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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:56:29 AM EDT
Hi all,

I am looking for a good carry ammo for a 357 revolver. And before everybody asks, Yes I checked the FAQ section, but there is no place for 357 Mag ammo, only 38 special and 38 special +p. And also, I know about the higher flash / recoil of 357, but the gun I have (a 3" heavy barreled stainless revolver), recoil in 357 is mild, and 38's are like 22's. The only downside to the 357 in my revolver would be the flash, but I know there are ammo's out there with different powders to reduce flash.

I was recently gifted a box of 125 grain FTX Hornady Critical Defense ammo, seen HERE, and I also have on hand some Hornady LeverEvolution 140 grain rounds as well, seen HERE.

In addition, I have also tried some Winchester 110 grain JHP's, seen HERE.

I haven't tried the Critical Defense ammo yet, but I have tried the LeverEvolution and the Winchester stuff. The Hornady was loaded noticeably hotter, but again, recoil was tame.

What do you guys think? Will the Critical Defense ammo be good to go? Or should I pick up a box of something else?

And yes, I know, run the ammo through the gun to make sure it all works good.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 9:11:51 AM EDT
Are you carrying against two or four legged predators? Concussion might be a beast if you shoot in a smaller room.

I have no experience with the cartridges you mention.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 12:40:09 PM EDT
Critical Defense should be ok, I like Gold Dot 125 or 135, as well as Rem Gold Saber, Corbon DPX, and Barnes Vortex.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 1:12:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BlindFaith429:

What do you guys think? Will the Critical Defense ammo be good to go? .


Hornady designed the CD ammo to intentionally under-penetrate. I would never carry it.

In a snub I would carry the 135 grain Gold Dot. In a full size revolver I'd go with something in the 158 grain range.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 2:31:43 PM EDT
Hornady CD is as yet unproven design in real world shootings and the LeveRevolution is strictly a hunting load. Either are better than a sharp stick, but there are lots better PROVEN loads available.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 2:44:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2012 2:46:49 PM EDT by soulman]
They do talk about .357 in the FAQ. According to the FAQ's, the recommendation is to use .38 since you don't get the velocity benefit in a short barrel to justify the flash/concussion etc. of a .357 mag load.
I've always wondered why he didn't recommend .357 loads for full size revolvers. With a 3" barrel, not sure how that would fit in (you may still be just as well using .38 special). 4 or 6" barrels is probably where a .357 load would be more important, and it is a shame that there is no recommendations. The FAQ does fall short on this issue of .357 loads in revolvers that AREN'T snubnose.

From the FAQ:
More information from Doctor Roberts: "With few exceptions, such as the Speer 135 gr +P JHP and Barnes XPB, the vast majority of .38 Sp JHP's fail to expand when fired from 2" barrels in the 4 layer denim test. [...] There is no reason to go with .357 mag in a J-frame, as the significantly larger muzzle blast and flash, and harsher recoil of the .357 Magnum does not result in substantially improved terminal performance compared to the more controllable .38 Special bullets when fired from 2” barrels."
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 3:27:54 PM EDT
The old Winchester 145 grain Silvertips provide a good combination of expansion and penetration. Plus they remind me of the 1980s, which always brings a smile to my lips.

The Barnes all copper bullets in .357 might also work well, but I have absolutely no experience with them.

158 grain JHPs will be the easiest to find on the shelf.

It is a shame that there are not more high quality SD loads for the .357 magnum and .41 magnum.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 9:04:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2012 3:46:00 AM EDT
I only shoot full power 357magnum loads using a 4inch barrel ! anything under 4 is a waste to ME.


Full power hand loads in a 4inch K frame like my M19 or my M13 has lots of recoil .

I find shooting full power hand loads okay if using a heavy 4inch 686 Frame

I found early on I could put more bullets on target Faster and more Accurate if I use 38spl +P


I wouldnt waste my time with 2-3inch snubs and 357magnum loads for self protection or hunting

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