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Just wondering, which of these is better more foolproof for self defense? I love revolvers and have one of each, but the Charter .44 special is my favorite. It shoots better and is lighter and feels better in my hand. I can shoot it way more accurately and I like the round better.

I have a .357 magnum and it's fun to shoot too but I'm debating selling it for another .44 special or a .45acp

Is the .357 more reliable manstopper or the .44? I'd trust the .357, but I also feel like it's so much faster that it could just go right through whereas the .44 is slower and makes larger holes. Hopefully never need to know this for real, but which is a better weapon? From just me firing both, I prefer the .44 spl.
 

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I'd say if you have a gun you like, is accurate, and is reliable... Why debate it? I would not want to get shot by either round. Do what you like. BTW, I have a charter undercover and love it. I think you are fine in whatever choice you make.
 

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the 357 has an unchallenged reputation fr 1 shot stops. 357 125 grain has 40 years of real world records ann no cartridge exceeds it for 1 shot stops.
 

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357 Magnum is superior to the 44 special in terms of more stopping power for self defense. The only reason the 357 Magnum is not a preferred cartridge to a semi-auto pistol is ammo capacity.

Highboy
 

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If I was going to have a big bore revolver it would either be a .44 Special or .45acp probably more the .45acp cheaper to shoot. My favorite revolver caliber is .357/.38 Special. With a preference to .38 Special I enjoy shooting revolvers but not to beat my hands up. The .44 Special may not be as powerful as the .357 Mag. but it's bullet placement that counts. My favorite big bore to me is in three guns my Ruger GP100, Ruger Vaquero Bisley, or S&W Model 66 all .357's
 

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I agree with emay. If you're comfortable and can accurately shoot a specific firearm...then that should be unit of choice. I personally like the .357 loaded with .38 ammo.
 

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The .357 Magnum, with 125gr JHP bullets, is a supreme defense round. There are some decent .44 Special hollow point defense loads, but it is doubtful any of them will expand when shot from a CA Bulldog. I use .38 +P lead hollow points in my .357.
 

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The 357 with 125 gr. HP is a very good self defense round except for one big problem. Just fire one of those hot rounds indoors in a self defense scenario and you will get a sharp stabbing pain in your ears from the muzzle blast. Also if fired at night the muzzle flash will be a problem.
The 44 special with a 240 gr. bullet at 800-900 FPS is also a very good defense round and it does not have the muzzle blast that will ring your ears like the magnum round will. Your best bet is use the weapon that you shoot the best with as shot placement is very important in a defense scenario. I have carried both 357 and 45 acp and 41 mag. as my duty weapon while 30 years in law enforcement and was a LEO firearms instructor.
I am not a big fan of the 9mm, but will be the first to tell you if you can shoot with more accuracy with a 9mm, then with a bigger caliber, that 9mm is the weapon you need to carry for self defense.
 

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If you are talking close range defense then 44 Special is certainly good enough. Contrary to internet rumor there are factory 44 Special loads that outperform standard 45 ACP. Personally, I like Hornady and Underwood offerings in that caliber.
 

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357 Magnum is superior to the 44 special in terms of more stopping power for self defense. The only reason the 357 Magnum is not a preferred cartridge to a semi-auto pistol is ammo capacity.

Highboy

No part of the problem is it's a rimmed cartridge which makes autoloading from a straight mag not as reliable. Though there are a few .357 semi-auto handguns out their.
 

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I agree with the undisputed truth about the stopping power of a 125 gr. in a .357, however the 44 special is a great round and also one of my favorites. Don't worry about using it for self defense, it will do its job without the painful crack mentioned before. My only current .44 special is a Ruger BH, but I am constantly on the lookout for a 3" double action revolver in .44 special. I would hang on to a handgun that you shoot well and enjoy, or you will regret it. I know from experience. Keep the Bulldog.
 

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I think 357 using 158 grain wadcutters or target load would hard to beat , I never buy defensive rounds aside from buck shot only carry what I practice with if you feel like you need more stopping power buy a bigger caliber, but the 357 has quite a legacy for power and accuracy as others have mentioned.
And ammo is easier to get.
 

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I like and carry the .357, but if and may it never happen to you or anyone else we know, when the chips are down, what you feel most comfortable with and can hit what your aiming at, and not think about anything but draw and fire is the way to go, matters not what caliber or bullet weight we debate, can in a split second you hit what your aiming at? Everyone's comments are spot on, Confidence's is the only thing that matters.
 

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"Fast is fine but accuracy is final"..........Wyatt Earp

Says it all. Choose what you can shoot well and keep shooting until the threat has stopped.
 

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You are waaayyyy over thinking this, both rounds will do the job! Personally I like to have the "right tool for the right job" and if you have a 44spl, why have a gun that is limited to only that round? Sell them all and get a 44mag/44spl and be done with it! Then you are good to go for any situation you could run into anywhere indoors, outdoors self defense against 2 legged or 4 legged critters!!
I load mine with 44spl for around town and in the home, and 44mag when I'm in the field....that said, I own a bunch of different caliber wheel guns...oh, and everyone of the guns pictured get carried...my Ruger Alaskan was my EDC for years, now I carry a S&W Talo Alaskan Backpacker in 44mag...just because it's lighter, but you do know the secret to carrying a heavy weapon on your belt is a good belt and holster right?
Here are a few of my carry guns!
 

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Depends. I carry .357 when I'm out and about, but I would not want to discharge one of those rounds inside my house. I guess given those two options I'd take a .44 spl for a nightstand gun, but carry the .357 like I do now.
 

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Muzzle flash and ringing in the ears are likely to affect targeted bad guy as much as the shootist, perhaps more so because he ain't expecting it.

As others have said, use the gun you are most comfortable with when defending your life.
 

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Love both cartridges and either will do all you ask. My only issue with the 44 Special is ammo availability if you need to buy ammo, locally. Can walk into any place that sells ammo and buy 357 or 38s, but not always 44 Special and often what you do find is the target stuff, not the SD stuff. Might be worth a little peace of mind to check what is available in 44 on a local level.
 

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Add me to the chorus that says carry what you can shoot well and are comfortable with.

My personal preference is the .357 mag, but what works for me may not work for you.
 
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