The Never Ending "125 gr. vs. 158 gr." Discussion

This is a discussion on The Never Ending "125 gr. vs. 158 gr." Discussion within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by atctimmy I think that a .357 is a hugely powerful handgun and 125 or 158 will make the BGs go splat. As ...

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Thread: The Never Ending "125 gr. vs. 158 gr." Discussion

  1. #16
    Member Array Bart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I think that a .357 is a hugely powerful handgun and 125 or 158 will make the BGs go splat. As long as you pick a quality bullet in either weight you'll be fine AS LONG AS YOU DO YOUR JOB (and put rounds on target).
    The 125 gr is a Jacketed SOFT point & the 158 gr. is a HOLLOW point.
    Compared the same?

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Yeah atctimmy, accuracy is most important. The vaunted "125 grain" .357 load won't make up for the lack of it and a 158 grain bullet "put in the good stuff" has as good an opportunity to take the fight out of an assailant as does the 125 grain load.
    I agree with you, however, in my thick head, one thing I can't quite understand is this....if a 158 gr. jhp is twice as heavy as the 125 gr. jhp and penetrates deeper, (not that much deeper) and expands "almost" as much as the 125gr., why is the 125 gr. considered the best in the "one shot stop" category? If the 158 gr. is heavier, it must travel slower and hit harder. Combine that with deeper penetration and similar expansion than the 125 gr., to me, that sounds BEST. It's the same with a .45 acp. For instance, the gun is a 4 .in barrel, all ammo feeds without problems. Why then would anyone choose to use any round less than the 230 gr. in jhp? Make it a 5 in. barrel, whatever. HELP!!!

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart View Post
    I agree with you, however, in my thick head, one thing I can't quite understand is this....if a 158 gr. jhp is twice as heavy as the 125 gr. jhp and penetrates deeper, (not that much deeper) and expands "almost" as much as the 125gr., why is the 125 gr. considered the best in the "one shot stop" category? If the 158 gr. is heavier, it must travel slower and hit harder. Combine that with deeper penetration and similar expansion than the 125 gr., to me, that sounds BEST. It's the same with a .45 acp. For instance, the gun is a 4 .in barrel, all ammo feeds without problems. Why then would anyone choose to use any round less than the 230 gr. in jhp? Make it a 5 in. barrel, whatever. HELP!!!

    The 158 is not twice as heavy it is only 33 grains heavier, or about 20% more mass.

    I think you're over thinking this. The 125 grain hollow point has a good reputation as a fight stopper AND has a good reputation for not over penetrating. The 158 penetrates deeper which can cause legal problems for you later on (if you shoot through a BG and hit a neighbor). With that said I choose the 158 because I like exit wounds. More bleeding and more trauma means BG is out of the fight faster. If you live in an apt. you might like the 125s. Other than that it is like arguing for Ford or Chevy, it's all just opinion.
    Mark Twain:
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    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    funny I missed the 158 gr HPs

    I am pretty new to the handgun thing, but have been coming here for good information for quite some time. I have read lots about the 38 Special in the past year, since I got mine. I see lots mentioned about the famous FBI load or Chicago load. It has always been my understanding that this load, (and all the other 158 gr loads use a semi wadcutter bullet. Am I correct, the FBI load is a semi wadcutter?

    I think this thread is the first I have seen about nonjacketed hollow points. Interestingly I was at a gun shop earlier today and noticed they had 158 gr lead hollow points. I didn't know they existed. I considered buying a box, but have already decided for now to use the Buffalo Bore 125 Grain Speer Gold Dots. I have been buyng 125 or 130 grain FMJ for practice to try and stay in the same weight. (The Buffalo Bores really seem a lot hotter so they probably have a totally different ballistics chart anyways.

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    The 158 is not twice as heavy it is only 33 grains heavier, or about 20% more mass.

    I think you're over thinking this. The 125 grain hollow point has a good reputation as a fight stopper AND has a good reputation for not over penetrating. The 158 penetrates deeper which can cause legal problems for you later on (if you shoot through a BG and hit a neighbor). With that said I choose the 158 because I like exit wounds. More bleeding and more trauma means BG is out of the fight faster. If you live in an apt. you might like the 125s. Other than that it is like arguing for Ford or Chevy, it's all just opinion.
    I appreciate your answering all of my questions. I have one more to ask. The question is this....if you are camping in the boondocks, or broken down on the hi-way where there is no one around for miles, and you had to defend yourself against a BG, which round would you want to have in your 357 if your life depends on it? The 125 gr. jacketed soft point or the 158 gr. jacketed hollow point? Again, thanks.

  7. #21
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    I use (and carry) 158gr Federal Hydrashocks. I would feel confident with Speer or any other premium grade ammo, but I get Hydrashocks cheaper than the other premium ammo. I like 158gr better for the reason stated above.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I use (and carry) 158gr Federal Hydrashocks. I would feel confident with Speer or any other premium grade ammo, but I get Hydrashocks cheaper than the other premium ammo. I like 158gr better for the reason stated above.
    I was asking about the 125 gr. SOFT POINT, not hollow point when I asked which round you would use in said situation. Still same answer?

  9. #23
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    Re-read my last post. That's what I use and why.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

  10. #24
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    I pick 158 grain bullets, both jacketed hollow points and lead semi-wadcutters for my .357 Magnum revolvers but I'm not really the person to say. I use large .357 Magnum revolvers with longer barrels, stoked with heavy hand loads. I don't generally employ them for personal self defense. Still for general purpose use including self defense the 158 grain bullet is my choice.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Re-read my last post. That's what I use and why.
    I did re-read it. Re-read mine. (soft point-hollow point)

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  12. #26
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    If this helps, ....... great.

    I just chono'd (3 shots in each gun) Rem 125 JSP 357 and Rem 130 JRN 38 Sp out of a 6" Taurus and a 3" SP101 - wanted to see the velocity loss with the shorter barrel. There was a ~200 fps diff in the 357 load (1590 vs 1380 fps avg - Rem cat claims 1450, with 4" brl) and a ~100 fps diff in the 38 Sp load. If anyone wants to send me 6 158 gr rounds, I'd be happy to do the same for those :).

  13. #27
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    I would carry what ever shoots the best out of your gun. If you use a 357 in a defensive shoot and hit the person where you should, it won't matter if it's a 125 or 158 gr.

  14. #28
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    HydraShok is a jacketed hollow point...

    I've carried both, and use both. Currently, I'm running with 150grn Starfires in my 686 & GP100; but would be happy with HydraShok, Goldt Dot, or even 125 Remington SJHPs.

    They all work. It's comparing a Braeburns and Fujis...
    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

  15. #29
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    I'll keep this simple. I don't want to compare any specific round with another. I would like to know if anyone would choose a JACKETED SOFT POINT for personal defense, or are they only good for target practice?

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  16. #30
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    I would like to know if anyone would choose a JACKETED SOFT POINT for personal defense,

    There is a reason ALL of the top notch SD ammo is hollow point. The reason is that a JHP is the best round for SD. If a JSP is all you can get then use it, but a top notch JHP is best for SD (against humans).

    I'll add that in grizzly bear country (hiking, hunting etc.) I would carry a 158gr JSP load for double duty SD against two and four legged predators.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

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