Why the Resurgence of the 357 Magnum?
Dr. John Woods 09.25.17
From time to time if you watch the firearms market closely you begin to notice when new trends start popping up. Apparently it seems there is another such trend blooming on the horizon now. The 357 Magnum revolver is making an interesting comeback into the mainstream once again.
To be certain, not that the 1935-born 357 Magnum, elongated stepfather to the humble 38 Special has ever left the scene. It just has not exactly been center stage for a number of years now. Is that about to change and come full circle? Time will tell. I can hear rumblings now.
Ironically it seems, the 357 via the standard model 6-shot revolver that was in dominant use by law enforcement agencies from local to federal was more or less pushed out of that role by the adaptation of the semi-auto pistol. The new caliber of choice was the 9mm. As told, the 9 was easier to shoot for new recruits and the semi-auto offered a higher load capacity via pistol grip magazines. Thus it was also easier to reload as well with a mag change.
Another mark against the 357 was bullet overpenetration inside dwellings. Some law enforcement agencies worked to mitigate those concerns by changing bullet types, load power, and resultant ballistics. Still in a sense time caught up with the “outdated” revolver as well as the powerful 357 Magnum.
But even at this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas more than a couple new 357 Magnum revolvers were introduced or highlighted again from recent announcements. To me, this is a curious development, a welcomed one to be sure. Any new products in the shooting marketplace are ushered in with a cordial reception.
Last year as a sort of shocker for a company best known for semi-auto pistols, Kimber brought out their completely new K6S, double action, 6-shot, stainless, 357 with fixed combat type sights. It is a beauty. I recently got to handle one but I put it down carefully when I noted the price tag of $900.
Then Ruger came out with not one, but two 357s. First is the LCRx, a 5-shot with a 1.87 inch barrel weighing 17.1 ounces. Next came the hefty new 8-shot Redhawk with a 2.75 inch tube at 44 ounces. I would bet more are to come. Trendy? Hope so. I’d love to see a few more new revolvers come out.