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Old 06-17-2018, 12:28 PM
Cal44 Cal44 is offline
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Default 357 Magnum effectiveness

I had some thoughts I'd like to share and to start a discussion.

First, I'll say I'm not a ballistics expert, not a cop, haven't shot anyone, and a lot of what I've learned comes from the Internet.

That said, I am an engineer and as such took a lot of courses in physics, chemistry, materials science, and hydrodynamics.

I've read many times that hydro static shock only comes into play at rifle velocities and isn't a factor in handgun ammo.

But I wonder about that.

I've seen lots of Internet videos of various handgun rounds hitting soda bottles or milk bottes filled with water.

Typically, when a small caliber round like a 22, or 25, or 38 etc. hits a 2 liter soda bottle it makes a small entrance hole and then an exit hole.

The contents of the bottle spurts out in two streams out both holes.

If the round expands, the exit hole is larger as is the corresponding stream.

But somewhere north of 1100 fps or so, the results are significantly different.

Often a whole side of the bottle is split and torn.

I'm think what is happening is the bullet impacting the bottle and entering the soda (or water) is setting up a pressure shock wave in the fluid. And this shock wave, at higher velocities results in sufficient stress on the plastic walls of the bottle tear them wide open.

Slower moving rounds also would also set of a hydro static pressure wave, but not strong enough to split the thick plastic bottle.

Now the skin of a mammal (game animal or human) is sufficiently flexible that it won't tear then hit by a pressure shock wave. So the bad guy or deer are not split open.

But (and here I really am guessing as I have little biology training), I believe that a pressure shock wave going through the body can mess up internal organs. Perhaps not destroying them, but putting them in a temporary state of shock -- and perhaps even shut down briefly.

An analogy is what happens when someone hits you in the solar plexus -- and you find you can't breath for a few seconds.

I'm wondering if this might be a factor in why 357 Magnum, and other rounds that travel at 1200 fps or more seem so effective at stopping aggressive bad guy behavior.

Last edited by Cal44; 06-17-2018 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Cal44 View Post
... your post...
Have you seen this video? It's dated and long, but it's pretty good.

Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics - What Bullets Do to Bodies - YouTube

ETA - Came from a different website. This guy studied 542 gun shot victims, mostly handgun, in South Africa in 2002. He has 80 or so cases on the website with photos etc. ...Graphic... (need to fix up the linkedin address)

linkedin dot com/pulse/brandon-bertollis-ptlgc-case-files-brandon-bertolli/
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:17 PM
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Cal...I agree with you but from what I observed in the 30 years I was in LE and studying gunfights since 1980, there is a combination of factors involved.

If 1200 fps caused as much HS as generally necessary, the 9mm would be be right up there with the .357. From what I have observed it is 1400+ fps impact velocity where HS effectiveness get much more reliable.

That said, caliber, sectional density, nose design and expansion qualities play a big factor.

The .357 Magnum works best on humans with a 125 gr. JHP. The SD of that bullet is .139. To equal it:
.40/ 155
.410/ 170
.429/ 180
.452/ 200

The .357 delivers 544 fps of energy most of which is delivered to the target if the HP does its job. For the others to put that general amount on target:

.40/ 1250
.41/ 1200
.429/ 1175
.452/1120

There are of course a bizillion things that can go wrong but for me those are the minimums if you want the same effectiveness as a .357..

...but of course my opinion is worth what you paid for it...

Bob
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:28 PM
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Sure, it's a factor. But you need to realize one thing that really is misleading if you are looking at the effect on things like bottles of water, blocks of clay or gelatin, etc., etc. It is simply this -- the human body is not a bottle or bag of water, neither is it a solid, homogenous object. Much of the inside of the human body is, in fact, empty space, and ALL of it is extremely inconsistent in terms of density.

So, will a faster-moving projectile render more damage? It probably will, but it won't come anywhere near the dramatic difference seen when shooting various test media with different loads, and the mechanisms that create the damage in the human body won't be same as those that damage the test media.
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:36 PM
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There's the other pathologist YouTube video where he says a 223 going through a small muscle like a bicep will basically act like an ice pick. OTOH, if the bullet hits something substantial enough to cause it to tumble or fragment the wounds are devastating. Case in point, a lawman shot himself (carry down low with the safety on please) and the 223 bullet trashed his lower leg. Very ugly x-ray.
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:55 PM
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Have you read the FBI research? They have come to the conclusion that the only reliable means of generating a one-stop-shot is a hit to the central nervous system (CNS), no matter what the caliber.

