I recently purchased my first 357 magnum revolver, a 4" smith and wesson 686, and am looking for a self defense load. I have done quite a bit of research and can't make up my mind. On one hand I have looked at the older "proven" rounds like the Federal 125gr sjhp and the Winchester 145gr silvertip. These rounds have been used by law enforcement when they still issued 357s and have been used successfully on the streets, however they tend to fragment and don't exhibit uniform expansion, which (from what I understand) is looked down nowadays. On the other hand, you have the newer technology loads like the 125gr gold dot and the 125gr & 140gr solid copper xpb rounds that tend to penetrate more and retain more weight but don't create as wide of cavity in lab tests. My question to you is, if you were to carry a 357 magnum today what load would you choose the "old" technology or the "new" and why. Thanks in advance Wanna kill these ads? We can help!