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Old 07-09-2010, 04:23 PM
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Default What's best all around grain for .357 ammo?



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i have 3 different .357's, 2 pistols and a rifle(lever action) what do you feelis the best all around ammo. i understand that each item has its special job, yadda yadda yadda. but as for stocking 1 type of bulk, what would be your personal preferance for grain weight of ammo, or type of ammo.
personally i like 158 grain jhp and sjhp, but i keep plenty of 125 gr fmj, and 180 gr sjhp. i dont stock anything in straight non jacketed. at least not until the day i have to laod my own because the factory made is all gone.
Old 07-09-2010, 04:37 PM
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I read the first edition of 'Handgun stopping power the definative study"

In there the handgun with the best one shot stop record was the 357 magnum

and the best 357 ma load was the 125 grain JHP

I would think that the Buffalo Bore 125 JHC would be better.

The book writers criteria for a one-shot-stop is

Must be a torso hit,the person hit was unable to return fire or swing his knife or throw a punch and if he ran he ran no more than 10 feet.

I havent read the latest one but I do think the 357 is a stopper and hollow points rule unless hes got a BPV on. then rifle up
Old 07-09-2010, 04:56 PM
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Those Marshall/Sanow 'Stopping Power' books are fabricated nonsense.. Complete BS

A good all-around .357 load is the Winchester 145gr Silvertip and 180gr Partition Supreme. They both feature excellent terminal ballistics, are generally very accurate, readily available, have good bullet profiles for speed loaders, feed very well in lever-action rifles, and would work well on two or four-legged threats.



Plenty of good .357 Mag choices still available:
  • R-P 165gr Core-Lokt [Golden Saber bullet engineering]
  • R-P 125gr & 158gr SJHP
  • W-W 145gr Silvertip HP
  • W-W 180gr Partition Supreme [is also on the 'recommended list']
  • W-W 125gr & 158gr SJHP
  • Speer 125 & 158gr Gold Dot
  • Hornady 125, 140gr & 158gr XTP
  • Federal 140gr Vital-Shok [Barnes' DPX bullet]
  • Federal 130gr Hydra-Shok "personal defense"
  • Federal 158gr Hydra-Shok
  • Federal 125gr SJHP
  • Corbon 125gr DPX

<edit to add>
I'm not 100% certain the R-P 165gr Core-Lokt is available anymore.. It's not listed in their 2010 catalog or webpage.. It would also make a most excellent all-around .357 load
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:39 PM
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I always shot the best with 158gr. Used to think it was just in my head, but it turns out that's what wheelies are sighted for at the factory. I like Hornady 158gr XTP/JHPs myself.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:58 PM
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The poster above mentioned two of the best - Remington 125 gr JSP @ 1450 fps, and the Winchester 145 gr Silvertips. Both of these are a little stout in a snubbie, so I keep Remington 125 gr Golden Sabers in mine, lower recoil + low flash powder.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:32 AM
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It really depends on what your intended target(s) is/are...P/HD only or will you be going hunting (big) game animals as well?

For P/HD the 125 gr JHP Buffalo Bore is devastating as are the 158 gr Buffalo Bore and Federal Hydra Shok bullets.

For (big) game hunting you really shouldn't use anything less the 165 gr and 180 gr is better still...You need the extra mass to give penetration at the farther distances as you're lacking a little velocity wise compared to to HP rifle round of similar calibre...The Buffalo Bore 180 gr. L.F.N. -G.C. (1,400fps/M.E. 783 ft. lbs.) would be ideal for deer.

If I had to choose and stockpile one (1) bullet weight to handle everything it would have to be one of the 158 gr varieties...You have to experiment to find the best compromise between human/game expansion and penetration and of course recoil from a 2" or 3" barrel would be a little stout so a velocity compromise would also have to be factored in.
Old 07-10-2010, 07:24 AM
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I load my own using a 158gr LSWC from Oregon Trail, with a mild charge of 2400, and standard pistol primers.
This loading is fired form a 4 5/8 inch Blackhawk and is extremely accurate, I have used it for rabbits, feral dogs, coyotes, and even small feral pigs (including larger trapped pigs). This bullet penetrates well and cuts nice clean entrance holes retaining a lot of mass. On smaller game they do not expand and just punch clean large holes through and through.

