opinions on home defense loads for a .357 mag revolver


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kmrcstintn
August 2, 2009, 06:22 PM
I'm not a troll and I am NOT trying to start a caliber war...I am seeking good and honest opinions (as well as info to research);

the gun(s) for discussion are: Ruger GP100 w/ 4" barrel and/or Ruger GP100 w/ 6" barrel (own both and want to rotate them)

the hollowpoint loads for discussion are: Winchester WWB Personal Defense 125gr semijacketed hollowpoint .38 spl +p, Remington UMC 125gr semijacketed hollowpoint .38 spl +p, Remington 158gr lead semiwadcutter hollowpoint .38 spl +p, and Winchester WWB 110gr semijacketed hollowpoint .357 mag

basically, all loads have been fired through both guns and are good for reliability and accuracy; please comment

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Nematocyst
August 2, 2009, 06:24 PM
... and I am trying to start a caliber war ...I suspect you meant "not trying to start a caliber war", right?

[Error corrected: You're welcome. :) ]

zxcvbob
August 2, 2009, 06:36 PM
I vote for the 158 grain SWCHP's. In fact, that's what I have in mine (handloads instead of Remingtons, but that's a different discussion)

kludge
August 2, 2009, 06:38 PM
Of the ones you listed... Remington 158gr lead semiwadcutter hollowpoint .38 spl +p

Just wondering why your limiting yourself to those loads and not looking a some of the premuim self defense cartidges available?

Deus Machina
August 2, 2009, 06:39 PM
They all seem fine to me.

I'd suggest the 6" gun, but that's a nonpoint.

The 110-grainers will probably be more punishing on both ends, because they're the only true .357 in the lineup.

But if you control any of the +P's better, go for those. All of these will do the job, just pick the ones that you can shoot best.

Edit: that said, unless you shoot another one better, another vote for the 158's.

kmrcstintn
August 2, 2009, 10:25 PM
1) grammatical error corrected -- thanks for the alert

2) ammo choices...why no premium stuff -- a lot of local shops are putting limits on stuff and only having access to 1 or 2 boxes at most has everyone hoarding, hence leaving the older style stuff and grabbing the premium stuff & I like getting 50 rounds per box with the limits that are in place; I get access to stuff easier at walmart when I find it in stock...and they stock the older style hollowpoints loads

3) thank y'all so far

Z-Michigan
August 2, 2009, 11:12 PM
They're all fine.

I would suggest you use the 4" gun as your home defense gun. The 6" GP100 (I have one) is so heavy that it's hard to hold on target for long, which would be really bad if you were holding a bad guy waiting for police to arrive. Anyone who doesn't believe me, go to the range and try it.

Why not true .357 mag loads? Even the 110gr listed is a light load. I personally would use 125gr JHP .357 magnum loads, probably either Speer or Golden Sabre. The .38 loads you list are fine, but make me assume you're fairly recoil sensitive. Is that correct? (Not criticism, just asking.)

flrfh213
August 2, 2009, 11:19 PM
at this point in time my snub nose SS Rossi has 158 grain JHP gold dot in .357 from georgia-arms.com and have run hundreds if this size thru at the range. and thiusands of .38 fmj for what its worth...

Logos
August 2, 2009, 11:56 PM
Most usually seem to favor the 125 grain hollowpoints.

Guess they've gotten good reviews before.

wnycollector
August 3, 2009, 06:27 AM
Another vote for the remi 158gr LSWCHP. It has been stopping bad guys for 50+years, no reason to believe it wont do the job for you today.

md7
August 3, 2009, 02:44 PM
with the choices given, i would select the 158 gr LSWCHP. they should be plenty good for HD.

i would be confident with those as an HD load, but my preference is for 125gr jhp .357 magnum ammo from a reputable manufacturer. (Speer, Federal, remington golden sabre etc.)

Gryffydd
August 3, 2009, 02:48 PM
Another vote for the remi 158gr LSWCHP. It has been stopping bad guys for 50+years, no reason to believe it wont do the job for you today.
+1
I'd avoid the 125 and 110 grain rounds for this use. They'll be much louder and have a much larger muzzle flash, neither of which you particularly want in that context.

trickyasafox
August 3, 2009, 05:36 PM
158gr LSWCHP

this is a home defense gun, at the ranges your talking- I think (Just my opinion here) that the added benefits of going with a full 357 magnum round are far outweighed by your potential for over penetration and your significant loss of hearing when touching off a hot 357 load in an enclosed space.

