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Old November 12, 2012, 02:21 AM   #1
robert1811
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357 Mag 125 vs 158gr?

I'm convinced that 357 mag is the best manstopper bar none. But I wondering what would make a better round for EDC/Self defense. And what your opinions are. I only shoot 158 grain so i'm pretty comfortable with the weight of the bullet and the recoil. What do/would you guys carry and in what barrel length?
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:47 AM   #2
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The 125 grain has a better track record. That being said my K frame is only fed 158 grain. The 140 grain copper stuff looks great also. I could go to Wally World and buy the cheapest 357 mag hollow point available on the shelf and feel very comfortable.
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:54 AM   #3
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I don't own a .357 Magnum and know relatively little about the caliber, but I know that the .357 SIG auto round was designed to emulate the 125-grain .357 Magnum loads like the Federal 357B 125-grain. It seems that if the 158 grain loads had more potential, the round would have been built around it instead.

Maybe that's a silly, one-dimensional look at it. I'll keep tuned to this one to be educated.
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:32 AM   #4
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Both are phenomenal ear killers. I recommend carrying something lower pressure, like .38 special or .45 ACP.
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:34 AM   #5
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The 125 gr .357 seems to ALWAYS get the attention of every shooter on the range.

I see a lot of muzzle flash and the report is LOUD. The only time I see more attention directed at what a shooter is using is with really stout .44 mag loads or .500 Smith and Wesson or a 50 AE.

I don't shoot 125 gr. in mine. I shoot the 158 gr.

If you are happy with the performance, that is really all that is needed.

Make sure you have your "ears" on.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Both are phenomenal ear killers. I recommend carrying something lower pressure, like .38 special
+1 on that. I have my 4" model 13 loaded with the Remington 158gr LSWCHP +P .38 in my bedside table.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:57 AM   #7
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Either or - both have good track records.

Which one hits what you want it to hit?
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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EDC means shorter barrels

Probably 3-4" is optimal for carry. The 125's have track record of serious one shot stops. I think it's rated highest of any caliber/load combination ever.

The 158's are great, but most have the opinion that they over penetrate. For civilian use that's not as much a concern but I understand that Law Enforcement, at all levels, are frightened by this liability.

Shorter barrels(>3") would have a serious impact on how the 125 loads perform and you might want a heavier bullet.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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Which one are you most accurate with? Out to 25 yards my 125 gr rounds are closer to point of aim, 50 to 100 yards my 158 grain rounds are closer to point of aim. I hunt with the 158 gr loads. Your gun may differ on what it likes best.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:40 AM   #10
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Both are phenomenal ear killers. I recommend carrying something lower pressure, like .38 special or .45 ACP.
The poster was concerned about the "man stopper" (self-defense is presumed), ability of the different .357 loads. Saving one's hearing at the expense of one's life (you would only shoot them with hearing protection in any other scenario, including practice), seems a tad short-sighted.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:57 AM   #11
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Both will damage your eardrums with no protection. Any cartridge fired in a handgun is so far above the normal operating range of human hearing any small difference is inconsequential. As far as your ears are concerned there is no difference between 120 db. and 125 db. If you fire a handgun with no protection you WILL damage your eardrums. But if some one is about to have you for breakfast, who cares? As far as 125 gr. vs. 158 gr. - mass is constant. Speed is whatever your barrel will give you. Unless you chrono your setup you have no idea what you're getting. Mo grains - mo betta. Besides, the blast and flash from a short 125 gr. snubbie is just silly.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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The poster was concerned about the "man stopper" (self-defense is presumed), ability of the different .357 loads. Saving one's hearing at the expense of one's life (you would only shoot them with hearing protection in any other scenario, including practice), seems a tad short-sighted.
Short-sighted, I don't think so. 9mm and .45 will get the job done just as well as the .357 and still save your ears in the process. I used to carry a model 60 in .357, fired a round without ear protection once and I am left with tinnitus in my left ear and high frequency hearing loss. 9mm and .45 can certainly cause hearing loss, but not on the levels of the .357 mag.