Hydrostatic shock may very well cause a mortal injury, but it may not immediately incapacitate the bad guy, which is the whole point of shooting him in the first place. The Miami FBI shootout is a classic example of this, where after receiving a shot that would have eventually proven fatal, the BG killed or wounded 8 agents before they stopped him with a CNS hit.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dr. mordo View Post
Have you read the FBI research? They have come to the conclusion that the only reliable means of generating a one-stop-shot is a hit to the central nervous system (CNS), no matter what the caliber.

Hydrostatic shock may very well cause a mortal injury, but it may not immediately incapacitate the bad guy, which is the whole point of shooting him in the first place. The Miami FBI shootout is a classic example of this, where after receiving a shot that would have eventually proven fatal, the BG killed or wounded 8 agents before they stopped him with a CNS hit.
Yes, but:

357 Magnum scores over 90% on immediate stops vs. significantly less for most other rounds.

I don't think that's because 90% of all hits with 357 magnum are CNS -- and people shooting other calibers miss more frequently.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:14 PM
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Judging solely by documented performance and nothing else, the 125 Grain .357 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Point is hard to argue against.


Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:30 PM
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I agree shot placement is what it is all about to immediately end a threat. Like was said unless the bullet causes an immediate shut down of nervous system or blood flow then you can almost expect shots possibly coming back at you.

Funny how gun fights in the movies end so quickly. A person gets gut shot and they die immediately? I seriously doubt that.

On the other hand the shock from getting shot could possibly end the threat just as quick due to the take flight natural instinct. I seldom hear a discussion about how hot a bullet must feel inside the body. It has to feel like a hot coal inside a person. I do believe unless a person is high on drugs that the burning sensation could take full control of their thinking real quick. We all know how hot a spent casing is right after being shot, well imagine how much hotter that bullet is.

IMO A 357 has a few drawbacks that make it not such a good round. 1. It can go right through a person. 2. The sound can cause immediate loss of hearing. 3. The recoil can make second shot accuracy very poor. 4. The felt sound pain to ears and also the recoil can cause mental shock to the shooter.
People say the shooter will probably not notice these things during a shooting but I bet your mind is very aware and that could possibly cause an impact on your reactions or train of thought.

I guess bottom line is first shot placement is what it is all about to end a deadly threat. People laugh at using a 22 but more people have been killed by it than probably any other caliber. The best caliber or gun is the one you can be most effective with.

Personally I don't carry a 357 handgun. To each his/her own what they feel is best for them.
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:07 PM
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Lot to take into account when you are looking at external and terminal ballistics. The first place to start is the initial energy of the bullet. Bigger and faster means more energy smaller and slower is obviously less.

From there it gets to be a total mess. Impact energy, bullet design and construction, velocity, impact medium, etc all has many, many variables that results in the terminal ballistics.

However, the simplest way to think about it is not in terms of initial bullet energy, but it’s the energy dissipated into the target and even more importantly when and where that energy is given up.

So let me explain a bit. From a simple standpoint, let’s start with a solid bullet that does not expand and made for deep penetration. The initial impact will deliver energy at basically a linear curve relating the decreasing velocity to energy dissipation as it travels through the medium. The exact opposite would be a hollow point match bullet. If it is used to shoot something they basically blow up and dissipate all their energy basically at once, generally in the first few inches more like a reverse expotential curve. Then there is the controlled expansion bullets. Stay together for a bit, then a huge energy dump because of a relatively high retained velocity with a large increase in the surface area (expansion of the bullet) results in more dissipation of energy to the target. Thus damaged tissue. Some what of a logarithmic type of cure.

Which becomes the next phase. So there is physical damage resulting from the perminant wound channel (From the bullet) then there is the temporary would channel that results from the pressure wave. Yes, higher velocity rounds do impart a much more devistating pressure wave that can go beyond the elastic limit of the tissue. That is why some soda bottles example you used split open and others dont. Both rounds do generate a pressure wave into the medium. Just the higher velocity round causes a more significant wave that surpasses the elastic limit of the plastic resulting in rupturing the bottle.

It is also true that different parts of the body react differently to this. Muscle, skin etc, expands and contracts with little effect from this. However other tissue, liver, brain etc.) don’t respond well from this type of expansion and tear more easily thus perminatly damaging the tissue. If the elastic limit of the tissue is exceeded the tissue will be perminantly damaged. Just ask anyone who has shot prairie dogs with high velocity rounds. Small target with a high pressure wave that pushes tissue past its elastic limit (even skin and muscle in this case) causes some pretty horrific results. Or if you have ever seen something shot with a 50. cal same thing happens.

This is what leads to all the misconceptions and reality of what is the best stopper, etc. There are so many variables that it becomes almost impossible to truly compare in real world scenarios.

