Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Favorite .357 SD Ammo?

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    152

    Favorite .357 SD Ammo?

    I just picked up my first .357 Magnum this weekend, a 1966 vintage S&W 28-2(6").

    I'm just wondering what some of the more experienced folks here prefer as far as an SD ammo for this.

    I've been carrying the 135gr 38 special +P short barrel gold dots in my J-frame, and I've been happy with the penetration/expansion when I've shot water jugs and wet phone books.

    I see that Speer also makes a couple of different gold dot .357s, both a short barrel and "standard" load. The short barrel, at least on paper, doesn't look like too much of a step-up from the +Ps that I have. The standard looks a lot more impressive on paper, but of course it also presumably comes with the other problems associated with powerful .357s(i.e. muzzle and cylinder flash, loud, heavy recoil).

    I'm thinking that at least for potential inside needs I'm probably going to stick with the +Ps, but would also like to have a little more power available should the need arise.

    Any thoughts on this?

  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,611
    Hard to beat the .357 mag 145g silvertip - the standard by which all others are judged.

    Take your pick from this chart:
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/357magnum.htm
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766
    Lots of different ways you could go with this.

    Fortunately, there are lots of .357 Mag loads out there.

    Some are purists and like 158 grain semi-wadcutters.

    Others seem to like lighter bullets moving a bit faster.

    Out of a six inch barrel, you shouldn't have any velocity problems. Most of the ballistics charts I've seen are for 4" test barrels with a hole to simulate the pressure loss from the barrel-cylinder gap. So, if the load you are looking at was done through a 4" test barrel, you can probably count on a bit more velocity out of your 6" barrel.

    I'm thinking your biggest concerns will be recoil and bullet dependability--how reliable is the bullet regarding opening up and mushrooming.

    Everybody has different sensitivity to recoil. You want to be able to make follow up shots quickly if the first shot misses. And, a double-tap to center of mass is a pretty standard training doctrine, so if you practice that, then recoil will be a concern. You don't want 6" of muzzle rise as though from a hunting cartridge--deer don't shoot back.

    My suggestion would be to start with an old police load: 125 grain hollow point. Buy a box and try it. Your main focus as regards recoil will the muzzle energy as given on the box or the manufacturer's website. If the box says 450ft-lbs of muzzle energy, and you try it and find the recoil just fine, then great. If you think you want something a little stout-er find one in the low 500's of ft-lbs. Or, the reverse. If the one you start with lists 550 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, and it smacks your hand painfully hard, and gives you six inches of muzzle rise, then hunt around for one with a lower muzzle energy. After a couple boxes, you'll be able to judge how much felt recoil you will have just by the muzzle energy listing on the box.

    The Model 28 is a large frame revolver, so that should help soak up recoil. Also, it does not have the barrel flat at the forcing cone that caused many K-frames to crack when firing light bullets at high velocity. (The K-frame is shrunk a bit from the N-frame and L-frame, and Smith flattened the bottom of the barrel at the cylinder end so the cylinder crane would close. This made the barrel metal thinner right at the point the bullet enters the barrel. Very fast bullets had a tendency to crack the barrel right at that flattened spot. This was one of the main reasons that Smith no longer makes the K-frame.)

    Corbon DPX seems to open up pretty reliably according to reports. As do Gold Dots. Whoever makes the red soft Flex Tip (Hornady, I think) might make it with flash suppressants. I have this vague recollection that was one of their selling points when they came out (five?) years ago.

    Just pick a muzzle energy in a reliable bullet and start testing until you find the one you like best.

    Of course, you wan to make sure the revolver is in good condition. Your question leads me to believe you might be new to revolvers. Who knows what a 1966 N-frame has been through. Unless you know the previous owner and so forth, you might want its cylinder gap checked, end-shake checked, and so forth. There are some YouTube videos that will walk you through checking it.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  4. #4
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    2,489
    Federal 125g JHP Personal Defense.
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Of course, you wan to make sure the revolver is in good condition. Your question leads me to believe you might be new to revolvers. Who knows what a 1966 N-frame has been through. Unless you know the previous owner and so forth, you might want its cylinder gap checked, end-shake checked, and so forth. There are some YouTube videos that will walk you through checking it.
    I appreciate your detailed comments...although this is my first .357 magnum, I'm not new to revolvers-in fact they're the only type of handguns I've owned(although I've shot my fair share of semi-autos also).

    At least in every quantifiable way I know to check, this one seems to be in tip-to shape and overall seems to have been shot very little(I wouldn't have bought it otherwise). The lock-up is perfect and the timing is dead-on, even when cocking it slowly(I understand that timing problems first start to show up on these when cocking slowly). I haven't measured endshake or cylinder gap yet, but I will do so before shooting it. The endshake feels right to me, compared to my other S&Ws(one of which I bought new and have shot very little), so I feel pretty safe there.

    I neglected to mention that I did stop by Wally World and pick up some .357 plinking ammo in several different bullet weight and energy ranges...working off of memory I have some Winchester White Box 110gr jhp that is around 410 ft-lbs, some Federal 158gr JSP that's in the lower 500 ft-lb range, and some Remington 125gr JSP that's in the upper 500 ft-lb. I also have on hand a couple of different 38 special +P loads that should give me a whole range of different recoils when I get around to shooting it-hopefully next weekend.

