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most powerful 357

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Revolver Ocelot, Feb 4, 2007.

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  1. Revolver Ocelot

    Revolver Ocelot Member

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    I'm looking for the best ammo for a 357, any recomondaions?
     
  2. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    For what purpose?

    Seriously. It matters. A lot.
     
  3. tasco 74

    tasco 74 Member

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    jim march is right

    there are lots of things to consider......
     
  4. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Buffalo Bore is going to be the most powerful factory ammo available.
     
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Agreed~! Buffalo Bore is some dang good stuff~!;) :D
     
  6. Revolver Ocelot

    Revolver Ocelot Member

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    well I'm looking for recomndations for ammo for all purposes so I was really looking for a particular brand that is universally recomended.
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Like the others have already said, Buffalo Bore is probably the most powerful.
    http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357

    Double Tap ammo is also very powerful and probably equal in real life to Buffalo Bore. (check the chart on the BB site and look at the 4" barrel numbers since the DT site is quoting numbers from a 4" barrel)
    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/index.php?cPath=27&osCsid=b6ad82c1e3285bdf28a07aa7473668d1

    CorBon used to be the leader but the other 2 have surpassed them.
    They do have a wide range of Hunting, Cowboy Action, Normal JHP and Match ammo.
    http://www.dakotaammo.net/

    I like the Double Tap stuff because it's only a few dollars more for 50 rounds compared to 20 rounds of Buffalo Bore ammo. Since they are the same, I went for the better price.
     
  8. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    OK.

    If you're trying to sort out one load good for everything from squirrel to black bear and of course that dreaded species known as the "two legged rattlesnake" (aka "goblin", "thug", "Mike Tyson", etc...), forget it.

    M'kay? Ain't gonna happen.

    For dangerous quadrupeds you need something powerful that punches deep without expanding, or at least radically delays expanding by way of a thick jacked. For non-expanding, hardcast lead with either a Keith profile or the new "wide flat nose" designs are the best. For deep punch with "some" expansion, anything driving a Hornady XTP 158gr at decent speed will do, or the Winchester 180 Partition Gold. Or a few others. Buffalo Bore has XTP 158-based loads at crazy speeds, probably the stoutest expanding load out there but still only mediocre for personal defense. Wrong tool for that job.

    For personal defense, you need expansion that will resist "clothes clogging" (where the hollowpoint fills up with, you guessed it...). That means either a really fat hollowpoint at reasonable speeds, or a 125gr small-hollowpoint going "bat out of hell" at over 1,400fps.

    The best "bat outta hell" approach is either the Remington 125gr full house, the Cor-Bon 125 full-house or DoubleTap's 125s IF they still sell them with the Gold Dot "shallow hollowpoint" variant. Bufallo Bore also has a wild-child 125gr but I don't know what slug is involved.

    Gold Dot 125gr slugs also come in a "deep hollowpoint" flavor best suited for mild 357s or hot 38+Ps. Make sure you've got the right stuff for the speed involved. Speer has stopped selling Gold Dot slugs to smaller ammo houses so we may see loads either dry up or try and use the last remaining supplies of God knows what to fill orders. At high speed there's nothing better than the shallow-hollow version of the Gold Dot 125.

    Now. For personal defense, I'm not convinced you need that kind of power. Cor-Bon has their new "DPX" all-copper 125gr hollowpoint that does about 1,200fps. Speer loads a giant-hollowpoint 135gr JHP in 357 cases that does about 1,100ish from a 2" barrel 357 - it's a "reduced recoil" load for lightweight 357 snubbies. The size of that cavity is almost unbelievable...you could almost shove an entire 22LR slug in there. This bad boy is GOING to open up reliably and dump energy in the first 9" to 12" of whatever it hits. I did some accuracy testing with that load and got 2" groups at 25yds. Same day, same gun, the Doubletap 125s doing over 1,500fps did 5" groups and was painful to shoot due to the checkered grips I had at the time and no gloves.

    And this was with a 2lb+ gun, a Ruger New Vaquero which isn't exactly a pocket pistol.

    Get used to the idea of tuning your load to your need.
     
  9. Revolver Ocelot

    Revolver Ocelot Member

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    well needless to say there never has been anything that is good for everything, but I did feel to be a little more specific and say I'm looking for a brand that makes good amunition in general, in anycase thanks for the info.
     
  10. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Oh.

    :)

    Well for personal defense, Speer has some damned fine projectiles. The Gold Dots just rock. They're thin-jacketed copper, where the copper is actually a heavy electroplate onto the lead. So despite being a thin jacket (expands quickly) they hold together rather than coming unglued at speed. It's *possible* to get a Gold Dot's jacket to fly off the lead but you have to really work at it - like drive a 32ACP 60grain projectile meant for 800fps at 1,200+ out of 32Magnum or 32NAA cases :D.

    Any JHP has a "performance range" it'll work at - a minimum speed to open, and a max speed past which it'll come unglued (nosecone falls apart, shreds off and the now-lighter bullet retracts back to close to original diameter). Gold Dots work across a very broad speed range. So does the Hornady XTP, but that's using a heavy brass jacket...expansion doesn't happen until it's deep, which is why it rocks as a "critter gitter". Hence Hornady has the best deep-punch hunting JHPs.

    The Gold Dot's best competitor in personal defense is the all-copper Barnes "X" bullet, which is now being marketed almost exclusively by Cor-Bon.

    Doubletap and Buffalo Bore load the most psycho-hot stuff out there, with Grizzly coming on strong :). But they've all just gotten screwed by Speer's denying them access to Gold Dot slugs. Hornady is still selling slugs and hardcast are easy to score so in the hunting field they're in good shape.

    Black Hills is another small ammo house that will be hurting for a lack of Gold Dots. Their rep isn't for raw power, but for well engineered rounds that are tend to be very accurate. Their match rifle ammo is supposed to kick major butt and has seen military sniper use.

    I would think Barnes is now kicking themselves silly. If they didn't have that exclusive deal with Cor-Bon they could be filling in the gaps left by Gold Dots for all these small ammo houses. Meanwhile Cor-Bon is going to clean up if they get their marketing together.
     
  11. Revolver Ocelot

    Revolver Ocelot Member

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    yeah I was looking at the 200 grain 357s they had on the double tap website and I'd have to say it put a smile on my face from ear to ear.:D
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Revolver Ocelot,
    Most "name brand" ammo companies these days make reliable ammo. You will probably get many different answers on which is the best. The truth is, most answers will be correct because most ammo is high quality.

    I carry Speer Gold Dot 125 gr .357 Mag rounds in my 4" S&W Revolver.
    I carry Speer Gold Dot 135 gr .38 Sp +P Short Barrel rounds in my S&W J frame.


    All the below are good choices for carry SD ammo:
    Speer Gold Dot http://www.speer-ammo.com/
    Federal Hydra-Shok http://www.federalcartridge.com/ballistics/default.aspx
    Hornady HP/XTP https://www.hornady.com/shop/?ps_se...&category_id=60c538f7b741f0a880b7fb27021cd85e
    Buffalo Bore http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357
    Double Tap http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_27
    CorBon http://www.dakotaammo.net/
    Remington Golden Saber JHP http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/handgun/golden_saber_HPJ.asp
    Winchester Super X Silvertip HP http://www.winchester.com/products/catalog/handgunlist.aspx?cart=MzU3IE1hZ251bQ==

    What you will need to do is shoot several of the above listed ammo and see which one shoots well out of your gun and which one you shoot well. They all will do the SD job for you IMO.
     
  13. tasco 74

    tasco 74 Member

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    200 gr. is alot of bullet and alot of weight from a .357 magnum revolver...... you must remember the more a projectile weighs the more felt recoil....... i have always liked the federal 158 gr jsp ammo for my all around ammo....... be sure of your back stop with .357 magnum loads they WILL penitrate through a human target regularly.................
     
  14. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Why stick with just a wimpy little 200?

    http://www.pennbullets.com/38/38230tndrhd.html

    :)

    Problem is, being softcast these are limited to about 1,000fps.

    Still...dayum. 230gr, and LONG. I keep wondering if they might tumble in the target...

    Or: take that big flat nose and file two "flats" in it such that on impact, contact with the target would slow the rotation. The two flats would be balanced for flight but would be set with the barrel twist direction to act like a screwdriver in the target. THAT in turn will make the big barsterd tumble, at a cost of about 10 grains of bullet weight tops, maybe less. You'd have to weigh each one with a gram scale to ensure accuracy...

    :D

    The one reloading equipment I already have is a gram scale. Courtesy of the very short time some years back I tried my hand as a cabbie...a drug dealer fare ran off and left it behind :). I took it back to the shop and asked the mechanic what all that white powdery residue in it might be...what does he do? Takes a huge snort and says "cough meth cough yeah cough definately...". It got a really thorough bath after that!!!
     
  15. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Member

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    Except for hunting the 158 gr loads are very good. There are so many different loads and rounds for different uses.
    I would buy ammo dependent on use and quality.
     
  16. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    There is no substitute for you buying some boxes of ammo and takeing them out to the range and seeing what you and the gun like best.

    tipoc
     
  17. Majic

    Majic Member

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    Depends on what you are hunting. ;)
     
  18. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    Keep the brass from whatever you buy in case you decide to start reloading. My reloads for .357 vary from light .38 specialish loads up to 1500+ fps screamers using H110. Best part is they cost about 1/3 of factory loads.
     
  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I think it's enough that the revolver can be so danged versatile. To take advantage of that versatility, though, you need to load it for the job. I have one "universal" load, a personal handload using 14.5 grains 2400 behind a 158 grain cast, gas checked bullet from a Lee mold. It's sort of an old stand by. It's not the best self defense round (too much penetration and no expansion), but when I'm out working on my place (like I should be, now...:rolleyes: ) I carry it in case I run across a hog that needs shootin'. Therefore, I load with it before I leave the house and it's what's in the gun in case I need it for self defense in the interim. I have light .38 loads for rabbits, small vermin, etc and when carrying purely for self defense, I stoke it with 125 grain JHPs, Winchester bullets over a healthy dose of 2400. I mostly range shoot with a 158 grain SWC in .38 brass over 5 grains unique or my wadcutter load.

    Life is just too boring with only one load for a .357. I cast all my bullets out of range scrap. Cost per 50 round box is under $2.00 and with progressives, takes about 10 minutes to load once set up, so don't give me that "time is money" excuse for not handloading. Compared to a $15 box of puny factory .357 or Buffalo Bore sold in 20 round packs (I think) for more like a buck a shot, you must be a basketball star if your time is worth that much. :D
     
  20. U2POWER

    U2POWER Member

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    well I'm looking for recomndations for ammo for all purposes so I was really looking

    Note - most ammo is most likely high quality. You should try different brands with different grain loads. See what you are conforable with. Once you find it stick with it.:uhoh:
     
  21. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    What was the movie where ballistics were measured in how many video tapes of Barbara Walters interviews that a given round would penetrate? Ha!
     
  22. Revolver Ocelot

    Revolver Ocelot Member

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    good point u2power, well I finally broke down and went with what I was trying to avoid by asking for recomondations and bought a box of everything I was looking at. Looks like I'm going to have my hands tied (or wrapped in bandages now) be cause I have about 1350 rounds to go through.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  23. AJD

    AJD Member

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    Wolf Gold Ammo .357 Magnum

    158 grain bullet traveling at 1607 FPS according to the website.
     
  24. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    :eek:

    Fired out of what?? A rifle?


    Ah come on, a 357 doesnt recoil that much......unless its a Scandium snubby.
     
  25. Revolver Ocelot

    Revolver Ocelot Member

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    that all depends on how many rounds you plan on shooting in one session at the range.
     
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