Good 158/180gr HP .357 snubby loads? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Ron3
01-09-2011, 00:40
Anyone chronographed or tested for expansion 158gr or 180gr .357 magnum loads from a snubbie revolver?

Typically I read reports of 158gr bullets from snubs fetching 1000-1100 fps. Maybe 100-125 fps less from 180gr loads? Anyone?

These weights and velocities would simulate a 5-inch barrel .38 +p so perhaps they would expand.

Heavy bullets (Factory loads) that have hope for expansion from a snub .357:

-Remington 158/180gr SJHP
-Federal 158/180gr SJHP
-Winchester Partition Gold 180gr JHP
-Speer 158gr Gold Dot

Anyone ever test these?

Glockbuster
01-09-2011, 09:05
No way for 1100 fps, maybe 1000 fps.

those Rem 158 gr. SJHP loads do 1250 fps out of my 6 inch revolver and I haven't been able to get over 1000 fps from the J frame snub, which is not even 2 inches long in barrel, my model 66-2 is 2.5 inches long though. Plus, they are a handful and tough to shoot.

I would not bother with those and just use Speer's short barrel loads in 357 mag or 38 spl +P. FWIW, I use the 38 spl. 135 gr. Speer short barrel load.

fredj338
01-09-2011, 11:32
Depends on the snubbby, but 1000fps is easily doable w/ the 158gr, maybe close w/ a 180gr. The old Rem 158gr scalloped JHP might expand, I doubt the other will @ anything under 1050fps+. The heavier 170-180gr JHP are designed for higher vel hunting guns, not short snub bbl vel. I can get to a 158grjHP to 1000fps w/ 2400 in my SP101 & still off max. The old 170gr SIerra JHC makes 960fps, again, off max.

Berto
01-09-2011, 21:46
The good 158gr loads might be decent performers, but the 180gr loads tend to use heavier construction oriented toward game vs S/D, so I'd pass on them.
158gr will easily get 1000+fps in a snubby.

Ron3
01-09-2011, 22:04
Thanks. It just seems to me that if .357 mag is going to lose alot of velocity through the short barrel it may as well be a heavy bullet that penetrates deep and stays together. If it can expand of course.

I scoured the internet for chrono tests and found these numbers from others, from 1 7/8 in barrels. Different guns, chronos, weather, etc. Some are rounded some are averages but it's what I can find for free.

-Federal Cast-Core 180gr 902 fps
-Winchester Black Talon (discontinued) 180gr 1075 fps (2.5 in barrel)
-Federal 158gr Hi-Shock SJHP 1045 fps
-Hornady XTP 158gr 950 fps

I can't find any gelatin tests for these or any rounds in this weight from 2-inch .357's. Only light weight ammo and really down loaded ammo.

Even some tests from 4-inch .38's would help. Because if a remington 158gr .38 +p SJHP @1000 fps doesn't expand in tissue/gelatin/water from a 4-inch .38 then it won't when fired from a 2-inch .357 mag at @1000 fps either.

fredj338
01-10-2011, 00:06
Thanks. It just seems to me that if .357 mag is going to lose alot of velocity through the short barrel it may as well be a heavy bullet that penetrates deep and stays together. If it can expand of course.

I scoured the internet for chrono tests and found these numbers from others, from 1 7/8 in barrels. Different guns, chronos, weather, etc. Some are rounded some are averages but it's what I can find for free.

-Federal Cast-Core 180gr 902 fps
-Winchester Black Talon (discontinued) 180gr 1075 fps (2.5 in barrel)
-Federal 158gr Hi-Shock SJHP 1045 fps
-Hornady XTP 158gr 950 fps

I can't find any gelatin tests for these or any rounds in this weight from 2-inch .357's. Only light weight ammo and really down loaded ammo.

Even some tests from 4-inch .38's would help. Because if a remington 158gr .38 +p SJHP @1000 fps doesn't expand in tissue/gelatin/water from a 4-inch .38 then it won't when fired from a 2-inch .357 mag at @1000 fps either.
Chrono tests in any other gun but your is only vaguley relevant. You can have as much as 100fps between 2 rev w/ the same bbl length. My 2 1/4" SP101 seems very fast, getting almost as high a vel w/ all loads as a couple of 4" guns I have. CYl gap, cyl throat dia, bore smoothness, all play into rev vel.
You are right, if it doesn't expand form a 4" bbl, chances are it won't in a 2". Here is some gel studies done w/ the 158grRemJHP @ 38sp vel. It does seem to expand.
http://www.brassfetcher.com/38%20Special%20Remington%20158gr%20SJHP%20heavy%20clothing%20block.html
http://demigodllc.com/~zak/firearms/fbi-pistol.php

Ak.Hiker
01-10-2011, 01:35
Not sure of the velocity out of my 3 1/16 inch SP 101 but the Buffalo Bore 180 grain cast load easily will clear 7 inches of spruce. Being a hard cast bullet it does not expand. As far as expanding loads go the Double Tap 158 grain Gold Dot is moving fast enough to expand when shot out of my SP 101. These are both hot loads. I have also seen the Winchester 180 grain Nosler Partition load expand when shot out of my SP 101. One thing about the Partition Gold is it will never expand past the Partition about 1/3 of the way down. These are very tough bullets.

