bullet weight preference for .38/.357


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browncoatdawn
March 14, 2012, 01:54 PM
I was wondering what everyones bullet weight preference is for their .38 or .357, but mostly .357 for general duty. I have a fondness for 140gr. bullets, and they seem to perform well. These loads aren't for SD since I use store bought ammo for that. It just seems to me that the best performance are had in the 135 to 145gr. range for both, at least as far as accuracy, and velocity and power. I just never liked 158gr pills, just as I don't like 147gr for 9mm. I dont have a carbine, yet, and these are mostly for varmints around the property, paper, and maybe hunting if i ever make it out. In Iowa, there isn't much that cant be stopped by a 38.

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rcmodel
March 14, 2012, 02:18 PM
I shoot mostly 158 cast SWC in my fixed sight .38's, as that is what they were factory sighted with.
Although I have been playing with the Speer 135 Short Barrel Gold Dot bullets & Unique powder.

I also shoot 148 HBWC in adjustable sight .38's and .357's for target fun.

My long standing .357 load for my K-Frames has been a 140 XTP or Sierra JHP over 14.5 grains 2400.
It does quite well on Kansas coyotes and is easy on the guns.

rc

XD 45acp
March 14, 2012, 03:02 PM
158gr Hornady XTP here

sidheshooter
March 14, 2012, 03:02 PM
I'm pretty die-hard in my preference for 158 grainers. 158 shoots exactly to POA in all my .38/.357 wheelies, and I've got a respectable stash of "FBI" load layed in to carry me through the zombie apocalypse, or whatever.

I do make an exception for the 145-gr Silvertip .357; it's close enough to 158 to be honorary in my book (and, heck, the FBI did allow it as a sub with permission, or so I've read).

While acknowledging the supremacy of 125 in .357 for social use, it's too hard on my beloved K frames. I figure that the 158 GDHP, Hydra-shok and 145 Winny loads are plenty easy on the guns, let alone the 158 LSWCHP+P .38.

JMHO.

skt239
March 14, 2012, 04:29 PM
I like 125gr for both.

evan price
March 14, 2012, 05:03 PM
I shoot 158-gr lead SWCs for practice in 38 or 357... In 38's I have been carrying 147-gr +P+ Hydrashoks. In 357s I carry 140-gr Hornady XTPs.

19-3Ben
March 14, 2012, 05:26 PM
I'm a fan of 158gr. for its sectional density and penetration.

Cocked & Locked
March 14, 2012, 05:42 PM
158 fan here...Hornady XTP and lead SWC

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/389935115.jpg

zxcvbob
March 14, 2012, 05:43 PM
148 DEWC's, and various types of 158 grain.

Dr_B
March 14, 2012, 05:48 PM
I like 125gr bullets for my .38 and .357 reloading.

browncoatdawn
March 14, 2012, 06:53 PM
I like what I'm getting. Cocked and Locked, what model is that in your pic? Looks hefty and being 8 shot I havent seen any of them.

CajunBass
March 14, 2012, 07:13 PM
158 gr lead. I'll shoot something else from time to time, but that's 98% or more.

What few 357's I shoot, are usually 158 JSP, but I usually shoot 38's in my magnum guns too.

jrod
March 14, 2012, 07:15 PM
158 LSWs.

sidheshooter
March 14, 2012, 07:41 PM
Looks like C&L has a pre-lock "bloodwork" UDR. Maybe he'll sell it to me...

ColtPythonElite
March 14, 2012, 07:49 PM
I shoot a pile of medium/hot 125 grainers. I have 4000k+ on my loading bench right now.

AABEN
March 14, 2012, 08:20 PM
When carrying 158 SWC that I cast with hard lead. I also like the 140==147. When burring lead 125gr will do this keeps me up on my shooting and is easy on the gun.

trex1310
March 14, 2012, 08:38 PM
I like the 158gr in both jacketed and hard cast. I also like the 170gr fmj
in my Thompson Contender.

2wheels
March 14, 2012, 08:39 PM
Another 158 grain fan here, I'm a fan of heavy bullets in most calibers anyways. The only caliber where I like a middleweight caliber is 9mm, where I prefer 124 grain rounds because they seem to feed a little better in most 9mm guns I've had experience with.

