Clash Of Cartridges: .357 Magnum VS .45 ACP

The .357 Magnum and .45 ACP are two of the most popular handgun cartridges in the world. Both have been staples of the American gun culture for over a century and they are the most powerful handgun cartridges currently in production. Moreover, both are popular for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting. Today I am going to compare the two cartridges, looking at their history, performance, and uses in-depth.

 

History Of .357 Magnum And .45 ACP

The .357 Magnum was introduced to the public in 1934 by Smith & Wesson as the most powerful handgun cartridge ever made.

  • It is designed to be fired in a medium-frame revolver and used a .38 Special case lengthened by 1/10th of an inch.
  • The .357 Magnum is capable of firing a much higher pressure round than the .38 Special. And it is the first handgun cartridge capable of penetrating body armor.

The .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) was introduced to the public in 1905 by John Browning. Browning designed the .45 ACP to be fired from a modified version of the Colt Model 1903 handgun.

  • The .45 ACP was designed to replace the .45 Colt revolver cartridge because it had greater stopping power and was more reliable.
  • It remains one of the most popular self-defense cartridges today.

 

Advantages & Disadvantages Of .357 Magnum And .45 ACP

Advantages of .357 Magnum:

  1. High Stopping Power: The .357 magnum is a powerful round, capable of providing a great deal of stopping power.
  2. Versatility: The .357 magnum is a versatile round, capable of being used in a variety of firearms. It can be loaded with various types of ammunition.
  3. Low Recoil: The .357 magnum has relatively low recoil, making it easier to shoot accurately.

Disadvantages of .357 Magnum:

  1. Expensive: The .357 magnum is a more expensive round compared to other handgun cartridges.
  2. Limited Range: The .357 magnum is limited in range due to the low velocity of the round.

 

Advantages of .45 ACP:

  1. High Stopping Power: The .45 ACP is a powerful round, capable of providing a great deal of stopping power.
  2. Low Recoil: The .45 ACP has relatively low recoil, making it easier to shoot accurately.
  3. Low Cost: The .45 ACP is a relatively inexpensive round compared to other handgun cartridges.

Disadvantages of .45 ACP:

  1. Limited Range: The .45 ACP is limited in range due to the low velocity of the round.
  2. Limited Versatility: The .45 ACP is less versatile than other handgun cartridges, as it is only available in certain firearms.

 

Ther Uses: .357 Magnum VS .45 ACP

.357 Magnum:

  1. Self-defense
  2. Law enforcement
  3. Hunting
  4. Target shooting

.45 ACP:

  1. Self-defense
  2. Law enforcement
  3. Plinking
  4. Competitive shooting

 

Clash Of Cartridges: .357 Magnum VS .45 ACP

The .357 Magnum and .45 ACP are both popular handgun calibers that offer excellent performance for self-defense. Both cartridges have been around for many years, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The .357 Magnum:  It is a larger caliber than the .45 ACP, measuring 0.357 inches in diameter compared to 0.451 inches for the .45 ACP. This means that the .357 Magnum is more powerful than the .45 ACP and produces more recoil when fired.

The .357 Magnum is also capable of firing a wider variety of ammunition, including hollow-point, wadcutter, and target rounds. The .357 Magnum is typically used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols are available in this caliber.

The .45 ACP:  It is a smaller caliber than the .357 Magnum, measuring 0.451 inches in diameter. This makes the .45 ACP less powerful than the .357 Magnum and produces less recoil when fired.

The .45 ACP is typically used in semi-automatic pistols and is capable of firing a wide variety of ammunition, including hollow-point, wadcutter, and target rounds.

Performance And Accuracy

When it comes to performance and accuracy, the .357 Magnum is generally considered to be a more powerful and accurate round than the .45 ACP.

  • The .357 Magnum is a high-velocity round that can deliver more energy to a target than the .45 ACP, due to its higher muzzle velocity.
  • The .357 Magnum also has a longer case length and a larger powder capacity than the .45 ACP, thus making it more accurate at longer distances.

The .45 ACP, however, does have the advantage of having a larger bullet diameter, which can make it more effective for close-range engagements.

Cost

The cost of a .357 Magnum varies depending on the type and brand of ammo, but it typically ranges from about $25 to $50 per box of 50 rounds.

On the contrary, the cost of .45 ACP ammo is usually slightly lower, between $15 to $45 per box of 50 rounds.

Better Defense Cartridge: .45 ACP or .357 Magnum?

Both cartridges are great for defensive use, but the .45 ACP is generally the more popular choice for personal defense.

  • The .45 ACP has higher stopping power and a larger magazine capacity than the .357 Magnum, which makes it a better choice for those looking to use a handgun for self-defense.
  • On the other hand, the .357 Magnum is a great round, but the recoil and muzzle flash can be overwhelming for some shooters.

Which Is More Powerful: A .45 Caliber Pistol Or a .357 Magnum Revolver?

The .357 magnum revolver is generally considered to be more powerful than the .45 caliber pistol. Because the .357 magnum revolver generates more energy, with a higher muzzle velocity and larger bullet diameter than the .45 caliber pistol.

How Do The Stopping Powers Of A 357 Magnum And  A 45 ACP Compare?

The 357 Magnum has a much higher stopping power than a 45 ACP.

