Quantcast

Why no .357 maximum rifles.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mr_Flintstone, May 19, 2019.

  1. Mr_Flintstone

    Mr_Flintstone Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    Eastern KY
    Well, I won’t say none, there are a few single shot variants out there; but with the abundance of .357 magnum and a few .38-55 rifles, it would seem that there would be some lever action and bolt guns out there chambered in .357 Maximum.

    Has there ever been lever or bolt guns in this cartridge? It would seem to be a very effective load.
     
    KnightHawk, Merle1 and Mullo98 like this.
  2. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    620
    Bolt gun, I don’t see the purpose. The rim isn’t ideal, and there are other cartridges to fill the job.

    Lever gun would be really cool. I think it boils down to the .357 max’s commercial failure in revolvers, as that would be the main market. Without the large revolver market it doesn’t make sense financially to produce it. I think (I may be wrong) but it’s also too hot for the smaller pistol caliber lever guns, and would need to be in a larger frame. But then why not step up to 38-55?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
    Bfh_auto, cdb1 and troy fairweather like this.
  3. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6,093
    I expect this is really just a veiled attempt to garner evidence for a case against the .350 Legend.

    The .357 maximum had multiple marketing and technology issues in it’s flagship platform, the limousine Blackhawk, which were largely enough to sink the cartridge into obscurity.

    In Encore/Contender single shot rifles, the .357max is a hoot. Very inexpensive range ammo for the reloader, yet with substantial capabilities at short ranges out to 300yrds, and exceptionally efficient on game up to and including hogs and whitetails. As I often state here, the .357mag is excessively restricted for range when used on game, which the Max tends to overcome. A 44mag, it’s not, but significantly more than a 357mag, it is.

    As a “tweener,” it doesn’t fit into a Marlin 1894 length action, but isn’t long enough to make good use from a 336/1895 action either. Some actions do exist which can contain the pressure and swallow the cartridge length, but these are relatively low volume. The demand for leverguns is low in the market as a whole, and the demand for a boutique cartridge in one, which requires its own specialty design, just isn’t there.

    In a magazine repeater, the rim is a challenge, and again, the interest largely isn’t there. The Ruger 77/357 & 77/44 fell off of the map for a reason, folks aren’t buying them in sufficient volume to support the production line. The .357max would be yet more obscure in that already obscure niche.

    But there are plenty of guys out there who have been replicating the performance of the 357max for years, especially in AR’s, and considering over 10% of American States restrict rifle hunting to straightwall cartridges, having a magazine friendly analogy to the 357max makes a lot of sense in 2019.
     
  4. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,503
    Location:
    Buckeye Country
    Rumor has it a Win 94 in 357mag can be converted easier than most repeaters if one can be found.

    As far as factory offerings, I'm completely unaware. I thought the 77/357 should have been made in 357max as I think the bolt action may lend itself better to feeding the shorter cartridges than a lever, but a pump would probably be best. But that's all hypothetical since I'm not aware of anyone even attempting.
     
  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6,093
    Rimmed cartridges are advantaged by a tube feeder. The 77/357max was a pipe dream some of us shared, but the Ruger rotary mags weren’t long enough for the task, nor the receiver or bottom metal designed to take the extra length, even if longer mags were sourced.

    But today, if you had interest in a .357max rifle, you can get the same power potential and same inexpensive reloading, with an AR mag friendly cartridge in a bolt rifle, right off of the shelf.
     
    Bfh_auto and gotboostvr like this.
  6. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    323
    I guess I'm in general agreement with the market for once: I think the Maximum works best in a single-shot format. Having a rim is an advantage in that role.

    My own example is a .357 H&R single shot with an extended chamber, which shoots great groups with full-length Max loads but isn't so hot with shorter Magnum/Special ammo. Last year I though about adding another Max to the arsenal someday, TC or Ruger No.1 maybe, then I veered off into 32-40 territory and put the idea aside.
     
    LRDGCO likes this.
  7. Mr_Flintstone

    Mr_Flintstone Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    Eastern KY
    First, let me say I’m not a .350 hater. I believe in ballistic diversity and acceptance. If I had the money and space (and the Feds wouldn’t come looking for me for having some kind of Arsenal) I’d have one of everything made.

    I do like your answer, and it does seem to be a very plausible answer. I just find it odd that it was never attempted as a lever action. Lever guns may not be all the rage right now, but back in the 80s they were all over the place; but I guess at that time the 30-30 was far more popular that pistol calibers.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    25,245
    A few BPCR shooters found the .357 Maximum could be loaded with black powder for a new edition of the obscure .35 Maynard or .38 Ballard.
    But that is a REALLY small market.
     
  9. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,894
    This radically narrows the market for rifle applications. The .44Mag and magnumized .45 Colt don't have the excessive recoil in rifles that they do in a reasonable sized revolver. So why not go to the bigger and more available round for hunting? For plinking the .357Mag is superior. So there's not much space in the middle to try to wedge something in.
     
