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View Full Version : 5 vs. 8 Round .357 Revolver


insin
03-02-2009, 7:24 PM
Hello,

I am trying to gather as much info before purchasing my first revolver. I am now comparing the 5 shot vs 8 (or 7 even) shot capacity revolvers.

Is there any advantage, besides the obvious higher round count, of having the extra 3 shots for a hiking handgun while in the back country? 5 rounds of .357 mag seems to be sufficient if you were defending against a big cat. A bear seems a tad more questionable, but with .357 mag if you cant do the job or at least scare it away in 5 shots, I doubt 3 more would matter. At least thats what im thinking...

Of course this is California so only indigenous threats of my concern, and PLEASE I am not considering .44mag options.

The options with 5 rounds are obviously smaller in size and weight, thus practical for use while hiking/camping. I just hate, although its instinct, to think more is obviously better. But if I stick to what I intend to use it for, then I am starting to think the 5 shot models might be the better choice.

Also I am finding it very difficult to find a shop in the bay area which has a selection in stock so that I may be able to feel them out side by side. I am more then likely going to have to purchase from an online source like GB, hence my recent posts regarding the topic.

Thoughts?

tankerman
03-02-2009, 7:28 PM
5 rounds is good, 8 rounds is better. Always.

insin
03-02-2009, 7:33 PM
5 rounds is good, 8 rounds is better. Always.

Even when backpacking?

Seed
03-02-2009, 7:39 PM
2 big cats.

AlexBreya
03-02-2009, 7:40 PM
here's a situation for you: you are roasting marshmellows in the woods. all of the sudden, a bear comes out of nowhere. you shoot it 3 times to kill it. then a coyote comes at you, you shoot it 1 time to kill it. then another bear comes by, you would only have 1 more shot. you would be eaten. so you should get the 8 rounder, or even a 10 if they make it. you never know when something ridiculous happens.

tankerman
03-02-2009, 7:43 PM
Even when backpacking?If three more bullets is too much weight to carry, you need to exercise more.

walter
03-02-2009, 7:45 PM
maybe it would help if you told us what specigic models you are considerng

11Z50
03-02-2009, 7:45 PM
I have owned both, and suffice to say my current carry revolver is an SW M327 8-shot .357. Light, handy and a joy to carry. 8 is better than five, especially in the backwoods.

eccvets
03-02-2009, 7:49 PM
if 3 rounds is too heavy for you to carry... perhpas you should think about working out a bit more

pullnshoot25
03-02-2009, 7:56 PM
OR OR OR... Get a 5-6 shot .44mag and harness the awesome power of the big bore fourty-four!

insin
03-02-2009, 7:58 PM
I expected the un-helpful posts. Sigh...

I have been mostly considering an 8 shot model. My previous thread or two have centered on specific models. I was just asking about 5 vs 8 shot capacity, so I left specific models out of my question so that it wouldn't confuse the matter.

It seems that people feel the 8 shot models are the way to go. Any more thoughts?

Guns R Tools
03-02-2009, 8:01 PM
If you can rent it, you should and shoot it.
You should get whichever you can shoot better.
After all it is about shot placement.

Some light frame revolvers are hard recoiling.

I bought 7 shot model from SW. It shoots fine but most after market stuff was geared toward 6 shooters, like holsters, speed-reloaders etc.

wellfedirishman
03-02-2009, 8:02 PM
If you want a good strong revolver that will handle hot loads, consider a Ruger GP100. It is a solid, reliable, and has 6 shots, with speedloaders widely available if you need a quick reload. And new its just over $500.

5 shot 357 guns tend to be small and light and kick very hard. The GP100 is hard to beat.

Noobert
03-02-2009, 8:05 PM
I got it! use a 44 mag!!!

insin
03-02-2009, 8:10 PM
Some light frame revolvers are hard recoiling.

I figure this much, but figure if it was to protect my life, the adrenaline would help to control the kick. LoL.