Ron3
01-10-2011, 11:36
Thanks for the links.

Yes I was wondering about the Winchester Partition Gold, too.

Ak.Hiker
01-11-2011, 00:06
Those Partition Golds are very good bullets. They must be expensive to produce. Every one I have ever tested in 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, and 454 Casull have all expanded into sharp petals up front with the rear section staying solid below the partition. Federal is also loading a 180 grain A-Frame.

RottnJP
01-11-2011, 01:11
Hands down, 158 grain. 180's are meant for deer. ;)

Seriously, the very high sectional density of the 180 grain, combined with tough bullets in this class, aren't what you want for SD IMO.

2afreedom
01-11-2011, 16:09
I use and recommend Remington 158gr LSWCHP, this is the old treasury or FBI load and it is one of the more proven loads for snubbies.

Ron3
01-11-2011, 21:45
If the bullet expands in tissue from a snubbie it can be 158 or 180gr.

There are .357 mag loads designed to expand from snubbies but they are either very light weight or downloaded and thats not what I want.

I'm looking for a full powered (for factory anyway) .357 mag load that will likely expand in tissue coming from a 2-inch barrel.

If the Speer 158gr Gold Dot would that would be great.

blackbmw
01-11-2011, 22:16
Thanks. It just seems to me that if .357 mag is going to lose alot of velocity through the short barrel it may as well be a heavy bullet that penetrates deep and stays together. If it can expand of course.

I scoured the internet for chrono tests and found these numbers from others, from 1 7/8 in barrels. Different guns, chronos, weather, etc. Some are rounded some are averages but it's what I can find for free.

-Federal Cast-Core 180gr 902 fps
-Winchester Black Talon (discontinued) 180gr 1075 fps (2.5 in barrel)
-Federal 158gr Hi-Shock SJHP 1045 fps
-Hornady XTP 158gr 950 fps

I can't find any gelatin tests for these or any rounds in this weight from 2-inch .357's. Only light weight ammo and really down loaded ammo.

Even some tests from 4-inch .38's would help. Because if a remington 158gr .38 +p SJHP @1000 fps doesn't expand in tissue/gelatin/water from a 4-inch .38 then it won't when fired from a 2-inch .357 mag at @1000 fps either.
I got 1080 from my sp101 2.25 incher withe the 180gr black talons.

Ak.Hiker
01-11-2011, 22:53
The 158 grain Speer Gold Dot is listed on the le.atk.com web site. It is loaded to about the same velocity as most other 158 grain JHP factory loads except the Blazer that is loaded down about 100 fps less than the Speer. DT loads the same Gold Dot bullet as well as a Nosler 158 grain JHP that are loaded hotter than standard factory loads. I have not tested the load with the Nosler bullet but I do like the design. It has lots of exposed lead and Nosler designs it to expand at a broad velocity range. The DT 158 grain Gold Dot load is one of my favorite 357 loads. It would be my SD load of choice for my 6 inch Python. In the shorter SP 101 I carry the Federal 125 grain JHP. I like the old school bullet with a lot of exposed lead. I also like full power loads.

Ron3
01-11-2011, 23:46
I got 1080 from my sp101 2.25 incher withe the 180gr black talons.

Thanks!

Thats quite impressive!

Ron3
01-11-2011, 23:49
The 158 grain Speer Gold Dot is listed on the le.atk.com web site. It is loaded to about the same velocity as most other 158 grain JHP factory loads except the Blazer that is loaded down about 100 fps less than the Speer. DT loads the same Gold Dot bullet as well as a Nosler 158 grain JHP that are loaded hotter than standard factory loads. I have not tested the load with the Nosler bullet but I do like the design. It has lots of exposed lead and Nosler designs it to expand at a broad velocity range. The DT 158 grain Gold Dot load is one of my favorite 357 loads. It would be my SD load of choice for my 6 inch Python. In the shorter SP 101 I carry the Federal 125 grain JHP. I like the old school bullet with a lot of exposed lead. I also like full power loads.

Thanks. If I knew either the 158gr Gold Dot or the Partition might expand from a snubie I'd say they are good choices for me.

