SHTF: 357 Loads - Which one would you use?


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chrisf8657
March 19, 2010, 07:34 PM
I have two 357 Magnum loads available in Bulk to me right now.
Which one would you choose FOR A SHTF, END OF THE WORLD-TYPE SITUATION?

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Monster Zero
March 19, 2010, 07:44 PM
I'm not that choosy. Either load you list above would suit me just fine.

Bovice
March 19, 2010, 07:49 PM
A .357 in its standard loading would be entirely sufficient if you're talking about human targets. No need for anything special. Hollowpoint rounds are nice, but if we are in an environment where there is no rule of law, overpenetration isn't something I'd worry about since there won't likely be friendlies to avoid hitting. If you make two holes in somebody, that's two sites where blood can be lost. They'll either drop from organ failure if one was hit, or blood loss.

NG VI
March 19, 2010, 07:51 PM
Yeah, I would be down with either. The 158 would be better on wildlife, so maybe that one so you could use it as needed in a hunting role?

Though if you just mean for anti-personnel revolvers, I would probably go for the 125 Gold Dot, since I like that load quite a bit.

LRS_Ranger
March 19, 2010, 07:52 PM
I'm pretty sure any flavor of .357 will stop a threat if you do your part.. I'm carrying plain Jane Blazer aluminum case rounds right now.. :P

mickdk2
March 19, 2010, 08:35 PM
158 gr. Blazer aluminum.
They're functional and I have a lot of them.

Zundfolge
March 20, 2010, 12:23 AM
Depends on what model of 357mag revolver you've got ... a steady diet of the lighter weight bullets in a S&W model 19 or 66 will tweak the frame and cut the top strap ... can't imagine they'd be all that good on an airweight J Frame either.

Now my Dan Wesson can take pretty much any load but since its fixed sights I haven't had a chance to figure out what weight will hit POA.

Cocked & Locked
March 20, 2010, 12:56 AM
I shoot 158's in my .357 (and .38) revolvers. One load fits all as the 158's shoot to point of aim on the fixed sight ones. So I guess my answer is 158. :scrutiny:

chrisf8657
March 20, 2010, 06:13 AM
FYI to Zundfolge - No K Frame's, just a Smith 686 & Ruger GP100.

amd6547
March 20, 2010, 09:04 AM
I would use the one I, and my revolver, shoots most accurately.

RatDrall
March 20, 2010, 09:09 AM
I shoot 158's in my .357 (and .38) revolvers. One load fits all as the 158's shoot to point of aim on the fixed sight ones. So I guess my answer is 158.

That's exactly what I was thinking.

WC145
March 20, 2010, 09:11 AM
Any load I could get my hands on would probably do under those circumstances.
In real life, I prefer the old stand-by Remington 125gr JHP, it still works as well as it ever did.

MCgunner
March 20, 2010, 10:26 AM
Actually, neither. I'd just grab my 165 SWCs. They're my general purpose load. I really don't worry about SHTF stuff. That seems to be what urban types do to justify the ownership of certain tacticool type guns to wives. :D Me, I'm an outdoorsman and hunter, live in a rural area, own land, like to hunt. My general purpose load has killed 3 deer, two from a 6.5" blackhawk and one from a 20" Rossi 92 carbine. It pushes a cast Lee bullet of the gas checked persuasion with 14.5 grains of 2400. Out of the Blackhawk I get 1470 fps. From the rifle, I get over 1800 fps. I have a slightly better load involving Lil' Gun for the rifle, but I won't use it in the revolver as there are reports of forcing cone erosion with it. The 2400 is an old standby load. I've got something shy of 1000 rounds of it loaded up as it's my most fired .357 load. I carry a speer 140 JHP and load a 180 XTP over AA#9 in the Blackhawk which might be a little better hunting load, but the 165 will get it done.

If it'll kill deer and hog, it'll kill humans if that ever became necessary.

ChristopherG
March 20, 2010, 10:34 AM
I've got about half case of about 3,000 125 gr. SJHP's left in the garage. They get loaded over 17.5 gr of 2400 in batches to keep my .357 brass full--about 750 cases I guess. Shoot some, reload them, put them back in the ammo dump.

