Watch: 357 Magnum vs. 44 Magnum


Watch: 357 Magnum vs. 44 Magnum

Everybody loves magnum handguns. Well, maybe not everybody, but they oughta! In this episode, Paul Harrell is responding to viewer requests by comparing the 357 S&W Magnum with the 44 Remington Magnum.

Why compare them? Well, I’m not sure, to tell you the truth. To me, it’s apples and oranges. They are quite different, and it’s akin to comparing something like the 30 Carbine with the 338 Federal. But hey — it’s about guns and ammo, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

He begins by comparing S&W revolvers, each with a 6″ barrel. Because the cartridges are so different, the only bullet weight overlap he could come up with was 180 grains, which in the 357 produced an average velocity of 1190 fps, and in the 44 produced 1443 (PMC) & 1504 (Remington) fps. As for bullet energy, the 357 comes out at 566 ft-lbs while the 44 creates 832 & 904 ft-lbs.

This indicates what we already knew: The 44 magnum is much more powerful than the 357 magnum.

When he changes things up to compare the most commonly-used bullet weight for each cartridge, you can really see the difference. 158 grains in the 357 conjured up an average velocity of 1363 fps and 651 foot-pounds of energy, while 240 grains in the 44 gave him 1270 fps and 859 foot-pounds. Despite firing its bullet faster, the 357 simply cannot compete with the 44 in terms of energy.

From there, he moves even closer to reality by testing the 357 with a 4″ barrel & 125 grain bullets, and the 44 with a 7.5″ barrel & 240 grain slugs. 357: 1375 fps, 524 ft-lbs 44: 1361 fps, 987 ft-lbs. Much closer in velocity, still vastly different in energy.

From there we move on to breaking concrete blocks, the patented Paul Harrell pork meat “assailant” target, and a pork meat “double lung deer” target in an attempt to compare hunting effectiveness.

To quell the “point” that the 44 has so much recoil that it’s tough to make quick followup shots, he knocks down a series of targets with both cartridges, as quickly as he can. In both cases, it took the same amount of time.

He concludes with a thoughtful discussion, fraught with the usual Harrell logic. Enjoy.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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