. I carry both the .357's and the 9's. But, one thing I definitely like is the reliability of any revolver, it won't FTF or FTE, and a wider selection of ammo and types in the same gun.

    They all shoot fine, and I shoot .357 mags in them all, and .38 +P's. The advantage to me of the 9 mm, is only quantity of shots available without reloading.....

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    It is probably a wash between the two as far as "stopping power" is concerned. But, in the real world looking down the business end of a .45 would seem to be a bit more intimidating and might "stop" the BG before you shoot. Hopefully you will never have the need to draw your handgun in fear of your life. If you do, either is capable of doing its job only if you are yours.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    With all things equal, I much prefer the recoil and faster "back on target" time of a .45acp. Quieter too.
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