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Posted: 3/15/2011 10:25:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2011 10:32:56 PM EST by Brazos_Jack]
In the ammo FAQ here: http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm only the Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (53921) is recommended in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum due to its performance and controllability in 2” barrels.

But what about a .357 chambered revolver with a longer barrel?

At what length does a different .38 +P, like maybe the old 158gr SWC HP Treasury load start to win out? 2.5”? 3”? 4”?

And at what barrel length beyond that does .357 ammo like the hot 125gr JHP’s start to win out? 4”? 6”? 8-3/8”?

A Treasury load or even a .357 Mag won’t be uncontrollable in a 3” or 4” S&W 686 or Ruger GP100. But will it gain me anything? Since the Speer is designed to perform at 2” snub velocities, is there a barrel length where the added velocity causes its performance to suffer?
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 10:54:54 PM EST
Uhhh I've put all kinds of stuff through my Ruger in both .38 special and .357 Magnum and it doesn't seem to care much one way or the other... I would tend to think hitting the target would be more important than the load you're using
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 6:05:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2011 6:07:30 AM EST by machinisttx]
Factory remington 125 grain SJHP .357 mag ammo leaves the 2.25" barrel of my Ruger SP101 at 1300 fps. IIRC, the "Treasury" load leaves the same gun at around 850 fps.

.357 mag wins, no matter the barrel length.

ETA: factory remington 125 and 110 grain SJHP .38 Spl loads were around the same speed as the "treasury" load.
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 6:21:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2011 6:22:06 AM EST by FAIL-SAFE]
And if bullet velocity would translateinto terminal performance, with regards to pistol ammo, that would matter. Unfortunately it does not.


If you're dead set on using .357mag in a snub, I suppose the 135gr Speer GDHP-SB load would be fine, but it isnt much faster than the the same load in .38spec. The best round is the one that has good terminal performance AND is controllable, because even with good ammo, one shot is often not enough.
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 7:35:46 PM EST
I'm not sure how or where the rumor that 38 +P was "as good" as .357 out of 2" snubs. The two best .357 loads for light revolvers are the CORBON DPX 125gr and the Speer 135gr short barrel load. Both of these are "weak" .357's - but still hit with substantially more energy than a .38 +p. These .357's out of a 2" are roughly equal to a 9mm +p out of a 3.5" barrel.

Just to clarify - NOTHING wrong with a well chosen .38. I'm just saying that .357 does offer significantly more power even out of a 2".
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 9:32:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By calviroman:
I'm not sure how or where the rumor that 38 +P was "as good" as .357 out of 2" snubs. The two best .357 loads for light revolvers are the CORBON DPX 125gr and the Speer 135gr short barrel load. Both of these are "weak" .357's - but still hit with substantially more energy than a .38 +p. These .357's out of a 2" are roughly equal to a 9mm +p out of a 3.5" barrel.

Just to clarify - NOTHING wrong with a well chosen .38. I'm just saying that .357 does offer significantly more power even out of a 2".


How does energy translate to terminal performance?

What data do you have that suggests the "The two best .357 loads for light revolvers are the CORBON DPX 125gr and the Speer 135gr short barrel load."?

Also, what if the 135gr .357mag Speer GDHP-SB has identical penetration and expansion as the the 135gr .38spec+P Speer GDHP-SB?



Link Posted: 3/17/2011 9:43:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/17/2011 10:16:02 AM EST by Chris_1522]
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