I have a box of Federal 158gr LSWCHP that I keep loaded up for my carry gun and bed stand gun. I'm sure Winchester or Remington 's equivalent loads are more than comparable and adequate for this purpose.

I too would go with the 4 inch gun. the 6inch is a great hunting and range gun, but for me, 4 inch revolvers have always felt far more handy for practical applications.

orionengnr
August 3, 2009, 08:13 PM
Why not true .357 mag loads?
Noise and muzzle flash, for starters.
Another vote for the 158.

andre73
August 3, 2009, 08:21 PM
We tested some of the rounds in question...

Winchester White Box 125 +P - .38 Spl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4d8T-9T1Js)

Remingon UMC 125 +P - .38 Spl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=errNDvwyiAk)

Winchester White Box 110 - .357 Mag (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCtY2nQfhC8)


And while we did not have the remington version of the 158 LSWHP design, we did test the federal version...

Federal 158 LSWHP +P - .38 Spl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kCc44UuLoo)

These are the AT2 versions of our tests that went through denim, we also tested all these rounds straight into water with no demim (search for the AT1 version)

Hope it helps! :):):)

Andre'

Oyeboten
August 3, 2009, 08:40 PM
Will older Model 10 S&Ws handle the Federal or similar 158 grn LSWHP+P?

Bishop.357
August 4, 2009, 06:34 AM
I whould recommend tryin' out CorBon 125gr .357 magnum DPX rounds before you settle on one of the others. For magnum rounds they are suprizinly' easy to handle,they blossum extreamly well so over-penitration is less of a concern. Although they are magnum rounds, the slug itself has no lead core(its compleatly copper)and with the slow burnin'powder that was created just for this round the bullet has a higher velocity then average and is far more likely to expand properly then other hollow points.Also for being a magnum round I've found them to have less kick then other ammo of the same grain,so fallow-up shots are easier. I myself carry an S&W 640 as a back-up gun and I've found that the CorBon .357 DPX loads are more affective then some 110gr loads + more accurate,and thats outta a 2 1/8" barrel!
Little tip for firing magnum loads in the dark,keep one eye closed;that way you can be more accurate with fallow up shots and not have to worry about spots in yer vision.

earlthegoat2
August 4, 2009, 08:29 AM
Will older Model 10 S&Ws handle the Federal or similar 158 grn LSWHP+P?

You bet

Id go with the LSWCHP +Ps as well.

gwnorth
August 4, 2009, 08:35 AM
For a HD round in my 4" GP-100, I load Winchester 125gr Silvertip .38spl+p. I've always like the silvertip JHPs (use them in .45acp too) but think the .357s are not suitable for indoor HD as the .38spls. 145gr Silvetip .357 has a huge muzzle flash for one thing.

razorback2003
August 4, 2009, 11:02 AM
Have you looked at the Winchester SXT 130 grain +P 38 Special load and also the Speer Gold Dot 135 +P 38 Special load? Both were designed for snubbies and the Speer was specifically tailored for the NYPD. They have gotten good results out of the Speer load in both 2 and 4 inch revolvers. If it shoots well in a snub nosed revolver, I would imagine it should be great in a longer barreled gun. You might want to check these two loads out. I use the Winchester SXT 130 grain +P 38 Special load in my 642 snub Airweight that i carry.

skoro
August 4, 2009, 11:16 AM
Remington 158gr lead semiwadcutter hollowpoint .38 spl +p

^^^
This

Gryffydd
August 4, 2009, 11:30 AM
If it shoots well in a snub nosed revolver, I would imagine it should be great in a longer barreled gun.
The only problem with this idea is that loads tailored for a short barreled gun typically do not gain much velocity out of a longer barrel. The powder doesn't burn slow enough to utilize the extra length.
The won't be worse, and they will be slightly better--but the difference will be negligible.

L-Frame
August 4, 2009, 12:01 PM
If you want 158 LSWCHPs why not go with Buffalo Bore. They have a plus p that runs at over 1100 FPS, low flash powder for night work, and is gas checked so it won't leave lead in the barrel. They are comfortable to shoot out of GP-100s. That's what I carry in my 3 inch.

Yes, 125 grainer magnums are the finest handgun stoppers there are but I can't imagine having to cut loose with one in a hallway. I prefer surviving a home invasion and not being deaf at the same time.

smith52
August 4, 2009, 03:43 PM
I carry the Remington 158gr LSWCHP in .38+P in my SP101. I prefer the heavier bullet and the Remington 158gr is the most accurate in my SP101.
Thankfully I have not had to use it for self defense, however, I know what it does to groundhogs.

ronto
August 4, 2009, 04:28 PM
I use 125gr JHP.

sqlbullet
August 4, 2009, 06:13 PM
The FBI tests (http://guitarsalon.biz/10mm/10fbi.htm) of the late 1980's say 158 grain HS at 1150 fps.

