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Ruger LCR .357 Magnum Defense Load

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by ricklee4570, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. ricklee4570


    Sep 11, 2009

    I just upgraded from the LCR in .38 to the LCR in .357.

    While I liked the .38 (I had it loaded with Gold Dot 135 +P jhp), I just felt a little under gunned with the 38 Special.

    Which magnum load would you recommend for the .357?

  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Rick, I see three viable options, and each shooter should try them all and see which works best for that individual.

    My first choice is full-power Magnum 125 grain SJHP, rated for 1450 or so foot-seconds out of a 4" barrel. (Remington-UMC is a good choice, and the most cost-effective I've found currently available.) However, recoil/muzzle blast/muzzle flash are absolutely ferocious out of a lightweight, short barrel gun.

    If that's more than the shooter is comfortable with, a medium velocity .357 load such as the Gold Dot Short Barrel 135 grain or the 125 grain Remington Golden Saber might prove to be the best balance.

    The third option is a super-hot .38 Special, such as is offered by Buffalo Bore.

    Best of luck. You're invited to come back and share the results of your personal testing, and what turned out to work best for you.


  3. ricklee4570


    Sep 11, 2009
    After much work with all the above mentioned loads, I opted to go with the Gold Dot short barrel 135 grain .357 load.

    As much as I wanted to use the full power 125 SJHP, my follow up times, accuracy and the blast and recoil just made it a little too difficult for my comfort level.

    Thanks again Mas for your advice, as always you are much appreciated!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011