125 Grain JSP 357 Magnum
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  1. #1
    Tinhorn
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    125 Grain JSP 357 Magnum

    Don’t know where else to put this, but it does pertain to home defense and 357 carbines (tactical application of an 1894).

    It has been said that a 125 grain JHP 357 out of a carbine can achieve 2000+ fps, surpassing the threshold of velocity for which the bullet was designed, thus fragmenting too quickly, resulting in inadequate penetration for self defense purposes.

    What about a 125 grain jacketed soft point (JSP)? These are designed to expand less than the hollow points.

    Thinking tactically, the higher velocity achieved by a 125 grain as opposed to a 158 grain would lead to better penetration of soft armor, should the crooks have such. I am aware that 158 grain 357 from a carbine is capable of such, but can only imagine that a 125 grain SP would be more effective at a longer range (due to velocity) while being slightly less likely to overpenetrate building materials than a 158 grain.

    So what does the collective knowledge of the forum think about 125 grain jacketed soft points for the use as described above.

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    If the crooks are wearing body armor your exponentially hosed and any reasonable considerations relative to using one bullet over the other in a home defense situation is a relative paradox where you don't worry about anything other than making headshots. Though a tactical 94 is a bit of an oxymoron in my book, at least a 21st century book.
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    Me, personally? The 158 Gr has been slaying 'em since the 1930's. Velocity isn't everything. Which would rather not be hit with? A ballpean hammer, or a sledge hammer, a freight train or a bicycle? The 125's are great for 'yotes and the like. Lighter bullets of the same diameter, I believe, slow down quicker. Try throwing a Styrofoam ball real fast, then a billiard ball, about the same size, and slower, and see which one goes farthest.


    JMHO, regards, AC
    Last edited by gunscrewguy; 09-24-2018 at 07:56 PM.

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    if you think some one will enter your home wearing armor. a heavy bullet is better. why? it may not go through the armor but its gonna hurt real bad. or use a shotgun. got one by my bed. god help him.

  6. #5
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    Go get youself a S&W 686 or a Ruger GP100 with either a 4 or 6 inch barrel. Take your pick of either 125 gr JSP or JHP. Find yourself a good flashlight and your home defense questions are answered.
    WLR in E TN

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    The various 125gr bullets are still designed around handgun velocities. Yes a soft point will expand less than a hollow point, but these are intended to work at 1300-1500 fps not 2000+. They are still likely to overexpand at 2000+ fps.

    As I recall, the ability to penetrate soft armor, at least for woven kevlar, is related to the shape of the meplate. Is the front of the bullet flat? Or is it pointy? A pointed bullet will more reliably spread the weave of the kevlar and is more likely to slip through. On the other hand, the flat point needs to punch through the weave and cut fibers to penetrate, something it is less likely to do with its limitations of velocity and mass.

    What are your requirements for a home defense, tactical weapon? High capacity? Rapid fire? Limited penetration? Ability to defeat soft armor? These last two are opposed to each other... A lever action (friendlier appearance?) rather than a (nasty looking) black rifle? What about a pump or semi auto shotgun with bird, rather than, buck shot or slugs? Bird shot gives up nothing to buck or slugs at across the room distances. Will your wife need to be able to use this weapon? Or will she have her own? Are you limited by what you can own or use due to where you live?

    Anytime one selects a defensive/tactical home defense weapon, compromises must be made. Where will you make yours? No weapon will optimally suit every situation or every defender.

    Lever rifles were not designed to be tactical home defense weapons. Of course they can be used as such, but something designed specifically for that purpose will do the job faster, easier, and more efficiently.

    But it sure is interesting to think about, isn't it...
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  8. #7
    Tinhorn
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    Quote Originally Posted by HIKayaker View Post
    The various 125gr bullets are still designed around handgun velocities. Yes a soft point will expand less than a hollow point, but these are intended to work at 1300-1500 fps not 2000+. They are still likely to overexpand at 2000+ fps.

    As I recall, the ability to penetrate soft armor, at least for woven kevlar, is related to the shape of the meplate. Is the front of the bullet flat? Or is it pointy? A pointed bullet will more reliably spread the weave of the kevlar and is more likely to slip through. On the other hand, the flat point needs to punch through the weave and cut fibers to penetrate, something it is less likely to do with its limitations of velocity and mass.

    What are your requirements for a home defense, tactical weapon? High capacity? Rapid fire? Limited penetration? Ability to defeat soft armor? These last two are opposed to each other... A lever action (friendlier appearance?) rather than a (nasty looking) black rifle? What about a pump or semi auto shotgun with bird, rather than, buck shot or slugs? Bird shot gives up nothing to buck or slugs at across the room distances. Will your wife need to be able to use this weapon? Or will she have her own? Are you limited by what you can own or use due to where you live?

    Anytime one selects a defensive/tactical home defense weapon, compromises must be made. Where will you make yours? No weapon will optimally suit every situation or every defender.

    Lever rifles were not designed to be tactical home defense weapons. Of course they can be used as such, but something designed specifically for that purpose will do the job faster, easier, and more efficiently.

    But it sure is interesting to think about, isn't it...
    Thank you for your perspective and answers and yes it is interestsing to think about.

