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What makes the .357 Mag 125gr unquestionably the best manstopper?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by cleetus03, Jul 12, 2011.

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  1. cleetus03

    cleetus03 Member

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    I've been curious about this for a while............so here it goes;

    I've come across dozens of sources on the "internet" stating the .357 magnum in 125 JHP as the most effective handgun caliber and load in existence for self defense.

    Do the terminal ballistics of this load really stand out that much greater compared to the plethora of other handgun caliber loads? If so why? And if not also why?

    I appreciate any help or info yall can give me!
     
  2. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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  3. JFrame

    JFrame Member

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    I'm guessing the reputation stems largely from Marshall & Sanow's "One-shot stop" database, which gives the .357 (with certain loads) the highest number of one-shot stops against the highest number of recorded instances, bumping up its empirical body of data.

    Of course, there's a lot of controversy and debate surrounding the compilation of this DB...


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  4. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    The books Street Stoppers and Handgun Stopping Power by Evan Marshall are likey the source of the data.

    However, 45 acp in better loads equals the the .357 and select 40 S&W and 9mm +P+ are only a few points behind.

    In any of those calibers you can find at least 3 loads that have been 90% effective based on actual shootings.

    I'm not worried if something is 90% vs 96% either way that load has proven effective, selection should be based on feeding reliability and hitting POA.

    Regardless, I still prefer the 45 acp (230 gr.), 40 (165 gr.) .357 SIG (125 gr.)
     
  5. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    Yeah, it's Federal's 125 gr JHP????? I can't remember the product number, but I do know that they are very hard to find.........if even still being made.
     
  6. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    Nothing.
     
  7. NMBrian

    NMBrian Member

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    Its just my opinion, but id say with modern HP ammunition, all of the "service" calibers are so close in stopping power, that the difference is really negligible.

    A center mass hit with 9mm, .40, .45, .357mag, etc are all going to bring someone down 90%+ of the time.

    IMO.
     
  8. JFrame

    JFrame Member

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    Yep -- assuming this link is an accurate reproduction of M&S's DB, it's a Federal 125-grain slug producing 96% OSS against 523 shootings:

    http://www.familyfriendsfirearms.com/Stopping Power Statistics.htm


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  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    They have good velocity and expansion but I'm not sold on their penetration esp. against the much larger folks around these days (some two or three times the size of the average man in the 1970's) and the heavier clothes in these parts during the winter.

    But if you're dealing with skinny guys in light clothes, they appear to be fine choices.
     
  10. Searcher4851

    Searcher4851 Member

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    It isn't. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
    The statistical information compiled in the quoted database is merely that. It doesn't really meet the criteria of an actual study. They sort of allude to that in the fact that they eliminated shot placement from their compilation. They also didn't classify the "subject" of the shooting. (250 pound man or 80 pound kid)
    It is interesting, but without more information, and a more strict criteria for shots to be evaluated, it is by no means the be all end all.
     
  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    You might want to read, study, and think about this FBI report.

    Here are some relevant excerpts:


    The first paragraph (together with the obvious fact that one has to hit something vital) explains very well why a defender may well have to shoot very rapidly and repeatedly at a moving target, and the second, which is stated n the context of common handgun ammunition, why more "bang" is not necessarily better.

    If one attends or participates in a realistic defensive pistol shooting course, he or she will see instructors and experienced competitors firing rapidly at multiple torso-sixed plates, and hitting them, say six times in three tenths of a second. Personally, I cannot do that with a concealable .357 Magnum with Magnum loads. I doubt that very many people can do it.

    From that, I conclude that a .357 magnum revolver is not the most effective weapon in existence for self defense against human attackers.

    The report also explains in some depth why the M&S study methodology probably does not, because it cannot, provide reliable conclusions.
     
  12. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    There is only one original source for this claim and that is Marshal and Sanow. No one else ever claimed it to be true. The "dozens of sources" all go back to the only original source for this claim and that is M&S. The work of M&S on their "One Shot Stop" statistics is more questioned than accepted.

