Looking to buy .357 what are my options.

Forums Big Bore Airguns Looking to buy .357 what are my options.

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    shamu
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    I would be curious to know How much more difficult it would be to shoot extreme accuracy with a titanium tube. I think you might be surprised How the lighter gun Is more difficult to shoot

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    Bullfrog
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    When I shot Brian's .308 Slayer it still had enough heft to it so as to not feel too light to shoot right. To my knowledge the Slayers have titanium tubes. It was actually quite strange. On the table, the gun felt heavy. Then when picked up, the gun felt light. I suspect what I was feeling was very good balance and weight distribution. Now it is also a bullpup, and I hadn't shot a bullpup in a couple of years. It took several shots for me to get used to shooting it, but then it became extremely accurate in my hands. Which, I think the learning curve had more to do with getting use to the air venting on my arm from the shroud. 

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    Kinetic45
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    I have been in discussion with Jim to make a 'Magnum' sized action with a breach to fit the Bulldog magazines and take up to a 5/8 barrel OD.  My FLEX+ has been bored out to 5/8 but the bigger action would be nicer.  Mine is the prototype for now but…

    I also want the larger action to have a cantilevered/down-sloped Picatinny rail for better scope centering so I don't have to use FX No-Limit rings, haha.

    Using my collet barrel retainer instead of the standard WAR circlip allows much higher barrel tension and with the Ti tube we can/are running the plenum up to 3600 PSI.  He has also reworked the regulator for me to deal with the higher pressures as the stock Cobra regulator really should not be run higher than 3K.

    Maybe if there is enough interest he will build them as a catalog item.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Kinetic45.
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    YamahaR1
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    Kinetic45,

    I am very much interested in the Flex .357 you are talking about, sounds like it has potential to make good power being regulated.  The barrel you are talking about from green mountain would it be capable of shooting jsb pellets as well? Definitely think I'll be going with the WAR flex in .357. I also have a Flex and Warp in .30 cal. Guess it makes the most sense to get one in .357 but just wanted to see if there was anything else out there that I possibly didn't know about. 

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    Kinetic45
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    The 20" twist is to stabilize 150/155 grain bullets of around .660 length and has some ability to handle the lighter down to say 110 gr. Probably would not do well for 81 gr pellets.

    A slower twist like 22", 24" or 26" would be used for shorter/lighter bullets down to pellets and would not handle the longer heavier bullets as well. Just as bullets can be under stabilized they can be over stabilized with too fast of a twist.  Manufacturers have hard choices when they pick their barrels, especially on air guns since slugs became popular!

    One problem is the common 14" twist you see so much of on today's production air rifles is just  too 'blank' fast for short pellets and light slugs and they may be 'accurate' at shorter ranges like 50/60 yards but since they are over-stabilized they get wild at longer ranges like 100+.  But the guns don't have the power to push the heavier slugs to enough FPS to stabilize in the fast twist barrel.

    There are twist calculators on the internet but most are for supersonic bullets and do not work that well for subsonic regimes.  LENGTH of bullets, not weight is the determining factor for twist rate in barrels, but speed is next in importance.

    this one works for both sub and super sonic   http://www.geoffrey-kolbe.com/barrel_twist.htm

     

    Jim has modified my original .25 FLEX barrel to fit the FLEX+ so he could convert your .30 FLEX to the FLEX+ system and you could have your cake and eat it too, haha.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Kinetic45.
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    triggertreat
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    I just got my .357 Slayer.  It does have a 400cc titanium tube.  My first string at 3600 psi (rated at 3800) averaged 923 fps for six shots with 142gr slugs.  It peaked at 946 fps.  I have not adjusted the externally adjustable balanced valve yet nor the hammer spring, but know it will do more.  It's an awesome, accurate shooter with only a 3lb cocking force.  Near backyard friendly with close neighbors with the DonnyFL Emperor added to it.  It is light to carry and feels even lighter shouldered and well balanced.  It's just heavy enough to handle the recoil well.  It doesn't have nearly as much recoil as I expected for the power it has.  I absolutely love it.

    I do have some 95gr slugs, but I'm afraid they will make a crack locally so I will wait for better shooting grounds to test them.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your big bore search!

