357 2 inch barrels


September 1, 2008, 03:17 AM
Just curious about owners or shooters of their experiences with 357 magnums with 2inch barrels and also i am certain you mainly shoot with 38 ammo,when its at home or on you and in gear for SD do you load with 357 or still 38?

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September 1, 2008, 03:26 AM
I shoot mostly 357's out of my 2" Ruger SP101. It has a rubber Hogue grip.

September 1, 2008, 09:29 AM
No, I shoot 125 grain .357 maggies out of my S&W 640. R-P Golden Saber, to be specific.

September 1, 2008, 09:50 AM
Federal Hydra-Shok

158gr .357
124gr .38+p
147gr 9mm+p

September 1, 2008, 07:33 PM
Heavier bullets loose less punch out of the short barrels. I've tested this with a chronograph and my handloads. The 125 grainer really suffers out of a short barrel, all flash bang with magnum appropriate powders. Moving from the 125 full power load to the 140 grain JHP Speer bullet at full power, brought me up from about 450 ft lbs to 550, a full 100 ft lbs increase. You can reduce the flash bang of the 125 grainer by using faster burning powder, but your not going to get it up over 500 ft lbs very easily. So, when I had a 2.25" SP101, I carried the 140 Speer load. Besides, it was far more accurate. I carry that load in my 3" Taurus 66, too. I get plenty of expansion on live hogs with it, so I'm pretty happy with it as a carry load.

I have a .38 for home defense duty and often carry it, actually. In .357s I carry .357s, but a .38 does home defense duty.

September 1, 2008, 07:42 PM
MCgunner - thanks for the data. What powder were you using?


Pat Cannon
September 1, 2008, 08:10 PM
Somebody just asked roughly the same question over on Rugerforum.com (http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=33752); this is pretty much a cross-post of my response there: I carry a 2 1/4" SP101, it's a great little gun. I did go out and buy the soft rubber Hogue Monogrip the day after I first shot full-house Magnum ammo out of it -- call me a wuss, I'm OK with it.

My favorite carry ammo so far is Double Tap 125 gr Gold Dots. From their web site (http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_27&products_id=48):
357 Magnum 125gr. Speer Gold Dot

This loading makes the .357 Magnum perform like it should!
Velocity is from a 4" bbl and there is virtually no muzzle flash.
For those of you who prefer a wheelgun, this might be the most
effective loading available for defense.

Velocity: 1600fps / 4" Ruger GP-100
1425fps / 1 7/8" S&W
1750fps / 6"bbl S&W 686

The red hilighting is mine. If this rather amazing number is true, and we interpolate between 1 7/8" and 4", a 2 1/4" barrel will give you about 1465 fps. That's acceptably awesome from a snubby, I think. And yet it does indeed have noticeably less muzzle flash than a Remington 125 gr SJHP.

September 1, 2008, 09:41 PM
Wow! That is indeed impressive. Any data on penetration and bullet expansion?


September 1, 2008, 09:53 PM
MCgunner - thanks for the data. What powder were you using?

Here's data.

2.25" SP101

125 grain JHP/18.0 grains 2400......1102 fps/337 ft lbs
140 grain JHP/17.0 grains 2400......1332 fps/551 ft lbs
158 grain SWC/14.5 grains 2400.....1162 fps/426 ft lbs mildish load
180 grain XTP/JHP/13.8 grains AA#9....1306 fps/662 ft lbs

Now, that 125 grainer heats up to just over 450 ft lbs in a 3" barrel and pushes 600 in a 4" gun. I got a little confused in my previous post, only 337 ft lbs in the 2" Ruger, but the flash/bang could kill a man, LOL. It seems to be most affected by barrel length. A faster powder like Blue Dot is probably warranted in the short barrel. 2400 is too slow for the light bullets in the short barrels. For comparison, the 180 grain load out of a 6.5" Blackhawk pushes 1402 fps/785 ft lbs, not as big a boost from the much longer barrel. Of course, I'm using AA#9 in that load, but it's a slow powder. I think the bullet is just able to utilize the pressure better being as it spends more time in the barrel. The 125 grainer just accelerates too quick and is outside the barrel before pressure peaks.

Here's my standard 158 grain SWC/14.5 grain 2400 in different barrel lengths.

2.3" SP101...........1162 fps/426 ft lbs
3" Taurus M66......1198 fps/504 ft lbs
4" Taurus M66.......1324 fps/614 ft lbs
6.5" Blackhawk......1470 fps/760 ft lbs

The 140 Speer is pretty hot and it's so accurate, it was my choice. I could have messed around with faster powders and the 125 grainer, but I really don't like 125 grain loads anyway, hard on the gun and the 140 works REAL well on 100 lbish hogs, leaves a nasty exit wound.

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