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Old 06-11-2017, 11:48 PM
38SPL HV 38SPL HV is offline
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Default Favorite 357 Magnum 158 gr factory loads

I like either Winchester or Remington 158 gr JSPs, both time honored rounds. Enough power for me and potentially good on game up to including deer at close range. If I need more horsepower, there are always Buffalo Bore's 180 grainers.
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Old 06-12-2017, 04:31 AM
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I always liked the 158 grain .357, but they do not seem to be as popular now as the 125. I usually use the Federal 357C JHP, but I often wondered how 158 loads like the Hydra-Shok or the Speer Gold Dot work. Another old favorite I liked was Remington's 158 grain SWC, but it seems to have been discontinued in favor of JSP rounds.
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Old 06-12-2017, 04:31 AM
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+1 on the Winchester.

Larry
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:39 PM
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All depends on the purpose.

SD - 125gr HP - Federal
Target - 158gr SP or FMJ
Woods - 180gr LFN - Buffalo Bore

Last edited by bigwheelzip; 06-12-2017 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:03 PM
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I buy the Federal 158 gr JSP. that gives me good penetration against bear. Now if only I can find a bear out here in the desert that is Arizona, I will be ready. When I do buy factory loads, I buy them not for the bullets, but for the case reloading potential. I like the federal cases, I find they hold up well to numerous reloads, and the cost is reasonable.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:50 PM
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Winchester 145 grain Silver Tips
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:21 PM
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For factory 158gr, I like all three of the major companies.
Long ago, Winchester, today Remington or Federal, since they are on the shelf more.

My all time favorite reload was the Speer 160gr JSP for hunting
but it has been discontinued, long ago. A 288 pound buck was no problem, out of a 6" barrel.

I don't recall a big .357 180gr bullet back in the 70's.

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one of life's many pleasures.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:49 PM
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I've been shooting the Geco lately.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:57 PM
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I liked the Speer Lawman 158gr. JSP and 140gr. JHP when they still made them.

Then I liked the Winchester 145 gr Silvertip when I could get them.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:02 PM
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Georgia arms 158gr deerstoppers.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:01 PM
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I like Hydra-Shok, and a Federal PR man told me that it works well on deer at ranges at which one should be shooting a .357 at a deer. I think it's also a good defense round, and I don't shoot light bullets in most .357's.

Jimmy J mentioned the Winchester 145 grain ST. It was FBI issue and used by Dallas PD. A detective in a Dallas suburb checked autopsy results where felons were shot with that load, and he said that it was almost too effective! But he's a sensitive lad. If it kills effectively, I don't mind that it tore up a thug.

BTW, that's one of the best .357 loads in a three-inch barrel, giving about 1200 FPS. A bit too much in a SP-101 or J-frame .357. In those, I'd use Speer's Short barrel 135 grain load.

I used to fire Remington's 158 grain JHP and JSP from a Model 27 with exceptional accuracy, but now tend to avoid anything by Remington.

Last edited by Texas Star; 06-12-2017 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:07 PM
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I really liked that Speer 160 half jacketed SWC bullet. Looked like a pure lead SWC bullet when loaded, but was crimped at the jacket line so the jacket could not be seen. Fired into the pure sand of the sandhills where I lived resulted in between a dime and a nickle sized "mushroom" of lead all around that jacket which remained on the slug. This from a 4" barreled Model 19.

I shot a big ole tough jack rabbit one evening just before the sun dropped beneath the horizon. The rabbit was about 50 yards away. The impact spun rabbit parts and a very noticeable shower of red into the air. I've never seen before or since such a complete disassembly of a jack rabbit. The largest piece left in evidence was one front leg and a good sized patch of skin and hair. These were a reloading proposition, of course.

I have recently shot some of the PMC brand 158 grain SJSP bullets which have a flat nose. These shoot very well (accurately) and I believe they will do nicely for hunting at appropriate range. And bonus is that they are not considered premium bullets and if found, can usually be had for a reasonable price. I happened to find them on sale at Cabelas at a really good price.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:28 PM
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I like the Federal American Eagle 158 gr JSP. Available at pretty much any store that sells ammo, relatively clean, potent, and plenty effective for a full range of use.

I would like to find a vendor who loads a 158 gr lead SWC to full 1930's specs.

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Old 06-13-2017, 12:41 AM
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.455 Hunter, funny you are looking for the old spec .357 load, I've been reloading to the older 30's and 40's specs. I've been using poly coated SWC 158 grain, the manufacturer states the coated bullets are good to 2200fps, so I'm good to go on fouling issues. From what I can tell they are pretty hot loads, haven't chronyed them yet they closed the National Forest in AZ till we get some rain. I've been shooting them out of a 4" L frame.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:50 AM
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Remington .357 Mag. 158 gr. SJHP
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:17 AM
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I like the 145gr Winchester Silvertip .357 Magnum ammo best followed by the Speer 158gr GDHP ammo.

