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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a .357 fan for most my life.Here is where my question lies and this is just for discussion sake and not trying to start wars as I know these threads often can turn heated. You always hear about the 125gr being a proven fight stopper. Back when the .357 was real popular and most of the stats put together for the .357 were not the hollowpoints the sjhp with the lead nose exposed? Or am I wrong? Anyone have any type of stats on newer bullet designs compared to the older ones.
 

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Originally the .357 Magnum was a potent cartridge, loaded with 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullets. It was said to be loaded to higher velocities in the 1930s than it is today. I've never chronograhed any.

An older Smith & Wesson forum thread shows some early ammunition and boxes.
http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-hand-ejectors-1896-1961/76430-early-357-ammo.html

http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=30 (an article on the subject of the .357 Magnum by the great Skeeter Skelton)

One can't help but wonder if the factory loads leaded like fiends.

I like using either the original 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet or else a 158 grain jacketed soft nose or hollow point when handloading for my .357 Magnum revolvers. Have enjoyed using up to 180 grain bullets on the past. Only personal opinion but I have no use for the 110-125 grain loadings or component bullets and feel the lighter bullets are overrated. Especially the vaunted 125 grain slug which receives entirely too much play in the internet rumor mill for it's performance to be taken at face value. The .357 Magnum is very capable of using heavier bullets than that and to good effect.

I've got a box of Remington 125 grain factory JHPs idling on the shelf, awaiting time to chronograph, just to see what real-world velocities will be. Just got to clear the schedule of other commitments.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First link didnt work for me. I'll be looking forward to your test. I do remember reading an artile once about heavy fouling and supposely that was one reason they started with the sjhp. I was just kind of curious on the older style sjhp compared to newer offerings.
 

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Well ... boo!

Smith & Wesson forum's down for a bit. I recalled that there was a nice thread with lots of photos of early .357 Magnum ammo in it, found it, and linked to it. Their forum was slow in look-up and slow in loading but finally, after about 45 seconds, loaded. I checked it after posting and it was a good link, though still slow. Just checked the link provided and it now says "bad gateway." Went back to grab the thread again and Smith & Wesson forum's got a message saying "Down for just a bit, be back up ASAP."

We'll look back in on it in a little while. The photos of the early ammunition boxes and their contents are fun and instructive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks thats an interesting thread. Man now that is a nice gun posted there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
:35: What a show. I had read that history article before but hadnt seen the picture of the gun. Thank you for making me smile.
 

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to be more specific, my memory says it was the semi-jacketed hollow point 125 grain offerings from Remington and Federal that were the stopping power stars.

personally, i would be confident in virtually any modern SD round in .357 Magnum, although i would go for 125 grain bullets if given a choice.

IMO, this is a case where the power of the cartridge makes it relatively easy to design a good SD load.






"experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." Vernon Law
 

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Without trying to sound sarcastic, I wonder if the success of the .357 Mag was due to the cops actually being able to shoot back then? Maybe carrying revolvers made them slow down and make each shot count. Back in the wheelgun days there didn't seem to be so many cases of cops firing a hundred rounds in the general direction of the perps and relying on neighboring homes as backstops.:tongue:
 
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Without trying to sound sarcastic, I wonder if the success of the .357 Mag was due to the cops actually being able to shoot back then? Maybe carrying revolvers made them slow down and make each shot count. Back in the wheelgun days there didn't seem to be so many cases of cops firing a hundred rounds in the general direction of the perps and relying on neighboring homes as backstops.:tongue:
As a rookie cop I was issued a S&W Mod 19 and .357 Remington 125 gr JHP. We carried (6) in the gun and (2) speedloaders for a total of 18 rds. What changed was in the late 80's most drug dealers (crack cocaine became popular) were carrying higher capacity semi-autos. Police training tactics changed around that same time, double taps were taught with the autos and bullet proof vests became standard issue. Thats my take on it. YMMV.
 

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I started carrying a 357 magnum before the 125 was the darling. We were issued these 158 Grain Remington's at Ft Worth, TX.

Bullet Ammunition Gun accessory Tool accessory

I started using a 4" model 66 and then switched to a 6" 686 in 1985. We were having a lot of hostage situations in convience stores when we arrived during robberies. I started using Federal 180 grain JHPs when a friend of mine was shot walking in the door. I figured the 180 JHP from the 6" tube would work fine through plate glass.

Ammunition Bullet Product Gun accessory Brass


The Border Patrol issued 125's, 110's, and 158's at various times. Most of use used 145 STHP's.
 

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I am a big fan of the .357 in any weight, it might be the best all around handgun round yet invented. Also, being around sense the 1930's says a lot on the value of the round.
 

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Our issue a quarter-century ago was 125g semi-jacketed flat-noses loaded pretty hot. No idea what the chrono was, but it shot some good fire out the 4" bbl. Night range was always fun. Never ended up firing it in anger, but I was pretty confident it would break the skin if it needed to.

Edit: Of course, it wouldn't have broken my skin back then, because I was 10 feet tall and bulletproof. I still have no idea how I survived to grow older.
 

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As a rookie cop I was issued a S&W Mod 19 and .357 Remington 125 gr JHP. We carried (6) in the gun and (2) speedloaders for a total of 18 rds. What changed was in the late 80's most drug dealers (crack cocaine became popular) were carrying higher capacity semi-autos. Police training tactics changed around that same time, double taps were taught with the autos and bullet proof vests became standard issue. Thats my take on it. YMMV.
That's pretty much what I've always heard. But I don't know how sound that doctrine was. The amount of rounds fired per shooting by the police has ratcheted up exponentially but I don't think the hit ratio has followed it. What's the old saying? Something to the effect of 'volume of fire doesn't make up for habitual carelessness with the first shot'? The claim that the cops were "outgunned" always struck me as dubious. The fact that the govt. had a lot of cash to burn from civil forfeiture seems a more likely reason for all the new semi-autos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I started carrying a 357 magnum before the 125 was the darling. We were issued these 158 Grain Remington's at Ft Worth, TX.

View attachment 73334

I started using a 4" model 66 and then switched to a 6" 686 in 1985. We were having a lot of hostage situations in convience stores when we arrived during robberies. I started using Federal 180 grain JHPs when a friend of mine was shot walking in the door. I figured the 180 JHP from the 6" tube would work fine through plate glass.

View attachment 73335


The Border Patrol issued 125's, 110's, and 158's at various times. Most of use used 145 STHP's.
Those Remingtons are what I use to CC when I lived in Indiana and CC'd.
 

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The 125 has dropped some darn good size deer for me. Never had to go look for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Smitty901, were those the sjhp? I'm thinking of trying my gp100 this fall instead of shotgun for at least part season. Going back and forth on what I want to try in it. Really thinking of some sjhp in something a little warmer than what I have now.
 

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That's pretty much what I've always heard. But I don't know how sound that doctrine was. The amount of rounds fired per shooting by the police has ratcheted up exponentially but I don't think the hit ratio has followed it. What's the old saying? Something to the effect of 'volume of fire doesn't make up for habitual carelessness with the first shot'? The claim that the cops were "outgunned" always struck me as dubious. The fact that the govt. had a lot of cash to burn from civil forfeiture seems a more likely reason for all the new semi-autos.
I saw a study, I believe conducted by Police One, where the guy's using 357 actually hit 2 times more often then the 9mm shooters.
 

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Smitty901, were those the sjhp? I'm thinking of trying my gp100 this fall instead of shotgun for at least part season. Going back and forth on what I want to try in it. Really thinking of some sjhp in something a little warmer than what I have now.
Yes fired from a 6 inch barrel
 
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