A couple of days ago I went to the range with a buddy of mine. He brought along some calibers I have never fired before- a 22 magnum revolver, a 357 magnum revolver and a 270 winchester hunting rifle. I didn't see the make of the hunting rifle, but the 22mag was a Smith & Wesson and the 357mag was a Charter Arms. Both were fantastic guns to shoot and the actions were crisp.
I've had a stereotype against bolt action rifles because of their low to no capacity on ammunition. I was duped (by myself) into believing that semi-automatic was the way to go and that I shouldn't get involved with bolt actions.
After firing one on the rifle range, I am so glad I was wrong.
A 270 winchester's recoil is like a 6-7 year old kicking you in the shoulder. I knew the round was big upon inspection days earlier, but wow is it a fun gun to shoot. I pulled the bolt back to eject the round and it was really neat how the action works, double so because I am an engineer (I like to see how things work).
We only fired at 50 yards, and this rifle hadn't been zeroed properly, and I was shooting within 2 inches of where I was aiming. I have heard 'minutes' and 'mils' thrown around before. While I have a vague understanding of mils, I have no idea how to zero, maintain or buy a proper scope. I am ignorant on that front, and I want to learn more. Perhaps a message to IV8888 will produce a video for beginners like me.
My mind has been completely changed- and now I want one. I still want my M&P 15-22 first, but I now want a bolt action at some point in the distant future.
I fired the 22magnum and the recoil is similar to a .22lr. To be fair though, the revolver was all metal and the recoil felt like my polymer M&P22. In similar build circumstances, I am sure the 22mag would have a little more kick than a .22lr. It wasn't significant.
The 357magnum though had one hell of a kick. I would say by a factor of 1.5 times a 9mm, but take that with a grain of salt because I am still green in the area of firearms (maybe 2 years experience). My friend shot the target at 50 yards with that magnum and hit it in the chest. I gave it a go and hit it right in the forehead area. Ouch. Also, lucky shot ;)
When I saw the price my friend paid for 357 magnum target loads (50 rounds for $17.99 (36 cents per round? wow!)) my mind had new thoughts put into it. I may want a hefty 357 magnum in the future- for the purpose of range funsies.
A 357 magnum in a polymer carry package is going to kick like a mule. If you get it on target though, you're only going to need one shot. Two if he is especially drugged up on heroine. That's assuming the confrontation happens at close range. An attacker will go down from a 357mag hollow point.
The fun with the 357mag has not changed my opinion of my carry gun though, the reliable Bersa Thunder 380 Plus. I still love the little guy, even if I shoot a bit low and to the right. It's still on target, and it's at 10 yards.
Shooting is expensive, but so much more fun with buddies. I will definitely bring them again. I highly recommend trying a 270 Winchester and 357mag caliber gun(s).