RatDrall
August 4, 2009, 07:09 PM
Remington 158gr lead semiwadcutter hollowpoint .38 spl +p

Definately this ^

Steve C
August 4, 2009, 08:49 PM
I keep my .357's loaded with either Remington Golden Saber 125gr .357 mag or Speer 125gr Gold Dot .357 mag. No reason to use lower powered .38 spl ammo for self defense unless your shooting a .38 spl pistol.

Lovesbeer99
August 5, 2009, 08:45 AM
Andre - thanks for the tests in the various loads. (AT2 videos on YouTube)

I'm really suprised that all the 125gr 357's fragmented like they did. No wieght retention at all. It looks like the test results favor the 38spl +p in the various wieghts or the WWB with the 110gr sjhp.

I'll have to rethink my options.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 09:51 AM
Almost all self-defense bullets are a compromise.

Bullets designed for maximum penetration will lack the disruptive power of the more lightly constructed bullets.

Overpenetration means one significant thing--your bullet failed to expand and deliver massive destruction to tissue within the bad guy.

Meaning the bad guy is more likely to kill YOU!

Underpenetration means that if the bad guy is behind a wall or in a car......your bullet may fail to reach him or fail to deliver massive destruction of tissue within the bad guy.

Again.....this means the bad guy is more likely to kill YOU!

Don't be overly influenced by the tests (especially the FBI tests, which clearly overemphasize penetration).

You need to look at all the facts and choose the level of compromise between under and over penetration that suits your needs.

Another thing.....don't be overly concerned about noise and muzzle flash.

The bad guy gets them in his face. They are part and parcel of the damage you are inflicting to take him down. Your hearing will return to normal in minutes.

Bottom line, no one bullet can do it all, but a good 125 grain .357 Magnum is a tried and true compromise that has an excellent record of success in various circumstances.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 10:00 AM
Also.......The FBI went to great lengths to blame a single bullet that lacked only one inch of penetration for a gunfight that went horribly wrong.

All their tests were an overreaction to a tragic incident that should have never happened.

The more significant thing is that this overreaction was part of a denial that their agents were inexcusably sloppy, overconfident, unprepared and careless in the Miami gunfight.

The blame rests with......NOT a single 9mm bullet, but with an amazingly large dose of poor human performance.

Gryffydd
August 5, 2009, 10:38 AM
Don't be overly influenced by the tests (especially the FBI tests, which clearly overemphasize penetration).
And yet penetration is the only way to stop a subject. If you don't reach their vitals you won't stop them. What they realized is that you can't count on a nice open shot at the unprotected chest of your target. Things like arms, thick clothing, car doors, and walls have a funny way of getting between you and your target. Over penetration means one other thing too: a second wound, likely larger than the first, that will increase blood loss. Also, the mere fact that a bullet exits doesn't mean it didn't expand, or didn't do enough trauma. It's like saying that a shot with a 3" exit wound would have been more effective if it had been less powerful so that it didn't exit.

The blame rests with......NOT a single 9mm bullet, but with an amazingly large dose of poor human performance.
No, the blame rests with both the bullet AND their incompetence. If the bullet had performed better despite all their stupidity that day (and there was plenty of it) the fight still would have been over quickly.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 10:52 AM
No, that one bullet was used as a scapegoat.

They made a big deal out of that one-inch lack of penetration.

You can say "IF this" and IF that" until the cows come home.....and you'll always find that the little "IF" about that single bullet and single inch was nothing compared to "IF the agents had acted appropriately to the situation."

Excuses, excuses.

So the OP should not overreact to the excuse-making.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 10:56 AM
Over penetration means one other thing too: a second wound, likely larger than the first, that will increase blood loss.

Two wounds in the same body after completely penetrating that body?

You better explain that one.

Sounds like a magic bullet.

jfdavis58
August 5, 2009, 10:57 AM
I'm a cheap SOB; I don't use or even buy 'premium' ammo. I also don't subscribe to the +p philosophy. I'd keep the Remington 158gr lead semi-wadcutter hollow point .38 spl +p it's historically significant and the Winchester WWB 110gr semi-jacketed hollow point .357 mag---they simply shoot very nice. But I'd keep looking for something in the 125-140grain hollow point 357 range as a home defense load.