    I pose these questions as millions of Americans live in areas where owning an AR/AK or variant is not totally viable. Capacity limitations, reloading limitations (fixed magazines), etc., and these folks need options. If the current crop of sporting rifles (AR/AK) are not allowed (in their original form and function), looking elsewhere is required.

    While a lever may not be ideal, in certain scenarios, it could be preferred over a hamstrung semi auto and the negative attention such weapons garner in some areas.

    Furthermore, some folks may just prefer the aesthetics of the lever over an evil black rifle, and will use their “beauty queen” as a defensive firearm and may someday want an answer as to what ammunition they should load it with.

    I am not ballistic expert, for sure, but am fairly well read on the subject, and “get” the compromises; just wanting to throw out options for folks and reasons in favor or against. Your reply is much appreciated because it addressed the topic on point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoberman View Post
    Don’t know where else to put this, but it does pertain to home defense and 357 carbines (tactical application of an 1894).

    It has been said that a 125 grain JHP 357 out of a carbine can achieve 2000+ fps, surpassing the threshold of velocity for which the bullet was designed, thus fragmenting too quickly, resulting in inadequate penetration for self defense purposes.

    What about a 125 grain jacketed soft point (JSP)? These are designed to expand less than the hollow points.

    Thinking tactically, the higher velocity achieved by a 125 grain as opposed to a 158 grain would lead to better penetration of soft armor, should the crooks have such. I am aware that 158 grain 357 from a carbine is capable of such, but can only imagine that a 125 grain SP would be more effective at a longer range (due to velocity) while being slightly less likely to overpenetrate building materials than a 158 grain.

    So what does the collective knowledge of the forum think about 125 grain jacketed soft points for the use as described above.
    OneDoberman,

    For home defence and 357 mag, you may want to consider soft bullets at much lower velocity. Good example, Berry's Bullets 125 gr hollow point copper plated bullets. The soft pure lead core and thin copper plate allow for quick expansion, mass retention for plenty of penetation, and less chance of over penetration into the next room or beyond.

    If you stay in the 22 lr velocity range, 1,000 to 1,200 fps you will have more than enough to handle the average two leg preditors at 20 feet or less without putting family and neighbors in danger.

    4.4 gr of TightGroup under a 125 gr Berry's hollow point plated bullet gives me aound 1,200 fps out of a 357 rifle. Now, if you think there could be body armor involved, nothing wrong with the third round and beyond being full house power loads with 180 gr FMJ bullets.

    Other option for home defense, a 20 or 12 guage with BB or #2 shot to start, #4 buck follow up, and progressively up to your choice of slugs for a dopped up bull with armor. Remember, it is easier to take intruders down with a shotgun blast to the legs and then make sure any suvirors are shot again. Not much body armor on the legs, right.

    If BB or #2 shot can penetrate the breast meat thickness of a goose at 40 yards, I am sure it will do the job at 20 feet or less on any human, again without over penetration into adjacent rooms.
    Last edited by PoopDeckPappy; 03-30-2019 at 07:29 PM.
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  10. #9
    Tinhorn
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoopDeckPappy View Post
    OneDoberman,

    For home defence and 357 mag, you may want to consider soft bullets at much lower velocity. Good example, Berry's Bullets 125 gr hollow point copper plated bullets. The soft pure lead core and thin copper plate allow for quick expansion, mass retention for plenty of penetation, and less chance of over penetration into the next room or beyond.

    If you stay in the 22 lr velocity range, 1,000 to 1,200 fps you will have more than enough to handle the average two leg preditors at 20 feet or less without putting family and neighbors in danger.

    4.4 gr of TightGroup under a 125 gr Berry's hollow point plated bullet gives me aound 1,200 fps out of a 357 rifle. Now, it you think there could be body armor involved, nothing wrong with the third round and beyond being full house power loads with 180 gr FMJ bullets.

    Other option for home defense, a 20 or 12 guage with BB or #2 shot to start, #4 buck follow up, and progressively up to your choice of slugs for a dopped up bull with armor. Remember, it is easier to take intruders down with a shotgun blast to the legs and then make sure any suvirors are shot again. Not much body armor on the legs, right.

    If BB or #2 shot can penetrate the breast meat thickness of a goose at 40 yards, I am sure it will do the job at 20 feet or less on any human, again without over penetration into adjacent rooms.
    Thanks for the well thought out response.

    My question in response is what would you suggest (ammunition) for someone who wants/already owns a 357 lever and will use it defensively in either urban or rural settings and it may be required to defeat soft armor should that unlikely scenario arise. Mind you, this firearm would be a replacement for an AR/AK variant due to locality restrictions. Thank you
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  11. #10
    Gun Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoberman View Post
    Thanks for the well thought out response.

    My question in response is what would you suggest (ammunition) for someone who wants/already owns a 357 lever and will use it defensively in either urban or rural settings and it may be required to defeat soft armor should that unlikely scenario arise. Mind you, this firearm would be a replacement for an AR/AK variant due to locality restrictions. Thank you
    Due to financial considerations and what I had from which to choose locally, my Smith & Wesson revolvers and my Marlin 1894C are loaded with Winchester 125 gr. jacketed hollowpoint .38 Spl. +P.


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