.357 magnum SD ammo

This is a discussion on .357 magnum SD ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looking for some good SD ammo for my .357 magnum. Here's the catch- it is a Ruger security six with a six inch barrel, and ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Recon1342's Avatar
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    Question .357 magnum SD ammo

    Looking for some good SD ammo for my .357 magnum. Here's the catch- it is a Ruger security six with a six inch barrel, and I use it on my rural property as a woods gun. My primary concern is over expansion on hp rounds due to velocity out of the longer barrel. Most varmints in these parts are coyote size, or two legged meth manufacturer types, so solids would over penetrate, and I'm not far enough out of town to have peace of mind as far as over penetration is concerned. Any thoughts on well built hollow points would be appreciated.
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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    .357 125 Grain JHP have a pretty reliable record of stopping two legged critters. I would go with what works.

    Those loads approach the fine line of turning secondary stretch cavities into permanent crush cavities, that is why they work very well, something the 158 grain doesn't.

    Stick with a Gold Dot, or Hornady and you should be fine.

    Why would you be worried about over Expansion? I have never heard of that being a concern! Not sure I know what over expansion is!

    Do you mean Over Penatration!
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    Hornady custom XTP 125 grain (HP)
    OR

    If you can find a box of CCI Lawman Ammunition 125 grain JSP yellow plastic hinged top box.
    These really kick butt.

    I use them out of a D&W 15-2 VH six inch barrel.
    I have just under 2 boxes (50) rounds per, of the Lawman that I got back in the late 80's.
    Wish I would have picked up more ; I cannot find them. maybe your local GS's might have one or two laying around tho.

    Here is a link for the Hornady, but in 158 grain which a lot of the members here would advocate, and may be better in your situation for not traveling farther than you want.
    I personally am partial to 125grn. but to each their own.

    25 round box - 357 Magnum 158 grain XTP Hollow Point Ammo - 90562 | SGAmmo.com

    The 125 grain is moving out the barrel @ 1500FPS, the 158 at 1250.
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    Senior Member Array Recon1342's Avatar
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    Over expansion is when a bullet moving faster than it was designed to expands drastically or fragments, causing penetration to suffer.
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    Member Array Ivan's Avatar
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    Buffalo Bore makes some great .357 loads.
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    The 125gr Gold Dot gives a great balance of expansion and weight retention from a six inch barrel. I have has a lot of success with them in my old S&W 27. Another option that is often overlooked is the 158gr Hydra Shok. It is a heavy bullet but it actually expands pretty easy, you get the weight of the 158gr heavy bullet but it looses enough in expansion that it won't overpenetrate.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recon1342 View Post
    Over expansion is when a bullet moving faster than it was designed to expands drastically or fragments, causing penetration to suffer.
    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .357 Mag Results

    Looks like you could expect to gain about 150-200 FPS with the addition of 2" of barrel length (note that these tests are done with auto-style barrels, measured breech face to muzzle, so they don't compare directly to revolvers). I'm not a ballistics expert, but I doubt that would cause a drastic change in expansion behavior or fragmentation.

    Even if it did, with a muzzle energy roughly twice that of an average 9mm defensive round, I also doubt that penetration would be a problem on two-legged predators. Failure to expand would be far worse, and I've read at least two stories of LEO's shooting BG's at close range with .357 out of 4" barrels, with five hits or more failing to stop the BG due to failure to expand. I don't know what ammo they used, but it was likely some type of 125gr JHP. Anyway, I take that to mean that .357 is still in the power range where under expansion is a real concern.

    Again, I'm not an expert, just relaying what I've read.
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    VIP Member Array 40Bob's Avatar
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    Any 357 Mag HP from the 6" barrel will work fine. Do not over analyze it, the 357 is great cartridge. It is hard to find a bad HP.
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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I carry Hornady 357 Mag 140 gr FTX LEVERevolution or Hornady 44 Mag 225 gr FTX LEVERevolution in my woods guns. They are flatter shooting and expand well with the ballistic tips.
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    Member Array Mark_in_wi's Avatar
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    You say you are worried about both over expansion and over penetration. To me it sounds like you are worried of a bullet failing and exiting like a solid would. I would think that a good jhp would work for you. I would stick with either the 110 or 125 grain weights. If you are seeing more 4 legged animals I would use the 110 grain. If the 2 legged are more of a concern go to the 125 grain. You could always drop down to something in 38 special to reduce the velocity and possible over penetration. If using 38's I would lean more toward the premiun stuff to be sure I had enough for the 2 legged animals. One other option might be one of the all lighter copper hp that seem to have a lot of expansion. I have not used these but I'm sure someone here can speak of the good and bad of these all copper loads.
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    From my research, I've decided on the 125gr .357 Magnum Golden Saber. Not the hottest round for the caliber, but whew! You will know you are shooting a magnum round. Very controllable through my SP 101; so controllable that I decided to bob the hammer on my Ruger. I feel the SA option is not really practical for self defense, and the chance of snagging on the draw is too high for comfort. Not to mention a well placed shot from this caliber is pretty devastating to the one on the receiving end.
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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recon1342 View Post
    Over expansion is when a bullet moving faster than it was designed to expands drastically or fragments, causing penetration to suffer.
    Creating secondary missiles inside a cavity on a humanoid is never a bad thing exspecially at 357 mag velocities they themselves will create their own permanent crush cavities and possible secondary tearing effects. Like somebody sai I would not over think this! Getting hit with a 357 125 grain moving around 1300 -1500 is nothing to balk at!
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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    The 125 gr jhp or semiJHP in the 357 has proven to be a number one man or breast stopper. Nothing has changed it still is.
    But heck why not go modern load each hole with a different round then you can't go wrong.
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    Member Array thedogfather's Avatar
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    In my limited experience shooting coyotes with a.357 mag, the higher velocity round did not seem to be the most effective. I think a bigger slower .45 would work best for that kind of critter. For your two legged "meth head" I think the .357 mag would work just fine. The 125 grain SJHP round certainly put the .357 mag on the map as a man stopper. There is a nice variety of choices depending on availability of course. My S&W Model 28 seems to prefer the heavier 158 grain bullet. So, when I'm in the woods, I load Speer 158 grain JHP and feel very confident with its performance.
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    Member Array teach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    Any 357 Mag HP from the 6" barrel will work fine. Do not over analyze it, the 357 is great cartridge. It is hard to find a bad HP.
    What he said.
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