Poll: What's in your .357 for defensive use?


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sidheshooter
March 2, 2009, 03:56 AM
Granted, I'm a bit of a newbie here, but it still seems to me that there have been a lot of questions about 38/357 ammo around here lately (including an interesting poll by novaDAK in a similar, but slightly different vein).

So then, in the interest of science, what is in your defensive .357 magnum revolvers currently? What factors contributed to your choice and, as well, what barrel length are we talking about?

TIA.

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tasco 74
March 2, 2009, 04:37 AM
i keep two speed loaders stuffed with federal 158 gr. jsp to use for defense.... the ammo i shoot at the range is my homecast 150 gr swcs from a fine old lyman mould with the proper grs. of bullseye................ same weight bullets in both .357 mag and .38 spl..........

LIFE IS SHORT.....

Oro
March 2, 2009, 04:39 AM
I voted the same as I did in this thread, on the same exact subject, posted a few hours ago:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=432017

Maybe merge them?

Deanimator
March 2, 2009, 10:27 AM
I use the .38 Special "FBI" load for self-defense in all of my .38 and .357 revolvers.

coach22
March 2, 2009, 11:08 AM
Ruger Speed Six Stainless 2 & 3/4 inch 357,
Pachmayr Compacs and loaded with
Buffalo Bore 158 38 +P's.
2 Safariland Speedloaders next to it
with Corbon 125 DPX 357's.

Seven For Sure
March 2, 2009, 11:25 AM
*other*
140 gr. Federal Barnes Expander @ 1,400

386PD or 3" 686+


I like the 158 gold dot too @ 1,250.

saemetric
March 2, 2009, 11:29 AM
I just realized I have 3 boxes of 180 grain Black Talon in my inventory. Any thoughts on this for a defensive load. Ought to really bark out of my 2 1/2" model 19.

stormspotter
March 2, 2009, 11:35 AM
Cast 158 gr. Keith SWC HP loaded over 6.5 gr. unique.

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
March 2, 2009, 11:44 AM
My choice isn't in your list.. Any given time 158gn Black Talons are loaded. Otherwise there could be a hand load of 140gn or 158gn Sierra JHC that's surely capable of messing up a perp's day.

-Steve

06
March 2, 2009, 11:46 AM
Eldorado "Starfires" have long been my favorite. wc

BlindJustice
March 2, 2009, 12:22 PM
Double Tap .38 SPecial +P
125 gr. Speer Gold Dot JHPs @ 1,175 FPS
in S&W 686+ or S&W 60 3" Bbl. both of course
chambered in .357 Mag.

With 125 gr. or 140 gr. Hornady XTPs
the muzzle blast and 2.5 foot muzzle flash
is a bit over the top in .357 Mag for HD.

These of course are not top of the list for
HD/SD as the 1911 in .45 ACP imho my choice
the S&W 625 is a close second

Randall

hinton03
March 2, 2009, 12:24 PM
In my Python.

125 Grain Federaal Hydra-Shok, as you said "that's why God invented the .357"

In my light weight 327 NG.

135 grain Speer GD short barrel .38 Spc +P

foghornl
March 2, 2009, 12:25 PM
I have the Speer 158-gr "Gold Dot" for my .357's

Fed 110-Gr "Personal Defense" NON +P for the .38Spl

Water-Man
March 2, 2009, 12:40 PM
Federal Classic Hi Shok 125gr. JHP 1440fps

ddc
March 2, 2009, 12:45 PM
.38+P Speer GD 135

thunder173
March 2, 2009, 01:49 PM
For HD,....I carry what the Michigan State Police and State Conservation Officer's carry in their issued BUG's,....Federal .38 +P Hydra-Shok JHP.......When afield,..I usually stoke it with 158 gr SJHP's........

NG VI
March 2, 2009, 03:04 PM
GA loaded 125 Gold Dots for my 4" Highway Patrolman and 6" 586. Also have 135+P .38 Gold Dot Short Barrel.

Texian
March 2, 2009, 03:30 PM
125 gr. in my 2.5"

jeff-10
March 2, 2009, 04:18 PM
158gr semi-jacketed hollowpoints from Black Hills. When I bought them from Midway the price was right and the reviews stated they were accurate and they expanded too rapidly for hunting so I figured they would be perfect for home defense. That was a few years ago when they were $18/50 :what:. I hate to see what they go for now. BTW, I use a 2.5 inch S&W 686P.

