I know nothing of 357Mag ammo, a little help please?

This is a discussion on I know nothing of 357Mag ammo, a little help please? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am picking up a New to Me GP100 4" tonight. I don't know anything about 357 optimal ballistics. Do I want Heavy and slow ...

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Thread: I know nothing of 357Mag ammo, a little help please?

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    Member Array djturnz's Avatar
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    I know nothing of 357Mag ammo, a little help please?

    I am picking up a New to Me GP100 4" tonight.

    I don't know anything about 357 optimal ballistics.
    Do I want Heavy and slow (~200gr) or light and fast (~100gr)?

    I guess each has it's purpose, and I am not trying to find one Perfect round. But for each instance, what would be optimal, and perhaps the logic behind your recommendation would be appreceiated.

    Personal defense on the street or at home.
    Possibly hunting short range
    Inexpensive training (WWB?)
    Bowling pin matches.

    And something light for the wife to shoot at the range as well as when I'm not home. 38spl obviously.

    Thanks

    I already bought 3 boxes of CCI snake shot because it was on sale.

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    For home defence I carry 125 gr Fedearl sjhp from their personal defense line. For hunting I like a round with penatrtion and use 158gr JSP. In the snubnose my wife found that the 357 mag were a little hard to handle (she had no problem with the 4 inch barrel) so we have 38 spl 125 +P's in the snubbie. I would suggest buy some bulk 38 spl ammo and a couple of different brands of home defense ammo go to the range and try them out, see which you like best. You can test peneation in wet phonebooks or jugs of water.

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    Member Array djturnz's Avatar
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    Thanks. I have collected about 18 phonebooks from work for just this reason. So fast for protection and heavier for hunting.

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    Many factory offerings tend to be the lighter bullets - instance my Cor-Bon 140 JHP's - however, as somewhat of a traditionalist I do like 158's and use 158 gascheck SWC's for homeloads.

    I doubt in fact there would be any problems from using 158's all the time. It does seem some guns are set up for a 158 load re POI - and sometimes the lighter loads can impact a smidgeon low.
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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Yes. 125gr for defense and 180gr for hunting.

    125gr
    Federal HS or Remy Golden Sabre

    180gr
    Win Sup PG pricey but very good penetration. I've taken three 450#+ black bears with a 6" GP100 with these. Two took one shot, one need two.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    In a revo, I like a semi-jacketed hollow point for defensive use. Anything cheap for target practice. Since it is a revo, you aren't going to be as worried about cycling as you would be in a semi-auto, so shoot what feels right.

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    [QUOTE=djturnz;213650]I am picking up a New to Me GP100 4" tonight.

    I am considering getting a new revovler myself. I had an Ruger Police Six (I am still kicking myself for trading it) and would to know how the GP100 performs. Could you give a range report and your thoughts. Thanks

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    Member Array djturnz's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=pgrass101;213710]
    Quote Originally Posted by djturnz View Post
    I am picking up a New to Me GP100 4" tonight.

    I am considering getting a new revovler myself. I had an Ruger Police Six (I am still kicking myself for trading it) and would to know how the GP100 performs. Could you give a range report and your thoughts. Thanks
    Sure thing. But it will be a week or two. I have been to all day range events two weeks in a row now. My wife will kill me if I go again this week. I do have several Phone books to shoot at for expansion stuff. The only 357 I have ever shot was a buddies Service Six. Very nice.

    I also just shot a Colt New Service in 45 Long Colt at the Pin shoot yesterday. After that, I am going to hate the Ruger trigger. Oh well.

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    Member Array djturnz's Avatar
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    So, why light loads for Self defense, yet everyone always argues 45ACP over 9mm. What am I missing in the equation?

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    It has to do with expanison and pentration. With a hunting load you want to be sure to get pentration on Deer size game to ensure a killing strike to the vitals. For a BG you want to produce a large wound to nuetralize them. (Other people on this board can do a much better job explaining this than me so feel free to correct me in my goofs) Even though there is no such thing as a high veloicty pistol (there is in rifle calibers and maybe that new FN 5.7mm) you need the lighter weight to reach veloicties the ensure rapid expanison for large wound catagories. When hunting I want to be sure of killing what I am shooting, for self defense I want to knock the BG down, to stop him from harming me or my family. With a 45 (ACP or LC) you have a heavier bullet traveling at lower speeds, so you are more reliant on bullet weight than expansion.

