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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Say at a distance of 5-8 feet using 357 magnum Speer Gold Dot JHP -

because this gun has such a short barrel (2 1/4") would the lighter 125 grain bullet with higher MV and ME vs the 158 gr be better or is that short barrel defeating it to the point it doesn't matter since it spends so little time in the barrel vs in a 4" or 6" and the heavier 158 grain would make more sense?

I prefer the GD JHP 9mm in 147 gr vs the 124 +P in my XD9sc as I think the heavier bullet is better vs the faster.

Thanks.
 

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No such thing as too litte time in a bbl. A magnum will always produce the highest vel, regardless of bbl length, vs a non magnum. The lightest bullet will also produce the highest vel, always.
I find the blast & recoil in the 2" guns more diff to shoot well, so my sp101 carries 38sp+p or the 145gr WSTHP, more a midrange magnum. The issue for me is the 125gr shoot more than 6" low @ just 21ft!
 

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Speer gold dot .357 magnum short bbl if you can find them.

If not, a .38 special+p may be in order.
 

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Speer 135 grain Gold Dot 38 Special +P Short Barrel is a great choice if you want minimal muzzle blast, flash, and recoil.

You'll generally see less velocity loss in short barrels when shooting heavier bullets. You also get less muzzle blast and flash. On the flip side, if velocity is below the bullet design's threshold for expansion, it may fail to perform properly (i.e. overpenetrate and do little damage on its way through the target).
 

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I'd also go with a heavier .38+P...but I'm partial to the FBI load, the 158gr SWC-HP. I feel the benefits of it are even if it doesn;t expand, the soft lead deforms if it hits a bone and makes a better channel...and even if it doesn't deform, the SWC profile will cut a nearly full caliber wound channel.

They shoot to point of aim in all of my fixed sight .38's and .357's...
 

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I don't like .357 magnum in a small frame revolver at all! You have to practice shooting and it isn't fun after 6 or so rounds. I'm with the others who say a .38+P is sufficient for self defense at those distances.
 

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I'd also go with a heavier .38+P...but I'm partial to the FBI load, the 158gr SWC-HP. I feel the benefits of it are even if it doesn;t expand, the soft lead deforms if it hits a bone and makes a better channel...and even if it doesn't deform, the SWC profile will cut a nearly full caliber wound channel.

They shoot to point of aim in all of my fixed sight .38's and .357's...
This is the load mine carries if not the 145gr wsthp. It is reliable, it always expands or deforms. Not the best barrier penetration, but it's a snub, 21ft & under.
BTW, the Speer 357mag/135gr GDHPSB load is basically a 38sp+P. I would have to look up the chrono results but I seem to remember just over 1000fps, not exactly a barn burner.
 

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Also keep in mind that the REM 125 gr. Golden Saber in .357 Magnum is a "Medium" velocity load rated 1220 FPS at the muzzle of a 4" barrel, That's similar performance to 124 gr. 9mm +P from the 2 1/4" barrel that you should be able to master with practice. I would also consider the SPEER Short Barrel load in .357 Magnum. ;)
 

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I'd also go with a heavier .38+P...but I'm partial to the FBI load, the 158gr SWC-HP. I feel the benefits of it are even if it doesn;t expand, the soft lead deforms if it hits a bone and makes a better channel...and even if it doesn't deform, the SWC profile will cut a nearly full caliber wound channel.

They shoot to point of aim in all of my fixed sight .38's and .357's...
This is what I would do also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I bought a box of Speer Gold Dot 38 +P 125 gr JHP and a box of Speer Gold Dot 357 magnum 158 gr JHP at LGS. I'll shoot both and compare.

Seems I want the 357 for SD, it's just a 5 shot and 38 +P seems to be similar to 9mm so the 357 to me seems to be a better choice when shooting at 4-7'. It's summer but come winter with heavy clothes that 357 is better though I know HP can clog with material and not perform as expected. That's why I'm not so sure about the 38, the 357 even if clogged should deliver a powerful punch.
 

