most powerful 357


Revolver Ocelot
February 4, 2007, 08:57 PM
I'm looking for the best ammo for a 357, any recomondaions?

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Jim March
February 4, 2007, 09:00 PM
For what purpose?

Seriously. It matters. A lot.

tasco 74
February 4, 2007, 10:51 PM
there are lots of things to consider......

February 4, 2007, 10:58 PM
Buffalo Bore is going to be the most powerful factory ammo available.

Ala Dan
February 4, 2007, 11:01 PM
Agreed~! Buffalo Bore is some dang good stuff~!;) :D

Revolver Ocelot
February 4, 2007, 11:10 PM
well I'm looking for recomndations for ammo for all purposes so I was really looking for a particular brand that is universally recomended.

February 4, 2007, 11:25 PM
Like the others have already said, Buffalo Bore is probably the most powerful.

Double Tap ammo is also very powerful and probably equal in real life to Buffalo Bore. (check the chart on the BB site and look at the 4" barrel numbers since the DT site is quoting numbers from a 4" barrel)

CorBon used to be the leader but the other 2 have surpassed them.
They do have a wide range of Hunting, Cowboy Action, Normal JHP and Match ammo.

I like the Double Tap stuff because it's only a few dollars more for 50 rounds compared to 20 rounds of Buffalo Bore ammo. Since they are the same, I went for the better price.

Jim March
February 4, 2007, 11:44 PM

If you're trying to sort out one load good for everything from squirrel to black bear and of course that dreaded species known as the "two legged rattlesnake" (aka "goblin", "thug", "Mike Tyson", etc...), forget it.

M'kay? Ain't gonna happen.

For dangerous quadrupeds you need something powerful that punches deep without expanding, or at least radically delays expanding by way of a thick jacked. For non-expanding, hardcast lead with either a Keith profile or the new "wide flat nose" designs are the best. For deep punch with "some" expansion, anything driving a Hornady XTP 158gr at decent speed will do, or the Winchester 180 Partition Gold. Or a few others. Buffalo Bore has XTP 158-based loads at crazy speeds, probably the stoutest expanding load out there but still only mediocre for personal defense. Wrong tool for that job.

For personal defense, you need expansion that will resist "clothes clogging" (where the hollowpoint fills up with, you guessed it...). That means either a really fat hollowpoint at reasonable speeds, or a 125gr small-hollowpoint going "bat out of hell" at over 1,400fps.

The best "bat outta hell" approach is either the Remington 125gr full house, the Cor-Bon 125 full-house or DoubleTap's 125s IF they still sell them with the Gold Dot "shallow hollowpoint" variant. Bufallo Bore also has a wild-child 125gr but I don't know what slug is involved.

Gold Dot 125gr slugs also come in a "deep hollowpoint" flavor best suited for mild 357s or hot 38+Ps. Make sure you've got the right stuff for the speed involved. Speer has stopped selling Gold Dot slugs to smaller ammo houses so we may see loads either dry up or try and use the last remaining supplies of God knows what to fill orders. At high speed there's nothing better than the shallow-hollow version of the Gold Dot 125.

Now. For personal defense, I'm not convinced you need that kind of power. Cor-Bon has their new "DPX" all-copper 125gr hollowpoint that does about 1,200fps. Speer loads a giant-hollowpoint 135gr JHP in 357 cases that does about 1,100ish from a 2" barrel 357 - it's a "reduced recoil" load for lightweight 357 snubbies. The size of that cavity is almost could almost shove an entire 22LR slug in there. This bad boy is GOING to open up reliably and dump energy in the first 9" to 12" of whatever it hits. I did some accuracy testing with that load and got 2" groups at 25yds. Same day, same gun, the Doubletap 125s doing over 1,500fps did 5" groups and was painful to shoot due to the checkered grips I had at the time and no gloves.

And this was with a 2lb+ gun, a Ruger New Vaquero which isn't exactly a pocket pistol.

Get used to the idea of tuning your load to your need.

Revolver Ocelot
February 5, 2007, 12:12 AM
well needless to say there never has been anything that is good for everything, but I did feel to be a little more specific and say I'm looking for a brand that makes good amunition in general, in anycase thanks for the info.

