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  #1  
Old 12-03-2010, 11:51 AM
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Default Best ammo for .357 snubbie

I pick up my new .357 PC snubbie Tuesday after the 10 day wait. After I break it in, it'll be my bedside gun. What do you think the best round for this application re expansion, one-shot knockdown, etc. Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:02 PM
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No cartriged has the "power" to knock anyone down, that is not how they work. Bullets have an effect by either cutting through enough vasculature to cause enough bleeding to drop the blood pressure enough for an individual to lose consciousness or cut through the central nervous system and cause an electrical failure. Anything else will leave the target semi-operable.

With that being said, in my opinion the best round for a .357 Mag snubbie is a hot .38 special +P load like the Hornady Critical Defense. I have a lightweight weight .357 mag and it makes the finest .38 special I have ever seen.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar14 View Post
I pick up my new .357 PC snubbie Tuesday after the 10 day wait. After I break it in, it'll be my bedside gun. What do you think the best round for this application re expansion, one-shot knockdown, etc. Thanks!
From all my research and experience, I really like the Winchester Silver Tip in 357.



REALLY hard to come by now-a-days, but good stuff. Looks especially sinister in a stainless cylinder too
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:42 PM
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.38 Special +P.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:53 PM
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I have always been very fond of the 357 Magnum Hornady Custom 140 grain XTP loading. I use this in all of my 357 Magnum carry guns.


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Old 12-03-2010, 02:04 PM
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The 125 Gr JHP has an outstanding track record for one-shot stops from the days when all police carried them. This is my preference for my carry 357s, provided they shoot well in them.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar14 View Post
I pick up my new .357 PC snubbie Tuesday after the 10 day wait. After I break it in, it'll be my bedside gun. What do you think the best round for this application re expansion, one-shot knockdown, etc. Thanks!
Any of the 130 grain ballpark .38 +p hollow point defense loads would be a good choice. I would not load that thing with magnums because of flash, noise and muzzle flip. I don't see the attraction of using a snub as a home defense gun: you give away a lot of muzzle velocity and accuracy with a 2" barrel compared to 4" or 6". Reduced muzzle velocity means the bullets may not expand fully.

Last edited by bountyhunter; 12-03-2010 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve_NEPhila View Post
No cartriged has the "power" to knock anyone down, that is not how they work.
+1 They can only do that on TV.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:40 PM
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Keep in mind the size and weight of the gun. Do you really want to fire .357 ammo in it?

The best bet is probably the Speer Short Barrel 135 grain medium .357 load. It's optimized for gun like yours.

When the J-frame .357's came out n the 1990's, an acquaintance at S&W told me that he fired a cylinderful of Magnum ammo in one, for familiarization. Said that the first shot wasn't too bad, but by the time he'd fired all five, he thought, "Thank God, that's over!"

I found that a snub M-19 with full loads is about as small a .357 as I can use effectively. Haven't tried .357's in the SP-101 yet, though. I bet that you'll prefer .38 Plus P ammo. Especially indoors!!

That's particularly true if you have to ask which .357 ammo is best. That suggests that you haven't fired one of these guns yet with full loads. You may have a bit of a shock coming...

If someone has a larger one, a K-frame with 2.5 or three-inch barrel, the 140-145 grain loads are very efficient, giving about 1200 FPS from a three-incher. And they probably penetrate well enough to take on a cougar, maybe a black bear or alligator. (Humans are easier to kill, on the whole.)

One gun editor killed alligtors handily with 125 grain Magnum loads in a snub M-66. I'd feel better with a heavier bullet. I've read that poachers kill them with .22's at night, jacklighting them. A defensive scenario is different.

T-Star

Last edited by Texas Star; 12-03-2010 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:45 PM
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+1 on 38+P,
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogguy View Post
.38 Special +P.
+1..357 has too much penetration[sp?],and too much flash,etc.





The Gun Zone -- The Speer 135-grain JHP +P 38 Special
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:48 PM
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When I do pack a K or L frame revolver it always has 158 gr. Speer Gold Dots in it for SD. They don't seem to jump as much in my hand and are dead on accurate in every one of my .357's. It takes practice and strong hands, arms and upper torso with a good stance to keep a .357 under control for accurate and fast follow up shots. If you can't control the magnums go down to a good +P round, but that .357 is a much better man stopper.