Quote:
any cartridge fired in a handgun is so far above the normal operating range of human hearing any small difference is inconsequential. As far as your ears are concerned there is no difference between 120 db and 125db
True any cartridge can cause hearing loss, but to say there is only a small difference and that your ears wont know the difference between 5db is wrong. A 3db increase is double how loud a particular round is and how we perceive it. I think someone is less likely to know if they got shot with a 125gr 9mm vs 125gr .357 compared to a several DB increase in a particular round.

1 dB = increase 26%
2 dB = increase 58%
3 dB = double
4 dB = 2.51 times
5 dB = 3.16 times

Last edited by Dragline45; November 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM.
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Old November 12, 2012, 12:47 PM   #13
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I don't own a .357 Magnum and know relatively little about the caliber, but I know that the .357 SIG auto round was designed to emulate the 125-grain .357 Magnum loads like the Federal 357B 125-grain. It seems that if the 158 grain loads had more potential, the round would have been built around it instead.
The 357 Magnum was introduced in the 1930s. The standard weight bullet for it when introduced was a 158 gr. load, the same as for the 38 Spl. The round soon gained an wide following as a hunting, sporting and self defense round and a variety of bullet weights and styles were developed for it. But it was around the 158 gr. load that it's reputation was built.

In the mid 1970s a small company called Super-Vel headed up by Lee Jurras developed a line of lighter than average weight hi-velocity jhp bullets for a number of handgun calibers. For the .357 Magnum they introduced a 110 and a 125 gr. jhp at close to 1400 fps from a 4" barrel. With their hollowpoint bullet and at those speeds the bullet expanded more reliably than previous efforts at hollowpoints. The round developed a good reputation and other manufacturers followed Super-Vels example. The 125 grain loads enhanced the reputation of the .357 Magnum which was already impressive. Over the years bullet development enabled other loads to expand more reliably as well. 158 gr. hunting and self defense loads that reliably expand are currently available. Heavier loads are also available for hunting.

In the 1990s two gun writers and former cops published a series of articles and books claiming that certain bullets made by particular companies in the 125 gr. load for the 357 Magnum had a better "One Shot Stop" percentage than some other bullets by different manufacturers and some in other calibers. Though in many cases they maintained some bullets in different calibers outperformed the .357 in some 125 gr. loads.

So the work of Super-Vel and some years later the articles of Marshall and Sanow are the source for the "more reliable" rep of the 125 gr. loads.

The .357 Sig round is based on a necked down 40 S&W case and was introduced in 1994 a few years after the 40 appeared. Because of the length of the necked down case the 125 gr. bullets perform better from it than 158 gr. loads. So do 115 gr. loads which produce very impressive velocities. Though it seems 147 gr. loads do fairly good as well. The round was named the .357 Sig because Sig developed it and to piggy back on the popularity of the .357 Magnum.

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Old November 12, 2012, 02:05 PM   #14
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robert1811,

You could also split the difference, so to speak, and use Winchester Silvertips 145gr. STHP. It's a good round.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:55 PM   #15
Hal
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Quote:
I'm convinced that 357 mag is the best manstopper bar none. But I wondering what would make a better round for EDC/Self defense. And what your opinions are. I only shoot 158 grain so i'm pretty comfortable with the weight of the bullet and the recoil. What do/would you guys carry and in what barrel length?
BTW - how's that Coonan shoot for you?



(look up at where you posted this)

P.S. - I'm just pulling your chain...you might want to ask this in the revolver forum.
Sooner or later a mod is going to close it.
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:33 PM   #16
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http://youtu.be/Q7w4M-LNXuQ

Check out the wound in this gel. It penetrates all the way through and leaves a massive cavity.

I can't imagine anything surving this.