Andy W
March 2, 2009, 04:50 PM
158 gr JHP in a 4" 66 or a 3" 65.

aHFo3
March 2, 2009, 05:13 PM
I use 158 gr Gold Dots in my 2.5" 19

Dr.Rob
March 2, 2009, 05:23 PM
Remington 125 gr JSP's in my snubby, 158gr Hydrashocks in a full sized revolver.

abates226
March 2, 2009, 05:48 PM
I have a S&W M19-4 4in with a 586 barrel installed by the factory. This helps hold the muzzle down some, so I don't mind the full recoil as long as it's on a limited basis. Muzzle flash is low with this load compared to some others I've tested, and accuracy is good. I hear that statistically, there is no better fight-stopping combination (at least in a handgun). Of course, like most, I practice with a lot of .38spl and only shoot a handful of the magnums.

_N4Z_
March 2, 2009, 07:52 PM
I voted other.

For a long time I kept Remmy 158 sjhp's in the cylinder.

Those got bumped later for 158gr Monarchs (PRVI Partizan(Serbia)) because I liked the the large flat meplat. They are wider across than most SWC's, and they did nasty damage in my own personal testing.

But now that I load my own it's either Hornys 158gr XPT's or Speers158gr GD's, over 15gr. of Alliant 2400.

novaDAK
March 2, 2009, 08:10 PM
Even with the poll I started in my thread I'm still not sure which to stick with. For now though I'm still loaded up with 158gr XTP @ 1250fps. Figure I can't go wrong with a good full-power 158gr JHP by a reputable company :)

bullseye308
March 2, 2009, 08:26 PM
WInchester Silvertips in a stainless 6" GP-100.

It doesn't matter what you hit a BG with, it's a 357:what: Shot placement is everything no matter the caliber.

nachosgrande
March 2, 2009, 08:46 PM
Nobody mentioned the Remington Golden Saber. Anybody have any experience with them?

blindhari
March 2, 2009, 09:15 PM
125 grain jhp out of a Winchester trapper. 9 rounds of intruder alert trveling down a 16" barrel at maximum muzzle velocity. No intruder, no problem, intruder, still no problem.

blindhari

loneviking
March 2, 2009, 11:35 PM
The load depends on the gun. I'll usually load 158 gr. flat nose HP's in the big Colt, with handloaded 125 gr.s/8.0 gr. Unique in the speedloaders.

The Mod. 65/3" barrel gets 148 gr. .38 spcl. Silvertips, including speedloaders.

The Mod. 19 gets 148 gr. .357 Silvertips, with 158 gr. handloaded Speer HP's in the speedloaders.

sidheshooter
March 3, 2009, 12:56 AM
Even with the poll I started in my thread I'm still not sure which to stick with. For now though I'm still loaded up with 158gr XTP @ 1250fps. Figure I can't go wrong with a good full-power 158gr JHP by a reputable company

I think you're dead right.

That's the thing though, novaDAK, even with both threads going, it's still pretty open; lots of good options. I'm personally leaning towards 158 gr. GDHP loaded either by parent co speer, or buffalo bore's low-flash version of the same–although everything that I have read in the gunporn monthlies and been told in classes is "125 Federal or Remington."

Personally, I'm not really sure I want to be touching off FatMan, LittleBoy and 4 of their friends indoors, however...

It's interesting to see the 158 and 125 full meal deals running virtually neck and neck, with the saner +P .38 crowd bringing up the bronze; I thought there'd be more silvertip users.

Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of any of them.

Deputy25
March 3, 2009, 01:01 AM
My 19 and/or 66 are loaded with Federal or Remington 125 JHP .357 when they are on my belt for SD. The 125 IS why God invented the .357.

sidheshooter
March 3, 2009, 01:06 AM
Nobody mentioned the Remington Golden Saber. Anybody have any experience with them?

I had a couple of boxes that I settled on when I still had my taurus 605 "carry pack" (a 5-shot snubby factory customized with Jack Weigand's "tame the beast" sp101 package; action job, hybra-porting, bead blast, etc...).

That was a good load for that gun; definitely lighter than the 125 Federal–a load that made the taurus recoil downward, there was so much gas, flame and detritus coming out of the ports.

Golden saber 125 was easier to deal with.

Sold the gun (way too loud); never bought any more golden sabers-although I may try and find a box to shoot in my 65, now that it has come up again. Sort of spendy, like all the designer bullets, though.