I have loaded these in bulk to keep at the house, a very handy cartridge and cost me less than half as much to make as opposed to buying store bought rounds.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:03 AM
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I am looking for a round for stock piling for shtf. Something that will work well from small game, to big game. While still being effective against 2 legged weasles. So far all this info is helpful. Thank you all. I am a little confused seekher's comment. I have never heard of 125 gr buffolo bore. I thought buffolo bore by its definition was all 180 gr. So lets add that to my list of questions?
Old 07-10-2010, 08:15 AM
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I've always been impressed with Magtech Cowboy Action 158 gr rounds. Admitedly I always cringe at the 'Cowboy Action' tag - it sounds like a gay porn film.
Old 07-10-2010, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJW1911 View Post
I load my own using a 158gr LSWC from Oregon Trail, with a mild charge of 2400, and standard pistol primers.
This loading is fired form a 4 5/8 inch Blackhawk and is extremely accurate, I have used it for rabbits, feral dogs, coyotes, and even small feral pigs (including larger trapped pigs). This bullet penetrates well and cuts nice clean entrance holes retaining a lot of mass. On smaller game they do not expand and just punch clean large holes through and through.

I have loaded these in bulk to keep at the house, a very handy cartridge and cost me less than half as much to make as opposed to buying store bought rounds.
hook me up!!
Old 07-10-2010, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VINCENT View Post
I am looking for a round for stock piling for shtf. Something that will work well from small game, to big game. While still being effective against 2 legged weasles. So far all this info is helpful. Thank you all. I am a little confused seekher's comment. I have never heard of 125 gr buffolo bore. I thought buffolo bore by its definition was all 180 gr. So lets add that to my list of questions?
Well Baddogg5 mentioned it first in the 2nd post but here is Buffalo Bore's Direct link to .357 Magnum ammo at 125 gr. J.H.C. (1,700fps/M.E. 802 ft. lbs.)... and they also have the 158 gr. J.H.C. (1,475fps/M.E. 763 ft. lbs.).

I use them a lot...then again I only own and shoot .41 magnum and they have 50 round boxes of 170 gr. J.H.P. (1,650 fps/M.E. 1,028 ft. lbs.), 230 gr. Keith (1,450 fps/M.E. 1,074 ft. lbs.) and 265 gr. L.W.N. (1,350 fps/M.E. 1,072 ft. lbs.)...Great products and I use the 265 gr in my Marlin FG1894 lever rifle
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:36 AM
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My vote for best all-around .357 Magnum cartridge is the W-W 145gr Silvertip
Second choice would be the currently unavailable 165gr R-P Core-Lokt, Federal 140gr Vital-Shok, or W-W 180gr Partition Supreme.
The above mentioned loads don't suffer from the underpenetration issues of the 125gr SJHP, and to a lesser degree the 158gr SJHP.

The only drawback of the W-W Silvertip is the price [they're STILL cheaper than Buffalo Bore and Double Tap] - they tyipcally sell for $35-$50 for a 50rd box.


Why is it that every time someone inquires about recommended .357 Magnum loads there's always a person who mentions the fabricated Marshall/Sanow 96% one-shot stopping power statistics of the 125gr SJHP, and others wil post the overinflated Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, etc, velocity figures, or their loaded-to-the-max .357 Bubba handloads that would likely exceed SAAMI specs..?

Nobody's yet brought up the original 1935 velocity figure of 1515 FPS using a 158gr SWC.. That figure derives from the fact that they didn't have chronographs back in the '30s


The bottom line is that you're better off with a deeper penetrating bullet to cover a wider variety of situations
Old 07-10-2010, 12:26 PM
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Personaly i like the 158gr. XTP it works for me but a matter of prefference i guess
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:53 PM
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For all-purpose ammo to be bulk stocked, I vote for the 158 gr. semi-jacketed soft nose or hollow point. That's a good all-around weight bullet for a variety of tasks, and will do the job. Lighter bullets and heavier bullets have their uses, but the 158 gr. does it all reasonably well, and is relatively cheap compared to the specialty loads for stocking in bulk.
And yes, heavier and lighter bullets shoot to different points of impact. Lighter bullets shoot lower, heavier bullets shoot higher. So you need to be aware of that, and re-sight your gun if using different bullets. The effect is most pronounced in revolvers, but holds for rifles, too.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:18 PM
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The heavier (145, 158, 180gr) bullet weights are more likely to hold together, remaining intact without fragmenting to pieces when driven to rifle and carbine velocities, and are still very well-suited to self-defense when used in a handgun.