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    Jld1969
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    I have a flex .357 and I am amazed every time I go to the range it's the best built airgun I have seen I can take it apart and it's so simple yet so accurate very easy to work on and Jim is the man, he is always there if you have any questions I love my flex I was thinking of selling it over Christmas and put it up on the site for a bit but I am glad I changed my mind I needed the cash over the holidays thank god I  worked out a deal on a different gun. If you are looking for a . 357 get the flex it's by far the best I have a Texan 45 and it is nothing but trouble always having to replace o rings and stuff. I am trying out a few different slugs this week I will keep you guys posted on how I liked them. Happy new year!!.  John

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    YamahaR1
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    Sounds like the .357 flex is what I need to add in my collection. I've talked with Jim about the newer modified .357 and it pretty much fits all my needs that I'm looking for. I already have 2 war guns and I know exactly how to break them down and take care of them. I am looking forward to slinging some big JSB pellets down range!!! I've never shot a .357 air rifle so it should be a good time. Next spring when the ground squirrels start coming out I plan to do some over kill, lol.  How is shooting the flex .357 at long range?  Does the drop from that big pellet become a challenge at longer distance?  Thanks to everyone who chimed in about the .357 caliber. 

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    frank320
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    I have a Cobra regulated Flex 357, cothran valve and 24 inch barrel. It is currently regulated to 2750psi, shooting the 81gr JSB/Polymags around 900fps. It is pellet on pellet at 30 yards in my basement range. I have taken it out to 125 yards and it hits my 2.5 inch spinner 9/10 times as long as the windage is doped correctly. It takes practice to shoot these larger bores well, the recoil, hold, trigger pull, etc… all have to be coordinated. As an example, it takes a lot more effort to shoot my 25 cal FX Impact 700mm at 60fpe than at 35fpe due to the additional recoil and power. Now, imagine the Flex with 3x more recoil… it will be hold, position, shoulder sensitive…

    The 81gr JSB and Polymags have a BC of around 0.042. The 9mm Morrill 97.5gr diabolo pellets have a BC of about 0.072, so that is my go to pellet for getting out further. Regulated at the same 2750psi, I am shooting these 97.5gr at around 845fps. I am now using the slug barrel and it shoots the pellets just as well. I have a whole bunch of 357 slugs and an unregulated block, but have yet to try them out. It is shooting so well now that I am hesitant to change anything on the Flex.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by frank320.
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    trooper618
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    I would say the Slayer if your wanting a great accuracy and power. The Flex is a great gun. Built very well and very accurate but don’t have the power the slayer does. 

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    triggertreat
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    Both the Flex and the Slayer come with tensioned TJ barrels which has proven accuracy.  I have heard the Flex weighs two or three pounds more than the Slayer, so something to consider there if field carrying.  I don't think you could go wrong with either gun as both are well built, but with the Slayer having around 100 FPE more power, I'd trust its abilities more when wanting to sling the heavier leads at longer ranges.

    As far as the original OP question, below is my results when shooting the Slayer for the very first time to check its tune and accuracy out at 50 yards, which is my range limit in the backyard.  I found the Slayer to be quite friendly to shoot and easy to shoulder.  It is a well balanced gun and not nearly as loud as one would expect due to the design of the LDC and shroud.  I actually added a DonnyFL Emperor  to the OEM LDC and it is backyard friendly with that added and not much louder really than my 25 Marauder, but would expect the Flex to be quieter with not having the extra 100 FPE.

    Here is the 5 shot group at 50 yards with one site in shot above to equal the six shot mag I emptied:

     

     

     

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    Kinetic45
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    Actually, Jim has not finished testing the new FLEX+ configuration but I had him increase the plenum length by 2" and he emailed me recently that untuned it was putting out 220 FPE with 152gr slugs.

    He's still working on optimum hammer weight and a few other things so it's going to get better still.  You can't really compare it to the old FLEX (pellet n light slug shooter) vs the Slayer (medium to heavy slug shooter) when the FLEX+ is intended for the medium to heavy slug range.

