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If you have a 4 in. barrel and a 2 in. barrel revolver, and you have a choice between 125 gr. or 158 gr. ammo, would you use the same ammo in both guns or different ammo in each gun? Please explain your reason of choice. Thanks.
 

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For a self defense round, I'd use the 125 gr. loads for both. Very little energy difference between the two rounds and the 125 would be less likely to over-penetrate while giving a little better recoil management. If I were hunting, I'd switch to the 158 in a soft point for increased penetration.

Hoss
 

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Probably the 125 grain, but before I made a decision I would want to see some ballistic test results. I would make my choice based on the round with the best velocity, penetration and expansion.
Short barrel guns don't develop velocity as well as a longer barrel, often you get better results with a lighter faster bullet.
 

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I use 125gr in my .357 mag and some 130 gr. low recoil hydro-shoks on hand.
 

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I'm going to go against the stream on this one; I'd prefer the lighter 125's in the 4" gun--for the previously given reason of overpenetration...but take the heavier 158's in the short barrel in order to get enough penetration.
 

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For the 4" barrel, either round would probably work as advertised. The issue, however, is with your shorter barrel revolver. I'd recommend probably bypassing .357 and go with .38special -- specifically the Speer Gold Dot JHP 135gr +p cartridge. This round achieves good velocity for a short barrel gun (~860 fps) and can be managed much more easily for follow-up shots from a short barrel gun.

Here's more information on the round.
 

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I've never met a .357 Mag round I didn't like, but for personal defense I like the mid-powered Corbon DPX 125 gr. It's quite a treat and there's a nice write-up on www.hipowersandhandguns.com .
 

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my 6" 686 is a range gun 99.9% of the time so it probably hasnt had a whole box of SD ammo through it in the 25 years i've had it. my 2" model 60 gets feed gold dolt short barrel 135 gr. 357 mag or 38 special +p exclusively because they are supposedly designed to expand at lower velocity. hope that helps.
 

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My two K frames loaded with Win 145 Silver Tip and J frame with 125 Golden Saber 357.
Reason: one of the K frames has fixed sights and the ST shoots dead-on. Avgs 1150-1180fps out of the two and I shoot them well. The GS produces 1140fps out of J frame and it shoots well for me.
 

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I agree with cvhoss:

[BFor a self defense round, I'd use the 125 gr. loads for both.][/B]
The old 125 grain .357 has been called "Thor's Hammer" before because of how it hits.

Biker
 

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+1 on 125gr. with a bullet tailored for the speed generated for your barrel length's ability to burn the powder involved.

Fortunately the DPX mentioned does the job in both barrel lengths. There is no problem with penetration, it mushrooms widely and dependably, AND it is highly manageable for a .357 round IMO.

What more is needed? It is IMO the perfect .357 magnum ammo for concealed carry.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm going to go against the stream on this one; I'd prefer the lighter 125's in the 4" gun--for the previously given reason of overpenetration...but take the heavier 158's in the short barrel in order to get enough penetration.
All of the replies here make good sense, however, I agree with you about the 125's in the 4 in. & 158's in the short barrel. My reasoning is in relation to the link below. Although the barrel length is not designated, I assume the statistics are of that of a long barrel. All considered, the 158 gr. expands more and penetrates deeper, making it the better choice for the short barrel.



357 Magnum Stopping Power
 

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I use 158 gr Federal Hydro-shock, Gold Dot Short barrel, or Hornandy Critical Self Defense
 

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After testing, I found the 158gr Hydra Shok to fragment and not penetrate a lot. I had thought about using it for a hunting load. It's one of the few Hydras I'm not a fan of (.32ACP is the otherBTW). For short .357s I like the 125gr Gold Saber. Although it's not marked as such, it's a mid-power load. The 145 Silvertip as mentioned is also quite mild. I don't have much experience with the DPX, but those who do seem to like it. I don't care for full power .357 recoil in short guns. For the 4", all my guns have full power 125gr JHP. I don't much care between Federal, Remington, or Winchester, I think they're all great. Power and penetration are not an issue and the bigger gun makes it a lot better to shoot.
 

