.357 Magnum Ammo

This is a discussion on .357 Magnum Ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It's been a LONG time since I considered a .357 Magnum for SD, and I'm a little out of touch with the ammo available for ...

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Thread: .357 Magnum Ammo

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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    .357 Magnum Ammo

    It's been a LONG time since I considered a .357 Magnum for SD, and I'm a little out of touch with the ammo available for this caliber. I'd like to hear some good SD ammo suggestions for shooting from a Taurus 617 (2" Titanium) revolver. I do prefer a heavy bullet in this caliber. TIA!

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    kpw
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    One thing about the .357 is that the rounds that were great 20 years ago are still great today. The heavier bullets will suffer quite a bit of velocity loss in a 2" barrel, look at Double Tap ammo if your Taurus is up to it. My 686 is loaded with Remmy 125 SJHP. It's one of those old loads that's still a great choice today.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Well, if you find some out there ... let us know. There is still little selection out there on .357 ammo.

    It seems to be the one caliber that has not recovered from the ammo shortages.
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    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    Take a good look at Cor Bons 125 gr 357 DPX and Buffalo Bore's 38+P 158 Gr LSWCHP/GC.

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    I've been carrying Speer Gold Dot in my SP101. No trouble finding it at all.
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    For light .357 snubs I like the Gold Saber. It's a comfortable balance between power and controllability in those little pain machines. If you like a heavier bullet than the 125 GS you might try the Winchester Silvertip. Old tech but great performance. I don't think you'll get much expansion from any 158gr load except for the Hydra Shok from Federal. It's the only 158gr JHP that's not built tough for hunting. I'm not as tough as I used to be I guess, I prefer the lighter recoil in the snubs. My 4" .357s arr loaded with full power 125gr JHP currently from Remington, but I just use what's in stock with no brand preference.
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    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    I'll suggest something in .38 +P as any .357 magnum round is going to have serious recoil issues. I had a stainless steel 3 inch barrel and found a .357 magnum to be too much.

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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmac58 View Post
    I'll suggest something in .38 +P as any .357 magnum round is going to have serious recoil issues. I had a stainless steel 3 inch barrel and found a .357 magnum to be too much.
    Not a problem with this gun. It's ported and I installed a set of Tracker grips that fit my big hand comfortably. I can shoot a half box of full load heavies before my hand starts to ache a little.

    Superhouse 15
    Why do you say the heavies won't expand? Right now, I have Hornady 158s in it and they claim 1250 fps from a 4" barrel. That's GOTTA expand, even from a 2"!

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superhouse 15 View Post
    For light .357 snubs I like the Gold Saber. It's a comfortable balance between power and controllability in those little pain machines. If you like a heavier bullet than the 125 GS you might try the Winchester Silvertip. Old tech but great performance. I don't think you'll get much expansion from any 158gr load except for the Hydra Shok from Federal. It's the only 158gr JHP that's not built tough for hunting. I'm not as tough as I used to be I guess, I prefer the lighter recoil in the snubs. My 4" .357s arr loaded with full power 125gr JHP currently from Remington, but I just use what's in stock with no brand preference.
    Sorry, but wherever you're getting that information from, it's sorely outdated. Gold Dot, DPX, Silvertip, Golden Sabre--all are primarily designed for SD. If anything, the HydraSHok is the most likely to fail to expand, since it's an older design that never did fare well in clothing/barrier tests.
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    kpw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltyke View Post
    Why do you say the heavies won't expand? Right now, I have Hornady 158s in it and they claim 1250 fps from a 4" barrel. That's GOTTA expand, even from a 2"!
    That 1250 Hornady is claming is probably from a 4" test barrel and you may or may not get that from a 4" revolver (not likely). The .357 seems to suffer substantial velocity loss in under 4 " barrels. Most 158s are designed and loaded for their best performance in longer barrels. You might get some expansion but, if you do, it won't be impressive. Some years ago, I shot a bunch of .357 loads into water out of a 3 inch S&W. The 158s were, by far, the most underwhelming. If it doesn't expand in water, it's not likely to expand in anything.
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    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    Buffalo Bore .357magnum, short barrel, low flash. We keep our 2.25" SP101 loaded with this and like it.

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    .38spl/.357mag
    • Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (53921), specially designed for snubnose guns


    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    This stuff has been proven good stuff, plenty potent. It is .38 cal.

    From this website is the following info and more:

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_De.../index.htm#9mm



    More information from Doctor Roberts: "With few exceptions, such as the Speer 135 gr +P JHP and Barnes XPB, the vast majority of .38 Sp JHP's fail to expand when fired from 2" barrels in the 4 layer denim test. [...] There is no reason to go with .357 mag in a J-frame, as the significantly larger muzzle blast and flash, and harsher recoil of the .357 Magnum does not result in substantially improved terminal performance compared to the more controllable .38 Special bullets when fired from 2” barrels."


    .38spl/.357mag

    Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (53921), specially designed for snubnose guns.
    Penetration Recovered Diameter Recovered Weight
    Bare Gelatin 13.1" 0.56" 134.5gr
    4-layer denim 13.6" 0.53" 134.1gr
    Auto windshield 9.4" 0.51" 129.6gr



    Also look at loads using the Barnes DPX bullet as loaded by Federal. Please be aware that Federal lists the "Barnes expander" under their "Vital-Shok" handgun hunting section, while the inferior Hydra-Shok is listed for personal defense. Then again, it's questionable why one would want the extra recoil/muzzle blast of the .357mag when the .38spl load works just as well.


    If you must load it with .357's here is a pretty good article from hipowersandhandguns;

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/can_less_be_more.htm



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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    Yea, Snowman, I just looked at the ballistics for the BB. Pretty impressive. The Double Tap looks good, too.

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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    Oneshot, those are two good articles. Lots to be considered and I might need to rethink my "heavier is better" theory. Back when I carried a 4" duty .357 Mag., there weren't many choices. I got a lot of catching up to do in .357 Mag.

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    Make certain you get a bonded bullet. .357 magnum velocities are hell on bullet weight retention.

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