Snubby Question..125gr. or 158gr...?

Snubby Question..125gr. or 158gr...?

This is a discussion on Snubby Question..125gr. or 158gr...? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The best record for the .357 125 jhp is from the long barrel. From the 2 inch barrel, wouldn't the 158gr. jhp be a better ...

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Thread: Snubby Question..125gr. or 158gr...?

  1. #1
    Member Array Bart's Avatar
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    Snubby Question..125gr. or 158gr...?

    The best record for the .357 125 jhp is from the long barrel. From the 2 inch barrel, wouldn't the 158gr. jhp be a better choice round, hitting harder and penetrating deeper?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    I agree.....we're going with the 158gr. JHP. My son shoots this load in his S&W MP 340. IMO nice gun and load combo.

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Get the 125 Gr Gold Dot Short Barrel they are specifcally engineered for short barrels.
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    Member Array spwz99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite75 View Post
    Get the 125 Gr Gold Dot Short Barrel they are specifcally engineered for short barrels.
    I would love to know what they actually changed about that cartridge to 'specifically engineer' it for short barrels. I mean, did they do anything other than load it with a faster burning powder?

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    Member Array LouisianaMan's Avatar
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    I imagine you'd get higher velocity and more reliable expansion with the lighter bullet. Personally, with snubbies especially, I prefer heavy bullet & guaranteed penetration, as you indicate. (But I prefer even heavier, slower bullets at lower pressures--I shoot them better.)

    Anyway, either of your preferred loads would certainly be rough on any BG. Recommend you make your decision based on your impressions of flash, blast & recoil of each load--which do you shoot better? I know I get more flash out of a standard-pressure .38SPL Hornady 125g JHP than I do from a +P 158g LHP by Winchester. Either has significant merit, but the Hornady's flash alone rules it out for me--don't want that during night fire. It's been a while since I triggered a 125g .357 in low light, but I remember the blast & fireball were awesome.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    I chronographed the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain (+P) short barrel from my 2" S&W 37-2 Airweight. They averaged 856 fps, which is not too shabby for a 2" .38 Special. My midrange standard pressure 125 grain RNL handloads averaged 722 fps out of the same gun (they ran 824 fps average out of a 4" gun). My 158 grain RNL (+P) handload averaged right at 800 fps out of the 2" barrel and 890 fps out of the 4" gun. The factory 158 grain SWCHP(+P) loads from the big manufactures are rated anywhere from 850fps to 890fps, so my handloads are right there.

    I won't try to argue whether or not a 135 grain JHP at 850 fps is "better" than a 158 grain LSWCHP at 800 fps. I think either would work well. I carry the 135 grainer because its less prone to damage in speed strips or speed loaders than the soft lead bullet. I carry on a badge, so I have to tell the department which load I'm carrying. Therefore, I can't carry LSWCHPs in the gun and the 135 grainers for reloads. I probably would if I could. I like heavy bullets in .38 Special.

    IMO, a 158 grain JHP isn't a good choice for a 2" gun. 800 fps +/- probably isn't going to be enough oomph to expand a JHP that is deisgned for .357 Magnum velocities as most 158 grain JHPs are. As for 135 or 158 lead, I think its a toss up.
    -Landric

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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    If we assume 1000 FPS for the 158gr load in the M&P 340 as mentioned the numbers are:
    18.4FP of recoil energy at 36.3Ft/sec

    For the 125gr at 1200 FPS in the same gun:
    17.1FP of recoil energy at 35Ft/sec

    Not much difference in felt recoil, but a lot of recoil in such a light gun. If we compute it for a steel framed J frame it works out to:

    158gr: 11FPE at 21.8Lb/sec
    125gr: 10.3FPE at 21Ft/sec

    Still about the same, but much easier to shoot in the Model 60.

    FWIW I'm guessing at the velocity loss in the short barrel. Anybody have any real numbers?

  8. #8
    Member Array Air,Land&Sea's Avatar
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    It's not possible to have a bad .357 Mag round, but I've settled on the medium powered 125 gr. Corbon DPX for my 2 1/4 incher. 2nd choice would be the "short barrel" Gold Dot.
    Freedom of speech does not excuse one from freedom of thought.

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    Member Array Bacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landric View Post
    ...Therefore, I can't carry LSWCHPs in the gun and the 135 grainers for reloads. I probably would if I could. I like heavy bullets in .38 Special...
    Interesting because that is exactly what I do during the summer. Remington 158 gr. +P LSWCHP'S and 135 gr. GDHP's for reloads.
    NRA Life Member

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spwz99 View Post
    I would love to know what they actually changed about that cartridge to 'specifically engineer' it for short barrels. I mean, did they do anything other than load it with a faster burning powder?
    Speer says they engineered the powder for reduced muzzle flash from short barrels without loosing any power. I wonder too, myself. The 'Gold Dot' part is good but I'm thinking the rest is advertisement hype. And at $1.35 per round around here I'll pass. I always go as heavy as I can get regardless of the weapon it is going in.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    the 135 grain "short barrel" load has less powder than the full house rounds do. The muzzle flash is reduced. The speed and power are also greatly reduced... I am sticking with 125 grain or 158 grain full house loads in my 340. (besides imagine what that burning powder/expanding gasses would do to some one with a contact shot.)
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  12. #12
    Member Array Jim Downey's Avatar
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    We tested a fair number in both .38 and .357.

    Personally, I like either the Speer GDHP in 135gr or the CorBon 125gr for my 642.

    Jim D.
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