slickskin

9mm pistol vs 357 revolver

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If someone only wanted to invest in a single handgun, which would be better, a 9mm pistol like a glock or beretta, or a .357 revolver.

I feel like the advantage of the pistol is that it can hold more ammo and is quick to reload. They seem to have safety features also. The bullets seem to be cheaper also. So what would the advantage of a revolver be? I heard they are less vulnerable to jamming. Are .357 bullets more powerful than 9mm?

There must be some advantage of a revolver for people to opt for something that only holds 5-6 rounds and is slow to reload.

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I shoot both and enjoy both. Revolvers can have malfunctions and when they do they can be catastrophic. If the cylinder wont rotate the firearm can be useless. Most malfunctions with a semi-automatic pistol can be more easily cleared (like a failure to eject the brass).

Getting a revolver that can use moon clips (clips that contain a full load of cartridges for the firearm) makes reloading much easier and faster but still not as easy or as fast as a semi-automatic (don't tell Jerry Micalek that).

As you said a semi-automatic magazine can hold more cartridges than a revolver which can be a big advantage. 9 mm is the least expensive centerfire cartridge.

The difference in power is probably the least important. Getting your shots on target in a stressful situation is far more important. So if you shoot a less powerful caliber more accurately that would be better than a more powerful caliber that you often miss with. Everyone is different with this so renting and trying the guns you are interested can help you make a decision.

fyi: I like Glocks. They are very reliable and easy to maintain. My bedside firearm is a Glock 21 (.45 ACP). For carry a Glock 19 is perfect or a Glock 43 for a smaller lighter firearm. If I could have only one it would be a Glock 19.  Everyone is going to have their favorites though.

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So is this more of a question of ballistics or pistol vs revolver?

:popcorn:

Are you proficient with firearms......?

Have u shot both psitols and revolvers?

https://youtu.be/EDDQsciQwyY

 

Fyi...njgf got the answer more than right

 

What do you shoot most accurately....?

For me I like my 45acp m&p with night sights and the flashlight along with ear muffs next to my bed....  it has proven reliable over the last 1000 rounds....

 

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I couldn’t agree more with the two previous answers.  Removing power and reloading time from the equation, your decision should be based on how well you shoot the caliber and specifically the firearm.

Personally I love my Sig P226 and shoot it significantly more accurate than than my S&W M&P.  Both are 9mm, hold the ame amount of Ammo yet to me the “feel” is different based on the natural point of the firearm.

In the end, accuracy and comfort should be what’s used when determining what to buy.  You’re investing in your protection, spend the extra few bucks and rent a several options see what “fits” you best.  Then make your purchase.

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Whichever one you shoot the best, the easiest, the more accurate is the one you want. 

Feel, trigger pull, etc is more a factor for me. 

Revolver has a longer trigger pull in double action. 

All that said, one single gun.  Carry or not carry. 

It's my Glock 19. 

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9 hours ago, slickskin said:

If someone only wanted to invest in a single handgun, which would be better, a 9mm pistol like a glock or beretta, or a .357 revolver.

I feel like the advantage of the pistol is that it can hold more ammo and is quick to reload. They seem to have safety features also. The bullets seem to be cheaper also. So what would the advantage of a revolver be? I heard they are less vulnerable to jamming. Are .357 bullets more powerful than 9mm?

There must be some advantage of a revolver for people to opt for something that only holds 5-6 rounds and is slow to reload.

IMO a lot more information is needed before an accurate answer can be provided.

Will this be a home defense gun, carry gun, for a man or woman, someone with lots of experience, no experience, etc, etc.

In very general terms if it's going to be a gun that sits in the nightstand or under a pillow and rarely (if ever) get fired, then go with the revolver.

If it's going to be used at the range or for carry purposes then go with the semi-auto, but again, there are too many variable that come into play to make a decision based on the original post.

 

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Like everyone else said, you have 2 questions here. What caliber? And Revolver vs Semi? 

357 is more powerful then 9 or even 9+p. They make 9+p+ but many weapons manufacturers don’t recommend them because there is no standard for them so most err on the side of caution. 