  10. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,894
    Lever guns still have a notable following, but .357Max isn't likely to make an appearance. For straight wall hunting states (or just hunting in dense timber back East) there are a good number of .44mag and .45C rifles available. If you want more horsepower in a straight wall state there's .45-70 and various less popular options.

    Plinking, the .357mag has ammo readily available.

    Supposing a .357max lever gun was on the market, I'm having a hard time picturing who would see it as superior to the existing options.
     
  11. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,916
    Location:
    Minnesota
    If someone made an 1892 in 357 max for under $1000 I would buy one. I have a contender in 357 maximum already.

    The 357 maximum is dead as a factory offering. It will continue to have a niche following especially in single shots but there will never be a factory rifle with factory ammo in 357 maximum. Even if they did the 350 legend would still be a better cartridge because 357 maximum is sammi approved already at only 40,000 psi which was appropriate for a revolver but leaves a lot on the table in a rifle. Many of us who handload the 357 maximum in a rifle load it to around 55,000 psi with small rifle primers. For that reason even if the same rifle was offered in both cartridges with factory ammo I would still pick the 350 legend.
     
    Bfh_auto and tallpaul like this.
  12. Labguy47

    Labguy47 Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Messages:
    706
    Marlin and Rossi both make a .357 lever action. I have a Marlin 1894c personally, and it packs a whallop! Definitely not for someone who has had shoulder surgery.

    Now the 357 max has always been a field /safari round for what I remember. 30-06 will do pretty much whatever you want at a greatly reduced price.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  13. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Messages:
    390
    A better 357 anything is the 44mag or 45lc.
     
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    13,001
    I made a 357 max contender barrel for a light single shot rifle. I can’t say I don’t use it a lot but it does fill a void between other calibers.

    I think the “why no” is just looking to sell things or people in business tend to make things that sell or even try to open up new markets and the max has passed it prime in that area.

    Why you see manufacturers of firearms teaming with ammunition makers. Like the 327 magnum.

    Sometimes it’s a round that is a good one but just gets passed by, from others in the spot light, like the 7mm BR.

    Then you can have basically the same round like the 221-300, 300 fireball, 300 whisper and 300 BLK have a big push behind it and a failure becomes a success.
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  15. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,916
    Location:
    Minnesota
    The market nich I see for the 357 maximum is it has far superior 200 yard ballistics than a 357 or 44 magnum, but significantly less recoil than 444 or 45/70 for the straightwall states. That’s the exact market they were going after with the 350 legend, but they quite intelligently made the 350 legend compatible with bolt actions and ar15’s rather than lever actions since the market has moved away from lever actions. I do not think a lever action in 357 maximum would be commercially successful. All the lever actions on the market except the 336 are too expensive to compete on the mass scale with cheap bolt actions.
     
  16. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6,093
    It has been done by custom gunsmiths in the past. It takes a lot of custom smithing work to make it work, and it certainly didn’t have enough market to drive any plausibility for a factory option - even 30yrs ago.
     
  17. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,695
    Uh, modern rimmed mag feeder.......Desert Eagle .44 mags seem to work pretty well.

    Speaking off..............IMI did the Timberwolf pump in .357 and .44 mag.
    Were they too short to mod to max?
     
  18. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,695
    Id rather have a .357 max in a double rifle, like built on a 20 ga shotgun frame.
    How cute! Iron sights set for 75 yards.
     
  19. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,961
    Location:
    Centralia Washington
    He needed some purple font for the sarcasm...
    I would love to have a single shot in 357 max, and I may end up building one, but as Someguy2800 said, the 350 legend or the 357maxAR have more likely market today due to available use in ar rifles and bolt guns. The rimless versions work in modern magazine designs better than rimmed stuff, and end up costing less to steal someone else's magazine design. I hate to say it, but the commercial likelihood of a new 357 max coming out is very low...
     
  20. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,055
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    357 max didn't have the bullet technology to back up the velocity. Light bullets were offered instead of heavy ones so it flame cut.
    Now years later we have the technology but the ship sailed.
    Enter the 350 legend. I can do everything a max can do.
    If you love the max, you should be open to the Legend even if marketing turns you off.
     
    troy fairweather and gotboostvr like this.
  21. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,916
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Match grade machine sent out an email blast shortly after the release that they are offering it as a chambering for contender and encore barrels.
     
    adcoch1 likes this.
  22. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,695
    The Max is dead AFAIC,
    Don't think the single shot guys of enough number.
     
  23. Redacted

    Redacted Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Mena, Arkansas
  24. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,503
    Location:
    Buckeye Country
    This thread is about 357 MAXIMUM, not MAGNUM.
     
    Lucky Derby and Varminterror like this.
  25. Mr_Flintstone

    Mr_Flintstone Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    Eastern KY
    I have one of the Henrys in .357 Mag, and I like it a lot. My thoughts were that if it were possible to shoot
    .357 Max along with Magnums and possibly .38 Special, it would make for a truly versatile gun. After reading the replies, it doesn’t look like anything like this will ever come to pass. Who knows though, others have come back from the dead. A few years ago 38-55 was nothing but an obsolete relic of days gone by; today there are several companies making new production rifles.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice