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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. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    With this statement I beg to differ. Top loads from .357 in a 6" revolver are balistically identical to top loads from a 10mm in a 5" autoloader, both teetering on the 800 ft/lb mark.

    Accuracy is going to be a function of the platform, of which both cartridges are available in phenomenally accurate guns.

    Penetration is also a dead heat between the two with the heavier bullets in full jacket or hard cast trim.

    Both are extremely flexible, having a wide range of bullet types and weights, being agreeable with many different powders and generally forgiving to the handloader. Power levels can range from ~300 ft/lb cream puffs (even lighter for the advanced handloader) to the aforementioned 800 ft/lb sledgehammer loads.

    They truly are ballistic twins that coexist peacefully on the market only because they seldom exist in the same type of gun. For this reason, I see .357 autoloaders and 10mm revolvers as particularly pointless, offering only drawbacks (long, rimmed cartridges no good for autos, moon clips are a PITA). The only upside to the 610 is being able to use .40. But then, a quick barrel change offers the same thing in an auto, and without the worry of the shorter cartridge having carboned up the chamber and making cleaning necessary to transition back to the 10mm. And if you've ever handled one of the .357 autoloaders that have been made, it's easy to see why 10mm is the superior choice in that platform. The Coonan was the most practical, but it still had a loooong grip and only held 7 rounds, where a more ergonomically pleasing 10mm can hold 15+ rounds (upwards of 20 with aftermarket IPSC Tanfoglio Witness mags)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  2. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Either I'm losing something in the translation, or it must be a different book than the one I read?
    If the person was shot once in the torso and they didn't stop, then it was listed as a failure to stop.

    I think it's more about the way people work than the way bullets work. As stated, some folks shot in the shoulder will decide it jest hurts too much to continue-some will attempt to cram that gun down your throat.
    There are just too many variables with humans for this to be an exact science (as some seem intent on making it), but they admit as much. You'd think over time, trends would emerge.
    'Course, this is assuming M&S aren't flat out lying-which I've seen no one prove.

    From what I've heard (Ayoob/ProArms Podcasts), the 357 SIG has confounded the 'experts'. Lab results seem to suggest overpenetration would/might be a problem, but field results tend to suggest otherwise.

    Iff'n you need a time killer?
    "We're Getting the Band Back Together" to discuss the .357SIG cartridge

    EDIT: 357 SIG discussion starts at the 8:30 mark.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  3. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    Mach I V I beg to differ on penetration: check and search for "sectional density" on this site. As to acuracy, I really have to disagree!
     
  4. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Massad Ayoob has published anecdotes about this load's effectiveness but IIRC stops short of proclaiming it the best, period. I've fired the Remington version, which is supposed to reach 1400 fps from a four-inch barrel. Trust me, you want a revolver with some weight to it to shoot these well. Out of the smaller Ruger SP101 I was using, the blast and concussion were like a thunderclap and the kick was nasty. These are also the loads that tear up S&W K-frame revolver barrel forcing cones. And just because Marshall/Sanow said X load is "97% effective" or whatever does not mean it will "stop" 97 out of 100 times with a single shot. Who fires just one shot, anyway?
     
  5. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Which was abandoned a couple of years ago in favor of 180gr JHP.
     
  6. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    It's always been a good performer especially when loaded to pressures/velocities of day's gone by.
     
  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Whether they're lying or not shouldn't be the question. A truthful man with sloppy data handling protocols will produce a worthless study. The issue is the rigor of their work -- bookkeeping and documentation mistakes are enough to invalidate any study.
     
  8. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Vern, do you have some more definitive report, or are we just still cruising in the darkness of space? I can understand being critical, but is there a better summary of bullet/cartridge performance out there?
     
  9. OtG

    OtG Member

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  10. janobles14

    janobles14 Member

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    it may have been mentioned deep in one of the earlier posts but i didnt see it so i will propose it now.

    when a great portion of fackler's data was gathered it was gathered from various sources that included BOTH law enforcement shootings and "street" shootings. without a doubt the LEO's were MUCH better shots and at the time used the .357 revolver as their sidearm. i truly think this could skew the data drastically.
     