Ralph G. Briscoe
March 14, 2012, 09:03 PM
Another 158 gr fan here--Speer and Hornady LSWCHP and XTP's for the really hot stuff. The overwhelming majority are either 4.7 gr Unique (my carry load), or 3.5 gr Unique or 2.7 gr Trailboss with the LSWCHP's in .38 cases--practice loads for my LW snubbies. This is in the interest of simplicity and economy. These loads shoot close to POA in all my snubbies and feed through my Marlin 94. I have a near max (over max according to some data) using the XTP, H110 and .357 cases which is reserved for a Trooper III and the 94. I have nothing against lighter bullets...the 125 gr XTP has worked well for me in the past and would be a good choice for varmints.

Waywatcher
March 14, 2012, 09:23 PM
158 LSWC-WN, hardcast of linotype by Rim Rock, over 14.0 grains of 2400 shoots really well in my 4"GP100. About 1250 fps, accurate, clean, insanely low extreme spread and standard deviation.

I like 158 LSWC-HP w/gc, soft cast of lead (BHN 5) also by Rim Rock, over 6.0 grains of Power Pistol is a great .38 +P load, rocketing out of the same revolver at 950 fps avg. Same virtues as above load.

For general purpose plinking I load Speer 158 LSWC-HP over Accurate #5, Power Pistol, or Trail Boss. Accurate #5 duplicates factory ballistics for 38+P, Power Pistol does even better with the same pressure, and the Trail Boss is light, around 700 fps, and superbly clean burning.

The common denominator is 158 lead.

Cocked & Locked
March 14, 2012, 11:11 PM
Cocked and Locked, what model is that in your pic? Looks hefty and being 8 shot I havent seen any of them.

Looks like C&L has a pre-lock "bloodwork" UDR. Maybe he'll sell it to me...

Yep...its a pre-lock 627-PC Ultimate Defense Revolver aka "Blood Work Gun".

Would I sell it? Dunno...think about sometimes. Here it is as they came from S&W with the Eagle boot grips.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/392326120.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701637.jpg

and here with Craig Spegel boot grips and a 8-round speed strip in the pouch

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/373123796.jpg

sidheshooter
March 15, 2012, 12:53 AM
If you eventually think any harder, please feel encouraged to PM me...

:)

beatledog7
March 15, 2012, 07:36 AM
Depends on the gun. I've taken to loading 125gr for my 642.

jackpinesavages
March 15, 2012, 08:32 AM
158gr SWC, but it really depends on YOUR pistol's barrel.

Zeke/PA
March 15, 2012, 11:37 AM
I like the 158 Grain Semi-Wadcutter in all of my .38's for a practice round.
The Missouri Bullet variety works great for me.

golden
March 15, 2012, 01:15 PM
I use the 110 grain jhp load in my .357 magnums. It was the load I was issued along with the much hotter, harder to shoot 125 grain jhp loads. When it came down to which one I would use, I preferred the 110 grain load.
It was easier to shoot and WINCHESTER makes a White Box load that is works well in my guns.

In my .38 Specials, it depends on the gun.
In a 5 shot, J frame size gun, I usually shoot FEDERAL NYCLAD (standard pressure) 125 grain hollow points. These mild recoiling rounds work very well in a airweight gun which can be difficult to control when using +P loads.

In medium weight revolvers, I usually shoot REMINGTON 125 sjhp +P ammo. It is sold in 100 round boxes that really cut the cost of shooting and recoils less than the 158 grain +P loads.

You may have noticed a common theme here and that is my aversion to recoil. When I was younger, I did not care about heavy recoil, but as I have aged, it has become a factor that I wish to control.

Jim

MCgunner
March 15, 2012, 02:35 PM
I handload everything, even my carry ammo. Spare me the Ayoob speeches. I load a 140 grains Speer JHP over 17 grains 2400 for carry in a 3" gun and a 165 SWC Keith style gas checked from a Lee mold for general duty and hunting. I shoot a lot of .38 for practice. I carry a 158+P JHP for carry in my .38s.

charlie echo
March 15, 2012, 07:33 PM
Yep...its a pre-lock 627-PC Ultimate Defense Revolver aka "Blood Work Gun".

