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.357 or .44?

6946 Views 17 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  madcratebuilder
Hey all,
I'm currently thinking about adding a revolver to my stable of autos. I've currently got a Baretta U22 for plinking, a Glock 19 and a Springfield 1911 in .45 ACP. I've decided on a Ruger but I'm stuck between the GP-100 and the Redhawk. I want a powerful handgun to carry while hiking and camping as personal protection against 4 legged threats. I'm stuck between the .357 and .44. The added power of the .44 is reassuring, but the .357 is far more economical to shoot. I'm in Virginia and will do most outdoor activities in Va and West Va so the biggest concern animal wise is black bear I think. I'm not planning on CCW with this, so size isn't much of an issue. I may handgun hunt with it one day, but not planning on that for now. I may also like to get into reloading. Any opinions between the two? Also, if the best choice is the .44, is the Redhawk or the Super Redhawk the better choice? Also, should I be considering single-actions like the Blackhawk as well or is double action really the only way to go if you're thinking about protection in the woods? Thanks in advance.
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Split the difference, .41 magnum.

Other than that, I would recommend the .44. Magnums for woods, special for 2-legged varmints.
Ruger's new 4" Redhawk is an attractive revolver. I want one. If you intend to hunt with it, the .44 is the way to go. You can use .44 Special in it, but it still won't be as cheap as .38 Spl. Just for general carry while camping and kicking around in the woods, a .357 will serve fine.
I shoot .44 specials out of my .44 magnum every once in awhile and they aren't unpleasent at all
I'm a .44 man, but a .357 will do just fine as a woods gun.

I used to have a Redhawk, but traded it for a Bisley. The SA guns are easier to carry and to clean, and I think they're a lot more fun. To get the barrel length you want you might even consider a Vaquero.

If you're going to hunt with it, go .44, but if you want something to protect yourself in the woods, a .357 loaded with 180 gr. Federal CastCores will take care of the Black bears, and any two-legged varmints as well.
Got the 44 and the 357. I'm hard pressed to decide betw the 2, thus, the 41 mag is what you need. See, I've helped, by seconding what the other 41 shooter said, and we've got you 3 guns now.
My vote would run toward the 44. The 357 may be economically the better deal, but if I were hunting or needing to stop or deter one of those "4 Leggers",I'd want all the power available. Availability, on the ammo for either, one is about the same. They're both pretty easy to load for also. As stated earlier, you can shoot the "specials" in either 38 or 44 for less recoil while practicing.
Though a lot of folks here prefer the double action revolvers,I'd be buying a Ruger Blackhawk.

In regards to the 41 mag, ammo availability isn't that good and there aren't any light loads for practice. It WOULD though knock the stuffin' outa anything you'll run into in the VA woods,2 legged or 4 legged.

I like to carry around my 3" Model 629 Smith and Wesson. Here in Michigan, we have black bears in the north. I am more concerned with the two legged critters. Its usually loaded with Cor-Bon .44 Spl. Its a tad difficult to control with full house .44 Mag. Some of the lighter bullet weight loads aren't too bad. Speer has a Gold Dot load designed for shorter barrels in .44 that I'd like to try, but its expensive.

Don't forget the .45 Colt. A Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt with a 6 1/2" or 4 5/8" barrel would be nice. PMC loads a dandy 300 grain JSP load that is affordable and takes it into .44 Magnum territory. Reduced "cowboy" loads abound.
Re: re: .357 or .44?

huntswithdogs said:
In regards to the 41 mag, ammo availability isn't that good and there aren't any light loads for practice. It WOULD though knock the stuffin' outa anything you'll run into in the VA woods,2 legged or 4 legged.

True, but that's what got me into reloading.

IMO, the .41mag will do anything the the .44mag will and will do more than the .357.
go all the way, get a .44 MAG.
Re: re: .357 or .44?

Anonymous said:
go all the way, get a .44 MAG.
forgot to log in before I posted., anyway go with the .44MAG
If running into a bear was my first concern, it would definatly be a 44mag.
Get a .44 Mag Redhawk (I think the supers are ugly) or a S&W
.357 mag would be a MINIMUM for black bear, and why carry the minimum? If you ever run into one, you will be wishing you were holding onto a .44
I too would get a .44 and shoot Specials out of it. (They're cheaper than the .357's, but not as cheap as .38's)

GOOD GOD! are you actualy thinking about using a handgun!?!?!? for bear protect :shock: :roll: :p :cry: :!: !

trust me i am a (note the name and avater :lol: ) bear hunter in british columbia the black bear capital! and if your thinking of using a handgun in the wood for protection, then ill laugh my ass off at you as you get mauled!(till i stop and shoot it with my rifle) not to mention a single action handgun as i believe somone reccomended?!?! :shock: , if your going in the woods where there be bears bring nothing less than a 30-06 rifle or a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with slugs and copper plated 00 buck!


now that i have said my peace on that matter, i would like to add that 357. s%w is plenty good on the 2 legs as well as your average coyote;as a bonus 38. is cheap to practice! :D
Just buy them both, you can't have to many guns. Seriously I would go with the redhawk in 44mag, don't care for the looks of the super redhawk. The super is a stronger/heavier frame gun and well handle max loads with slightly less recoil. The Ruger Vaquero in 45lc could fill your needs, classic single action is fun to shoot. I have a Vaquero and a Bisley in 45lc, really beginning to like the load.
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