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Penetration & Lethality of my .357 Load - your opinions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by chrisf8657, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. chrisf8657

    chrisf8657 New Member

    Hello Gents -

    I have a .357 Magnum loaded with 158 grain Remington SJHP bullets under 14.8 (debating on reducing to 14.5) of 2400 powder.

    What kind of Lethality on human targets, as well as penetration on other areas, do you feel this load is?

    I am not interested in people stating it will over-penetrate. That's what I want incase I face glass or auto bodies.
    Furthermore, these are a small batch of SHTF rounds (Government ain't here to help scenario). I carry factory ammo for self-defense right now, FYI.

    Thank you
  2. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Active Member

    What penetration do I FEEL your load has? Do we get any hints at all, like what length barrel you are shooting it out of, what fps its going, etc?
    You can shoot it through some wet newspaper or water jugs, and get some starting data. Shoot them through an old car door you got at a junkyard, then you will know for sure how your loads do. If you want penetration in your .357 handloads, ditch the hp's and go with a hardcast swc over the same charge out of a rifle.

    Short answer: I'm 99.99% sure either factory or your reloads penetrate better than you'll ever need, but better safe than sorry, I suppose.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  3. ljnowell

    ljnowell New Member

    the 14.5gr load of 2400 under a 158gr LSWC has been a standard load as long as people have been reloading. Skeeter Skelton preached that load and thousands others. On this forum we had a poll once and a large majority of loaders used the 14.5 load.

    Basically, it will kill darn near anything that needs killing here in these United States. Not that I would take it brown bear hunting, but it will kill what needs it.
  4. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter New Member

    Shot placement is key. I would imagine that a 357 round will go through a car door being that today's cars are plastic. A girl T-boned me, she was in a 2007 Honda Civic and I was in my F-250 Crew Cab Power stroke pickup. When I stopped, all she did was push my rocker panel under the truck, the front of her car was like hitting a chicken on the road feathers all over the place, but in the is case, it was plastic and Styrofoam all over, bumper was in 3 different pieces. And the kicker was this was a slow accident, 20mph.

    I've been a firefighter for 10yrs, I know how "well" today's cars are constructed. What a joke. I'm proud that the only plastic on my truck is on the inside.

    Its bad when wearing rescue gloves(just like mechanics gloves) you punch a Cadillac door and you dent it and can see your knuckles. Fun while practicing cutting up cars for training.

    Short story unless its a government vehicle that has armor, your going through the door with anything bigger than a 22lr.

    It will penetrate just fine.
  5. kingmt

    kingmt New Member

    Through a car for your probably going to jail. Good luck.
  6. USSR

    USSR Active Member

    If penetration is your concern (as in you want it), then don't shoot HP's. I would be shooting my hard cast 170gr SWC bullet.

  7. Anmut

    Anmut New Member

    Any min load .357 is a lethal round past 100yds for sure. Lethal through glass and metal? You betchya. Good for any EOTWAWKI scenario? Absolutely.
  8. Steve C

    Steve C Active Member

    Your load should be a little faster than the typical factory 158gr load. I use 14.0gr of 2400 behind the same bullet and the average velocity from my 4" S&W 66 is right at factory published 4" ballistics.

    Here is the Marshal/Sanow data for 158gr bullets which shows a 14.7" penetration from the factory Remington 158gr JHP. Percentage is one shot stops with center mass hit vrs total number of one shot center mass hits and not lethality.
  9. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Active Member

    As silicosys4 said, you can do your own testing on penetration.

    Source: http://www.gun-tests.com/performance/ammotest.html
  10. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Active Member

    You should be shooting JSP's or cast bullets, not SJHP's.

    Hard cast DEWC's are interesting from a .357 -- little sledgehammers.
  11. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Active Member

    I wouldn't obsess over how good it may or may not be, That's a hoss of a load. Can't imagine any human being taking too many of those bullets. If I were you, I'd use the time I spent worrying over how well or poorly the load may perform, to practice.

    Oh, and by the way, Skeeter's load was 15.0 grs. of 2400, not 14.5. Yeah, yeah, I know, 2400 is "hotter" than it used to be...

  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell New Member

    Skeeter listed that as a "heavy 357 load." The one I was talking about is below, which I was wrong, he had 13.5 gr, loaded in a 38 case with the bullet seated out long and crimped in the lower groove as noted below:

  13. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

    Why do you want the ability to shoot people in their cars? You're only justified in shooting someone if you are in fear for your life or great bodily harm.
  14. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Active Member

    Are they trying to run over you? I think that might qualify.
  15. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

    Nope, because even if you managed to shoot the driver, the momentum of the vehicle would still represent a continuing danger. In this case, simply getting out of the way represents the best course of action.
  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Active Member

  17. david_r

    david_r New Member

    I think your load has the kind of lethality that is lethal. If you want more penetration, shoot JSP or some WC variant. Too bad you can't get the FMJ TC bullets Fiocci uses.

    Maybe he wants the ability to shoot people from within his car. You guys read too much into this stuff :rolleyes: He's already stated it's his zombie load.
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Active Member

    The OP specifically asked everyone to stay on topic but some people just can't help themselves, can they?
  19. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Active Member

    You are basically looking for big game hunting loads. Plenty of loading data for that. Heavy hard cast bullet with a blunt profile to resist deflection. No round noses or hollowpoints. A semi wad cutter, as a full wadcutter tends to tumble after a certain distance.
  20. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

    Zxcvbob, using the police as an example is not supportive in this instance because the police have a duty to pursue whereas a private citizen has a responsibility to avoid.

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