The gun this load is primarily for is an 8-shot S&W N-frame 627, for which they are an awesome match. It's also my carry load for a 2.5" 66 (i.e., a K-frame), but that one shoots primarily .38's for fun and practice. It also does 2200 fps out of my Marlin 1894c, and can be safely used in my 12.5 oz 340pd (but god help the hand that holds it).

So I guess I've made my selection.

Manco
March 20, 2010, 10:43 AM
If you make two holes in somebody, that's two sites where blood can be lost. They'll either drop from organ failure if one was hit, or blood loss.

I think the human circulatory system is a wee bit more complex than that. ;) Even if the number/size of the exterior holes were a limiting factor, which I highly doubt, it doesn't matter whether blood stays inside the body or leaks out if it isn't precisely where it's supposed to be.

MCgunner
March 20, 2010, 10:51 AM
I do prefer 2 holes to bleed out. Makes blood trailing game, if necessary, a whole lot easier. But, I don't expect non-hunters to understand that. If you are a survivalist type and think you're going to live off the land with no hunting experience, I think you'd better change your thinking. Hunting ain't that easy, as in a meal every day type of thing, and it takes experience to be proficient at it.

Heavier than 158 grain stuff is my preferred fodder for hunting. It will kill humans, too. 125 grain stuff is too light for a 300 lb hog, never make it past the gristle shield. You might pull off a head shot, but the shoulder is much bigger. If you shoot behind the shoulder, you're going to have a very mad wounded, gut shot hog to track and if you're afraid of street gangs, you just don't wanna go there with a big, mad hog.

Another round you might wanna keep for your gun is light .38 loads, round nose perhaps. This would be for small game hunting if your scenario involves running to the woods and survival. Me, I have a 105 grain SWC mold that is pretty awesome. That bullet is accurate and loaded over 2.3 grains of B'eye gives 900 fps and 1.5" at 50 yard accuracy from my Rossi carbine. It's as good a squirrel gun as my 10/22.

dogngun
March 20, 2010, 11:04 AM
If this were to be a one size fits all situations, I'd go with the heavier bullet. For defense against humans ONLY, I'd prefer the 125 grain HP, which is what I carry in my Highway Patrolman. I use Remingtons.
Might want to pack some 158 gr JSP's for hunting, too.

mark

Brian Williams
March 20, 2010, 11:38 AM
I voted 158 but I would rather use 180gr LRNFPGC with 15 gr Lil' Gun. It works better with both my 1894C and a 581.

Manco
March 20, 2010, 02:24 PM
I do prefer 2 holes to bleed out. Makes blood trailing game, if necessary, a whole lot easier. But, I don't expect non-hunters to understand that.

Bovice was talking about human targets and the process of bleeding to death (or at least until one drops), and that's what I was responding to. Of course, if say human targets were to be treated the same as game, then more blood on the ground would be advantageous for the hunter.

Heavier than 158 grain stuff is my preferred fodder for hunting. It will kill humans, too.

I prefer 158-grain bullets (or heavier) in general, whether or not hunting game is a requirement.

Rexster
March 20, 2010, 06:01 PM
I used 125-grain Federal Classic Hi-Shok JHC when my small portion of the world went to spit. It worked.

My $0.02: If both are available to you, get both. 125s are for anti-personnel use, and 158s for hunting medium game animals. As the original post did not exactly define SHTF, I will; have to say what I would do, er, did. I do have a variety of .357 ammo, 125 to 180 grain.

W.E.G.
March 20, 2010, 06:05 PM
158's for gray zombies, 125's for green zombies.

Mostly, I'll just hide under my toilet paper stash and be very, very quiet.

NG VI
March 20, 2010, 06:35 PM
W.E.G. your posts always get me.

Also, do you plan on keeping a rifle around too? If you've got a rifle that would be better for hunting or shots of opportunity than your .357, that would turn me towards the 125 Gold Dot. Just me though.

Rexster
March 20, 2010, 06:40 PM
NG VI: "Also, do you plan on keeping a rifle around too? If you've got a rifle that would be better for hunting or shots of opportunity than your .357, that would turn me towards the 125 Gold Dot. Just me though."

This is relevant! I replied 125-grain GD, in the poll, largely for this reason. If I have one of my .308 or .223 rifles with me, or an 870 pumpgun, I am more likely to have 125s in my .357 revolvers.

