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Old February 18, 2013, 07:25 PM   #1
Zachary H.
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.357Mag defensive ammo?

I'm looking for data on .357 defensive ammo. A friend of mine swears by a 110gr HP. Says it will have less over-penetration issues.
I want to know what you carry and why. Test data or links thereto would be helpful and appreciated.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:07 PM   #2
Sheikyourbootie
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"Over-penetration" is a concern that is WAY WAY to overblown. If you miss, you own that round (and the consequences that come with hitting an innocent), every bit as much as you would a round that "over-penetrates"

That being said, after providing health care for inmates, I upgraded my SD ammo from the .357 125 grain SJHP to the 158 grain SJHP, for increased penetration. I've had too many inmates as patients who survived their gunshot wounds because the rounds failed to penetrate deeply enough.

I have since changed to the 140 grain Barnes bullet (through 17+ inches of gel AFTER shattering 1 1/2" of bone) in the buffalo bore loading, as some of these parolee $h!trats are thick enough that I want enough penetration to hit vital areas, even if I have to shoot him through the arse to get it there.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:09 PM   #3
ohen cepel
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I would go with 125gn SJHP's myself. They have a great track record.

I'm with Sheik, don't care a lot about over penetration and I think 125 or heavier is better. I wouldn't use 110 unless I didn't have another option.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:35 PM   #4
ClydeFrog
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stats don't lie....

And neither do I, ....
Really for in-depth reviews of the .357magnum, I'd read over the 1990s era Strasburg tests(where alpine goats were shot with different calibers & brands) or review the work of Edwin Sanow/Evan Marshal. The duo(both sworn LE officers with large LE agencies) went over many court records, ME-medical reports, media stories, LE documents, etc.
In short, most gun industry members & armed professionals say the 125gr JHP .357magnum works best for duty or personal protection. It's rate of use for "one shot stops"(a LE officer or citizen using only 1 round to end a lethal force event) is around 94-96 %.
This is with 4" or 6" revolver barrels.
Snubs or shorter(3" or 2.5") 357magnum revolvers may benefit from the 110gr JHP.
Good brands include; Corbon, Speer Gold Dot, Remington Golden Saber, Ranger T/Winchester, Federal, Buffalo Bore, Hornady.
I'd add that MagSafe, www.magsafeonline.com , did well in the Strasburg T&Es & I think some(not all) frangible .357magnum rounds have limited merit for protection. Mainly for home/property use, 2nd gun-BUG, etc. Corbon's Glaser Safety & PowRball brands are worth a look too.

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Old February 18, 2013, 09:39 PM   #5
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125gr "full power" JHP Remington 1st choice.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:52 PM   #6
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First of all 'over penetration' is largely a myth. The instances of a projectile actually passing through the intended victim and harming an innocent are few and far between. Under penetration and missing the target entirely and hitting a bystander are however real concerns.

The 158 grain JHP(most brands) at 1300 or so fps from a four inch barrel, is the standard in .357 Magnum. The 125, 135 and 180(Nosler-HP and XTP) are good too as is the all copper Barnes.

The 110, excepting the Barnes, is generally considered too light and has poor penetration.

So all in all you friend is incorrect.
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:47 PM   #7
Marty Hayes
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Federal 125 gr SJHP is the king.
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:50 PM   #8
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I don't carry a .357, but the 125gr is king of the hill.
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Old February 19, 2013, 02:42 AM   #9
nate45
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People rarely test the .357 anymore, but its obvious that as 125 grain far as 126 grain projectiles go, the 125 grain Barnes and 125 Gold Dot are far superior in penetration and expansion to the old technology Federal projectile.
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:27 AM   #10
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I prefer a hollowpoint in the 140-158gr range because they penetrate better, have less offensive flash and blast, shoot closer to POA in most fixed-sight revolvers, and are gentler on the forcing cones of S&W K-Frames than their lighter, faster counterparts. My preference is Remington 158gr SJHP but I've used Cor-Bon 140gr JHP and Winchester 145gr Silvertips in the past and would not hesitate to do so again if the Remington loading wasn't available.
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Old February 19, 2013, 03:51 PM   #11
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IMO no BG is gonna know the difference between a decent 125gr SP/HP or a decent 158 gr SP/HP or etc etc etc. Given identical hits I expect results will be the same.
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Old February 19, 2013, 04:11 PM   #12
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I have 125gr Critical Defense loaded in my 6" for a bed stand gun.
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Old February 19, 2013, 07:25 PM   #13
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In town - 38+P Hydrashocks or Silvertips

In Wilderness - Biggest, heaviest, fastest SWC or Flat Nose 357 I can find, first choice. Heavy, fast hollow point 357s, second choice.

