Recently, in a thread asking what .357 ammo we all use, I gave this post in answer:
All in all - I feel that sooner or later one must put themselves in the hands of the pros.
Since then I've read posts about the .357 version of this round loosing it's tip and perhaps then overpenetrating (or under penetrating as the person posting sees things).
The problem seems to be that these rounds were created for .38's. They work great in them at those velocities. When they are pushed even a little past their design envelope, they cease to perform well. It's because of the special deep and extra serated cavity that allows them to mushroom at very low velocities.
Speer had this to say (rough quote, but representative):
"Other .357's have more speed at 100 yards then you do at the muzzle (with a 2" barrel). These short barrel rounds 'should be' better for you. When the 135 gr. bullets are 'over-driven' as they are in the .357 version, the tip may loose it's integrity. But being a bonded bullet the rest will hold together and should continue to penetrate. They should do fine out of the .357 even if that is the case. 'You should be fine with these rounds, They should be an excellent choice in your snubbie."
"Over driven?" "May loose it's integrity?" Should continue to penetrate?" "Should be an excellent choice in your snubbie?"
Pardon me, but I've lost confidence. Speer apparently just kicked the designed bullet up a hundred or so fps and called it a .357 magnum. That's true, I guess, they are now in .357 cases after all.
But obviously they haven't tested them out. Even if they have, it still remains that they are loading a bullet that is being "over-driven". Is it too much to ask that Speer design a bullet that wont be "over-driven" when used even one or two hundred fps faster than the .38's? No wonder this .357 ammo is such a weak sister.
Pardon me, but I don't want to shoot an "over-driven" Gold Dot. Pardon me, but I don't want my Gold Dots to come apart - even if they "should" continue to penetrate without the tip. Pardon me but I expect Speer to specifically design a bullet that works well in my snubbie or just stick to .38's.
Pardon me, but I've gone to other ammo. I've lost confidence. I'll either shoot full house .357's out of my 340 or I'll go to another tip design (like the DPX) altogether.
There wasn't all that much gain over the 38+p version to begin with - but there was a little to be gained. I wont shoot "over-driven" bullets that fail at the terminal end of things just to gain that little bit of energy and be able to say that I shoot .357 magnums.
Shame on me if I do. The life of others depends on my choice of ammo.
Shame on Speer!
Anyone think I'm overreacting.