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Thread: What is wrong with 357 Magnum - 158 gr -for self defense ?

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    Member Bill is on a distinguished road

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    What is wrong with 357 Magnum - 158 gr -for self defense ?

    The value of the 125 gr as a self defense round in 357 magnum is repeated in all the literature I have come across. So is the fact that it will eventually damage the revolver if used all the time.

    I have also noticed that previously and still today the 158 gr is considered for hunting in service revolvers. I am under the impression that this refers to the maximum loading which produces some 900 ft/lb me from a 6 "

    What then is the intention of the major manufacturers with the 158 gr jhp which delivers around 535 ft/lb m.e from a 4 " barrel ? Is this a hunting round or a self defense round ?

    I own a 6" Python and have shot these 158 gr rounds which probably produce about 620 ft/lb plus m .e. in the longer barrel. The felt recoil is not such that I was put off from shooting them again and learning to use them all the time .( Can't find the magic 125 gr bullet in the shops at the moment , so I have not compared the felt recoil.)

    I would be inclined to shoot a heavier bullet rather than a light one as a rule of thumb. In my opinion more penetration capacity is always a positive. Furthermore I can then set the sights for this round and practice with what I shoot (rather than practice with 158 but shoot 125 which sounds confusing to me ).

    I know this goes against the accumulated wisdom but please explain why every - one is against the 158 gr mentioned above , for self defense.

    Thank you in advance for your patience - I realise the above might sound like a real "but why " question from a kid


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    Senior Member WIL TERRY is on a distinguished road

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    EVERYONE ???? I AM NOT !!!
    The 158gr JHP/JSP/SWC bullets are the standard original bullet weight in the original 357MAG cartridge. Therefore it is that by which all others are judged. The 158gr SWC bullet was designed as an all purpose bullet buy KEITH/SHARPE ETAL to be used to shoot anything in dired need of a thirty-five caliber bullet hole. It worked pretty darned fine too until the ammunition companies started to attenuate the velocities of the load due to pressure problems in SOME guns.
    The 357MAG cartridge with 125GR JHP bullets [ usually ] was designed to whack 2-legged varmints with a much higher velocity bullet that expanded violently dumping energy into the two-ledded varmint much more quickly. THIS IS DID WITH ALACRITY !!!

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    Senior Member Frank V is on a distinguished road

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    A properly designed 158gr bullet will work well for defense in your gun.

    On page 891 of the Speer Manual #14, Speer says "For hunting smaller deer species , the 158-grain Gold Dot hollow point and the two 158-grain Uni-Core bullets are both good choices".
    Usually a cartridge or bullet that is designed for "smaller deer" species will also work very well for defense.
    I think Speer offers these bullets in loaded ammo. I would not recommend handloads for defense because of lawyers. I would only use factory ammo for defense. You can usually duplicate factory loads in handloads for practice.
    Hope this helps some.
    Good shooting.
    Frank
    U.S.A. " RIDE FOR THE BRAND OR LEAVE!"

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    Supporting Member Colt75 is on a distinguished road
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    I think "over penetration" is what most are concerned about when it comes to using the 158gr Jacketed HP loading in the .357 Magnum for personal protection. This seems to be significantly less of a problem with the 125 Jacketed HP gr loading when used for the same purpose.

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    Senior Member bmcgilvray is on a distinguished road

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    I prefer the 158 grain bullet, both jacketed and cast lead, for all my .357 use.
    pistola likes this.

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    Senior Member flanman is on a distinguished road

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    When it comes to self-defense loads the 125g has a 98+% one-shot stop! This is in fact a higher percent one-shot stop than the 158g and therefore it is the preferred bullet wt for self defense ammo. There once was a website internetarmory.com that posted a great summary of each caliber and the different bullet wts. I belive that site is down but that Chuck Hawks has the same webpage cut and pasted into his articles.

    flanman

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    Senior Member flanman is on a distinguished road

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    SSD
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    Respectfully, I would rely far more on accuracy, shot placement, than bullet weight when it comes to protecting myself or others. 158 well-placed grains will take good care of you if an imminent threat should present itself. If you want, practice with a similar performing round and keep 125's for social occasions only. But practice often, and make sure to enjoy yourself when you do! Odds are you will shoot for fun and practice way more than under unpleasant circumstances.

    Just playing devil's advocate with the other side of the coin... As I understand the 125 is king, but nothing is perfect to I thought I would round out the conversation a little.
    Last edited by SSD; 09-02-2011 at 07:30 PM.
    Regards,
    Jamie
    NRA Life member

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    Administrator guy sajer has disabled reputation
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    I give up , what's wrong ? ;^)

    If the 158 gr overpenetrates , the target is ventilated twice . Sounds like a good thing .

    If the target is behind a barrier , the 158 gr will likely penetrate the barrier and the target . Sounds like a good thing .
    Mitch

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    Supporting Member Oyeboten is on a distinguished road
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    Often, but not always of course, the conventional Hand Gun Bullet involved in a Thoracic or Abdominal Through-and-Through will have lost the momentum to be able to do much of anything else.


    Misses...are far more dangerous for bystanders or those standing behind the would be recipient.


    Just what incidence .357 Magnum has had for inconvenient Through-and-Throughs which had injured bystanders, I do not know...but, I doubt it could be enough to be a worry...unless firing FMJ anyway.

    For that matter, how did .41 Magnum fare in that regard? With Lead Flat-Nose or the other original Rounds offered? - do we know?


 

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