For self defense, I'd prefer a brand name like "Safety Range Target Ammunition" over something like "Sureblood Manstopper Cavitating Magnums". Seriously, I'd even prefer "thirty-eight special" over "three fifty-seven magnum" when it came to a litigatious encounter. "He shot my client with a large caliber MAGNUM gun, not once but twice".


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Old February 19, 2013, 09:01 PM   #14
bamaranger
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gold standard

The 125 gr JHP was the gold standard of .357 SD loads, but it comes at a price. Recoil, blast and flash are pretty significant. The 110's are not as bad, but I would be concerned about enough penetration.

There is a youtube video floating around of a lecture to EMS personnel regards gunshot wounds, and some pretty convincing evidence about picking a load that offers good penetration (see Sheiks comments) .

Although I carried 125 JHP for years in my .357's, and still do, this penetration issue has caused me to rethink that load and consider something heavier.
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:04 PM   #15
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Do not confuse the full power 125 Grain magnum with some of the mid range 125's. The 110 Grain 357 magnum does not achieve the velocity of the 125 grain as a result the 115 +P+ 9mm was usually a better performer.

The old tech full power 125's worked just fine. Not all bullets are constructed equally. For a couple of years the Border Patrol issued 110 grain Remington 357 magnums. We had a couple of shootings and the worked well in close range frontal shots, fragmenting totally but instantly stopping the fight. An LAPD officer was shot with a 110 grain Winchester 357 mag which over penetrated and stayed together due to the thicker jacket on the bullet.

Using a full power load with the 357 I believe 140 is the magic number. I carried 145 STHP the entire time I carried a wheelgun on duty.
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:17 PM   #16
Zachary H.
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I should probably clarify what gun I am going to be using it in. I currently have a Ruger sp101 with the 2.25" barrel. I know short barrels reduce velocity, although I would still want a heavier buller for better penetration right?
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:19 PM   #17
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I have 125 grain Critical Defense in my 4 inch SW66 bedside/sometimes carry gun. I have 38+P Critical Defense in my always carry pocket gun. In fact I had 40SW Critical Defense in my semi auto when I kept that loaded. From what I have seen in tests and read in reviews the polymer tip works well to make sure the bullet always expands.

Here tnoutdoors9 does a gel test with 357 Critical Defense.
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Old February 19, 2013, 10:04 PM   #18
Nanuk
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Quote:
I should probably clarify what gun I am going to be using it in. I currently have a Ruger sp101 with the 2.25" barrel. I know short barrels reduce velocity, although I would still want a heavier buller for better penetration right?
The shorter barrel magnum will still give you 400-500 more FPS than the same weight bullet in a 38 special loading. I would and do stick with 125's and heavier, but I am just an old street cop.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:47 AM   #19
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I stay away from the hot 125s these days to protect MY ears. They are simply brutal to all parties, whether they hit you or not. Fun to shoot when you're wearing hearing protection, but NOT advised otherwise as you'd be forced to in a SD situation.

There are a variety of good 140s (such as Barnes) and especially 158s (such as Gold Dots or XTPs) that perform at an extremely high level without mega-velocity and the associated price your ears and eyes pay.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:53 AM   #20
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Currently, I have 140gr Hornady FTX sitting in my SP101 in my holster right now. They are under "Self Defense" category on MidwasyUSA's website, but I know they are labeled as a hunting round. Hunting round in a revolver cartridge=goal of good penetration. I've shot 10 of the box and they are plenty mean. Group nice if I do my part, and are a handful in this revolver. Whenever I find another box, I'm going to pick them up to do a bit more extensive shooting tests with.
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Old February 20, 2013, 01:19 AM   #21
nate45
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Here is a good short barrel performer

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammunition 357 Magnum 135 Grain Jacketed Hollow

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Old February 20, 2013, 01:25 AM   #22
Redhawk5.5+P+
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Quote:
I would go with 125gn SJHP's myself.
Quote:
125gr "full power" JHP Remington 1st choice.
Yes, and yes, I carry the rem's in my Ruger SP101 3" in my front pocket, I'm not worried abou OP. I just have to tell the guy behind the BG to move over.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:53 PM   #23
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I was using hornady critical defense 125 gr. I found the recoil to be pretty mean. I switched to some blazer 158 gr hollow points. They aren't a super hot round but I am confident they would do the job. I use a taurus 605 btw.
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Old February 21, 2013, 01:23 PM   #24
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What gun are you shooting? There was an issue with the smaller frame S&W shooting a steady diet of light weight high pressure bullets.

I have a 66 and 686 and would not shot a lot of 110 to 125 max loads in the 66.
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Old February 21, 2013, 05:22 PM   #25
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Black Talon

Black Talons are hard to come by, and are expensive, but will stop anything dead in it's tracks. I have a cousin who drops deer with a 40 cal Springfield XD using them.
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