  11. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Well it didn't take long into that read for the author to start criticizing the writing style.
    From yet another source, it's once again looking like a cat fight...
     
  12. Demitrios

    Demitrios Member

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    I was always of the opinion that heavy explosives were unquestionably the best manstoppers. . .
     
  13. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Don't be insulting. If you'd been around this board any amount of time, you wouldn't insinuate that I need a lesson in sectional density.

    I've been shooting and handloading both of these cartridges for many years and own many guns in both chamberings. I know a thing or two about this.

    For starters, the two most common "heavy bullet" loads found are .357 158 gr. and 10mm 200 gr. These have almost identical SD (.177 and .179, respectively). Take it up to the uncommon loads offered by Buffalo Bore and the like (.357 180 and 10mm 220), and you still have very little separation (.202 and .196) Only with 200 gr. does the .357 pull away, and not by that much: A 230 gr. .400" bullet scores .205, while the 200 gr. .357" bullet hit .224. These are the heaviest commercially available loads (and bullets, AFAIK) in either caliber, and only Double Tap loads them. To go heavier in either cartridge, you end up having to either encroach on powder capacity or realize that they won't function in every gun so chambered. Take it to custom cast bullets and single shots, the sky is the limit for either.

    As for accuracy? Half of the 10mm's on the market are target guns. Two of my four are, the Kimber Stainless Target II and the Witness Limited.

    KimberStainlessTargetII10mm.jpg
    WitnessLimited10mm.jpg

    Believe me, these production autoloaders will shoot just as straight as any production revolver in a similar price range (~$1,000). Increase the budget, increase the performance, regardless of which cartridge. Accuracy-wise, autoloaders give up nothing to revolvers by nature of design, and vice versa. It's all about the manufacture.

    I don't have a dog in this fight, so why would I argue if not to set the record straight? As I said, I own many guns in both calibers and enjoy them all. The 10mm does happen to be my choice for woods gun, not because I believe it has a ballistic advantage (As I've demonstrated, it doesn't), but because it has a definite capacity advantage.

    You can believe whatever you want and disagree with me until you're blue in the face, but the fact remains, the 10mm and .357 Magnum are ballistic twins. Anyone with a good understanding of both cartridges knows this.
     
  14. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    "Either I'm losing something in the translation, or it must be a different book than the one I read?
    If the person was shot once in the torso and they didn't stop, then it was listed as a failure to stop"

    If they were only shot once and it worked, it counted as a stop.
    If they were only shot once and it failed, it counted as a fail.
    If they were shot repeatedly to achieve a stop (presumably because, you know, the first shot didn't do the job) it was excluded from the study.

    Basically their system ignores the vast majority of one shot stop fails by design, because in real life if the first shot doesn't work you just shoot the son of a bitch again. This is a glaring flaw that has nothing to do with semantics, writing style, or complicated statistics. It's also a little depressing how some people seem to take pride in their ignorance of these subjects and seem to despise education generally, but that's a whole other discussion.

    Treating being shot through the heart the same as a flesh wound is something that seems so glaringly wrong to me that I'm really struggling to understand how anybody can see it as anything but a colossal flaw that violates basic common sense. Normally the mantra is SHOT PLACEMENT! (and rightly so), but in this case we can ignore that as a factor in the effect of a handgun wound? Really?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  15. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    I can see why they might exclude multiple shots-if they were shot multiple times, how do we know the first shot didn't stop them (how many times have we seen LEO shootings with many more rounds fired than were really needed)?
    Which shot came first, and which shot of the multiples stopped them-how would they know?

    It's not the education that some folks despise... :D
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Following OLtG's link, I found this interesting:

    There's a basic problem here -- if "torso shots" were used, we know there are places in the torso where a bullet will have little immediate effect, and other places where the effect will be dramatic -- as Marshall admits when he says "bullet placement is the real key."

    So we have a situation where bullet placement is key, but we lump together all "torso hits" as if they should all have equal value.
     