Daizee
March 20, 2010, 09:24 PM
I want whatever is closer to 1000fps, 140-180gr.
Unfortunately medium .357 loads are not a common factory item.
If I were to stock my handloads, they would be 158 or 180's @1000fps.
Otherwise I'd stock up on 158gr .38+P's.

-Daizee

fflgundealers.net
March 20, 2010, 10:49 PM
If you have a J-Frame, I like 135 grain Gold Dot for short barrel revolvers.

FFLGunDealers.net

Mr. T
March 21, 2010, 12:13 AM
I have to agree with the 158 grain Blazer rounds. I've got 600 rounds of them in stock. They are aluminum casings; I used to be able to get them in brass, but I haven't seen them available for quite awhile. I also have 200 rounds in American Eagle - 158 grain, brass casings. All of the rounds are JHP's.

NinjaFeint
March 21, 2010, 12:48 AM
I am also throwing my hat in on the Blazer Aluminum. I can also say that I have a GP100 so I would shoot whatever I had or could find because there is no damaging that gun.

Elm Creek Smith
March 21, 2010, 12:55 AM
If you have a J-Frame, I like 135 grain Gold Dot for short barrel revolvers.

+1. I use it for my Taurus 85SSUL and for reloads for my S&W 13 after the speedloaders are empty.

ECS

Charshooter
March 21, 2010, 02:08 AM
I like the 158 grain and heavier for anything than coyotes, but for most hunting, I use a 44 magnum. For small critters than become pests the 125 will do the job. I also like shooting the light and faster bullet in my little Marlin.

I loaded some good 180 grain cast bullets, but as I said, I hunt with the 44 magnum in the brush.

David E
March 21, 2010, 03:06 AM
Since the 125's are GOLD DOT, I chose those. They are bonded and will not separate. Penetration is good. This can be important should one need to hunt with it.

rswartsell
March 21, 2010, 05:23 AM
Which revolver you actually have is pertinent if you use the advice for habitual shooting as lighter frame revolvers (assuming you intentionally posted on the correct forum) such as J and K frame S&W will suffer from frame stretching and flame cutting from a steady diet of warm 125 gr loads. That being said (assuming you mean as a PD load for humans) you could hardly do better than a 125 gr magnum (probably the champion sub .40 cal fight stopper) and Gold Dot bullets (consistently ranking among the best performing HP even among the best of the latest technology).

You can make some reasonable points about shooting to point of aim (revolvers typically being regulated for a 158 gr bullet) and heavier slower expanding bullets being better for larger bodied game.

You must define what you mean by SHTF and choose accordingly.

oldfool
March 21, 2010, 05:06 PM
like some have said..
if you think one will do but the other will not
you are overthinking it, friend

PS
I voted 158 gr, but mostly just because I love k-frames best-of-all :)

oldfool
March 21, 2010, 05:13 PM
158's for gray zombies, 125's for green zombies.

Mostly, I'll just hide under my toilet paper stash and be very, very quiet.
hope you don't mind company
'cause that strange old guy hiding with you behind that stash
will be me !

PS
and not because I am "hittin' on you", scout's honor !
just me and my 66 and my '92

LEVRLOVR
March 21, 2010, 07:13 PM
I chose the 158 sjhp but my real choice would be 158 sjsp.

ArchAngelCD
March 22, 2010, 03:26 AM
I reload and use a lot more 158gr bullets than 125gr bullets in my .357 Magnum ammo. Actually, I hardly ever load a 125gr bullet unless I get a VERY good price on them, then that are for plinking anyway.

Hardballing
March 22, 2010, 06:12 PM
I voted 125 jhp because that is mainly what I have my sights set for in L and N frames.

But in SHTF, I'd shoot ANY, and would throw in a pile of .38's as well.

Are you counting zombies in that SHTF? :)

biohazurd
March 22, 2010, 07:25 PM
Like others have said in that situation any quality .357 would be sufficient.

19-3Ben
March 23, 2010, 11:00 AM
For those of you who advocate Aluminum blazer for SHTF, how do you address the issue of galvanic corrosion of an aluminum case in a steel chamber?

