Is There A Favorite .357 Mag Defensive Round?

This is a discussion on Is There A Favorite .357 Mag Defensive Round? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You're right. 125 gr. .357 Mag is the general concensus....

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Thread: Is There A Favorite .357 Mag Defensive Round?

  1. #16
    Member Array Air,Land&Sea's Avatar
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    You're right. 125 gr. .357 Mag is the general concensus.
    Freedom of speech does not excuse one from freedom of thought.

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  3. #17
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    You also mentioned 9mm-

    Go with the Federal HST 124 gr. +P -

    "Ammunition to go" sells it to the general public.


    -

    +P doesn't really kick much more than regular. I can't really tell the difference in my pt99.

    For the 9mm, the consensus is you'll need the smaller round for more speed and more reliable expansion. However, expansion technology has come a really long way, and I'm pretty sure that the old qualms about 147 gr not being to expand are beginning to subside.

    147 was originally designed as a subsonic round, but you can find a few that still push 1100 fps, which is pretty good for this caliber. I like the idea of putting more lead on target in this case.

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseiturtle View Post
    You also mentioned 9mm-

    Go with the Federal HST 124 gr. +P -

    "Ammunition to go" sells it to the general public.


    -

    +P doesn't really kick much more than regular. I can't really tell the difference in my pt99.

    For the 9mm, the consensus is you'll need the smaller round for more speed and more reliable expansion. However, expansion technology has come a really long way, and I'm pretty sure that the old qualms about 147 gr not being to expand are beginning to subside.

    147 was originally designed as a subsonic round, but you can find a few that still push 1100 fps, which is pretty good for this caliber. I like the idea of putting more lead on target in this case.
    I was leaning towards Speer 124 +P or the same from Black Hills. Maybe I'll get a few of all 3 and check them all out.
    Thanks.
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  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Well, the 125-grain JHP at full pressure and velocity is one best choice, based on actual defensive shootings, but from an SP101 that might not be feasible for many folks. It took me a while to train up to that load, and now that I am getting older and more feeble, that load beats me up a bit. Another drawback to the 125-grain loads is point-of-impact issues with fixed-sight weapons.

    My recently more-favored-load for lighter and fixed-sight revolvers is the Winchester Silvertip 145-grain load. Though a bit heavier in bullet weight, it is not loaded to such high pressure, and is milder to shoot, with less flash. This load has worked well in real defensive shootings, and importantly, shoots closer to point-of-aim with fixed-sight weapons.

    Loads that should also work fine include the Remington Golden Saber and Cor-bon DPX, but the classic loads I first mentioned above are well-proven over time. As always, keep in mind that hitting a vital area is most important.

    I would avoid 158-grain loads in JHP configuration, simply due to penetration concerns. My friends who hunt deer use those loads very successfully. While fixed-sight weapons may indeed be pre-sighted-in for 158-grain loads, I find the 145-grain Silvertips close enough in POI.
    Last edited by Rexster; February 15th, 2008 at 09:17 PM. Reason: typos plus more thoughts

  6. #20
    Member Array Air,Land&Sea's Avatar
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    The winner's 125 gr. Black Hills.
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  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Let's all keep in mind that 125-grain loads are loaded to differing pressures and velocities by the ammo companies. Speer and Remington, for sure, load 125-grain JHP ammo to both full pressure and reduced pressure. Others may do so as well. Check their websites for the data, and make an informed choice. The classic manstopping 125 is full-pressure, from 4+" barrels.

  8. #22
    Senior Member Array Ragin Cajun's Avatar
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    Personally, I would buy a few different sizes of different brands and see what shoots best out YOUR gun.

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragin Cajun View Post
    Personally, I would buy a few different sizes of different brands and see what shoots best out YOUR gun.
    +1 -- FIND THE AMMO THAT SHOOTS BEST IN YOUR GUN !

    Personally I prefer the 125gr bullets (just because I believe 158gr will penetrate too much, and not transfer as much potential energy).

    That said the ammo from Double-Tap (Speer Gold Dot) and the Corbon DPX series both have great reputations.

    Truthfully the best ammo I have shot in my 357 is reloads, but I won't carry those for defense.

  10. #24
    Senior Member Array Super Trucker's Avatar
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    I carry the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel round in my J-Frame. It is 135 grain.
    Speer Ammo - Ballistics Tables
    At the bottom of this page are the ballistics info for the short barrel round if you are interested.

  11. #25
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    I'm not into the 125 grain loadings, feeling they're overrated regardless of their supposed reputation. I dont' happen to use my .357 Magnums for defensive carry but if I chose one as a house gun it'd be loaded with either the 158 grain SWC's or 158 grain JHP's handloaded over a heavy charge of 2400 or a similar factory equivalent. The .357 Magnum capably handles bullets "with a little meat on them" so I leave the lighter weight slugs to the 9mm and such.

  12. #26
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    speer gold dot

  13. #27
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    158 gr Federal in my snubby.

  14. #28
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    Rem. 125 gr. sjhp. With the street rep it has and my very un-scientific tests, I'd pick it over any of the wonder bullets for SD. It clocked around 1330 fps in my 3" S&W. If it's still loaded the same today, that would be my choice.

  15. #29
    Member Array SAWBONES's Avatar
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    I have three SP101s and have shot all the commercial premium .357 loads through them.

    They shoot at or close to point of aim only with the 158gr loads, and of all of these, Buffalo Bore's standard (not their "snubby" version) .357 158gr JHP load is the most accurate and precise. The particular 2.25" barrel, bobbed hammer SP101 I use for CCW will shoot "one hole" groups with this load and no other. YMMV, obviously.

    I use Double Tap's similar .357 Magnum JHP for practice. It's not quite as "warm" as the BB load, nor quite as accurate, but quite close enough, and not as expensive.
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  16. #30
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    I like anything that will fit in my .357 Really,this is one gun and caliber I never had a problem with.Hydra Shok would be my favorite.

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