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Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by jensen_lover, Oct 31, 2010.
Looking for some serious stopping power to carry in my 340pd. The .357 does not bother me.
When I carried my Ruger Security Six 2-3/4" .357 I stoked it with Federal 125JHP Mag rounds. Out of a shorter barrel my personal choice would still be a 125JHP from Fed, Rem or Win. 2nd choice would be 110JHPs. 3rd would be the Win 145STHP, but nothing heavier than that due to serious risk of OP.
In 38Spl I have a box of Win Supreme 130SXT+P for my S&W M-38. The 158SWC-HP+P was too much of a handful out of the Airweight. Speer's 135GDHP+P should be a good choice and maybe the Rem Golden Saber 125JHP. Win also has Ranger 130SXT 38Spl loads in both bonded and non-bonded flavors.
IMO, it's best to stick with U.S. made ammo. Skip the ammo from companies like Magtech, Fiocchi, Prvi Partizan etc. The U.S. loads all have much better bullet designs and many have street proven records whereas the foreign stuff doesn't.
I'd go with the Speer short barrels in 357 mag 135 gr. or 38 sp +P
Even if full blast 357 don't bother you, bullet pull is a concern in an SD scenario,
I'd look at Buffalo Bore +p .38sp, especially the 158gr lswchp.
It's about as stout as typical .357mag 2" performance and will clear the shorter empties a bit easier.
go with buffalo bore 125gr gold dots, i chronoed them at almost 1300fps out of my sp101 2.25in barrel, nasty round!! I also chronoed the 180gr black talons at 1100fps out of the same gun, so i would be just fine with that round if i were you.
I also like the 38sp+P 158grLSWCHP. Hits hard, easy to shoot well. For a magum load, the 145grWSTHP is a med magnum load that makes 1100fps w/ a 145grSTHP in a 2" snub.
I never thought the .357 in a snub, made a lot of sense. In an airweight even less so. Magnum loads lose some of the raw stopping-power (whatever that is) it's famous for, from short barrels. The recoil is vicious, as is the blast.
With my Charter Off-Duty 12oz., I like the Speer "Short-Barrel" load. The Gold Dot was designed from the get-go, for a snub. I think it's close to a no-brainer.
Way back when, Phil Eagledrum and his sidekicks at "Handgun Tests" (best mag EVER!), even liked target wadcutters. A case could be made!
P.S.>The Charter is in no way in the league, of some of the nicer Smiths, but for what ya pay, you get a really sweet little sucker-punch of an airweight. I like! Really happy, I decided on it, instead of the Kel-Tec Pf9. The K/T just seems to be REALLY hit or miss with quality control.
Good advice. Bullet pull is a top concern as is being able to control such a light weight handgun. Both of these Speer loads are designed for snubs.
I've always liked double bevel based wadcutters. Not the hollow based type. The DBBWC can be driven pretty fast and you don't have to worry about the base shearing off and lodging in the barrel. The flat bullet will do more damage than it is given credit for. You don't have to worry about expansion. I imagine a couple .35 cal holes in someones chest would ruin their day. Plus you won't have a the roar and flash of hyper velocity light weight rounds.
I have never tried using a 13.5 ounce 357 mag snubby but I do have a 20 ounce Bond Arms Texas Defender in 45 ACP and the recoil on it is very stout with hardball practice loads. Once I shot a Cor-Bon 200 grain +P JHP with it and it hurt my hand so I never bothered doing that again. Because of that incident I agree with ULVER and will not bother trying a full house 357 out of any light weight 357. I'll stick with my SP101 @ twice the weight of the 340.
I've seen very few chrono results that have a 125gr out of a snub at over 1000 fps. Certainly if you can get 1300 fps or whatever the recoil would be ridiculous. Isn't flash a big problem as well, regardless of velocity?
Remember the factory ammunition recommendations when it comes to Ti/Sc .357 revolvers (specifically pertaining to not using Magnum rounds with bullet weights less than 120grs to reduce the possibility of premature gas erosion in titanium alloy cylinders). It ought to be on page 12 of the latest S&W new model revolver safety manual.
I don't have a PD, but I do have a M&P 340, which is slightly heavier due to having a PVD coated stainless steel cylinder. When I was checking some various Magnum loads I found a couple which exhibited bullet pull in my gun and some that didn't. I found the Federal premium Personal Defense .357 Magnum 130gr Hydra-Shok and the Winchester 145gr STHP to offer good performance without bullet pull. The Rem 125gr SJHP exhibited a lot of muzzle blast and a couple of heavier loads (158gr & 180gr JHP's) offered more felt recoil and torquing than I desired in the diminutive 5-shot snub when it came to recoil management & controllability in fast-paced defensive drills, especially when involving movement and addressing more than a single target. I haven't gotten around to trying the Speer SB Magnum load, yet (although I do use the 135gr +P load at times).
Each gun, ammo & shooter combination is going to be somewhat unique, I'd think, and deserves careful thought and attention when this decision is being made.
Personally, while I occasionally use Magnum loads in my M&P 340 for some quals, training & practice, I prefer to use and carry +P loads in it for actual carry and a lot of the range applications. The recoil management & controllability with the +P loads is significantly better than with the Magnums loads ... for me, at any rate.
I do keep a supply of the Fed & Win Magnum loads on hand in case I decide otherwise sometime.
You can easily get into the 1200fps range w/ most 125grJHP mag loads in a snub, that isn't the issue, it IS the blast & recoil.
I was looking for an M&P but no luck.
I read about 15 reviews that said the Scandium Smiths were near hand breaking to shoot. I did not have any problems with it, perhaps because I lift weights. Anyway, the whole time I was at the range I was worrying about checking if the fifth round was unseating, and forgot to see how fast I can get follow up shots on target.
I appreciate all of the advice. I will certainly try to find some of these bullets and see how I can handle them.
I tend to think it's an individual consideration, especially when training, skillset, experience and an individual's preferences are taken into account.
I've known a strapping, well muscled young cop who claimed he'd fired many hundreds of Magnum loads through his PD Sc/Ti J-frame and enjoyed the experience.
I've watched other men who were in the mid 6ft range, weighed 300-350+ lbs (and were accomplished firearms instructors who started their careers carrying .357 Magnum revolvers) express noted displeasure in shooting Airlite Sc/Ti Magnum snubs as well as my M&P 340 loaded with Magnum rounds. Just depends on the individual.
While the Magnum loads can offer greater velocity in the short-barreled J's, I tend to balance being able to get off faster, accurate shots with +P loads than with Magnum loads, especially when the conditions involved may offer other demands than just handling the increased felt recoil and torquing twist found in the lightweight Magnum guns.
This is one of those informed decision situations that probably needs to be determined by each individual according to their perceived needs and abilities.
Be wary of bullet pull, though, even from one box/production lot to another.
I learned of one qual range where another of our instructors had a guy who couldn't get through a cylinder load of rounds without a bullet jumping the crimp and stopping the cylinder from rotating (foreign .38 ammo in a standard steel snub, BTW). It was apparently quite a frustrating experience for the shooter. Another of our guys who carried another make of all-titanium 5-shot .38 SPL told me that he occasionally experienced bullets jumping forward in the cylinder and locking the gun up even when he used jacketed rounds.
Ammunition selection and testing in these ultra lightweight little wheelguns is something to keep in mind.