FWIW.

pps
March 3, 2009, 01:24 AM
Other. 158gr sjhp Remington express. 1265 out of a 5" pipe.

BIGTAZ351
March 3, 2009, 02:08 AM
I'm sure all of them will get-r-done but, I personally like a 12ga with 3 1/2" BB at 50 feet or less they're Hamburger. My .357 is loaded with 158 XTPs and in the drawer.

Dragk913
March 3, 2009, 02:50 AM
So I have to ask, why are so many people using 158gr?
Take Buffalo Bore for example:

125 gr. JHC (1700 fps ME 802 ft lbs.)
&
158 gr. JHC (1475 fps ME 763 ft. lbs.)

I would think the 125gr would be a better choice..

Any insight would be appreciated!

loneviking
March 3, 2009, 02:58 AM
So I have to ask, why are so many people using 158gr?
Take Buffalo Bore for example:

125 gr. JHC (1700 fps ME 802 ft lbs.)
&
158 gr. JHC (1475 fps ME 763 ft. lbs.)

I would think the 125gr would be a better choice..

Any insight would be appreciated!

Couple of reasons. First, the 125 gr. slugs are hard on the K frames with the flat spot on the bottom of the forcing cone. The shorter slugs cause a 'jump' between the cylinder and the barrel, which causes wear on that flat spot which can cause it to crack. You can also get flame cutting from using those high velocity, shorter rounds that can also reduce the life of the gun.

Second, those heavier slugs, although they don't supposedly have as much energy, in real life do much greater damage from what I've seen.

pps
March 3, 2009, 03:14 AM
So I have to ask, why are so many people using 158gr?
Take Buffalo Bore for example:

125 gr. JHC (1700 fps ME 802 ft lbs.)
&
158 gr. JHC (1475 fps ME 763 ft. lbs.)

I would think the 125gr would be a better choice..

Any insight would be appreciated!

#1 158 hits to point of aim out to 25 yards on my fixed sight Ruger (the 125's a little lower)

#2 Don't discount momentum when it comes to penetration. Here are the common factory loadings.
Grains MV ME Momentum
125 1450 582 0.804125998225377
158 1250 547 0.876220053238687

Your Buffalo Bore loadings:
Grains MV ME Momentum
125 1700 801 0.942768411712511
158 1475 762 1.03393966282165

3. After providing medical care to inmates, I decided that I want to be able to his something vital even if I have to shoot a BG's heart by shooting through his arse to get there. Many would argue (quit validly I might add) that there is a risk of over penetration with the heavier round. I feel that since I own the rounds where I might miss the target, I'd be better served to make sure I dont have a bullet that might under penetrate. It would be a pity if the aim were spot on, only to have the bullet stop an inch short of the heart or spine if the BG needed to be stopped asafp.

4 It's the load I practice with (or an equivalent hand load) As such, there are no surprises in how the round feels, and where it hits.

Those are the reasons I choose what I choose.

hoptob
March 3, 2009, 09:38 AM
So I have to ask, why are so many people using 158gr?

Heavier bullets have an edge in shorter barrels. From 3" bbl. 158 gr. BB load has higher muzzle energy than 125 gr. load. Data from BB website:

Load......Bullet......Velocity......Energy.........PF
19C........158 gr......1398 fps......686 ft*lb.......221
19D........125 gr......1476 fps......605 ft*lb.......185

Mike

Dragk913
March 3, 2009, 04:33 PM
Ah. Well thanks for the replies, guys. I've always used 125gr. because I figured the higher general MV/ME was better (and because my dad always used 125gr:P).

I guess I will be reevaluating my loads.

Guitarslinger46
March 3, 2009, 11:17 PM
Yeh, I've thought of switching over to 158 gr. For now, my GP100 .357 stainless with the 4" barrel is loaded with 125 gr. Federal Hydra Shok. It's what I had handy at the time. 2 speed loaders also loaded with the same.

adorable_harree
March 4, 2009, 12:27 AM
145 gr. Silvertips. Just the right balance for my needs and my 681 seems to shoot it dead on than 158grs.

chupacabrah
March 4, 2009, 09:50 PM
Right now... I have my model 65 3" and all I have to load it with are some soft point 158gr .357s or some Hornady 158 gr .38 spl (std pressure).


Trying to decide if I want to order Buffalo Bore tactical/low flash .357 158 gr GDHP, or the .38spl +P LSWCHC.