Revolver is easier to use and for casual shooters to understand. The manual of arms is point downrange and pull trigger. If it doesn’t go bang, do it again. Revolver capacity is generally 5 to 8 rounds. 357 revolvers can also shoot 38 special and 38 special +p. 38 special +p is pretty close in ballistics to 9mm or 9mm +p loads depending on what brand and bullet used.

semi auto you can get higher capacity mags everywhere except NJ where currently we are limited to 15 but there is a bill up for consideration currently to lower that to 10 which negates some of that benefit.

The argument of faster reloads for semi is true up until you run out of loaded magazines then you are taking time reloading magazines or pulling the slide back and single loading assuming you have loose ammo available at the time.. If you get to that point, you are in a bad scenario and should be looking for the exit ;)

Once you get to having to reload magazines, revolver can be brought back into service a little faster to me if you practice reloading without moon clips. Again, if you’ve shot 6 or 8 rounds and a moon clip of another 6 or 8 and there’s still a threat, you should have been planning the exit before loading the last moon clip. 

Keeping in mind that the FBI says most engagements are only 1 to 4 shots, either works fine for most defensive scenarios assuming you keep up the practice with it.

As a fun, go to the range gun, 9mm is cheaper to shoot. Revolvers are more expensive but are nicer to look at to me. 9 mm is pretty recoil free compared to 357. 

I use both...

-Jim

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For my 0.02 - it would be a revolver, because they are simple, light and durable.  I'm not particularly enamored with with all of the newer 9mm autoloaders; I am sure they have their place, but the only 9mm I currently have (and like) is the 1911.  It is softer shooting than the 1911 in .45, and 9mm ammo is currently so cheap its not worth reloading.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 124gr9mm said:

IMO a lot more information is needed before an accurate answer can be provided.

Will this be a home defense gun, carry gun, for a man or woman, someone with lots of experience, no experience, etc, etc.

In very general terms if it's going to be a gun that sits in the nightstand or under a pillow and rarely (if ever) get fired, then go with the revolver.

If it's going to be used at the range or for carry purposes then go with the semi-auto, but again, there are too many variable that come into play to make a decision based on the original post.

The gun will be for home defense and practice at a target range, probably not concealed carry since I know it's hard to get a permit for that. This would be my first gun so no experience. 

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5 hours ago, USRifle30Cal said:

So is this more of a question of ballistics or pistol vs revolver?

:popcorn:

Are you proficient with firearms......?

Have u shot both psitols and revolvers?

https://youtu.be/EDDQsciQwyY

 

Fyi...njgf got the answer more than right

 

What do you shoot most accurately....?

For me I like my 45acp m&p with night sights and the flashlight along with ear muffs next to my bed....  it has proven reliable over the last 1000 rounds....

 

I would like to know more about the ballistics. I only fired semi automatic pistols first, so I'd like to know more about what the difference is.

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1 hour ago, JimB1 said:

Like everyone else said, you have 2 questions here. What caliber? And Revolver vs Semi? 

357 is more powerful then 9 or even 9+p. They make 9+p+ but many weapons manufacturers don’t recommend them because there is no standard for them so most err on the side of caution. 

Revolver is easier to use and for casual shooters to understand. The manual of arms is point downrange and pull trigger. If it doesn’t go bang, do it again. Revolver capacity is generally 5 to 8 rounds. 357 revolvers can also shoot 38 special and 38 special +p. 38 special +p is pretty close in ballistics to 9mm or 9mm +p loads depending on what brand and bullet used.

semi auto you can get higher capacity mags everywhere except NJ where currently we are limited to 15 but there is a bill up for consideration currently to lower that to 10 which negates some of that benefit.

The argument of faster reloads for semi is true up until you run out of loaded magazines then you are taking time reloading magazines or pulling the slide back and single loading assuming you have loose ammo available at the time.. If you get to that point, you are in a bad scenario and should be looking for the exit ;)

Once you get to having to reload magazines, revolver can be brought back into service a little faster to me if you practice reloading without moon clips. Again, if you’ve shot 6 or 8 rounds and a moon clip of another 6 or 8 and there’s still a threat, you should have been planning the exit before loading the last moon clip. 

Keeping in mind that the FBI says most engagements are only 1 to 4 shots, either works fine for most defensive scenarios assuming you keep up the practice with it.

