What .357 Mag Defensive ammo do you use?

This is a discussion on What .357 Mag Defensive ammo do you use? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; for a human threat the .357 magnum is an extremely effective caliber. industry marketing makes huge points out of minor differences. in the "real world" ...

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Thread: What .357 Mag Defensive ammo do you use?

  1. #31
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    for a human threat the .357 magnum is an extremely effective caliber. industry marketing makes huge points out of minor differences. in the "real world" i would trust my life to any premium (corbon, hydrashok, xtp, etc.) .357 magnum round designed and marketed for personal defense.

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  3. #32
    New Member Array LOBO2's Avatar
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    In my 640-1 I currently carry .38 special 110 gr +P Corbon DPX. I have some .357 magnum Corbon DPX 125 grain loads, but I haven't been able to try them out yet for poa/poi.

  4. #33
    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    My 360 has 158 grain XTPs in it. Hard, heavy hitters.
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  5. #34
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    I think a 357 only makes sense for ccw if the barrel is in the 3 inch or better four inch length range. IOW, a "J" frame 357 makes no sense for carry.

    #1 You're going to bleed so much muzzle velocity and energy from the shortened barrel while retaining brutal recoil and muzzle flash The recoil and flash are going to slow follow up shots that might be needed. Also the brutal recoil is going to shortly batter the J frame and start shaking things loose. Before long you'll be shaving lead as the cylinders are no longer in perfect alignment with the forcing cone. I have seen the results of this directly. Once when I was a kid just out of college and right before reporting for active duty, I worked at a range where a guy brought a crummy F.I.E. revolver. I knew he was going to be in trouble as soon as I saw him flip the cylinder closed one handed like in the old detective tv shows that were on then. Sure enough with his first shot the cylinder exploded and the top strap sent splinters and shards of metal into his face. We had to call EMT. The guy lost a couple of fingers and almost lost an eye.

    #2 The J frame short barrel is also going to carve off effective accuracy at ranges beyond 15 feet where the increased velocity of the 357 will just be coming into it's own.

    Of course, carry what you want, but don't be fooled into thinking it's more effective than a standard or +P 38. I think that would only be true for a K frame M19 with a 2 inch barrel.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  6. #35
    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBore View Post
    PMC 150gr starfire 357's is what i carry in a 3" 3" 65-3.It was the most accurate load i tried,
    lower flash than most 357's.Recoil isn't bad and it shoots to POA at 15 yards.They cost less than other loads but that wasn't a primary reason i bought them.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeeThirty View Post
    I'm with BigBore on this one...I carry 150gr. PMC Starfires in my
    2 1/4" SP101. Accurate and controllable in the "little" Ruger.
    I carry Federal Premuim Hydra-Shok JHP in 158 grain. It's a bad little round.

    As soon as I can find them again (hopefully this August) I WILL be putting my hands on as many PMC Starfires in .357mag, and .45ACP as I can possibly afford. If you haven't already, look up a picture of a fired Starfire round- it will make you think twice about what you are carrying. (then you'll probably go get some Starfires for yourself)

    Also, just did a little research on the Federal Premium website, and I'm thinking that I might try carrying their "Vital-Shok" rounds in the winter. Or summer. Or just all the time. I know it's a 'big game' hunting round- deer and such- but I think that if it's a good enough round for a deer, it's a good enough round for a BG.
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  7. #36
    Member Array samh's Avatar
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    Ruger SP 101 with 125 Remington Golden Sabers. I've tried heavier bullets in it, but the recoil was noticeably worse in the SP, specially with the 158's.
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  8. #37
    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    I carry Fiocchi 158grn HP
    Glock: G22 .40 S&W and G23 .40 S&W Sig Sauer: P938 9mm Smith and Wesson: Model 437 .38 Spl, Model 65 357 Mag, and Sigma SW9VE 9mm

  9. #38
    New Member Array LOBO2's Avatar
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    QUOTE - ExSoldier;

    I think a 357 only makes sense for ccw if the barrel is in the 3 inch or better four inch length range. IOW, a "J" frame 357 makes no sense for carry.