The one shot stop with a handgun is all total BS unless like was posted above occurs a CNS hit. Otherwise it will take a while regardless of the energy delivered or organs hit. I’ve shot deer with a 375HH maginum through both legs, blew the heart in half and the thing ran for almost 60 yds. Can’t make a better shot, or deliver more energy to the target. Yet it still did not produce a one shot stop. Most defensive pistol rounds are proabbly ten times less energy than that. It’s even two to three times the energy of a 500S&W.

As was said earlier much of the response is also about mindset of the individual when hit as well. Some people regardless where they are hit or what they are hit with may stop. (This is mental though not physical) Others, can be hit many, many times and continue to fight.

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Old 06-17-2018, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Thorton View Post
Hey Cal,

It's more 'psychological' than anything else. Which adds to the shock value and shock can kill you.

Case in point a few years back out my way. Druggie was hit 4x with .40S&W and survived and not in a wheelchair either. Some think it was the drugs he was on that kept the shock at bay. However 2 years ago he didn't survive when another druggie shot him point blank in the head with a .45 a.c.p.

But in between all of that a kid out my way got shot in the leg and died at the hospital. And they got him there in plenty of time. So, my guess is shock took over and killed him.

Shock is a funny thing it can kill you but also save you.
Because it can force you into making lite of the senroisness of it all until you can get help, this is why they'll keep you talking and even trying to get you to laugh.

Worst thing you can do is freak out or act in front of them like it's bad. My guess is that kid went totally freak out and perhaps the paramedics offered no humor or something but instead acted to serious, "hello rampart we have young male incoming 30 over 20 pulse blah, blah. blah"

You know what I'm saying.
No, I don't know or understand what you're saying, can you help me out?

I'm a 34 year career Paramedic and didn't understand what "offered no humor or something but instead acted to serious" means, perhaps you can help me understand, and then I could help you understand.
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:28 PM
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Here's a little advice from a couple of guys with pretty good credibility.
Not a lot of science, but considerable experience.

"Aim for the belt buckle. If you hit anywhere in that area, it'll take him down." Jelly Bryce

"I hope you never have to shoot any man, but if you do, shoot him in the
guts, near the navel. You may not get a fatal shot, but he will get a shock
that will paralyze his brain and arm so much that the fight is all over."
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:40 PM
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Just my opinion. Getting shot with any caliber should take someone down or slow them enough to place a fatal shot.
Unless their on some kind of super drug.
I carry a plain old .38 sp. j frame .
They've done their job since 1898.
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:17 PM
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I won't discount temp cavitation, but it is really more about the bullet than vel in handguns. A rnfmj going 1200fps is a high speed ice pick, clean puncture wound unless bone is struck or the bullet tumbles. A jhp, even at 900fps crushes tissue & pushes fluids in front of it to create temp cavs. The problem is the temp cav is strechable & rarely causes tearing at that low vel. Above 1500fps, jhp, yes I think temp cav assist wounding & tissue destruction, but the bullet still needs to go deep enough. Above 2000fps with softs, things start getting really interesting.
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:20 PM
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Just my opinion. Getting shot with any caliber should take someone down or slow them enough to place a fatal shot.
Unless their on some kind of super drug.
I carry a plain old .38 sp. j frame .
They've done their job since 1898.
Problem this has been proven incorrect 100s of times with every handgun caliber & most rifle calibers. If you hunt, you see this all the time with expanding bullets traveling 3x faster than most pistol. No drugs, just adrenaline. Why a 5shot anything is a bug for me.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:34 PM
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The title of this thread is "357 Magnum effectiveness". I have a little bit of experience in this area.

The .357 magnum cartridge, when fired in common defensive handguns (barrel length 4" or less, handgun weight of 2 lbs. or less) creates an enormous amount of muzzle blast, muzzle flash, and recoil. Only the most highly trained and experienced handgun shooters will be able to compensate for any of that; second round shots are unlikely to be even remotely accurate; and the supposedly devastating effect of a hit on a human target is highly over-rated. Unless you are willing to commit nearly constant, probably daily, training time with your defensive handgun, the use of magnum ammunition is probably irresponsible (in my humble opinion).

As a cop I have seen a man shot with .357 magnum 125JHP at a range of about 20 to 25 feet. The bullet entered the shoulder area, striking the scapula bone, exiting the body at a downward angle, striking a concrete curb, proceeding across a front yard, passing through a 2X4 porch rail, passing through the exterior wall of a frame house, passing through an interior wall of the house, and lodging in a third wall within a couple of feet from a sleeping baby.

