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Old 03-04-2013, 20:46   #1
Jade Falcon
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The most powerful FACTORY .357 Magnum?

So what's the most powerful factory load out there for the .357 Magnum? This gun would be a 4" Ruger GP100.

I'm thinking Underwood, but I'm open to other loads. By "powerful", let's use the highest velocity number, followed by the most ft-lbs of energy.

I have a 50-round box of Underwood 125gr. GDHP that I've been dying to shoot, but I just haven't had the time to get to the range.

Muzzle blast and fireball is okay in this case.
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Old 03-04-2013, 20:54   #2
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The Underwood is advertised at 1600 fps. I have shot the Buffalo Bore 125gr HP rated at 1700 fps (802 ft/lbs). Wowzers! 2-foot fire spurt out of the muzzle.
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Old 03-04-2013, 20:58   #3
Jade Falcon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinterWizard View Post
The Underwood is advertised at 1600 fps. I have shot the Buffalo Bore 125gr HP rated at 1700 fps (802 ft/lbs). Wowzers! 2-foot fire spurt out of the muzzle.
Yeah, I've seen BB's ratings too, however, I've also heard that they are not actually that hot (watered down, if you will). I guess I'm looking for anyone who's actually chronographed these 125gr. loads.
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Old 03-04-2013, 21:38   #4
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I'm not so concerned about the 'most powerful' as I am the 'most reliable and proven'. I use the 125gr Federal JHP in a 3" SP101. It's smokin plenty enough to do what needs to be done. If not, I use my own hand loads with the same bullet or the Remington 125gr.



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Old 03-04-2013, 23:25   #5
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A 110 grain bullet will go faster, but velocity and foot / pounds of energy are only part of the story.


What are you wanting to accomplish?
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Old 03-04-2013, 23:42   #6
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That 125 grain Federal is one heck of a good SD load. If you are interested in deep penetration the two hottest loads I know of are the Double Tap 200 grain hardcast as well as the Buffalo Bore 180 grain hardcast. The BB 180 is about as hot as I care to run in my SP 101. I have a 2.75 inch Security Six and a 6 inch Python that I prefer when running the 200 grain loads. The Security Six has a set of Pachmayr Gripper Grips that work great for control when running hot loads.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:13   #7
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... I use the 125gr Federal JHP in a 3" SP101. It's smokin plenty enough to do what needs to be done...
Yes, it's legendary but that damn ball powder they use is a SOB when it bounces back from the forcing cone!! Worse than the recoil/blast IMO. It clocks at 1,385 fps in my Model 13 3" & GP100 3".

If I had to pick an all 'round .357 Mag. load for every possible scenario I would carry the Barnes 140 gr. Solid Copper HP as it has all the great qualities and none of the bad. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade Falcon View Post
Yeah, I've seen BB's ratings too, however, I've also heard that they are not actually that hot (watered down, if you will). I guess I'm looking for anyone who's actually chronographed these 125gr. loads.
I can't attest to the real-world velocity. But it was nuclear. Felt about twice as powerful as the hottest 9mm I've ever shot.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:56   #9
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For people defense something in the 125gr range from Underwood or Buffalo Bore, as long as BB is using a quality JHP and not that Montana Gold JHP junk.

For animals, the Buffalo Bore 180gr hardcast would be tough to beat.

When I loaded for the .357 I liked 158gr hardcast SWC's under 14.8gr of 2400, which would do over 1500 fps from a 6" bbl.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:19   #10
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My vote goes to the Fed 125gr JHP .357 Magnum ammo.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDGlock23 View Post

When I loaded for the .357 I liked 158gr hardcast SWC's under 14.8gr of 2400, which would do over 1500 fps from a 6" bbl.
This is my favorite all-around load, although I usually stick to 13.5 grains of 2400 for what Skeeter Skelton called a "medium" load... roughly 1,250 from my 4" 686, and accurate as all get-out. Punches nice clean holes too.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:28   #12
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For people defense something in the 125gr range from Underwood or Buffalo Bore, as long as BB is using a quality JHP and not that Montana Gold JHP junk.

For animals, the Buffalo Bore 180gr hardcast would be tough to beat.

When I loaded for the .357 I liked 158gr hardcast SWC's under 14.8gr of 2400, which would do over 1500 fps from a 6" bbl.
Good old 158gr SWCs!!!
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:42   #13
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Yes, it's legendary but that damn ball powder they use is a SOB when it bounces back from the forcing cone!! Worse than the recoil/blast IMO. It clocks at 1,385 fps in my Model 13 3" & GP100 3".
If I had to pick an all 'round .357 Mag. load for every possible scenario I would carry the Barnes 140 gr. Solid Copper HP as it has all the great qualities and none of the bad. Just my 2 cents.

haha.

I can't argue that one. But I still use them.

Never tried or tested the Barnes. I got a good friend in AZ that helped develop loads for Barnes, and write their reloading manuals, and is now doing the same with Sierra. I might give him a call and see what he has to say as well about the bulllet you mentioned. Thanks.

I actually prefer my own handloads in a semi wad cutter, but since the OP was interested in (i assumed) factory stuff, I left all that out.

Well your right about fireball, but I still love those federals. Old habits, and old age I guess....


Stay safe amigo !






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Old 03-05-2013, 19:45   #14
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Used to get some spectacular fire out the barrel with my Winchester 296 powder loads. Nowadays, I'm less interested in showmanship and more concentrated on accuracy and stopping power.
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Old 03-05-2013, 20:39   #15
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Used to get some spectacular fire out the barrel with my Winchester 296 powder loads. Nowadays, I'm less interested in showmanship and more concentrated on accuracy and stopping power.
Good old WW296!!!
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Old 03-05-2013, 21:07   #16
Jade Falcon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Steve View Post
A 110 grain bullet will go faster, but velocity and foot / pounds of energy are only part of the story.


What are you wanting to accomplish?
Nothing serious; just a fun range-round. And "attention-getter" if you will. Fireball + Muzzle blast =

Thanks to everyone who replied here!
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Old 03-05-2013, 23:14   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade Falcon View Post
Nothing serious; just a fun range-round. And "attention-getter" if you will. Fireball + Muzzle blast =

Thanks to everyone who replied here!
For those that reload and are after this effect, or if you want to kill some critter and cook it at the same time:

Caliber Corner
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:15   #18
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LOL, been tattood by that ball powder/forcing cone thing before. Sucks.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:50   #19
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Yep 15 gr of H110 under my Lee cast 158gr is a nice stout load. Haven't chronied them yet in my GP100 6", but I'd say they are around the 1300 fps mark. Plenty enough power to do just about anything I'd need to shoot 2 or 4 legged.
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Old 03-06-2013, 20:25   #20
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Yep 15 gr of H110 under my Lee cast 158gr is a nice stout load. Haven't chronied them yet in my GP100 6", but I'd say they are around the 1300 fps mark. Plenty enough power to do just about anything I'd need to shoot 2 or 4 legged.

Yep... Also I use 21/22grs H110 under a 125gr Remington JHP. Very Nasty out of even the 3" Sp101 in my experiences and test... Love H110. Use it full throttle in my 44mags, and 45LC for the really big bad stuff. 2400 for the normal stuff.







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