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Old September 24, 2010, 04:34 AM   #1
therealdeal
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why not heavy grains for SD ammo or for whatever?

I was just wondering. I have the 125gr SelfDefense hollowpoint rounds(the golden sabres from remington) in my .357's but I am interested in the 158 and now the 180gr because I have heard from them. I might hunt w/my buddies when the handgun is allowed(and w/rifle otherwise). Even if I don't hunt w/these larger rounds, what is wrong w/carrying the heavy duty?? I have already read some posts saying they Prefer the 158 but I must say the 125 have won everytime.

I would use the 180gr in my bigger .357(probably not the CCW 2" due to my fear of possible crimping)
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Old September 24, 2010, 05:02 AM   #2
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in case it matters, I have a 6" ruger gp100 and a taurus cia650 2" .357magnum. I shoot the golden sabres out of both
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Old September 24, 2010, 05:25 AM   #3
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Nothing wrong with 158 or 180s as far a weight for protection. the problem lies in the fact many of them that are designed for hunting are too heavily constructed to expand consistantly in humans,leading to over penatration.
Besides picking one "do all" load for a 357 is a waste of a lot of versatility.
also in the case of fix sights one may shoot closer to POA than another. My SP101 gets fed 158gr @ 900 to 1000fps because it will group them in 3-4" at 25yards in the bullseye. However my Speed Six shoots them 5 to 6" high at that range so it gets the 357 Golden Sabers.
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Old September 24, 2010, 06:04 AM   #4
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what mavracer said...

... with some additions

energy is a function of velocity, squared;

penetration is a result of momentum, or mass x velocity (not squared)

So, a lighter bullet, traveling faster, can develop more energy, and also provide more consistent expansion; a heavier bullet, traveling slower, tends to have better penetration in tissue. (Higher velocity bullets often do better at penetrating thin, hard barriers - but then often don't travel as far in tissue)

Recent advances in metallurgy have resulted in bullets that expand reliably at lower speeds, so heavier bullets have become better suited for SD than they used to be. In times past, hollowpoint bullets had to be at the lighter, faster end of the weight range in a give caliber to give reliable expansion.

Cheers,

M

PS Point being, find a bullet that shoots to point of aim for your weapon, that is designed to expand reliably at the velocities it will reasonably attain from your weapon; and, heavier bullets tend to work better if you are worried about 4-legged, bigger critters.
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Old September 24, 2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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I carry a full-size 357 with a 4.68" barrel, 42oz gun so I can cope with serious recoil.

I decided to use the Gold Dot 125gr projectile driven as fast as I can get it going - to that end I currently load Doubletap Ammo's version. I've not chronied them, but I did blow up a bowling ball with one and I'm convinced that at least this batch (getting near four years old now!) will perform at close to the claimed speed of 1,600fps from a 4" revolver.

What that means is, expansion is more or less a given, and because I'm way up over the 1,200fps boundary it's actually not going to punch all that deep. The Gold Dot jacket is a heavy electroplate over the lead core, so it should hold up OK even when "overdriven".

Now...I strongly suspect the 158gr Gold Dot would work well at 1,300-1,400fps as my gun can drive it as loaded by Buffalo Bore in particular, probably Doubletap as well. But then I'd start to worry about overpenetration. Might get a boost in accuracy though...the Doubletap 125s I have now are basically good for 5" groups at 25yds, which is...suboptimal but still OK. The gun can do better, and does with other ammo.

I'm going to start reloading soon. I'm pondering various 140gr options. The Gold Dot is out but there's also the Barnes X in 140gr, a superb round. Or the classic old Sierra 140 isn't bad - Cor-Bon still loads it, has a good rep despite being low-tech. Heck, Speer's REALLY old-school 148 jacketed-but-with-an-exposed-lead-tip critter is still out there, works fine within it's known speed range...sheds it's jacket like a cheap stripper looking for meth but still works...
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Old September 24, 2010, 06:35 PM   #6
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Always the 158Gr. That's what the gun was really meant for. And when that 158 grain, has a "SLOW" end of 1250 fps, and a "FAST" end of almost 1500 fps, there is no one going to convince me that it goes too slow. Not for a hollow point, not for penetration, not for anything. NORMALLY; you go with a lighter bullet to A: Increase velocity and improve expansion of hollow points, or B: To reduce recoil so you can more easily shoot it. Well, the 1200 f-ps of a 158 grain bullet is more than enough to expand a bullet. You wind up with about the same energy as the 125 Gr, because even though the 125 is faster, the 158 has more weight and mass. Energy is basically a wash. I take the 158 all the time. I want the penetration. I don't worry about over penetrating.
This was posted sometime back by another member and I believe is still excellent advise.
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Old September 24, 2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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Small and fast is just more popular than big and slow.

