Federal 357B?


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Cooldill
May 24, 2014, 06:24 AM
Hey all, I've heard about the Federal 357B load for some time now. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a .357 magnum load made by Federal with a 125 grain SJHP bullet. I believe that the Federal personal defense .357 magnum in the 20 round blue boxes is essentially the same load.

Anyway at a recent gunshow I came across two boxes of Federal Hi-Power 357B that were being sold for a good price, so I got them. The ammo is in great condition, but I'm not sure how old it is. Does anyone know? Here is the ammo:

http://s12.postimg.org/t2s2w4xnh/357_B.jpg

I plan to use these in my Ruger GP100 with a 4" bbl for traveling and home defense. Are these a good load for that purpose? I'd like to hear everyones opinion on this load and if they have any experience or knowledge about it.

Thanks!

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ColtPythonElite
May 24, 2014, 09:03 AM
I have only bought one box of factory .357 in my life. It was a box like that. I bought it in 1990 at KMart for about 15 bucks. I have 5 of them left in a SP101.

Warp
May 24, 2014, 01:26 PM
I plan to use these in my Ruger GP100 with a 4" bbl for traveling and home defense. Are these a good load for that purpose? I'd like to hear everyones opinion on this load and if they have any experience or knowledge about it.

Thanks!

357B has a good reputation. They should be great for those uses.

The ones I have are in the blue box you mentioned.

Arizonan
May 25, 2014, 12:04 PM
The good old 357B. These are from the mid 80s thru the early 90s. These and the Remington R357M1 are the best. I have two boxes of the Federal that you show. I bought them many, many moons ago. They are keepers for sure. I paid $14.98 for each box. You wont find em like that anymore :mad:
You ask if they will be good for defense. Ask yourself this. If someone put a 12 ga to your face and pulled the trigger, would you die? These are the best of the best for defense in a 357 magnum. They will drop a person like a lead weight being dropped in water. So much statistical evidence proves it out for this ammunition. Many a graveyards are full of people shot with this ammunition. You sir have the "gold standard" of ammunition when it comes to the 357. Enjoy. By the way, if you shoot them just for the hell of it. Wears muffs.

gamestalker
May 25, 2014, 01:32 PM
Sorry for hi jacking the thread.
Arizonan, how long you lived in Flag? I lived in Cheshire in the 80''s through the mid 90's. Sure do miss it.

GS

Cooldill
May 25, 2014, 11:13 PM
The good old 357B. These are from the mid 80s thru the early 90s. These and the Remington R357M1 are the best. I have two boxes of the Federal that you show. I bought them many, many moons ago. They are keepers for sure. I paid $14.98 for each box. You wont find em like that anymore :mad:
You ask if they will be good for defense. Ask yourself this. If someone put a 12 ga to your face and pulled the trigger, would you die? These are the best of the best for defense in a 357 magnum. They will drop a person like a lead weight being dropped in water. So much statistical evidence proves it out for this ammunition. Many a graveyards are full of people shot with this ammunition. You sir have the "gold standard" of ammunition when it comes to the 357. Enjoy. By the way, if you shoot them just for the hell of it. Wears muffs.
Thanks! I will probably just keep them for... a rainy day LOL! I have other ammo for target practice.

Glad to hear this is a good load for self defense. I will be carrying it for that purpose.

Arizonan
May 26, 2014, 11:08 AM
Gamestalker!!!

I live in Baderville. I am sure you know where that is. I love Flagstaff and the surrounding area. I moved from Sierra Vista in 1992 to Flag.

Crashbox
May 27, 2014, 02:01 AM
What Arizonan said. They are an excellent, proven SD round.

I carry either the 357B's or Speer Gold Dot 125's in my SP101. Yep, they now come in a blue box (if you can find them!)...

460Kodiak
May 27, 2014, 10:40 AM
Are these a good load for that purpose?

sure

Cooldill
May 27, 2014, 08:00 PM
sure
Wow what a help you are...

Thanks everyone else though! :D!

Sergei Mosin
May 27, 2014, 08:27 PM
Lots of sound and fury with that load. It's what I shoot when I feel like making a really big impression at the range. Never been brave enough to shoot it out of my LCR though - it's reserved for my GP100.