    I have a Pitbull and have the FLEX+ coming but I also think the Slayer is worth aquiring and am planning to order one too in a month or so… it will be interesting doing a 3 way comparison .😁

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Kinetic45.
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    ackuric
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    Flex / Warp / Flex + are designed BASED on the marauder platform, and HIGHLY customized…where as the Slayer is a from the ground up custom and unique design/build. I wouldn't bother comparing the two…JMO. You can make diamond from coal because both are carbon based, but I wouldn't trade my diamond for a piece of coal…not to be so harsh but the flex is a piece of coal in comparison to a Slayer…and if the Flex+ uses the same base marauder design, its not going to be much if any prettier. Adding a ton of plenum and hammer spring/weight will greatly increase the power but at the end of the day its a highly customized 2k+ Marauder that retains nearly 0 marauder parts, just design factors / base blue prints…

    Sorry to seem harsh but I call em as I see em…Both Flex and Slayer are in the same bracket/market…yet the Slayer hands down is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of engineering, design, execution, performance, and value. JMO

     

    -Matt

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    Bullfrog
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    ackuric

    Flex / Warp / Flex + are designed BASED on the marauder platform, and HIGHLY customized…where as the Slayer is a from the ground up custom and unique design/build. I wouldn't bother comparing the two…JMO. You can make diamond from coal because both are carbon based, but I wouldn't trade my diamond for a piece of coal…not to be so harsh but the flex is a piece of coal in comparison to a Slayer…and if the Flex+ uses the same base marauder design, its not going to be much if any prettier. Adding a ton of plenum and hammer spring/weight will greatly increase the power but at the end of the day its a highly customized 2k+ Marauder that retains nearly 0 marauder parts, just design factors / base blue prints…

    Sorry to seem harsh but I call em as I see em…Both Flex and Slayer are in the same bracket/market…yet the Slayer hands down is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of engineering, design, execution, performance, and value. JMO

     

    -Matt

    I don't think that's entirely fair to call the Flex coal compared to anything, but it depends on what specifically you're comparing. In terms of performance, no .30 pellet shooter out shoots a .30 Flex. None. At least not my .30 Flex carbine. My .30 Flex with a 17 inch barrel is just as tack driving accurate as any .30 Impact and is more efficient with air and gives a much wider range of power adjustment in spite of the shorter barrel. A .30 Evol from AAA might equal it. But nothing out performs it. The weight and ascetics of the gun is another matter. But in terms of performance (power, efficiency, accuracy, shot count, quietness when paired with a good moderator), you won't beat it. That's why I couldn't part with mine in spite of getting ticked about the problems I had with my Flex long gun. The fact that its designed to have some internals that will also fit a Marauder isn't really a negative. In a pinch, I could scavenge some Marauder screws and parts to make the gun work if I had to (and I have a whole drawer of Marauder parts). Makes it a nice prepper gun (the Flex also uses some common firearm parts like a Remington Model 700 trigger assembly and AR grips/stocks, which is nice). But yes, because it uses a mix of Marauder compatible and firearm parts, the gun does have the appearance of a "Frankenstein" gun. But its a Frankenstein monster that kicks butt and takes names. Where I see it having room to improve is getting away from the Marauder magazines and switching to a titanium air tube/plenum. But all of that is said specifically in light of looking at the Flex as a .30 pellet shooter, which is what the platform was originally contemplated to be. 

    Now comparing a .357 Slayer to a .357 Flex is another thing. The Flex platform is a pellet platform. I would think a .357 Flex with a Cothran valve would be a heck of a pellet shooter. That would put it in direct competition with the mass produced .357 pellet-oriented repeaters like the Evanix guns, and like my .30s, it could probably give the shooter a wide range of adjustment options to taylor power levels to user tastes with a very high shot count.  Where I could agree with you more would be comparing a .357 Slayer as a slug gun to a .357 Flex as a slug gun. Just as the Flex was originally meant to be a pellet gun, the Slayer was and is meant to be a slug gun, and was designed and tuned accordingly. Its not meant to give a massive shot count, its meant to give the best handful of shots possible for big game hunting. 