Big and fast is a bit too much in anything except a full sized gun.
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Old September 25, 2010, 05:56 AM   #8
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OLD BEAR or JIM(or anyone for that matter),

Federal® Power-Shok™ .357 Magnum 180 Gr. JHP, 20-Rds.

If I had these rounds in my 6" stainless steel ruger gp100 .357 magnum and shot a BG: would the round go clear thru him(depending on where it hit too obviously//his gut as an example or his heart as another)??

I have read so much that over penetration is a myth(Maybe that is too strong a statement), but I would like the round to stay in BadGuy if at all possible. I have a new thing with the higher grain ammo lately.

I bought 300grain hollowpoint extreme penetraions for my .44 henry rifle as an example
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Old September 25, 2010, 06:11 AM   #9
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old bear I like the 158gr too but one of my .357's(my CCW) is a 2" barrel stainless steel 23.9 oz taurus CIA650 and I worry about these larger rounds in the smaller .357

I do like the golden sabers 125gr hollowpoints too. I have done lots of research on crimping because when I got the CIA650 for the first couple cylinders of shots(10rounds), the force of gravity stopped my cylinder rotation cold(all 125gr hollowpoint). It being a concealed carry weapon and new+not understanding crimping, this obviously bothered me. I have not had the problem since 'breaking the gun' in which some gun manufacturers say to do. I also read to not go higher than 125gr or 158 gr but I can't remember(plus most of these opinions are off the cuff gun people from forums, etc. taurus said to break it in someone said that what they told him when they called//not the most concrete evidence I know??.

At any rate I have overtested the CIA650 due to Making Sure the issue was gone- just my luck something happens and I only get one shot off trying to defend my family. I even consider my gp100 my first weapon(I'd be holding both) if something did happen at home. I don't think I have any issues with the CIA650 anymore, I just like the gp100 more unless I am CCW in which case I only have the CIA650
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Old September 25, 2010, 11:15 AM   #10
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http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=344605

Ummm...yeah, I don't like what I see here.

Federal says they'll do "1,080fps". Doesn't say in what. Federal has a tendency to "wimp out" on handgun ammo power and here we see another example. Let's give 'em the benefit of the doubt and say that's a 4" wheelgun measurement.

From a 6" GP100 they should spit a BIT faster. Maybe.

Second problem: that hollowpoint cavity ain't all that big. There's a chance it won't expand. In which case it will absolutely blow on through even a steroid-ridden monster from "professional wrestling" circles, and won't do a lot of harm along the way.

I think you're better off with a quality 158gr hollowpoint from anybody other than Federal. Federal's only 357 round that's any good at all is the one based on the 140gr Barnes all-copper hollowpoint.
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Old September 25, 2010, 01:15 PM   #11
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And then there are us dinosaurs who load 158 or 170 gr LSWC Kieth style bullets. Not uber fancy or modern but they were good 70 years ago and some of us dinosaurs still like them.
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Old September 25, 2010, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Jim March
I think you're better off with a quality 158gr hollowpoint from anybody other than Federal. Federal's only 357 round that's any good at all is the one based on the 140gr Barnes all-copper hollowpoint.
Yeah, Federal's 125 gr JHP never hurt anyone. It would probably bounce off the chest of some guy with big muscles.
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Old September 25, 2010, 03:55 PM   #13
Jim March
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Federal's 125 is lower-performance than most 357Mag 125gr loads.

It still works, because that's a combination that's hard to screw up.

But if you don't load a 180 fast enough, and don't use a modern faster-expanding JHP with a decent hollowpoint cavity size, it can indeed fail. It'll still punch a .357-size hole straight through, but that's not exactly optimum. A 38Spl that expands will do more harm than a 357 that doesn't - in human targets.

(In quadrupeds, different story, you need a much deeper punch...)
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Old September 25, 2010, 05:12 PM   #14
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old bear I like the 158gr too but one of my .357's(my CCW) is a 2" barrel stainless steel 23.9 oz taurus CIA650 and I worry about these larger rounds in the smaller .357
Sir I have fired 1,200 + rounds of 38 special +P +P+ and .357 Magnum ammo, all 158 Gr. through my Taurus 617 2" with out any problems other than it is LOUD and the recoil is stout.
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Old September 25, 2010, 05:25 PM   #15
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A 38Spl that expands will do more harm than a 357 that doesn't - in human targets.
Unless you factor in intervening limbs, less than optimum target presentation, etc. In those cases penetration becomes more desirable than expansion. I have yet to meet the ME who will look at a handgun wound track and state whether or not the bullet expanded.