Now I will differ from the general opinion and say that I do not like this load for defense. Not that it won't get the job done - it will - but it's so loud and the flash is so bright that I find it a bit disorienting. That cuts both ways, of course, but I prefer loads that don't have that effect on the shooter. The other problem is the recoil - it's tremendous. Between the noise, the flash, and the recoil, I can't make accurate follow-up shots in anything like a decent time. I prefer lighter loads for self-defense and reserve the heavy loads for outdoor use.

PointOneSeven
May 27, 2014, 09:04 PM
I use the semi-jacketed rounds when I want to shoot hollowpoint rounds without going boutique. Fun stuff! Good find!

NMPOPS
May 27, 2014, 11:20 PM
I was first issued the Federal 357B in 1978 as my duty load. At the time they were rated at 1450 FPS out of a 4 inch barrel. They are a major reason the 357 gained the reputation it has as a one shot fight stopper. Great round but they are a flame thrower! Also the 125 Fed Personal Defense is not loaded to the same power level. I've shot both and the PD is easier on recoil.

Lucky Derby
May 29, 2014, 08:42 AM
These are the Federal version of the one shot stop king of handgun rounds. It will do the job. I often carry the Remington version in my .357s.
That said, because it is old school, it doesn't have flash supressed powder and recoil is heavy. You know you are shooting a Magnum.

gamestalker
May 29, 2014, 06:22 PM
I don't buy factory stuff, but I do load the Speer SJHP's, they do very well, good penetration. I don't often see them much any more, but now and then I'll find a couple boxes on the shelf and snatch them up for either .357 mag. or 44 mag..

Arizonan, yes, I know Baderville, just a few minutes down the way from where I lived in Cheshire. I remember looking down on Baderville from Wing Mountain where I killed my first turkey many years ago. I also bought my first german short hair pointer from a guy in Baderville. That view you have of the San Francisco peeks, is a million dollar view.

Again, sorry for hi jacking:uhoh:

GS

blarby
May 29, 2014, 06:46 PM
Ok, so not to hijack- just making notes for myself :

38 caliber HP, 125 gr, 1450fps = Thats the meal ticket in 357 mag ?

Is this where the legend of 357 came from, this equation ?

Warp
May 29, 2014, 07:46 PM
Ok, so not to hijack- just making notes for myself :

HP, 125 gr, 1450fps = Thats the meal ticket in 357 mag ?

Is this where the legend of 357 came from, this equation ?

Yes.

Specifically the Remington and Federal from what I've read

Cooldill
May 29, 2014, 08:47 PM
I'm glad to hear these cartridges are considered to be effective for defensive use.

I feel better now about buying them!

Archie
May 29, 2014, 09:18 PM
...Is this where the legend of 357 came from...?

Not exactly. The .357 Magnum round was commercially released in 1935; this round came out in the - middle 1970s or so (correct me if needed). The 'legend' of the .357 Magnum was long established prior to this round.

This round didn't hurt the legend any. It was considered by some group or groups of number crunchers - and not a few street cops - to be the 'magic death ray' if any such thing existed. Certainly the best chance for a one shot stop in the day.

What hasn't been mentioned yet is this is the load infamous for breaking Model 19 Smith & Wesson revolvers. This is the load that would - not always but far too often - break the lower arc of the barrel at the forcing cone.

And as mentioned, the report is something akin to the crack of doom. Recoil is quick and brisk; being a light bullet it happens 'quicker' than heavier bullets. Not horribly painful, but not for 'plinking' either.

I have a couple boxes of them in my secret hide out for serious use; but in L or N frame revolvers only.

gamestalker
May 29, 2014, 09:30 PM
Ah heck, I've been running thousands of full house jacketed 125's out of both my K frames for years, no FC problems as yet. Seriously, I load nothign but H110/296 loads through all my .357's, my K frames included, among those are plenty of 125's, and 110's also. The real deal, and S&W addressed this formally, is lead bullets cause build up in the forcing cone, and if not maintained / cleaned regularly, pressures will rise significantly in the FC, thus fracturing them.

I've never been the least bit worried about full pressure 125's or even 110's with my K's.