Granted, the incident described is only one isolated incident, not empirical evidence by any means. However, I have also served in military combat and seen the effects of rifle, machinegun, pistol, and shotgun use on human targets. I have never seen a single incident in which one shot resulted in instant incapacitation. I have seen numerous incidents in which people wounded by small arms fire continued the fight for significant periods of time before succumbing to their wounds (as well as a couple of incidents in which people didn't even realize they had been wounded until after the action was over and done with).

Relying upon high velocity ammo, or hollow-point expanding ammo, or anything else is wishful thinking. The only thing that really counts is shot placement. Shoot them through the lips to take out the brain stem, shoot them through the heart or aorta and shut down the circulatory system with fast unconsciousness due to rapid blood loss, shoot them through the lungs to cause massive internal bleeding resulting in respiratory failure, keep shooting them until they stop exhibiting any hostile intentions (and then keep them covered just in case they might recover a bit and try to re-start the fight).

About 1970 I was serving in Vietnam, my turn to clear out a bunker we discovered (all the stories about "tunnel rats" are BS in my experience, we all took turns). Shed my field gear, armed with a .45 pistol and flashlight, ready to enter the bunker entrance (after a frag grenade was thrown in), and about 20 yards away a NVA soldier popped up from an undetected entrance. As he brought his AK-47 to bear I popped off a couple of rounds with the .45. One shot hit his rifle, glancing off upward into his lower jaw, breaking the jawbone and taking out several teeth. Technically a one-shot stop, since he went down hard with no fight left in him, but he survived (good for me because we got points toward R&R slots for captured prisoners rather than corpses). He is probably still telling his grandchildren heroic stories of his service in defense of his country against the American invaders.

.357 magnum is a great cartridge for specific applications. Expanding bullet technology has evolved to a high degree. But shot placement remains the key to winning the fight, and that includes first shot, follow-up shots, and every shot until the fight is over and done with.

Now we can read all the reasons why I am wrong, according to the experts who have read 3 gun magazines and a couple of internet posts.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:17 AM
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Shot placement is the key which brings up the point of which firearm/ caliber am I truly confident enough in my own abilities to use and stay focused and calm enough to get that good shot plavement. I have only been in one gunfight if me trying to get underneath an automobile while a druk guy running away with a 25 automatic shooting back in my general direction counts as a gunfight. You know how hard it is to draw a holstered 45 auto while trying to crawl under a car bottom line I couldn't . Went to carrying a jframe on my dads advice after that as I had shot many hundreds of rounds thru DA revolvers and could draw and fire without much thought due to that fact .if I had it all to do over I probabaly would be talking about how it's impossible to draw a J frame while crawling under a car but hey at least I am living to tell the tale e en if it don't sound very heroic. Bottom line if you throw a drunk guy out of a bar and he is screaming I'm gonna kill you go ahead and think well he might mean it .

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Old 06-18-2018, 11:14 AM
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About 1970 I was serving in Vietnam, my turn to clear out a bunker we discovered (all the stories about "tunnel rats" are BS in my experience, we all took turns). Shed my field gear, armed with a .45 pistol and flashlight, ready to enter the bunker entrance (after a frag grenade was thrown in), and about 20 yards away a NVA soldier popped up from an undetected entrance. As he brought his AK-47 to bear I popped off a couple of rounds with the .45. One shot hit his rifle, glancing off upward into his lower jaw, breaking the jawbone and taking out several teeth. Technically a one-shot stop, since he went down hard with no fight left in him, but he survived (good for me because we got points toward R&R slots for captured prisoners rather than corpses). He is probably still telling his grandchildren heroic stories of his service in defense of his country against the American invaders.

His first words after coming to were probably “Who was that masked man.?” If he tells the story, it’s through dentures.

Glad you came out on top.

Given your experiences, what do you carry?
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Scorpion520AZ View Post
Judging solely by documented performance and nothing else, the 125 Grain .357 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Point is hard to argue against.


Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version
Not that hard; it relies on Marshal & Sanow which has been debunked by Dr. Fackler and others.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:46 AM
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What I'm saying is if the kid is freaking out perhaps help him to relax somewhat, it seems odd how a strong young kid dies from a leg wound.

I'm all ears Doc lay it on me.
Throw all the studies/formula's/history out the window. Like rolling dice, each event is unique & what happened before has no bearing on what happened THIS TIME. Die from a leg wound??? Survive being shot in the head??? YOU BET. A severed femoral artery, blood clot, etc. etc. There is NO rhyme or reason & "impossible" things happen all the time. I certainly can't explain WHY "seemingly impossible" things happen, they just do.

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Old 06-18-2018, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal44 View Post
Yes, but:

357 Magnum scores over 90% on immediate stops vs. significantly less for most other rounds.

I don't think that's because 90% of all hits with 357 magnum are CNS -- and people shooting other calibers miss more frequently.
Where?