Personally, I want a round that will punch through an upraised forearm, bones, biceps etc. and still drill through the chest and take out some vertebrae.
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Old September 25, 2010, 05:37 PM   #16
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Sarge, I don't completely disagree. But I'd rather have a 158 that expands over a 180 that doesn't, in the .357 bore size.
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Old September 25, 2010, 05:43 PM   #17
therealdeal
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thanx for the advice on the federal. I will stay away from them. I shoot them and winchesters out of my 12gauge shotgun (3" 15pellet 00 buck), so hopefully federal is ok with the shotgun.

I am interested in the 170gr old grump too and I'll try to remember to get those kinds for 158 maybe also.
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Old September 25, 2010, 05:47 PM   #18
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Jim, I'm not disagreeing with your last post either. Both of us will get ragged for insinuating that a 158 is suitable for defense because of the 'over-penetration boogie man' etc.

The fact is that today's 158 grain HP's (from about the XTP forward) will, generally speaking, expand about as well as the 125's of 30 years ago. This is not to say that they, or any other suitable defense load, won't shoot through a human; or that more than one round of any of them won't be required. I think it's best to plan for both those eventualities, regardless of what we're carrying in our roscoe.
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Old September 26, 2010, 02:50 PM   #19
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I say if you want the 158gr, and don't want to worry so much about overpenetrating, try the Double Tap/Nosler 158gr HP. The ones I have seen are SJHP. That means they should open rather dependably and stay in the body. They should function well even if the tip gets clogged with cloth. The fact that it is a SJHP means it would then act like a SJSP in many ways.

At least that is the primary advantage of a SJHP as explained to me. The guy that explained it to me was a handgun hunter and former police firearms instructor.

I like the fact that out of a 2" barrel you're looking at 545 - 550ftlbs of energy. Out of a 4" barrel you get about 688ftlbs of muzzle energy.

Edit to clear up the second bit and add the third.
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Old September 26, 2010, 06:38 PM   #20
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The fact is that today's 158 grain HP's (from about the XTP forward) will, generally speaking, expand about as well as the 125's of 30 years ago.
That's probably about right. Maybe not with quite as much reliability as the 125s, but they're no longer worlds apart.
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Old September 26, 2010, 07:32 PM   #21
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Have carried for my CPL's..

the Hornady 140 gr XTps. that they DON't make.
I loved them as they POA/POI form me.

May try the new crtical defense ammo.
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Old September 26, 2010, 10:32 PM   #22
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My SW Model 65 is a fixed sight revolver that shoots dead on using 158 gr. hollow points so that is what I load in my night stand gun.

My 4 inch Python that I occasionally carry was sighted dead on for 125 gr. loads when I purchased it so that is what I load in it.

That's how much difference I think there is between a good 158 gr and a good 125 gr load there is in .357 magnum. It makes for good forum discussion but, IMHO, there is little practical difference.
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Old September 27, 2010, 06:54 AM   #23
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please ignore the real world

Ignore anecdotal evidence.
Ignore LE departments that have since switched back to the .355" 125g JHP.
Ignore SIG and Federal's attempt to duplicate the 1200fps+ .357" 125g JHP.

Carry ammo that makes you feel good. That matters most.
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Old September 27, 2010, 07:30 PM   #24
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Quote:
Ignore anecdotal evidence.
Ignore LE departments that have since switched back to the .355" 125g JHP.
Ignore SIG and Federal's attempt to duplicate the 1200fps+ .357" 125g JHP.

Carry ammo that makes you feel good. That matters most.
The 125 gr. JHP .357 magnum is an excellent self-defense round. Nobody says it isn't. However, let's look at real, verifiable data and not some fake "data" pushed to sell a book:

A LOT depends on the bullet and load. Let's take at some fired into calibrated ballistic gel:

Federal, 158 gr. JHP, 1200 fps, 16.5" penetration and .50" (bare gel), 15.9" penetration and .64" expansion (clothed gel) from a 4 inch M19.

Rem. Golden Sabers, 125 gr JHP, 1200 fps, 14.4" penetration and .56" expansion (bare gel) and 20.55" penetration and .48" expansion (clothed gel) from 4 inch M19.

source: http://firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/357magnum.htm

As far as agencies going to .357 Sig to mimic the 125 gr. .357 magnum, there are a LOT more agencies using the .40 SW in the 155 to 165 gr. weights that are close to the 158 gr. .357 magnums in both velocity and energy. So what does that do for your theory?

In my post, I said I chose between two loads, depending upon the one that was most accurate for a particular revolver. Are you saying it's better to go with a pistol that shoots inaccurately just to get a few extra feet of velocity?
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Old September 27, 2010, 09:50 PM   #25
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Here's another old fart who prefers the 158. To me, it's the difference between being hit with a sledge hammer as opposed to a ball peen hammer...I'll take the sledge every time.
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