Innovative in design, the barrel of the Rhino aligns with the lower chamber of the flat-sided cylinder to provide a low bore axis for reduced recoil and muzzle flip. The revolver features an accessory rail, a fiber-optic front sight, an adjustable rear sight and the barrel has a vent rib. An actuator allows thumb cocking of the internal hammer. The Rhino ships with three moon clips to facilitate fast reloads. (<a target=blank href=http://www.chiappafirearms.com/product/727>http://www.chiappafirearms.com</a>)
Built on the company’s Bulldog frame, the Charter Arms Mag Pug is a compact .357 with a five-shot capacity, a short, full-lug, ported barrel and a ramped front sight. It’s constructed of stainless steel with a solid frame, a spur hammer, a Beryllium firing pin and rubber combat-style grips. A 4-inch-barreled model with adjustable sights is also available. (<a target=blank href=http://www.charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Mag_Pug_73521.asp>http://www.charterfirearms.com</a>; 203-922-1652)
This stainless steel revolver has the famed Dan Wesson tension barrel with interchangeable shrouds. The Model 715 also has a superior cylinder locking system, which offers consistent cylinder-to-barrel alignment. The grips are easily swapped, and the HV6-shrouded, vented, heavy barrel helps tame recoil. The revolver’s DA pull is short and relatively light with a crisp single-action pull. (<a target=blank href=http://cz-usa.com/product/dan-wesson-715-revolver-cal-357-magnum-stainless/>http://www.cz-usa.com</a>; 800-955-4486)
The GP100 Match Champion is a competition-based .357 sixgun made of stainless steel that has a fiber-optic front sight and offers a choice between a fixed Novak-type or adjustable rear sight. Built to compete, the GP100 features a 4.2-inch, half-lug barrel, Hogue stippled hardwood grips and a smooth action for better accuracy. (<a target=blank href=http://www.ruger.com/products/gp100MatchChampion/models.html>http://www.ruger.com</a>)
Evolved from the Security-Six, the GP100 has a full-lug, 3-, 4.2- or 6-inch barrel. This heavy-duty revolver offers an adjustable rear sight, a ramp front sight and rubber Hogue Monogrips. It’s available in blued or stainless versions, and the 3-inch-barreled model with fixed sights a great choice for off-duty or concealed-carry use. (<a target=blank href=http://www.ruger.com/products/gp100/models.html>http://www.ruger.com</a>)
A rugged and reliable .357 Magnum revolver, the Windicator has a 4-inch, full-lug barrel as well as a front ramp and fixed rear sights. It has a solid frame and an exposed-spur hammer for easy SA thumb cocking. Finished in a polished blue, it’s equipped with round-butt, checkered, rubber grips that feature finger grooves for a sure hold. (<a target=blank href=https://eaacorp.com/portfolio-item/windicator/>http://www.eaacorp.com</a>; 321-639-4842)
The Rossi Model R97206 is a stainless steel revolver with a 6-inch, heavy, ribbed barrel with a full underlug. Other unique features include a red ramp front sight, an adjustable rear sight and contoured, finger-grooved rubber grips. Similar to Taurus handguns, the Rossi has a key-lock security system action inside its forged steel frame. (<a target=blank href=http://www.rossiusa.com/product-details.cfm?id=141&category=1&toggle=>http://www.rossiusa.com</a>; 800-948-8029)
Recently reintroduced to the Smith & Wesson lineup, the Model 66 is a stainless version of the well-known K-Frame Combat Magnum. This classically styled revolver offers a 4.25-inch, ribbed, half-lug barrel along with a red ramp front sight and a white-outline, adjustable rear sight. The Model 66 comes with synthetic combat grips and weighs 3.1 ounces less than the company’s more robust Model 686. (<a target=blank href=http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_827561_-1_757751_757751_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y>http://www.smith-wesson.com</a>; 800-331-0852)
One of the smallest and lightest .357 Magnum revolvers made today, the 340PD has a scandium alloy frame and a titanium alloy cylinder. This is paired with a 1.875-inch, full-lug barrel and an easy-to-acquire fiber-optic front sight. Built to meet the demands of concealed carry, this compact DAO offers low-profile sights and textured synthetic grips for a fast draw. (<a target=blank href=http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764938_-1_757768_757767_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y>http://www.smith-wesson.com</a>; 800-331-0852)
A fairly recent phenomenon is the large-frame, eight-shot .357 Magnum revolver. Taurus’ entry into the field has stainless steel construction, a 4-inch, ported, full-lug barrel, a ramp front sight and an adjustable rear sight. The Model 608 has a hand-fitted action along with the key-operated Taurus Security System and rubber combat grips. (<a target=blank href=http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=249&category=Revolver&breadcrumbseries=&search=608>http://www.taurususa.com</a>; 800-327-3776)