Here's the study I like to refer to:
An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power | Buckeye Firearms Association

.357--1.7 average shots to stop.
.38 Spl--1.8
.44--1.7
.380--1.76

.45 ACP--2.08
.22LR--1.38

The lesson here is not that all cartridges perform the same--clearly, they don't. The lesson is that nothing makes up for shot placement...and shot placement makes up for a lot.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:29 PM
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Not that hard; it relies on Marshal & Sanow which has been debunked by Dr. Fackler and others.
A difference of opinion on method? Yes. Debunked? Not even close. Staying on topic, "357 Magnum Effectiveness", the *performance* of the 125 Grain .357 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Point has never been "debunked" by anyone's testing and research, whether the results were taken from ballistic gel lab tests (Fackler), or from documented actual street shootings of living people (Marshall/Sanow).

"The bottom line from my perspective would be that if you want to know the penetration depth and permanent crush cavity created by a given bullet in 10% ballistic gelatin, read Fackler. If you want to know what bullets have actually done to real, living people (and animals of similar size under controlled conditions), read Marshall & Sanow and the results from Strasbourg."
Chuck Hawks
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:37 PM
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It’s true all pistol rounds suck compared to rifles but the .357 Magnum has a great stopping power history. Knock down power is a myth but stopping power is not. The energy of the .357 Magnum 125 gr bullet out of a four inch barrel can stop aggression.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:19 PM
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One round I like for a snub is the 357 Magnum Gold Dot 135gr Short Barrel.

The same projectile as the 38 Sp+P that lots of people like, but just enough extra velocity that expansion is more certain. (See the Luckygunner tests.)

The 135 gr 357 Gold Dot is a modest step up from a 38+P, and less than a full power 357 Magnum.

It's shoot-able out of my LCR 357, but I like it better with bigger than stock grips.

I also like the 125 Gr Critical Defense FTX round specs on paper. But I haven't shot it yet. (Just got a box in).

It also is a reliable expander in the Luckygunner tests, but is more powerful than the gold dot short barrel -- and may have too much recoil for my LCR.

I also shoot Gold Dots from my LCR 327 Federal and they are HOT.

BTW, the 327 Federal Magnum runs at 9000 psi higher pressure than the 357 Magnum.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:58 PM
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Yeah, it would be psychological for me for sure. If somebody even pointed a 357 magnum at me, I would probably have a heart attack and drop dead immediately.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:00 PM
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A difference of opinion on method? Yes. Debunked? Not even close. Staying on topic, "357 Magnum Effectiveness", the *performance* of the 125 Grain .357 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Point has never been "debunked" by anyone's testing and research, whether the results were taken from ballistic gel lab tests (Fackler), or from documented actual street shootings of living people (Marshall/Sanow).

"The bottom line from my perspective would be that if you want to know the penetration depth and permanent crush cavity created by a given bullet in 10% ballistic gelatin, read Fackler. If you want to know what bullets have actually done to real, living people (and animals of similar size under controlled conditions), read Marshall & Sanow and the results from Strasbourg."
Chuck Hawks
Fackler, Marshall, and Handgun Stopping Power Tests

357 Magnum PDX1 125gr Ballistic Gel Test - YouTube
The issue with studying anecdotal events, like M&S, every shooting is diff. One guy folds COM hit, another guy takes 3 & keeps going. So where do you draw the line? The one shot stop is more luck than science, unless you get a CNS, & then caliber doesn't mean anything. The 357mag is a good fight stopper. How much better than say 9mm, 40 or 45 with good JHP is the only question.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:03 PM
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It’s true all pistol rounds suck compared to rifles but the .357 Magnum has a great stopping power history. Knock down power is a myth but stopping power is not. The energy of the .357 Magnum 125 gr bullet out of a four inch barrel can stop aggression.
Since ft# of energy really doesn't come into play with handgun rds below say 41mag, it is more about what the bullet does than anything else. Not a lot of diff between 400ft# & 500Ft#, please don't quote % increase, still meaningless. Even the 9mm w/ a good JHP is a proven stopper. It's about crushing tissue & reaching vitals & doing as much damage as possible with a non NCS hit. Multiple hits are even better, more tissue crushing, faster blood loss. Why the 12ga #00 buck is so effective, multiple wounds resulting in massive tissue destruction.
IF the bullet reaches 55-65cal & penetrates 15"+, it's going to perform about the same, 9mm, 40 or 45.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:04 PM
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Have taken several deer with .357's, one shot did the deal, some out to 75 yards.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:04 PM
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One round I like for a snub is the 357 Magnum Gold Dot 135gr Short Barrel.