Would I sell it? Dunno...think about sometimes. Here it is as they came from S&W with the Eagle boot grips.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/392326120.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701637.jpg

and here with Craig Spegel boot grips and a 8-round speed strip in the pouch

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/373123796.jpg
Now I saw it. It's too late. Can't get that out my mind now. Might be the fine urban/HD companion to my 44RM revolver, loaded with 158 grain 357 HPs or Wadcutters. Nice holster with belt. I wonder how that'll fit me, as CCW gun? I'm 220#s.

I hear that 125 grain 357 HP ammo can be good stoppers, but wouln't 158 grain 357 HP ammo penetrate more consistently? After accuracy, I want penetration more so than expansion in a HP bullet.

Smith357
March 15, 2012, 08:35 PM
Target work 148 WCs
Social work 158s
Hunting 180s

I leave the little 125 grain bullets for the wundernines

hariph creek
March 15, 2012, 09:14 PM
Practice/plinking= 158gr LSWC .38special from Bear Creek Supply (moly-coated) over Trail Boss.

Social work= 158gr Buffalo Bore LSWCHP .38special non+p

Hunting/woods= 180gr Hard cast over Blue Dot. .357mag (not currently loading for this)

158's are what my Dective Special likes. The moly bullets are cheap, need no lube and don't foul the bore. I like them alot.

With fixed sights you've got to shoot what your gun likes.

wanderinwalker
March 15, 2012, 09:39 PM
158s in both my .38 and .357 loads. For the Specials, it's a cast lead SWC and a charge of 231. For the Magnums, it's 158gr JHPs (either Noslers or Hornadys, both shoot well IME) and a stiff-but-not-max dose of Alliant 2400.

Runner up would the 140gr Hornady XTP. That bullet will SHOOT if you and your revolvers are up to it. It doesn't seem to be too particular about what I drive it with, either 296 or 2400 in the .357 has worked well for me. I'd try it with something like HS-6 or Power Pistol in a +P .38 Special loading, but I doubt it would even come close to expanding. Should shoot little knots though.

Cocked & Locked
March 15, 2012, 10:28 PM
Charlie Echo said...
Now I saw it. It's too late. Can't get that out my mind now. Might be the fine urban/HD companion to my 44RM revolver, loaded with 158 grain 357 HPs or Wadcutters. Nice holster with belt. I wonder how that'll fit me, as CCW gun? I'm 220#s.

It would fit you just fine. Problem is my little fixed sight 629 .44 magnum snub would miss it's 627 pal.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177500.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177498.jpg

charlie echo
March 16, 2012, 12:04 AM
Charlie Echo said...


It would fit you just fine. Problem is my little fixed sight 629 .44 magnum snub would miss it's 627 pal.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177500.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177498.jpg
That's sweet lookin'. Now, i want to get wood grip for my 4" blued 44M.

gunnutery
March 16, 2012, 12:14 AM
I'll use any weight grain for my .357's, but for SD, I prefer to stick with 125 gr. I guess I just want a little more velocity. Not that heavier bullets wouldn't hurt too though :).

ArchAngelCD
March 16, 2012, 12:29 AM
My favorite bullet weight in the 38/357 is 158gr, a 158gr LSWC to be exact.
I just never liked 158gr pills, just as I don't like 147gr for 9mm.
Problem there is, the .38 Special was developed with the 158gr bullet whereas the 9mm was developed with a 125gr bullet, not a 147gr bullet. The 158gr bullet in the 38/357 is not considered heavy for caliber whereas the 147gr bullet in the 9mm is. IMO that's not a good comparison.

sirsloop
March 16, 2012, 01:06 AM
My loads are....

357Mag - 158gr Berry FMJ 16.8gr H110 Federal Match Magnum SP primers. Ya they are hot, and awesomeeeeee!

.38spl 110GR Hornady XTP 4.1gr Bullseye Federal Match Magnum SP Primers.

Brian Williams
March 16, 2012, 05:53 AM
I really like a 180 gr LRNGC over 15 gr of Lil'gun. It works in all my revolvers and really well in my 1894C

hariph creek
March 16, 2012, 10:46 AM
wanderinwalker... I, also, like 2400 for .357mag.

ArchAngelCD... Well said.

