B Gil Horman – Friday, June 5, 2015
I should start off by admitting that I’m a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the .357 Mag. cartridge. It was the first full-throttle revolver round to join my shooting set years ago and has remained a favorite ever since. Despite being more than 80 years old, the team that designed it (Elmer Keith played a key role) succeeded in creating a cartridge which has only improved with time. Today, the .357 Mag. can be found in compact snub-nosed concealed carry revolvers as well as full-sized wheel guns for duty use, competition and hunting. The cartridge performs well from bolt-action and lever-action carbines, making it a solid choice for hunting small and medium game at moderate ranges.
But what about semi-auto pistols chambered in .357? Because this cartridge is fairly long, rimmed and generates a relatively high level of pressure (35,000 psi Max), it has remained for the most part a revolver and rifle round.