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.357 mag 1 shot stops

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by 1canvas, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. as i was researching effective pistol calibers and the old .357 125grn comes up as high on the one shot stops. years ago when these statistics were gathered many of those rounds would fragment on impact cause most used .38 special bullets at magnum velocities. with all the bonded bullets and good penetrating rounds we have nowadays i wonder if anything is lost in effectiveness over the older bullets that would frag at high impact speeds. for my 357sig rounds i use Gold Dot .125 grn LE and out of my 32 barrel i get 380+fps. i am thinking i might be better served with the first 2or 3 rounds to be someting like the cor bon 125grn at 1425fps. i think they still use sierra bullets and they would probably frag. any thoughts?
     
  2. The CorBons do shed some petals and weight but still penetrate pretty good. There are pics of the test I did in the 357sig club section.
     


  3. fredj338

    fredj338

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    What I worry about in a bullet fragmenting is in really big targets, you are NOT going to adequate penetration. You may only land one decent hit in a gunfight, I don't want a bullet that fails on a forearm or belt buckle. At high vel impacts, there is a place for the bonded bullet.
    If COrbon still uses the Sierra, it frags badly @ 1400fps, at least the ones I handload do. Back in the day, people weren't quite as large as those today. When a fragmenting laod failed, then, it failed badly. Hence, bonded bullets we have now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  4. That's why my first choice is still the 124 XTP.
     
  5. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

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    Of all the ballistic testing I've seen I have not seen ONE 357 mag bullet get less then 10" of penertration! Not one! Even the very light 110gr! So unless you make it a habit of shooting very large /obese people you should feel confident the 357 Mag is going to get to vitals as long as you hit them! I personnally like the 158 gr in 357 mag ! Your going to get 12-16+ inch penertration! Yes they recoil more but if you ensure the first shot is in the vitals your going to remove the threat quickly! The 357 mag is a stellar SD round in just about any flavor you want to shoot!:supergrin:
     
  6. LEAD

    LEAD

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    I had the same question, I think that the majority of bullets now do hold together better than the older styles that built the .357 mag reputation, but they have the edge in penetration.
     
  7. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Yeah, but think about the oddeties of a gunfight. My forearm is only 4" across, I'm not a fat/big guy, but that is 4" of muscle & bone. That leaves 6" into vitals, maybe that works, maybe not. Now I've seen some really big guys, 6" forearms or better. A shot through the shoulder on me would likely not reach my heart, again, I am not a big guy. So I'll stick w/ something bonded when IV is likely above 1200fps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  8. good points.
     
  9. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Unobstructed shots into a ribcage, just about anything works, even the light fast prefrag rounds like a Glaser. Put something in the way though, I want more penetration than 10". The FBI 12" is a good min. It hits the heart on an average man through the side shoulder shot (read Platt shooting).:supergrin:
     
  10. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

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    fredj338
    Well if you use that criteria then most handgun calibers fail! All except 357 mag . 44 mag, 45 LC but these are not carried by most! This is why I've changed my target area from center chest to upper throax! Centerd right at top of breast bone! A hit there hit all the major blood vessals or break the spine lights out ! Or the top of the heart! If I can't hit there I'll take the hips out! :supergrin: Then again I don't see any videos of the BG's doing much in the way of proper shooting stance /protecting them selves!:rofl:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  11. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    The .357mag looked awesome back in the day because few rounds did what it did.
    Not so much the case anymore.
    Personally, I want the bullet to stay together vs fragging.
     
  12. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

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    Berto
    Still looks very good today! Better then the 9mm, 40 short and weak, better then the 357 sig! I know thats going to wrinkle some noses but hey when the truth hurts it hurts!:rofl:
     
  13. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

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    Typical modern nonsense, oh it's not an auto round so it can't be as effective as the new stuff:upeyes: I hate to burst your bubble but the 357 mag is STILL one of the most effective rounds for a handgun and SD against another human being,period. It's just that most nancy's can't handle it because it kicks and it's loud. I started out in LE in the early 90's and my carry gun was a 4" 686 loaded with Fed 125's, I've used it and I've seen that combo used a total of 3 times and ALL were instant drops and for that matter DRT's. We switched to 9's for more "firepower" and the stops with that round were much less "dramatic" and many more rounds fired affairs. If I could only choose 1 round for SD in a handgun it'd be a 357 bar none.
     
  14. mikegun

    mikegun

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    I have to agree with the above i carried a mod 19 for over 20yrs at work, of the 10 ois shootings i personally saw, all were shot dead with one 357mag bullet, some did not die on the spot, but all were stopped with one round...
     
  15. vanilla_gorilla

    vanilla_gorilla

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    I don't know about the Federal loads, but I've tested the Winchester and the Remington 125 grain SJHPs. Both exited my Model 27 at north of 1500 fps, and both fragmented badly with shallow penetration, regardless of the substance it hit. Water, wax, animal; all had the same effect. Out of my 6 inch 586, the Remington round got nearly 1600 fps, and showed more "explosion" than penetration. Very interesting for small varmints, let me tell you. :rofl:


    Edit: Only idea how I got such velocity with a 6 inch 586 is maybe a combo of a tight barrel and a very tight B/C gap. It had a gap of less than .003.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  16. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Ah, if it were only that simple. Let see, you moving, BG moving, low light, I am thinking your "perfect" shot scenario will be pure luck. Just like guys that say; "two to the chest one to the head", have never really done it under anything but range conditions. Try this: Put a 5" balloon on a 12" string, some wind is desireable. Now draw as you move off your spot, see how many times you can hit the balloon on the move. That will be about half as fast as you'll need to make that perfet hit in real life.:dunno:
    As far as "most handgun rounds failing", just not true. Most will get 12" min penetration w/ decent loads, 9mm-45acp. The magnums in full power loadings offer way more performance than needed for the vast majority of SD situations, the 357mag being the most useable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  17. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Even back in the days when we carried .357 Magnum duty revolvers not everyone was necessarily jumping on the bandwagon for the 125gr JHP's. There were still cops using other loads which worked well for them. I even remember one of the larger local agencies where one of their guys shot an armed suspect with a 158gr soft point which reportedly not only dropped the suspect where he stood, but it expanded to a mushroom shape and remained in the body. You never know.