DocRx
March 16, 2012, 12:10 PM
I carry a Ruger KLCR 357/38 daily. In it for PD, is the famous/infamous Federal 125gr. 357Mag. JHP, the best BG stopper available at the rate of 96%. The Feds have a good "kick" to them, but are controllable with the Hogue Tamer Grips (standard fair for the Ruger KLCR). As backup, if ever needed, is a HKR Speedloader with Speer Gold Dot 125gr. 38spl.+P JHP. I also have for use Hornady's 110gr. 38spl.+P JHP PD, and Cor-Bon 110gr.+P JHP PD. Any suggestions, Gentlemen, please advise. Thanks, be safe.

CSA 357
March 16, 2012, 09:24 PM
158s for me cast or jsp/jhp

zxcvbob
March 16, 2012, 09:28 PM
Anybody load 125 grain half-jacket HP's in .38 special +P? I've got a big box of Remington bullets and I'm not sure what to do with them. (no, they're not for sale)

StanleyEBurris
December 28, 2015, 03:41 PM
As a new reloader, safety is an initial concern with accuracy somewhat secondary. I am sure that confidence will increase with experience but I am sure amazed at the spread of recommendation with Unique and both lead and jacketed bullets. I have seen recommendations for Hornady XTP range from a low of 3.5 gr(which seems very low) up to 8 grains(which seems very high). Think I'll use the Lee suggestion of 6.2 for XTP and 5.3 for RNL in 158 gr. bullets. Guess we will see. Using a Mdl 19 S&W with 4 inch barrel.

Desertrat357
December 28, 2015, 04:29 PM
For SD I carry factory loaded 125 gr. Usually Speer, but I have been carrying Hornady Critical Defense for the last month or so. For high volume shooting at the range, I shoot Hi-Tek coated 158 gr SWCs. My favorite field load is a 170 gr. Keith style SWC over 8 gr of Unique for a velocity of 1200 FPS. And If I'm up north where a bear encounter is possible, It's either Buffalo bore 180 gr. or Double Tap 200 Gr. hard cast rounds. I guess I should say that I do thoroughly enjoy the 357 Magnum.

Deanimator
December 28, 2015, 05:11 PM
I shoot exclusively .38 Special, even in my .357s.

I carry the Federal 158gr. LSWC-HP "FBI" load exclusively, for self-defense.
For bullseye competition and practice, I use my own 148gr. (hard cast LDEWCs or swaged LHBWCs, and usually 2.8gr. of Bullseye.
I use 158gr. hard cast LSWCs over Unique for self-defense practice.

Haywood
December 28, 2015, 05:40 PM
My 38s are all 2" guns. I practice with 130gr MC Feberal American Eagle and carry Speer Gold Dot 135gr. +P HP. My 357s are a Factory Reload 125gr. JHP and carry load Corbon or Federal Classic 125gr. JHP.

Catpop
December 29, 2015, 12:01 AM
158 lswc is all I use. Keeps inventory simple! Powders, now that's all over the board!:D

gamestalker
December 29, 2015, 04:03 AM
I can't offer any information or advice with lead or copper plated, but I'm sure there are others here that will, or already have been covering those options with you.

But I can help you with loading full house jacketed rounds, stuff that you'd be proud to call your own, and provide you with the confidence to trust your own reloads as much or even more than factory offerings.

Consider this. 50 rounds of the absolute most powerful, best rated self defense factory ammo is gonna set you back about $25-$30 for either 20 or 25 rounds, so were looking at $50-60 bucks for 50 rounds of the real deal factory magnums. This could be higher if going for some Gold Dots or Barnes.

Now consider that you can purchase a box of 100 Hornady XTP's for about $18, so .18 each.
The powder needed for a near max charge with H110 / 296 would cost about .058 per cartridge.
Add the CCI-550 at an average cost of ,035 per
And then the cost per piece of new Star line brass will progressively decrease each time you load it, it's a win win. Initially the cost per piece of brass will be around .18 each. Maybe less if you shop around, but I usually get it for about that.
So to tally it up, you could be shooting your own 100% reliable, custom tailored self defense / hunting reloads that would cost a mere $44 and some change, and that's only the first run. Next reloading will diminish the cost down to $35, Heck, 10 or 12 reloadings later and that same piece of brass is costing you less than a penny, rather than .18, thus reducing the cost of a box down to $14 or so.

And that cost can be reduced even more by purchasing jacketed bullets in bulk, and by buying once fired brass. I've been able to shot decent JHP's for about .010 each, which means I can shoot Full throttle jacketed magnum for about $9.50 per 50 round box.

