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God and Guns 357 – Elmer Keith’s 357 Mag

God and Guns Podcast

Intro: Welcome back to Episode 357 of the God and Guns Podcast . I’m your host, Troy. (Doug) And I’m your other host Doug. (Troy) We use this podcast to talk about  God, guns, and the responsible Christian gun owners’ interests. On this week’s God and Guns Podcast Episode 357 we will talk about Elmer Keith’s 357 Magnum and what makes it so awesome.

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This Week’s God and Gun activities:


God: Sportsman Daily devotional. 

Guns: EDC Getting ready to leave tomorrow headed out gator hunting. I got drawn for a tag. Hopefully we can get it done tonight. If you haven’t seen look up the new Mississippi state gator record. 14 ft, 800 pounds. Priced some guns for a coworker whos dad is looking to sell. 1968 colt python with 2 ½ barrel and a glock 27. Been on the radio quite a bit this week.


God: Daily Bible Reading, Church, Church Security Last Week and This week. 

Guns: EDC, Shot some groundhogs

Farm: Shop building Corn, cattle doing great, 

Ham: Ham Net Control now on the CKARC Monday night 2M Net, Guest Hosting for KY4X Fusion Net, Installed Ham Radio into the HMMVV, have a Yaesu 891 to install looking for military HF Whip for HMMVV

EDC Check:

Troy: Sig Sauer P365XL with a Sig Sauer Micro Red Dot Zero, in a Crossbreed Mini-Tuck Holster, using a STOG Enhanced Life Saver, Sof-T Tourniquet, E2D Defender, Kershaw Auto Launch 14

Doug:  Sig P365 with Romeo Zero optic on it.. Hornady critical duty ammo. Spartan Auto Knife. 



A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars:

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was ! put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following


The first worm in alcohol – Dead.

The second worm in cigarette smoke – Dead.

Third worm in chocolate syrup – Dead.

Fourth worm in good clean soil – Alive.

So the Minister asked the congregation – What can you learn from this


A little old woman in the back quickly raised her hand and said,

“As long as you drink, smoke or eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!”

On this day in History:
1854 Major outbreak of cholera occurs in Soho, London. Physician John Snow goes on to call it “the most terrible outbreak of cholera which ever occurred in this kingdom.”

1888 The body of Jack the Ripper’s first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, is found in Whitechapel in London’s East End

1997 Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash in a road tunnel in Paris

Bible Verse

Main Topic

Phil Sharpe, a noted gun writer of the time and a member of the NRA Technical Staff, felt the .38/44 was capable of much better performance—read: higher velocity. Elmer Keith thought so as well, and both men separately began working up hotter loads that approached 1,400 fps with a 158-grain bullet. Keith’s interest in the .38 caliber waned as he turned his attention to revving up the performance of the .44 Spl., but Sharpe continued stumping for a truly hot performing .38. He found a sympathetic ear in Smith & Wesson’s Vice President Douglass B. Wesson. Smith & Wesson and the ammunition division of Winchester Repeating Arms took note, and by 1934 the cartridge design had been completed. It featured a .125-inch longer case than the .38 Spl. and launched a 158-grain bullet at 1,515 fps from an 8 3/4-inch barrel. A year later, Smith & Wesson introduced the revolver to contain this new mighty beast—the .357 Mag., which is reaching its 75th anniversary.

The brass at Smith & Wesson envisioned the .357 Mag. as a custom-built revolver, targeting handgun connoisseurs. America was deep in the bowels of The Great Depression, so the company could not fathom big sales of a revolver costing a mind-boggling $60-$15 more than any premium gun in the Smith & Wesson line. Each of the initial .357 Mag. revolvers was lavishly finished in a brightly polished blue. Any barrel length from 3 1/2 to 8 3/4 inches could be ordered. Chambers were burnished, and, of course, target sights were standard with a choice of seven front sights. The topstrap and barrel rib were hand checkered to eliminate any glare. Magna grips-with or without a grip adapter-were available. Each revolver was sighted in at the factory with the customers’ choice of ammo at any distance out to 200 meters. The owner also received a numbered registration certificate in his or her name with all the features of the revolver. That registration number was stamped in the yoke cutout of the frame. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover received the first .357 Mag. on April 8, 1935. By the way, that $60 revolver of 1935 will fetch between $2,000 and $4,000 or more today.

Sales of the new .357 Mag. started very strong and continuously increased. The factory found it challenging to produce 120 guns a month, and even at that production could not keep up with demand. Smith & Wesson discontinued the registered Magnum idea in 1938 after some 5,500 revolvers. Production of the .357 Mag. ceased in 1941 in order to accommodate the wartime effort. Pre-war production of the .357 Mag. was 6,642 units.

