Ruger’s .357

Magnum M77/357 Rifle

One of the basics for a well-rounded battery.

Everyone’s first rifle simply should be a .22. It’s a great starter, and although we may ignore it in middle years and follow the siren song of more powerful cartridges, usually what goes around, comes around, and we find ourselves in our twilight years enjoying the .22 perhaps even more than we did the first time around, I simply can’t understand anyone who is a shooter not having a .22 rifle. In fact, there is one professional hunter in Africa who always asked specifically if his client owns a .22 rifle and how much he shoots it. He figures a man can’t be a good shot if he doesn’t spend adequate time practicing with what some consider the lowly .22.

OK, the .22 is absolutely basic in any shooter’s battery whether we’re talking long guns or handguns. The number two rifle which should be on anyone’s list is one chambered for the .357 Magnum. There have been several around our household ever since Marlin introduced the 1894C levergun, and I have seen to it each of my grandsons has one. I have probably shot my Marlin .357 Magnum more than all my other lever action rifles put together. Over the years I have added other .357 Magnum leverguns from Browning, Rossi and Winchester. They are all relatively compact, easy to shoot, more than adequately accurate for the job and in a rifle barrel the .357 Magnum is not all that far behind the early loading of the .30-30. Yes; a .22 rifle first and then followed very closely by a .357 Magnum.

Over the years it’s been relatively easy to find both foreign and domestic leverguns chambered in .357 Magnum. In fact the Model 1873 Winchester, the first successful centerfire levergun, is offered in replica form chambered for the first Magnum. Not only is it easy to find .357 leverguns, it is also almost impossible to find anything else except a very few pump action rifles once offered.

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