.357 Magnum Ammo

The .357 S&W Magnum, generally referred to as just .357 Magnum Ammo, is based off of Smith & Wesson’s earlier .38 Special model. Also referred to as a 9x33mmR round, the .357 Magnum Ammo was created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe and D. B. Wesson in 1934, since becoming widespread and notable for its pervasive stopping power.

Making .357 Magnum Ammo

The .357 Remington Maximum was announced as a joint venture between Remington Arms Co. and Sturm, Ruger and Co. This cartridge is a .310-inch elongation of the .357 Magnum case.

The first handgun to chamber the round was the Ruger Blackhawk .357 Maximum single-action revolver, introduced in 1983. This was followed, in 1984, by the Dan Wesson double-action revolver, the Seville single-action, stainless steel revolver and finally, the Thompson/Center Contender single-shot pistol. During the same year, Harrington & Richardson chambered its Model 258 single-shot rifle for the round, as did Savage in its Model 24V and Model 24VS Camper over/under rifle-shotgun combination guns. Although Remington developed the commercial .357 Maximum, a similar wildcat cartridge was actually developed by Elgin Gates at an earlier time.

.357 Magnum Ammo

Unfortunately, the .357 Remington Maximum revolvers all developed excessive gas-cutting on the top strap just forward of the cylinder within 1,000 rounds or so when fired with full factory loads. Ruger withdrew its Blackhawk .357 Maximum revolver from production, pending additional research and possible engineering changes. When Dan Wesson revolvers were still in production prior to the company’s purchase by CZ, it eliminated the problem by establishing a .002-inch barrel/cylinder gap for its .357 Maximum revolvers (the Dan Wesson revolvers have interchangeable barrels that are easily replaced and fine-tuned by the customer using a furnished gap tool). Top strap erosion, of course, isn’t a problem with the single-shot Thompson/Center Contender or the rifles chambering the .357 Maximum.

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