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Old June 15, 2017, 10:54 PM   #1
MINSH101
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Small and fast or fat and slow

Just wondering if YOU prefer a really fast but light round to a heavy slow round for personal defense? The example I have in mind, if you have a better caliber example, please share, is a 125 grain. 357 Magnum to a 158 grain. 357 Magnum.

Thank you
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Old June 15, 2017, 10:59 PM   #2
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More important than small and fast or fat and slow is a round in the right spot. Nothing counts more than a well placed hit. In 357 I prefer the heavier 140 and up bullet weights. I have just gotten better accuracy and more consistant powder burns with medium to slow powders when using the heavier bullets. But I reload. Shooting factory stuff you just get what they give ya.
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Old June 16, 2017, 07:59 AM   #3
CDW4ME
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How about "get both" with 180 gr. 10mm "fat & fast"
I like "hard hitting" and "high capacity"
Presently my primary carry pistol varies between these four:
Glock 20SF (10mm), Glock 31/32 (357 Sig), Glock 30SF (45 acp)
The Glock 31/32 are on my waist most often - 125 gr. HST @ 1,358 - 1,385 fps (my chrono averages)
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If I have to defend my life, I'd prefer more than "better than nothing" in my hand.
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Old June 16, 2017, 08:08 AM   #4
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In your example for me, it would depend on what I would expect I needed to defend against.

If I was in a setting that I would be expecting to defend myself against two legged attackers, I would prefer a faster lightweight hollow point.

When I go hiking and could encounter 4 legged aggressors such as large cats or black bears, I load up with 158gr soft points. I figure they would also work well enough on 2-legged attackers, but I'm not sure how much faith I'd have in a 125 gr. hollow point on large attacking 4-legged critter.

With more information on what you expect to defend against, I might add som alternative calibers, but .357 Mag is a pretty versatile option.
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Old June 16, 2017, 08:14 AM   #5
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For personal defense, in a pistol, it's going to be a hollow point. I care about function in the gun I'm carrying more than bullet weight. A bullet in the head is a bullet in the head. In 9mm i usually go with 115gr or 124gr bullets over the 147gr, mostly because a lot of stores near me dont carry 147gr defensive loads.
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Old June 16, 2017, 10:38 AM   #6
jr24
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I prefer heavy for caliber, so I run 147 grain in my 9mm, 230 in my .45 acp.

For 10mm, I like 200 grain at 1200 fps, packs a punch.
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Old June 16, 2017, 11:28 AM   #7
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In Bowling pin shoots I went with slow and heavy in my Colt 1911, using the bullets for the 45 LC at about 600 fps. Its hell on pins. Doesn't leave them laying on the table when hit.

I do have some experience with the 125 VS 158 gr 357s. My service revolver was a 4 inch Model 28. In 74 when I joined the Anchorage PD, the issue ammo was 158 gr RN cast and loaded by trustees. I decided that wasn't for me so I carried my own reloads. Lyman's 358477, 150 gr. SWC.

Later the department evolved and started issuing Winchester 125 grn 357s.

In Alaska we get a lot of large animal calls. Moose and bear in yards and at school bus stops. Mainly injured moose at traffic accidents that had to be put down.

I've killed several moose with my Model 28, I tried the Win 125s, but they weren't near as effective as the Lyman SWCs. With a revolver its best to shoot them in the neck where the spine meets the brain. Moose have some of the heaviest, strongest neck muscles you'll encounter and you need penetration.

As to light vs heavy. Later in my career the Dept. decided to allow us to carry semis. I tried a Colt 1911, but the heavy 45 bullets couldn't compete with the SWC 357s in the moose shooting department, so after the first shot at moose, I went back to my Model 28.

Some reloading manuels say my 357 load of 2400 may be too much so I wont list it here. You'll have to find your own powder charge. But its hard to find a better 357 (and 38) bullet then the Lyman 358477. Its accurate in all my 38/357s including my Marlin Lever gun.
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Old June 16, 2017, 11:52 AM   #8
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MINSH, The .357, 125 grain, you mention has a very good reputation as a personal defense round. I was issued .357 125, sometimes Remington, sometimes Winchester, for several years. I never got into any gunfights while carrying this round myself, but never heard any complaints about it from any of my fellow officers. As mentioned already, for other purposes, other .357 loads might very well be superior.
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Old June 16, 2017, 12:45 PM   #9
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When I was small(er) and fast I liked fat and slow ammo. Now that I'm fat and slow I prefer small and fast ammo.
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Old June 16, 2017, 01:32 PM   #10
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Yes, only the hits count. I recall reading articles about "pattern loading" revolvers, i.e. a couple of lighter loads to get on target and if that doesn't settle the issue heavier ones to get their attention. I recall an article on the Tokarev pistols and their 7.62x25 round, the author found they had terrific penetration-drill though a steel helmet-an important consideration in a cold climate were people wear heaving and thicker clothing. The argument against JHPs-Jeff Cooper, e.g. is that they may defeated by thick garments.
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Old June 16, 2017, 01:44 PM   #11
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Thats funny O4L.

