few hints for 38/357

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by jjfuller1, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

    i am in the process of purchasing a gp100! woot woot.. so any hints for good ammo recipes?

    ive been looking up ammo and ive notice a lot of different bullet weights. is there a big difference in recoil and accuraccy between the 125 gr vs a 158 gr?
  2. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

    19.0 gr H110 under a 140gr XTP

    16.8 under a 158gr JSP

  3. GilaDan

    GilaDan New Member

    Hello JJ, I bought a GP100 for my wife about a year ago. It was her choice of many for a home defense firearm. She loves to shoot it. The loads I use for her are for the most part 'loaded down' for her to plink with. And yes, the 125 gr versus the 158 grain should have a different recoil - 158 being more.

    The load we use almost exclusively for my wife is 3.6 grains American Select with several 125 grain bullets - Berrys, Colo Cast, Missouri Cast, etc. This powder charge is probably below the 'start' charge so be cautioned about that. Other good loads with the 125 gr bullet is 5.8 Power Pistol and 5.2 Unique.

    I think you will want to try the 180 grain cast bullets. Some excellent groups came from using 8.0 gr AA#7 and 10.0 gr H4227.

    All of the above is 38 special loads. I have some more data on the 158 gr bullet if you are interested. Good Luck
  4. bluez

    bluez Well-Known Member

    I own several GP 100's.

    The lighter 125 gr bullest are genrally faster (1300-1400 fps) and the heavier bullets slower ( approx 1000 fps since the same amount of powder is generally used for each in factory loads.
    The avg energy is often quite similiar betwen the light and heavy 357 Mag bullets ( tho hotter loads are available and aGP 100 can handle 357 Mag loads that are loaded so hot they put out as much energy as a 41 mag or a low end 44 mag)

    Many shooters find the 158 gr round more comfortable to shoot than 125 gr round of equal energy.
    My theory is that since the lighter round is faster the recoil bump will be more focused and "sharper" despite during a short time fraction than a 158 gr. This way the felt "peak" is higher, even though the toal energy might be the same.

    Same say the 158 gr is better for hunting bigger animals ( deer) and 125 gr with its high speed and shock better for people.

    Its a wide spread view.

    IMO just try a box of each and decide which you enjoy most.
    Any 357 Mag round will definetly ruin a bad guys day and be able to shoot thru drywall and car doors just fine if needed.

    PS: It <is> possible to buy 158 gr factory loads that are loaded hot enough to be as fast as 125 gr loads but these are not comfortable round to train with for many.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  5. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

    17 gr. of 2400 with a 125 jhp is a great defense round. It's not a max load but close.
  6. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    2 grains of Red Dot with 148 grain bullets. A pound goes a long way.
  7. fupuk

    fupuk New Member

    Im at work right now but I believe the last load I did was 158gr backed by 6.9 grains of Unique. Worked very well in my Gp100.
  8. fupuk

    fupuk New Member

    I lied it was 6.7 grains of Unique. Hope this helps.
  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    if you plan on using reduced loads (38special) use 357 cases and 38special charge weights.

    trailboss is a fantastic powder for reduced power loads.
  10. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    For a good defense load, I use 125 JHP over a max charge of H110.

    It chronos 1625 FPS from my 6 inch security six.

    When most LE carried the .357 revolvers, the Federal 125 JHP was pretty much the standard.
  11. Intheshop

    Intheshop New Member

    I shoot an awful lot of home-cast wadcutters at velocities that my K38 likes.Shooting into shop-made bullet traps,so lead can be reclaimed.

    Ammo recipes depend on the criteria that you have.For me,its cheapest possible Dbl action practice.......accuracy is real important.But recoil is right there too.Also,how well the bullets fit/obturate and its effect on cleaning(fancy way of sayin,minimising cleaning).....and on and on.

    So,you need to really buckle down and decide what areas you want to focus on.And its not an easy decision sometimes.....because of all the good choices,in your case,38/357.

    Try breaking down bullet weights into categories.Lite..medium...heavy's.Obviously heavy's(over 160)are gonna have more recoil than lites'.So what are heavy's used for......why can't you shoot silhouette's(steel) with 125's?Break it down in a logical way that you understand.

    You can also categorise bullet material,lead vs jacketed vs composite.Then sub that with bullet style....wadcutter,semi-wc,HP's etc.Powders are a little different,so pick one or two and stick with them.
  12. at_liberty

    at_liberty New Member

    I too am looking for the right load. If I had wanted a 38 Special, I would have bought one, so stepping down from 357 is not on the table.

    Ruger SP101 (3+" barrel) is a lightweight frame with 5 rounds, so heavier loads are pretty punishing. First time out with Federal 158 Gr 357 gave me a really sore knuckle behind the trigger guard. Number one, I will change grip accordingly but have ordered the Hogue rubber grip. I believe I need a milder round but based upon a different weight bullet. I bought 5-6 different weights of 38 cal XTP, but the testimony about use of 125 grain matches my intuition.

    I also bought H110, IMR4227, and 2400 as powder choices that I believe will allow good volume within the case, consistent detonation, and fast enough burning to preclude excessive flash and suboptimal velocity.

    This is just background, not a statement of position, because I would welcome advice or affirmation regarding my choice of direction here.

    p.s. I don't have any small magnum primers and cannot find any, so assume small pistol primers here. My supply is all CCI.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  13. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    Unfortunately, there is no full power .357 load that will not be "brutal" in a SP101.

    Since this is a defensive type weapon, I would focus on 125 grain loads. 158 are better suited for hunting.

    H110 for loading is a good powder. I use it for all of my .357 and .44 magnum loads regardless of bullet weight.

    The mods have asked that I do not post my primer choice so I'll leave that to others.