Best self defense .357 ammo?


December 27, 2003, 10:00 PM
Just updated my primary home defense weapon to a .357 .I was just curious to what everyone thought is the best self defense ammo..Not worried about recoil at all...Thanks for your time.

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December 27, 2003, 10:05 PM
How about Federal 125gr JHP....

December 27, 2003, 10:07 PM
I'll second the 125gr JHP, but I prefer Remington's offering.
Another load to consider is my favorite, the 145gr Silvertip.

In all honesty, it's hard to go wrong with any .357magnum in JHP.
Good luck.

December 27, 2003, 10:18 PM
Most of my guns were regulated for the heavier 158Gr. I find them better and far more pleasant than the 125s. My favorites are the Gold Dot or Golden Sabre.

Ala Dan
December 27, 2003, 10:36 PM
Back when I carried a Smith mod 19 with our sheriff's
department, Remington's 125 grain JHP's were what
was issued; and believe me, they work well.

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

December 27, 2003, 11:14 PM
I used Winchester Silvertip 145 gr. JHP. I'm sure the full-power 125 gr. JHP's are excellent but I never even fired one.

December 27, 2003, 11:15 PM
I'm quite fond of my CorBon 125jhp, but I have a load of my own with a 158jhp that I might start using.

December 28, 2003, 12:40 AM
i'm also partial to the federal 125gr jhp, but my pythons have always prefered the speer 140gr loads

December 28, 2003, 12:51 AM
I generally use 158 grain loads. When I got my SP101, I worked up some 125 grain loads, and have it stocked with Federal's 130 JHP load. Those things are very sharp in recoil!! Today, I tried putting some of my heavy full power H110 158 grain Desert Eagle food through it. While the recoil was still a handful, it wasn't quite so sharp. I still don't like to shoot a lot of that through it (makes my hand hurt), but point of aim was basically the same, which surprised me.

So, I am going to work with it a bit more to confirm my initial impressions. I especially want to chrono the two loads out of the SP and the DE to see what kind of difference there is. Then I'll probably make a final decscion as to what I am going to keep it loaded with.

But, in answer to your question, either 125 or 158 JHPs will work fine. Personal preference on the recoil.

December 28, 2003, 01:00 AM
The 125 jhp from a .357mag is the king of the stopping power hill. I used Federals load but any of the big three's load will work.

Jim March
December 28, 2003, 02:50 AM
Back in the '70s and well into the '80's, you needed serious velocity to get expansion. So the really hot 125s ruled the roost, even with fairly primitive JHP designs. The Remington 125 is a throwback to those days and it DOES work, if you can handle the crash'n'boom.

My opinion: I would take a good look at the loads based on the Gold Dot 158grainer. The Speer Gold Dot is a wonderful, advanced projectile design. Proload, Georgia Arms, Black Hills and of course Speer load this to between 1,200 and 1,300fps from a 4" barrel. We know that the Gold Dot 10mm round, 155grains at around 1,300fps, recently performed so well in gelatin that the resulting pictures were downright shocking: 1.25" across. It looked like a freakin' fan blade. Literally. The design, weight, speed and starting caliber are all so close to the 158grain 357 that...well, why not?

Recoil will actually be lower than the wildest full-house 125s.

December 28, 2003, 04:59 AM
In my range bag marked "357" I have 12 boxes of the Federal 125gr JHP.

This is the standard "Hi-Shok" stuff. It's what I use when I carry my steel-framed revos. It sells for $9.99/20 here. Not too pricey, I guess.

It's factory rated at 1,450fps and 580 ft/lbs energy. I've found that figure to be nearly dead on, at 1,452 in a 4-inch Ruger. It even does 1,205 in my 1 7/8" scandium S&W.

Not sure what it'd do on a 2-legged varmint, but it drops 180lb whitetails on contact. The bullet's have an extreamely large hollow point opening that allows it to dump everything without a pass though. A good defensive plus, I guess. Why waste the energy on a tree or wall behind the target.

I doubt you could go wrong with any 125gr JHP defensive loadings. I've just had great luck with the Federal and stuck with it.

December 28, 2003, 05:12 AM
I like the 145gr Silvertip and Remingtons 125gr SJHP. loads.

December 28, 2003, 07:54 AM
Remington .357 125gr. Golden Sabers. Chrono 470 ft/lbs. energy out of a 6" Smith model 19 and won't shatter your eardrums like the regular stuff.

December 28, 2003, 07:27 PM
I keep 150gr starfires in my 3" 65-3
because they are the most accurate of the loads i've tried.

3 gun
December 28, 2003, 09:23 PM
My 357 is loaded with 158gr Gold Dot HPs.

December 29, 2003, 04:28 PM
Most of my guns were regulated for the heavier 158Gr. I find them better and far more pleasant than the 125s. My favorites are the Gold Dot or Golden Sabre.

Yup... exactly what he said. But I haven't seen any 158 GoldenSabers for a while...

When carrying a .38, I do prefer the 125s.

December 29, 2003, 07:59 PM
RBCD. Depending on the range and barrel length either the standard or 'Tactical'.

