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I'm sold on the GP100. I've also read Mr. Camp's very thoughtful reviews on the GP100 3", CorBon DPX and medium .357 loads in general. While I'm certain on the gun and caliber, the jury is still out on the .357's grain and manufacturer. I'm leaning one way currently, but I'd hate to influence anyone's post by telling you


What's your opinion on reliable, non-fragmenting .357 magnum cartridges for every day carry?

Bonus points if you go into detail on the Gold Dot Short Barrel.
 

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Hello and I'm glad that the article was of interest. No surprises here; for a medium power load, I'll go with the DPX with Speer's 135-gr. Gold Dot coming in second. For a full-power load, I am partial to Winchester 145-gr. STHP's. They are "old technology" but group well and do not fragment to the same degree that some lighter 125 and 110-gr. JHP's can.

The 145-gr. STHP can do a very nice job in the self-defense arena where felons are involved and I've seen them cleanly take larger thin-skinned animals. Recoil is stiffer than the medium-power loads mentioned but in a GP100 they can be handled with practice if one simply wants full "magnum" power. Were I primarily interested in deer-sized varmints down, I'd look at Hornady's XTP's or Speer's 158-gr. Gold Dot if not going with handloads.

Best.
 

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I agree that the STHP is a nice .357 round for carry (they do 1145 fps from my 3" gun). Frankly, though, I'd also be just as happy carrying a 158-gr +P LSWCHP for defensive use against people - I've worked on a lot of handgun killings and I don't envision any real difference in "stopping power" - plus they're certainly cheaper and easier to control (more and better practice).

When hiking up Bear Canyon with my 3" .357 (a S&W 65), I carry handloaded 180-grain RNFPs that do 1230 fps out the front of my gun. ;)
 

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The WW silver -tips are very pricey now a days at near $40 with tax for 50. A few years back I got some of the 145gr. as componets for $13 a 100. And loaded them. They were very effective on deer. Two meat does were taken cleanly with one shot a piece. Its a good performer that does what it made to do. I put them in my SW640 for winter carry .
 
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Speer's 125 GD. Does not fragment like most other 125s, does very well in the FBI tests series.

As good/better than the 125 GD in 357SIG, which is working very well in the lab and on the street. Does about 1300 fps from my 3" GP100, and 1370 fps from my 4" GP100.

Take a look at Magtech's 95g First Defense SCHP (solid copper hollow point). Does about 1350 fps from my 3" GP100, expanded and penetrated as well as the 125 Speer/Double Tap GD at over 1300-1500 fps, but was way easier to handle.

Other good loads on the mild side for the 357 are the 125 Rem GS, the 125 Magtech Guardian Gold, Fed 130 HS, and Speer 135 GDSB. The 135 GDSB is the same bullet they use in the 135 +P 38 Special load. It will do from a 2" 357 snubby what the 135 +P/38 will do from a 4" bbl (about 1000 fps). From my 3" GP100, about 1060 fps, 1160 from my 4" GP100.

Have liked the Win 145 ST and Rem 165 JHP Cor-Lokt for years for field use.
 

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I prefer the middle weights, 140-145 grains. A bit faster from a short barrel than a 158, greater penetration than the 125's. I actually feel that typical factory loads in 145 have less flash, blast and recoil than that typical 125 grainer. 125's in full form are VICIOUS. I do NOT recommend ANY .357 load for home defense! The blast from this cartridge is not something you want to experience inside your bedroom! Trust me, I've had first hand experience on this. Wow! Just noticed the original post on this was made in mid 2007! Talk about the dead walking!
 
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