I am with KraigWy. I like my 38s and 357s and I like hard lead bullets and lots of penetration.
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Old June 16, 2017, 03:19 PM   #12
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Heavier bullets penetrate deeper, even if going slow. The buffalo hunters proved that with their 45-70s.
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Old June 16, 2017, 06:01 PM   #13
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Depends on the day but most of the time I like small (9mm) and fast. Some days I go big (45acp) and slow. Either one works for self defense but small and fast allows you to carry more ammo.
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Old June 16, 2017, 06:15 PM   #14
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Fat and fast is always the answer if you can handle it.

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Old June 18, 2017, 04:06 AM   #15
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Shot placement is king. After that, you've got mass, velocity, and bullet construction influencing what happens. Proper defense loads in most reasonable defensive calibers do an acceptable job of balancing those factors for the kinds of threats most people are likely to face in ordinary life. If you're hitting the same spot, I'm not sure that trading a little mass for velocity or little velocity for mass within the same caliber is going to make a huge difference. It might matter if you are trading a lot or if you're changing bullet construction, but even then the way and extent to which it matters might only be relevant under special circumstances.

To put things in perspective, check out these tests from Lucky Gunner. They compare different defense loads across major calibers. I really like the data tables with gel results and actual pictures of the bullets.

.380, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45acp:
http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self...allistic-tests

.38 special and .357 magnum:
http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/revo...allistics-test
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Old June 18, 2017, 04:41 AM   #16
Hal
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Quote:
Just wondering if YOU prefer a really fast but light round to a heavy slow round for personal defense?
IMHO - the only thing more velocity gives you is -- extended range.
Sectional density is what determines penetration.

IMHO, again, velocity is such an "iffy" thing, it can often work against you.
W/higher velocity, comes also the chance that the slug will expand too soon and not reach a vital area. (I also place little value on expansion - - controlled expansion- yes, but, not expansion for the sake of expansion)

I put little stock in "energy" figures as a true measure of anything.


W/this in mind, give me a large heavy slug, that can penetrate @ self defense ranges.
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Old June 18, 2017, 02:48 PM   #17
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IMO, all other things being equal, a heavier bullet always wins.
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Old June 18, 2017, 03:20 PM   #18
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I just don't know but have killed deer with both categories and none ever complained.
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Old June 18, 2017, 09:11 PM   #19
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I always thought that a light grain ammo was best for SD until I shot a 90 grain 9mm vs a 147 grain 9mm. I changed my mindset and switched. I really think you should try the same.
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Old June 18, 2017, 09:48 PM   #20
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For carrying out I stuck with 124 grain hollow points.
When hiking I went with 147-158 grain fmj flat point +p ammo.
While most wouldn't consider the 9mm a hiking round, those specific rounds penetrated deeper then say a 45 and would punch through anything I'd come across, namely black bears, coy dogs/wolves, or catamounts.
Plus 17 rounds of rapid accurate controllable fire is no joke.


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Old June 18, 2017, 10:21 PM   #21
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I always go with at least the mid weight for the caliber and usually go heavy for caliber (147 for 9mm, 158 or better for .357/38, 230 for .45). When comparing calibers? I don't get into caliber wars but I am in the camp that believes 45acp has "oomph" that 9mm doesn't in a SD or hunting incapacitation scenario. It isn't much more, and I don't think it outweighs the capacity advantage of the 9mm, but it is there.

My caliber carried is usually 9mm when U/C, 45 when going into known risk duties.
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Old June 18, 2017, 11:05 PM   #22
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Big and slow.
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Old June 19, 2017, 07:09 AM   #23
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I could not care less... as long as the 9mm / .38 / .357 /.40 .45 expands to 0.45" (0.5" for 45ACP) or greater and penetrates approximately 14 - 18" of calibrated ballistic gelatin.
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Old June 19, 2017, 10:26 AM   #24
Mike Irwin
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I generally carry a .38 Special, so I'd have to go moderate size and moderate speed.

What I care about is bullet penetration first and bullet expansion second.

That's why I carry Speer 135-gr. +P Gold Dots in my .38s.

Excellent penetration, excellent expansion.
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Old June 19, 2017, 07:16 PM   #25
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After many years of carrying a 1911, I started carrying a .357 Sig instead. It's a hard hitting, flat shooting round with low recoil.
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