Of course it's no big deal for range use since you're a)in relatively dry condition, and b) the case is only in the chamber for a few minutes at most before it's fired.

But in a situation where the round might be left chambered for days on end in all sorts of weather, I don't know that I'd be comfortable with it.

I picked 158gr. I feel like it's the more versatile load. 125gr is great for humans, but not so much against medium/larger game. 158 can handle both humans and game.

My EDC load is DoubleTap's 158gr. (http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_27&products_id=380) That would also be my SHTF load. It's a heavy bullet with crazy energy that ought to penetrate and expand like mad. Aside from stout recoil (which I don't mind in my 3" SP101), what's not to like?

19-3Ben
March 23, 2010, 11:23 AM
I'll add that since we are specifically talking about SHTF situations here and not just everyday self defense, there are different issues to consider. One of which is an increased need for barrier penetration. The 158gr. load offers better barrier penetration than the 125gr.

MCgunner
March 23, 2010, 12:13 PM
I'm a country boy. In my little version of SHTF (it's really a myth IMHO, but lord knows what the next 7 years has in store) food procurement is probably more important than killing people. To that end, I've stored (since the election) fishing stuff, some of it illegal, but legality would take a hike if I'm hungry. But, hunting will always be part of my life regardless of any odd scenarios. So, I stick with the heavies.

FWIW, I carry a 140 Speer JHP over 17 grains 2400 for self defense in this caliber. it hits hard. I shot an 80 lb pig in the head a while back using my 3" medium frame carry.. The bullet hit in his skull and the ballistic pressure from it popped his right eyeball out. It was a little grotesque, but illustrated the power of the caliber to me. In my mind, about any load in the caliber is fine for defense. I carry a lot less most of the time. If you're carrying a bullet that expands, don't sweat over the grain weight of the bullet. But, a big, flat point SWC will penetrate better and leave an impressive trail of tissue damage. I've seen this with my own eyes. From a rifle, it's VERY impressive.

So, I am swayed to the heavies for that reason. Virtually any magnum load will kill a human. Hogs are a little tougher target.

Rexster
March 23, 2010, 05:47 PM
Another factor I did not cover is the weapons involved. This being the revolver sub-forum, I answered earlier regarding my revolvers. For my/our 1894C Marlins, 158-grain is the default choice, period, and I want to try them with various 180-grain loads when I have the time.

buck460XVR
March 23, 2010, 08:58 PM
Which one would you choose FOR A SHTF, END OF THE WORLD-TYPE SITUATION?


Actually, if it was the end of the world.....I doubt that it would matter.......i.e., no world, no people....no people, no need for bullets of any kind. I'll just stick with my aluminum foil hat.

BTW.....I voted for 158s. They are much more versatile outta a .357 than 125s.

oneounceload
March 23, 2010, 09:10 PM
I would prefer the 158 LSWCHP FBI load in 38+P, just as effective, less noise, flash, and recoil

MCgunner
March 23, 2010, 09:30 PM
I would prefer the 158 LSWCHP FBI load in 38+P, just as effective, less noise, flash, and recoil

Just as effective? I'd feel mighty under gunned hunting hogs with it. :rolleyes:

No way it's "just as effective" as a magnum, especially a heavy bullet magnum, man or beast. You're talkin' 300 ft lbs vs 800 in a 6.5" revolver vs 1400 ft lbs in the rifle. The .38 might push 400 ft lbs in the rifle, maybe. I get 1900 fps from a 165 grain bullet in the magnum rifle. That's in .30-30 Winchester territory, pretty close, within a couple hundred FPS.

19-3Ben
March 24, 2010, 08:34 AM
I gotta go with MCgunner. The LSWCHP +p is not the same as a good heavy magnum round.
The load that i linked to that I carry blasts the 158gr. bullet out the end of my 3" SP101 at ~1300fps. The FBI load would be doing what? 900fps?
If you had to take a pelvic shot to put someone down who was wearing armor, which do you think is more likely to break those huge pelvic/hip bones? Or what about the (admittedly very rare) circumstance of having to shoot through cover?

I know that the lower recoil and blast has its advantages (faster follow-up, preserving hearing, etc...), but I don't think I'd clal the rounds equally effective. It's just that the extra effectiveness of the magnum round has trade-offs.

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