Federal 357B?

Federal 357B?

This is a discussion on Federal 357B? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey all, I've heard about the Federal 357B load for some time now. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a .357 magnum load made ...

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Thread: Federal 357B?

  1. #1
    Member Array Rugeroo357's Avatar
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    Federal 357B?

    Hey all, I've heard about the Federal 357B load for some time now. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a .357 magnum load made by Federal with a 125 grain SJHP bullet. I believe that the Federal personal defense .357 magnum in the 20 round blue boxes is essentially the same load.

    Anyway at a recent gunshow I came across two boxes of Federal Hi-Power 357B that were being sold for a good price, so I got them. The ammo is in great condition, but I'm not sure how old it is. Does anyone know? Here is the ammo:



    I plan to use these in my M686 with a 4" bbl for traveling and home defense. Are these a good load for that purpose? I'd like to hear everyones opinion on this load and if they have any experience or knowledge about it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Looks like you have enough of them to run your own tests. A couple gallon milk jugs full of water should do the trick.

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    Member Array Rugeroo357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecup View Post
    Looks like you have enough of them to run your own tests. A couple gallon milk jugs full of water should do the trick.
    LOL sorry but I don't take much stock in that being a good test for SD work.

    Water typically will cause maximum expansion and fragmentation of SJHPs and non-bonded or even bonded HP designs, and is not a good test medium for this load's performance in flesh.
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    Senior Member Array Navydude's Avatar
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    I went back about 6 years on other sites to see what they said about this round. Never could get a date on when they stopped making them in 50 round boxes but from comments I saw it was the standard that all other 357 was tested against. Supposedly it was listed as a 96% one shot stopper.

    Now we all know that the ammo manufacturers are always looking at different powders and bullet weights so what is being made today is probably better. The only concern I would have is how this ammo was stored in past years. I would hate to depend on it and find out that due to storage the powder had gone bad. Just my$0.02 worth.
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    Member Array OlCop's Avatar
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    I still have one of my 357's loaded with this round which I purchased in about 1977. I know personally of two shootings one in the late 70's and the other in the early 80's. in which this round was used. One was a head shot and the other was a torso shot. Both instant fatalities. Autopsy results on the head shot was obviously no question as to it's effectiveness, but the torso shot was truly impressive also. This was THE round in the day. In a Marlin 1894C lever gun with an 18" barrel this round will run right at 2000fps.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    It looks like one of the two most proven self defense loads ever. The 125 grain semi-jacketed hollow points from Federal and Remington are proven man stoppers. I would have no hesitation about using them for self defense against possible human attackers. They are not modern rounds, and the muzzle flash should be awesome. If they were mine, I'd probably go for a more current SD round and keep the 357B's as back-ups. Probably not a good choice for bears, as they fragment early and don't penetrate enough for bears.
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    Member Array JaegerOne's Avatar
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    Very effective round. Recoil is stout but not a problem in your 686. Muzzle flash and noise in the house are the biggest drawbacks.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Probable mid 1980's production. Though I was never personally a huge fan of the 125 grain 357 magnum, it is the standard by which others are judged.
    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.

    "The way of the warrior does not include other ways.....But if you know the way broadly you will see it in everything"
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    Member Array Rugeroo357's Avatar
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    Wow, it's been about 5 months since I posted this and I realized I didn't say thanks, sorry! Good replies guys, I've decided to carry new production Federal 357B in the blue boxes of 20 marked "personal defense". I haven't shot any of the pictured Hi-Power loads yet, but I plan to test them someday sooner rather than later on a chronograph and will compare there velocity to modern production 357B. The way I figure it though, although these have sealed primers the ammo is at least a decade and a half old, and while it is probably just fine why risk it?
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugeroo357 View Post
    Wow, it's been about 5 months since I posted this and I realized I didn't say thanks, sorry! Good replies guys, I've decided to carry new production Federal 357B in the blue boxes of 20 marked "personal defense". I haven't shot any of the pictured Hi-Power loads yet, but I plan to test them someday sooner rather than later on a chronograph and will compare there velocity to modern production 357B. The way I figure it though, although these have sealed primers the ammo is at least a decade and a half old, and while it is probably just fine why risk it?

    I have shot ammo a lot older than that. The powder does not "go bad". The box should tel the story of how it was stored pretty well.
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    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.

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  11. #11
    Member Array Rugeroo357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    I have shot ammo a lot older than that. The powder does not "go bad". The box should tel the story of how it was stored pretty well.
    The boxes are in good shape and they don't have any stains on them or anything. Just a very light yellowing from age. I plan to test these against Federal Personal Defense 125 grain .357 magnum loads and the new Remington HTP 125 grain scalloped SJHP load, which is new production of there old hollow point very comparable to federal 357B. I will chrono these from a 4" barreled revolver.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugeroo357 View Post
    The boxes are in good shape and they don't have any stains on them or anything. Just a very light yellowing from age. I plan to test these against Federal Personal Defense 125 grain .357 magnum loads and the new Remington HTP 125 grain scalloped SJHP load, which is new production of there old hollow point very comparable to federal 357B. I will chrono these from a 4" barreled revolver.
    Looking forward to your data.
    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.

    "The way of the warrior does not include other ways.....But if you know the way broadly you will see it in everything"
    - Miyamoto Musashi -

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