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    The .357/125/1450 seemed to hit the near-perfect balance of velocity, energy, rapid expansion and penetration. The belief that it's head and shoulders over the first runner-up is...IMO...a bit overstated.

    For one thing, the velocity required to achieve that balance is measured from a 4-inch barrel...and how many of us carry a 4-inch service revolver as a matter of course?

    Marshal and Sanow put together some very good data, but it was flawed in several respects. The greater the number of actual shootings, the more reliable the results extrapolated. The cartridge in question had a large database to draw from. Many others only a small numbers, and the rating could easily be skewed from that alone. For instance...If there was only one shooting with a given cartridge, and the victim dropped immediately...it would have a 100% rating. If two shootings were recorded...with one dropping and one running 75 yards before collapsing...your results adjust to 50%.

    Finally...we never depend on a one-shot stop...at least not if we want to live. The .357/125/1450 is a beast...both in blast and recoil...and that means that a fast second hit is more difficult to achieve than with, say...the .45 ACP's best with "only" a 90% rating. When the Baker Flag flies, lives are often lost in fractions of seconds. That extra 2/10ths of a second that it takes to recover from the blast of the .357 and get back on target may well be all it takes for your dying attacker to put one through your boiler room.

    So, the cartridge may be the last word, but the combination of the gun and the cartridge can easily make for a less effective tool.
     
  18. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Well said.

    Being able to control the firearm well enough to score accurate hits in the event of a miss or the first hit being inneffective is more important than having a round that is a decisive fight stopper if it scores a good hit the first time.

    I've personally found that this can be difficult with the .357, especially in light weight revolvers. Ever try to empty a 340 PD (or even an SP101, M60) quickly and accurately? Much more difficult than with a compact 9mm or .45.
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    And that is the key point -- it is the gun-cartridge-bullet-and-man combination that makes a weapon effective. A cartridge that is highly effective in one gun -- say a full-charge .357 in my Colt M357 -- may be much less effective in a smaller, lighter gun -- such as your 340 PD. A gun and cartridge that is effective in the hands of one man may be less effective in the hands of another.
     
  20. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    BE YOUR OWN EXPERT!! We have so many people with expertise (and I am sincere on this) that disagree, I do not think there is a quantified answer. Part of the reason for all the disagreement is, as some have noted, two different people shot in a similar place on the body often react differently. How can a study then return any results? It's a crap shoot (pun intended) with ammunition, but shot placement is still a good idea, gvien that bullets sometimes fail AND different people shot react diffrently. Oh, hell, just shoot them twice just to double your odds! :D
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    By the same token, two hits in the "torso" may result in damage to two differrent organs, with different results.
     
  22. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    BUT, two good torso hits STILL inproves your odds of incapacitation. :)
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    And three is better yet.

    But I was talking about a single torso hit on each of two different men. My point is, the torso is a pretty big part of the body, and there are many different organs in there. So one man hit in the torso may not react the same way another man hit in the torso would react, depending on the actual location of the hits.
     
  24. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    I think they only reason torso hits are lumped together is that's where most folks are going to be aiming (COM).
    Don't think I ever heard anyone claim all torso hits have equal value, although some may be trying to read that into some studies?
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    That's called "looking where the light is."
    When torso hits are all lumped together, the claim is inherent in the lumping. If the person compiling the data recognized that a hit in the stomach, for example, is not the same as a hit in the heart, he would separate them into different categories.

    Let me give a famous example -- a study was done comparing violent crime in Seattle, WA with Vancouver, BC. Vancouver has less violent crime, Vancouver has more "gun control." And that "proves" gun control works!

    Except that it doesn't -- and the flaw was in lumping all the inhabitants of the cities together. When you look at the demographics, Seattle has a lot of Blacks and Hispanics -- and it's mostly in those populations the violent crime occurs.

    Vancouver has very few Blacks and Hispanics, but a lot of Orientals -- who are very law abiding.

    When the study was re-done, comparing like with like, surprise! It turns out White citizens of Vancouver are more likely to commit violent crimes than White citizens of Seattle.
     
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