Friday, January 17, 2014

Post # .357

Much has been written about the .357 Magnum.  It is all true.

To me, the magic of the .357 is that it is "enough".  Some of that is delivery system dependent.  In a snubbie, the .357 is too much.  Some of that is target dependent.  It is not enough when hunting Killer Whales, Great White Sharks, estrogen enraged Ursus arctos horribilis and four hundred pound space aliens with exoskeletonsIt is always possible to find exceptions if one goes to the extremes.

I used to keep a bunch of items in this case.  It took very few Safe-room, "Johnny get your gun" drills to figure out that simple is good, especially when you are stressed.

I own a .357 Magnum handgun.  It is the first, and only, handgun I have been able to sweet-talk Mrs ERJ into letting me keep in the house.

Mrs ERJ's professional life is immersed in a crowd of anti-gun coworkers.  She saw how I used long guns.  They are used as tools to accomplish tasks that need to be done.  She was good with long guns.

The anti-gun crowd brainwashed her into thinking that handguns exist solely for the purpose of killing people.  These same people believe that all problems can be talked to death.

Aside:  Any thinking person who spends five minutes watching the news will soon conclude that many problems do not stay stationary long enough for them to be talked to death.  Some methods of problem resolution need a few more feet-per-second that yackity-yack-yack-yack.

People of high integrity are not sneaky.  It was a long, hard sell but I finally convinced her that certain kinds of handguns are tools.

One of the selling points of the weapon I bought was its shear size.  It is a stainless steel, Ruger Blackhawk single action revolver with a 6.5 inch barrel.  It weighs 48 ounces.  It does not fit in a pocket.

The other selling point was its rate of reload.  A single action revolver is be the last weapon a terrorist would choose to commit crimes.


The magic of the .357 magnum is the magic of enough.  It has everything I need and nothing more.

What is enough?

"Enough" is sufficient case capacity that I could load it with purified chicken poop and carbonized corn starch and it would still launch a lead soup-can at 800 fps, fast enough to kill a large deer with aplomb.  Testing this out is a project for another day.

I use Alliant Unique for most of my reloading.  I use Hodgdon Titegroup for very light loads because it is a ball powder and I experienced instability in load drop when trying to meter out tiny pinches of flake powders.

I have also loaded Alliant Red Dot, Blue Dot and 2400.  They all worked fine.  I have loaded commercial cast bullets, home cast bullets and all manner of jacketed bullets.  They all worked fine.

I trained my kids in handgun shooting with that gun.  They killed many expired canned goods with that gun.  I got a belly laugh the first time they shot canned beans because that vengeful can of beans spewed its contents 20 feet back toward the shooter and painted them with bean barf.  They now shoot from a little farther back.

We also go to the old burn pit and shoot shriveled potatoes, apples and those little, injection molded army men.  Sometimes an old commode shows up and they get to shoot the zhit out of it.


I yearn for some more, other handguns.  I want a .22 target-type semiautomatic.  I want a .380 pocket pistol and a 9mm with a comfortable-capacity magazine (16 and 17 are comfortable numbers, don't you think?).

But for now the .357 does everything I need.  I am a man of integrity.  I will happily dance with the one that brung me.


  1. Could not agree more - the .357 is indeed enough. And I like single action revolvers as well. I have, however, sold my GP100 in .357 and replaced it with a Evil Roy cowboy action in 45LC. It's been a good choice for me. But, as a solid defensive weapon, pretty darn hard to beat a .357! Glad your wife came around! :)

    1. Thank-you for reading and thank-you for taking the time to write a comment. I stand in awe of some of the classic designs: the thought, the balance, the durability. All that said, there is a strong survivor bias. The real dogs did not have big production runs and were quickly scrapped out in the field.

      It is hard to have anything but respect for certain cartridges and their iconic platforms, 30-30, 45LC, 357/38, 8X57mm quickly come to mind.