    #1 You're going to bleed so much muzzle velocity and energy from the shortened barrel while retaining brutal recoil and muzzle flash The recoil and flash are going to slow follow up shots that might be needed. Also the brutal recoil is going to shortly batter the J frame and start shaking things loose. Before long you'll be shaving lead as the cylinders are no longer in perfect alignment with the forcing cone. I have seen the results of this directly. Once when I was a kid just out of college and right before reporting for active duty, I worked at a range where a guy brought a crummy F.I.E. revolver. I knew he was going to be in trouble as soon as I saw him flip the cylinder closed one handed like in the old detective tv shows that were on then. Sure enough with his first shot the cylinder exploded and the top strap sent splinters and shards of metal into his face. We had to call EMT. The guy lost a couple of fingers and almost lost an eye.


    My 640-1 is an all steel gun, has a 2 1/8" barrel, and weighs 23 ounces. It doesn't have "brutal recoil".
    Also the quality of a S&W is there, unlike the FIE you witnessed "explode".



    #2 The J frame short barrel is also going to carve off effective accuracy at ranges beyond 15 feet where the increased velocity of the 357 will just be coming into it's own.


    So you're saying that at 15 feet the .357 is gaining in velocity?!? That it has more velocity at 15 feet than it does at the muzzle???

    Regarding accuracy, a 2" barreled revolver is able to provide more than the level of accuracy needed to effectively defend oneself. A short barrel does not make a gun "inaccurate". A short barrel reduces the sight plane which makes the gun less user friendly, or harder to shoot if you will. In and of itself, a short barrel doesn't make a gun less accurate.



    Of course, carry what you want, but don't be fooled into thinking it's more effective than a standard or +P 38. I think that would only be true for a K frame M19 with a 2 inch barrel.


    So you're saying that a 125 grain standard or +P .38 special from a 2" barrel is just as effective (ie...same level of power) as a 125 grain .357 magnum from a 2" barrel?

    Simply as a way to compare the two, lets use the power factor formula (bullet weight in grains x velocity / by 1000) as used in the action shooting sports. Lets say that you have a .38 special 110 grain bullet going 1000 fps from a 2" barrel. The power factor is going to be 110 for this load. Now lets take a .357 magnum 110 grain bullet going 1100 fps from a 2" barrel. The power factor is going to be 121 for this load.

    BTW, a K m19 is 2 1/2".

  10. #39
    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acparmed View Post
    In my experience the 110gr loads do not have the penetration neccessary for self defense. The 125gr bullet is the best load for the 357 Mag. In my 357 I keep Hornady 125gr XTP HP. In my tests they reliably expand to 57 cal. and maintain 92% of their original weight. That's what I call an effective load.
    Just MY .02 worth.
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  11. #40
    Member Array awoodpd13's Avatar
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    Winchester 145gr. STHP, here...
    LEOSA Qualified: Semi-auto and revolver.

  12. #41
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    I like 158gr Gold Dots, but they're also in full-sized 686's or a GP100.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  13. #42
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    In my GP100 3". BB125gr, or Win 145gr Slivertips in town, BB180, LFN-GC in the woods.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  14. #43
    Distinguished Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
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    Hornady Critical Defense 125 gr in my LCR.

    SMACK!
    Last edited by Doghandler; July 18th, 2011 at 11:22 PM. Reason: spelling

  15. #44
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    If you are carrying a small J-Frame I would recommend either 125 Cor Bon DPX in .357 or Buffalo Bore 158 Grain LSWCHP +P .38's. I carry the latter. I have tested both and they look identical in clay and gel. The 158 grain shoots to point of impact out of my 340.

  16. #45
    Member Array Bulldog39's Avatar
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    I load my 3" GP100 with 357 mag 125gr Remington SJHP. All my spare ammo is Speer GD 135gr .38 special +P, my backup is a .38 special and my wife carries a .38 special, so I go with common ammo for reloads.
    Semper Fi

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