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Posted: 7/19/2003 8:40:41 AM EDT
I have them or some older winchester 38 special hollow silver tip bullets. the gun is not a carry gun just somthing that I target shoot with and keep in the houes (colt python) I will go for my glock or my shotgun first if I can.

Also any other ideas for target ammo gr and brand, I curently have ammercian eagle .357 mag and another no name brand, I can't seem to located any 38 specials plus p in 158 gr, are the plus p's that much more powerful then the reg 38 specials?
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 10:19:10 AM EDT
Remington Express makes 158 grain LHP and SW in +p, but check if you can to see that the gun you plan on shooting it in will withstand the higher pressure loadings...some guns cannot take it. Remington, Gold Saber, UMC, all make ammo in the 38 special types from 110, 125, 130, 148, 158 grains. In .357 magnum Remin gton Express comes in 110 & 125 grains, Golden Saber & UMC in 125 grain, and Remington Express in 158, 165 and 180 grains.

PMC comes in 38 special only in 115 grain +p and Winchester doesn't so far as I know.
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 11:31:38 AM EDT
I am no longer the great believer in the .357 magnum that I once was. In fact, much of the stuff we have all heard about the round and it's stopping power have been over-hyped a little over the years (thanks in part to folks like Evan Marshall and "Massads-A-boob" as well as various authors of gun magazine articles who didn't know any better than to repeat such rubbish). Since the CHP transitioned over to the S&W 4006 .40 caliber with 180 gr JHP bullets, their level of success in stopping perps shot up from when they were using S&W .357 magnum revolvers with Federal 125 gr JHP (info from Dr. Gary Roberts).

After taking a look at how these calibers compare, the improved performance of the .40 doesn't really surprise me. The better .40 S&W 180 gr loads seem to penetrate to between 13 and 15" in 10% ballistic gel while expanding robustly to a diameter of between .65" and .70". Loads that reliably demonstrate this performance include the Winchester Ranger, Speer Gold Dot, Remington Golden Saber and the Federal Tactical line. Again, this is 180 gr. This is excellent performance for self defense ammunition.

Now looking at the Federal 125 gr JHP .357 magnum, from a 4" barrel this load will achieve around 10" of penetration and expand to around .50". This load will also sometimes have a tendency to fragment. While fragmentation is good for wounding when it comes to rifle bullets, it is not a desirable trait in defensive handgun ammunition. Just looking at the numbers it appears the .40 caliber would be the better of the two when using this specific ammo.

But back to your original question, if I had to choose defensive ammo for the .357, I would most likely pick the Winchester 145 gr Silvertip based on available info. It seems to meet the FBI's 12" minimum penetration requirement while offering good expansion. This load seems to expand to between .60 and .65". There was one glaring case where this load failed to stop however, so I will mention that up front. In a police shooting involving a SC State Trooper, a full load of these rounds failed to kill Trooper Coates' attacker and he was fatally shot with a .22 caliber handgun. I can't recall if Coates was wounded before or after emptying his revolver into the assailant, but the assailant did survive to face trial. This may have just been one of those cases where nothing vital was hit. Unusual things such as this will sometimes occur. The law of probability will eventually pop up. But hearing stories of others who have used this load, it seems to be pretty good at putting down bad guys. This Trooper Coates failure to stop is the only example I can site in regards to this particular load, so it may have just been a fluke. BTW, in shooting various ammo in my Marlin .357 carbine, the CCI 158 gr load seemed a little underpowered in comparison to other 158 gr loads.

Another pretty decent load for 4" barrel .38/.357's is the Remington 158 gr +P lead semi wadcutter hollow points (Federal and Winchester probably offer similar performance). This is an old load that has been around for a while and probably isn't as good as say the well-developed 147 gr Winchester Ranger is in 9mm, but it does penetrate deep enough to get the job done and usually expands pretty well. Like many older bullet designs, it may suffer when penetrating heavy clothing (some bullets fail to expand when clogging with fabric) and not expand well. When these same loads are used in 2" barrel J-frames, they fail the denim test. But they do offer less recoil than full power .357 loads which may mean faster shot recovery, better accuracy and less muzzle blast.

I know much of what I have said will come as a shock to many magnum fans, as it was shocking to me when I first learned about these problems. But after looking things over carefully, I am no longer overly impressed with the .357 and find other calibers better suited to defensive use. However, with careful ammunition selection, the .357 can be a capable weapon.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 11:35:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2003 11:45:27 AM EDT by SGB]
NO BLAZER'S for self defense. Blazer aluminum cased ammo if for the range only.....

Edited to say...........What Charging handle said.....
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 12:21:04 PM EDT
My preference in .357mag self defense ammo is 180Gn JHP.
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 9:21:23 PM EDT
AR-15Fan,

Has the good "Doc" ever tested any of those 180 gr Winchester Supreme Partition Gold HP's yet? I remember everyone discussing this load over on TF a few months ago but had never heard it mentioned since. It appeared to have pretty good promise according to what was said about it.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/19/2003 11:05:12 PM EDT
No, there has been no new testing of .357 Magnum over there. I just did a search.
Link Posted: 7/20/2003 1:57:37 AM EDT
Thanks Armdlbrl, I didn't think he had but wanted to make sure I hadn't missed it. I have a couple of .357's of my own and would like to see what some of the latest ammo designs will do in gel, but with the lack of police officers carrying it these days, it seems nobody is testing it. Doc did say that he may test some .357 later this year if he gets some spare time and gel.

-Charging Handle
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