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Need a recommendation. I have a j frame and comparing 158jhp vs 180jhp hydroshok. Any suggestions re these or others?
 

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Buffalo Bore has a lower recoil low flash .357 load that I find very accurate and controllable in my 640. If you have an Airweight j-frame you may want to consider a load like that. Hornady Critical Defense also has a load that seems to be a bit lighter in recoil than some of the other loads out there.
 

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I use 158 GR Double Tap Bonded JHP.
 

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Wrong! 158gr is THE statistical king Manstopper! 357mag out of jframes, ammo doesn't matter. You won't attain mag velocities and shock power that 357 was designed for.
 

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Does this count as a Sub-Caliber War?
 
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I use Double Tap 110gr BarnesTAC-XP in my S&W 360. The all copper construction aides in deep penetration. And the weight means it gets to 1470fps, which IS magnum velocities.

...controllability is not too bad. But the round is stout.
 

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Giving ammo availability, try to experiment. Try to see what shoots best out of your revolver. see what you feel most comfortable with. I would avoid the 180 grain bullet. Remember, heavier bullets, especially out of lighter framed revolvers, will produce the heaviest recoil. I carry a S&W 649 steel J frame. I've never had access to a chronograph, or gelatin, but just punching holes in paper, my revolver shoots the 110 grain Winchester White Box very well. CorBon has a 110 grain JHP that is much hotter; I'm sure there are others. The 125 grain SJHP has been a field proven stopper for decades but recoil and muzzle blast will be a factor. Remington Golden Sabre 125 grain JHP is a lighter loading magnum but still has stronger performance than a .38 special +P. I've been carrying the Speer 135 grain JHP designed for "short barrels", intended to reduce muzzle flash and increase performance of the JHP bullet. Again, without access to testing equipment, this round seems to shoot well from my revolver, and recoil is manageable. Anyway, this is a quick sample of what has worked for me. Try to shoot as much as you can, to experiment and then to become proficient with what works best for you.
 

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In terms of self-defense : most things I've seen in terms of effectiveness, research, and tests coming out of short barrel J-frames in .357... the 125 gr won out. Even in real life it has.

And HST, Hyrdo-Shok and Critical Defense .... all work well. I typically have HST or hyrdroshok .357 - 125 gr in mine.
 
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Whatever is available and has a hole in front. Tell us what you think of those 180s out of your snubbie.
 

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I've often wondered about this. I would tend to think that a lighter bullet might lose more energy than a heavier bullet when fired through a shorter barrel, as the lighter bullet depends more on velocity for its muzzle energy. So, say a 125 grain and a 180 grain round have the same muzzle energy from a 6-inch barrel, I'd think the 180 grain would have more muzzle energy than the 125 from a 2-inch barrel. Anybody know if this is true?
 

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Any .357 mag load is a good defensive load!

Do you need penetration? Use the 180 gr load

Do you fear over penetration? Use the 125 gr load

Do you need a good general purpose load? Use the 158 gr load
 

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Time to go to the range and see how each one feels
Out of a 22 ounce j-frame snubby:

125 Gr - Ow!

158 Gr - Ouch!

180 Gr - Ouuuch! Sheesh!
 

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Maybe I'm a wimp but I shoot the 125gr Gold Saber .357 in snub .357s. I don't care for the recoil of the heavier full power rounds. FWIW, in my experience the 158gr Hydra Shok expands much easier than the typical 158gr JHP. I have never seen a JSP or any of the heavier rounds expand from a handgun much less a snub.
 

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Wrong! 158gr is THE statistical king Manstopper! 357mag out of jframes, ammo doesn't matter. You won't attain mag velocities and shock power that 357 was designed for.
The topic of best .357 Magnum load is awfully subjective to get on a forum and throw about adjectives like "wrong."

Care to provide the statistics to back that up?

I'm in favor of the 158 grain bullet in the .357 Magnum, feeling that the 125 grain weight is overrated and over-sold. The potent .357 Magnum cartridge is so capable that I leave the lighter bullets to lesser cartridges like 9mm. However my ideas on the subject amount to nothing more than a personally held notion. The 125 grain loading has had a long reputation as the manstopper load in .357 Magnum since way before internet forums. There might be something behind that reputation.
 

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In my testing the 357 Magnum out of any barrel length outperforms the 38 Special by 400-500 fps with the same bullet in the same length barrel. I found that 125 JHP's come out of the 1 7/8" BBL on a 640 Pro @ 1250 FPS, which is almost identical to the 124 grn 9mm +P. I used 158's and 145 STHP most of the time I carried a 357. I carried 180 JHP's for a while in the late 80's as we were having a lot of hostage situations during failed robberies at convenience stores. After one of my friends was shot during one of these I switched to the 180's in my 6" 686, my reasoning was that the 180 out of the 6" would work well thru plate glass. I would generally advise against 180's in 357's for SD.
 
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