Am I carrying an inadequite load???


September 22, 2003, 02:02 PM
Not sure if I spelled that right......
Any way,I'm reading the Ayoob Files in what ever magazine that's in and he has a story about a guy shooting a dirt bag.The shooter is using 38+p's and the guys doesn't do down but spins around,and eventually falls and dies
after like3 shots.Ayood makes a big deal about the fact that the guy was using 38's in a 357 magnum,and that if he used 357's he would've onlyhad to shoot once........
Got me thinking,should I carry 357's in my SP101,instead of the 38+p+ that I carry now........?
I KNOW I'll get better placement and follow ups w/ the 38's,but if all I need is one shot of 357...................:scrutiny:

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September 22, 2003, 02:14 PM
As with most things there is a trade off here. Is the .357 a more powerful round than a .38+P, absolutely, but along with that you typically get more blast and flash in addition to increased recoil and maybe a slower followup shot. It is up to you to decide which is more important and what you are willing to give up. In my 2 1/2" S&W 66 I carry Speer Gold Dot 125 grain .38+P rounds and I hope that in the unfortunate event that I need to use it I won't be saying to myself,"gee I wish I had .357's in it". :D

September 22, 2003, 02:28 PM
.357 much stouter....
But properly placed .38 beats a pair of .357 misses.

No guarentees.


September 22, 2003, 02:29 PM
Let me preface by saying I have never nor do I intend nor do I want to shoot anybody. Heck I don't even think I could drop the hammer on a deer and I love deer meet.

Ok that being said if you carry .357 because you KNOW it will only take one shot to stop said bad guy I have a feeling you are going to be really surprised when said bad guy doesn't fly back 10ft spin and drop stone dead.

Same with .45

or .44

or .....................

I mean you might get lucky and get a CNS shot or you might just be darn good but I have seen people get wounded in much more tramatic ways then gunshots, you know picket fence picket through the gut etc. kind of things and they are still able to function more or less for a bit.

The moral of the story is I like .45s, I don't expect to clip a guy in the shoulder and have him go down like a prom nigh......never mind.

I am not sure where I heard this but it sticks out in my head for some reason. If for some reason, God forbid, you are forced into using deadly force to defend yourself ........."Keep squeezin' till he stops wheezin'."


September 22, 2003, 02:34 PM
Ever heard any of those gun counter stories about how to increase the effectiveness of a load? Things like cutting an "X" in the tip of a FMJ, or wilder things like filling a hollowpoint with mercury and capping it with melted wax? I don't know if any of that stuff works, but they make for interesting conversation when you're all done lying about the 1" groups you shot at the range with your Charco Bulldog...

Well, don't tell anyone (especially the BATF) about this... but, there IS a way to DOUBLE the effectiveness of a particular round with one simple trick - ready? Shhhhhhh! Pull the trigger twice!

Don't let that get around! A nod's as good as a wink - wink, wink, nudge, nudge...

All silliness aside, I think people make way too much of loads and calibers and what-have-you for self defense. Sure, bigger and faster is better but there are lots of reasons people carry or use light handguns and loads. Concealability, for example... or affordability, physical limitations, muzzle flash, whatever. Anybody want to tell Granny her old .32 is no good and that she needs to plunk down a months worth of Social Security for a new Glock .40? Not me.

I'd tell Granny to put her sights on the target and to keep pulling the trigger until her assailant falls down. If seven rounds from her old PP don't do it, she was probably doomed from the start anyway.


September 22, 2003, 02:36 PM
Stick with what you are best shooting.

If you still want to move up to .357 mag, try checking out the Remington Golden Saber 125gr JHP. Unless they have changed the specs or discontinued this load, the last I recall is that it is a medium velocity load for the .357 Mag. I've shot it out of a Smith J frame .357 and it was still reasonably controllable.

Good Shooting

September 22, 2003, 02:39 PM
A good hit with with a small caliber beats a miss with a big caliber.

A good hit with a big caliber beats a good hit with a small caliber.

