A good choice for full power .357Mag

People recommend training as you would fight, yet many train with 38Spl and carry with 357Mag. That’s because full-power 357 ammo hurts to shoot in all but the largest revolvers. Coonan automatic weighs the same as a 45ACP 1911 and makes even high-velocity 158gr ammunition quite pleasant to fire (other than the noise of the report). That’s why I like my Coonan and shoot it far more often than the 4″ S&W 686 I also have.

While the velocity loss due to the cylinder gap isn’t great (50fps or so), the escaping gas adds to the noise of the report. That’s especially evident with revolving long guns or longer barreled revolvers. Flame cutting when firing from retention is also a concern.

Reloading is also a bit faster with the automatic. Speed loaders help, but lining up the bullets with the chambers is a finer motor skill than guiding a magazine into a chamfered grip opening.

Revolvers have certain advantages, such as nearly automatic dealing with misfires (just pull the trigger again). But they are more sensitive to high primers, have more openings for ingress of dirt, and there’s a reason why they’ve passed from military and police use. I shoot revolvers for fun and training, but would prefer my Coonan when firing for effect. Your preferences may differ, but I have fun explaining mine.

PS: I just noticed that my photos of Coonan pistols are now on their web site. So is my high-speed video showing 7500 frame/second experience of firing their pistol.

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5 Responses to A good choice for full power .357Mag

  1. LarryArnold says:

    Revolvers have certain advantages, such as nearly automatic dealing with misfires (just pull the trigger again).

    True. OTOH if what you have is a hangfire, and it goes when the bullet is no longer in line with the barrel, things get ugly.

  2. Lyle says:

    Looks interesting.

    They do seem proud of the fireballs.

  3. Paul Koning says:

    Nice videos. I like the one that shows how you get brass marks on the front edge of the eject port.
    The other interesting part is the way the recoil has such a pronounced torque to it — I assume from the twist of the rifling. It would be good to see how (if at all) that is different in a Boberg, with its rotary action soaking up some of that torque into the unlocking rather than transmitting it all to the shooter’s hand.

  4. Ray says:

    Pistols with very tight tolerances , like the Coonan, and other high end SA’s are great as “bedroom guns” as you will never subject them to dirt. But Oleg is wrong about revolvers being inferior in the field. For “combat reliability” the revolver has it all over the semi auto (The S&W .357 MAG. was THE weapon of choice for SEAL team 6 well into the 80’s) for one outstanding reason. Dirt effects it very little if at all.(unless you pack it in mud) The Coonans on the other hand react to dirt(and dust) exactly like all super tight tolerance semi-autos do; They. Jam. When. Dirty. Now I’m not talking about “Not cleaned in a while” dirty . I’m talking , USMC “mud roller” , Infantry ground combat , WW1 trench, carried every day and sleep on the ground dirty. Glock’s , Sigs, Coonans, and all the rest just won’t operate under those conditions. Revolvers will. Not even the legendary 1911 will work reliably when it is caked in mud. ( and its a “stone BIT**” to break down and clean when packed solid with river silt. Just like all the rest. ask me how I know). Results may vary , and most people will never in there lives put a firearm to a test that involves real discomfort on the part of the user. For most the Coonan, Glock and Sig will be a wonderful range toy and SD pistol. In truth a hand gun is the last thing I’d “go to” inside my house. That’s why I keep A 12ga. pump in the bedroom with 000 buckshot. At twenty feet or less , it ends the problem. First shot.

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