    There was at least one well known and respected author/instructor who discussed in a couple of his articles that I remember what he considered to be the potential for over penetration of the 125gr Magnum loads in human attackers. Like I said, you just never know.

    I was talking with a retired cop who went to work for one of the ammo companies, and the subject of the venerable .357 Magnum wheelgun came up. He said he remembered the head of his office came up to him asking why they weren't switching to the new 125gr Magnum load being talked about. He said he asked his boss what problems their long time current load had exhibited in their various shootings (which apparently involved a lot of situations in & around veh's). He said his boss stopped to think about it, realized they'd had excellent luck with their chosen load to date and decided he didn't see any reason to rush out and their change ammunition, after all.

    Yes, another well respected cop/writer published some personally gathered statistics and started writing about one shot stops which cast a favorable light on the 125gr JHP load and probably help develop its reputation back then.

    One large fed agency certainly felt it was a very effective load, as well.

    Some cops liked the 110gr JHP's, too ... and some didn't. It depended to whom you listened and what the preferences and experiences of those folks might be, too. Then there was the 110gr +P+ .38 load which developed a following to some extent. It probably helped that it was a rather easy shooting load when fired out of at least a K-frame duty gun. I know a guy who carried that load for a few years, and I later had the opportunity to help burn up several thousands of rounds of it when an allied agency decided to burn up its remaining stock of that load when it transitioned from revolvers to pistols. :)

    While I used some of the different 125gr loads (Rem 125gr SJHP and both the Federal standard JHP and their 125gr Nyclad Magnum load), I actually came to prefer the 140-145gr loads. I came full circle, so to speak, since I liked the Speer 140gr bullet in a stout handload before I entered LE work, and I looked for it in the factory load after I got hired and was restricted to factory loaded ammunition for on & off-duty. Speer and Remington each had a 140gr load back then, and then W-W had their 145gr STHP load.

    I attended a couple of wound ballistics seminars several years ago, taught by a former DOD agent who used to be tasked with investigating shootings involving certain fed situations. I found it interesting regarding what he had to say about the .357 Magnum as a duty caliber. Basically, while he felt the 125gr JHP had started to develop a decent record as a defensive load, he felt that if the Magnum revolver had remained in service for at least a few years longer, that the 140gr JHP load would probably had eclipsed it as the optimal load of choice. He described the 140gr load, such as Remington's SJHP bullet load, as offering the perceived advantages of the lighter weight 125gr load, but having the advantage of delivering the ballistic performance slightly deeper than the 125gr loads might. Naturally, it was just his opinion, based upon his experience, but I found that interesting.

    I still have a fair amount of 125gr loads which I've carried in my remaining steel Magnum revolvers, as well as some heavier bullet loads, including some remaining Rem 140gr SJHP loads. ;)

    I wish they'd had the 7 & 8 round S&W revolvers available back when I was carrying a revolver on-duty. ;)

    I wouldn't feel under-equipped with a 7 or 8-shot Magnum revolver even today ... and after they took away my Magnum revolver I carried various issued pistols chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, of variable magazine capacities. I finally accepted that the 9's & .40's were fine service calibers, especially with the newer bullet design developments ... but personally, I still consider the .357 Magnum to be a fine choice when it comes to a serious medium-bore defensive handgun caliber.

    Not everyone can shoot it as well as they might wish, however, as it requires more of the shooter than the lower recoiling .38 S&W Special +P loads.

    Just my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  18. fredj338 you put it very well, i could not have said it any better.
    that is my concideration when selecting a defense round. i too think COM hits may be unlikely when you concider all the variables you described plus the mental stress of all parties involved. i also think your best chance for that good hit may be your first shot. i want all the horse power i can handle accurately with the best most reliably penatrating, destructive bullet.
     
  19. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Yeah, why I shun the sub 9mm rounds for SD. You may get one hit only in a fluid gunfight. Too many think it's like the range or an IDPA match where the BG isn't moving or shooting back. I'ld like to think I can make headshots or upper thorax hits on demand form any angle under poor light while ducking bullets, but I am a realist.:supergrin: I also know mag cap is over blown. I can't use covering fire to move, I have to account for all my shots. So hopefully you make a big enough hole in the BG w/ that one round you land to end the fight sooner than later. So in Kommiefornia, where I can only have 10, I want 10 big ones.:dunno:
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  20. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Intervening limbs and oblique angles of presentation are probably always going to present a potential challenge, to some degree, when it comes to situations involving some defensive (LE) shootings.

    I can think of a shooting involving another agency where a couple of 180gr JHP .40 S&W loads of older design struck an armed suspect actively shooting at a cop in a 'dynamic' situation. The cop was described to me as a well-skilled shooter (including some military experience and skills gained in SF) who placed 2 rounds on the attacker (of 2 rounds fired). One hit the lower torso, expanded and remained in the body. The other struck an intervening arm, was deflected along the bone of the upper arm and remained in the shoulder capsule. A cop who saw the bullet recovered from the arm/shoulder during surgery described it as hugely mushroomed, FWIW.

    You never know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010