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Old 07-09-2012, 01:17 PM
olds442guy olds442guy is offline
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Default Best cartridge?

In your opinion, what's the best all around cartridge? And yes, I know that depends on what you need it for, your budget, the shooter, and a thousand other factors. I'm just interested to see everyone's opinion.

So, all things considered, what cartridge would you pick if you could only have one?

My vote goes to .44 mag because I think it's a good balance of size, power, and affordability.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:30 PM
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38 special:

1 cheap to shoot if you reload
2 plenty of cases available
3. pleasant recoil (why get beat up shooting at paper or metalic targets)
4. fun fun fun
5. plenty of power for personal defense
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:34 PM
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Can't find fault with the .44, with the exception of long distance. I'd have to divide it into rifle and pistol. My personal favorites are .308 for rifle, .38 Super for pistol, .357 for revolver based on my own experience. I'm sure others have their own preferences, these three are mine.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:46 PM
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the 44 mag; you can use 44spl. for protection or full blown loads in either a revolver or rifle for everything else.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:56 PM
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41 mag. less recoil than the 44 mag and will do it all.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:17 PM
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I vote for .357 Mag. Any revolver that will shoot .357, will shoot .38, so that broadens the enjoyment factor by leaps and bounds.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:40 PM
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.40S&W, more punch than 9mm but less recoil than .45ACP.

The variety of bullets and loads makes it a perfect round for self defense as well as target shooting.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:53 PM
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Maybe not the best, but my favorites are .22lr, .38/.357, and .30-06. I'm not sure there is such a thing as one "Best" cartridge. The Best target cartridge may not be the best hunting cartridge or be the best HD cartridge.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olds442guy View Post
In your opinion, what's the best all around cartridge? And yes, I know that depends on what you need it for, your budget, the shooter, and a thousand other factors. I'm just interested to see everyone's opinion.

So, all things considered, what cartridge would you pick if you could only have one?

My vote goes to .44 mag because I think it's a good balance of size, power, and affordability.
Over the years I've had a lot of handguns in calibers ranging from .22LR, 9mm, .38/.357, .44 Spec./Mag. and .45 ACP. I would very much not want to be limited to one single caliber. I recognize that social and political changes may well result in such changes becoming reality. If I should be limited to one single caliber, it would be the .38 Special/.357 S&W Magnum.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Smith357 View Post
Maybe not the best, but my favorites are .22lr, .38/.357, and .30-06. I'm not sure there is such a thing as one "Best" cartridge. The Best target cartridge may not be the best hunting cartridge or be the best HD cartridge.
Yeah, that's right. I would choose more cartridges as well, like 7.62x51 and .30-06 for rifles. But since olds442guy was asking

Quote:
Originally Posted by olds442guy View Post
...what cartridge would you pick if you could only have one?
I would go with .40S&W
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:24 PM
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.44 Magnum hands down. Load it up, load it down, shoot it out of a revolver, and auto pistol or even a carbine...

But I admit that both the .357 Magnum and .45 Auto come close for the same reasons....
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:37 PM
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.38 Special /.357 Mag. for me. Can be uploaded & downloaded for Plinking--Hunting--Targets.
When uploading just be sure your wheelgun is made for the pressure!!!
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:40 PM
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All good choices, and .357 and .45 auto were close behind .44 mag for me.

And for those who couldn't pick just one, I'm right there with ya. This wasn't so much a practical question, but more just to see what peoples' all around favorites are.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:55 PM
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The 45/70 govt. It can be reloaded with everything from a 145 gr. roundball to a 600 gr. fmj bullet. I shoot a BFR revolver and I can hunt everything from squirrel to elephant if needed.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:12 PM
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I'm also in for the 357/38 have several revolvers and a lever action rifle that can handle 90% of my needs. Second place would have to be 22LR (rifle and pistol compatibility like the 357).

