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Best .357 Ammo

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GunNut1976, Dec 8, 2010.

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  1. GunNut1976

    GunNut1976 Member

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    Looking at buying either A ruger sp101 or a Gp100 for my wife. Sp101 fits perfect in her hand but might be a little light to handle .357's. The GP100 with the 4" barrel fits pretty nicely. Mostly for home defense but occasionally maybe open carry when camping hiking or whatever. She's really small and not particularly experienced. Recoil is a factor but I'm not sure I want her to use .38 special. I want the most reliable expansion I can get I'm a little concerned about excessive penetration with .357. Anyways I'd like suggestions what gun would be best and what loads would give the best performance.
     
  2. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    125 grainers

    For S/D my vote goes to the 125 grainers as it will also recoil less [ magnums].

    If in bear country then the 180 gr gets the vote [ magnums].

    As to a .38 - then in a city enviroment its the + P that are loaded for snubby's.
     
  3. fireman5069

    fireman5069 Member

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    I have the SP101 and I carry with Golden Saber .38's. Very good round. .357 is a little stout with the recoil but a good 38 will suffice. Golden Saber is a good home defense round as it has less muzzle flash.
     
  4. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    SP101 and .38 Special +P 158gr. lead semi-wadcutter hollow point would make a wonderful combo.
     
  5. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    Hope this is satisfactorily on topic with the OP's question.

    I recently bought this old Taurus 66 w/6"bbl, and I'm embarassed to admit I've never owned a .357 mag before. For general-purpose woods-carry (in Western NC), is a 158gr JSP a decent choice?

    Thanks,
    Les
     

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  6. erice303

    erice303 Member

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    how about the 135gr 357 magnum speer short barrel?
     
  7. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    Buy both: gp100 with 38spl +P for home defense; sp101 38spl wadcutter for carry for small people. There's no one gun solution. In golf, you don't buy just one club to play.
     
  8. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I have an SP101 & .357 mag ammo is stout in that gun.
    The first time my friend's 23 y/o daughter went with me,
    she tried it with factory ammo & said she didn't wanna shoot it any more.

    I like dashootist's answer: Long term? buy more than one gun.

    short term? the 4" will be much more pleasant to shoot.
     
  9. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    I would go standard 158 gr.
     
  10. CDawg

    CDawg Member

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    My wife has several revolvers that she shoots well. She does not like a lot of recoil and doesn't like automatics. She has two old S&W Model 36's, a 2" and a 3". She also has 2 Ruger SP101's, a 2" and a 3". I have three self defense rounds that she likes: Federal Nyclad 125 HP (standard pressure); Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP (standard pressure); Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP +P. She can only deal with the +P in the 3" Ruger. Any of the weapons shoot the Buffalo Bore standard pressure round well and they all shoot the Nyclad well. We don't put any +P in the Model 36's. She usually carries the Smiths, but sometimes the 2" Ruger. The 3" Ruger does duty in her bedside drawer. Anyway, women like to accessorize and they really like to choose their own weapons. If you can, get her to shoot some rentals at a range. Something that fits her hand and that she dry fires well, sometimes does not translate into a good experience at the range. It's a process, but worth it to get her something she likes and is competent with. Teach her how to reload with a speed loaders and/or speed strips in low light, then no light with snap caps and have her do all her reloads at the range with whatever device she is best with. Running a double action revolver well is all about consistency and hand strength is very important. Help her build her hand strength and her confidence will come with dry fire and live fire practice. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  11. TwoNiner

    TwoNiner Member

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    IMO whatever is most comfortable to carry is what is going to go along for the ride. I was just in WY for a trip and what gun did I carry with me on the trail? My SP101 with .357 180g cast rounds. Sure I should have brought my Redhawk .44 with anti-tank rounds, but its just that: a tank. I'm not a small guy either. I practically forgot my SP was on my belt.

    For HD, either the SP or GP is fine. I prefer a smaller revolver for HD because its just easier to walk to the door with if need be.

    With some hogue grips most of the lesser power .357s are manageable in the SP. I'd stay away from the high power stuff altogether untils she shoots for a few years. I'm still trying to get hold of the federal 180g cast rounds and plan to train with them in the future, but wouldn't recommend them to anyone because you'll probably only get a single shot off (assuming you don't wack yourself in the forehead).
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    You might be interested in the 3" GP100. It sports a heavier frame to aid in shooting heavy .357 Magnum ammo but still has a shorter barrel like the SP101 you like.
     
  13. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I second ArchangelCD's recommendation on the 3 inch GP100. I have one and carry it as my woods carry. My wife prefers it to my pistols, even with full blown magnums, and shes a smaller woman without much experience with guns. The Hogue grip takes the sting out of the magnum rounds.

    As far as the SP101, I don't have one, but I think the GP100 trigger can be easier to pull and smoothed out a bit more than the SP101. That may make a difference to her. The SP101 will be slightly lighter and easier to conceal though.
     
