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Old February 22, 2013, 06:25 PM   #1
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2.5" barrel .357 expansion

Has anyone tested the Remington 158gr JHP (R357M2) for penetration and expansion out of shorter barrels?

Out of a 4" barrel it opened wonderfully in water for me, penetrating through about 16" of water bottles, opening to about 5/8".

I had a less conclusive test out of a short barrel, probably due to mediocre media - one bullet not recovered and the other hit a random croquet ball in the bag of phone books I was using as a backup bullet trap behind the bottles. It was fully opened, but fragmented when it hit the ball. It appeared to have fragmented somewhere along the line, but the water bottles were exploded to the point where nothing was recoverable.

Any gel tests on these? I like the round, and find it manageable to shoot out of a K-frame, but want to know if it will open up. I'm not doubting that it will penetrate

What are other favorite 2.5"-3" barrel loads out there?
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:53 PM   #2
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The Remington LSWCHP +P load, a/k/a the FBI Load, is a very good load. My other choice would be the Speer Gold Dot135 gr. +P JHP for short barrels. Yes, there's a bit more recoil with the +P loads but I think it's worth it when carrying a snubby.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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When I was a cop in Ft Worth, Texas (1980's) it was our issue load. It did not matter what gun it was shot from it worked just fine.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:08 PM   #4
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Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWHP .38 load gets 1000 fps from a 2 inch (I chronoed that myself from a 2 inch 64 and 1100 fps from a 2 3/4 inch Speed Six, again I chronoed that myself.) I use these in my Speed Six to!

Cor-Bon DPX .38s and .357s seem to work very very well from any barrel length to. I keep a snub airweight with the DPX .38s now as the BB load above is just to much for a 15 ounce gun!

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Old February 22, 2013, 11:43 PM   #5
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Blast is awful but I use 110-125gr .357 in shorter bbls. Speer markets some short bbl ammo. In .38, I like the standard fed nyclad.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:00 AM   #6
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tnoutdoors did a review on that loading from a 3" Ruger GP100. Unless your gun has a very large barrel/cylinder gap or some other oddity, I doubt your velocities, and thus terminal performance, would be substantially less from a 2.5" barrel than from a 3" barrel.
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Old February 23, 2013, 01:23 AM   #7
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Great. Thanks for the video input and the real-world experience, Webley and Nanuk. thanks for the other ideas as well. If I can find them, I'm hoping to pick up some 145 gr. Silvertips and some Remington FBI loads to try as well. In the meantime, I won't feel like I need to hide under the bed with these in my gun.
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Old February 24, 2013, 07:36 AM   #8
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Good old 357 Magnum, can't go wrong. That 357Sig is an animal!
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