I've lost trust in Speer .357 "short barrels"?

I've lost trust in Speer .357 "short barrels"?

This is a discussion on I've lost trust in Speer .357 "short barrels"? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Recently, in a thread asking what .357 ammo we all use, I gave this post in answer: Originally Posted by Marvin Knox I shoot the ...

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Thread: I've lost trust in Speer .357 "short barrels"?

  1. #1
    Member Array Marvin Knox's Avatar
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    I've lost trust in Speer .357 "short barrels"?

    Recently, in a thread asking what .357 ammo we all use, I gave this post in answer:

    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin Knox View Post
    I shoot the Speer 135gr. Gold Dot's for "short barrels". I've read about and considered other rounds for my snubbie, like the Buffalo Bore's, Cor Bon's and such.
    But, it comes down to the fact that the Speer people are professionals who develope ammo for many police depts. The depts. accross the country seem to be well pleased with Speer's stuff. Gold Dots seem to be on the cutting edge of bonded bullet technology. The "short barrel" powders and whatnot seem to be on the cutting edge. In addition, the 135 gr. hp's have been especially revamped for short barrel use (expansion at lower velocities).

    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.

    MARV
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; July 20th, 2008 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tags.


  2. #2
    New Member Array Taurusototer's Avatar
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    I am not sure if your over reacting or not. Without seeing any actual data about "tip loss", or over driven and such its hard to say. I mean do you have a link? a photo? Or is this simply here say from something you've read? As much as it would be nice if Speer gave you some type of written guarantee on how any round will perform in real life I think we both know there are far to many variable in play to be 100% sure how any round will perform in a time of need. SD rounds, much like anything else are a tradeoff of many things. Reliability, penetration, expansion..then add in variables of your target like dress, build, angle of shot etc. and it is simply impossible for any round to perform textbook on every shot. The question is how do you know other makers aren't just taking .38 bullets and over driving them? I don't know that either. And without real testing I can see, I would likely lean towards them doing the same thing out of economic concerns.

    Now do they have a faulty design? I don't honestly know. I do know that you have selected probably the most difficult loading and gun situation to design a bullet for. Short barreled weapons in and of themselves add many challenges for a bullet design. Add in the fact you have a very high pressure round, which only has one advantage over the .38 (velocity), with its accompanied blast and recoil and higher demands on any bullet and you have a quite a pickle to solve. Maybe they need to do more testing and development, that is certainly a legitimate concern as it would be with any round. Let alone one with such a narrow performance window as your gun/ammunition selection. If you have no confidence in the Speer loading by all means ditch it and carry something you have faith in. Unless of course it doesn't regulate to your sights, or is uncontrollable. That said if I had an ammo failure I would prefer fragmentation over the round being upset and giving me poor penetration.

    I won't tell you what to carry for a load, or what not to carry. I can tell you that the old FBI load has been proven over the decades to be a very good SD round out of the snub. It has been pretty close to POA in every snub I have ever had, expands reliably as it has no jacket, and hits very hard in real life shootings in many scenarios. Is very controllable out of snubs allowing for faster hits. It also is relatively inexpensive and available in most gun shops. It's not snazzy, or gussied up, or flashy. What it is a very potent round that has been proven to work over decades in real life. And that to me means about 10 times more than any static environment ballistic test. Obviously like anything else..we pays our moneys and we takes our chances. Best of luck.

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    I don't know if you are over-reacting either, but, if you have lost confidence, I'm not certain that matters--you've lost confidence. I do know that Remington for years has had two different Golden Saber bullets for .38 Special and .357 Magnum, likely in part over the velocity difference?
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    I don't think you are over reacting at all. If the bullet can't maintain integrity at typical velocity and is not being marketed as "Frangible" I think they are misleading the customer. Gold Dots have a well deserved reputation based on their terminal performance a large part of which is weight retention If they can't get a metalurgy right to achieve this standard at .357 velocities they should slow it down to velocities where it does work and sell it as a .38 +P. No one says they are required to sell every bullet design in every caliber. If it doesn't perform as designed why should they put it out there where people will be literally be betting their lives on it?
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

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    IMHO you ARE OVER-REACTING and unduly concerned.

    First of all, the practical fact that is that you are unlikely to ever fire at another person. The odds are probably about 50,000 to 1.

    Secondly, any .357 has a very high probability of a one-shot stop.

    Thirdly, your revolver has at least 4 more rounds.

    RELAX, watch a baseball game or golf on TV, or take a walk.

    JERRY

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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    Marvin,
    I think you may be overreacting here , but bear with me.

    You got an excellent, accurate response that was clearly written by an engineer who forgot he was talking to a customer (I can talk, I are an engineer). With an engineer's vantage point, nothing is certain. The sun is likely to come up tomorrow. You probably wont live to be 200 years old. But nothing is for certain :-)

    As to losing integrity- well how bad is that ? Will it drop 15 grains in the wound tract, then continue to expand ?

    Over-driven is not necessarily bad. The speed limit is 65 - does that mean my car should explode at 70? Over driven means it was designed for a certain FPM and is used at a higher velocity. Obviously it performs well at the higer velocity. A well designed part will do that - work in more than one application.

    I wouldn't sweat it, but if you wanted to change brands there are plenty of good ones.

  7. #7
    Member Array Marvin Knox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gold40 View Post
    IMHO you ARE OVER-REACTING and unduly concerned.

    First of all, the practical fact that is that you are unlikely to ever fire at another person. The odds are probably about 50,000 to 1.

    Secondly, any .357 has a very high probability of a one-shot stop.

    Thirdly, your revolver has at least 4 more rounds.

    RELAX, watch a baseball game or golf on TV, or take a walk.

    JERRY
    Well, heck! 50,000 to one? I'll just start carrying my fly rod.

  8. #8
    Mo
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    What do you mean when you say the round loses its tip? Do you mean the core separates from the jacket? Maybe you should do some wet newspaper or milkjug tests to see if you can make it happen. That would be a neat test!

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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    If you have lost confidence in the short barrel loads, then for peace of mind I would switch to the Corbon DPX loads if I were you.

    An all copper bullet with no worries about a jacket separation or losing its tip. DPX has a pretty good reputation by the way.
    God bless our troops!

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    Member Array vanilla_gorilla's Avatar
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    My own testing in water has not borne out this idea of the .357 loading coming apart, and I've been shooting them from a 5 inch barrel.

    I wonder if it might'nt be a bit of hooey.
    I'll take a .45 and a large side of JHPs, please.

  11. #11
    Member Array Marvin Knox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crzy4guns View Post
    If you have lost confidence in the short barrel loads, then for peace of mind I would switch to the Corbon DPX loads if I were you.

    An all copper bullet with no worries about a jacket separation or losing its tip. DPX has a pretty good reputation by the way.
    Actually, I've been thinking pretty hard about those. In real life 1&7/8" barrels that should do around 1100fps. That would be a split of the difference between a good .38 and a hot .357. Right where I'd like to be considering my recoil handling likes and abilities.

    We'll see!

  12. #12
    Member Array Marvin Knox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanilla_gorilla View Post
    My own testing in water has not borne out this idea of the .357 loading coming apart, and I've been shooting them from a 5 inch barrel.

    I wonder if it might'nt be a bit of hooey.
    Could be! You know how these internet discussions go.

    I haven't (nor have I claimed to have) done any testing of my own. I'm just looking to firm up my confidence in what I carry.

    Like most, I'm effected by things I read on the internet. I have seen several differnt threads and post, however.

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