  6. #6
    Activist Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ashland, KY
    Posts
    1,847
    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I just picked up my first .357 Magnum this weekend, a 1966 vintage S&W 28-2(6").

    I'm just wondering what some of the more experienced folks here prefer as far as an SD ammo for this.

    I've been carrying the 135gr 38 special +P short barrel gold dots in my J-frame, and I've been happy with the penetration/expansion when I've shot water jugs and wet phone books.

    I see that Speer also makes a couple of different gold dot .357s, both a short barrel and "standard" load. The short barrel, at least on paper, doesn't look like too much of a step-up from the +Ps that I have. The standard looks a lot more impressive on paper, but of course it also presumably comes with the other problems associated with powerful .357s(i.e. muzzle and cylinder flash, loud, heavy recoil).

    I'm thinking that at least for potential inside needs I'm probably going to stick with the +Ps, but would also like to have a little more power available should the need arise.

    Any thoughts on this?
    I will carry either 125 grain Gold-dots or Hornady Critical Defense in 125 grain the majority of the time (you would get right around 1,500 fps from both of these loads). However, in winter months when the heavy clothing comes out I carry Remington 125 grain Jacketed Soft Points. This Remington fodder has some impressive balistics, and from a 6" barrel you would see around 1,700 fps or better with this load; since this load has such extreme velocities it expands very well with the soft lead point. The Remington load is the fastest round I have ever fired through a .357 Magnum -- revolver or rifle. This load even tops Buffalo Bore and DoubleTap fodder (mostly), which is impressive. The one thing with the Remington round is penetration... you get alot of it.

    Edit: I just noticed you have already purchased some of the Remington fodder. The box claims the round gets around 1,500 fps, but I have always found this round to do better than the factory claims. From a 6" barrel this fodder will be absolutely astonoshing, and could be used for game up to large deer and hogs. I reccommend this round for the winter months, as long as you don't live in an extremely crowded city where you will face an over-penetration issue if you ever need to fire in self-defense (of course we should always know what is beyond our target, but in a SD situation that would be hard to confrim with tunnel vision).
    Last edited by KYGlockster; 10-28-2012 at 10:42 PM.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    152
    I appreciate all of the specific suggestions from everyone-and its good to know that I already have one of the recommended ones on-hand!

    I've looked around some for the Silvertips, and they seem to be just a bit in short supply, although I did find them at a few places online. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case for more than one higher-end revolver cartridge that I've looked into-I've been itching to try Ny-Clads for a while now(I have a Colt Police Positive from the '20s that I don't want to put anything too powerful through, and these seem to be ideal for it) but can't find them in stock anywhere.

    I'll look into the suggested Federal Personal Defense also.

    Thanks again-and am open to any more suggestions which anyone might have.

  8. #8
    Regular Member rscottie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ashland, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    613
    I like the PMC 140 grain Starfire Hollowpoints.

    They are a good "bang" for the buck.

  9. #9
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    12,275
    I use only 38 spl, even in my 1894 Marlin rifle.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  10. #10
    Regular Member robert1970's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Federal 125g JHP Personal Defense.
    I prefer federal 125 jhp. at one time they were rated number one for one shot stop.

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    152
    I visited the local gun shop the other day, and picked up the only "high end" ammo that they had in stock for .357-158gr Hydra-Shoks. Hopefully the occasion will never arise that I have to actually use these, but they seem to have a good enough reputation(even though they are now considered old technology) that I feel confident with them. I probably would have preferred 125gr, and don't know that I still won't order one or a couple of the other suggestions here the next time I order.

    I also stopped by the range today to shoot it for the first time. As others have told me, there's basically no recoil with standard pressure 38 specials, and not much with +Ps. The heavier .357s are definitely noticeable, but not overly uncomfortable. I have an airweight model 638 that I find painful to shoot with +Ps, and the 28 isn't nearly as bad even with the 578 ft-lb Remington 125gr JSPs.

  12. #12
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    12,275
    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I visited the local gun shop the other day, and picked up the only "high end" ammo that they had in stock for .357-158gr Hydra-Shoks. Hopefully the occasion will never arise that I have to actually use these, but they seem to have a good enough reputation(even though they are now considered old technology) that I feel confident with them. I probably would have preferred 125gr, and don't know that I still won't order one or a couple of the other suggestions here the next time I order.

    I also stopped by the range today to shoot it for the first time. As others have told me, there's basically no recoil with standard pressure 38 specials, and not much with +Ps. The heavier .357s are definitely noticeable, but not overly uncomfortable. I have an airweight model 638 that I find painful to shoot with +Ps, and the 28 isn't nearly as bad even with the 578 ft-lb Remington 125gr JSPs.
    If you have a older airweight you should not use +P in it. On the Hydra-Shock it was a standard round for officers who worked in crowded situations. Not a good round for winter time with heavy clothing.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    If you have a older airweight you should not use +P in it.
    I bought my Airweight brand new in 2010. Even so, I do use +Ps sparingly in it-basically just to remind myself of how uncomfortable they are!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •