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With all of the new entries into the .357 CCW ammo option field, is there really a stand-out for 4" .357s (such as the Gold Dot 135 Gr for snubbies)?
 

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I'm still sold on the 125-grain soft/hollow point from Remington. This particular round has been in use for a long time, and it has the best one-shot stopping record of any other ammo on the market.

I am sure there are probably rounds that are equal to, or perhaps even better, just nothing with such a long history of well-documented performance.
 

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I don't know about the GD 135s but the old 125 JHPs have had a top rating as long as I can remember. I have always preferred the REM version myself.
 

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Gents,

For CCW I've always used 125 Gr. JHP's. Federal is my prefered load, but Winch and Rem are every bit as good. For documented shootings this load, from any manufacturer has been king of the hill. If there is such a thing in handgun calibers...
The documented shootings I've seen locally all ended up with the bad guy DRT.
When I still carry a revolver this is my carry load.

Wes
 

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Here's an old wetpack test I did over 3 yrs ago. FWIW


Range test using a sloppy wet newspaper wet pack and 4 different ammo types follows. Fired 4 rounds each and saved 5th round for setback/pull measurements due to recoil. No setback/pull seen on any brand. (Ammo is what I could find locally, so that's all I tested.)
Remington .357 Golden Saber 125gr. Best cartridge tested. Recoil very manageable. Average expansion 0.625" and penetration full 11" of wet pack stopped at plywood backing. These results equal FBI data for a 4"barrel on firearmstactical. This will be my carry ammo. OAL 1.5625".
Winchester .357 Silvertip 145gr. This is hot stuff and strong recoil. Would not want to shoot much of it (what to do with rest of 50 round box, too much recoil for me.) Average expansion 0.655" and penetration 10.5" in the wet pack. However, the petals tore off on several of the rounds as shown in the picture. This would be a killer (you) in a lightweight Sc/Ti snubbie and in +p it would be awful!!
Winchester .38special + p Silvertip 125gr. Very good ammo. And contrary to a lot of old reports (ammolab) all rounds expanded equal to FBI test data. Average expansion 0.547" and penetration 10" in the wet pack. Recoil a tad less than the Golden Saber .357. OAL 1.4687" is good in the .357 chamber.
Winchester .38special "USA" whitebox FMJ 130gr. This will make a nice target/practice round. Low recoil. Penetration full 11" of wet pack and into the 1/2" plywood backing. One round went thru the plywood and gone. Recovered bullets in photo measured .356"max. Cartridge OAL 1.531" very good.
All spent cases looked good with no cratering of the primers. The pistol functioned fine, no problems other than my POI needs to be better. Photo of results below.
And BTW, initially I got a box of "WinClean" 125gr. .38 jacketed soft point. But took it back due to this stuff is too short OAL compared to others. It measured 1.4218" OAL which actually is less than SAMMI recommended minimum of 1.425" So don't buy any of this for use in your .357 revolver, bullet will have to 'jump the gap'. It might be OK in a plain .38special but not .357. I didn't like the exposed lead on the bullet either.
Cheers,
 

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The .357 Silvertip is stout in a 4" bbl, but I find it manageable in my 686+. I prefer this as my carry round in a full size revolver as it shoots closest to POA. In my SP 101, its a handful. That revolver I'd use the Golden Sabre .357 load.
 

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I am probably jinxed when it comes to the .357. I have never had it work on anything over 50 lbs (not for lack of trying) and have even had it fail with some loads on critters under 50lbs.

That said, I know it is an anomoly. No handgun produces instant stops a high % of the time (OSS figures filter out mulitple hits so they are not a % of a "whole", nor do the imply instant stops which most of us desire - they are not bad for just comparing one cartridge to another but making tactical principles out of them is unsound - and that is according to their originator). The .357 125 JHP is probably as good as one might expect to get relatively speaking. But you will often need to place several of them in the chest to effect a stop (as you will with about any other caliber).

OTOH, it is not for the novice. Try shooting 5 of them as fast as you can pull the trigger and see how well you control it (in a good gun some people can - in a tiny light weight most cannot).

If you find the full house load in your gun and your hands is a little less than "controllable" (as in 5 shots in 5" group at 5 yards in a second or two less) you might want to look for a more ameniable load. The Cor-bon DPX .357 load is a "moderate" load with less flash, blast and recoil and may be your ticket. Also Speer has a "short barreled" load with a Gold dot that is also more manageable.

OTOH, you may want as much power as you can get and just live with it being less controllable. That is a life and death decision you will have to make on your own....it is not an obvious or easy one.

Good luck!

Jim H.
 

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I am probably jinxed when it comes to the .357. I have never had it work on anything over 50 lbs (not for lack of trying) and have even had it fail with some loads on critters under 50lbs.

That said, I know it is an anomoly. No handgun produces instant stops a high % of the time (OSS figures filter out mulitple hits so they are not a % of a "whole", nor do the imply instant stops which most of us desire - they are not bad for just comparing one cartridge to another but making tactical principles out of them is unsound - and that is according to their originator). The .357 125 JHP is probably as good as one might expect to get relatively speaking. But you will often need to place several of them in the chest to effect a stop (as you will with about any other caliber).

OTOH, it is not for the novice. Try shooting 5 of them as fast as you can pull the trigger and see how well you control it (in a good gun some people can - in a tiny light weight most cannot).

If you find the full house load in your gun and your hands is a little less than "controllable" (as in 5 shots in 5" group at 5 yards in a second or two less) you might want to look for a more ameniable load. The Cor-bon DPX .357 load is a "moderate" load with less flash, blast and recoil and may be your ticket. Also Speer has a "short barreled" load with a Gold dot that is also more manageable.

OTOH, you may want as much power as you can get and just live with it being less controllable. That is a life and death decision you will have to make on your own....it is not an obvious or easy one.

Good luck!

Jim H.
Very good points sir.

If one can't put the rounds where they will do the most good they are using the wrong rounds, IMHO. I have a 3" GP100 that I'm going to have ported and try the 125 Grain "full house" loads in. I don't mind shooting "full house" loads in my 5" gun, but I quit shooting them in my J-Frame because it hurt too much and I couldn't put 5 rounds in 5 inches in 5 seconds.

I'm really looking forward to trying the ported 357 and I hope it reduces the muzzle flip as much as advertised. We will see.

Biker
 

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Biker;

This warning is probably unnecessary in your case but just be sure you do not every fire a ported handgun from the retention positon. I have seen people forget and blow off their hat and their glasses.

Thought I personally dont know anyone who has been blinded it is clear that these other folks came very close as there is a lot of "trash" in that jet of gasses that comes out the top.

Just a thought.

Jim H.
 

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Jim, agree with your comments and that's why I gave mine to one of my boys with young tough hands. He actually 'enjoyed' shooting it.
Went with a .357sig pistol that I can shoot fine.
This all begs a question....why don't all the police carry .357mag revolvers??

og
 
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