About the Manufacturer:
Dan Coonan founded Coonan Arms in St Paul Minnesota in the late 1970s and started manufacturing a unique 1911 style pistol chambered for the .357 Magnum revolver cartridge. The company started selling their pistol in 1983. Coonan sold the company to Bill Davis in 1985, and five years later he left the company. Rising production costs and the departure of Dan Coonan resulted in the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 1994, and was eventually incorporated by JS Worldwide Distribution. Both Coonan Arms and JS Worldwide were eventually dissolved in 1998.
The well constructed stainless steel semi-automatic pistol had an innovative design, but enjoyed only a short time on the American market. Many shooters noted that loading the rimmed .357 Magnum cartridge into a semi-auto pistol magazine traditionally intended for rimless rounds could present some feeding problems. Coonan also briefly offered a .41 Magnum variant from 1997 to 1998.
In 2009 Dan Coonan, Dave Neville and Gordy Davis joined forces to revive the Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic Pistol by forming the new Coonan, Inc. They reintroduced the Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic Pistol, calling it the Classic.
About the Cartridge:
Smith & Wesson introduced this cartridge for its heavy-frame revolver. Ammunition was developed by Winchester in cooperation with Smith & Wesson. Using a lengthened and strengthened version of the .38 Special case, the .357 Magnum was rapidly accepted by hunters and law enforcement. At the time of its introduction, it was claimed to easily pierce the body panels of automobiles and crack engine blocks. While it has less power than the .44 Magnum, it compares favorably to the 10mm Norma and .45 ACP, but with better armor penetration. Today factories offer over fifty different loadings in this caliber.