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What bullet weight for 357 mag self defense loads?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Balrog, Dec 11, 2012.

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  1. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    In a 4" barrel revolver, whats best for killing bad guys, 125 or 158g?
     
  2. beeenbag

    beeenbag Member

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    125 is probably most recommended for defense. In the woods bumming around, I'll take the 158s.
     
  3. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    This should probably be phrased as "what's best for stopping a threat". The goal is not to kill, though that may or may not be a side effect of the topping.

    The answer though is... It's hard to say. Lots of other variables and the difference is probably miniscule.
     
  4. 481

    481 Member

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    Even though I am a "heavy-for-caliber" sort of guy, the Federal .357 125 gr JHP @ 1450fps is what I'd carry for serious social purposes.
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The .357 Magnum round with the best street record for stopping power is the 125gr JHP. Besides the bullet leaving the barrel at an impressive clip, it also make a very impressive crack on the tail of the fireball and flame shooting out the barrel.

    I personally prefer the Speer 140gr JHP, because it is more accurate out of my Python and has a bit less flash out of my 2.5" M-66
     
  6. scotjute

    scotjute Member

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    I prefer the 158 grn bullets. Slower velocity, but should provide better penetration. In addition they are easier to shoot and seem to be more accurate to the way I aim.
     
  7. BigJimP

    BigJimP Member

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    158 gr is my choice...in defensive ammo ...and I use Federal Hydra Shok JHP in 158grain....when I carry a revolver.

    and I reload and practice with a 158 gr from Montana Gold ...a JSP bullet. Its a good bullet as well...and I get about 1130 fps....out of all of my 4" revolvers in .357 mag.......either in a model 19, 66 or 27 ....and up around 1150 fps out of a 686 or model 27 in 6" ....
     
  8. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I am a fan of Speer's 158gr. gold dot. I have some loaded by DT, and some from Speer.
    They are very accurate for me out of both my Security Six, and my Rossi M92.
     
  9. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Member

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    I prefer the 158 gr SJHP. If I thought I needed more penetration it would be the 158 gr. JSP.
     
  10. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    158g LSWCHP
     
  11. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Lots of excellent ammunition choices for the mag and the 357 doesn't need current state of art bullet designs to be effective. All one needs to do is choose desired penetration depths for their needs.

    Here's a link to LE ATK bare gel data comparing 125/158gr Gold Dots. Sectional density of the 357/158gr correlates to the 10mm/200 gr while the 357/140 compares to 40/180 and 45/230.

    http://le.atk.com/ammunition/speer/handgun/compare.aspx?compare=53920,53960
     
  12. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I would say 125gr for people. Underwood's Gold dots are moving at 1600fps and 711lbs which should do the job.
     
  13. 1 old 0311-1

    1 old 0311-1 member

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    The old FBI load is STILL tops: 158g LSWCHP
     
  14. oldbear

    oldbear Member

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    158Gr. LSWC. If you reload or have someone who will reload for you try 14.5Gr's of 2400 with a CCI primer.
     
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    You're shooting a non-gaschecked lead bullet in a .357Magnum :eek:

    There is no FBI Load of the .357 Magnum using a LSWCHP (lead semi-wadcutter hollow point). The original FBI loading they used in the 30s used a 158gr SWC moving at 1500fps, because they believed they needed to be able to stop cars by cracking their engine blocks...this wasn't a hollow point bullet

    I think you guys are referring to the FBI .38Spl load...also known as the Chicago Load
     
  16. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Member

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    "I think you guys are referring to the FBI .38Spl load."

    Is there a "magnum" version of this ?
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Nope, the FBI never had a .357 Magnum loading issued...even in the 30s, they were personally owned

    Pushing soft lead at magnum velocities isn't usually a good idea if you are planning to shoot much
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I like the Winchester 145gr Silvertip ammo but if I had to choose between the 125gr and 158gr .357 Magnum it would be the 158gr load.
     
  19. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Yep, do so all the time. Gas checks are totally unnecessary for the .357 Magnum when you are using the right alloy.

    Don
     
  20. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    I use to carry the Black Hills .357 Magnum
    125 Gr. Jacketed Hollow Point
    Velocity 1500 FPS
    Energy 625 Ft. Lbs.

    When I carried .357 Mag. years ago.
     
  21. RaceM

    RaceM Member

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    158gr JHP
     
  22. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    158gr JHPs are my choice.
     
  23. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Weight means extremely little!
    What bullet weight are you most proficient with?

    Even a tiny 22lr is deadly when you hit the brain, heart or central nervous system.
    So the real question is your accuracy.

    My gun loves 125 gr HPs.
    I am most proficient with my own reloads using an HSM 125 gr plated hp.
    So that's what I carry.

    (don't get started with the reloads/factory carry ammo, that's quite a few whole other threads)
     
  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    With an alloy driven at that velocity, are you getting reliable expansion?
    Are you encountering shoot-through?
     
  25. Bikewer

    Bikewer Member

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    When my old department decided to actually issue the .357 (everyone carried one anyway...) the 125 grain loads were issued as well. They had done a lot of research on police shootings and decided they were the most effective....
    Don't recall the details, however.

    I was around when the "Super Vel" rounds and components became available, and carried 110 grain reloads for some time... A nasty little slug.
     
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