When you need to stop a man as soon as possible the 125 is hard to beat.
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Old November 12, 2012, 08:39 PM   #17
Mystro
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Curious, why do you thing he 357mag is the best man stopper bar none???? That is a highly debatable conclusion.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:46 PM   #18
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It's at the top of that FBI whatever list for fatal shooting incidents (for whatever that is worth). I say it's great because I have yet to see a legitimate argument for its not being effective for putting down what needs putting down. Factor in the ability to shoot specials and it's a big win

X100 on the ear-killer factor, though. Though I wouldn't hesitate to use it if need be, I'd hate to be indoors or near a wall if I lit one off.

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Old November 12, 2012, 11:15 PM   #19
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Short-sighted, I don't think so. 9mm and .45 will get the job done just as well as the .357 and still save your ears in the process. I used to carry a model 60 in .357, fired a round without ear protection once and I am left with tinnitus in my left ear and high frequency hearing loss. 9mm and .45 can certainly cause hearing loss, but not on the levels of the .357 mag.
Sigh...My point was, it does not matter how hard a round is on your ears...you will wear hearing protection when practicing, will not care that it will damage your ears if you shoot an attacker. Unless of course you plan on asking your attacker to wait while you put on your muffs.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:16 PM   #20
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My Favorite load is 110 grain Hornady over H110. They are fun to shoot from my Coonan.

But I dont carry hand loaded ammo. I go with Buffalo bore Tactical low recoil/flash 125 grain ammo in my J-frame.

When I carry my Coonan (shoulder holster and yes I do on occasion) I stoke it with the high velocity 125 grain buffalo bore. It clock in about 1800 FPS and 900 foot pounds.
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Old November 13, 2012, 10:01 AM   #21
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Look, so many things come into play when your talkin shooting humans that nothing can be written in stone. There are no absolutes. But as a civilian I'd hate to have to live on the difference (or lack there of) between the worst 125gr HP or SP loads and the best 158gr HP or SP loads and vice versa. If you really think that at across the room distance that the bullet weight or specialty(high priced) ammo is gonna mean life or death you need to stop and think a little.

I'm not saying go out and buy the cheapest hard ball or FMJ ammo you can find and call it good but HP to HP, SP to SP, quality vs. quality, etc bullet weight is gonna mean very little if anything when it comes to life or death.
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Old November 13, 2012, 10:10 AM   #22
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I like the 357mag but its ranking is due to its popularity and use years ago in LE.
It's easy to be #1 if its used more and longer for a period in time. I suspect that ranking will change due to the fact the 357mag isn't used hardly at all any more in LE. If it is so good, and offered a clear advantage, wouldn't the FBI and LE still be using it???
Quote:
It's at the top of that FBI whatever list for fatal shooting incidents (for whatever that is worth).
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Old November 13, 2012, 10:38 AM   #23
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If it is so good, and offered a clear advantage, wouldn't the FBI and LE still be using it???
First, you are making an assumption that government entities do things because they make sense. Big Mistake. But you are correct that they are choosing 9mms, .40's and .45acp over the .357 and for them it probably makes sense. But again your assumption is they are doing it based on the effectiveness of the cartridge. Again, big mistake. It's 100% about platform not cartridge.

And you're assumption that the Marshall and Sanow's study ranked the .357 highly because of wide spead use is also bunk. Overall, their study is irrelevant and lacks enough samples to make the conclusions they arrived at but with your thinkin the .22lr should of also ranked high since they had so many cases where it was used.

Basically, you need to read less, shoot more.
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Old November 13, 2012, 11:23 AM   #24
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Basically, you need to read less, shoot more.
Gunsite 2 times.
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IDPA 6 years.
Teach and train a introduction and intermediate CCW class.
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These days just a Handgun hunter and IDPA.

Last edited by Mystro; November 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old November 13, 2012, 11:28 AM   #25
L_Killkenny
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Gunsite 2 times.
IPSC Limited Class(10mm) 11 years (Top regional score for 4 years consecutively).
IDPA 6 years.
Teach and train a introduction and intermediate CCW class.
Now I shoot as a advisor and set up training scenarios with my local SWAT.
Handgun hunter.
But yet your post above was such a train wreck?
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