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Old December 12, 2014, 07:03 PM   #1
Doc Holliday 1950
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if you use a 357 Mag.

Okay.Question number 47. Maybe I'm getting Old Timers and i'm sorry if this has been discussed before.

I have a 4 " 357 mag revolver. What is the lightest grain you would recommend
for SD?
110, 125, 140, 158 grain etc??? I like using hollow points. As always, all answers are appreciated . My hands are strong and I have great grips on my mag
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Old December 12, 2014, 07:32 PM   #2
orionengnr
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IMHO, nothing lighter than 125 grain JHP.
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Old December 12, 2014, 07:33 PM   #3
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I like 125's. You will get a better response in the revolver section.
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Old December 12, 2014, 07:46 PM   #4
SmokinTom
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Go with the 125 grainer.
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Old December 12, 2014, 08:11 PM   #5
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125's are popular, no doubt about that.

If it is likely that an encountered bad guy may be wearing heavy clothing (i.e. cold climates), then I would lean toward going with a 158. I actually reside in the heavy bullet camp. But 357 Magnum has the "headroom" (power) where one can be more choosy with bullet weights than a lot of other chamberings.

I personally carry Federal 130g HydraShok "Low Recoil" rounds. Which aren't hardly low recoil at all. They have a pretty stout wallop. 1356 fps through my carry 686 3". 1430 fps through a 686 4". Good round.

As for 110's: I would lean against them, unless you live in a very warm climate where the BG's wear Hawaiian shirts n Bermuda shorts. I consider it a varmint bullet.
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Old December 12, 2014, 10:36 PM   #6
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I'd use whatever the gun's sights shoot dead on with.

If you have fixed sights that might mean 158gr loads unless you file the front sight down some.


If adjustable sights normaly I'd say 125gr but Bufffalo Bore makes a 140 gr DPX load.

BUFFALO-BARNES LEAD-FREE HEAVY 357 Mag - 140 gr. Barnes XPB
1385 fps—S&W mod 66, 2.5 inch barrel and that ain't hay!

Bet it kicks a mite but maybe my 3 inch GP100 'Canadian' wheelgun might work IF the load shoots where the sights shoot.

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Old December 13, 2014, 08:42 AM   #7
Doc Holliday 1950
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Deaf Smith,
Please explain the difference between fixed sights and adjustable sights.
My 357 has fixed sights.
Doc
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Old December 13, 2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Doc

Some revolvers shoot very different points of impact with different loads (bullets and powder). Some not so much. You will need to try different rounds to see what yours does.

I am in the heavy bullet camp. I carry a snub with 158 grain bullets.
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Old December 13, 2014, 12:52 PM   #9
Deaf Smith
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Doc,

Here are some fixed and adjustable sights:
Notice the rear sights on all the revolvers of mine below.



From the top..

Ruger SP101 DAO 2 1/4 inch bbl .357 magnum 5 shot FIXED SIGHTS
S&W M66 2 1/2 combat magnum .357 magnum 6 shot ADJUSTABLE SIGHTS
3 inch Ruger GP100 .357 magnum 6 shot FIXED SIGHTS
S&W M60 2 inch Chiefs .38 Spl. (J frame) 5 shot FIXED SIGHTS
S&W 686 2 1/2 'Distinguished Combat Magnum' .357 magnum 6 shot ADJUSTABLE
2 inch S&W 64 .38 Spl. 6 shot FIXED SIGHTS
2 3/4 inch Ruger Speed Six. .357 magnum 6 shot FIXED SIGHTS
2 inch S&W 640 .38 Spl. (J Frame) 5 shot FIXED SIGHTS
Ruger Security Six 2 3/4 inch bbl. .357 magnum 6 shot ADJUSTABLE SIGHTS
and S&W 65 'Lady Smith' 3 inch .357 magnum 6 shot FIXED SIGHTS

Any and all will do to ride the river with.

My Dan Wesson Cbob with semi-fixed sights.



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Old December 13, 2014, 04:05 PM   #10
KyJim
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The lightest I would go with is 125 gr bullets but I prefer 158 gr bullets in .357. Fixed sight .38 specials and .357s tend to be sighted for bullets weighing 158 grains. Heavier bullets usually are slower than lighter bullets and therefore take longer to exit the barrel. Since the gun is in recoil and the muzzle is rising, the slower bullet will generally have a higher point of impact because it exits as the muzzle is at a steeper angle.
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Old December 13, 2014, 05:19 PM   #11
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I also would not go lighter than 125. I generally carry 125 grainers in warmer weather, and 158 grainers when folks are bundling up with heavier clothing.
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Old December 13, 2014, 05:28 PM   #12
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I see no reason to go lighter or heavier than 125 grain loads for the purposes of the defending of the self, based on that rounds legacy of great effectiveness.