Production resumed in 1948, and the action had been updated with the rebound-slide-operated hammer block and the short-throw hammer. Sales of the premium revolver remained very strong. In 1957 Smith & Wesson instituted its now-famous model numbering system, and the .357 Magnum became known as the Model 27. Three years later, the extractor rod was changed from a right-hand thread to a left-hand thread to correct the problem of the rod backing out during use and tying up the revolver. That change initiated the stamping of -1 after the model number. In 1962, the screw-retained plunger spring hole in the front of the trigger guard was eliminated, marking a second engineering change and a -2 after the model number. The Model 27 was given the full factory treatment of a target hammer, target trigger, oversized checkered Goncalvo alves target stocks and a mahogany presentation case in 1975-the year I bought my first centerfire revolver, a Model 27.

It came to me with an 8 3/8-inch barrel (Smith & Wesson trimmed 3/8 inch from its original 8 3/4-inch barrel years before to accommodate target shooters’ rules regarding overall length). It shot wonderfully and was an easy gun to learn handgun shooting, but the long barrel made it ungainly to carry. At this period of time any Smith & Wesson premium revolver was a difficult item to come by, due primarily to the “Dirty Harry” phenomenon of the day. Trading it was out of the question since I would have to come up with more cash, and I had blown everything I had on the big gun already. All of my spare cash at the time went for handloading components. So I did the unthinkable: I had the barrel cut to 5 inches. Thankfully, this is one time I decided to not do the work myself, and a southern California gunsmith did the job.

Armed now with a real belt gun, I immersed myself into learning handgun marksmanship. For a little more than two years I would feverishly load 500 to 700 rounds of .38 Spl. wadcutters during the evenings on a single-stage RockChucker press and expend them all during a day or two of practice in the canyons outside Los Angeles. Meanwhile, my Model 27 traveled with me on numerous camping, hunting and backpacking trips. During this time I was buying guns-rifles, handguns and shotguns-with every bit of folding green I could spare from room, board and ammo requirements, but the Model 27 and later a Colt 1911 garnered the majority of my shooting attention.

By the time I first moved to Wyoming in 1979, I had, in addition to the Model 27 and 1911, a Colt New Frontier .22 LR/22 WMR, a custom-built .44 Spl. and a Model 29. The .44s were real man’s guns-or so I thought at the time-and I relegated the .357 Mag. to varmint status. I had been shooting a lot and thought I was pretty hot, and maybe I was within the very small circle of gunnies I ran with at the time. On one occasion we were bounding along some dirt road deep within the forest when a rockchuck suddenly darted across the road going for a rock pile. I bailed out of the truck drawing the Model 27 from my Don Hume Jordan holster. I tracked the rodent as it scampered through the rocks; it leapt from one rock as I loosed a shot and center-punched the unlucky whistle-pig in mid air, some 30 yards away. Sometime later, a friend was visiting, and we retired to an area for some informal shooting. Once again, I was a bit full of myself and began to play Ed McGivern with the Model 27, holding it upside down and picking off cans double action with my pinkie finger. My buddy Gene said something like, “Smart alec,” or thereabouts, and picked up a stick about 12 inches long and a couple inches in diameter, and threw it in the air. To be honest, I’m not sure who was the most surprised when the stick split in two in the air, but I tried to keep my game face intact as if it was just another shot. Of course, I declined the opportunity to repeat the feat, citing low ammunition supplies or some other desperate travesty.

As I look back at my 35-year marriage to my Model 27, I am somewhat embarrassed to admit no big-game experience with it. I have taken a pile of small game and varmints with it but nothing larger than a snowshoe hare. It has been, and remains my go-to double-action revolver to develop and maintain basic shooting skills. It has had more than 50,000 chunks of lead forced down its bore; been rebuilt twice (the last time I was told I’d need a new cylinder if I shot it loose again); and suffered several of my home-brewed gunsmithing indignities. Nonetheless, I still love her as much as the first day we met.

Like every great idea, the Model 27 has spawned several great progenies, the first being the Model 28 Highway Patrolman. Inspired by requests from state agencies like the Texas Highway Patrol for a revolver as sturdy as the .357 Mag. but without the costly enhancements, the Highway Patrolman is identical to its dandy-like brother but without the high polish and hand checkering of topstrap and barrel rib. First manufactured in 1954, the Highway Patrolman became a catalog item in 1955 with either a 4- or 6-inch barrel.

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Armed Citizen
A wife took action to save her husband’s life when she opened fire on a 45-year-old man who held a gun to her husband’s head.

At 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 7, 2023, the 45-year-old suspect drove into the front yard of the house owned by the man and woman, exited the vehicle, grabbed the husband, forced him to the ground and pointed a gun to his head. The man’s wife, who watched the situation unfold, used her handgun to fire at the suspect.

When officers arrived on the scene later, they found the 45-year-old suspect with a single gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Indiana State Police investigators told WDRB News that the deceased assailant was “well-known in the area” and had a criminal background. (WDRB News; Salem, Ind.; 8/7/23)

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