Another innovative contender in the concealed-carry market is the Taurus Protector. Its lightweight construction includes a polymer frame and barrel shroud that are mated to a stainless steel barrel and cylinder. The barrel shroud features a full lug and a vent rib. Also included in this deep-cover package is the Taurus Security System, Ribber grips and a fiber-optic front sight. (<a target=blank href=http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=779&category=Revolver>http://www.taurususa.com</a>; 800-327-3776)
First produced 25 years ago, the SP101 is a compact five-shooter built for concealed carry or backup use. The 2.25- and 3.06-inch-barreled models have fixed sights, while the 4.2-inch-barreled version has adjustable sights. All SP101 barrels have a full-length lug and rib. The cushioned rubber grips with plastic or wood side panels make shooting Magnum loads more comfortable. (<a target=blank href=http://www.ruger.com/products/sp101/>http://www.ruger.com</a>)
The smallest and lightest Ruger .357 is also a five-shooter, but this one has a modular frame, a polymer fire-control housing, a stainless steel barrel and cylinder and Hogue Tamer Monogrips. This double-action-only revolver also includes a friction-reducing cam for an incredibly smooth action, and the whole gun has a Ionbond Diamondblack finish. (<a target=blank href=http://www.ruger.com/products/lcr/models.html>http://www.ruger.com</a>)
The original .357 Magnum, later designated the Model 27, is in Smith & Wesson’s Classic series. It’s built on the heavy N-frame with a four screw side plate, a checkered topstrap and rib on its 6.5-inch, half-lug, tapered barrel. Additional features include an adjustable rear sight, a front ramp, a target hammer and trigger, plus checkered wood grips. (<a target=blank href=http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764900_-1_757903_757767_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y>http://www.smith-wesson.com</a>; 800-331-0852)
Made with the heavy-duty L-Frame to take sustained use of .357 Magnum cartridges, this stainless steel sixgun has a full-lug, ribbed, 4-inch barrel with a red ramp front and adjustable white-outline rear sights. Synthetic combat-style grips round out this powerful package, making this an ideal self-defense or competition handgun. (<a target=blank href=http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764965_-1_757912_757798_757797_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y>http://www.smith-wesson.com</a>; 800-331-0852)
Back in the day, .357 Magnum revolvers were among the most popular handguns around. Law enforcement officers wanted a more powerful cartridge than the .38 Special for service use and the .357 sixgun was better able to stand up to the new .38 +P and +P+ cartridges.
RELATED STORY: Top 13 Snub-Nose Revolvers
Probably the most well-known .357 Magnum when I became a cop in the mid-1970s was the Smith & Wesson Model 19 Combat Magnum. Envisioned by Border Patrolman and gun writer Bill Jordan as the “peace officer’s dream,” the Model 19 was based on a strengthened (medium-sized) K-Frame, making it more convenient to carry than the large (N-Frame) Model 27 or Model 28 Highway Patrolman .357 Magnum revolvers.
RELATED STORY: 6 Six-Shot .357 Magnum Revolvers For Competition Shooting
Colt produced a robust .41-caliber revolver during the same era called the Trooper Mk III, which had a new action that didn’t require all the hand fitting needed in the older Trooper and Python models. At the same time, Ruger came out with its first double-action (DA) revolver, the Security-Six, which was another medium-sized .357 Magnum, this one with a solid, modular frame that had no side plate like the Colt or S&W. All three of these handguns were used extensively by law enforcement and had great followings for self-defense and field use.
RELATED STORY: 10 Big-Bore Revolvers
Sadly, none of the aforementioned .357 Magnums are still being made today, but Ruger and S&W are still turning out .357 models along with several other manufacturers. Here are some of formidable options for today’s wheelgunning fans.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Chiappa Rhino 40DS
Charter Arms Mag Pug
Dan Wesson Model 715
Ruger GP100 Match Champion
EAA Weihrauch Windicator
Rossi Model R97206
Smith & Wesson Model 66
Smith & Wesson Model 340PD
Taurus Model 608
Taurus Protector Model 605
Smith & Wesson Model 27
Smith & Wesson Model 686
A businessman in his mid-80s uses his semi-auto to foil a teenage robber in Tulsa,...
by Personal Defense World / Jul 28, 2015