If going heavier I would buy the 180gr Cast Bullet ammo from Grizzly Cartridges. I load my own with the same bullet from Cast Performance, their sister company.
357 Magnum 180gr WFNGC - Grizzly Cartridge - Cast Performance
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
I like the 145gr Winchester Silvertip .357 Magnum ammo best followed by the Speer 158gr GDHP ammo.

If going heavier I would buy the 180gr Cast Bullet ammo from Grizzly Cartridges. I load my own with the same bullet from Cast Performance, their sister company.
357 Magnum 180gr WFNGC - Grizzly Cartridge - Cast Performance

Have you ever shot a living animal or person with that Gold Dot? If it's the one I'm thinking of, velocity is pretty low for a .357 and that dimple in the nose doesn't make it look like it'd expand much.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:31 AM
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In the last twenty years or so I've only bought three .357 factory loads to any extent, two of which meet your 158 grain criteria. I like Federal's American Eagle 158 grain JSP load. It's been very accurate in every gun I've ever used it in and the price is reasonable. I've used a few 158 grain Hydra-shoks. Pricey, but also very accurate in all of my guns, and real kickers in a 340PD. For that gun I resort to Winchester Silvertips. I've never been able to get excited about lightweight bullets in .357s, though I have fired a few 125s in the 340, mostly Remington JHPs.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:17 AM
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Have you ever shot a living animal or person with that Gold Dot? If it's the one I'm thinking of, velocity is pretty low for a .357 and that dimple in the nose doesn't make it look like it'd expand much.
I don't know what GDHP bullet you're looking at because the HP in the Speer bullet is not a dimple. It's not as large as the 125gr bullet but then again, the 125gr bullet is meant for SD and the 158gr bullet was renamed DeepCurl and listed under hunting bullets. The listed velocity of the ammo is 1235 fps, the same as the 158gr ammo from Winchester and Remington and only 5 fps less than Federal.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:47 PM
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Have you ever shot a living animal or person with that Gold Dot? If it's the one I'm thinking of, velocity is pretty low for a .357 and that dimple in the nose doesn't make it look like it'd expand much.
You may be thinking of the 135 grain for short barrels in .357.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:27 PM
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.357 Magnums:
Buffalo Bore 158 grain JHP for 2 legged animals. Buffalo Bore 180 grain Hard Cast SWC for 4 legged animals.

PS: for SD & HD the Buffalo Bore (#20A) .38 Special 158 grain SWCHP-GC +P out of a 2" barrel is actually hotter than most Winchester and Remington 158 grain .357 Magnums out of the same 2" barrel. The only thing the .38 Spl. lacks is the violent recoil, blast, fire show and noise.

BB 38 Special spec's
➤ 1040 fps (379 ft. lbs.) -- S&W mod. 60, 2 inch
➤ 1059 fps (393 ft. lbs.) -- S&W mod. 66, 2.5 inch
➤ 1143 fps (458 ft. lbs.) -- Ruger SP101, 3 inch
➤ 1162 fps (474 ft. lbs.) -- S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch

Most other 158 grain .357 Mag's won't achieve the 2" velocities of the BB 38's.

Last edited by chief38; 06-13-2017 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:36 PM
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I have not purchased, carried, or used factory .357 magnum ammo for 40-plus years. Learned my lessons early on with Super Vel, Remington, W-W, Federal, and other brands used in a 2.5" Model 19, 4" Model 19, 3.5" Model 27, 4" and 6" Model 28, Colt Python, and others.

In my experience the excessive recoil, excessive muzzle blast, excessive muzzle flash, and difficulty in extracting and ejecting fired cases all seem to indicate that it might be time to consider a larger caliber, rather than trying to stretch the .357" bore to its maximum capacity.

I still shoot .357 magnum and regularly reload by the thousands. But I limit my .357 loads to the zone between .38 Spl +P and low-end .357 loads. Anytime that doesn't seem to be enough I just reach into the gun safe for a .44 or .45 caliber piece. Haven't had any customer complaints yet.

Best regards.
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:58 AM
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for 357 magnum range rounds I prefer PMC Bronze 158 grain and for carry use Hollow points i mainly favor the Speer Gold dot 158 JHP.
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Old 06-14-2017, 02:07 AM
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Default I know that a lot of people HERE....

In spite of it's popularity for SD there are a LOT of people here that very much appreciate a hard cast 158 gr SWC. I experiment a lot and I have several bullets I like for .357. 125 gr jhp, 140 gr. jhp and 158 gr SWCs.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:27 AM
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Default Underwood Ammo. Amazing quality and price.