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    frank320
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    ackuric

    Flex / Warp / Flex + are designed BASED on the marauder platform, and HIGHLY customized…where as the Slayer is a from the ground up custom and unique design/build. I wouldn't bother comparing the two…JMO. You can make diamond from coal because both are carbon based, but I wouldn't trade my diamond for a piece of coal…not to be so harsh but the flex is a piece of coal in comparison to a Slayer…and if the Flex+ uses the same base marauder design, its not going to be much if any prettier. Adding a ton of plenum and hammer spring/weight will greatly increase the power but at the end of the day its a highly customized 2k+ Marauder that retains nearly 0 marauder parts, just design factors / base blue prints…

    Sorry to seem harsh but I call em as I see em…Both Flex and Slayer are in the same bracket/market…yet the Slayer hands down is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of engineering, design, execution, performance, and value. JMO

     

    -Matt

    Allow me to add my 2 cents. I also don't think it is entirely fair to compare W.A.R's Flex/Warp platforms to coal/Marauder. I have all of these guns and more – Marauder, Armada, Flex 357, FX Impact X 700mm 3rd Gen, and lots more powder burners. Currently, my best and most expensive scope is on my 357 Flex and I will explain why:

    1) The Timney trigger on the W.A.R rifles is one of the best. It is literally a professional trigger. It is the best trigger on all of my guns, including real firearms, even better than the RAW(a friend had it and I shot it) and the Geissele triggers on my Daniel Defense MK12/DDM4 Pro. The adjustability, smoothness of the first stage and the break. It is the best.

    2) The TJ Barrel is one of the best, same as the Slayer and most customized rifles. It is not a barrel "liner" like my FX Impact X. It shoots pellets and slugs equally well. The tensioned barrel system works perfectly, time and time again even after I moved things around and change things. 

    3) The fully adjustable Cobra regulator is one of the best out there. It is adjustable all the way up to 3000psi(i have taken it higher) and is built more solidly than my FX Impact X's by a wide margin, the FX regulator is rated only to 2200psi. The consistency of the Cobra regulator beats my FX Impact X's hands down. It is much more consistent with a much tighter spread and is creep free after 2 years and 2000 rounds.

    4) The built quality and materials on the Flex is comparable to my firearms, like my Daniel Defense MK12/DDM4 Pro, and that is saying something.

    5) The accuracy is phenomenal. I have a 357 Flex and it is literally pellet on pellet at my 30 yard basement. Pellet on pellet, stacking – and I have the pellet stacks dug out from my backstop to prove it. Yup, a 357 cal that is pellet on pellet and equally deadly out to 150 yards, the furthest I can shoot without heading out to a range. I am pretty sure it will reach out much much further based on the 2.5inch spinner I am consistently hitting way out there.

    In the 2 years I have had the 357 Flex, I have taken it apart a couple of times, swapped barrels, shot 2000 rounds of various slugs, various pellets down range, the regulator has never creeped on me and I have yet to change a single o-ring on the Flex. I can leave the rifle untouched for 3 months and the bottle and reg pressure will be where it was when I left it. 

    Cons? Sure, I was surprised to learn from Bullfrog's posts that the Flex's airtube is only rated to 3600psi, even though the bottle is rated to 4500psi. I think the Flex should come with a 4500psi titanium airtube. Other than that, among all my airguns, if I can only keep one, I keep the Flex.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by frank320.
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    frank320
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    Also, there are some comments that just because it is based on the similar Marauder platform and that detracts from it somehow. I used to race Porsches, that was until my son was born and my wife put put an end to it. Other than just making nice looking cars for street use, marques like Porsche and Ferrari also built dedicated race cars, using the same platform and chassis from their street cars. These purpose built race cars are made for racing on the racetrack, not for street use. They are built on the same "platform/chassis", but in reality, they are as different as ice and fire. If you think you are going to walk out of a Porsche/Ferrari showroom with a street sports car and think you have a race car, then as they say, I've got a bridge I like to sell you.