Hard decision....

sidheshooter
March 4, 2009, 10:51 PM
I have a 3-inch 65 as well, and I'm going to order a box of each and see what I like best. I'd think either would work. I'm leaning towards the tactical 158GDHP (In part because of this thread, In part because I like 158 loads in general; may as well use *some* of that power) but I already know how remington's +P 158 gr LSWCHP shoots in my 65 already (quite well), so I'm sure the gas-checked BB version will be fine too.

DawgFvr
March 4, 2009, 10:54 PM
I prefer 125 grain Corbon DPX myself

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e61/DawgFvr/GP100/GP1005.jpg

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e61/DawgFvr/GP100/CORBON20DPX.jpg

sidheshooter
March 5, 2009, 12:19 AM
Tasty Ruger, Dawg... Gemini?

harrygunner
March 5, 2009, 12:36 AM
I took six different brands/weights of ammo to the range to see which worked best with my .357 Mag.

Winchester 145gr Silvertips and Buffalo Bore's 158gr ammo worked well in that gun. The Buffalo Bore ammo is impressive. :)

FM12
March 5, 2009, 01:26 AM
Handloaded .38 148 grain wadcutters. Might see about loading some 158 lead SWC, iff'n I can find some. I like them wadcutters. Low recoil, fast second shot, but smokey. The FBI's old LSWC was a hoss.

altitude_19
March 5, 2009, 08:08 AM
Gold Dot Short Barrel for my 340 M&P.

DawgFvr
March 5, 2009, 02:51 PM
Sidheshooter...yes sir...this was a special order from Marc.

Travis Bickle
March 5, 2009, 03:17 PM
No 3 for me. My .357 has a short barrel and the recoil with full-power loads is just too much. I'm ordering some of these 110 gr. rounds (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=227975) soon, and going to switch to them, as they're supposed to have the least recoil of any .357 load.

Marlin 45 carbine
March 5, 2009, 03:28 PM
125gr Golden Sabres over a stout load of Power Pistol. if the impact don't kill 'em the muzzle blast will!:eek:

golden
March 5, 2009, 04:55 PM
I carried the 110 grain hollow point in my duty gun.

It does not have the stopping power of the 125 grain load, but is quieter (you may be using it indoors), recoils a lot less (no worse than a +P .38 special in my experience), has less flash and is MUCH CHEAPER if you buy the WINCHESTER White Box load.

I also carried the 125 grain hollow point. It deserves it reputation for stopping power, but kicks hard, had a flash you could see on a summer day and was hard on S&W k-frame guns.

The heavier loads are for hunting and just add recoil and reduce effectiveness when compared to the 125 grain load.

My experience.

Jim

Travis Bickle
March 5, 2009, 05:05 PM
Nobody mentioned the Remington Golden Saber. Anybody have any experience with them?

Yes. That's what I have mine loaded with right now. I think they're one of the reduced loadings, because the recoil isn't as stiff as other 125 gr. .357s I've tried, but it's still pretty stiff (my carry piece has a 2 3/4 inch barrel.) I'm trying these (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=227975) just as soon as someone has them in stock. They're supposed to have the least recoil of any .357 Magnum load.

sidheshooter
March 5, 2009, 07:25 PM
Sidheshooter...yes sir...this was a special order from Marc.

Veeeery nice!

MCgunner
March 5, 2009, 07:52 PM
None of the above. 140 JHP Speer over 17 grains of 2400.

INMY01TA
March 5, 2009, 08:34 PM
Speer Gold Dots, 158 gr.

dwave
March 5, 2009, 08:37 PM
I voted other. I use 180gr. Hornady XTPs.

MR.G
March 5, 2009, 10:58 PM
Federal 125gr JHP in both the 2" and 4" .357.

VAReact
March 6, 2009, 12:10 AM
Gold Dot Short Barrel 38+P 135 gr JHP in a 2" SP-101 for HD. Will carry 158 gr loads outside of the house.

DawgFvr
March 6, 2009, 01:59 AM
Although I lose approximately 100 fps, I prefer the hot 125 grains. This Weigand porting reduces my muzzle flip by 75% and makes for quick, accurate follow up shots.

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e61/DawgFvr/GP100/GP1004.jpg

glockman19
March 6, 2009, 02:32 AM
130 grain Hydra Shok's

FM12
March 6, 2009, 10:10 AM
Dgfvr, ever get any blowback to your face or body with your set-up? Pretty awsome!

MCgunner
March 6, 2009, 10:14 AM
Dgfvr, ever get any blowback to your face or body with your set-up? Pretty awsome!