Renting one seems like a good idea. No high end Airlites/NightGuards for rent in my area.

buffybuster
03-02-2009, 8:11 PM
The number of shots is dependent on the frame size of the revolver.

Generally:

5-shot revolvers are small frame (S&W J-frame, Taurus M85, etc) with 2"-4" barrels. Easy to carry and lightweight, but have considerable recoil with magnum loads and not that easy to hit with. Loaded weight of steel frame approx 25oz

6-shot revolvers are medium frame (S&W K-frame (nolonger in production), Colt Trooper (nolonger in production), Colt Python (out of production)) excellent compromise in carryability and ease of shooting usually with 4"-6" barrel. approx 35-40oz

6 or 7-shot revolver are intermidate frame (S&W L-frame, Ruger GP100 (6-shot only)) easier to shoot and more durable with extensive magnum use. 4"-8" barrel, 4-6 most common. approx 38-45oz

8-shot revolver are large frame (44mag size) (S&W N-frame) easier to shoot even with magnum loads. approx 44-50oz

Depends on what your intended use will be. For carrying and shooting the K-frame is hard to beat. S&W no longer makes it but there are many used ones out there. For more shooting and less carrying, the L-frame is my choice. The large 8-shot models were originally made primarily for competitive ICORE match shooting. If I'm going to carry a revolver that big in the field it's going to be in 44mag.

jazman
03-02-2009, 8:13 PM
5 shot wheel guns in .357 are a pain, literally, to shoot. What that ends up meaning is very little range time because it's painful, so you end up with a gun that you haven't practiced with much. Not good when you need to use it. I would go with a 6 or 8 shot 4 inch .357 Smith, or if you can find one (and it fits your budget) a Colt Python.

Sheldon
03-02-2009, 8:24 PM
I would consider the frame size and my shooting comfort with it. I have most of the frame sizes offered by S&W except for largest one. I like the K and L frames best as they fit my hand the best. The N framed .44 Mag I have is big and I haven't gotten used to it yet.

11Z50
03-02-2009, 8:28 PM
here's a situation for you: you are roasting marshmellows in the woods. all of the sudden, a bear comes out of nowhere. you shoot it 3 times to kill it. then a coyote comes at you, you shoot it 1 time to kill it. then another bear comes by, you would only have 1 more shot. you would be eaten. so you should get the 8 rounder, or even a 10 if they make it. you never know when something ridiculous happens.

I agree....here's another scenario for you. You are roasting the aforementioned marshmallows when you are accosted by three men who walk into your camp, unannounced. They demand the keys to your vehicle and your wallet. One brandishes a very large knife, and a second points a rifle at you. Would you rather have 5 shots or 8?

This scenario (highly edited) did actually happen to someone I know and it came out OK.

The main thing I think of is when you really need a gun to defend you it needs to be on your person. In order for that to happen, it needs to be comfortable enough to be carried routinely. Yes, a .44 Mag is superior to a .357, but if it's too heavy or uncomfortable to carry, it won't be there when you need it most.

insin
03-02-2009, 8:33 PM
I agree....here's another scenario for you. You are roasting the aforementioned marshmallows when you are accosted by three men who walk into your camp, unannounced. They demand the keys to your vehicle and your wallet. One brandishes a very large knife, and a second points a rifle at you. Would you rather have 5 shots or 8?

This is one of the major advantages in my mind for going with the 8 shot models.

11Z50
03-02-2009, 8:36 PM
My 327 is very light and carries well, yet packs 8 rounds of .357/125 grain HP proven stoppers....one of the best available. Hard to beat, for man or beast.

Californio
03-02-2009, 8:38 PM
Go to a range that rents revolvers.

Find the frame size/grip that fits your hand first, then the ability to place three shots in the same area using the cartridge of choice and then worry about the round count of the revolver.

Try to hit a 25 yard target with 3 rounds in a quarter sized area.

You will find your own answer and what works for you which is all that matters.