The 135 gr 357 Gold Dot is a modest step up from a 38+P, and less than a full power 357 Magnum.
Sounds like a 9mm +P...
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:27 PM
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A .357 will open a large temporary wound channel in a body due to the shot, but that doesn't necessarily contribute to incapacitation. Any projectile entering an endclosed space full of guts and fluid is going to produce some shock, but RELIABLY, a handgun can't be counted on to deliver adequate shock with a permanent wound cavity nearly as much as a rifle. There may be some overlap with the most powerful handguns with light bullets as opposed to lower velocity rifles, but again, it isn't reliable.

More powerful handguns DO have a better reputation as 'quick stoppers' with good hits, but the damage probably can't be pinned entirely on hydrostatic shock.

Of course anybody that has read 'Dick Tracy' knows that a .38 bullet punches a neat hole out of the skull and the bullets tumbles as it's falling down.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:27 PM
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The issue with studying anecdotal events, like M&S, every shooting is diff. One guy folds COM hit, another guy takes 3 & keeps going. So where do you draw the line? The one shot stop is more luck than science, unless you get a CNS, & then caliber doesn't mean anything. The 357mag is a good fight stopper. How much better than say 9mm, 40 or 45 with good JHP is the only question.
Agreed, every shooting is very different. I don't want to get into a Fackler vs Marshall/Sanow debate. I respect both. They come from completely different walks of life and bring different real world experiences to the table. I've read and studied both extensively. In both of their methodologies of research and testing, the 125 Grain .357 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Point has been an outstanding performer with a documented track record both in the lab and on the street.

This Thread's Topic is ".357 Magnum Effectiveness", so that's all I was referring to. It's an outstanding cartridge.

To answer your question, in the context of civilian ccw-self defense, is it "better" as a defensive cartridge than 9mm, .40SW, .45ACP, using a "good jhp", NO, it's not "better" at all in that sense. 'Men' win fights, not caliber.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:54 PM
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I started shooting in the 70's with a 4" model 66 .357. I continued to shoot .357 with the idea that the superior ballistics would put down the threat fast. In February I brought my first automatic. A .380 Shield EZ. What I found out with 800 rounds thru her is that I can put more rounds on target faster with less recoil at 1000fps/200fpe. I discovered that the more holes you put in perp faster the better.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:15 PM
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380 auto os a fine cartidge. And it would be great defensive round. If they can make a gun reliable in accuracy and function. To date I have seen neither. The EZ has some meeit but has only been on the market a blink of the eye. The PPK is good bit weighs a lot and lots of recoil. Every other 380 I have seen has either been so small and inaccurate or so unreliable that 380 is out for me. Until time and experience prove otherwise.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:30 PM
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His first words after coming to were probably “Who was that masked man.?” If he tells the story, it’s through dentures.

Glad you came out on top.

Given your experiences, what do you carry?
For the past 15 years or so my daily carry piece has been the Kimber Custom CDP .45 pistol, full-size 1911 will all the bells and most of the whistles. My latest addition to a collection of 1911-style pistols dating from 1914 to about 2000, about 30 altogether.

Occasionally, during very hot weather when minimal cover garments can be worn, I will carry a S&W Model 64 2" round-butt .38 Special. Police surplus trade-in from the 1970's, another piece that I have trained with and used for over 40 years.

I have others. Most are older than the guys arguing about the "newest and the bestest", the "plastic fantastic", or debating performance in ballistic gelatin testing.

Over 4 years active duty Army (two tours in Vietnam, Airborne Infantry Pathfinders), 24 years as a working cop, now about 49 years carrying a firearm daily. I'll stick with what my experience tells me will work.
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Old 06-19-2018, 05:37 AM
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Have any of you 380 fans tried the Ruger LC380?

It's the 380 version of the old hammer fired LC9.

The old LC9 had a reputation for reliability and not jamming.

It's bigger than most 380s, but not as big as the Shield EZ.

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Old 06-19-2018, 06:46 AM
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Do not stand in front of one without the danger of being killed. Sleep tight the 357 will kill.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:58 AM
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Shot placement is king but is not everything in the mix, if it were the military, cops and you would carry 22’s, or at least the smallest reliable center fire cartridge man can create.

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Old 06-19-2018, 11:46 AM
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A difference of opinion on method? Yes. Debunked? Not even close. Staying on topic, "357 Magnum Effectiveness", the *performance* of the 125 Grain .357 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Point has never been "debunked" by anyone's testing and research, whether the results were taken from ballistic gel lab tests (Fackler), or from documented actual street shootings of living people (Marshall/Sanow).