  14. goon

    goon Member

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    Speer 135 grain GDHP's. They're meant for a short barrel revolver but in a 4" GP-100, recoil should be very light and there should be practically no muzzle blast.

    I also second the 3" SP-101 recommendation if you and your wife find it workable.
     
  15. GunNut1976

    GunNut1976 Member

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    I think I'm going to have to buy both. My wifes just crazy she can't understand why she would need more than 1. Sometimes women just don't make any sense. But for the 3" sp101 would you use the speer short barrel or the regular gold dot?i wouldn't consider 3" short but I'm not sure. So I think 38's in the sp101 and 357's in the gp100. I've always been concerned about overpenetration with the 357's though. I mean I'm usually seeing those 14"+ in ballistic gelatin and up to 18" even when they expand. I can only imagine if one plugged it could go through an intruder, 2 walls, and somebody down the hall. What 357 load offers the most reliable expansion. In my opinion 12" penetration is perfect.
     
  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't load my HD revolvers with .357 Magnum ammo for several reasons. The FBI load is used in all my HD guns. (158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P)
     
  17. Messenger Guard

    Messenger Guard Member

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    Load it with 38s for the wife and she will thank you. You can fire it with 357s and let her watch. Maybe someday she will want to try it. Women who have little interest in firearms and are scared of recoil will not enjoy the 357. I found a Hornady 110 gr non +P for the wife to use in her 637. Recoil is light even in the J frame. I'm not worried about the 110 gr bullets burning out the forcing cone since it is only fired 5 times a year, cleaned and restoked. As for you and your hikes, the 125 JHP is still the number one man stopper of all time with 96% one stop shots in documented police shootings. In bear country as was mentioned earlier, your will want 180gr cast lead to bore through hide, bone and muscle. The 357 is overlooked by many in today's world. Folks on THR know what I'm saying. It was the supreme handgun cartridge for 20 years until the 44 magnum. In original F.B.I. loadings it was 1400-1500fps in 158grs:eek:. I've built ones to that spec. At the range when shooting those rounds I was asked if I was shooting 44 mag. It takes practice and enthusiasm to become proficient with. Enjoy your weapon sir.
     
  18. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I wouldn't worry about over penetration from the short barrel, as most of those tests are done with longer barrel. I would worry about excessive recoil in the shorter, lighter revolver. With the GP100, as I mentioned, recoil is negligible, in my opinion. For some ballistics and penetration tests, check out this link: http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

    You can as a general rule of thumb subtract 75-100 FPS for each inch that the barrel is shorter than the test barrel. Conversely, adding 75-100 for each inch it is longer, until it reaches it's maximum (then starts declining because the powder is burnt off and friction kicks in) Remember that penetration isn't just center of mass shots, there may be clothing or an arm in the way too, so that has to be calculated as well.
     
  19. springfield30-06

    springfield30-06 Member

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    Well, for the woods I personally use 180 gr .357Mag Lead Flat Nose. The largest thing that I could possibly come in contact with is a Black Bear, and I use the 180gr flat nose because I want more penetration than a soft point or hollow point.
     
  20. goon

    goon Member

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    The Speer 135 grain GDHP loads are meant to be used in 2-3" guns and are downloaded to probably just about/above a +P .38. It hasn't been too much for my friends who've shot my SP-101, even the girls who had rarely or never shot handguns before.
    But I also don't have a problem with a decent .38 load. If that's all that were available, I'd use it and not worry too much about it.
     
  21. shootingthebreeze

    shootingthebreeze Member

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    I like Hornady because of their .357 hollow point rounds which provide uniform expansion every time. You are absolutely right to be concerned with the .357 round and its power; it can penetrate walls in a house and even exit the house and hit another house or someone walking outside.
    Hollow points, good quality hollow points not only will expand and "brake" but also have powerful shock power as well.
    Hornady also makes good .38 hollow points as well. I would bet they have .38 P+ as well.
     
  22. GunNut1976

    GunNut1976 Member

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    I'm thinking about either using hornady critical defense or speer gold dots. but I think you guys are right though 38's in sthe sp101 and 357's in the gp100. Just curious though how bad does a 357 kick out of the 3" sp101. Would I ever even want to shoot that?
     
  23. 357_

    357_ Member

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    I shoot a 2.25" sp101 with full-house loads all the time. I use the Hogue Mono Grips that came with it and honestly get bored with .38's. But I'm also 6'2 250lbs and work with my hands for a living.

    The only issue I've had with it are on really hot loads, the trigger can be pretty sharp. If I knew of a better gunsmith in my area I'd have them smooth it down, but I don't trust myself with a dremel and I just bought a pair of cheap shooting gloves.

    ~Edit~ To clarify my point, hit post too soon. I'd suggest you try out some 125gr magnum loads. I carry Hornady Critical Defense and for magnum loads they really do not kick much. My thought process is if your adrenaline is pumping you won't notice the kick even if you are a bit shy.
     
  24. GunNut1976

    GunNut1976 Member

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    exactly what i was thinking just wanted verification
     
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