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I bought a box of Speer Gold Dot 38 +P 125 gr JHP and a box of Speer Gold Dot 357 magnum 158 gr JHP at LGS. I'll shoot both and compare.

Seems I want the 357 for SD, it's just a 5 shot and 38 +P seems to be similar to 9mm so the 357 to me seems to be a better choice when shooting at 4-7'. It's summer but come winter with heavy clothes that 357 is better though I know HP can clog with material and not perform as expected. That's why I'm not so sure about the 38, the 357 even if clogged should deliver a powerful punch.
You keep saying 4-7 ft like you can plan you gunfight?? Since you can't, you have to find out what you can fight with. At 4ft I don't care about accuracy or POA/POI. At 40ft, things need to be more predictable. If you are only practicing at 7ft, you are doing yourself a great disservice. If you think 40ft is a long distant gunfight, consider it is only two cars apart. Certainly possible in a Walmart parking lot.
FWIW, the heavy winter clothing thing is soooo over rated. No clothing slows a bullet down, so vel is not the issue. A well designed JHP that opens after passing thru heavy clothing is the goal, 38sp+p, 9mm or 357mag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You keep saying 4-7 ft like you can plan you gunfight?? Since you can't, you have to find out what you can fight with. At 4ft I don't care about accuracy or POA/POI. At 40ft, things need to be more predictable. If you are only practicing at 7ft, you are doing yourself a great disservice. If you think 40ft is a long distant gunfight, consider it is only two cars apart. Certainly possible in a Walmart parking lot.
FWIW, the heavy winter clothing thing is soooo over rated. No clothing slows a bullet down, so vel is not the issue. A well designed JHP that opens after passing thru heavy clothing is the goal, 38sp+p, 9mm or 357mag.
Yes I can plan a gun fight, it takes place inside the house. My house is 56' long so I know how long 40' is and under no circumstances can I see that ever happening inside or outside. Any use of a firearm by me would be at close range and most likely in the house (where I have some protection under the law) not outside in the yard much less in the Walmart et al parking lot. Try explaining to the DA why you were shooting at someone at that distance and how you felt your life was in imminent danger! That may work in kommiefornia but it won't in Commie-necticut! ;-) Add to that the the person you hit that was an innocent bystander, yeah you'll have lots of time in prison to ponder the wisdom of taking 40' shots! So I am concerned about up close and personal. It is possible to find myself in this position in public but again it'd have to be very close with no ability to avoid the confrontation.

While heavy clothing won't stop a bullet I have read many times how it can clog the HP causing poor expansion to the point it over penetrates and behaves more like ball than HP ammo, that was my point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's a bit too close and personal! ;-)
 

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Yes I can plan a gun fight, it takes place inside the house. My house is 56' long so I know how long 40' is and under no circumstances can I see that ever happening inside or outside. Any use of a firearm by me would be at close range and most likely in the house (where I have some protection under the law) not outside in the yard much less in the Walmart et al parking lot. Try explaining to the DA why you were shooting at someone at that distance and how you felt your life was in imminent danger! That may work in kommiefornia but it won't in Commie-necticut! ;-) Add to that the the person you hit that was an innocent bystander, yeah you'll have lots of time in prison to ponder the wisdom of taking 40' shots! So I am concerned about up close and personal. It is possible to find myself in this position in public but again it'd have to be very close with no ability to avoid the confrontation.

While heavy clothing won't stop a bullet I have read many times how it can clog the HP causing poor expansion to the point it over penetrates and behaves more like ball than HP ammo, that was my point.
I see; so if someone is shooting at you from 20 feet away, you just give up, because you haven't envisioned that scenario?

Seems you've got the "my gunfight" syndrome...

http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/classroom/206340-my-gunfight.html
 

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You know... I never get it when someone says "It's only going to happen at a few feet away", so why practice at longer distances. My response generally is that if you can reliably and quickly hit something at 15yrds, you will be able to hit it at 5 feet. Nothing can be lost by shooting at mid-range distances, and if a murder is taking place 10 yards away, like someone stabbing your loved one, you might have the accuracy and confidence to end the matter without hitting the person you love.