Jim March
February 5, 2007, 01:50 AM


Well for personal defense, Speer has some damned fine projectiles. The Gold Dots just rock. They're thin-jacketed copper, where the copper is actually a heavy electroplate onto the lead. So despite being a thin jacket (expands quickly) they hold together rather than coming unglued at speed. It's *possible* to get a Gold Dot's jacket to fly off the lead but you have to really work at it - like drive a 32ACP 60grain projectile meant for 800fps at 1,200+ out of 32Magnum or 32NAA cases :D.

Any JHP has a "performance range" it'll work at - a minimum speed to open, and a max speed past which it'll come unglued (nosecone falls apart, shreds off and the now-lighter bullet retracts back to close to original diameter). Gold Dots work across a very broad speed range. So does the Hornady XTP, but that's using a heavy brass jacket...expansion doesn't happen until it's deep, which is why it rocks as a "critter gitter". Hence Hornady has the best deep-punch hunting JHPs.

The Gold Dot's best competitor in personal defense is the all-copper Barnes "X" bullet, which is now being marketed almost exclusively by Cor-Bon.

Doubletap and Buffalo Bore load the most psycho-hot stuff out there, with Grizzly coming on strong :). But they've all just gotten screwed by Speer's denying them access to Gold Dot slugs. Hornady is still selling slugs and hardcast are easy to score so in the hunting field they're in good shape.

Black Hills is another small ammo house that will be hurting for a lack of Gold Dots. Their rep isn't for raw power, but for well engineered rounds that are tend to be very accurate. Their match rifle ammo is supposed to kick major butt and has seen military sniper use.

I would think Barnes is now kicking themselves silly. If they didn't have that exclusive deal with Cor-Bon they could be filling in the gaps left by Gold Dots for all these small ammo houses. Meanwhile Cor-Bon is going to clean up if they get their marketing together.

Revolver Ocelot
February 5, 2007, 02:21 AM
yeah I was looking at the 200 grain 357s they had on the double tap website and I'd have to say it put a smile on my face from ear to ear.:D

February 5, 2007, 02:28 AM
well needless to say there never has been anything that is good for everything, but I did feel to be a little more specific and say I'm looking for a brand that makes good amunition in general, in anycase thanks for the info.
Revolver Ocelot,
Most "name brand" ammo companies these days make reliable ammo. You will probably get many different answers on which is the best. The truth is, most answers will be correct because most ammo is high quality.

I carry Speer Gold Dot 125 gr .357 Mag rounds in my 4" S&W Revolver.
I carry Speer Gold Dot 135 gr .38 Sp +P Short Barrel rounds in my S&W J frame.

All the below are good choices for carry SD ammo:
Speer Gold Dot
Federal Hydra-Shok
Hornady HP/XTP
Buffalo Bore
Double Tap
Remington Golden Saber JHP
Winchester Super X Silvertip HP

What you will need to do is shoot several of the above listed ammo and see which one shoots well out of your gun and which one you shoot well. They all will do the SD job for you IMO.

tasco 74
February 5, 2007, 03:01 AM
200 gr. is alot of bullet and alot of weight from a .357 magnum revolver...... you must remember the more a projectile weighs the more felt recoil....... i have always liked the federal 158 gr jsp ammo for my all around ammo....... be sure of your back stop with .357 magnum loads they WILL penitrate through a human target regularly.................

Jim March
February 5, 2007, 04:02 AM
Why stick with just a wimpy little 200?


Problem is, being softcast these are limited to about 1,000fps.

Still...dayum. 230gr, and LONG. I keep wondering if they might tumble in the target...

Or: take that big flat nose and file two "flats" in it such that on impact, contact with the target would slow the rotation. The two flats would be balanced for flight but would be set with the barrel twist direction to act like a screwdriver in the target. THAT in turn will make the big barsterd tumble, at a cost of about 10 grains of bullet weight tops, maybe less. You'd have to weigh each one with a gram scale to ensure accuracy...