When I was younger I carried a Model 28 N frame 357 4" barrel and 6 more in a speed strip. I felt the longer sight plane of the 4" barrel allowed me to engage threats before they got in my comfort zone. I used a frontal chest rig so it stayed out of the backpack and was quickly brought into action.

Square Butt N frame fits my hand and I can engage a running boar at 50 yards easily.

I find 44 special snaps less than 357 so I now carry a Model 29 4" with 3 44 specials and 3 44 magnums.

insin
03-02-2009, 8:44 PM
My 327 is very light and carries well, yet packs 8 rounds of .357/125 grain HP proven stoppers....one of the best available. Hard to beat, for man or beast.

This was the model I am more then likely going to pick up. Would you recommend it? How is shooting it? Snappy I assume like most say, but manageable? How are follow up shots?

pullnshoot25
03-02-2009, 11:36 PM
Taurus made a .357 7-shot that weighs 24.6 oz and sports a 4" barrel... good length, weighs as much as my Makarov and has a ported barrel.

http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=263&category=Revolver

The standard steel .357 7-shot weighs 28.8oz.

http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=265&category=Revolver

My Tracker .44mag weighs 34.8oz and is the 3rd lightest .44mag made.

Trust me, you can't go wrong with a Tracker, it was born to be carried :)

RobG
03-03-2009, 12:03 AM
If you are using it for camping/hiking as you state there is absolutely no advantage to buying a small framed 5 shot. They are more for concealed carry, which it sounds as though you won't be doing. A full sized, 4 or 6" barrelled, 6/7 shot revo is easier to control with heavy loads, has a longer sight radius, and is plenty easy to carry in a quality belt holster.

Paul
03-03-2009, 10:03 AM
If you're backpacking you'll want to look at the weight difference between the 5 and 8 round revolvers - and then add the weight of those extra three rounds. I've got a five shot ultra-light .38 special and the weight of the five rounds added a bunch of weight. I know backpackers do all sorts of silly things to lose an ounce or two. Personally I wouldn't feel "under" gunned with five rounds of .357.

B Strong
03-03-2009, 4:31 PM
5 rounds is good, 8 rounds is better. Always.


Amen!

FatOnCoke
03-03-2009, 10:39 PM
There is no advantage to have a 5 rounder instead of an 8.

Maybe when trying to hide the revolver inside you body.

Kid Stanislaus
03-04-2009, 3:10 AM
here's a situation for you: you are roasting marshmellows in the woods. all of the sudden, a bear comes out of nowhere. you shoot it 3 times to kill it. then a coyote comes at you, you shoot it 1 time to kill it. then another bear comes by, you would only have 1 more shot. you would be eaten.

That's a typical camping situation for sure.;)

colossians323
03-04-2009, 4:21 AM
here's a situation for you: you are roasting marshmellows in the woods. all of the sudden, a bear comes out of nowhere. you shoot it 3 times to kill it. then a coyote comes at you, you shoot it 1 time to kill it. then another bear comes by, you would only have 1 more shot. you would be eaten. so you should get the 8 rounder, or even a 10 if they make it. you never know when something ridiculous happens.


This is typically when the rabid deer comes out to finish you off:D

bigbob76
03-04-2009, 5:00 AM
Not enough information given by original poster. What kind of hiking will be done? An extra pound matters in some cases. There is literally a one pound or more difference in the weight of some revolvers. What method of carry? It wouldn't do you much good in your backpack unless you just want it available at the campsite. If you plan on open carry will your holster interfere with your pack straps? Do you you have any training or would a two legged predator just take your weapon away from you? If you're going to open carry are you really sure you want everybody knowing you're armed? An ultralight five shot revolver in a good pocket holster may be better than some mall ninja setup in your backpack. I think it's a good idea to stay with a revolver unless you have some training with a semi auto and practice regularly. By training I don't mean stuff you read online or hear in gun shops. I mean paying some money to somebody that trains people for a living and spending some time practicing what they teach you.