What? WHAZZAT? SPEAK UP, BOY! ROFL

I'll put up with the recoil, thanks. Keep that blast in front of me, not AT me. I've fired a few ported guns. I have ports on my .30-30 Contender, but then when hunting, I can take the muffs along for the shot. I'd look a little weird with muffs on in public, eh? I'm 56 and my ears still work fine. Now, I ain't gonna talk about the eyes, but the ears work.

novaDAK
March 6, 2009, 02:51 PM
Well now I'm loaded up with Rem 125gr SJHP in .357mag. I have 158gr XTPs in a strip as a reload.

Guitargod1985
March 7, 2009, 01:19 AM
I load my snubby with 158 grain .357 JHP's. I used to use Speer's 125 grain short barrel Gold Dot loading, but it and other lighter loads seem to shoot way low in my gun.

sidheshooter
March 7, 2009, 01:30 AM
Well now I'm loaded up with Rem 125gr SJHP in .357mag. I have 158gr XTPs in a strip as a reload.

Decided on a light n' fast load after all, yes? That Remington's the classic right there.

I'm sort of going the other way; I'm thinking Buffalo's GDHP 158...

Good info gleaned thus far, IMHO.

skoro
March 7, 2009, 08:14 PM
Mine's loaded with 158gr Buffalo Bore rounds.

Big Daddy Grim
March 7, 2009, 08:18 PM
I like them heavy usualy HP thow.

kmrcstintn
March 11, 2009, 02:11 AM
home: .38 spl +p (Remington 158gr lswchp or Winchester 125gr sjhp)

hunting camp: outdoors--.357 mag (Federal Castcore 180gr lfp, Blazer Brass 158gr jhp, Mastercast remanufactured 158gr lswc); indoors--.357 mag (Winchester 110gr sjhp)

fishdog52
March 11, 2009, 02:16 AM
38 125 gr Gold Dots

denfoote
March 11, 2009, 04:46 AM
Federal 158gr Hydroshoks here.

DawgFvr
March 13, 2009, 05:39 PM
MCgunner and FM12...reference MCgunner's below comment:

Quote:
Dgfvr, ever get any blowback to your face or body with your set-up? Pretty awsome!

What? WHAZZAT? SPEAK UP, BOY! ROFL

I'll put up with the recoil, thanks. Keep that blast in front of me, not AT me. I've fired a few ported guns. I have ports on my .30-30 Contender, but then when hunting, I can take the muffs along for the shot. I'd look a little weird with muffs on in public, eh? I'm 56 and my ears still work fine. Now, I ain't gonna talk about the eyes, but the ears work.

Sorry...haven't returned to this site for awhile...life is pretty busy at the moment and I have less time for internet weapon forums than in the past.

1st. I have never experienced this blow-back that you mention. I would not recommend placing any body parts above the ports...just as I would not recommend anybody putting any digits near the rear cylinders of any revolver when firing. Common sense...donchathink?

2nd. There is, absolutely no increase in decibels with weapon porting. It only seems/sounds louder because the noise becomes omni-directional rather than projected down range. Scientific fact trumps perception every time. As for you taking off your muffs when hunting...well, that is your choice and does not affect my weapons usage...now does it? I'm 57 and my ears work just fine...and my eyes do as well.

3rd...I dislike muzzle flip on hot rounds. Me...I like to fire my .357 fast and accurate and my ported Ruger works for me.

robsc
March 13, 2009, 05:52 PM
A .357magnum/158grain half jacketed flat nose bullet will drop an elephant at 100 yards. It will stop an attacker.

dsffsll
March 13, 2009, 09:03 PM
corbon dpx .38 special 110gr +p for my S&W 340pd.

novaDAK
March 14, 2009, 04:05 AM
Decided on a light n' fast load after all, yes? That Remington's the classic right there.


Decided on light and fast for about a week. Then got to the range and shot some (I haven't done so since last Nov.) Now I switched back to 147gr +P+ .38spl since it's much more controllable (allows me to place accurate shots faster). Have the .357 as a reload. For woods carry, I have my own 158gr SWC reloads using 14.4gr 2400.

Oh, and I picked the 147gr JHP because it should have better barrier penetration over the LSWCHP +P I normally keep in my S&W .38spl.

71Commander
March 14, 2009, 08:27 AM
125 Bwana kick booty. (125 Golden Saber W. 9.7 Longshot @ 1647 fps):)

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