An interesting ammo test: Doubletap 125gr 357 full house


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Jim March
April 26, 2007, 02:11 AM
Doubletap's 125gr Gold Dot can be had loaded to about as fast as commercial 357s go. I have no doubt at least some Buffbore loads are as hot, but I doubt they exceed the Doubletaps by much in the raw horsepower field.

I was invited to shoot today in an informal (legal) range out in the desert. The people living nearby own (among other wild toys) a bowling ball cannon. So about 20 yards downrange was a slightly dinged-up bowling ball.

My first shot split it in half and send pieces of the middle (which appeared to be some sort of synthetic sandstone?) were spit out as far as 5 feet behind me.

The gun? My 4.68" New Vaquero.

My local guide and host was astonished at the power demonstrated. He said that he'd never seen such explosive results on a bowling ball with a handgun...rifle, yeah.

Said host also let me dump a whole mag out of a full-auto AK47 :). Fun once, but not something I'm all that interested in. Relatively controllable though with a Romanian-style forward pistol grip.

---

The circumstances, or where this was...can't say :). Sorry. There'll be a wild tale come out of it...I'm kinda having an adventure right now...

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denfoote
April 26, 2007, 03:07 AM
I might have to get a box!!

Jim March
April 26, 2007, 04:34 AM
Doubletap claims 1,600fps (710ft/lbs) from a 4" barrel Ruger GP100 with this load:

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_27&products_id=48&osCsid=6a89f1933911567019c7eafeafaa204f

Buffalo Bore's equivelent load is apparantly identical in power level, if we assume that a 4" barrel late model S&W ("mountain gun") shoots about as fast as a 4" Ruger. Which I believe to be the case - older model S&Ws shoot slower than newer S&Ws and Rugers.

Tim Sundles at Buffbore also tested his 125gr full house load in a 6" barrel GP100, and got 1707. If we assume 50fps per inch of barrel, an old rule of thumb, a 4" Ruger should pull 1,600 same as Doubletap.

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357

So it should be pretty damn similar :).

One other thing: the first time I shot some of this in this same New Vaq, it was much more difficult to control, and more painful. What I've done is, I've smoothed the factory grip checkering in the bottom 1/3rd or so of the grip panels and rounded the bottoms of each panel for more comfortable pinkie-under holds. That allows the pinkie to get involved big in recoil control without getting hurt - the bottom of the grip frame slides past the pinkie without "hanging up" on the beveled panel corners or checkering. Made a big difference - this session there was just no pain shooting the gun with this same load.

This trick is mainly for pinkie-under SA shooters.

SAWBONES
April 26, 2007, 04:07 PM
Dunno about 125gr, but Buffalo Bore's 158gr .357 Magnum load is DEFINITELY hotter than Double Tap's 158gr .357 load.
I've shot a fair amount of both loads, and though I haven't got a chronograph, the Buffalo Bore load definitely has more felt recoil.

ArchAngelCD
April 26, 2007, 05:30 PM
Since DoubleTap are right around the same performance of Buffalo Bore I would buy the DT since they are less than half the price of BB. A 20 round box of BB is $21.99 and a 50 round box of DT is $24.95 in .357 Magnum. No brainer??

SAWBONES
April 26, 2007, 09:26 PM
"Since DoubleTap are right around the same performance of Buffalo Bore I would buy the DT since they are more than half the price of BB."

I guess you mean less than half the price of Buffalo Bore, or thereabouts. I use the DT for practice and the BB for carry.

SaxonPig
April 27, 2007, 05:13 PM
A 125@1600 from a 4" barrel is hot. My top load pushes a 125 to 1525 clocked from a 5" M27 and people tell me that's too warm. Seems to be fine in my guns including a 1970 M19 (although I haven't a lot of this ammo through this gun).

I think current factory 125s run around 1250 and that's down from the 1450 they were loaded to in the 1970s and 1980s.

Geister
April 27, 2007, 05:53 PM
I'm curious as to what kind of powder DT is using for their .357 loads.

Soybomb
April 27, 2007, 07:11 PM
I'm curious as to what kind of powder DT is using for their .357 loads.
I believe everything I've seen is that they have a custom powder.

Hutch
April 29, 2007, 11:40 AM
Reckon what that would exit the muzzle of my 10" Contender barrel at? I have some old red/white/black boxes of Federal 125 (357B) ammo that were ~ 1600 from my 6" M28, and ~ 2000, you read it right, two thousand feet per second from my Contender.

Jim March
April 29, 2007, 06:40 PM
Better yet: think "levergun". Holy crap.

Yeah. My first rifle is gonna be a Marlin 357 lever, for sure.

defiant73a
April 29, 2007, 08:00 PM
Dunno about 125gr, but Buffalo Bore's 158gr .357 Magnum load is DEFINITELY hotter than Double Tap's 158gr .357 load.
Yep, I noticed that. I figure Mike doesn't want his .357 Magnum load topping his 155/165-grain 10mm load (like Buffalo Bore's do) because the 10mm are pretty much his "bread and better." It's a real touchy point with some 10mm shooters (a lot of whom are big DT fans) that the .357 Magnum easily matches their top loads.

roscoe
April 30, 2007, 01:43 AM
I hope that is not true. Why do the 10mm fans care what the .357 can do? The .357 has a longer case, fer cryin out loud!

(added later) I just compared their respecive data sets. There is an slight advantage to Buffalo Bore for the 158 grain loads. Interestingly, Buffalo Bore uses a 4" Mountain gun and a 5" model 27 for their tests, and the 4" barel is faster. Weird. Maybe DoubleTap is just rounding down.

Jim March
April 30, 2007, 02:24 AM
>>Interestingly, Buffalo Bore uses a 4" Mountain gun and a 5" model 27 for their tests, and the 4" barel is faster. Weird.<<

Not weird. It's a consistent pattern no matter which ammo vendor we're talking about.

Newer S&W barrels shoot faster than old. It's a difference in the rifling pattern.

Rugers, esp. the SP101, GP100 and the other DAs, tend to shoot fast like the newer S&Ws...sometimes a hair faster than late-model S&Ws but it's more often a wash.

I haven't seen enough data on Ruger SAs to know for sure where they're at. I strongly suspect they'll match newer S&Ws and Ruger DAs. The moment I can afford a chrony I'll report on my 4.68" Ruger New Vaq in 357.

sm
April 30, 2007, 02:55 AM
Jim,

Great posts chocked full of great information. Thank you!

Although the bowling ball cannon is not getting enough band-with...*grin*

Steve

Vitamin G
April 30, 2007, 12:35 PM
Oh come on now, why compare .357 magnum to 10mm. Its not even a far comparison.

if you want a FAIR comparison, compare the 38special to 10mm, and the .357 magnum to the 10mm magnum :neener:

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