As a fun, go to the range gun, 9mm is cheaper to shoot. Revolvers are more expensive but are nicer to look at to me. 9 mm is pretty recoil free compared to 357. 

I use both...

-Jim

That's basically what I was asking. How much more powerful is a .357 bullet than a 9mm bullet? Is the impact bigger?

I would think the advantage of semiautomatics is they hold much more ammo where if bullets aren't as powerful or if a person's aim is not the best that makes up for the lack of power. But you make a great point that it might not be legal for long to buy a pistol with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, so maybe I'd rather have the 6-8 shot revolver if it's more powerful.

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12 minutes ago, slickskin said:

That's basically what I was asking. How much more powerful is a .357 bullet than a 9mm bullet? Is the impact bigger?

I would think the advantage of semiautomatics is they hold much more ammo where if bullets aren't as powerful or if a person's aim is not the best that makes up for the lack of power. But you make a great point that it might not be legal for long to buy a pistol with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, so maybe I'd rather have the 6-8 shot revolver if it's more powerful.

You don't want to get hit in the chest by either one! Forget about the movies where one shot stops someone and they fall down. It doesn't necessarily work that way (at least not with a pistol). Beyond hitting his spinal cord you want to put as many shots as quickly as possible in center mass until the threat stops. Sometimes he may run away after getting hit once, but if he is on drugs there is no telling the reaction. That is what makes the proposed 10 round magazine ban so insane. Also hitting a static target on the range is not the same as hitting a moving target that is also shooting back at you. Getting some training will help.

All other things being equal (which they are not) a bigger bullet (like a .45) will do more damage than a smaller bullet. That is why you want to use hollow point bullets that expand and can do more damage. But it takes awhile before someone bleeds out from a gunshot wound. There are stories of people driving away after being shot only to collapse miles later.

At all costs you want to avoid being in a gun fight (obviously but worth saying). An alarm system and a dog can also be useful!

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33 minutes ago, slickskin said:

That's basically what I was asking. How much more powerful is a .357 bullet than a 9mm bullet? Is the impact bigger?

I would think the advantage of semiautomatics is they hold much more ammo where if bullets aren't as powerful or if a person's aim is not the best that makes up for the lack of power. But you make a great point that it might not be legal for long to buy a pistol with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, so maybe I'd rather have the 6-8 shot revolver if it's more powerful.

Here you go. 

https://www.gun-tests.com/issues/25_8/features/Best-Personal-Defense-Handguns-6070-1.html#.WxQVHIopChA

The hottest 9mm +p round is around the lighter 357 rounds. Fact is though, regardless of any power factors of the ammo, if you are more accurate using the 9mm, less powerful shots on target are better then more powerful shots that miss. If you are accurate with 357, with the right ammo, you are going to do more damage with the shots that hit then you will with 9mm. Shot placement is everything though regardless of which you decide. They are both proven defensive rounds.

I suspect once you go try a few different options, you’ll decide on revolver or pistol and everything will fall into place after that. 

-Jim

 

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1 hour ago, slickskin said:

The gun will be for home defense and practice at a target range, probably not concealed carry since I know it's hard to get a permit for that. This would be my first gun so no experience. 

Go to a range that allows you to rent some handguns. Try em. Ready Aim Fire in Bristol PA does it. 

If main use is home defense get your self a short barreled 20ga pump. But that's a different subject. Lol 

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Regardless of which gun and caliber you choose ... practice with it. And then practice some more. 

A hit with a small caliber is better than a miss with a large one. 

My wife isn't a fan of any pistol over a 380. Lol. But she can plant all 10 rounds of 22 into a basic target at 7 yards in 5 seconds. She likes her Browning 4" buckmark. Likes it a lot. Lol. 

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From the context of his posts, I'm going to assume that the OP is new to guns and shooting. NJGF had some of the best answers/advice, but I'll add that everybody should own at least one revolver (some of us own a few more than that).

Adios,

Pizza Bob

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If I only had one handgun?  Going to give you the standard Griz answer.

You can do just about anything with a 4" 357 magnum.  Some details:

Ammo- there's a wide range of power loadings avaliable OTC. From target wadcutters, std 38s, +P, +P+, to full magnums.  With a semi auto you pretty much have to start with std loads as they are needed to have the gun function.  A std 124 gr 9mm at 1100 fps gives you 333 ft/lbs of energy.  A 125 gr 357 at 1400 fps gives you 543 ft/lbs of energy.  You can pretty much get the power of a 9mm in a 38 +P.  You can work up thru the power levels with a 357 until you can handle full magnums.