"The bottom line from my perspective would be that if you want to know the penetration depth and permanent crush cavity created by a given bullet in 10% ballistic gelatin, read Fackler. If you want to know what bullets have actually done to real, living people (and animals of similar size under controlled conditions), read Marshall & Sanow and the results from Strasbourg."
Chuck Hawks
Fackler, Marshall, and Handgun Stopping Power Tests

357 Magnum PDX1 125gr Ballistic Gel Test - YouTube
Chuck Hawks is certainly no expert either. I'm sure I won't convince you of anything but that is not of interest to me. I'm more interested in encouraging others interested in the topic to look into it other places that have that focus. This site is more about S&W firearms and it is what it does best.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:41 PM
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A difference of opinion on method? Yes. Debunked? Not even close. Staying on topic, "357 Magnum Effectiveness", the *performance* of the 125 Grain .357 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Point has never been "debunked" by anyone's testing and research, whether the results were taken from ballistic gel lab tests (Fackler), or from documented actual street shootings of living people (Marshall/Sanow).

"The bottom line from my perspective would be that if you want to know the penetration depth and permanent crush cavity created by a given bullet in 10% ballistic gelatin, read Fackler. If you want to know what bullets have actually done to real, living people (and animals of similar size under controlled conditions), read Marshall & Sanow and the results from Strasbourg."
Chuck Hawks
Fackler, Marshall, and Handgun Stopping Power Tests

357 Magnum PDX1 125gr Ballistic Gel Test - YouTube
Marshall and Sanow’s work has been debunked. It ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Not to mention outdated.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:17 AM
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Maybe ten years ago, I was working a lot of nights with a fair amount of free time. I went down the terminal ballistics rabbit hole, but I had some background, owning a copy of the original computer man study. I'll be brief.

I've noted before that one of the major issues with any of the "studies" is that most folks don't read anything but the ammunition ranking tables, if there are any. Then the work is either "garbage" or "outstanding". BTW, one of the findings of the computer man study was that if the aiming point was changed to center of chest from mid-torso, the effectiveness of all calibers increased greatly. (We paid near a half million for this?)

What I ran into ten odd years ago was the work of an MIT grad. His extensive work-which has a ton of math I can't begin to follow- indicated that there did appear to be a range of different caliber loads that were highly effective. The effectiveness was determined on the rate of expansion and velocity loss (expansion and velocity loss over-or as a function of-time) and the permanent wound cavity created. There appeared to be a range of effective values, not just one specific magic spot. I don't recall the details.

Seemed reasonable, I don't recall what the loads were that were deemed more effective. However, as noted many times above, shot placement is the greatest deciding factor.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:31 AM
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As a fellow engineer, I would say that hitting your target is what makes a round effective :-)
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:06 AM
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380 auto os a fine cartidge. And it would be great defensive round. If they can make a gun reliable in accuracy and function. To date I have seen neither. The EZ has some meeit but has only been on the market a blink of the eye. The PPK is good bit weighs a lot and lots of recoil. Every other 380 I have seen has either been so small and inaccurate or so unreliable that 380 is out for me. Until time and experience prove otherwise.
Ever try a Colt Government Model 380? Not the little Mustang, but the longslide, extended grip version that looks like a 2/3 scale 1911.

I've had mine since 1987 and it has never once failed to fire, eject, feed, or otherwise cycle 100% with any brand or style of factory ammo. Accurate too.

I would expect the new Browning 380 to mimic that performance - since it pretty much mimics the little pony in every other way.

Try it - you may like it.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:15 AM
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The trigger s *cks on it Cal, this new EZ is hammer fired that shoots like a striker fired. You get the best of both worlds.
I haven't shot the LC380, but I would expect it to be pretty much identical to my first gen LC9 since they are the exact same gun except for barrel, recoil spring, and magazine.

I don't think the trigger on my LC9 is bad at all. Your description of "hammer fired and shoots like striker fired" is exactly how I'd describe my LC9. It has a long, smooth, predictable, trigger - a lot like a light DA revolver.

Maybe I just got an exceptionally good one?
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:47 AM
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But it's time perhaps I get honest with myself. Nothing will ever fit me like the Ruger LCR.

I may be going to the LCR 9mm. There are snubby's then there is the LCR, perhaps the greatest innovation in pocket revolvers since the dawn of mankind.
My two favorite carry guns are LCRs.

An LCR 327 Federal and an LCR 357.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:01 PM
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If I ever had to use one of those Sigs in a defensive encounter I'd be dead.
A real shame because they were both quality built handguns and nice pocket carry with just enough weight to be fun at the range as well.

