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.357 Magnum: 158s for two-legged defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Geister, May 15, 2007.

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  1. Geister

    Geister Member

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    Does anyone have any ballistic data which shows why 125s are preferred over the 158s for defense against two-legged criminals?
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The 125's will travel at 1450 fps where as the 158's will travel at 1235 fps. I don't think who ever get hit will care which one they are hit with. For some reason the 125 gr are more popular for SD.

    I like the 158 gr rounds because my fixed sights are factory set for those rounds.
     
  3. Gustav

    Gustav Member

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    Check into Evan Marshall's books and data he has researched numerous actual shootings with all available calibers his books are well worth the read and cost to add to your library.
    www.stoppingpower.net
     
  4. dao

    dao Member

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    I do prefer 158gr HP because they give more penetration, less muzzle blast and less muzzle flash.

    125 gr HP are rated about 95% pf one-shot-stop in EvanMarshall book, and 158 gr HP are rated about 85% . But this numbers are to be considered with relativity, IMHO.
     
  5. Sundles

    Sundles Member

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    Exactly what dao said.

    Provided the 158gr. bullets are Gold Dots, I would choose them over 125gr. bullets any day--not that I feel unarmed with 125's, cause I dont.
     
  6. Jimmie

    Jimmie Member

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    I, for one, don't like 125s, even if they do have a little better terminal ballistics. Like the other poster said, my SP101 sights are calibrated for 158s. 125s shoot considerably low - enough so that I wouldn't feel comfortable carrying them (they're low enough that a deadly heart shot turns into a not-deadly gut shot).
     
  7. Candiru

    Candiru Member

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    I went looking for information on terminal ballistics of the 125-grain .357 Mag loads and found there's not much out there. I did find some gel tests, all of which showed underpenetration of the round. It's possible a lot of the hooplah about the 125-grainers was generated by secondary effects of the projectile: flash, bang, and temporary cavity. Given that the 125-grainers don't properly seal the cylinder gap when fired and the 158-grainers show excellent penetration and expansion, I'm going to stick with a 158-grain SJHP for self-defense in .357 Magnum.

    When I get a .357 Mag, that is.
     
  8. VHinch

    VHinch Member

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    I also use the 158's as they shoot to POA from my fixed sights in the only .357 that I ever carry.
     
  9. vanilla_gorilla

    vanilla_gorilla Member

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    In my own (very non-scientific) testing, I have seen the 158 Gold Dot penetrate more than I would like for self-defense compared to the 125. I would likely use a 158 Gold Dot for hunting our small Florida deer, instead.

    I was concerned about the overpenetration of the 158 and possible underpenetration of the 125, but I don't worry about the 125 anymore. If I feel it may be a problem, I also have no reservations about using the 145 grain Winchester Silvertip.
     
  10. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    So much comes down to preference. I use pretty hot 110gr "treasury" loads in my .357 for SD. Personally I feel like 158gr bullets are more for actual hunting than SD but hell they'll certainly do the job!
     
  11. Lou22

    Lou22 Member

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    I prefer the 125gr Black Hills load out of my snub because the recoil is noticibly less than the 158gr I tried. This lets me get back on target for follow up shots quicker.

    Lou
     
  12. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    I use Hornady 158 XTPs, for now. I simply don't like the recoil of the 125 grain loads and most guns seem to be regulated to 158s.
     
  13. Surefire

    Surefire Member

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    I prefer the 158s due to the recoil--to my hands, the 158s are NOT as snappy as the 125s. YMMV
     
  14. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    what about premature erosion of the forcing cone and cylinder face when you only use those 125 grain projectiles? Id rather use the "big slow 158 grain" slug that will penetrate and not the high velocity slug that will damage my poor little gun and possibly not do the job the job the first shot.
     
  15. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    just checked at chearper then dirt and found something strange. If you think 158 grain lead slugs arent good enough, you can get yourself 85 grain bullets with a mv of 1700 feet. Even sell 65 grain slugs moving 1600 feet per second.
     
  16. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

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    DT makes a 158 Gold Dot @ 1400 from a 4". Those will do the job. I prefer 158's. They are what I practice with (Blazer) and carry (DT).
     
  17. gvf

    gvf Member

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    Blazer

    I shoot the blazer, hollow points. Any reason you don't carry the blazers?

    (Know it's unusal to range-shoot hollows, but I want to practice with exactly what I carry).
     
  18. Geister

    Geister Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I prefer reloading the 158s over the 125s since the 158s take less powder. So I was curious if I could just carry with the 158s then. Seems like the only concern on here so far is that the 158s are more prone to overpenetrate, but in many scenarios I can imagine that the 125s would overpenetrate as well.

    Do you think the DT 158s are too hot? The ME listed is 688 ft/lbs. Couldn't that in itself overpenetrate?

    I'm not worried about hitting innocent bystanders because in most self-defense situations, you and the criminal are not surrounded by people. What I am worried about is if the bullet just passes through the perp and doesn't deposit enough kinetic energy.
     
  19. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

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    Many times but not always, the faster you push a hollowpoint the less it will penetrate. It will open faster, larger and more reliably in most cases.

    The reason I don't carry the Blazer 158's is the bullet design. True it's a hollowpoint but the Gold Dot is a much better bullet and it's bonded.
     
  20. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Buffalo Bore and Doubletap are both claiming to launch Gold Dot 125gr "high speed" variant JHPs at 1,600fps from 4" barrels.

    I used one of these (Doubletap) to shatter a bowling ball, so they're definitely "hot".

    The "hollowpoint" cavity is little more than a dimple. Seriously, it ain't much. I have no doubt it's adequate at the speeds Speer designed that load for (1,400fps on up).

    But.

    I had a chance to look at some Speer-brand 158gr JHPs. The "hollowpoint" was the same shallow dimple.

    In a slug doing 1,200-1,250ish...hmmm...man, I'd like to see JUST a tad more, y'know? Under perfect conditions I'm sure they'd be fine...but what about a light barrier shot? Heavy clothes?

    I dunno. Looks kinda marginal.

    The ballistics data says it doesn't expand very fat. Goes deep though.

    I dunno. I suspect the right answer is in the 140-145gr range for human targets. Or there's the Cor-Bon 125gr DPX - all-copper so it's the SIZE of a 135gr slug, more stable in flight than JHP 125s. Cor-bon loads the DPX at 1,200ish, not as fast but expands very reliably.

    Speer's 135gr "357" short barrel is now known to be loaded VERY light, still subsonic in a 2" barrel. Makes sense as it's a HUGE hollowpoint design, same slug as the 38+P.
     
  21. vanilla_gorilla

    vanilla_gorilla Member

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    I intend to do some testing of the 135 gr Short Barrel load next week in water medium. I don't have a 2 inch .357, but we'll see if they start to come apart when being pushed from a 4 or 6 inch barrel.
     
  22. Geister

    Geister Member

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    Jim,

    Double Tap Ammo actually uses Speer bullets, so you encountered the same bullet with different factory powder loadings.

    I don't really like the 140s because they are a pain to find reload data for, and I want to reload equivalent practice rounds.

    Vanilla, think you can post the results on this message board?
     
  23. envonge

    envonge member

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  24. Geister

    Geister Member

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    Aren't you afraid ammo that hot is just going to pass right through, envonge?
     
  25. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    The 125s have the advantage of penetrating fewer walls if you live in the city.

    The reduced muzzle blast of the 158s is a point in their favor in the country.
     
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