357mag home defense rounds?

Question:What would you use? I'm thinking HP's in a lower grain.
Or just use a 38 spl round??


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I'm loaded with Cor-Bon 110gr JHP right now, and have been for a couple of decades at least.

I would never recommend Glaser Safety Slugs for anyone unless they lived in a thin-walled apartment building and were really in risk of over penetration of sheetrock walls endangering innocents. I saw a report of a guy in Detroit who was shot three times in the torso at close range with Glasers who ran away from the scene and was only marginally injured due to his heavy layers of clothing (it was wintertime).

I'm cuting and pasting an article from Chuck Hawks, because it really sums everything up and delivers exactly the right info and I couldn't say it any better.........

".357 Magnum

The most effective handgun round on the market - regardless of caliber - is the Federal .357 Magnum 125 grain jacketed hollowpoint (357B). This load has more stopping power than any other handgun bullet (and this includes more powerful rounds like the .41 and .44 Magnums). I advise all experienced revolver men to carry the legendary Federal 357B in a .357 revolver, or the equally good Remington full-power 125 grain semi-jacketed hollowpoint (R357M1).

There is one caveat, however. The 357B and other full-power .357 Magnums have a lot of blast and kick. If you are not comfortable with the buck and roar of full-house .357 Magnums, I would strongly suggest that you use a lower-recoil round. Controllability is important, and you will be able to fire lower-recoil rounds more rapidly and accurately. All of these .357 loads have excellent stopping power, so don't worry that you are giving up too much.

In descending order of severity of recoil (i.e. the Silvertip kicks the most) I recommend the Winchester Silvertip 145 grain JHP (X357SHP), The Remington Golden Saber 125 grain JHP (GS357MA), Federal 110 gr. JHP (357D), Remington Medium Velocity 125 grain Semi-Jacketed Hollowpoint (R357M11) and the Cor-Bon 110 grain JHP. The latter two are excellent rounds I strongly recommend for .357 Magnum 2.5" and 3" barrel snub-nose revolvers like the S&W Models 66, 19, 65, 13, the Colt King Cobra, the Ruger GP100 and especially the small-frame Ruger SP101. If you still find that your .357 kicks too much, carry the Cor-Bon .38 Special+P 110 grain JHP discussed above. Two or three hits with good .38+P slugs beat any number of misses with .357 slugs.

Note well: if you are using the factory wood stocks on your S&W or Taurus .357 revolver, you should try a set of rubber replacement grips. Ruger and Colt .357 Magnums come factory-equipped with recoil-absorbing ergodynamic rubber grips, and I have no idea why S&W and Taurus continue to put wood grips on their .357 revolvers. The difference in control is enormous. Get some good, compact rubber grips from Uncle Mike's or Pachmayr and slap them onto your .357 revolver ASAP. I used to cringe every time I fired a full-power load in my .357 Magnum snub-nose. Once I put some compact Pachmayr grips on it, however, I had no problem firing the 357B accurately and rapidly. These grips only cost twenty bucks. Buy some.)

Other good .357 Magnum loads.

The 125 grain jacketed hollowpoints by Cor-Bon, Winchester, and CCI are all good stoppers. The CCI Blazer 125 grain jacketed hollow-point is a very good buy, both for practice and self-defense use. The 110 grain jacketed hollowpoints by Winchester, CCI and Remington are all good for use in snub-nose revolvers, or for those sensitive to recoil. You never go wrong with a 110-125 grain .357 jacketed hollowpoint from the Big Five. All are great stoppers.

Crappy .357 Magnum loads you should not carry for self-defense.

Never carry soft-points, semi-wadcutters, or any of the 158 grain or 180 grain jacketed hollowpoints - these are solely for hunting or target use. Stick to jacketed hollowpoints under 150 grains in weight. The heavier bullets kick heavily and will shoot high and confuse you. All-lead bullets are okay for practice but you will have to spend twice as long cleaning your gun."

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If you load your own, then use .38 spl with a wadcutter loaded backwards. Because it will be used for home defense, reduce the powder load so you wont get though and through shots. This way the rounds stay in the bodymass. Always remember to aim low and pull the trigger until empty, muzzle rise will handle your shot pattern.

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Raymond has the right idea with a shotgun. Hard to miss with that but if all you have is the .357 then I would go with a low grain .38 special in case you go crazy or scared and start just shooting wildly. That way there will be less damage to the other occupants of the house in case of wild rounds, not to mention damage to walls and furniture.

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If someone breaks into your house while you're home, you can blow him away with a regular 38 load in your .357.
The 38 caliber is an error. It actually measures .357 of an inch. The 38 name stuck until the .357 Magnum was developed.
I keep a loaded 38 short ready ( we have no kids at home )Of course, it won't be used unless someone forces his way into the house, if he does, he'll be carried back out.