FYI, I actually have a 4in GP and have found both 125 and 140 grain bullets in the low end of both the Remington and the Winchester lines that are adequate. The logic is simple and two parted--I can shoot more because they are cheaper and I don't believe in giving my very best to the guy trying to harm me-cheap is more than he desearves.

Gryffydd
August 5, 2009, 11:01 AM
No, that one bullet was used as a scapegoat.
Are you saying if that bullet hadn't penetrated farther it wouldn't have made a difference? Why can't both be contributing factors? Just because they were also idiots doesn't mean we can't learn anything from what happened. The old saying "Shot placement is King, penetration is Queen, and everything else is angels dancing on the heads of pins" came around for a reason you know ;) Yes, they made a ton of mistakes that day. Yes, they never owned up to it. But in the process they also highlighted the need for penetration in self defense rounds.

Another thing.....don't be overly concerned about noise and muzzle flash.

The bad guy gets them in his face. They are part and parcel of the damage you are inflicting to take him down. Your hearing will return to normal in minutes.
Every time your ears ring you've suffered some amount of permanent damage. Go fire off a hot 125 grain .357 load indoors with no ear protection, then come back and tell us if that's something you ever want to do again when there are plenty of great alternatives.

You better explain that one.
Seriously? I have to explain to you that when bullet doesn't exit there's only one hole, and when a bullet does exit there's two? Ever heard of an "exit wound" before? Did you know it's not the same thing as an entry wound?

Bottom line, no one bullet can do it all, but a good 125 grain .357 Magnum is a tried and true compromise that has an excellent record of success in various circumstances.
And there are a ton of other tried and true compromises that also have excellent records that don't have the same disadvantages.

They made a big deal out of that one-inch lack of penetration.
That's because if they had just had bigger guns all their stupidity that day wouldn't have been displayed in front of the world ;)

Logos
August 5, 2009, 11:06 AM
And yet penetration is the only way to stop a subject. If you don't reach their vitals you won't stop them. What they realized is that you can't count on a nice open shot at the unprotected chest of your target. Things like arms, thick clothing, car doors, and walls have a funny way of getting between you and your target.

All true, but all of these factors can be handled by a good 125 grain .357 Magnum bullet......plus is will offer huge disruptive force in the far more common self-defense situations at close range with no obstructions in front of the target.

Thus it has a long reputation of excellent all-around performance.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 11:11 AM
Yes, they made a ton of mistakes that day. Yes, they never owned up to it. But in the process they also highlighted the need for penetration in self defense rounds.

I agree.....that's why I recommend the 125 grain option in the .357 Magnum.

It has sufficient penetration plus excellent disruptive force.

This thread IS about the .357 Magnum according to the original post.

Gryffydd
August 5, 2009, 11:13 AM
Thus it has a long reputation of excellent all-around performance.

Absolutely, and that's why I carry them in my 5" GP-100 (Golden Saber handloads at around 1600fps). They really are fantastic stoppers. However, there are other alternatives that have other characteristics which are desirable for the OP's specific use, while not giving up much or anything (this is where the BIG what IF games come in) in terms of so-called stopping power.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 11:13 AM
Every time your ears ring you've suffered some amount of permanent damage. Go fire off a hot 125 grain .357 load indoors with no ear protection, then come back and tell us if that's something you ever want to do again when there are plenty of great alternatives.

I've done it. My ears are fine.

Gryffydd
August 5, 2009, 11:15 AM
I've done it. My ears are fine.
Ever heard of the boiled frog?

Logos
August 5, 2009, 11:18 AM
And there are a ton of other tried and true compromises that also have excellent records that don't have the same disadvantages.

A ton?

Of .357 Magnums?

Show us.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 11:22 AM
Quote:
I've done it. My ears are fine.


Ever heard of the boiled frog?

I'm 62 years old.

I doubt that my ears are going to suddenly quit on me.

As I stated, your hearing will come back to normal in a few minutes after an indoor discharge without ear protection.

My hearing is within normal range even after a lifetime of abuse starting with my dad letting me (helping me) shoot a Colt Single-Action 38-40 when I was five years old.

No ear protection.

Today they'd call it child abuse, but we didn't know any better in those days.:)

Gryffydd
August 5, 2009, 11:50 AM
Quote:
Ever heard of the boiled frog?
I'm 62 years old.

I doubt that my ears are going to suddenly quit on m
Clearly you haven't heard of it. If you had, you'd know that by definition, "suddenly" has nothing to do with it.

Today they'd call it child abuse, but we didn't know any better in those days.
Thank goodness we've progressed since then.