December 29, 2003, 10:08 PM
Winchester 180grain Partition Gold. Does about 1200fps in most 4" barrels, little more in 6", 1150 in 3", 1100 in my 2 1/2" Model 19 and 1050 in a 2" Colt Lawman. Saw it tested at 970 in a 1 7/8" J frame. This load expands to about .70 cal in a 4" and .60+ cal in my model 19 2 1/2" . I have shot it through (almost ) shoulders of 300# hog from a 8" Python Hunter(1300fps), and clean thru a Blacktails chest. Both animals quickly expired with a hole you could poke a stick thru! This is (and Corbon 200grain Penetrator hard cast which is a LITTLE slower and DOES NOT EXPAND)" going loaded for bear"with the minimal .357 mag. My friends loads it in his 3" 360 Kit gun, for such purposes-15 ozs ready to go! Not a pleasant experience on either end. IMHO anything 2 legged or 4 that weighs more than 100# THIS IS THE LOAD!!!! Anything under 100# the 125jhp's and the 110 are good. The Silvertips and 158jhps (rem and gold dots) are OK for everything and some thump you a bit less. But for a "defensive" load don't you want THE BEST? Forget Kyrtonite pre fragmented blended metai flying ringfoils - go with 'combined technologies' Win and Nosler might know a thing or two about bullets. ;) :cool:

December 29, 2003, 10:14 PM
Jim March is right--for today's bullets, there's just no reason to go under 158 in a full-size gun (now, a 2" is another story). Anyone who cares to read around and examine the logic and technology between loads, and the hows, whys, and whens of their development, would come to much the same conclusion, I think.

December 29, 2003, 11:14 PM
the green and yellow box from remington...125 grain jacketed hollow point.

December 30, 2003, 02:03 AM
Federal 158 sjhp

Browns Fan
December 30, 2003, 05:33 PM
I got a S&W 66PC with 3" brl for Christmas and I took it to the range and fired PMC 158gr and a box of .38 reloads. The PMC loads were pretty stout, even with rubber grips and porting! Is there a .357 load that is a little easier on the hands?

December 30, 2003, 08:03 PM

PMC makes some pretty run-of-the-mill .357 magnum ammo. I think Remington, Speer and Miwall make medium velocity cartridges. But truthfully, you get acclimated to it over time. I recall a few years ago firing my grandfather's duty revolver (a `76 Bicentennial edition Ruger Six series .357 magnum) with factory wood grips side by side with my brand spanking new 686-4 with factory hogue monogrips. Night and day. I love the .357, but out of a smaller gun it's just going to be a little rambunctious. The larger revolver cartirdges can be substantially worse.

Recall that even Keith shot a limited amount of the hot stuff on each range trip. I think he said he either averaged or intentionally tried for about twelve rounds on an outing. The rest of the session was lighter stuff. I would agree that familiarity with the hot stuff is a necessary thing, but every round fired doesn't need to be a palm buster.

Good job on the 66 PC, btw. The K's are a handful with magnums, but steer real nice.

December 30, 2003, 08:05 PM
Well, I've never found that the porting does much except spray stuff. But a good set of grips would make a big difference. I like the shape of the Nils and find they work much better than the Uncle Mikes that Smith is shipping these days.

Gary A
December 30, 2003, 11:13 PM
BrownsFans - I have had pretty good experiences with the Blazer 158 HP for a fairly mild and accurate range load. It isn't much of a hollow point these days, more of a dimple, but the price is usually good and CCI claims it to be about 1150 fps from a 4 inch barrel which is about 85 fps less than claimed for most 158 grain loads. I haven't chronographed it but recoil suggests it is less hotly loaded than S&B (hot) or MagTech, or certainly the premium loads like HydraShok, etc. It usually doesn't extract quite as well, no doubt due to the aluminum cases.

Browns Fan
January 1, 2004, 01:04 PM
Does Blazer make 125 gr or lighter? Thanks, Gary.

Gary A
January 1, 2004, 11:18 PM
Browns Fan - It only comes in one loading of 158 grains according to their website. I've never seen anything else. Check them out at the following:
Good luck. Gary

January 1, 2004, 11:59 PM
Your hearing will go bye bye if you shoot .357 magnum inside the house. It is super loud. I am not even sure if you can stand straight after the first shot due to the loud effect of the noise.

I think a .38 special in hollow point will do. I never have to use a gun inside the house so I can't tell how loud it will be but I had to use guns outside in the farm to take out foxes and racoons before I ruin the hens. I couldn't believe how loud .357 magnum was. The horse almost kicked me to the ground. My ears rung for 2 weeks. Luckily, it was winter and I had some ear protection for the weather and that eliminate any possible permanent damage to my ear.

I suggest a super slow moving .45 acp for in door. It is slow but it will kill most 2 legs creature within 2 shots.

January 2, 2004, 12:54 AM
I've shot .357 in the house without ear protection, and once from inside a pickup truck (don't ask, it's not nearly as interesting as it sounds). Sure your ears ring for awhile, and I wouldn't recommend it as a regualr practice, but it's not that horrible and far from disabling. Plus, if I'm shooting my .357 inside now, the least of worries is how's my hearing going to be after this. Not sure how the .45acp compares with the 357 in the decibel dept, but I'm betting it's no slouch. Now how it compares in the stopping power dept...There's a thread that could go on forever.

January 2, 2004, 11:28 AM
My only .357Mag is a Sheriff's Model (very short barrel) Ruger Vaquero. Best Load I have found so far is the Speer 158 Gr Gold Dot.

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