Magnum Opus: Part 2

As you may remember, back in April I tried out a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. It didn’t really go well.  The big revolver left me battered, bruised (literally) and utterly defeated. But, like a fool, today I went back for more. Well, sort of.

My biggest complaint with the S&W was the grips. They were very smooth and very slim, making them very hard to hold on to. The end result was that the revolver would come back under recoil and slam me hard in the web of my shooting hand. It hurt. Quite a bit, actually, to the point where after about 15 or so rounds of .357 Magnum, I really didn’t want to shoot it anymore.

So, today I tried a different flavor of .357 Magnum. Specifically, I rented a Ruger GP100 with a 4″ barrel. Now, you can debate Ruger vs. S&W all day, but honestly I really don’t have a dog in that fight right now. The reason I went with the Ruger was because its grips were thicker, girthier, and more textured than any of the S&W’s in the rental case. I figured they’d make for a more pleasant shooting experience. More on that later.

My strategy going in was the same as when I shot the S&W: shoot a box of .38 Specials through the gun before switching to Magnum loads. Well, after about three or four cylinders of the .38s, I decided “enough of this,” and loaded up a single .357 Magnum cartridge.


Yeah, it hurt. Not as bad as I remembered the S&W was, but still kinda painful. I remembered some advice that Evil Jim had given me back when I shot the S&W: hold it high and grip it hard. So I loaded up a cylinder full of Magnums, adjusted my grip, and commenced firing.

Eh… that wasn’t as bad…

And so I pressed on. Put a whole box (that’s 50 rounds) of Federal 158-grain Jacketed Soft Points through the gun. And it really wasn’t all that bad. Don’t get me wrong, the recoil, report, and muzzle flash (in a brightly-lit range to boot) were very impressive. I knew I was shooting a big-bore handgun, and so did everyone else on the firing line. But it didn’t hurt. And it was, dare I say it, pretty fun. That said, I don’t think I’ll be doing it again anytime soon. For me, the .357 Magnum is definitely an acquired taste, something I’ll indulge in every so often when I’m in the mood for it. Plus, ammo for a .357 is expensive! That one box I shot cost more than $0.50 a round! And it wasn’t even at a “range mark-up”!

Oh, and speaking of ammo, my favorite LGS finally had bulk 9mm in stock! It was just CCI Blaser Brass, but the price was right and it was actually available, so I bought half a case.


One thought on “Magnum Opus: Part 2

  1. When you “get a handle” on the Magnums, they can be fun.
    Not WILL be, but CAN be.
    The GP100 is what I would suggest people try their first .357 with, it was my wife’s first handgun.
    Also, for a person who reloads… those rounds are easy and economical.
    For plinking in that pistol, your average .38 spl round has little more drama than a .22 Mag.
    Next time I get up that way, I will have to bring a suitcase of goodies to try out.
    Glad you stepped back up to the plate!


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