Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic

I really like the 1911. It is such an amazing gun and an iconic piece of history. I appreciate and respect them, and I think one belongs in every American gun collection. I would like to own one someday. That being said, if I needed to choose a handgun for a gun fight, I’d rather have an M&P45 or a Glock 21. The increased magazine capacity makes single stack 1911s seem inadequate to me, plus I enjoy the larger grip and lack of external safeties.

Colt Rail Gun courtesy Colt's Manufacturing Company

On a completely unrelated topic, I have always wanted a titanium Taurus or scandium Smith & Wesson revolver that shoots both .38 Special and .357 Magnum. I want one mostly because it is a versatile and packable survival weapon that can fire two types of common ammunition with different ballistic properties. Unfortunately, they also have low magazine capacities (although not compared to a 1911), increased reload times, and their weight makes them prone to excessive recoil. I’d rather have a Glock 26 for concealment (though it wouldn’t be as ammunition versatile), or something with a longer barrel for survival (though it wouldn’t be as packable).

S&W 360PD courtesy Smith & Wesson.

So I want a 1911. Someday. And for no specific purpose but because I want one in my safe. And I also want a lightweight .357 revolver. Eventually. And for a reason that doesn’t necessarily even make sense to me. They are both guns that I don’t really need and they both have little versatility beyond what I already own.

Image courtesy Coonan, Inc.

Then comes the Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic. It fires both .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammunition. It is a 1911-style pistol. And it is stainless steel. It fits the requirements of two guns on my “must have- in the distant future” list. It is durable, versatile, and absolutely beautiful. It is the answer to a question I never asked. It isn’t a real 1911, and it isn’t concealable like a lightweight revolver would be. And although I have no justification as to why, I want one. Bad.


Image courtesy Coonan, Inc.

It is available in three finishes: stainless steel (standard), black Duracoat, and digital camouflage Duracoat. Standard sights are fixed, and options include fixed or adjustable white dot sights, and fixed or adjustable night sights.

Image courtesy Coonan, Inc.

Caliber .357 Magnum
Barrel Length 5 inches
Construction Stainless Steel
Magazine Capacity 7 rounds + 1
Weight 42.0 oz. empty, 48.0 oz. loaded
Length 8.3 inches overall
Height 5.6 inches
Width 1.3 inches
Sights Dovetail Front & Rear, Black, Fixed
Grips Smooth Black Walnut

Image courtesy Coonan, Inc.

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One Response to Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic

  1. Mark Freburg says:

    I found your comments on the Coonan .357 wile looking on the web for photos of that gun. You know, in a very real sense the Coonan is in fact a “real 1911.” It is more a real 1911 than many of the phony baloney .45s passing themselves off as “real” 1911s these days, those with dual recoil springs, ramped barrels, coned barrels, bushingless barrels. Those with so many cosmetic changes as to make a purist like myself want to heave.

    As you may well know, the original Coonan Model A as devised by Dan Coonan differed from his later and more popular Model B, which is the progenitor of the of the current Coonan Classic .357 Magnum beng sold today, in having the original swinging link of the true 1911 barrel. Dan Coonan decided the .357 Magnum cartridge, at a significantly higher pressure than the .45ACP, would be better having a barrel with a solid lug below to affect locking and unlocking. But the locking concept is the same Browning-designed tilting barrel, very much 1911-like. The only other major change if we want to call it that is that the grip frame has been elongated front to rear. But other pistols have gone that route, such as the Grizzly, and most consider those 1911s. Is caliber a concern? The 1911 has been made in so many different chambers the mind boggles. Otherwise, the Coonan Classic .357 Magnum is mechanically and, especially, cosmetically more 1911-like than most 1911-style pistols being built today.

    How much does this matter in the grand scheme of things? Not much. But if you need to have some justification to take the plunge to buy a Coonan, I’d say you have it. It is a real 1911. If however you meat you wanted a pistol chambered in .45ACP, at least for your first one, why then I’d say that is a very worthy goal as well. Despite my disparaging comments about many of today’s 1911 pistols, there are still a great many good ones being built by a variety of companies!

    –Mark
    (Forum Manager, FirearmsForum.com, since 2001)

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