357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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After the discussion about GP vs SP .357 mags I went looking for a semi-auto. But there's only two manufacturers out there who make them - Magnum Research Desert Eagle and Coonan which I never head of and went out of business.

Wondering why? Are they that difficult and expensive to make? Unreliable?
Redneck Liberal Call BR-549

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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There is nothing about a .357 magnum cartridge that lends itself to feeding well in a semi-auto. The cartridge case is long, straight walled, and has a heavy rim; 3 things semi-auto's don't much appreciate.

.38 Super will get you about half the way there
.357 Sig will add a few FPS over the Super
If you want real .357 mag ballistics, 9x23 Winchester in a 1911 is the ticket. Makes for a gun that's cheaper, FAR more ergonomic, complete reliability, fits normal holsters, etc.

In my experience the Coonan and Desert Eagle's are expensive, unreliable, prone to parts breakage, and generally just a miserable POS.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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If you can find an LAR Grizzly they were pretty fine handguns. Probably looking at $3,000 for a used one. Magnum cartridges require a much beefier gun generally then the pedestrian 45 ACP; so typically a Magnum semi-auto is large, heavy, and recoils fairly stiff. That is generally a small market share of handgun shooters, hence you don't see them much because they are not a mass market handgun. And a lot of times, folks that have them are reluctant to give them up. I hear the new version of the automag pistol is pretty cool but then it's 44 caliber so it might be a bit more than you're looking for.

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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FrontSight wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:37 pm There is nothing about a .357 magnum cartridge that lends itself to feeding well in a semi-auto. The cartridge case is long, straight walled, and has a heavy rim; 3 things semi-auto's don't much appreciate.

.38 Super will get you about half the way there
.357 Sig will add a few FPS over the Super
If you want real .357 mag ballistics, 9x23 Winchester in a 1911 is the ticket. Makes for a gun that's cheaper, FAR more ergonomic, complete reliability, fits normal holsters, etc.

In my experience the Coonan and Desert Eagle's are expensive, unreliable, prone to parts breakage, and generally just a miserable POS.
A heavier caliber for a semi-auto is on my bucket list. Especially a 1911. I was hoping for a .357 to go with my Blackhawk. I guess that ain't happening. Those calibers just are not heavy enough for what I'm looking for and sort of boutique like and plus hard to find. Not sure if anyone is even making 9x23 anymore. I couldn't find anything on a search.

I can see why there might be a feeding issue. But I did look at that Automag gun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhtQJODhVXs
Wow is all I gotta say, but five k is too much. Love to have one.

I did plop down a deposit at my local LGS to get in line for a SP101 .357 # 5719. Better to pay to get inline than keep hunting around town. I don't typically buy used and definitely not online. The LGS had two, but spoken for. I'm now second inline. I'll have to wait on a bigger caliber semi-auto. But it will be a 1911.
Last edited by tonguengroover on Wed Jul 28, 2021 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Redneck Liberal Call BR-549

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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Auto Mag's are a whole different sort of headache; few of them really work.

If you want magnum power from a semi-auto, look into the 10mm, or .45 Super. Anything you would do with a .357 or .41 mag, you can do with one of those two.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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Yeah, my understanding is that .40 S&W is to 10mm what .38+P is to .357. Sorta. Kinda. Maybe +P+.

My LGS has had the 5719 available for $20 less than the 2" barrel variants for several weeks now. But still horrifically overpriced compared to last year. My take? Hard to go wrong with it, if you're okay with the price. Me, well, I saw the 2" blued for $200 less last September and didn't jump on it then, so I probably never will.

I would never go .357 Magnum in a semiauto. 10mm maybe. Super Redhawk options have been more tempting. But then why not go .44 Magnum? See, it's a problem.

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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Seems what I took out of that video was do not buy a S&W M&P .40 cal. Maybe it was new but those FTF's (failure to feed) were scary.

I was looking to stay in the old cartridges since i have tons of .38+p and .357 mag ammo instead of stocking up on a new cartridge. It was just a thought to get a larger semi-auto. Guess I'll stick with the SP101 for awhile. Heck, I don't even have it yet. Hope it comes soon, fingers crossed.
Redneck Liberal Call BR-549

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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Slight tangent, but staying with semi-auto calibers.

Anyone know why the 38 super never became popular? After FrontSight mentioned them above, I did a little snooping and in some ways it seems like a good mid-powered round. Looks like garden variety 38 super has approx 30% more muzzle energy than garden variety 9mm. Still roughly half the oomph of 357mag, so should be easy to shoot from a semi-auto.

Never shot a 38 super, but curious. Who's knowledgeable on this? Internet searches say it died because lawmen at the time were revolver guys who fell in love with the 357mag. This is so frequently repeated on the internet, that I'm curious if there's another explanation but this is the one every internet expert now repeats. Of course, maybe it's repeated because it's true.

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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I personally don’t see a huge practical advantage of stompy “semi-auto specific” calibers. Personally I feel fine with 5-6 rds of 357 compared to 7-9 rounds in a 1911 10mm. I can see the capacity advantage of a G20 though. Full house .357s or 10mm are very challenging to shoot rapid, accurate follow ups in my experience.

Personally, I found .40s&w to be snappy enough for poor follow ups compared to the same handgun with 9mm or .45ACP. I had a G27 that I traded away & got out of the .40s&w business. A 1911 with .45 ACP cam be shot very rapidly & accurately. Same for most duty sized 9mms. Out of decent sized wheelgun I can produce similar results with a .38 +P. However - the revolver is much slower to reload for almost anybody.

I have to admit I do think a 10mm, 1911 would be a fine addition to my collection.


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Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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It all depends on what you're doing. If you're hunting, then large caliber revolvers make a lot of sense. If its defense, well then large caliber revolvers start to make less sense (or no sense at all IMO).

A good 9mm pistol can defend you from anything you're likely to encounter in the world with the exception of Africa. If you can't get it done with a 9mm, it's quite unlikely a larger cartridge is the answer.

Hunting, you should be making one shot. Therefore you need to deliver sufficient power to cleanly kill the animal with one well placed shot.
For defense there are no such concerns. In fact, the extra recoil of the more powerful cartridge's tends to work against you as the only thing that really matters in such situations is hits in the vitals.

The 10mm can do a bit of both. There are light loads (FBI load) for defense, and heavy loads for hunting. What's more, the 10mm in a semi-auto tends to have much less felt recoil than revolvers.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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senorgrand wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:34 am Of course, you can also get 8-shot 357 revolvers. I have one and it sings at the range.
And what is your senior? I was eyeballing that Ruger Super GP100. Little big other wise I would have bought a regular one at the LGS when I was fondling it. I think that one was 7 rounds.

My needs are concealment and a good reliable revolver to hike and back pack with right now.

Top of my bucket list now is a larger caliber semi-auto and next is a coach gun. Not sure if my range rents guns. I don't know anyone who owns a 10MM semi-auto and I'd have to try one before buying. But boy do I hate concrete and steel ranges.
Redneck Liberal Call BR-549

Re: 357 Magnum Handgun Semi-Auto

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tonguengroover wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:08 pm Top of my bucket list now is a larger caliber semi-auto and next is a coach gun. Not sure if my range rents guns. I don't know anyone who owns a 10MM semi-auto and I'd have to try one before buying. But boy do I hate concrete and steel ranges.
I have built a few 10mm's for customers. The cartridge length is perfect for a 1911 frame, so it works out well. RIA makes a VERY popular line of 10mm's, I have yet to see anyone complain about them, but I've seen a few rave about them. Very good value for the dollars.

The Glock 20 is pretty legendary as a 10mm, but I have never cared for how it feels in my hand...feels like I'm holding a 2x4. But you may find it just fine.

Then there's the Witness 10mm's; my favorite out of the box 10mm by far. These are really great pistols, hi capacity 10mm with a grip that's still human size...and OH MAN do they shoot.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

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