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.357 Mag too powerful?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by Jade Falcon, May 27, 2011.

  1. Jade Falcon

    Jade Falcon WTF EREN?!

    Aug 2, 2004
    Vancouver, WA.
    Hi Mas,

    I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on the .357 mag. I was reading Combat Handguns last night, and in a couple of articles, it mentions briefly the merits and de-merits of the .357 Mag. I just bought a new Ruger GP100 4", and I would like to keep some magnum rounds for self-defense. But there's always the "over-penetration" problem.

    Does it depend on variables? Does it depend on the type of load? I want deep penetration, but not "over-penetration". Aren't all modern bullets subject to some kind of over-penetration?

    In conclusion, let me ask this: in the day of many different calibers and modern loads, is the .357 Mag becoming one of those "misunderstood cartridges"? It still holds the title as the "One-Shot Man Stopper", and I love that.

    Any suggestions on loads would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Mas!

    -Jade Falcon
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    The round that earned the title "magic bullet" among so many cops and police departments was the full power (1400-1450 fps) 125 grain semi-jacketed hollow point .357 Magnum. It tended to stay in the body. In ballistic gel, you'd see ten or so inches of penetration, but with an extremely wide wound cavity. It was not overpenetrative, though many other .357 rounds were.

    Downsides were sharp recoil, significant muzzle flash (less today, with flash suppressed powders, but still significant), severe wear on K-frame guns (no prob with something like a GP100, and extremely loud muzzle blast, which could cause some hearing damage when fired indoors.

    It's my load of choice when a carry anything bigger than an ultra-light pocket size in that caliber.


  3. Jade Falcon

    Jade Falcon WTF EREN?!

    Aug 2, 2004
    Vancouver, WA.
    Thanks for the reply, Mas! I have been looking at DoubleTap's website, and they list both their 125gr. JHP and SJHP loads at 1600 fps out of a Ruger 4" barrel. That might be a bit much, so I'll look for something a bit tamer in the 1400-1450 fps, as you suggested.

    I'll save the DT's for taking to the range. :supergrin::cool:

    Take care, stay safe! The weather out there is nasty right now.