I carry Federal "357B", 125 grain SJHP .357 magnums in my Ruger GP100 w/ 4" half lug barrel and fixed sights:

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Old December 13, 2014, 07:31 PM   #13
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125 grain is a good self defense round, though I use the 140 grain Barnes (buffalo bore @ 1550 ft/sec from my 5" barrel). Here is the result of the underwood ammo XTP 125 grain into rubber mulch, after 16" of penetration.



The same round through a rifle REALLY pops, though expansion is closer to 12"...but expansion is dynamic, to say the least.
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Old December 13, 2014, 08:04 PM   #14
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As my screen name implies I've been around a few + years, so I prefer the tried and true 158Gr LSWC over a BIG load of slow burning powder, such as Herco 2400. Don't feel the need to mess with those new fangled hollow point bullets
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Old December 13, 2014, 08:32 PM   #15
Doc Holliday 1950
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357 ammo

who makes 158Gr LSWC ammo? also, is Hornady 357 158 grain HP XTP okay?
All my 357's really like this brand. I use Speer and Remington also and also like them. Never used Buffalo bore. What's the story on this ammo?

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Old December 13, 2014, 10:16 PM   #16
Super Sneaky Steve
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Any .357 magnum will kill a bad guy. What you should look for is something you shoot well.

A good tactical load is usually loaded lighter, has less recoil, less flash.

Buffalo Bore makes the best ammo, but it's not cheap. Any of their "heavy" loads are made for maximum performance. They also make tactical loads like I described above. Those are what I'd use if I didn't handload.
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Old December 14, 2014, 12:18 AM   #17
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125 gr is probably the lightest I'd go as well. I load mine with 180 gr hard cast Buffalo Bore.
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Old December 14, 2014, 02:40 AM   #18
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I prefer 158 grain Gold Dots with my .357 magnum revolver.
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Old December 14, 2014, 10:05 AM   #19
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I'm a heavy for caliber guy. So I like the Gold DOT 158 gr HP.

I think what is more important is that you choose a load that you can hit stuff with. If you can shoot the 125 grains well, 'good on ya mate!

P.S.

I've got a friend that uses hand loads for the 110gr at barn burner velocities... His revolvers show signs of top strap cutting - but it doesn't phase him a bit.
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Old December 14, 2014, 10:21 AM   #20
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in a 4" .357 mag I like the Winchester 145gr. STHP, though the Remington 125gr. SJHP ain't too shabby.
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Old December 14, 2014, 09:45 PM   #21
Doc Holliday 1950
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ammo 357

I'd like to thank every body's comments and suggestions. As soon as I get feeling back into my hands, I will probably stick to the 125 grain 357's. I still haven't tried Buffalo Bore but most certainly will. I did try my friend's 6" 357 mag Python and the Earth moved. Maybe I'll treat myself. Nah, I definitely will.
Again, thanks for all your responses.
Doc
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Old December 15, 2014, 06:13 PM   #22
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DOc, for 158Gr. LSWC's try Buffalo Bore or Underwood ammo. Underwood's ammo is good stuff, but it's loaded hot.
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Old December 15, 2014, 08:56 PM   #23
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I was using 125gr Speer gold dots over a good dose of h110 powder but started thinking about going heavier. So I bought a 100 pcs of Winchester 125gr Jhp and 100pcs of the same bullets in 158gr Jhp to do an accuracy test.
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Old December 18, 2014, 08:53 AM   #24
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well i say go with 125gr JSPs or HPs, some folks think that 125gr 357 mag won't penetrate, well if they're fast enough they will, although they may frag on impact, but that depends a lot on how "stout" the bullets are made, when i EDC my Sec.-Six 4" 357 mag, i loaded it with 158gr JSP Federal Champs, but Doc i would try both 125gr and 158gr loads, and go with what you shoot best with, Doc Holiday 1950.
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Old December 18, 2014, 10:09 AM   #25
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I use Hornady Lever evolution 140gr in my revolvers for SD. I would say 125gr would probably be the lightest I would go.
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