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Discussion Starter #1
I was at the range today trying to zero in my GP100 with Federal soft point 158gr. @ 35yrds. I was having a tough time getting in tight. That's when an old boy I know from the club showed up. He asked what ammo I was using. I told him and he said "don't you know anything? 125gr. hollow points for .357." He said to forget the 35yrd shots with 158gr and move in closer. I did as he said. He knows more than I do. At 25yrds I had GREAT groups. Three round strings and all inside the ten ring. Once in awhile I had a flyer but what do you do. So what do you think 125gr. or 158gr? I've never used 125gr before but now I have to. Any thoughts would be great. Thanks
 

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Most of the published data for .357 mag does recommend 125 grain loads for best performance for personal defense bullets. Now for hunting it may be differant.
 

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First, start closer. 35 yds is a heck of a distance for zeroing a gun. If you're planning to hunt with it, or just target shoot, 35 yds is fine, but for home defense or protective carry, 10-15 yds is plenty, 25 is more than sufficient (although I must admit the gp100 does quite well at 25 yds).

What rayikeo says is true, however, I just was reading something a day or two ago that mentioned that although most opinions published over the last 30-40 years leaned towards lighter+faster=better, new data coming in over the last decade indicates heavier bullets are better for self defense.

I have always liked shooting heavier ammo such as 158-180 grain through my GP100.
 

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First. What is this round intended for?
This will dictate what weight and distance you are going to practice with.
 

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For all ammo related questions I say the same two things almost every time:
1: what does your guns maker recommend?
2: from that which one goes bang every time most accurately?
 

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I kinda like 158's for my .357's. My personal faves are Gold Dots. And these would be defensive rounds, btw; for hunting applications, I prefer to go with 180gr SJHP's, or hard-cast WFN's of the same weight...although I've got friends who've had good results with Winchester's Platinum 180gr JHP's on deer.

And while the 125gr loads are also good rounds...simply writing off 158's is silly. They're gonna punch deep, and still have good velocity to open up...and if you;re getting good groups at 25 yards with it, you should be just fine for a defensive load.

Just because a good ol' boy at the range regurgitates something that was relevant in his youth, doesn't mean it's so today.
 

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Did you try different manufacturers of the 158 grain ammo? Could be your pistol prefers one rather than another.
How long is the barrel? I'm assuming 4-6 inches? Longer barrels should do better with heavier loads, but there is nothing wrong with the 125's.

I know in my snubbie, it is point of aim with 158gr (and kicks like a mule), it shoots a little high with the 125's. I carry 125gr SJHP as tehy come screaming out of a 2 inch barrel at around 1300 fps. I can find no fault iwth that!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, when I say zero it in I meant that I wanted all shots in the 8 ring or better. This weapon is and will never be my self defense weapon. GP100 with 6in barrel. I have others for that. I originally bought it with the idea of deer hunting with it. I also wanted a descent looking wheel gun to pass on to my kid. So, with that info I liked to lean towards the 158gr. My deer kill shots come at around 25-30 yards. The father in-laws place is great to hunt on. Anyway I figured someone on this site would know what is better. Thanks
 

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My 6" GP100 shoots anything I put in it better than I can hold...it has no bullet weight preference. I quickly found it to be sensitive to certain brands of factory ammo and haven't fed it anything but handloads in years.

Bullets that have consistently grouped under an inch at 25 yards from mine include 125 grain Remington JHP, 135 grain Speer Gold Dots, 140 grain Hornady XTPs, 158 grain Hornady XTPs/ Speer Gold Dots (now marketed under the DeepCurl moniker), my hand-cast 160 grain LRNFP cowboy slugs, and 170 grain Gold Dots (DeepCurls). 180 grain XTPs shot accurately, but velocities weren't high enough to ensure reliable expansion on game at distances much beyond 50 yards, so I don't load them any more.

And once you find a load that groups well, enjoy stretching the barrel. B27 (full-size silhouette targets) at 100 yards are a piece of cake and 200 yards isn't as hard as you might think once you get the dope figured. :cool:
 

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For hunting I would say the 158gr is the better choice. 99% of the time that a gun doesn't group well it's user error and not the ammo. 30-50 yard 8" groups with a 6" .357 with open sights is doable just requires practice. Keep shooting the 158gr and start at 15 yards, and once you consistently group well at that distance increase it by 10yards.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
For hunting I would say the 158gr is the better choice. 99% of the time that a gun doesn't group well it's user error and not the ammo. 30-50 yard 8" groups with a 6" .357 with open sights is doable just requires practice. Keep shooting the 158gr and start at 15 yards, and once you consistently group well at that distance increase it by 10yards.
Yup, I was already getting those groups. I just wanted to get a great zero on it is all. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My 6" GP100 shoots anything I put in it better than I can hold...it has no bullet weight preference. I quickly found it to be sensitive to certain brands of factory ammo and haven't fed it anything but handloads in years.

Bullets that have consistently grouped under an inch at 25 yards from mine include 125 grain Remington JHP, 135 grain Speer Gold Dots, 140 grain Hornady XTPs, 158 grain Hornady XTPs/ Speer Gold Dots (now marketed under the DeepCurl moniker), my hand-cast 160 grain LRNFP cowboy slugs, and 170 grain Gold Dots (DeepCurls). 180 grain XTPs shot accurately, but velocities weren't high enough to ensure reliable expansion on game at distances much beyond 50 yards, so I don't load them any more.

And once you find a load that groups well, enjoy stretching the barrel. B27 (full-size silhouette targets) at 100 yards are a piece of cake and 200 yards isn't as hard as you might think once you get the dope figured. :cool:
Wow great info, thank you. I have shoot none of those. I ordered my reloading press yesterday, so I will be loading my own soon. Thank you
 
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