Since you like 140 gr. bullets, which I fancy also, I recommend Hornady 140 gr. XTP's. One of the cool things about the XTP, besides the fact that they're a premium JHP at a reasonable cost, is they offer them with either a flat point , or hollow point.

I fired the hollow points into 16" of tightly wrapped with bailing wire saturated demin, submerged in water inside a box lined with a trash liner to make it water tight.
All of the projectiles exited the box and were recovered in soft fine silt. Expansion was around .530"
None of them experienced any jacket separation what so ever.
Weight retention was 99.9%, and I'm pretty sure there was some weight loss, though not discernible on my 5-10 beam scale. I also had excellent results with Gold Dots, but those were 158's, which you've already conveyed your dislike for them.

XTP - 140 gr. HP
Powder - H110 / 296 = 17.1 gr. - 19.0 gr.
Magnum primer required
Good full roll crimp

Now for 38 special I have another load that does the 38 spcl justice, and serving effectively as a self defense and hunting combination. The following data is +P rated and should only be fired in firearms rated for +P. As always, one should work up from the published minimum with all reloading endeavors.

I like using the 110 grain and the 125 gr. XTP's, but I've also been happy with the 140's and 158's. I get especially good velocity withe 110's, but the 125's are by no means disappointing.

+P 38 spcl data

Powder - Longshot 7.6 gr. There is no minimum to maximum table for Hodgdon's +P data, so I've always just used it as published.
Bullet - 110gr. XTP HP roll crimped
Primer- CCI-500 I've used a lot of CCI-550 magnum primers with this load, and all the others blow, and it honestly didn't produce a discernible difference as far as I could tell.
Velocity out of a Taurus 608 W/ 4" comp. barrel. Velocity was in the lower 1300's fps. I don't have my records in front of me, but I know that number is close anyway.

The 125 gr. XTP was slightly lower velocity, but no slouch as a consideration for a self defense round.
125 gr. XTP
Longshot - 7.0 grs. Again, not min / max table for +P loads
CCI-500 or 550 if out of 500's
Velocity out of 4" 608 was around the mid 1200's

The 140 gr. XTP
Longshot - 6.4 gr. I have my own worked up data for this bullet, can't share that here though.
CCI-500
Velocity wasn't as bad as I had expected. to which I was still respectively above 1100 fps, so I never feel under gunned with a cylinder full of those.

Then there's the oh so hated 158's. I actually really like these in the 38 spcl with +P data, and then some. When I'm carry 158's, I'm either carrying the 158 XTP, or 158 Gold Dots.

158 gr. XTP
Longshot - 5.5 gr. I have my own developed charge for this combination, can't share here though.
CCI-500

All of the 38 spcl loads were tested using the rolled up wet denim.
The jackets on the 110's started to pull away from the core, but weight retention confirmed that they didn't fragment at all. They didn't make it completely through the denim, but only lacked full penetration by only 3 or 4 inches, but they fulled expanded.

125's penetrated all the way through, but landed on top of the silt, so they were completely done. they did everything else fine, they completely expanded, no jacket separation except for one small piece of a pedal.

The 140's and 158's also fully penetrated, and fully expanded. Both embedded into the silt several inches. Weight retention was for all practical purposes 100%. No jacket separation what so ever, and all the pedals were nicely rolled down against the outside of the shank. I was immensely pleased with both of those bullets and make it a point to carry at least one speed loader or strip filled with either of those.

Velocity is a consistent 1050 out of the 4" 608. My own tailored load runs a bit higher though. This is a particular property of Longshot that keeps me stuck on it for +P work.

GS

Steve C
December 29, 2015, 05:32 AM
For .38's I carry with either 125gr Remington Golden Sabers or 135gr Speer short barrel Gold Dots. From the numerous YouTube gel and denim tests these bullets and ammo provide the best in expansion and penetration. When I couldn't find factory loads but could get components I loaded the Rem 125gr GS on top of 6.0 gr of Unique and the 135gr Speer GD on top of 7.0 gr of AA5.

Years ago I used to carry the Remington semi jacketed 125's on top of 6.0gr of Unique in the .38spl for defense. Out of a 4" barrel they will be a bit over 1,000 fps (chrono'd) and around 900 fps from a 2" snub (estimated).

