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The .357 Magnum is a good choice for a defensive weapon. Smith & Wesson introduced the Magnum in 1935 as the world's most powerful handgun cartridge and it went on to attain iconic status. The Magnum produces almost three times as much energy as its shorter parent, the .38 Special. A .357 revolver with the Federal 125 grain jacketed hollow-point will give you plenty of stopping power.
Bear in mind, though, that full-power .357 Magnums have a strong recoil and are most effective in the hands of an experienced shooter. If you are less experienced, consider using a lower-recoil round. You'll be able to fire the gun more rapidly and accurately, without giving up too much stopping power.
Vampires: The sound and fury of a .357 Magnum will likely drive away all but the most desperate of vampires. If not, a round to the torso will do the trick.
Zombies: A zombie that takes a round in the chest will stop and may fall, but it will get back up and keep coming. You'd do well to take aim for the head. And don't miss.
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