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American Handgunner Sep/Oct 2011 Digital Edition - Page 40
THE SIXGUNNER John Taffin The Coonan delivered consistent accuracy, regardless of the load tested. Coonan.357 “ MagnuM … Has a great Idea Returns FaR gReateR sHoCk PoweR tHan any .38, .44 oR .45 eveR tested. R eading that you might think the latest truly big bore Magnum had just arrived. In fact this advertising goes back more than 75 years. “No hand arm cartridge ever manufactured has come within hundreds of pounds of this terrific energy. And with this speed and power/accuracy. Never, except for those made with other Smith & Wesson revolvers, have there been published machine rest groups that can in any way compare with those made with the S&W ‘.357’ Magnum. It’s square-shouldered, Sharpe-type lead bullet will shoot through steel plates that are only dented by other cartridges, yet the S&W ‘.357’ Magnum bullet will upset to .50 caliber in 8" of soft paraffin; other bullets pass through practically unchanged in form. The S&W ‘.357’ Magnum Has Far Greater Shock Power Than Any .38, .44 Or .45 Ever Tested.” Today, unfortunately, many approach the .357 Magnum with a much different attitude than sixgunners in 1935. We have since experienced the .44 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .454 Casull, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger and several .50-caliber revolvers such as the .500 Linebaugh and .500 Smith & Wesson. Every single one of these cartridges is much more powerful than the .357 Magnum, however I submit it in no way diminishes the power of the .357. In fact, what is now regarded as somewhat lowly, is still probably the most practical of all the really powerful sixgun cartridges. Of all the cartridges mentioned, the .357 Magnum still holds the distinction of being the only one in the bunch suitable for self defense and law enforcement use and I will not argue that statement. ” The Coonan .357 never delivered more than 2" at 20 yards with this assortment of factory ammo — with two loads going into 1"! Left: Stripping the Coonan .357 reveals both similarities and differences compared to a standard 1911. Note the trigger pivots at the top. Right: The Coonan .357 Magnum comes with two magazines and packed in this padded case. The Coonan .357 Magnum features excellent fixed sights adjustable for windage. A New Direction T oday we even have 12-ounce pocket pistols chambering the original Magnum, however there are very few shooters who care to fire a 50-round box of full-house .357s through them. Back in the 1980s, Dan Coonan took a much different path, coming up with a truly portable, easy packing, good shooting .357 Magnum semi-auto with his Model B Coonan. One of the early models appeared on the cover of GUNS Magazine as a companion to my article on the various .357 Continued on page 78 40 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2011