As Agalindo points out, with his "My Gunfight" reference, there is no way to predict just when or where you may have to use your gun. Hopefully you will NEVER have to use it, but if you do, practice already done at even moderate distances may give you the edge you need.
 

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Yes I can plan a gun fight, it takes place inside the house. My house is 56' long so I know how long 40' is and under no circumstances can I see that ever happening inside or outside. Any use of a firearm by me would be at close range and most likely in the house (where I have some protection under the law) not outside in the yard much less in the Walmart et al parking lot. Try explaining to the DA why you were shooting at someone at that distance and how you felt your life was in imminent danger! That may work in kommiefornia but it won't in Commie-necticut! ;-) Add to that the the person you hit that was an innocent bystander, yeah you'll have lots of time in prison to ponder the wisdom of taking 40' shots! So I am concerned about up close and personal. It is possible to find myself in this position in public but again it'd have to be very close with no ability to avoid the confrontation.

While heavy clothing won't stop a bullet I have read many times how it can clog the HP causing poor expansion to the point it over penetrates and behaves more like ball than HP ammo, that was my point.
This is a fantastic case of you never thinking far enough ahead in your sd situation. You can be attacked anywhere, anytime, you can't plan for that. If someone is shooting at me, regardless of distance, I am in imminent danger, 5ft, 5yds, 5blocks. You are only setting yourself up for failure IMO. Btw, most rooms in a home are more than 7' to contact. Unless you are fighting in your bathroom, you are in a wee bit of trouble.
I can tell by your though process, you have never had any formal training or if you did, it was very poor. I know my stds for training are high, but then I value my life & family's enough to commit to a higher skill level. Plan & practice for the worst case scenario, not the best case. Then if it happens, you are half way there. Mind set is just as important as weapon/ammo choice in a fight for your life. Btw, that is true here or Connecticut.
 

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I have fired the SP101 2.25 bbl, and I really love it. BUT I've been really eyeballing the 3" lately, and I gotta say, I think I may go that route instead of the 2. I seem to be changing my mind a LOT lately concerning barrel length, as I am also considering a Commander sized 1911 as opposed to a compact now. Okay, I digressed, I REALLY like the SP101!
 

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I'd also go with a heavier .38+P...but I'm partial to the FBI load, the 158gr SWC-HP. I feel the benefits of it are even if it doesn;t expand, the soft lead deforms if it hits a bone and makes a better channel...and even if it doesn't deform, the SWC profile will cut a nearly full caliber wound channel.

They shoot to point of aim in all of my fixed sight .38's and .357's...
This always a good choice too.

If you want the Magnum, look for a short barrel load, they tend to use faster burning powder so it might cut some muzzle flash too. Still gonna be loud as hell :)

The Winchester PDX1 has been a good one in other calibers, don't know how it's been in .357. Gold dot is a classic and the XTP usually does good too.
 

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I have fired the SP101 2.25 bbl, and I really love it. BUT I've been really eyeballing the 3" lately, and I gotta say, I think I may go that route instead of the 2. I seem to be changing my mind a LOT lately concerning barrel length, as I am also considering a Commander sized 1911 as opposed to a compact now. Okay, I digressed, I REALLY like the SP101!

Yeah, I prefer the 3" as well because IWB, that extra inch doesn't cost you anything while affording slightly better ballistics and some recoil enhancements. My shooting partner and I have sold several back and forth to each other where he still owns one today and all have been the 3" version. I wouldn't be opposed to carrying the new 4" version for that matter. For now, I'm stuck with the 2 3/4" Speed-Six and have no complaints. I do not carry with .38 Sp. nor anything else sub-sonic until it says .45 ACP and that starts with 200 gr. JHPs. ;)
 
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