A ton?

Of .357 Magnums?

Show us.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=466310

As I stated, your hearing will come back to normal in a few minutes
And what about during those few minutes when you're struggling to hear light footsteps in another room? What if you've shot an intruder with your big magnum, and the other one walks up behind you and smashes you over the head with a baseball bat because you couldn't hear him coming?

Logos
August 5, 2009, 03:51 PM
And what about during those few minutes when you're struggling to hear light footsteps in another room? What if you've shot an intruder with your big magnum, and the other one walks up behind you and smashes you over the head with a baseball bat because you couldn't hear him coming?

You'll have the same problem with any handgun blast in close quarters. Everybody's ears will be ringing for a while......so?

That's just the way it is.

Gryffydd
August 5, 2009, 03:54 PM
You'll have the same problem with any handgun blast in close quarters. Everybody's ears will be ringing for a while......so?
True, but there are differing degrees. Some will not be nearly so severe as a 125gr .357 Mag. I don't really think I should have to explain that to you.

Logos
August 5, 2009, 04:03 PM
The "differing degrees" are not enough to matter.

When your ears are ringing from a centerfire handgun blast you are not going to hear well.

I really don't think I have to explain that to you.

And when are you going to show us those tons of better .357 Magnum options you mentioned?

Nothing mentioned in this thread answers that question, so don't try to dodge by linking us back to this thread again.

Soon, I hope.

Gryffydd
August 5, 2009, 04:04 PM
The "differing degrees" are not enough to matter.
Uh huh...sure.
so don't try to dodge by linking us back to this thread again.
If you haven't figured it out yet, nothing else I can do will penetrate either. Except possibly this (http://www.ehow.com/how_5021382_learn-read-english-online.html).

jaholder1971
August 6, 2009, 12:30 AM
Of those offered, I go with the 158 LSWCHP +P.

For me, in a GP100, it's Federal 125 grain JHP. It's got the street credibility behind it.

george29
August 6, 2009, 01:37 AM
I don't mean to be cruel, but you really have to try hard to get a bad defense load from a .357

PLenty of good advice here, google Stephen Camp .357, he has many good articles. The firing line forum, etc.

My revolvers are either .22, .38 or .44, my one and only pistol is a .32

.357 is a caliber I once foolishly traded away. I hear that 125gr. JHP will do the job very well but I wouldn't argue with the 158gr SWCHP either.

ArchAngelCD
August 6, 2009, 02:05 AM
How can you start a caliber war when you are asking about only 1 caliber?? LOL

I would and do use the "FBI Load" in my HD revolver. I prefer the Remington 158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P ammo (Part #R38S12) in a 2" barrel but for a 4" barrel the Winchester and Federal offerings will work just as well as the Remington ammo.

kmrcstintn
August 7, 2009, 10:52 PM
thanks all very much for the feedback and information; here's what I decided...

1) my 6" GP100 is going to find a new home with one of the fellas from my hunting group (I have dad's 'handed down' S&W 686 PowerPort w/ 6" ported barrel) in a few weeks/months

2) my 4" GP100 balances nicely when shooting with one hand...even my weak hand; still need some trigger time to determine POA/POI with my weak hand

3) I've decided to go with the FBI load in .38 spl +p for better control and less 'stunning' of my senses inside the domicile

I will make the switch in @ 1 to 2 weeks when I rotate ammo out (currently using Winchester WWB Personal Protection 125gr sjhp .38 spl +p)

Cactus Jack Arizona
August 8, 2009, 12:19 AM
What about the 110 gr. Hornady Critical Defense with the XTP HP in .38 Spcl?

ArchAngelCD
August 8, 2009, 03:15 AM
kmrcstintn,
Since you decided to go with the FBI load take a look around the WEB. You can still find a box of 50 for under $24 sometimes which is just about what a box of 20 will cost you of the "new and better" ammo that's out there.

wnycollector
August 8, 2009, 09:09 AM
FBI load take a look around the WEB. You can still find a box of 50 for under $24 sometimes

If you find the Remi flavor of the FBI load for less than $24...stock up! I pay ~$28/50 and I'm down to my last 1/2 box. My new supply is on backorder until mid september.

I prefer the Remington 158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P ammo (Part #R38S12) in a 2" barrel but for a 4" barrel the Winchester and Federal offerings will work just as well as the Remington ammo.


Excellent advice!!! I would add that Georgia Arms ($28.50/100 rounds!!!) makes their own version of the FBI load also. Stephen Camp tested it a while back and it should be relegated to 4+" barrel revolvers!

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