The only reason I keep looking at auto's is for capacity and quicker reloads.
But it's time perhaps I get honest with myself. Nothing will ever fit me like the Ruger LCR.

I may be going to the LCR 9mm. There are snubby's then there is the LCR, perhaps the greatest innovation in pocket revolvers since the dawn of mankind.
I shoot quite a bit, revo & semi. You must have a gem of a LCR because the only one I shot, had a horrible trigger, rapid accurate splits was impossible. No way would I choose one over my G26. Now a good old model S&W is a joy to shoot, but still, no way I choose one over my g26. Never felt any DA trigger that went 5# smooth & predictable.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:03 PM
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Ever try a Colt Government Model 380? Not the little Mustang, but the longslide, extended grip version that looks like a 2/3 scale 1911.

I've had mine since 1987 and it has never once failed to fire, eject, feed, or otherwise cycle 100% with any brand or style of factory ammo. Accurate too.

I would expect the new Browning 380 to mimic that performance - since it pretty much mimics the little pony in every other way.

Try it - you may like it.
If it is 2/3 the size of a 1911 and 2/3 the weight, i think I will stick with my 9mm shield.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:35 PM
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If it is 2/3 the size of a 1911 and 2/3 the weight, i think I will stick with my 9mm shield.
I can appreciate that. I don't carry mine either. I carry a first gen LC9 for my EDC.

I wasn't suggesting that you get one as a carry gun either. You seemed to be saying that there is no such thing as a 380 that is reliable and and accurate. I just gave you a prime example of one that is both.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:45 PM
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Doubt it, you either learn it or are use to that feel.

The problem with gun handling it's a learn skill and if you don't stay up on it can be unlearn and sitting in your living room dry firing does very little. Because it doesn't take into consideration recoil...

...But it's time perhaps I get honest with myself. Nothing will ever fit me like the Ruger LCR.

I may be going to the LCR 9mm. There are snubby's then there is the LCR, perhaps the greatest innovation in pocket revolvers since the dawn of mankind.
Well, it is obvious that you are very set in your opinion that every LC9 has a lousy trigger - and obviously I just lack the experience and knowledge to realize it.

You also seem convinced the that all LCRs are perfect - regardless of anyone else's experience to the contrary.

I've never shot an LCR, so I can't make any blanket statements about its trigger, but I've shot my LC9 a lot, and it's trigger doesn't "s*ck" as you so emphatically stated.

So from my perspective, your firmly held and expressed opinions appear to be incorrect on both counts. But you keep on carrying and extoling the virtues of your LCR and I'll continue carrying and shooting my LC9 that I am so fond of.

Ain't it great to have choices?

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Old 06-20-2018, 08:46 PM
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There are a handful of factory loads that stand above the rest, when tested for years 'on the streets' in LE shootings.

1) Remington, Winchester, Federal 125 gr. .357 magnum SJHP
2) Federal 9BPLE, 9mm 115 gr. +p+ Jhp
3) Speer Gold Dot .40 S&W 165 gr. full load

All these rounds seem to offer the perfect balance of weight, cross sectional density, and velocity.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:43 PM
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I haven't shot the LC380, but I would expect it to be pretty much identical to my first gen LC9 since they are the exact same gun except for barrel, recoil spring, and magazine.

I don't think the trigger on my LC9 is bad at all. Your description of "hammer fired and shoots like striker fired" is exactly how I'd describe my LC9. It has a long, smooth, predictable, trigger - a lot like a light DA revolver.

Maybe I just got an exceptionally good one?
The first gun I purchased since getting back into shooting about 5 years ago was an LC9. (The original version was the only one available at the time).

I took it to the range and couldn't hit anything with it. It was a struggle getting holes anywhere on the paper at 10 yards.

I put it into the back of the safe and forgot about it.

Went to revolvers, and started practicing double action shooting
with J frames.

That was a struggle too, at first, but eventually I got reasonably good at it.

About six months ago, I took the LC9 out and found now I could shoot it even though I hadn't touched it in over four years. I found the trigger of the LC9 about like a Smith DA J frame.

I also have Ruger LCRs and like their trigger too. I don't find it that much better than the Smith's, just different.

Anyway, if I ever decide to carry a semi, it will probably be the LC9. The long double action trigger pull is a safety advantage. Plus it has a thumb safety if I want to use it.

I see no need to replace my LC9 with the LC9s. I've never had a jamming problem with my current LC9. It has a reputation as dead nuts reliable.

I believe I can get reasonably proficient with just about any handgun, but it takes practice and when I first start out, I'm all over the map if I try something really different than what I've shot before.

Last edited by Cal44; 06-20-2018 at 09:45 PM.
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