Size- a 4" 357 is big enough to shoot well.  It's not that hard to conceal.  DO NOT BUY A J FRAME 357!!! AFAIC J frame 357s are there just to show they can be made.  Not fun to shoot.  Get at least a K frame size gun or better yet a L or N frame size gun.  The Ruger GP100 is a fine revolver and usually a bit less expensive than a comparable S&W L frame.  Flame suit ready...I like Taurus revolvers.  More on that later.

Reliability-  semiautomatics have come light years in this category over the past 30 years or so. I've been a firearms instructor for over 40 years.  Yes a revolver can have malfunctions.  Over the 1000s of guns I've seen firing and millions of rounds I've seen more with semiautomatics malfunction.  Over the past 25 years or so most of those malfunctions with semis are ammo and magazine related.  Revolvers are not ammo sensitive and as long as the bullet gets out of the barrel that's all the power needed.

I've seen 357s go 20,000 rds in trials with zero malfunctions. My 30 year old Taurus 669 lost the rear sight because the screw came loose after over 10,000 rds of full magnums.  That's my fault not the gun's.  The gun would still shoot.  Taurus replaced it free with a 2 week turnaround. Other than that zero problems.

I'll say something against what most people suggest.  YOU DON'T NEED AN ACTION JOB AND LIGHTER SPRINGS ON A REVOLVER.  If you decide to shoot USPSA or something like that those things help.  You'll also only use that revolver for games.  Smooth is most important than light.  A DA revolver is harder to learn how to shoot vs a striker fired or SA auto. However if you learn to shoot a DA revolver well everything else is easy.  S&W and Ruger comes with a pretty smooth trigger from the factory.  Taurus not as smooth but will improve with use.  Easiest way to smooth up a DA revolver is to dry fire a couple of thousand times.  It will also build up the muscles in your hand and fingers so that "long, heavy DA pull" so many complain about isn't so long and heavy.

If you're willing to come down to Ocean County I'll host you at my range and help you decide what you want.  PM me.

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3 hours ago, Pizza Bob said:

From the context of his posts, I'm going to assume that the OP is new to guns and shooting. NJGF had some of the best answers/advice, but I'll add that everybody should own at least one revolver (some of us own a few more than that).

Adios,

Pizza Bob

Quite a few more.................  ;)

I could not imagine firing a .357 Magnum indoors with no hearing protection. Do it at night and the flash has to temporarily blind you!

Any defensive handgun should be used with hollow points in your house, they are safer for everyone, except the person getting hit! But make sure you run each brand you will be buying through your gun (if a semi) and make sure they feed and eject properly. No issues like that with a revolver.

Get one of each (semi and revolver) and keep them coming!  :)

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31 minutes ago, M4BGRINGO said:

Quite a few more.................  ;)

I could not imagine firing a .357 Magnum indoors with no hearing protection. Do it at night and the flash has to temporarily blind you!

Any defensive handgun should be used with hollow points in your house, they are safer for everyone, except the person getting hit! But make sure you run each brand you will be buying through your gun (if a semi) and make sure they feed and eject properly. No issues like that with a revolver.

Get one of each (semi and revolver) and keep them coming!  :)

I've had to shoot a 357 several times without hearing protection.  Both indoors and out.  Yes, I have hearing loss but most of that I attribute to 12 months in the artillery in a combat zone at a young age.  I much prefer the hearing loss over being dead.

There are a lot of standard 9mm loads with a lot of muzzle flash.  +P and +P+ loads rival a 357. 

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3 hours ago, GRIZ said:

I've had to shoot a 357 several times without hearing protection.  Both indoors and out.  Yes, I have hearing loss but most of that I attribute to 12 months in the artillery in a combat zone at a young age.  I much prefer the hearing loss over being dead.

There are a lot of standard 9mm loads with a lot of muzzle flash.  +P and +P+ loads rival a 357. 

