357 offers deeper penetration than a 44 magnum does. However, IF anything bigger than black bear is around; i'm bringing my rifle. IF you feel unsafe in an area with black bears, just bring the 9mm loaded with good stuff.
The one bonus to either 357 or 44mag is that you can probably run non magnum versions through the rifle also (38spl and 44spl) which is great for budget plinking. You do have to watch that some 357's get finicky with 38's due to the shorter OAL of the cartridge, but that doesn't seem to be as big an issue with the Marlins (their action seems to ...
.357 Magnum is more powerful when you measure KE vs the .45ACP. In most cases .357 has double or triple the KE of .45ACP in standard loads. I am probably well biased as the .357 magnum is my favourite all round cartridge. You can buy rifles and pistols chambered for .357 magnum in either...The tables showed the .44 Magnum revolver to have less energy than a .30-30 Winchester. The handgunners who didn’t care to devote themselves to learning the new gun pronounced the .357 Magnum, at about half the power of the magnum .44 to be adequate for any task a reasonable man would assign to a handgun.
TAG GUN SHOP Smith & Wesson Model 29-2 44 Magnum with 8 3/8” barrel. There are a few small chips on the wood, one by the trigger guard and another on the bottom inside of grip.
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