In the K frame .357's they're loaded with Rem GS factory medium level loads at around 1,225 fps out of a 4" revolver while the N frame S&W's, Colt Python and Colt Troopers are loaded with Remington or Sierra semi jacketed 125gr HP's loaded to full power 1,450 fps loads.

bannockburn
December 29, 2015, 06:24 AM
Typically I go with 158 grain for most everything other than target shooting or plinking; then it's a 148 grain handload.

340PD
December 29, 2015, 02:52 PM
125 gr. plated

Bama Drifter
December 30, 2015, 12:23 AM
158 LSWC
loaded to .38 +P for use in Smith 19 and Colt SAA
My recipe is 5.5gr of Unique and SP primer (not mag) using "retired" .357mag factory brass. As both revolvers are investment grade, a light target load is preferred. :)

chaim
December 30, 2015, 06:32 AM
For self defense I prefer 125gr JHP in .357mag, 125gr JHP or 158gr JHP or SWCHP for .38/.38+P. For the woods and possible bear defense, I prefer 180gr. For practice and reloading (for practice only, my self defense and woods loads are all commercial loadings), I prefer whatever is cheapest at the moment I'm buying :)

RealGun
December 30, 2015, 06:58 AM
158 and larger has too much inertia in the smaller guns, punishing the shooter. The 125 gr seems to solve that for me. K frame or larger and comparable other guns seem fine to me with 158 gr.

I have read mention that the 357 was developed with 135 gr.

460Shooter
December 30, 2015, 09:35 AM
I like 125 gr loads for urban settings where over penetration may be an issue, or Speer's 135 gr 38 short barrel stuff for in the home. If I'm poking around in the bushes around my particular area, I like 158 gr Speer Gold Dots, as they will easily stop anything I encounter, provided I can hit my target.

If I ever feel the need to carry 180 gr loads, I'll bring a bigger gun.

For target practice I like 158 gr bullets.

FLNT4EVR
December 30, 2015, 09:38 AM
For HD I load my 357's with 150 grn hardened WC'S from RimRock bullets . they are hardened to 22 bhn ,and will penetrate damn near anything.

Richard Head
December 30, 2015, 01:42 PM
I like the heavier bullets in 357 Magnum. The 170 grain Keith SWC's are very accurate bullets in all my 357's and leave a lot of room in the case for powder. I load them long with 2400 or PP300MP and get high velocity with excellent accuracy. The Cast Performance 187 (185 grain actual weight) WFN is another fine bullet, but it's a little expensive. I shoot more 148 grain dewc's wadcutters than anything in the 357 these days. 125 grains is too light imo, I don't bother with anything under 148 grains with my 357's.

TfflHndn
December 30, 2015, 02:43 PM
I have target loads I like in 125rnfp, 148wc and 158swc. Just depends on what I feel like shooting at the moment. I tend to stay away from plain lead, and go coated or plated. Less gunk messing up my dies from the lube. Gold Dots and H110 or Blue Dot for defense loads.

bikerdoc
December 30, 2015, 03:21 PM
158 jhp in the Ruger police service six.
110 jhp in the snub SP101
125 jhp in the Smith 649

Mostly 132 gr PMC in wifes 38

Jlr2267
December 30, 2015, 03:46 PM
158gr XTP or hardcast SWC

dawei
December 31, 2015, 01:33 AM
I own two snubnose 357 Magnum revolvers at present. Both shoot to POA out to 25yds with 158gr ammunition; 38 Special and 357 Magnum. I use the 158gr XTP as my carry load for both guns.

edmo01
December 31, 2015, 06:34 AM
I was wondering what everyones bullet weight preference is for their .38 or .357, but mostly .357 for general duty. I have a fondness for 140gr. bullets, and they seem to perform well. These loads aren't for SD since I use store bought ammo for that. It just seems to me that the best performance are had in the 135 to 145gr. range for both, at least as far as accuracy, and velocity and power. I just never liked 158gr pills, just as I don't like 147gr for 9mm. I dont have a carbine, yet, and these are mostly for varmints around the property, paper, and maybe hunting if i ever make it out. In Iowa, there isn't much that cant be stopped by a 38.

You seem to have answered you own question...

If the 140 grain bullets are working for you, stick with them.

Now, as a handloader I dabble with several weights in the 38/357 rounds. For general plinking I load 125 gr copper plated bullets. They don't lead my barrels and are fairly cheap $$-wise so I can make a lot of rounds for a little investment.