I agree. While ive never had to fire a .357mag without hearing protection I doors I'd imagine if in a self defence situation with the adrenaline pumping one would probably not even hear the shots. Yea you will still have some hearing  damage but like griz said better say "what" more often than be dead. 

Ask most hunters just after they have shot a bird or deer or another game animal if they heard their gun shot. I've shot allot of pheasants and I cant recall ever hearing my shot. The adrenaline would be pumping allot more in a self defence situation than with hunting. I've said it before and I say it again adrenaline is a crazy drug. 

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Everything is so awesome about this thread.   The old school OP question;  the beyond more than you ever imagine amount of data in the replies.   The completely unexpected reply of OP. “Well i have fired semi autos please tell me about revolvers”.  I mean cmon this guy is a STUDENT.   Everyone involved in this bravo.

 

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you want it for home defense? as much as I disagree with the choice of a pistol for home defense.. the answer is a semi auto.. 

mid size Glock in 9mm with a GOOD weapon mounted light.. mounting a weapon light to a revolver is weird.. and a home defense gun NEEDS a weapon light.. no exceptions on that.. this is the best value for the money in a home defense pistol.. you can go Surefire or Streamlight for the weapon light.. I think that Streamlight is cheaper.. 

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2 hours ago, Barms said:

Everything is so awesome about this thread.   The old school OP question;  the beyond more than you ever imagine amount of data in the replies.   The completely unexpected reply of OP. “Well i have fired semi autos please tell me about revolvers”.  I mean cmon this guy is a STUDENT.   Everyone involved in this bravo.

 

haha yeah there was some jargon I had trouble following at first. But I do appreciate the time everyone is taking to write here. What I'd also like to know more about is stopping power. I would assume that the 357 bullet may be better than that but what about hollow point 9mm rounds? I am leaning towards getting a glock at this point since those seem like a safe choice when you're new and not really sure what to get.

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1 hour ago, slickskin said:

haha yeah there was some jargon I had trouble following at first. But I do appreciate the time everyone is taking to write here. What I'd also like to know more about is stopping power. I would assume that the 357 bullet may be better than that but what about hollow point 9mm rounds? I am leaning towards getting a glock at this point since those seem like a safe choice when you're new and not really sure what to get.

"stopping power" was what made me think I needed 40S&W when I first got a handgun... I don't believe that anymore.. 

what I would really tell you to get is a carbine in 556.... but I can tell just by the general flow of this, that is probably off the table.. but a carbine is more accurate.. more stable.. less likely to over penetrate and kill someone else..  and more "powerful".. 

with that said.. when you need to stop someone you are going to put holes in them.. causing trauma.. and loss of blood.. obviously a bigger hole does that more efficiently.. but at some cost.. the more powerful round will result in slower follow up shots... which IMO is not worth the trade off.. 

hollow point is the appropriate round for what you are asking about.. ideally you want the bullet to break up when it hits the target.. and not go THROUGH the target possibly hitting someone else.. hollow point is designed for that task.. 

if you want the best tool.. you should get a carbine.. 
if you want the best handgun.. I think a 9mm Glock would serve you just fine.. 

the two most important accessories are a weapon mounted light.. and LOTS of ammo to practice with.. thinking you can deploy a gun in the middle of the night half asleep while shooting at a moving target that might be shooting back at you? you need range time if you are going to do that effectively.. 

IMO of course..

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18 hours ago, M4BGRINGO said:

Quite a few more.................  ;)

I could not imagine firing a .357 Magnum indoors with no hearing protection. Do it at night and the flash has to temporarily blind you!

Any defensive handgun should be used with hollow points in your house, they are safer for everyone, except the person getting hit! But make sure you run each brand you will be buying through your gun (if a semi) and make sure they feed and eject properly. No issues like that with a revolver.

Get one of each (semi and revolver) and keep them coming!  :)

I don't think your ears would notice the difference between the 9mm and a .357 magnum:

db          Environmental noise

0             Threshold of hearing

10           Normal breathing

20           Rusting leaves

30           Whisper at 30 feet

40           Quiet street

50           Interior home noise

           

120        Threshold of pain

158        .38 Special revolver

159        .30-06

160        9mm Para pistol

163        .41 Magnum revolver

164        .357 Magnum revolver

164        .44 Magnum revolver

 

https://www.m1911.org/loudness.htm

 

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