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    Member Array Dave James's Avatar
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    IMO and others and the one I use to this date in a CCW 357 is the Winchester 145 grain silvertip.

    For hunting I always lean toward the 180-200 WFN hardcast

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    Member Array wheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djturnz View Post
    I am picking up a New to Me GP100 4" tonight.

    I don't know anything about 357 optimal ballistics.
    Do I want Heavy and slow (~200gr) or light and fast (~100gr)?

    I guess each has it's purpose, and I am not trying to find one Perfect round. But for each instance, what would be optimal, and perhaps the logic behind your recommendation would be appreceiated.
    The 125gr JHP is without question the best defensive .357 round. It's also (flame off!) arguably the best defensive round period, if you can handle the recoil to recover for quick second shots. Masaad Ayoob and many other reputable people strongly support this. See here for instance: http://www.savetheguns.com/self_defense.htm

    As far as snake loads go, they're ONLY good for snakes and such. I don't have any web links but there have been many tests showing that the pattern is so wide it's practically useless at any more than a couple of yards.

    I have a 6" 686 and find .38 specials of all flavors very tame. Full house 125gr .357's are not uncomfortable, but for me recovery is slow. I used to shoot a 4", and obviously recoil with that is a bit greater. You have to judge for yourself.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheel View Post
    The 125gr JHP is without question the best defensive .357 round. It's also (flame off!) arguably the best defensive round period, if you can handle the recoil to recover for quick second shots. 125gr .357's are not uncomfortable, but for me recovery is slow. I used to shoot a 4", and obviously recoil with that is a bit greater. You have to judge for yourself.

    I agree with Wheel because of the track record of the 125 gr. in actual gunfights and would add that recovery time for your wife in a defensive stiuation might be of greater concern. Maybe not, but here's my 2 cents on it.

    I load my 6" Ruger Security 6 with 135 Gr gold dot +p for home use, in case the wife has to fire it. I haven't had a chance to chrono it out of the 6", but it is designed to expand at velocities from a snubbie, so it should open fine in a longer barrel w/ more velocity, and Gold Dots are designed to stay intact as well. Recoil is a little stiff for a 38spl in a snubbie, but in a full size weapon it is tame.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    Member Array djturnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtD View Post
    I agree with Wheel because of the track record of the 125 gr. in actual gunfights and would add that recovery time for your wife in a defensive stiuation might be of greater concern. Maybe not, but here's my 2 cents on it.

    I load my 6" Ruger Security 6 with 135 Gr gold dot +p for home use, in case the wife has to fire it. I haven't had a chance to chrono it out of the 6", but it is designed to expand at velocities from a snubbie, so it should open fine in a longer barrel w/ more velocity, and Gold Dots are designed to stay intact as well. Recoil is a little stiff for a 38spl in a snubbie, but in a full size weapon it is tame.
    Is this 135 a 38spl? I plan to keep it at the house with 38s, but when I decide to carry it in the woods or something, I'll use 357 for myself.
    The snake loads are for snakes while fishing or something, not 2 legged defense.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djturnz View Post
    Is this 135 a 38spl? I plan to keep it at the house with 38s, but when I decide to carry it in the woods or something, I'll use 357 for myself.
    The snake loads are for snakes while fishing or something, not 2 legged defense.
    Yes, it is 38 spl +p. , like I said, it's what I use because the .357 scares my wife when it goes off. I wish it didn't, because .357 is much more effective. Your wife may be different, (I hope she is)but you don't want her shooting something she's afraid to pull the trigger on.

    There are a lot of other good rounds as well (Ranger, golden saber, etc., and don't discount the "FBI Load"158 gr. +p LSWCPH) and a lot of people on this board who know more than I do on this subject. I'm just stating my choice and the reasoning for it for your consideration, because I am confident in it. When it comes down to it, handgun ammo choice is a series of trade offs. Penetration/velocity/recoil v. frangibility/expandability, tend to be counteracting forces.

    Here is some intersting info on the Gold Dot and "FBI load" out of 2,4&6" barrels.

    http://www.thegunzone.com/speer135jhp38sp.html

    Here is more on the Gold Dot FBI protocol, Maybe It's the new "FBI Load."(?) The barrier test on P. 13 is quite impressive IMO.

    http://www.le.atk.com/pdf/SpeerTech38_135HP.pdf


    Of course, you should try some different stuff and see what you like the best.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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