.44 Mag vs .357 Mag (knockdown power)
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Thread: .44 Mag vs .357 Mag (knockdown power)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Parma, Ohio

    Question .44 Mag vs .357 Mag (knockdown power)

    Which would be more likely to end a threat and also which one would be more likely (if either) to over penetrate putting innocent people at risk? I am Soon to buy a Revolver for concealed carry and would like some information on a prime caliper size even if neither the 44 or 357? please send feedback Thank You.

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Creswell, Oregon
    Bullet placement will stop the threat no matter what the caliber is. As far as over penetration, hollow points less likely to over penetrate, FMJ more likely to over penetrate. My choice would be 4" 357 Mag. Just my two cents.
    "You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
    I think everyone would agree that a .44 magnum offers more knockdown power than .357. A .44 is also probably the bare (pun intended) minimum cartridge to carry for protection against large game (I would prefer larger). Having said that, if you haven't fired a full strength .44 magnum round from a short barreled revolver, I recommend that you give it a try before purchasing a weapon. If you can handle the recoil AND can reliably make rapid follow-up shots that strike home, great. If after some training you are proficient with a .44 magnum you still have the concealment problem. There is really no such thing as a "small" .44 magnum (there may be some "novelty" derringer-type .44's out there, but I can't image how bad that recoil would be). It will be much easier to conceal a 5-shot .357 magnum. Besides, .357 magnum firearms have been proven to be good "manstoppers."

    This is a website I found quite some time ago. I can't personally vouch for the accuracy of the information, but it is at least am interesting read. I found the ammo recommendations for the 10 gauge shotgun especially interesting

    Selection of best ammunition for a defensive handgun

    After all that rambling, I agree with Fuhr52. 4" .357 would be a decent choice.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tampa Bay Area
    As far as knock down power goes there is really only one shots that is 100%, all the time, stop an attack then and there, a nervous system shot (brain cavity or upper spinal cord). A shot that shatters the hip is painful and the attacker won't be able to walk but he can still shoot. These shots are hard to pull off in a gun fight.

    Yes I think a .44 mag will do more damage then a .357 mag but I'd carry whatever gun I could score good hits as fast as possible. If I could hit 3 COM shots with the .357 in the same time I could score 1 COM shot with the 44 I'm going to carry the .357. If you shot both the same and can conceal the 44 then go that route.

    One other thing to keep in mind is you can shoot .38 specials out of a .357. Which is cheaper and may allow you to practice more often.
    "When Government fears the people, it's liberty. When people fear the Government, it's tyranny."
    - Benjamin Franklin

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Central Florida
    center mass either will get the job done.

  7. #6

    My choice would be a .41 Magnum in 4inch.
    A citizen who shirks his duty to contribute to the security of his community is little better than the criminal who threatens it.

  8. #7
    .44 mag would be a bit of over kill, that and a 44 would be a lot of wieght to have to carry around. The .357 mag at one time was the #1 one shot stop round and like KimberPB pointed out you pretty much have 2 guns in one with being able too also use .38. .38 and .357 are cheeper then .44 mag. I have a .44 Desert Eagle and it cost me to do some real rang time with it.

  9. #8
    This article has some really good info on stopping power.

    Ammunition For The Self-Defense Firearm

    The author states:

    The most effective handgun round on the market - regardless of caliber - is the Federal .357 Magnum 125 grain jacketed hollowpoint (357B). This load has more stopping power than any other handgun bullet (and this includes more powerful rounds like the .41 and .44 Magnums).
    "When the outflow exceeds the inflow, the upkeep becomes the downfall"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Green Valley (Henderson) NV
    Keep in mind that the .41 magnum is more difficult to find. You have to order the ammo for that round. For self defense, I'd opt for .357 or .44 magnum. .44 special is a very viable self defense round. The large game issue has already been mentioned. If you have to deal with bear or other large game then .44 magnum quickly becomes your only option for defense against other persons and large game. The smallest .44 magnum revolver you can get is in 2.5" to 3" barrel. .44 specials are available in 2" barrels, however I don't consider .44 special to be viable against large game.
    Know the law; don't ask, don't tell.
    NRA & UT Certified Instructor; CT, FL, NH, NV, OR, PA & UT CCW Holder
    Happy new 1984; 25 years behind schedule. Send lawyers, guns and money...the SHTF...

  11. #10
    they are both excellent one shot stoppers! I prefer the .357 due to it being easier to carry.
    "Never advance cheerfully on your late opponent without reloading. You may have used your last round, and he may not be properly dead and still spiteful." Major Hugh Pollard

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