GS

ArchAngelCD
May 30, 2014, 01:14 AM
I plan to use these in my Ruger GP100 with a 4" bbl for traveling and home defense. Are these a good load for that purpose?
In reality, do you actually think something that starts with ".357" and ends in "Magnum" would be a bad choice for SD? :p

That Federal .357 Magnum load has as good a street reputation as the FBI Load does in a .38 Special. You got lucky to find 2X 50 round boxes. I agree you should not use it for range practice.

Lucky Derby
May 30, 2014, 02:26 AM
Without going into detail, my father, in about 1977 or so, used the Remington version of this load to end the attack of a woman with a stolen Colt Government Model .45. She was high on cocaine. One shot ended the attack, and her life, instantly. That same shot also caused my father permant hearing loss in his left ear.

460Kodiak
May 30, 2014, 10:20 AM
Wow what a help you are...


It's a .357 jacketed hollow point. So no offense, but you essentially asked if a powerful self defense round is good for self defense. So, my answere is yes. If you've tested it in your gun and it does what you want, then it is a good choice. If you haven't tested it, it is a bad choice.

David E
May 30, 2014, 10:35 AM
^^^^

Exactly. You'd be wise to shoot some, maybe 50, to make sure they work in YOUR gun, see where they hit from YOUR gun and see how well you manage the recoil from YOUR gun.

It matters not one whit how well it works in someone's else's gun.

Cooldill
May 30, 2014, 10:57 AM
Oh... well that DOES make sense!

I will have to bring one of the boxes to the range and test them out. I want to thank everyone for helping me!

Skribs
May 30, 2014, 03:03 PM
In reality, do you actually think something that starts with ".357" and ends in "Magnum" would be a bad choice for SD?

How about .357 magnum ratshot?

It's a .357 jacketed hollow point. So no offense, but you essentially asked if a powerful self defense round is good for self defense. So, my answere is yes. If you've tested it in your gun and it does what you want, then it is a good choice. If you haven't tested it, it is a bad choice.

This isn't always true. Just because a round is powerful or designed for self defense doesn't mean it's a good round. Glaser safety slugs and a lot of .380/.38 self defense rounds (like Hornady Critical defense) are way too light and don't penetrate enough to rely upon, IMHO. More powerful rounds are arguable worse for self defense when you factor in muzzle flash, report, and recoil.

That said, your original post in this thread answered the question. There was no "why" or short essay requirement, so I don't know why the OP didn't like your answer ;)

460Kodiak
May 30, 2014, 07:57 PM
This isn't always true. Just because a round is powerful or designed for self defense doesn't mean it's a good round. Glaser safety slugs and a lot of .380/.38 self defense rounds (like Hornady Critical defense) are way too light and don't penetrate enough to rely upon, IMHO. More powerful rounds are arguable worse for self defense when you factor in muzzle flash, report, and recoil.


I agree completely Skribs, the rounds you mentioned like Glaciers, and some CD ammo would not do what I want them to do either, so they are a poor choice IMO as well.

And that's why I said
and it does what you want

My implication was that the OP should test the ammo himself in his gun (since all guns have ammo preferences), and make sure it hits accurately, shoots to POA at a desired distance, achieves desired velocity, penetration, expansion, and has a desireable recoil impulse and noise level that is manageable for him. I guess I should have spelled it out better. My bad....

That said, your original post in this thread answered the question. There was no "why" or short essay requirement, so I don't know why the OP didn't like your answer :) Yep! But now my answer is fully explained, so I'll stop any further smart assery.

Skribs
May 30, 2014, 08:28 PM
so I'll stop any further smart assery.

That makes forums boring.

joneb
May 31, 2014, 11:25 PM
One shot ended the attack, and her life, instantly. That same shot also caused my father permant hearing loss in his left ear.
I loaded and shot 125gr Hornady XTP/HP with 14gr of Blue Dot from a 4" Colt Trooper, I needed foam plugs and ear muffs while shooting outdoors :eek:
I think such a load fired in a confined space would be disorienting and deafening.

460Kodiak
June 1, 2014, 11:11 AM
That's why I use .38's in my HD gun. But better deaf than dead.

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