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Hi all,
I am looking for some insight into a decent ccw 357 mag round for my SP101, it has a 2.5" barrel
(dao model), not sure if that would sway anyone's suggestion or not ( the 2.5" barrel). I'm not sure if I want to stick to the 125gr loads or go alittle heavier say 140gr/158gr range. Should I be looking for something in a bonded bullet or just stick with a JHP ? I'm also not sure if I should look into a all copper load, are these really as good as they a made out to be( lighter/fast vs. slower/ heavy)? The recoil doesn't bother me when I fire heavy magnum rounds, though heavy loads take a second to get back on target.. but they are not too bad. Any insight would be great as I don't want to go buy 10 different brands of ammo and start from scratch, I'd rather only try a few.
G
 

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The 125 gr JHP probably has the best street record over the years in .357 mag, regardless of barrel length, so that's never a bad choice. However, you noted one of the drawbacks of a full-house .357 in a compact gun, namely the time to get back on target for a follow-up shot.

My suggestion is to check out some .38 +P loads... these are plenty effective and the recoil is a lot more manageable. Some good choices include the 158 gr lead SWC-HP, and the Speer "short barrel" loadings with the Gold Dot bullet.
 

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2.5 inch barrel is the biggest factor. The 125 does a very good job in the 357 and has a very high first round stop.
If you find it a bit much to handle as others have said there are some 38 rounds that will do the job.
 

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...R38S12...in all my .38/.357 2"-4" revolvers...if it ain't broke...don't fix it... +P power and street proven...less recoil/flash/noise than the .357 loads...

...Speer's put out some Short Barrel loads in .38 and .357...bought a box of .38s and still haven't tried 'em...plenty of the proven stuff around...
 

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I assume you mean the SP101 with the 2-1/4" barrel.

I use almost anything in mine, but stay mostly with 129gr .38 +P Hydra Shock, or 158gr .357 Federal HS. When I am loading my own, I usually load either 125gr RNFP, or 158gr RNFP, and load to .38SPL specs. I like the SP101, but it is just a little bit heavy for carrying. I can carry a PX4C or a P30S with 15 rounds and it still feels lighter than my SP101.
 

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125 gr SJHP is pretty much historically the go to round in 357 for SD against two leg critters. Ive not seen anything come up with since that tops it.
 

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I had the exact same SP101 that I used for pocket carry (I am a "full-grown" guy so I could pull it off). I rotated, depending upon where I was going, between 3 main loads. For the 38Spl I used 158 +P semi-wadcutter hollow points, which held about a 2" group at 15 yards. Expansion was always good from this load. In 357 Mag I used either a 110 grain Winchester load that grouped around 2 1/2 to 2 3/4" inches at 15 yards. Expansion was generally good, penetration was acceptable, and all in all was not a bad round if you are concerned with over penetration. The last load I rotated in was the PMC 150 StarFire Hollow Point. Accuracy was really good, and rivaled the 38Spl load by producing around 2 - 2 1/4" groups. Penetration was deeper than the 110 grain load, expansion was decent, and recoil was not severe at all. I carried this load when venturing out to my family farm which is obviously in a rural setting. The 38 Spl and the 110 grain 357 loads I carried in more "social" settings where over penetration could be an major concern.

I had three Ruger SP101's in DAO and each one produced the same results with these loads. So I would expect them to provide the same performance for you with your pocket rocket.
 

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I had the exact same SP101 that I used for pocket carry (I am a "full-grown" guy so I could pull it off). I rotated, depending upon where I was going, between 3 main loads. For the 38Spl I used 158 +P semi-wadcutter hollow points, which held about a 2" group at 15 yards. Expansion was always good from this load. In 357 Mag I used either a 110 grain Winchester load that grouped around 2 1/2 to 2 3/4" inches at 15 yards. Expansion was generally good, penetration was acceptable, and all in all was not a bad round if you are concerned with over penetration. The last load I rotated in was the PMC 150 StarFire Hollow Point. Accuracy was really good, and rivaled the 38Spl load by producing around 2 - 2 1/4" groups. Penetration was deeper than the 110 grain load, expansion was decent, and recoil was not severe at all. I carried this load when venturing out to my family farm which is obviously in a rural setting. The 38 Spl and the 110 grain 357 loads I carried in more "social" settings where over penetration could be an major concern.

I had three Ruger SP101's in DAO and each one produced the same results with these loads. So I would expect them to provide the same performance for you with your pocket rocket.
You must have some big pockets!!!
 

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You must have some big pockets!!!

Yep! They don't really make small stuff for people 6' 4" and 265lbs.....except my wife who is 5'5" and tiny! Just dropped it into one of two pocket holsters I have and into my 5.11's.
 