Glockbuster
01-12-2011, 09:27
Ron3, exactly which snubby will you be using with the ammo ? in determining the use of the loads considered you must know which, is it a 2.5 inch or 1 7/8 inch ? is it a titanium frame or a heavier one ? there is a lot of difference in velocities out of a 2.5 and the shorter j frame. You must consider shootability also.

And, will you be spending money on these loads or do you have them in stock and want to use them ?

I ask all this because if you do not have the ammo and will be spending money on it, and if the loads will be used for serious purposes of SD it just seems totally worthless to me to try to find something better than has been designed for that purpose.

You can have fun testing all this which has been discussed and spend the money on it but that is a different story.

Ron3
01-12-2011, 14:22
17.1 oz Ruger LCR357.

I've fired .38 and .357 mag from the 13oz S&W. We also own a .38 LCR that the wife has taken as her own. (So I have to buy another for me!)

I also spent my early carry years with snubbies; Taurus 605, Ruger Sp-101, Glock 27 (no slouch in the recoil dept)

So I know the difference in recoil between wadcutters in a 25 oz Sp101 and 125gr Federal hi-shoks in a scandium S&W.

I was really impressed with how the frame design and hogue grip on the LCR cut recoil in the .38 model. People report the same thing in the .357 version.

Either way if the full power .357 loads are too much in the LCR357 I'll carry .38's and they'll have even less recoil than the LCR .38. Either way I win ;)

I carry a G19. The LCR is to be a pocket gun and/or second gun.

As for defensive ammo I already have (small quanties of) for this gun I have:

.38 158gr LSWCHP Federal +p
.38 147gr JHP Hydrashok +p+
.38 110gr DPX HP +p
.38 158gr Speer Lawman TMJSWC +p
.357 Federal 125gr SJHP HI-Shok
.357 Federal 158gr Hydra-shok JHP
.357 Federal 180gr HI-Shok SJHP

There may be a couple others I've forgotten or don't know that I have.

My LCR357 is paid for and on it's way. :)

Glockbuster
01-12-2011, 15:20
For the .38 I really like the first one you mention.

For the 357 LCR seems to me any of the ones you mention are real good except for the 180 gr. , but a handful to shoot well!!

Enjoy your new snubbie!!

Ron3
01-13-2011, 00:54
Drat! The 180 gr .357 Partition Gold has been discontinued. Months back. Though it's still at Winchesters web site.

So we have full power .357 mag loads for longer barrels and reduced power loads for short barrels. Where the heck are the full power loads for snub .357's?

9mm, .40, and .45 all get full powered rounds for short barrels.

Looks like a hole in the market to me!

There are thousands of .357 snubs out there in homes, cars, holsters, and on the trail in backpacks. And there are plenty of owners who want full-power loads tailor-made for their .357 snubbies!

I guess I need to send emails to some ammo makers.

Ak.Hiker
01-13-2011, 02:08
Buffalo Bore loads three short barrel 357 Magnum loads. One is a 158 grain JHP loaded to 1100. Should have good penetration with the 158 grain bullet. In the BB line they also load a heavy 38 Special+P 158 grain load. They list it at 1040 out of a 2 inch S&W Model 60. That is a smoking hot load for a 38 Special. I have not tried these loads but thought I would throw them out. That hot Heavy 38 Special LSWCHP +P looks a winner to me.

Ron3
01-13-2011, 14:58
Thanks AKHiker.

Another load I've found is the 140gr Vital Shok from Federal using the Barnes solid copper bullet. Lighter than I'd like but offers other benefits, too. Doesn't cost that much and is full power. Trying to find some sort of testing on it.

Ron3
01-14-2011, 11:06
I found a test I did about ten years ago and a 180gr Fed sjhp expanded well fired into soft sand from a 2.25 in barrel Ruger SP-101. Recoil and blast were milder than typical 158gr ammo.

I also found some 158gr Gold Dot Double Taps (maybe from about 2005?) and some old 145gr Win Silvertips. Wish a had a chrono sometimes...

There is lots of info on the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel .357 and it does well and I must consider it strongly.

I'd love to find some test info on the Federal 140gr Barnes

Now I've found Federal is making a 180gr .357 A-Frame HP also.

Ron3
01-21-2011, 12:54
It's been a few years since I fired some .357 magnum. Trying to empty a cylinder of full power .357 in low light from a lightweight snubbie accurately would be quite a challenge! Especially indoors. From contact distance not a big deal and could be done.

Nobody has the .357 magnum Gold Dot Short Barrel in stock that I could find.

I like the 147 gr Hydrashok +p+ JHP in the LCR .357 and will use those for now. Going to try it out in the LCR .38, too.

I found some calibrated gelatin numbers on the 147 gr +p+ from a snub barrel:
Bare gel :
Pen 16.2 in (14-18 perfect IMO)
Exp .43 in (Meh, but this helps the penetration)