Best personal defense ammo for SP101 and GP100???


April 24, 2007, 02:18 AM
Wow - just noticed that I have been lurking all this time as a member and never posted!

I have been doing some digging lately and looking at ballistics for what I can load into my two pistols. Much appreciate some feedback here, as I am still somewhat new to the pistol arena...

GP 100 4" - I carry this on my side when camping or in the woods (most likely adversary would be bear, cougar, etc.), and such would like to load it with a very potent round offering good penetration when not plinking. I have decided the following is my best bet, it claims incredible ballistics and the price seems to be right in my range. What do you think?

Sp101 2 1/4" - This is my every day carry piece (an attacker is the most likely target here) and I have been carrying the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 158 grain .357 mag but after taking a deeper look into the ballistics specs need to find something with a bit more punch. I don't know if the short barrel will be able to fully utilize the added powder charge of the double tap ammo? Would I be better off just upgrading to the standard Speer Gold Dot 158 grain .357 magnum? Is there anything out there that will provide the same punch but at a better price?

Thanks in advance for the feedback!

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April 24, 2007, 09:18 AM
Don't get too hung up on paper ballistics. Bullets and guns can't read.

The SP101 is factory sighted for 158gr bullets. If I use anything else in my SP101, it shoots high, low, or anywhere but the POA.

The GP100 is a lot easier to feed due to the adjustable sights.

Find a load for each gun that you can control well and use it. Lead on target is the most critical thing. The SP101 will be the more challenging piece to feed.

April 24, 2007, 10:03 AM
GP 100 4" - I carry this on my side when camping or in the woods (most likely adversary would be bear, cougar, etc.)
Odds are, you're more likely to run into a two-legged adversary - perhaps several at once - even in the woods. That doesn't mean you should not be prepared for the four-legged kind of course; just make sure you include them all.

April 24, 2007, 10:08 AM
I carry the Winchester 145gr Silvertips in my SP's and Federal 180gr. JHP's in my GP.


April 24, 2007, 10:33 AM
I use the 158gr Speer GDHP short barrel in my 2 1/4" SP101 also...Enough punch to stop anyone or anything I'm likely to run into (except a ticked-off bear).
I use 158gr Federal Hydra-Shok in my Security-Six.

April 24, 2007, 10:34 AM
Check out the recent ballistic write up on the 158 gr GDHP. Should do well in your SP. As for feild use in the GP100, I think a 180 gr hard cast loaded to about 1200-1300 should do about all you can expect from a .357 mag. Although I have frequently carried 158 gr XTP's loaded under a pretty stout charge of 2400. I feel very confident this load will be plenty for my needs up in the higher country.

April 24, 2007, 11:49 AM
I pirated the below info from another post:

All of these tests were done using 10% ballistic gelatin provided by Vyse gelatin using all FBI protocols and 4 layers of denim and two layers of light cotton T-shirt in front of the gelatin.

DoubleTap .357 Magnum
125gr. Gold Dot JHP @ 1600fps - 12.75" / .69"
158gr. Gold Dot JHP @ 1400fps - 19.0" / .56"

As far as the SP101 goes I would like to stick with the intended bullet weight (158 gr as stated above) - and from the specs provided for the double tap, their 158 gr is going to have pretty excessive penetration for my regular carry piece. I want something that will expend all of it's energy with a quickness, and not punch straight through my intended target - thus the standard Speer GD 158 gr .357 mag rounds seem like the way to go at 1235 fps.

For the GP100 I agree that I have more room to play considering the larger frame and adjustable sights - double taps will be the first experiment, possibly followed by others depending on performance.

Thanks for the feedback everybody!!!

April 24, 2007, 03:46 PM
Just for closure...

Well, went ahead and ordered a couple hundred rounds of the double tap ammo - can't wait to see what they feel like this weekend!

For the SP101 2" -

For the GP100 4" -

April 24, 2007, 04:21 PM
I just got my sp101 and have only tried a few loads in it so far.
it really seems to like these.
158 gr silhouette my cast

I have them right at 950 fps with w231 in starline brass with a win sp primer.they shoot pretty much poa and group well.
the factory pmc 158 gr also shot well and a pretty good flame with the 3" barrel:) .
next time out I am going to try my snake shot loads with the speer capsules w/#8 shot.we have lots of snakes out at my lease.

April 24, 2007, 07:06 PM
when you guys say that a round will not shoot to point of aim because the bullet is too light in the SP101, just how far off do you mean?