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I'm sure that there are many good rounds for the .357 magnum, with both short and longer barrels. I just settled in on the DPX and 125 gr. because of a few glowing reports.

I hate to keep switching around with ammo for carry and just wanted to settle in on something that seemed to be about as good as it gets.

Having said that - I have always been a believer in larger and heavier over the little fast bullets - in general. I have heard however that the 158gr. (often) will fail to open up when fired at the reduced speed of the shorter barrels. Others seem to disagree and, indeed, espouse the oposite view.

I respect the testing and conclusions of Stephen Camp. He seems honest and is a "thinker". Sometimes you just have to settle in on a pretty well recommended round and just go for it. I'm betting that most of the most modern choices will do the job if you hit where you are aiming to hit.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm sure that there are many good rounds for the .357 magnum, with both short and longer barrels. I just settled in on the DPX and 125 gr. because of a few glowing reports.

I hate to keep switching around with ammo for carry and just wanted to settle in on something that seemed to be about as good as it gets.

Having said that - I have always been a believer in larger and heavier over the little fast bullets - in general. I have heard however that the 158gr. (often) will fail to open up when fired at the reduced speed of the shorter barrels. Others seem to disagree and, indeed, espouse the oposite view.

I respect the testing and conclusions of Stephen Camp. He seems honest and is a "thinker". Sometimes you just have to settle in on a pretty well recommended round and just go for it. I'm betting that most of the most modern choices will do the job if you hit where you are aiming to hit.
I believe that any .357 round fired from a long barrel will do the job, it's the short barrel (2 in.) that is difficult to decide which round will perform best. I agree that the 158 gr. will most likely fail to open fired from the short barrel, chances are the same for the 125 gr. even at a higher velocity. My thinking is that if both rounds fail to open, then my best choice would be the 158 gr. because it's heavier and will penetrate deeper. And being that it's fired from a short barrel, over penetration wouldn't be a factor.
 

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If you have a 4 in. barrel and a 2 in. barrel revolver, and you have a choice between 125 gr. or 158 gr. ammo, would you use the same ammo in both guns or different ammo in each gun? Please explain your reason of choice. Thanks.
I tried to put 158 gr ammo through a 2 in j-frame once and I never tried it again. The recoil made my hand hurt for 3 days. The 125 gr would be a good choice for both but I normally load 110 gr Winchestor hollowpoints in my snubbie. The recoil is very managable and it still delivers a punch down range.
 

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I don't own a .357 but my parents do.

They really like the 125 grain corbon. The recoil is stout but a quite a bit less than most of the 158 grain defense ammo.

a good look at the corbon can be found here :

A Look at Corbon

In my opinion all well known company's defense ammo will do just fine. It really comes down to your preference, your gun's preference, a bit of hair splitting and perhaps price and marketing hype.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I tried to put .158 gr ammo through a 2 in j-frame once and I never tried it again. The recoil made my hand hurt for 3 days. The 125 gr would be a good choice for both but I normally load 110 gr Winchestor hollowpoints in my snubbie. The recoil is very managable and it still delivers a punch down range.
I completely understand what everyone says about the recoil and pain in relation to the full house loads such as the .158 gr. magnum fired from the short barrel guns. I however am not talking about a fun day at the shooting range. My only interest here is in the case of self defense, and my only concern is the preservation of my life. It has been stated by those having been unfortunate enough to have had to defend themselves with a .357 snubby, loaded with full house rounds, that the recoil at that time was not noticeable. I have also experienced the pain you talk about, and I know that the pain was a consequence of having stock grips on the gun. After installing the Hogue Monogrip, the recoil was still there, of course, but the pain was gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
For a self defense round, I'd use the 125 gr. loads for both. Very little energy difference between the two rounds and the 125 would be less likely to over-penetrate while giving a little better recoil management. If I were hunting, I'd switch to the 158 in a soft point for increased penetration.

Hoss
Do you find that there's that much difference in recoil between the 125 gr. & the 158 gr. fired in the snubby?
 
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