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defensive round for 3 inch gp100

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by proven, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. proven

    proven New Member

    i have a 3 inch gp100 on the way and have started to research ammo options. there is a ton of info out there and frankly, it can be a bit hard to sift through.

    i'm looking for a defensive round to load for hd and carry, whether it be ccw on just in the console of the truck.

    the fbi +p .38 load seems to be popular, but i think i've read that in less than a 4 inch bbl, it won't reach the velocity that it should the perform reliably.

    some mention the lighter weight (125 gr) +p .38 load as being a good choice for shorter snubs.

    then there's .357 mag loads. i think it's recommended to stay away from these for carry and nightstand use due to the impressive muzzle blast (in low light) and much louder report. however for woods carry, this will likely be the route i head in.

    so what's a good defensive round for a 3 inch gp100? i plan to buy lots of .38 in the same weight bullet for practice as well. so my carry choice affects both purchases.

    any and all recommendations are welcome. for now i'm sticking to factory loaded ammo, as i have yet to take the reloading plunge.

  2. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan New Member

    There is a load using 135 gr gold dots that is specifically designed to give adequate velocity from snub nose .38's with two inch barrels. I imagine it would work great out of a 3 inch GP100.

    Personally, I stay away from the .357 for carry or HD. I expect there is too much flash and report when indoors for effective follow up. If I'm outdoors all day, magnums get the nod.
  3. pezo

    pezo New Member

    The best modern medium frame double action revolver out! My 3" heavy barrel stainless steel gp100 is my go to night stand gun. It is loaded with 158 grain remington lead hollow points in .38+p however if in I also like 125 grain remington .357 magnum sjhp's. They are street proven. Are a great load for defense, will do the job but not as heavy as the 158 on up magnums.
  4. wow6599

    wow6599 Active Member

    I'm a big fan of the 140 gr XTP in my 3" SP101.
  5. Donavonmaxwell

    Donavonmaxwell New Member

    158 gr. LSWC in/out of a 2" snubbie .38 Special

    When it comes to a 2" snub-nose .38 Special,how much of a difference does it make,if I choose to use 158 gr. LSWC over LSWCHP's?
    I have heard that with such a short barrel,the HP won't expand.....
    At least with th LSWC,it should expand a bit,should it not????
    Please,somebody help me out.....
    If there is not much of a difference,I will save money on ammo,by sticking with LSWC....
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    For my 2" .38 Spls I go with either 158 LSWC, or 135 Short-Barrel Gold-Dot.

    The old "FBI load" 158 LSWCHP load has always been off again / on again by the manufactures, and I could never depend on finding any when I needed some.

  7. proven

    proven New Member

    thanks for the info on the speer 135gr. it looks like it might be just what i need. i also probably try the 158 gr swc and fbi load that rcmodel mentioned.
  8. Rexster

    Rexster New Member

    I really like the .357 135-grain Short Barrel Gold Dot. An alternative, as the Gold Dots are still hard to find, is the 145-grain Winchester Silvertip, though that is not common, either.

    There is nothing wrong with the classic full-pressure 125-grain Magnum loads, but I will only still shoot these with the larger, square-butt, original (pre-Hogue) GP100 factory grip. The original smaller rounded GP100 grip, that came on the fixed-sight GP100 models, does not mitigate recoil as well in my hands, and the current Hogue grips have the finger grooves in the WRONG places for my hands.
  9. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Active Member

    Personally, I feel well armed with a JHP of any weight and 158 gr or heavier cast SWC. I don't buy "defensive" labeled ammo with lots of propaganda on the box and few rounds in it for the money...usually 20 rounds when a box handgun ammo should be 50 like it was back in the "good old days"....I'd just pick one and then try to pick some practice ammo of the same weight and similar velocity and then try to become as proficient as possible. A well placed round or two of any ammo you choose should do the job.
  10. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Active Member


    Buffalo Bore makes a .38 Spl. load that from a 3 inch barrel gets 1100+ fps for a 158gr. LSWHP. Yes 158 grainer!

    I'd consider that and not use full blown magnums.


    Cause you can then handload SWC duplicates and practice with pretty much the same load and your GP will last for ever!


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