Well, ReadyNutrition firearms enthusiasts, we are following up our .45 ACP article with another piece on a superb cartridge…the .357 magnum round. Invented by Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, the .357 magnum (hereafter referred to in this piece as the “.357”) is a very versatile and highly-dependable cartridge that has been around for almost one hundred years. Introduced in 1935, it is an “evolution,” so to speak from the .38 caliber round. It has an interesting history that should raise more than a few eyebrows.
During the Depression Days and the Bootlegging Era, the .357 magnum was developed (one of the reasons) because of the gangsters and gang wars that were rampant during the days of Prohibition. The round was needed to be able to “puncture” both bulletproof vests and automobiles during these skirmishes of cops and robbers. The vests were defeating any bullets (at the time) of under 1,000 feet per second (fps), and the only round that was overcoming them was the Colt’s .38 Super Automatic.
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Smith and Wesson came along and jumped on the bandwagon. They wanted to expand the .38 cartridge that was in use by law enforcement. After many failures, the .357 finally came about. For those of you guys and gals that mentioned in e-mails and comments about the recoil (“kick”) of the .45 ACP, the .357 magnum has less recoil and yet does not sacrifice stopping power to attain it. Your bullet weights range (generally) from 125 grains (gr) to 158 gr.
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The .357 is an excellent cartridge for home defense, as well as for hunting and for target-shooting. It is the smallest size magnum cartridge that will have effect on…