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.357 maximum?

24636 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  39duck
Anyone out there got one? Past or present, I'd like to get as much info as possible on this round and guns chambered for it. There are some serious T/C devotees out there who hold it in the highest regards. I hear that Ruger once made a revolver chambered for it? Anything I can get would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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I don't know about Ruger but I do know Dan Wesson made a revolver for this cartridge. It is merely the 357 mag lengthened a bit and was originally designed for the metallic silhouette scene. I've shot it some but was not overly impressed. For hunting or silhouette I would rather have one of the many other cartridges like the 7mm Waters, 7mm TCU, 30 Herret, or even 30/30 as the cases are much easier to come by or form. There is only one way to get Max cases and that is to buy them as there are no other cases to form them from to the best of my knowledge. That can leave one in a bind, kind of like having a 500 Linebaugh and finding out Winchester is discontinuing .348 brass. It would make for a better hunting round than the .357 mag but there are other rounds just as good, if not better, that are much easier to come by. If the price was right I might pick one up but it would be more as a conversation piece than a useable gun.
Every now and then I find Maximum for sale in one of the catalogs I get but it is always a limited run and very expensive. I like several unpopular calibers but I think the maximum would be too hard to find.
Hey uglydog, How's things? I'm aware of it's origin and availability of ammo. I'm hoping I can find someone other than the few I've come across that shoot it, to get some other opinions on performance on game. Don't know if you're aware of mike Bellm or not but he's very knowledgeable on the T/C guns, and I think that is where the majority (few as there may be) of the .357 max shooters are found. T/C has had some quality control issues keeping their chambers/throats on center in the barrels. There are some calibers that, even though one may be off center, by simply lengthening the chamber you can re-cut to a longer one and save the bad barrel. Greatly improving performance and accuracy. The .357 magnum being one of the most popular to do this with. A .357 magnum or .454 casull found to be off center can be re-cut to .357 maximum or .460 S&W. there are some others but I'm not that hip with what's going on. A visit to Bellm's site can get one set in the right direction. He's got a mailing list I've recently joined and really have been enjoying. I like the idea of the .357 max as it brings a lot to the table for someone like myself, who lives in a shotgun only zone. We are also allowed to hunt with a handgun, and I have the T/C pistol in .308. However I've been told that some states are only allowing straight walled cartidges when handgun hunting. Which would eliminate my .308 from the picture, if I travel to one of those states or my home state ever decided to change the law. Also the .357 maximum is one of the easiest cartridges to re-load for. So someone like myself just looking to get started in re-loading, will have an easier and safer time doing so. If I remember right, the .357 max can push a 180 gr. bullet somewhere around 1900 fps? And for a handgun it's pretty sweet shooting I'm told....... So what was it that did not impress you? Was it just in comparison to other existing cartridges? Which gun did you shoot? Thanks.
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Re: re: .357 maximum?

Fuelburns2 said:
Every now and then I find Maximum for sale in one of the catalogs I get but it is always a limited run and very expensive. I like several unpopular calibers but I think the maximum would be too hard to find.
No, you can't find it hardly at all at the shows, the shops, etc... But a little digging and it's there to be had. I've found one guy that sells it on a regular basis, and will custom load if what he offers doesn't suit you.I don't think it would be expensive at all. Once you get the brass your set. Bullets are abundant, as it's already one of the most popular calibers in the world. Just in a longer case.
The 357 Max I shot was a revolver and I was not impressed with either the gun nor the cartridge. For silhouettes I think there are better gun choices and the T/C would be one of them. Even then, I think other cartridges like many of the 7mms would work better as they use a faster, flatter shooting spitzer bullet, have less recoil, and even the wildcats use easy to find and size parent brass. For hunting, I still believe there are better choices. Again, I like the various 7mms with the 7mm/08 and 7mm TCU being good and the 7mm IHMSA looking very interesting though its parent case is the 300 Savage which is not an overly common round now days. I would also look at the 35 Rem as it is available as a factory round and is even faster with similar weight bullets though still manageable. If limited to a straight walled case for hunting, I would pick a 41 or 44 mag as they hit harder and the bullets I know would be effective at their given velocities. With the 357 Max I would wonder about how well the 158 gr bullets will hold together upon hitting game at close range and the heavier bullets have generally been designed for silhouette so I would wonder about them even opening up.
I guess it all really boils down to my comfort level regarding future case availability. I am not afraid of forming my own from another case but the Max does not have this possibility. This limits its desireablity in my eyes. Others will think otherwise which is great as it leaves me out of the competition for the limited number of 357 Max guns out there.
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thanks uglydog, I have the .454 also to play around with. Although the 44 mag is looking more appealing than that one at this time. I was thinking the .357 max would be a good way to go as I could also practice with regular .357 ammo for much less cost and recoil. Wouldn't think of using any less than 180's in the max. It probably would be too much for the lighter bullets. And yes, it would be a T/C. the longer barrels are the real advantage imo. I guess i'm always on the hunt for the one gun that does the most? Every day I wake up I realize after a cup of coffee that I just need another gun. :wink: I see your points. thanks..................Anyone else have experience on game with this round?
I have a Maximum in 14 inch barrel and it really shoots good. I have taken 4 white tail deer with it. Best range was about 35 yards. Not as much kick and jump as the 44.
Another option is to reline and rechamber any existing Encore or Contender (except octagon) barrel, including muzzle loader and shotgun barrels.

Relining conversions run about $375 plus the cost of the original barrel and apply, again, to both Encore and Contender/G2 barrels.

I just dove head first into 357 max in an encore for Hunting deer in Illinois. I've got about 700 new unfired brass and 500 different projectiles and I'm rolling my own. I've loaded up some test rounds and getting ready to do some shot grouping. I have some 158 gr and a lot of 180 gr projectiles to test. In a state were straight wall pistol cartridges are legal the 357 max makes the best sence of all for it's flat shooting and capable energy of knocking down a deer at 200 yrds. If only I could do my job at that range would I ever consider taking a shot at that range. Below is a picture of my encore in SS with an MGM barrel and a Bellm chamber. I also sent it off and had the trigger set to 3 lbs. It's sporting a nikon scope and a Caldwell bipod. Most that shoot the 357 max love it, but the round got a bad rap in the 80's from being loaded with too light of a bullet and shot from revolvers causing flame cutting on the top strap. The round wasn't designed for light bullets and really shines in the 180 gr pill'
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