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Hi all,
I am looking for some insight into a decent ccw 357 mag round for my SP101, it has a 2.5" barrel
(dao model), not sure if that would sway anyone's suggestion or not ( the 2.5" barrel). I'm not sure if I want to stick to the 125gr loads or go alittle heavier say 140gr/158gr range. Should I be looking for something in a bonded bullet or just stick with a JHP ? I'm also not sure if I should look into a all copper load, are these really as good as they a made out to be( lighter/fast vs. slower/ heavy)? The recoil doesn't bother me when I fire heavy magnum rounds, though heavy loads take a second to get back on target.. but they are not too bad. Any insight would be great as I don't want to go buy 10 different brands of ammo and start from scratch, I'd rather only try a few.
G
Your Ruger® #KSP-321XL has a 2¼" barrel, not 2½". As for loads the CCI Blazer® #3542 158gr JHP is very accurate yet low recoil.
 

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Gotta give another mention to Speer short barrel loads. I don't have a chronometer or gel, but I've seen good things.

In general: I also don't see a great advantage of .357 over .38+P in snub barrels.
Butler weight- higher mass bullets will generally carry farther through a target than a lighter bullet of like design. In short barrels, you simply do not have enough time to effectively utilize the powder in your case. Your muzzle velocities will be low regardless of bullet weight. Yes, lighter bullets will still go faster, but ALL bullets will be moving far below potential. In this case, I believe bullet mass becomes even more important than in 4"+ barrels. They will maintain what little velocity they have deeper into the target than their lighter counterpart.

To answer your question: YES go heavier. I would give Speer short barrel a look.
 

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Never tried the Short Barrel but want to. I like the 110 grain for recoil control and good general accuracy. I have been told that the WW 110 grain there is quite a flash, but I have never noticed. I also know the Blazer 158 jhp is a soft shooter since they lowered the velocity in the 1150 fps range. I think the 125 jhp category is generally considered the benchmark so I would consider one from there too. I also would like try one of the new 140's just cause but I haven't see them around here much.
 

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I had the exact same SP101 that I used for pocket carry (I am a "full-grown" guy so I could pull it off). I rotated, depending upon where I was going, between 3 main loads. For the 38Spl I used 158 +P semi-wadcutter hollow points, which held about a 2" group at 15 yards. Expansion was always good from this load. In 357 Mag I used either a 110 grain Winchester load that grouped around 2 1/2 to 2 3/4" inches at 15 yards. Expansion was generally good, penetration was acceptable, and all in all was not a bad round if you are concerned with over penetration. The last load I rotated in was the PMC 150 StarFire Hollow Point. Accuracy was really good, and rivaled the 38Spl load by producing around 2 - 2 1/4" groups. Penetration was deeper than the 110 grain load, expansion was decent, and recoil was not severe at all. I carried this load when venturing out to my family farm which is obviously in a rural setting. The 38 Spl and the 110 grain 357 loads I carried in more "social" settings where over penetration could be an major concern.

I had three Ruger SP101's in DAO and each one produced the same results with these loads. So I would expect them to provide the same performance for you with your pocket rocket.
...did you notice a large difference in accuracy between short barrel and the 3"+ one??? I have the 2"+ one and am considering the longer barrel, too...
 

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My 3 inch hs been pretty accurate with most things I've shot through it from 125- 158 gr. My speed loaders are loaded with 158gr buffalo bore low flash. I say my speed loaders because as of right now no ccw. Black hills has been very accurate in my gun as well. To be honest though the 2 most accurate loads in my gun probally arent the best sd loads. Rem 125gr sjsp green and white box 50 for about $25 and hornay 140gr flex tip.
 

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...did you notice a large difference in accuracy between short barrel and the 3"+ one??? I have the 2"+ one and am considering the longer barrel, too...
The 3 incher gives the best accuracy, being more noticeable at the 10-15 yard line and beyond in by opinion. The grain weights I mentioned earlier gave tighter groups out of the longer barrel all the way around. You also will get roughly a 100 FPS increase in velocity, which will naturally increase your kinetic energy transfer to the target. Depending upon the load you use it will tighten your groups up by between 1/4 and 1/2" on the average. I have tried the Critical Defense Line in the 3 inch (only in the 3") and got very good results with the 38 Spl 110 grain load, and good results with the 357 Magnum 125 grain offering. The CD 38 Spl was fired for accuracy off-hand at 20 feet, and produced 1/2" groups. The 357 magnums were fired at the same distance and opened up a little, producing around 1" to 1 1/4" groups.
 
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