The W-W 180gr Supreme Partition is the only .357 load recommended by Dr. Roberts. I'm not in complete agreement with this, but he's the expert and i'm the student. It too has excellent penetrating ability and a good feed profile for lever rifles; albeit at the expense of harsh recoil in 4" barrel handguns. They're also very expensive, and available in 20rd boxes only.


The Federal 140gr Vital-Shok is marketed as a hunting round and uses Barnes' most excellent all-copper XPB hollowpoint bullet driven to 1280FPS▬510ft lbs ME. The 140gr XPB bullet has similar sectional density and bullet length as 158gr SJHP bullets. It's a deep penetrating bullet guaranteed not to fragment, and has excellent potential for deer and pig-sized game. Drawbacks are prohibitively high price, 20rd boxes only, and availablity.


Corbon 125gr DPX all-copper hollowpoint is another good choice featuring all of the positive things mentioned above about Federal's 140gr Vital-Shok. Drawbacks are HIGH price, 20rd boxes only, and general availability.


The 140gr + 158gr Hornady XTP feature excellent accuracy, excellent feed profile (very important when used in a lever-action), deep penetration, excellent terminal ballistics, and are readily available.
XTPs are reasonably priced, but my gripe is that they're only available in 25rd boxes..


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


To directly address the original question VINCENT inquired about, my suggestion is to get started in handloading for a variety of reasons.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthy_McNasty View Post
The 140gr + 158gr Hornady XTP feature excellent accuracy, excellent feed profile (very important when used in a lever-action), deep penetration, excellent terminal ballistics, and are readily available.
XTPs are reasonably priced, but my gripe is that they're only available in 20rd boxes..
I buy the 158gr in 25rd boxes for $17.99
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:02 AM
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Seems to me a good 158 gr jsp or sjhp may be the way to go. Being that anything in 158 gr seems extremely hard to find in my area... It may be time to invenst in reloading materials.that brings 2 new questions.
1) how to keep hand loads in working order for extended periods of time
2) whats it going to cost me to start hand loading(including new brass) and how much do you have to make before it starts to become cost effiecant?
Old 07-11-2010, 08:31 AM
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Question 1, They should last quite a long time, even longer if you go one step farther and seal the primer pocket. I have some 38specials over 5 years old kept in clean dry containers. I rotate all of my ammunition after I shoot some I reload and replace.

Question 2, I have a lee classic turret with auto disk power measure and RCBS digital scale. The Lee kit is under 200 dollars and 4 die carbide set is about 35 dollars, and the digital scale is under 100. When I started, I was also interested in how long it would take to recoup my investment and at that time it was 3k rounds. There will be some Lee hates chime in probably, but it is a good press, that allows me to make about 50 rounds in 15 minutes.

If you are really interested in reloading my best advice (I wish someone had told me this) is to buy two books on reloading. "The ABCs of reloading" and the reloading manual of your choice, then read them both before buying any equipment. They will help you select the equipment YOU really need.

I have now reloaded over 10k rounds of 38, 357, 44mag, 45acp, 50ae, and 308. I load all of them in bulk except the 50AE.
Last time I added it up, (about 2 weeks ago) my 45acp reloads are costing me $10 per 50 rounds of 185gr JHPs.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:37 AM
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First thing you should get is one of the various books like Guide to Reloading $25, read that and decide how much you want to spend to get set up.

You can buy a Lee Hand Loader for $35 powder, primers, bullets and cases another $80, loading Manual $25, powder scale $45...total $230 (with guide) for an extremely compact but very "hands on" system.

Add a D or C press (maybe even a progressive), brass tumbler, and you can go from $125 to $500 and all you gain is speed and even more so with a progressive reloader.
A good choice for a turret press is the Dillon AT500 street price around $150.

On line:
The Reload Bench
M D Smith
Centerfire Central
Carteach Blog is quite good
Why Reload
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:46 AM
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Just a word of caution from personal experience. I used to have a S&W .357 Magnum Model 19. I shot various .357 magnum loads and I'm pretty sure that the 125 grain was too much for the revolver to handle. The drum stopped rotating properly. I would pull the hammer back but the drum would not "lock" into place. The firing pin would hit off center and the round did not fire.

Not sure if the ammo was the fault, but I would recommend doing research first to see what your firearm can handle.
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