     

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    triggertreat
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    I agree that the Slayer is in a class by itself. However, the Flex is very unique as well, and has no outward resemblance to the Marauders I own, except for the magazine.  Although I've only shot the Flex a few times, it was very impressive to handle and shoot.  Every post I have read from actual owners of a Flex screams accuracy and top notch build quality.  I wouldn't mind owning one of them.  I've become very picky about what I would consider owning going forward.  The Flex checks many boxes for what I would consider for ownership.  It was considered in my big bore gun search, and was the only other one that I considered due to its unique and awesome features.

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    Kinetic45
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    Even though I have a .357 Texan, Pitbull Mega w/ JSAR SS valve, and that prototype FLEX+ coming I initiated the purchase of a Slayer today because although all are .357s they each are in a different enough niche to be worth owning.

    ALL are worthy in one way or another but I don't expect just one to become my favorite universal air rifle.

    Triggetreat's and a couple of other spokespersons positive reviews did influence me…

     

    Note: I also considered an Ataman and a Winchester last month.  The Ataman is a nice rifle but it's an unknown and may be mostly a pellet rifle so – no.

    The Winchester – not impressed so that was a no too.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Kinetic45.
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    JamesD.
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    Brian.in.MI

    Other than being non-regulated, Slayer .357 is your best bet, given your fat budget. Contrary to what people may think, it CAN shoot the 81 grain .35 pellets. Plus, NSA has slugs from 75 grain and up. The way to approach this (IMO) would be to slightly de-tune, and make the pellets happier and then stay on the light end of the spectrum with NSA slugs.

    Now the cool part!! A lot of you have seen this picture of Tom. What you don’t know is that he’s shooting 81 grain pellets in a .357 Slayer! It was an experiment. Moments after this pic was taken, I witnessed him connect with a ground squirrel at 228 yards. 

     

     

    The pellets were good for about 140 fpe. I don’t think he was ecstatic with the pellets compared to slugs, but that’s apples / oranges, especially in that setting where the closest targets were 90 yards away. It did, however show that there’s potential there. 

    So anyway, don’t rule out the Slayer! Yay, +1 green 4me, haha

    Brian

     

    Brian, I'm following this thread and trying to decide also on some purchases. The slayer sending 81 grain JSB's at 140ftlbs isn't more impressive than a RAW with a reg sending 16 consistent 81 grain JSB's at 130ftlbs.  IF, the Slayer had an externally adjustable regulator, I'd be interested. As of now, I'm simply accepting that I'll have to build up a custom Texan in .257 or .308 and shoot it tethered. That doesn't bother me as I'd have a custom 30lb BR stock made, probably a longer barrel specifically designed for ONE slug that I could cast & size myself. Getting a Hunting License, laying all out on a blanket at fields edge or top of hill from farm to farm is no problem. The weight, length, tethered. This is my only option for long range super high BC shooting.

    There is the question though of what is acceptable to most for say 300 yards maximum. that 81grain JSB at 140ftlbs still delivered 47.4ftlbs to that ground squirrel and with a 100 yard zero only had 9.42' of drop (112.92") So if Slayer offered a regulated model and do as you said, keep the slugs & pellets relatively close in weight, but still gain a higher BC, then I'd be THRILLED. A slayer that could go from almost 300ftlbs of power to say 20 shots (at LEAST match RAW's 16 shots at 130ftlbs w/ 81 grain JSBs) or maybe 8-16 shots with a higher set reg for slightly heavier cast sized slugs with a much higher BC? The idea of 300 yards is VERY possible as I know I'd be doing it with the 81 grain JSB's. It's no harder, easier in fact than a .270 at 1000 yards.

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    Brian.in.MI
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    @jamesd,

    I’d talk to AAA if I were you. I, as well, love the idea of a wide performance range with slugs / pellets.. BUT I can’t speak for Tom. We know that a regulated .357 Slayer prototype  exists, but I have no idea if it affords the adjustment range we’re talking about here. Everything is a compromise, as you know. Even if there’s a way to shoot pellets / slugs from 130 to 330 fpe, the best performance will come with X projectile at X speed, and that’ll largely be a function of what barrel you’re running. My guess is it would shoot .35 pellets fairly well, and stack NSA bullets after cranking up the power and letting it be what it was born to be – a Slayer! Haha. 

    Brian

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