What Is a 357 Magnum?

The 357 Magnum is a popular, highly versatile cartridge for handguns and rifles that is known for its exceptional stopping power, terminal penetration, and accuracy in short to medium ranges. The 357 Magnum cartridge is generally considered a top choice for self-defense and silhouette shooting, and a good option for many types of hunting.

What Is a 357 Magnum Good For?

The answer to this question depends on the objective you have in mind. For example, a number of hunting rifles are chambered to shoot 357 Magnum ammunition. They can achieve terminal results quickly when used by a skilled marksman.

The 357 Magnum is also a popular choice for self-defense. In fact, it was first developed back in the 1930s specifically for law enforcement officers. Most experts agree that it’s a better option for stopping a human attacker than the older, less powerful 38 Special.

Not All 357 Magnum Ammo Is the Same

There are a variety of 357 Magnum loads, each meant for a specific use. For example, 357 Magnum hunting cartridges have a bullet geometry designed to achieve maximum penetration at long range. This type of ammo is typically used in rifles and carbines rather than handguns.

Self-defense shooting carries a different set of priorities, since most personal attacks occur at short distances and often in crowded settings. In these environments, a cartridge designed for quick, long-distance kills is a detriment, not an advantage, since it can put innocent people at risk.

Instead, 357 Magnum rounds intended for self-defense are designed for maximum stopping power. They use heavier bullets that travel at slower velocities than hunting ammo, limiting their range but maximizing their impact on the attacker’s body.


“Can I Reload 357 Magnum Brass?”


The answer is “yes,” you can reload the 357 Magnum. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • The hotter the load, the sooner the casing will wear out – 357 Magnum brass is designed to take a lot of pressure, but it does have its limits. Reducing the amount of powder you use will increase the number of times you can reload.
  • Follow the directions in the reloading manual to the letter – even high-quality 357 Magnum brass can fail prematurely if it’s reloaded too aggressively or too often.
  • Make sure the new primer fits snugly – avoid the inconvenience and frustration of dropped primers.

As a leading resource for reloading ammo, Powder Valley offers the top products on the market at the lowest prices. Our high-quality inventory of 357 Magnum reloading supplies includes exceptional Starline 357 Magnum brass and more ammo options from manufacturers you trust. Shoot more and pay less when you shop at Powder Valley.