Small guns will "kill". However, if, when someone is trying to rip off your face with a broken bottle, you shoot them; they proceed to rip off your face with said broken bottle, then crawl off and die: You didn't win.
If, however, when shot he drops the bottle and ceases hostility, you WON. Even if the only treatment he needs is a bandaid and an aspirin.

So, shoot the biggest load you can control. And work toward controlling a bigger load tomorrow. Especially in handguns, there is no margin of error in terms of power.

September 22, 2003, 02:46 PM
We must have been reading the same Ayoob stuff since I was thinking the same thing. I have the 129 gr Federal Hydra Shok (or whatever it is). I think a story recently came out stating these are not as effective as the old 150 gr or so Federal FBI load.

When I bought my 1st home defense gun, the guy said "you don't need to be shooting .357's indoors". I think the flash and over penetration would be too great. That said I figure my "compromise" is 3 or 4 .38 +p and then a couple .357's - I figure if I get to my 4th shot I'm pretty much screwed anway.

September 22, 2003, 02:52 PM
"...Things like cutting an "X" in the tip of a FMJ, or wilder things like filling a hollowpoint with mercury and capping it with melted wax..." Nope. The 'X' does nothing and mercury melts lead.
"...keep pulling the trigger until her assailant falls down..." This and shooting whatever you shoot well is all you need worry about. No handgun round is a totally 100% sure one shot fight stopper anyway.

September 22, 2003, 03:14 PM
Why use a handgun for home defense in the first place? A $200 Mossberg will be far more effective.

See what I mean? We all acknowledge that a handgun is marginal for defense... then argue about what load to use in it?

A handgun is best used for defense outside the home. And that's where size and all those things that bend you to use lighter calibers/loads come into play. More is better, but if it doesn't fit in your jeans or (has so much recoil you can't effectively handle that second shot) then you might be better off with a smaller gun/load and the mindset to keep pulling the trigger until the danger is past. Maybe you can only afford one gun.

Everyone has to make these choices for themselves, based on how fat their wallet is; stature, strength, experience, etc. There are very few bad gun/load choices, only bad mindset.

I think what bothers me about these threads (and the famous "experts") is the sort of "in the box" thinking... Ayoob "thinks" that if the guy had used a .357, he'd have dropped the assailant with that first shot - well, maybe... Or maybe he wouldn't, or maybe the guy would have missed that first shot and not got the gun down from recoil before the assailant was on him. Maybe he'd have been batter off with a low recoil round. Maybe some other guy got killed because he didn't carry his gun at all, after reading Ayoob and buying a 4" .357 that he found difficult to comfortably conceal. What if....?

Use what you can comfortable carry, shoot and afford. If in doubt about its effectiveness (always assume a handgun is a marginal stopper, because it is...); train to shoot multiple times.


September 22, 2003, 03:20 PM
The 'X' does nothing and mercury melts lead.

The "theory" about the mercury is that you are now shooting a liquid lead bullet into your assailant... Talk about frangible!

Of course that's nuts - shooting such a thing is liable to leave a cloud of lead/mercury vapor in front of your face. Stupid gun ideas might make a good thread!


September 22, 2003, 03:23 PM
There is no sur e thing especially when the bad guy is high on drugs or alcohol . Shoot the most powerfull cartridge you can handle well. Shoot and continue to shoot until the assailant is no longer a threat. Bullet placement is the most important thing.

September 22, 2003, 03:29 PM
Yeah,I think I'll stick w/ the 38+P+'s....I will however start more practice w/ some 357's.....if I can get to where I can control the recoil and get double taps on a siloette,maybe I'll swich...thanks:cool:

September 22, 2003, 03:34 PM
Why use a handgun for home defense in the first place? A $200 Mossberg will be far more effective.
While I totally agree with this, I think for most people manuvering with a handgun is easier around corners and such.

Got me thinking,should I carry 357's in my SP101,instead of the 38+p+ that I carry now........?
Hows the trigger pull on the SP101? I have a GP161 and its very heavy.

September 22, 2003, 03:37 PM
Never heard of mercury in a HP before, but I've heard of a drop of grease. When a friend told me that, I thought it sounded silly, but couldn't think of a way to refute his claim that it would make it expand more.