I like penetration wth a SD round. An entrance and a larger exit hole from a HP make for more blood loss. A good thing when it comes to ending a bad situation quickly. Read lots of posts bashing overpenetration. Just about any .357 load will penetrate through ones chest and exit out the back on a frontal shot. So will OO buck, rifled slugs and .223 rounds. All which are also used for home and self defense. Better to have that bullet hit the vitals, bone and hopefully the spinal cord than one that expands and does not go deep enough to do it's job. A HP will keep the penetration down and do lots more damage compared to ball ammo or some LSWC's that will zip through multiple bodies and keep on going and going and going. JMO
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Last edited by Sportsterguy; 12-04-2010 at 07:46 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:51 PM
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The Winchester 110 grain jhp are very good defense rounds. They go way back with various police agencys using them. The recoil is very manageable and they produce a potent round, also Wal-mart sells them
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:16 PM
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I used to have the Federal 110 gr .38 JHP defense rounds in my carry gun but I upgraded to the Federal 129 gr +p JHP defense rounds (Hydra Shoks) . The upside on the 110 gr was they have very little recoil but they also shot about 2" below POA at 15 yards in my guns because they are so light and underpowered. The 129 grain +p shoot exactly to POA and actually have about the same recoil as standard 158 grain .38 ammo I practice with anyway.

Last edited by bountyhunter; 12-03-2010 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:37 AM
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I've put thousands of rounds through small frame-short barrel 38 special/357 magnum revolvers over the years. I agree with most others here-for this type of gun a good plus P .38 Special round is the only way to go. The muzzle blast and flash from a 2-3 inch barreled .357 Magnum is impressive and potentially dangerous to the shooter in a confined space. Plus, the magnum loads are not the least bit pleasant to practice with. You want to turn off a new shooter-make them fire five 125 GR JHP Magnums from a snub nose, small frame revolver!
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_NEPhila View Post
No cartriged has the "power" to knock anyone down, that is not how they work. Bullets have an effect by either cutting through enough vasculature to cause enough bleeding to drop the blood pressure enough for an individual to lose consciousness or cut through the central nervous system and cause an electrical failure. Anything else will leave the target semi-operable.

With that being said, in my opinion the best round for a .357 Mag snubbie is a hot .38 special +P load like the Hornady Critical Defense. I have a lightweight weight .357 mag and it makes the finest .38 special I have ever seen.
+1 , Could not have said it better myself.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:13 AM
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I agree with the earlier post on the Speer .357 gold dot short barrel 135 grain. This load is just a little hotter than a +P. In fact, it's not as hot as Buffalo Bores's 38 +P.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:30 PM
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The go to gun in my house is a Ruger SS Speed Six 357
with a 2 & 3/4 inch barrel and Pachmayr Compacs.
It's loaded with Buffalo Bore 158 +P's.
Heavy .38 Special +P Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
Next to it are 2 Safariland speed loaders with Corbon 357 DPX's in them.
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:10 PM
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Use the Remington Golden Saber in .357 or the Speer Gold Dot SB if you can't find the Remington. Both rounds are mid-range .357s and neither round will give you a problem with excessive penetration. There's no reason to shoot 38 +P when mid-range .357s are available. Neither the Remington or Speer load produces excessive flash and recol with both is very controllable. I've shot ~300 rounds of the Remington load and 100 rounds of the Speer and they are accurate and controllable. The only live target experience that I have had was finishing off a deer hit by a car. The deer's hip was smashed and it was dragging its hind quarters. At 50 feet a Golden Saber out of a Ruger SP101 behind the shoulder ended its suffering instantly and did not exit.

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Old 12-04-2010, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_NEPhila View Post

With that being said, in my opinion the best round for a .357 Mag snubbie is a hot .38 special +P load like the Hornady Critical Defense. I have a lightweight weight .357 mag and it makes the finest .38 special I have ever seen.
I agree totally. 38+P Critical Defense
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  #21  
Old 12-04-2010, 04:22 PM
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Black Hills 125 gr. JHP. .357 magnum. If you can handle it, that's what I recommend. A .357 round out of a snubby isn't fun to shoot but it's even less fun to be shoot at. If you cannot shoot .357 rounds then I'b go with 38sp+P. But if you look at the ballistics, a 38sp +P is less powerful than a 9mm. You may get 200-220ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle with a 38+P. You can get 300 ft/lbs with a 9mm. A .357 will give you 400+ft/lbs. More with a 4" barrel. If someone could check my data that would be cool. It's just an estimation. Of course muzzle energy does not equate to stopping power, not exactly anyway.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:21 PM
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You may want to look at this thread from AR15.com. It has an fairly unbiased review of most of the current HP ammo.

Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

I use Speer Gold Dot for social dancing..
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:32 PM
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Have you ever fired a .357 snubbie with hot loads and no hearing protection? Think about how the flash and bang would disorient you in the confines of your bedroom in the middle of the night. After firing would you be ready for a second or third intruder?
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coach22 View Post
The go to gun in my house is a Ruger SS Speed Six 357
with a 2 & 3/4 inch barrel and Pachmayr Compacs.
It's loaded with Buffalo Bore 158 +P's.
Heavy .38 Special +P Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
Next to it are 2 Safariland speed loaders with Corbon 357 DPX's in them.
I carry the BB 158 grain +p Gas Check HP in my 2.5" Model 19-3. I want to try some of the "Tactical Short Barrel Lower Recoil Low Flash" .357 158 grain JHP loads from Buffalo Bore. Right at 1100 fps from the 2.5" barrel.
Tactical Short Barrel Lower Recoil Low Flash 357 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:20 AM
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I've got an M&P 340, and I haven't even entertained the notion of firing .357 Magnums from it. People complain about Ruger LCP's being flippy for a .380....you might as well be holding a quarter-stick of dynamite shooting a 13 ounce .357 Magnum. It's easy enough to want to jerk the trigger on a DAO revolver.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:20 AM
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For short 357s I recommend any 158gr STANDARD load
in 357mag and same (no +P)in .38 spec.

The heavier bullets minimize flash (more complete burn of powder) and +p is usually the MOST flashy.
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  #27  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:53 PM
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Default Buffalo Bore .38 +P

I choose the Buffalo Bore .38 +P in 158 gr.
It approaches .357 mag. with low flash.
An added benefit is that the shorter 38's will eject easier given the shorter ejection rod on the M66 snub. Makes for quicker reload.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:07 PM
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Im prolly the only one with it but in the 66-1 snubbie I got
140gr FTX Leverevolution Hornady .357
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:38 PM
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Gentlemen,
In firing .357 full-house loads both inside and outside with no hearing protection (no other choice, obviously) I experienced 'auditory exclusion' and noticed no damage whatsoever. I understand that these days the .357 Sig is the kind of noise/muzzle blast under most conditions.
My shots were from a 4" model 19 - YEARS ago.
Just my perception. My ears are shot from being a range armorer on a 106 MM recoiless rifle range in the Corps from 68-70, regardless.
Semper fi,
Dave Swaffield
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildogs1907 View Post
Gentlemen,
In firing .357 full-house loads both inside and outside with no hearing protection (no other choice, obviously) I experienced 'auditory exclusion' and noticed no damage whatsoever. I understand that these days the .357 Sig is the kind of noise/muzzle blast under most conditions.
My shots were from a 4" model 19 - YEARS ago.
Just my perception. My ears are shot from being a range armorer on a 106 MM recoiless rifle range in the Corps from 68-70, regardless.
Semper fi,
Dave Swaffield
Proud father of Sergeant David H. Swaffield, USMC - and L/Cpl James R. Swaffield, USMC
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 617X10 View Post
I've got an M&P 340, and I haven't even entertained the notion of firing .357 Magnums from it.
I'm confused, why then exactly did you buy a .357 Magnum revolver? Why not go with a much cheaper 442, 642, etc. if +P is all you are going to shoot anyway? I shoot FULL house magnums from my 3 1/16" SP101 all the time (admittedly, at the range with hearing protection) and have no issues. That is the reason I went with the slightly longer barrel in the SP, I wanted to shoot MAGNUMS out of a MAGNUM revolver. These same loads hurt out of my 2 1/2" Model 19 with factory stocks. So, the cute little 19 stays home and the SP, Speed Six, Models 27&28, etc., go to the range. I say find a mid-range .357 140ish grain load that you can find and actually buy shooting quantities of and that is accurate in your gun. Any of the quality name brands should do the job. Save the .38s for practice and remember to clean the rings from the chambers.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:09 PM
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Default Thanks for all responses...

Lots of opinion here, I'm pretty sure the 8-shot N-frame has the beef to stifle most recoil. I'm not adverse to recoil, my Ruger #3 carbine 45/70 with steel buttplate will attest to that. I think I'll find the most accurate .357 hollowpoint for my gun, practice a lot, keep my two 5-Star speedloaders that came in today's mail handy, and sleep well. Thanks again!
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:13 AM
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If you're gonna go full house 357 load...I would use Federal Hydrashock low recoil,otherwise,use 38+P.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:21 PM
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I have always like the Federal .38 Special +P 158gr Nyclad hollow point. I don't think they make it any more. Great round though.


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Old 12-09-2010, 09:15 PM
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I have always like the Federal .38 Special +P 158gr Nyclad hollow point. I don't think they make it any more. Great round though.


Genetically Swiss
Yes I have a couple of boxes of them and the 125s they very good.
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