The 357 Magnum has a muzzle energy of 583 ft-lbs and the 45 ACP has a muzzle energy of only 355 ft-lbs. This means the 357 Magnum is more likely to incapacitate a target with a single shot.

Consider Between .357 vs 45 ACP for Self Defense

The .357 is a powerful caliber and is capable of producing higher velocities and energy than the .45 ACP, making it an ideal choice for self-defense. The .45 ACP is a larger caliber, and while it is slower, it can still produce sufficient energy to be effective in self-defense.

But the best choice depends on the shooter and their preferences.

  • Those who prefer a larger caliber and are comfortable with the slower speed may prefer the .45 ACP.
  • And those who prefer the higher velocity and lighter recoil of the .357 may prefer it for self-defense.

 

Comparison Chart: .357 Magnum VS .45 ACP

 Aspects

.357 Magnum

 .45 ACP

Bullet Diameter .357 inch .451 inch
Muzzle Velocity 1,450 fps 850 fps
Muzzle Energy 583 ft-lbs 352 ft-lbs
Recoil Moderate Low
Effective Range 100 yards 50

 

Which Caliber Should You Use In An SHTF Scenario?

A common caliber for an SHTF scenario would be a 5.56mm NATO, as it is widely available and very versatile.

  • Other popular options include the .223 Remington, the .308 Winchester, and the .30-06 Springfield.

And if you are looking for a rifle for home defense, you may want to consider a shotgun in a specialized home defense caliber, such as 12 gauge or .410 gauge.

 

10 Reasons: Why the .357 Magnum Is the Best All-Round Handgun Cartridge

  1. High Power: The .357 Magnum offers far higher power than any other handgun cartridge, making it a great choice for self-defense and hunting.
  2. Versatility: The .357 Magnum can be used in a variety of firearms, from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols and carbines.
  3. Low Recoil: Despite its high power, the .357 Magnum produces low levels of recoil, making it easier to handle and shoot accurately.
  4. Effective Range: The .357 Magnum is effective at short and medium ranges, making it a great choice for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting.
  5. Widely Available: The .357 Magnum is one of the most widely available handgun cartridges, making it easy to find the ammunition you need.
  6. Cost Effective: The .357 Magnum is an affordable choice of handgun cartridge, offering great bang for your buck.
  7. Proven Performance: The .357 Magnum has been around since 1934 and has proven to be a reliable and powerful round.
  8. Easy to Reload: The .357 Magnum is easy to reload, making it a great choice for those who enjoy handloading their own ammunition.
  9. Low Noise: The .357 Magnum produces less noise than most other handgun cartridges, making it a great choice for hunting in areas with noise restrictions.
  10. Good Value: The .357 Magnum offers great performance for a reasonable price, making it a top choice for shooters on a budget.

 

Well, What’s The Difference Between 10mm VS 357?

The main difference between 10mm and 357 is the size of the bullet.

  • The 10mm is a larger caliber round than the 357, which is a smaller caliber round.
  • The 10mm is also more powerful than the 357, as it produces a higher velocity and delivers more energy to the target.
  • The larger size of the 10mm cartridge also allows for more rounds to be loaded into a magazine.

 

Faqs

Why Is 45 ACP Outdated?

The 45 ACP is not outdated, but it is no longer the dominant pistol cartridge that it once was, especially in the military and law enforcement.

Modern pistol cartridges offer a number of advantages over the 45 ACP, such as more efficient use of propellant, higher velocities, and greater accuracy. Therefore, many agencies have opted for more modern cartridges such as the 9mm, .40 S&W, or .357 SIG.

What Is 45 ACP Good For?

45 ACP is primarily used as a self-defense round due to its large size and heavy weight. It is popular among law enforcement and military personnel for its accuracy and stopping power.

What Type Of Bullet Is Best For Self-Defense?

The type of bullet that is best for self-defense depends on the situation and the type of firearm being used. Generally, hollow-point ammunition is considered the best option for self-defense because its design helps to minimize over-penetration and maximize stopping power.

Will 45 ACP Stop A Bear?

No, 45 ACP will not stop a bear. Bears have thick skin and thick fur that can easily absorb the energy of a 45 ACP round. A larger caliber round such as a .45-70, or a 12-gauge slug or buckshot is recommended for bear defense.

What Caliber Revolver Is Best?

There is no single revolver caliber that is considered the “best” as it largely depends on the intended purpose.

  • For target shooting and competition, .22LR is a popular choice due to its low recoil and affordability.
  • For self-defense, the .38 Special and .357 Magnum are good options due to their stopping power.

Does A 45 Kick Hard?

Yes, a 45-caliber gun can kick quite hard depending on the type of gun, the load, and the shooter.

What Is The Most Reliable Pistol Ever Made?

This is a subjective question, as opinions on the most reliable pistol can vary greatly. Some of the most highly regarded and reliable pistols include the Glock series, Smith & Wesson M&P series, SIG Sauer P226, and Beretta 92.

 

Conclusion

The .357 Magnum is more powerful than the .45 ACP, but it also has a longer range and a higher muzzle velocity. In contrast, the .45 ACP is more accurate and has lower recoil, making it easier to handle and shoot.

The choice between the two cartridges depends on the shooter’s preference and the application.

  • If you are looking for a powerful cartridge for hunting or personal defense, then the .357 Magnum is the better choice.
  • And if you are looking for a cartridge for target shooting or self-defense, then the .45 ACP is the better choice.