    The .357 Magnum made it's reputation with various 158 gr. SWC rounds for about 40 years before a reliable 125 r. jhp was introduced by Lee Jurras and Super Vel ammo in the mid 1970s. That round started a certain debate about which bullet weight was best in the .357 for defensive use. But the .357 already had a well established reputation as a hunting and defensive round prior to the introduction of the 125 gr. jhp.

    Even then M&S did not claim that all 125 gr. loads were "the most effective" they claimed that certain brands of ammo loaded with specific bullets were, particularly the Federal and Remington loads. They also granted the 96% rating (the same they gave that 125 gr. 357 load) for some 45acp and some 40S&W loads. Certain loads of the 9mm trailed these by only a few percentage points.

    So do the "terminal ballistics" of this load stand out a great deal more than other rounds? No not according to M&S and they are the only source for that one shot stop info.

    If we look at what the term terminal ballistics actually means,which is what a bullet does after it strikes, than bullet construction plays an important often critical role. Depending on the caliber, bullet type, weight, velocity, etc. a number of service calibers will do equally effective jobs. So again we can say that no the .357 Mag with a 125 gr. load does not stand head and shoulders above some other rounds and loads.

    The 125 gr. loads from Federal and Rem. are good loads for defense but they are also one choice from a number of good choices. Type of gun, how well the shooter can handle the load and their gun and shoot it, etc. play a more important role.

    tipoc
     
  13. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    A .357 revolver will score higher one shot stops compared to a semiauto, because it holds less ammo and has higher recoil than 9mm or .45. When you have 6 slower shots, you have to make them count.

    When you have a 15 rounds on tap, some people will make hastier shots and double taps. Or total mag dumps without even aiming. If one of those shots wings the target, there ya go. It doesn't take that much to skew the statistics.

    But that's neither here nor there, because the M&S statistics are all BS, anyway.
     
  14. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I think because it has the recorded history of knocking down people more often with one shot than any of the other REPORTED OR TESTED BULLET/CARTRIDGES. You have heard of one shot stops? A talley was done back in the 1980's by some ballistiticians, gathering what data there was from police, FBI, medical fascilities, etc, and doing a comparative report on available handgun rounds.
     
  15. easyg

    easyg Member

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    It might not be the best, but having shot many animals with a variety of handgun calibers, I do think that the 125g .357 magnum load performs well above many other loads.
    It's a great load.
     
  16. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I've seen .125 grainers drop deer like a bag of hammers. I can't argue if it's the best manstopper or not, but I'd guess it would rank pretty high on the list if there was an accurate way to compare rounds. Of course, it doesn't matter what data you compile or how you compile it, there's always gonna be a naysayer ready to shoot it full of holes.
     
  17. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    1900 fps and 1000 lbs of energy thats what :)
     
  18. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I doubt if anybody is getting 1900 fps out of a revolver.
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The .357 125-grain load is effective in the self defense role. However, there is no statistically valid study that shows it to be more effective than several other rounds.
     
  20. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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  21. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    ^^^^1.250-1.253 max overal length? large pistol primers?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  22. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    125 grain .357's are ludicrously loud, and I would prefer to use something that statistically is minute amounts worse, that wont make me deaf for a week and do permanent hearing damage.
     
  23. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    How valid a study is is in the eyes of the critic. For some, they will never be conclusive enough. For others, they may accept them for wha they are. I view the Marshall-Sanow thing as good as it gets, without spending thousands of hours and way-too-much money for marginally more effective notetaking.
     
  24. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    How are these numbers safe......or even possible? I would like to know the PSI range they are getting up to.
     
  25. Maple_City_Woodsman

    Maple_City_Woodsman Member

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    Besides internet rumor, and "studies" full of glaring methodological flaws?

    Nothing.
     
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