Best 158 grains I have used:

357 Magnum 158 Grain Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point – Underwood Ammo

It surprises me how little mention Underwood Ammo gets on this forum with thier quality and pricing as compared to other high-end, speciality, commercial ammo companies.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:03 PM
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You may be thinking of the 135 grain for short barrels in .357.
No. You may not have seen the round I mentioned.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:19 PM
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A cast 158 gr SWC ahead of H110 and a mag primer.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:22 PM
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Winchester 145 grain Silver Tips
Would great if I could find some.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:43 PM
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All things considered, there is really no reason to seek out some monster hot .357 rounds for personal defense use. I look for manageability, effectiveness (for the intended purpose) and if available, the use of 'reduced flash' gunpowder. I gravitate towards the old, tried and true Remington 158 gr SJHP @ around 1,230 fps +-. 4" Barrel.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoboGunLeather View Post
I have not purchased, carried, or used factory .357 magnum ammo for 40-plus years. Learned my lessons early on with Super Vel, Remington, W-W, Federal, and other brands used in a 2.5" Model 19, 4" Model 19, 3.5" Model 27, 4" and 6" Model 28, Colt Python, and others.

In my experience the excessive recoil, excessive muzzle blast, excessive muzzle flash, and difficulty in extracting and ejecting fired cases all seem to indicate that it might be time to consider a larger caliber, rather than trying to stretch the .357" bore to its maximum capacity.

I still shoot .357 magnum and regularly reload by the thousands. But I limit my .357 loads to the zone between .38 Spl +P and low-end .357 loads. Anytime that doesn't seem to be enough I just reach into the gun safe for a .44 or .45 caliber piece. Haven't had any customer complaints yet.
Best regards.

Currently I am getting just under 1,400fps using N105 in my 4in with 158XTPs. This burns exceptionally clean and thus far I am impressed.

That said, I understand your overall impressions regarding .357 loads. I have over +5k materials for reloading this caliber and just may, also, find something milder and more accurate. Time will tell for sure. All I can say is that in my new 2in K6S, I will be consciously choosing to keep those loads at the 38 +P range for comfort. However, in my 2-5/8" 627PC and 4" 686, I will at least keep at +1,200fps which matches many factory .357 loads, but willing for something less than the +1,400fps max for accuracy.

BTW, playing with the 125XTPs in my .38 loads but not sure I even want to try these things in my 4" 686. Don't want to trade off too much expansion for less penetration, unless I can find overwhelming evidence of a safety factor for those downstream... Open for opinions...
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:28 AM
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I always liked the 158 grain .357, but they do not seem to be as popular now as the 125. I usually use the Federal 357C JHP, but I often wondered how 158 loads like the Hydra-Shok or the Speer Gold Dot work. Another old favorite I liked was Remington's 158 grain SWC, but it seems to have been discontinued in favor of JSP rounds.
I've come to the conclusion that you can spend hours of mentalbation picking nits over this round or the other. These days, most all the quality .38 or .357, .40 and .45 cal HP bullets expand to .55-.62 caliber and penetrate gel block to 13-17 inches. So, the only real questions are recoil management, preference of handgun type and the ability to put rounds on target. In addition, with a S&W Model 19, there is another concern pertaining to shooting 125 gr or smaller .357 magnum rounds, causing adverse pressure to the forcing cone and potentially causing cracking. Another reason I've landed on 158 gr for my .357 mag.

Last edited by AimHigher; 07-06-2018 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:55 AM
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This has been a great thread so far. I have one real question. Why does it seem like a mid level 125 grain .357 is great for self defense but it requires a hot 158 grain .357 for deer? A deer is a herbivore that weighs about 150 pounds around here and is probably not on drugs. I have seen some 250+ pound meth heads on the local news.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:44 AM
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I’ve always been a fan of the old Remington 158-gr SJHP, marketed as the “HTP” these days.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
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This has been a great thread so far. I have one real question. Why does it seem like a mid level 125 grain .357 is great for self defense but it requires a hot 158 grain .357 for deer? A deer is a herbivore that weighs about 150 pounds around here and is probably not on drugs. I have seen some 250+ pound meth heads on the local news.
At the risk of thread drift, you ask a very legitimate question. In a defensive context most shots are frontal thus needing less penetration. In addition many are concerned about "over penetration" which IMO is grossly overblown since most defensive rounds miss their target and sail on with their velocity undiminished.

For the hunter, animals such as deer don't always offer a broadside shot and full perforation of the animal is desired. This is insure the bullet strikes as many vital organs as possible (double lung shot for example) for a clean, quick kill and to provide an exit hole to aid in a blood trail if the animal does not immediately collapse.
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