Coonan Magnum .357

A Great Idea Returns

“… Has Far Greater Shock Power Than Any .38, .44 Or .45 Ever Tested”

Reading that you might think the latest truly big bore Magnum had just arrived. In fact this advertising goes back more than 75 years. “No hand arm cartridge ever manufactured has come within hundreds of pounds of this terrific energy. And with this speed and power/accuracy. Never, except for those made with other Smith & Wesson revolvers, have there been published machine rest groups that can in any way compare with those made with the S&W ‘.357’ Magnum. It’s square-shouldered, Sharpe-type lead bullet will shoot through steel plates that are only dented by other cartridges, yet the S&W ‘.357’ Magnum bullet will upset to .50 caliber in 8″ of soft paraffin; other bullets pass through practically unchanged in form. The S&W ‘.357’ Magnum Has Far Greater Shock Power Than Any .38, .44 Or .45 Ever Tested.”

Today, unfortunately, many approach the .357 Magnum with a much different attitude than sixgunners in 1935. We have since experienced the .44 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .454 Casull, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger and several .50-caliber revolvers such as the .500 Linebaugh and .500 Smith & Wesson. Every single one of these cartridges is much more powerful than the .357 Magnum, however I submit it in no way diminishes the power of the .357. In fact, what is now regarded as somewhat lowly, is still probably the most practical of all the really powerful sixgun cartridges. Of all the cartridges mentioned, the .357 Magnum still holds the distinction of being the only one in the bunch suitable for self defense and law enforcement use and I will not argue that statement.

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3 thoughts on “Coonan Magnum .357

  1. Ronald Sallow

    To John Taffin

    Mr. Taffin:
    I was very interested in your story on the Coonan .357. I am far from a novist shooter and am giving serious consideration to adding the Coonan to my collection.


    Ronald Sallow
    Longtime Handgunner subscriber

  2. Doug

    Thanks very much for this article. I’m a big fan of the .357 Magnum round, and to see it in an auto pistol is nothing short of amazing. Looks like I have my next dream gun to save for!

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