A full magazine from a 10/22 would be close enough to a round of buckshot, and I could afford to buy and carry enough 22LR for ten shots per target if necessary.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:22 PM
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.357 Magnum, even in the more powerful loading it can be used on small game, big game and personal defense.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:28 PM
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In terms of being ubiqiutous, and having the most versatility; I would have to say the 357 Magnum. It's the 30/06 of the handgun world!
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:30 PM
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It's the .357 magnum for me.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:39 PM
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I initially interpreted the OP's question as being ONE cartridge, i.e. either a .38 OR .357, but not both. Apparently the popular interpretation is what is the best "overall caliber".

In that regard, if concealment was not an issue and I was told to survive for twelve months with only one gun and my choice of all ammo it was capable of, it would be a Marlin 1894-type lever gun with a short 16" barrel in:

1) .38/.357
2) .44/.44Mag
.
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.3) 12gauge pump (distant third)
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:56 PM
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12 gauge is a favorite of mine too. I didn't even have rifle cartridges in mind when I posted, but it's interesting reading all the different preferences.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:53 PM
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I too would choose .357 magnum, for many of the above stated reasons already mentioned.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horace & Daniel View Post
I vote for .357 Mag. Any revolver that will shoot .357, will shoot .38, so that broadens the enjoyment factor by leaps and bounds.
I agree...357 mag is my overall favorite and would be the last one I'd get rid of.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:44 AM
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I too would choose .357 magnum, for many of the above stated reasons already mentioned.
+1

.357/.38 - So many options within a broad spectrum.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:17 AM
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That's like asking "what is the best golf club".

I would have to pick the 357.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OFT II View Post
That's like asking "what is the best golf club".

I would have to pick the 357.
Haha yeah it wasn't supposed to be a practical question, just to see what everyone likes best.

I also love 357s, my dad has a 66-2 and it's an awesome gun and lots of fun to shoot
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixpointfive View Post
38 special:

1 cheap to shoot if you reload
2 plenty of cases available
3. pleasant recoil (why get beat up shooting at paper or metalic targets)
4. fun fun fun
5. plenty of power for personal defense
What he said.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:22 PM
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If I could have only one type cartridge it would be the .45 Colt. Load it heavy or load it light and anywhere in between. Perfect for action shooting, hunting and self-defense especially when topped off with a 300 gr. hollow point in front of a hefty load of Universal. It makes a good rifle round when out there in the brush huntin’ hog. Only one drawback, if you shoot a lot you need to be reloadin’. It ain’t a cheap round.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:53 PM
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.357 Magnum. Capable of taking the largest game, great self defense round, accurate, and fun for target shooting. Fired from a Model 19, I think it is hard to beat by much of anything else.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:13 PM
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.357 Magnum, if I had to pick just one.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:42 AM
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As much as I love the 38 and 357, if I'm limited to only one cartridge (not one gun) I'd go with the 44 Special. Elmer knew what it was capable of, the 44 Magnum was well above what he asked for. Light bullets at sedate velocities for fun and plinking, heavy bullets at 1100-1200 fps for the serious stuff. Bullet selection for the .429's is as good as any caliber, with plenty of good defensive bullets if you need them. My personal choice of handguns would be a 4" 624.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:27 AM
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I guess if I could have only one caliber it would be the .44 it can do it all properly loaded. If I could have 2 calibers it would be the 44 and the 22.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:50 AM
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Since the OP doesn't restrict this discussion to handgun cartridges, I would suggest the .375 H&H is most useful. In handguns with factory ammo, my vote goes to the .22 LR cartridge. If we are talking chamberings and not restricting the discussion to factory ammo, I'd have to go with the .357 Magnum, specifically in a 6" N frame for the reasons given in above posts.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:53 AM
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I vote 10mm
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:09 PM
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If I could only have one, it'd be the 22 Long Rifle.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:26 AM
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Another vote for 357. It can shoot 38 specials for plinking/fun/training new shooters. The 125 gr round is one of the best man-stoppers out there, and heavy loads will bring home dinner.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:42 AM
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Everyone is right. It all depends on how you define "all around", what you like, where you live, whether you handload, what you have an opportunity to hunt, the gun the cartridge is going in, etc.