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Use the .357 magnum, use a 158 grain truncated hollow point for maximum kinetic energy delivery.Shot placement is key. Using a truncated hollow point will not allow over penetration, even thru a wall should you miss your target.

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110gr .357magnum loading would serve you very well. Very good for limited penetration with one hell of a shock to the central nervous system of your predator. For the record, "38" is not an error. The shell was designated that number because .379" is the circumference of the casemouth. This is why .38 Colt/.38 SW SPL (the .357 .38s) and .38SW (.360") are called ".38".

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Any .357 jacketed hollow point bullet from 125 grains to 158 grains will do just fine. A lot of people like 125 grain bullets followed by the 158 grainers.

You're not trying to stop a charging cape buffalo or anything like that. The .357 is plenty powerful and then some. It's considered one of the best home defense handguns so don't worry about shotguns or .44 magnums or anything else. It will stop a man without any problems and even if you don't hit him in the chest, I'm sure he won't want to stick around for too much longer. The .38 and .38+p will do just fine as well.

If I had a .357 I wouldn't hesitate to grab it if needed in the middle of the night. For now I use my shotgun. There's something about the sound of racking the slide on my Remington 870 that should be intimidating as hell to an intruder.

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Lot of good advise so far. I'm also one of those who firmly believes a pump shotgun is the ultimate home defense firearm. That said....

Whatever you plan to load in your revolver, .38 or 357, just be sure you're firing the same rounds at the range. Might cost you a little more money, but you really should be familiar with any "quirks" the weapon has firing that round. 4 am is the WRONG time to start "experimenting"..

Also, if you're shooting 38 because 357 is just too powerful for you to control at the range, the exact same thing will happen when you need it, you'll hesitate at that critical moment...

Were it me and all I had for home defense was a 357? I'd probably load it with .38 hp, served many police departments well for years..

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I'll pop out and recommend Glaser Safety Slugs. They're a moderate power .38 Special load, the slug itself is a plastic capsule holding a quantity of small lead shot in liquid teflon. On impact with a hard surface (wall, for example) the plastic case breaks and the shot dissipates with little chance to do damage. In impact with flesh the same happens but all the shot, and all the energy from the round, in transferred to the target with almost no chance of overpenetration doing damage to persons or objects behind your target.

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Light .38 Special hollow points will work well at the close range that home defense involves. Consider also the pre-fragmented slugs, since regular bullets go through a lot of dry wall endangering others in your own home.



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I recommend .38 special rounds in a hollow point. They are less likely to penetrate walls and hit a loved one or neighbor as opposed to the .357 magnum which travels at a higher speed. I use .38 specials myself in a 4-inch revolver for home defense. They even shoot more accurately than .357's, probably because of the lower recoil. Hollow points are best but any type of .38 special bullet is a heck of alot better than nothing.

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I would opt for any of the follwoing depending on your ability to handle recoil, muzzle blast, and sound.

.38 special (+p)
158 LHP. The standard FBI load

.357 mag.

125 JHP Remington either the full power or reduced power
140 Grain WInchester silvertip
180 Winchester Partition.
The new Corbon DXP line with the all copper barnes bullets would also be good to look at.

I would not opt for the 110-125 grain as my 1st choice. I have personally shot and seen the 110 JHP stopped by a coffee table. I want something that adequately penetrates to vital organs, not giving a nasty flesh wound that just makes them angry.

My personal .357 carry loads are the .38 special FBI load in the house. In my car and woods, the 180 grain Partition.

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I use 38 Special target load wad cutters 148 grain for in side the house,
don’t wont to punch through too many walls or doors, it’s not cool cutting your electrical wiring and starting a house fire.
Out side the house I grab the other 357 that loaded with 150 HP full power loads.
But I live in the country and the next house is way off.
It depends where you live and what lives in the next room as in kids or loved ones.
Let alone the next house.
I go with the wad cutter (and that’s a Full wad cutter) target loads to avoid excessive penetration, and that big blunt projectile will be stopped in a door jam where the others may not.
I was a single parent and wonted to protect my son not kill the intruder and hurt or kill my son in the process.
Trust me that the home intruder wont know if you shot him with a hollow point or wadcutter.
They will both kill quick.

That what I use.


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Look at magsafe ammo, a light weight bullet (50-60 grains) with extreme velocity (1800 fps) made for shooting in areas where over penetration is a concern.

also check out www.extremeshockusa.com they load a regular weight bullet but use compressed metal inside standard jacket that on impact dumps all its energy into the target with in the first few inches of penetration. It also designed to come apart inside of sheet rock should you miss your target so as not to in danger some one in a adjoining room. I have heard but not verified that some of the private security company's in Iraq are using this with great success and instant incapacitation.

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