The one reloading equipment I already have is a gram scale. Courtesy of the very short time some years back I tried my hand as a cabbie...a drug dealer fare ran off and left it behind :). I took it back to the shop and asked the mechanic what all that white powdery residue in it might be...what does he do? Takes a huge snort and says "cough meth cough yeah cough definately...". It got a really thorough bath after that!!!

February 5, 2007, 07:09 AM
Except for hunting the 158 gr loads are very good. There are so many different loads and rounds for different uses.
I would buy ammo dependent on use and quality.

February 5, 2007, 01:51 PM
There is no substitute for you buying some boxes of ammo and takeing them out to the range and seeing what you and the gun like best.


February 5, 2007, 01:59 PM
Except for hunting the 158 gr loads are very good.
Depends on what you are hunting. ;)

February 5, 2007, 02:21 PM
Keep the brass from whatever you buy in case you decide to start reloading. My reloads for .357 vary from light .38 specialish loads up to 1500+ fps screamers using H110. Best part is they cost about 1/3 of factory loads.

February 5, 2007, 02:56 PM
I think it's enough that the revolver can be so danged versatile. To take advantage of that versatility, though, you need to load it for the job. I have one "universal" load, a personal handload using 14.5 grains 2400 behind a 158 grain cast, gas checked bullet from a Lee mold. It's sort of an old stand by. It's not the best self defense round (too much penetration and no expansion), but when I'm out working on my place (like I should be, now...:rolleyes: ) I carry it in case I run across a hog that needs shootin'. Therefore, I load with it before I leave the house and it's what's in the gun in case I need it for self defense in the interim. I have light .38 loads for rabbits, small vermin, etc and when carrying purely for self defense, I stoke it with 125 grain JHPs, Winchester bullets over a healthy dose of 2400. I mostly range shoot with a 158 grain SWC in .38 brass over 5 grains unique or my wadcutter load.

Life is just too boring with only one load for a .357. I cast all my bullets out of range scrap. Cost per 50 round box is under $2.00 and with progressives, takes about 10 minutes to load once set up, so don't give me that "time is money" excuse for not handloading. Compared to a $15 box of puny factory .357 or Buffalo Bore sold in 20 round packs (I think) for more like a buck a shot, you must be a basketball star if your time is worth that much. :D

February 5, 2007, 07:59 PM
Note - most ammo is most likely high quality. You should try different brands with different grain loads. See what you are conforable with. Once you find it stick with it.:uhoh:

February 5, 2007, 11:42 PM
What was the movie where ballistics were measured in how many video tapes of Barbara Walters interviews that a given round would penetrate? Ha!

Revolver Ocelot
February 7, 2007, 07:15 PM
good point u2power, well I finally broke down and went with what I was trying to avoid by asking for recomondations and bought a box of everything I was looking at. Looks like I'm going to have my hands tied (or wrapped in bandages now) be cause I have about 1350 rounds to go through.

February 7, 2007, 07:50 PM
Wolf Gold Ammo .357 Magnum

158 grain bullet traveling at 1607 FPS according to the website.

February 7, 2007, 08:15 PM
Wolf Gold Ammo .357 Magnum

158 grain bullet traveling at 1607 FPS according to the website.


Fired out of what?? A rifle?

Looks like I'm going to have my hands tied (or wrapped in bandages now) be cause I have about 1350 rounds to go through.

Ah come on, a 357 doesnt recoil that much......unless its a Scandium snubby.

Revolver Ocelot
February 7, 2007, 08:37 PM
Ah come on, a 357 doesnt recoil that much......unless its a Scandium snubby. that all depends on how many rounds you plan on shooting in one session at the range.

February 7, 2007, 09:36 PM
Ditto on the 5 grains of Unique of the 158 Grain SWC (hardcast). Been my standard load for years.

February 7, 2007, 11:09 PM
The Wolf Gold ammo is made by Prvi Partizan. Some of Prvi Partizan ammo is HOT HOT HOT.

If you convert from Meters to Feet using an online tool..

7.62 mm Tokarev 85 Grain FMJ 1722 FPS
357 SIG FPJ 1541 FPS
357 Magnum SJHP 158 Grain 1607 FPS(Same as Wolf Gold)

And to top it all off...

.44 Magnum
180 Grain JHP 1804 FPS
240 Grain JHP 1541 FPS
300 Grain SJFP 1279 FPS

tasco 74
February 8, 2007, 05:42 PM
about the most powerful .357 mag loads i ever cared to shoot were 158 gr jsps over 16 grs. of 2400...... i don't know how fast they were going but i do know they were MOVING........................

February 8, 2007, 09:38 PM
Ammunition For The Self-Defense Firearm:

An interesting read overall, but you can skip down to the .357 section.

September 2, 2007, 07:42 AM
Wolf Gold Ammo .357 Magnum

158 grain bullet traveling at 1607 FPS according to the website.

Fired out of what?? A rifle?

PRVI lists the test barrel @ 254mm which converts to 10 inches. I would assume this is a vented barrel to simulate revolver conditions, but it does not say.

I shot some of these yesterday (Monarch label) and they were fairly impressive. I was using a Ruger GP100 with a 6 inch barrel.

September 3, 2007, 01:17 AM
WOW, a 7 Month old thread is back. Ummm.... why?

September 3, 2007, 08:41 AM
a 7 Month old thread is back. Ummm.... why?

Is there a statute of limitation on relavent information?

7 months ago I had not seen .357mag Monarch ammunition. Couple days ago I knew little if anything about it. This thread popped up when running a search on the subject. This being a forum I thought I would share my findings.

Do you have any useful input?

Would you like to see my hall pass? :neener:

September 3, 2007, 09:18 PM
I rather like the plain old 158 GR Lead semiwadcutter. Federal, Winchester, everybody used to load it, it was the original .357 magnum load. Currently, I'm using the Remington, its the only one I have found recently. May upset, may expand, but, will certainly penetrate enough to get the job done...on most anything. Not sure its the best load in crowded apartment complexes though.

Revolver Ocelot
September 5, 2007, 01:14 AM
wow I just did a search for a post I replied to and found thiis, I can't believe people are still replying, well thanks for your imput but I decided on double tap 7 months ago

September 6, 2007, 04:05 PM
georgia arms makes some 158 grain, full pressure, .357's that are not very wussy. mcole

September 6, 2007, 07:35 PM
I used to get caught up worrying about this kind of ammo and that in a handgun. Discussing it once with one of the old grizzlies at the range and being wiser than I,he offered the following advice; learn to shoot well. Shoot in the morning and at night. In the cold and the wind, left-handed and right-handed. Shoot standing, crouching and prone. Shoot from cover, move from position to position. Want to see how good a handgunner you are? Stay up all night and before you go to the range run two miles as quick as you can. Practice, practice, practice. When the pistol becomes of part of you, when you can shoot and hit on instinct....then worry about what kind of ammo you use. My very humble two cents.

September 7, 2007, 09:58 AM
atticus is correct; when you get to where you really don't use the guns sights and shoot by looking a the point where you want the impact; well, then, you will know that you can shoot. at that point in time, the caliber, bullet grain, powder charge, etc, becomes irrelevant. mcole

September 7, 2007, 07:36 PM
Get the 180 Grain running at 1400 fps. It can do it all.

September 8, 2007, 12:14 PM
Do you feel better now? I truly hope so...:p
I did have useful input but it was posted 7 months ago in post #7!! LOL

Revolver Ocelot,
DoubleTap is a good choice, as goos as Buffalo Bore but at half the price.
I've been carrying Winchester Silvertip in my 4" Magnum and Speer Gold dot Short Barrel ammo in my Snub Nose.

September 8, 2007, 01:49 PM
Does anyone have any real-world info on the 180 and 200gr hard cast Double Tap loads? I know the velocity, etc, but I was wondering if these things mushroom at all, and if so, what does it take to do it? The subject of a great woods load always comes up, but you would also want to choose based upon the 2 legged goblins that may angrily cross your path!

September 9, 2007, 07:32 PM
Do you feel better now? I truly hope so... I did have useful input but it was posted 7 months ago in post #7!!

Ummmm? :scrutiny: No? Your post #7 doesn't mention Monarch/Wolf Gold/PRVI .357mag, which is what I was talking/inquiring about. I think its fairly new which is why I brought it up.

Carry on.

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