I am fortunate enough to have the reverse puzzling question. Out of all the guns I have that can do the job, which one am I going to take?

Assuming I had to use it for everything I might conceivably have a need for where I live in Texas, I'd pick .357 because you can also have a speedloader full of .38 spl for edible small game you don't want to blow to pieces.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:00 AM
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My choice would be the .357 Mag, my students usually ask me if I could only have one gun, what would it be. I always tell them a 4" revolver in .357. Less moving parts never jam and over built, and the versatility of the .38/.357 for ammo.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:02 AM
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The most versatile is also the most popular cartridge in all the world and that is the 22 Long Rifle. Think about it. It's lethal when well placed on just about anything that a human would reasonably take on. It's very inexpensive and finally it's easy to transport in volume.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:34 PM
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+1 for .357 magnum. Many, many reloading combinations possible.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:50 AM
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My favorite is the .41 Magnum. Plenty of power, easy to control. .357 would be my next choice.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
If I could only have one, it'd be the 22 Long Rifle.
I agree with Larry. Chambered in all kinds of guns. Fun and easy to shoot. Accurate enough to get all sorts of jobs done. Ammo is cheap, easy to find and doesn't take up space. We all know what carrying 50 rounds of .38 special feels like, or 20 rounds of 30-06. A 50 rd box of .22 fits easily in a shirt pocket. I can teach my grand daughter to shoot a .22 and she'd have fun. Can't say the same for most center fire cartridges. I'm not saying that the .22 is perfect for any situation but, if push came to shove, or if I could take only one gun with me, in most situations I could make do with a 22.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:22 PM
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Since I reload: 10MM.
It can be fired out of a revolver (610, 310).
It can be fired from a high cap pistol (15+1 in a Glock 20 or EAA Witness)
It can be fired from a compact pistol.
It can be fired from a carbine.
You can load mouse farts all the way up to nuclear loads that begin treading .44 mag territory.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:44 PM
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Only one?

357 Mag
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:07 PM
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Although I shoot alot of lead from my 357s It's got to be the 44 mag. There is darn near nothing that it can't do!
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:50 PM
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I would say 16" for a naval gun but it is not a self contained cartridge.

Next would be 357 magnum but it is limited to revolvers. (Yes I know about the various 357 mag autos. A Desert Eagle is not exactly a belt gun for everyday carry.)

SO, my vote goes to the 10mm. Load it down to a light 40 S&W level or up to near 41 magnum. You can find it in a revolver, auto-loading pistol or a carbine.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
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Only one?

357 Mag

Totally agree.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:33 AM
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There is no such thing.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny_D View Post
Although I shoot alot of lead from my 357s It's got to be the 44 mag. There is darn near nothing that it can't do!
You can't conceal an 8 shooter in your shirt pocket or carry 1,000 rounds in a bug out bag.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:00 AM
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I have to agree with you. The .44 Magnum will pretty much do it all if you really had to use only one cartridge. Good for plinking and up to larger game if you had to. Works well in pistol and rifle alike and really comes alive in a carbine, usually picking up an extra 400 FPS over a typical pistol.

Luckily, I donít have to pick because there are a ton of really great cartridges.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coorslight View Post
My choice would be the .357 Mag, my students usually ask me if I could only have one gun, what would it be. I always tell them a 4" revolver in .357. Less moving parts never jam and over built, and the versatility of the .38/.357 for ammo.
Thats very true, and kind of tilts me over to that side of the fence from 45acp. Bolth the 45, and the 357 can be loaded light for pratice, training, and small game use, or heavy for larger game, and defence. Bolth a 3 or 4" revolver, or a 1911 can be worn, and carryed, and the rounds dont take up that much packing room for a "bug out" situation.. [the 357 being tall but skinny.. the 45 fat... but farly short.. ] As for rifle... Id have to go 30-06. When you add handloading to the mix, it just does it all.. Easy to work with, can down load it to light loads, or load it to shoot through brick walls!
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