In my 3" SP101, i shoot better with 158gr. no doubt. But I've shot everything from 110gr, 130gr, 147 gr, and 158's. The lighter ones don't group quite as well, but at 7 yards (enough to cover something like 97% of all shootings) there's only about a 1.5-2 inch difference in the groups. For target shooting, it can make a difference. But for SD when you are yanking a DA trigger rapid fire, under stress, at close in range, with adrenaline pumping like crazy, do you really think the accuracy difference is going to matter one bit?
I am a decent shot, and confident that I can hit my target, but realisitcally, I will not be shooting "through the X" when all hell is breaking loose. Jerry Miculek is that good. I am not.
I load mine with 135gr SBGDHP. For as good of a shot as I will be under the circumstances, that load has the velocity, expansion, low recoil, and engery that I like. The 1.5" difference in grouping under target shooting conditions at the range will not come into play.

April 24, 2007, 07:33 PM
My daily CCW SP101 is loaded with Buffalo Bore .357 Magnum 158gr JHP.
It shoots to POA and uses the Gold Dot bullet.
It's moderately "hot", but manageable.

As a practice round, I use the Double Tap .357 Magnum 158gr cartridge. Slightly downloaded from the Buffalo Bore (and accordingly hits slightly lower), but pretty close.

April 24, 2007, 08:32 PM
Let us know your results! :) I usually use 125-grain Federals in my SP101 snubbies as well as my 4" Speed Six and GP100s for the sake of simplicity, but have wanted to try other stuff in the snubbies with an eye to the possibility of that chance long-range shot being needed. Sometimes, when fresh Federals are hard to find, I substitute locally plentiful 145-grain Winchester Silvertips in the snubbies. I recently acquired two boxes of Buffalo Bore 125s, not enough to thoroughly test in all my .357s, but enough to gain an impression with a couple of them. I also want to try various weights of Gold Dots during my summer vacation in a couple of months. In the humble opinion of this old street cop, the combination of snubby SP101 and 4"+ GP100 is as good as it gets for general purpose utility/carry guns, except for specialized circumstances, of course. I have smaller and larger weapons, but they never seem to see much use, and I carry daily. (The exception is the mandated .40 autoloader while in uniform; mine being a SIG P229, and revolvers serve as back-up while on the job.)

April 24, 2007, 09:02 PM
my 3" SP101: Federal Nyclad lswchp 158gr .38 spl +p for home; Winchester WWB Personal Defense sjhp 110 gr .357 mag for car; Winchester Silvertip 145 gr .357 mag for camp/short woods trips; CCI Blazer Brass jhp 158 gr .357 mag for intermediate woods trips; Magtech sjsp 158 gr .357 mag for deep woods trips

my 6" GP100: Federal Nyclad lswchp 158 gr .38 spl +p for home; Winchester WWB Personal Defense sjhp 110 gr .357 mag as reload for home; Winchester Silvertip 145 gr .357 mag for camp; Magtech sjsp 158 gr .357 mag for deer hunting

April 25, 2007, 03:19 AM
Buffalo Bore or DoubleTap, unless you might use it indoors. They are LOUD!

April 25, 2007, 04:13 AM
Two thinks.....

First thing: For the GP100 outdoors against animals you should be shooting DoubleTap 180 gr Hard Cast bullets, not 158 gr Hollow Points.

Second thing: Speer doesn't make a 158 gr Gold Dot Short Barrel round in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum. The Short Barrel rounds in those two calibers are both 135 gr GDHP.

April 25, 2007, 09:59 AM
For the GP100 - correct, hard cast 180gr is what I ordered...

Correct on the short barrel also, my mistake. When I first picked up the SPeer ammo I didn't realize that I picked up the short barrel flavor and not the full power stuff - it's still not stuck in my head...

April 25, 2007, 02:23 PM
I was confused about your choice of ammo for the GP100 because your link was to the 158 gr Gold Dot round.

Also, there is nothing wrong with Speer's Gold Dot Short Barrel .357 Mag ammo. It is a little lighter than most .357 Mag rounds but it is probably better in a small revolver because you will probably be able to make a follow up shot easier if necessary. Even though it's lighter it's still more stout than .38 Special rounds. (I have the 135 gr Gold Dot Short Barrel stuff loaded in my 2.75" Ruger Police Service-Six)

Don’t get too hung up on ammo choice. For the most part the big name company’s SD ammo will do the job. Make sure you practice so that shot placement is optimal and you will be fine. Even though FMJ ammo isn't recommended for SD, one FMJ round in a vital organ will stop a BG faster than several limb hits with JHP ammo.

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