For really accurate 38 loads I like the 148 gr soft lead wad cutters over a light loading of powder. I'm still one of the guys who loads a lot of bullets over Unique powder. I've also had good luck with hard cast 148 & 158 gr lead rounds.

If I'm loading 357 Magnum rounds for whitetails I tend to choose 158 gr jacketed bullets with full power powder loads. The heavier weights will keep pushing through the animal even after hitting bone and tend to give deeper penetration. My magnum powder is still 2400 since I have several pounds of it on the shelf.

Remember, one of the nice things with revolvers and handloading is you can mix and match many bullet weights and velocities. The choices and fun are almost endless.

Edmo

Cocked & Locked
December 31, 2015, 08:15 AM
Life is easier when I load/carry/shoot 158 grain LSWC's and XTP's in my .38 and .357 revolvers

a few of them dressed for success...

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259764/402180623.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/411487455.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/398335686.jpg

chaim
January 1, 2016, 12:36 PM
Life is easier when I load/carry/shoot 158 grain LSWC's and XTP's in my .38 and .357 revolvers

a few of them dressed for success...


C&L, those are some beautiful gun/holster/grip combinations, especially the last two (I'm a sucker for stag and elk grips). Where did the grips come from? Who made the holsters?

Cocked & Locked
January 1, 2016, 01:15 PM
C&L, those are some beautiful gun/holster/grip combinations, especially the last two (I'm a sucker for stag and elk grips). Where did the grips come from? Who made the holsters?

Thank you Sir! The square butt stag grips on the 6" 10-5 came from Ebay years ago. I added the S&W medallions. The holster that one is in was made by Idaho Gun Leather.

The round butt stag ones on the 2.5" 19-2 I got off Gunbroker. That holster, and the one the Python is in, were made by Tom Dyer of Saguaro Gunleather in Kingman AZ. He has retired and closed his business. He also made custom horse tac.

Each set of those two sambar stag grips cost $75.00 at the time.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/411487456.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/398335687.jpg

Here's some elk antler ones...made by Ken Driskill

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/410331312.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259764/406625962.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/24631728/403777840.jpg


and some more sambar stag...

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259764/408800517.jpg

Got some more but on 1911's

chaim
January 1, 2016, 01:24 PM
Now that is just cruel...

Too bad Tom Dyer retired, I would love to have a holster like that (though there are quite a few holster makers who make a nice carved or stamped holster). That M19 and M66 (or is it a 686) are gorgeous. I've been putting it off (money) but I think it is time for me to order some elk for my S&W 625MG and S&W 65LS (not stag, I think it looks better, but way too expensive these days).

lemaymiami
January 1, 2016, 02:13 PM
The only handgun I still own is the same S&W model 10 heavy barrel I was issued the last week of 1973 (I was allowed to purchase it from my department when I retired out in 1995)... it has a standard 4" barrel in 38...

As for ammo we long ago learned (maybe more than 30 years ago) that the heaviest round downrange from any handgun has a better impact than any lighter round (there's a reason the old GI 45 hardball in 230grain had such a great reputation as a fight ender long before modern, much improved auto pistols.... and the cartridge loadings for them.). My standard gear for the above revolver is the old FBI 158grain, soft lead hollow point semi wadcutter (but darned if I know where I'd purchase any today - or what the brand/designation to look for...). If I could, I'd want heavier if possible....

Once again for any handgun the heaviest round you can use accurately is my preference, period.... By the way I've seen more than a few handgun slugs taken from autopsied remains - hardly any of them in hollowpoint expanded at all from a pistol (no matter what all that advertising shouts....).

Cocked & Locked
January 1, 2016, 06:57 PM
lemaymiami...I agree. I prefer the heavier bullets.


chaim...You're right. That one is a 66-no dash.

One more Tom Dyer holster. Had him make this one for a 2.5" S&W N-frame (629-5 44 mag)

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740101.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740100.jpg

Crayfish
January 1, 2016, 07:20 PM
I prefer 125's in my 3" carry gun and 180 hardcast for woods carry around here (GP100). I consider that a minimum Grizzly round for the lower 48 variety. The only thing with the lighter bullets with a fixed sight gun is I had to file down the front sight to hit POA since they shoot so low.

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