357 Magnum Showdown


The 357 Magnum is ballistically superior to the 9mm, but that magnum power comes at a cost, and that is recoil, as the Gun Tests team found out in a recent test of 357 Magnum revolvers sized for everyday carry.

In the August 2024 issue of the magazine, we tested four guns suitable for everyday carry.

They were the:

Rossi RP63 with a 3-inch barrel.

The S&W Performance Center Model 19 Carry Comp with a 2.5-inch barrel.

And the S&W Model 60 Pro Series 178013 with a 3-inch barrel.

The S&W Model 360 PD with a 1.88-inch barrel.

Here’s a little more about each gun.

The larger grip on the Rossi made the RP63 easier to control in recoil.

In hand the Model 19 is larger and offers a good compromise of size and round capacity.

The Model 60 feels like an oversized J-frame due to the longer grip.

The 360 PD is small and compact, yet it feels like a natural pointer.

The longer ejector rods on the RP63, Model 19, and Model 60 made ejecting cases easier.

The 360 PD has a short-stroke ejector rod, so tip the gun muzzle up to make empties fall free.

The sights are plain on the Rossi RP63, yet workable.

Tritium front sights on the Model 19 and Model 60 sped up target acquisition.

The orange front sight insert pops when aiming the 360 PD, a feature we appreciated.

The Rossi uses a coiled main spring, and the stacking was more noticeable in double action. The Model 19 had no stacking due to the flat main spring. Note the second set of rubber grips. The Model 60 uses a coiled main spring, and there was slight stacking at the end of the double-action trigger press. Under the small rubber grips of the 360 PD is a coiled main spring. There was a bit of stacking.

The RP63 locks up via a detent in the top of the crane, which snaps into a notch in the frame.

The Model 19 locks in the front of the cylinder via a ball detent in the frame and a notch in the crane.

Lock up on the Model 60 was with a detent and a hole in the ejector rod.

The 360 PD locks the front of the cylinder via a hole in the ejector rod and a detent in the ejector shroud. The five-shot titanium cylinder reduces overall weight.

The wide hammer spur on the Rossi still conceals easily.

The Model 19 has a tapered hammer for easier concealment.

The 360 PD and Model 60’s hammer spurs are small but are still easy to cock safely.

These are four excellent handguns.





  1. Not much ink concerning my Ruger LCR 327 MAG. It’s been an EDC for quite some time now and it is good at the job. See ballistics. In a Wright Predator pancake it is quite concealable, light and has enough muzzle energy for the job at hand. Much overlooked by those who feel the need to have a cannon with 17 or 20 rounds. Great magazine and specific testing. Keep up the good work.


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