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Penetration & Lethality of my .357 Load - your opinions

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

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  1. chrisf8657

    chrisf8657 Member

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    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?

    IMPORTANT:
    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    USSR Member

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    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.

    Don
     
  7. Anmut

    Anmut Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

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

    zxcvbob Member

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    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 Member

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    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...

    35W
     
  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    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:

    http://darkcanyon.net/MyFriend_The357.htm
     
  13. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

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    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 Member

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

    Black Butte Member

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    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 Member

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  17. david_r

    david_r Member

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    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 Member

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

    silicosys4 Member

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    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

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    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.
     
  21. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I've never done any formal testing with ballistic gel, but I have used the shoulder bones of game animals, deer and javelina on occasion. But the more often used method I have employed is lining a card board box with a trash liner, water soaked rolled up denim packed tightly into the box, then filled with water. I usually use two 16" boxes together, sometimes just one. When the box starts to lose most of the water I plug the holes with a piece of tape from the inside of the box. I have tested H110 / 296 charged .357 mag. loaded with HP 110 gr, 125 gr, and 158 gr. XTP's, Sierra's, and Gold Dots. The Gold Dots and XTP's perform the best with full expansion and penetration out of my snubby's and 4" Taurus 608. I didn't care for the Sierra's though, they separated very badly.

    I've also tested 9mm and 40 cal. in this manner too. I know it isn't a formal penetration test per say, but it at least gives me some idea as to how well the projectile holds up.

    GS
     
  22. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    How do they shoot outta YOUR firearm? In order for them to be lethal, you first need to hit what you're aimin' at. That would be the justification for playing with the powder charge. Tinker with your load till you find the charge your weapon likes best. You certainly have all the penetration you need for SD/HD using 158g JHPs with any published load over 13 gr of 2400.
     
  23. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    I carried the factory Remington 158gr H.P's back in the '70's and early 80's in my .357's as a police officer and later a Conservation Officer. I found that the 158gr H.P's performed satisfactory. I later switched to the 145gr SilverTips as they had significantly less flash, which at night was noticeable.

    I had the occasion to shoot a rabid dog with the 158gr HP's. (factory- chrono'd 1280fps from my 4" S&W's, or about like the 14.5gr of #2400). A broadside spine hit didn't completely penetrate a ~55lb dog... so, extrapolate that to a human.... Probably won't penetrate the torso, and exit the clothing on an adult male. (dog was intentionally not head shot as lab's wanted intact brain for testing...). No, we didn't touch the dog!!!!, I used a shovel to push it into a wheelbarrow, which we used to put the carcass in a truck and hauled it to the lab.... Later confirmed to be rabid....

    I now use cast SWC's, but I'm retired, cast, and occasionly hunt pigs, though not as much as when I first retired in the mid '00's. I shot a pig with a cast 165gr SWC over 14.0gr of #2400, it was just under the hide but had classic mushroom and retained ~90% weight. (180lb pig... 20yds).

    I bought 500 Remington JSP's about 9yrs ago and occasionally load some in .357mag, though most have been shot from a .35Rem and recently a .358wcf.
    For your purposes, I believe that you will find the 158 JSP's more satisfactory as they will give nominally better penetration.

    FWIW; in 1985 I investigated a homicide/hunting accident (alledged). The victim was shot at ~2' with a T/C Contender w/14" bbl in .44mag. The Remington 240gr JHP impacted the victim in the right torso, transited the liver, exited the left kidney and was found imbedded in his t-shirt adjacent to his left kidney. Total penetration was ~12", and bullet expanded to approx 7/8" diameter. Later determined to be accidental but not a "hunting" accident as it occured at a hunting camp.....

    Impact velocity/distance makes a great deal of difference in expansion and expansion limits penetration....
    Wonder why I didn't carry the 125gr Winchester JHP's that were the rave at the time?!!!
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That sounds like the same ammo company that loaded the .38 Spl ammo that wouldn't shoot through auto safety glass at 2' and 90 degrees to the glass in another thread today.

    rc
     
  25. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    M.D. Smith lists the following 158 gr. JHP or JSP load;

    2400 14.8 gr. 1,265

    2400 15.2 gr. 1,535 max

    So your load is safe and within published data.

    As others have already commented you should base your load on which one shoots well from your gun, you can shoot accurately and gives you the desire performance based on your personal tests from your gun.


    http://www.reloadammo.com/357loads.htm
     
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