September 22, 2003, 03:49 PM
Well, a bullet comes out of the barrel spinning. I doubt any liquid, whether grease or mercury, is going to go anywhere but into a cloud in front of your muzzle.


Hot brass
September 22, 2003, 08:10 PM
Shot placement more than caliber.

September 22, 2003, 08:31 PM
Ayood makes a big deal about the fact that the guy was using 38's in a 357 magnum,and that if he used 357's he would've only had to shoot once........ I find it hard to understand why Ayoob said that unless the reason that the .38 failed was inadequate penetration. If that's the case, find a round that penetrates better. Hot FMJ would do the trick. Of course, then you have the opposite problem, rounds going through the BG and hitting bystanders. There is no magic bullet.

There's a lot of true stories about LEOs who have shot assailants multiple times with .357s which did not drop them. I believe a few of the stories I've read from Ayoob himself.

Fly Navy
September 22, 2003, 08:35 PM
If US and German soldiers both survived hits from 8mm and .30-06, respectively, and some continued to fight effectively, what makes you think a handgun round will stop someone in their tracks? Shot placement.

September 22, 2003, 10:27 PM
This whole topic reminds me of the salesmen in a gunshop I frequent... not the brightest, but I like the guys, darnit!

One guy tried to sell me on 9mm over all else, based wholly on the Magsafe-Strasbourg-Goat-Test data...

I overheard another one pitching a Glock to a neophyte because "It's got such natural pointability, even in the dark, even if you can't see what you're shooting at, you'll still hit it..."

I failed to ask "What if you just shot the cop who chased the burglar away from your window...?" :eek:

September 23, 2003, 03:53 AM
Rules of Gun fighting

By Grog GunBanger

1. Have a gun. (Doesn’t matter what kind, because even a broken or empty one can still stop a bad guy if used correctly, throw it, pistol whip etc...)

2. Have ammo for gun (any ammo is better than no ammo)

3. Have a Bad Guy. (It wouldn't be gun fighting if there is no bad guy "insert proper description")

4. Must have a life threatening danger from the Bad Guy (because if the Bad Guy isn't dangerous then you don't need a gun you just whoop is A$$ the old fashion way)

5. Fight Bad Guy with gun the best way you know how or have been taught till the bad guy stops being bad.

Lot of moving parts in these rules so learn them, live them, love them

Cheap .02


Ala Dan
September 23, 2003, 04:18 AM
Let me say this about that; I feel very confident with
the .38 Special +P loads that I carry in my old model
Smith & Wesson model 60. And those are Federal's
129 grain JHP "Hydra-Shok's".

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 23, 2003, 08:07 AM

M. Ayoob also wrote in the "Files" of a female police officer who took a .357 round in her heart, stayed in the fight, returned fire, killed her attacker, and lived with the help of emergency medical treatment.

Now, which of his stories do you want to follow. The one where 3 .38cal +P rounds were effective, or the one where 1 .357cal round was not?

Life is full of choices.


September 23, 2003, 08:43 AM
DanDean:I got some trigger work done on my sp....I have bad arthritis in my hands and the original pull was way too heavy.Also with a ton of dry firing the Ruger action gets smoother and lighter.
I also got the sharp edges on the trigger smoothed out.....if I ever figure it out I'll post pix..:D

September 23, 2003, 09:09 AM
I don't care whether your caliber is .22 or 20mm. Shoot at whatever part of the threat offers the best target, shoot until the threat stops, and carry enough ammo to get out of the situation alive. Period.

4v50 Gary
September 23, 2003, 12:01 PM
Better a hit with a 22 LR than a miss with a 44 magnum. Carry what you can use proficiently and never mind the gunrag writers. It's what works best for you and remember, no single handgun bullet is guarenteed to stop an assailant 100% of the time.

Zeke Menuar
September 23, 2003, 02:56 PM
Back when I carried a snubbie. I came to the conclusion that all the muzzle flash, noise and recoil that was generated by 357 mag wasn't worth it. Follow up shots in 357 Mag were also slower. I went with 158gr+P Nyclads in 38 Special. I also learned that mastering a snubbie took a lot of time and practice. Practice, practice and more practice, and then when you are done practicing, practice some more.


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