.357 Semi auto pistol?

I just read a clip from headline news about a lady that brought a 357 pistol into an airport.


The report stated that the pistol had a twelve round clip with it. The fact that the pistol has a clip suggests that it is a semi auto pistol, but I didn’t think that they the 357 round was used for semi auto handguns but were just used for revolvers. Also, the report mentions that its illegal to possess a 12 round clip. I understood that it was illegal to have high capacity magazines that were manufactured after 199x, but it was OK to possess the older grandfathered magazines.

My two questions are:

  1. Are there semi automatic pistols available that fire a 357 round?

  2. Is it illegal to possess a high capacity clip that was manufactured before 199x (I can’t remember the date)?

Chickendoc, I can’t help with question 2 but for question 1, Desert Eagle makes automatic pistols in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .50 cal. I am not sure if any other gun makers use the magnum rounds in semi-auto pistols, but at least one does.


Thing 1:

Wow, thats an awful big handgun to be carrying around in a purse/handbag.  You'd think that she'd notice something like that.  What do you do with a .50 cal pistol...hunt elephants? Thanks for the info.

Thing 1 beat me to it. Here’s a site with pictures of the beast.

Doesn’t say what .357 round that this is…Probably .357 SIG

There are several auto pistols that chamber this round. (My favorites are the Glock 31, 32, and 33)

Now as to the legality of possessing full capacity removable magazines (not clips…clips go in magazines), this is probably what got her…“restricted – law enforcement, government use only.” Means it is a post-ban magazine. Civilians cannot legally possess one with this label.

Now, if you have a pre-ban magazine, yes, it is legal to possess.


  1. yes. The Desert Eagle comes to mind.

  2. Maybe. Depends on the state. In New Jersey, it’s a felony to be in possession of a hollow point bullet, even if you don’t have a gun(except in your home), a magazine larger than 10 rounds PERIOD (except in your home), or a gun without a permit (except in your home). But then New Jersey is the home of some fucking stupid laws.

In more rational states, like New Mexico, carrying a concealed weapon (firearm or not) without a permit is a petty misdemeanor, you can carry any gun in plain view into any nonrestricted place (i.e. anything other than a place that serves alcohol, a school, or a government building), and any magazine manufactured or imported before the ban is legal.

In general, beware of getting facts of a case from any news source, especially a left-leaning obviously anti-gun source such as CNN. They are there to get ratings and attract viewers, not to be objective.

In this particular case, the magazine was stamped “Restricted – Law Enforcement, Government Use Only”. That stamp didn’t go onto any magazines until after the ban, so yes, it was illegal for a civilian to possess. The 1994 ban was a load of horse shit and violates the spirit - if not the letter - of the 2nd Amendment, but it’s still technically the law. Pardon my editorial.

On preview, I see everybody beat me to it. but I don’t care, I’m posting anyway. :slight_smile:

I’m so comforted that the airport screeners would miss a fcking cannon!* This is not by any means a derringer. This is a badass weapon (Be it SigSauer/Glock/Desert Eagle) a .357 semi that is capable of accepting the 12 round clip is NOT a tiny weapon.

I’m sooo happy to be flying next week.

Actually, IIRC, she was carrying it in a carry-on suitcase, where it’d fit quite nicely. If the weapon was oriented in such a fashion that the grip was in-line with the barrel WRT the scanner, an inexperienced or inattentive screener could have easily missed it.

Low-probablity event.

Bit of an exaggeration…For example, a Glock 33 is actually a rather small pistol designed for concealment. It accepts a 13 round magazine.

Specs from www.glock.com


Length (slide)
6.85 in. 174 mm

5.00 in. 127 mm

1.18 in. 30 mm

Rather far from a cannon…

But is that .357 Magnum, or is it .357 Sig…? That distinction means a lot. The .357 Sig is a necked semi-rimless case, and is somewhat smaller, physically, than a .45ACP. OTOH, if it’s .357 Magnum, it’s a straight-walled, rimmed case, and is quite long, necessitating a rather large handgun to accomodate it.

Looking at the Glock site, while they don’t specify ‘Sig’ or ‘Magnum’, I’d strongly suspect ‘Sig’.

desert eagle actually uses the .357 AE (Action Express) cartridge


My brother had both the .44, and later traded it in for the .50 when it came out. I could barely pull the slide back on the thing.

BTW, Desert Eagles are made in Israel…

Tranquilis…beat me to it. Sig .357 tapered round, similar to a .380

S&W made a tapered .357 and .38 semi/auto for awhile too.

D.Eagle .357magnum=bad ass handgun

matter of fact one of my favorites!

I still prefer my 3"mag. 12g. sawed off 2bb shotgun for close duty.

Yech! DE has some serious quality issues, along with a nasty mag-well design.

I’ll have to go with .357 Sig as the in question. I have a Sig 239 with both .40 and .357 barrels (.357 Sig is just a necked-down .40 S&W.), and that little fellow holds 8 rounds. A 2340/.357 mag capacity (LE, but still) is 12 rds, as with other Sig “full” size pistols.

am i reading this wrong or is this site saying you can shoot bot 357 and .45 rounds with the same gun? http://www.zvis.com/dep/mgr.php3?e

There are only a few calibers that I know of that allow for different calibers to be used in the same pistol with NO modification (.357 S&W and .38, 22LR and 22 Short (somethimes)).

You can frequently get .357 sig barrels for .40 S&W handguns, since the cartridge is virtually the same, just necked-down for the .357

Also, .38 Super is a necked-down .45 ACP, so you can get .38 Super barrels for most .45 ACP (1911’s, etc).

For both of the above, you can generally use the same magazines.

But 45 magnum and .357 would not be readily interchangeable. Granted, the LAR Grizzly is a bit of an oddball, so I am just guessing here, but you would need a different barrel AND magazines to use the two calibers. Or the author just had 2 LAR’s, chambered for each round :slight_smile:

A slightly earlier story says the weapon was a Heckler-Koch (HK). The HK USP40 Compact is a small handgun which can fire .357 SIG, according to a page on the HK website.


I could have sworn that the .357 SIG caliber wasn’t introduced until after the “no more than 10 round capacity for civilian magazines” law went into effect. If that’s the case, unless she’s a law enforcement officer, she shouldn’t have a 12-round magazine in any case.

A web search seems to indicate that the .357 SIG caliber was introduced in 1994, and the ban on higher-capacity magazines for civilians was passed in May 1994 and was made effective in September of that year. Close, close call.

Actually, .50 AE cartridges, as would be used in a handgun, are really not that big. At least, they don’t stand out when compared to other handgun cartridges.

But if I wanted to increase the odds that a single shot would stop an attacker (assuming I could handle the recoil and didn’t mind carrying around a desert eagle), that’s probably what I would go with. Or if I were hunting big game with a handgun (as is legal in several states).

.50 BMG (the rifle equivilent) OTOH, makes a .30-06 cartridge look pretty small. But I still would rather have something a little bigger if I was hunting an elephant. I think Elephant guns would be something like 1.10 caliber (think of a rifle that fires ammunition the same size or larger then 12 gauge shotgun shells, which are roughly .80 caliber, once translated)

According to this CNN story the security screener noticed an anomally during the x-ray and called in their supervisor.

The supervisor did a personal hand search but failed to find the weapon or the loaded clip (Oh, pleeze!). The supervisor has since been fired and an investigation is underway.

The same CNN aricle also answers the second question in the OP.