A look at some .357 Magnum loads

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Apr 7, 2006

The .357 Magnum out of a J frame or similar sized Snubbie can be done,
but usually with a higher price for recoil or follow up shots than using
standard 38 Special or 38+P ammo.

While I really love my KLCR .357 for EDC when I opt for a revolver.

I've come to find out that most full-house .357 loads are a bit too much for me-
at least out of my KLCR.

However.. some people have no problem with them.

That said:

There are a few DOUBLE TAP AMMO loads shown here that would be very suitable for
a SP-101, Ruger Speed Six, GP100 or even K and L frames.
( Does anyone still carry a .357 N frame?)
Or anyone looking for some awesome power out of a J frame
sized gun that's willing to accept the recoil.

(1.) .357 110 gr. TAC-XP:


As a big fan on the solid copper Barnes X bullet JHPs in most of my
carry guns for the past couple years now.

Double Tap's 110 grain 38+P load was a real sweetheart in my old Ruger
LCR 38+P. The solid copper bullets are conical looking and much lighter
to carry than most of defensive loads.

Citing low recoil and moderate muzzle flash, combined with delicous

There is also no need for BONDING the bullet or some other
gimmick to give it excellent tactical penetration and also uniform
expansion. The TAC-XP as loaded by a few ammo companies now
(even Wilson)does both.

At a sizzling (advertised) velocity of 1640fps / 4" Ruger GP-100 and still
smoking along 1470fps / 1 7/8" S&W from a snub nose.
It has the lightest recoil of any .357 Mag load I've ever fired, but still
a handfull in the KCLR.

This .357 load offers the very modern TAC-XP for your .357 Magnum,
and I think would be ideal for the heavier SP-101s out there.

(2) .357 125 gr. Bonded Defense:

I like the Bonded Defense (SPEER Gold Dot bullet) line as well.


I've yet to shoot any in 38+P for a while now, but really dig it in a variety of .357 SIG
loads offered by DT. (With my new favorite being the sweet shooting 147 gr. Gold Dot that soon to be on the

One could surmise.. that it's not much different than any other 38+P
in the 125 gr. range, but with the very, very, street-proven Gold Dot
bullet design that's been around for decades.

Although, loaded to Magnum levels, the 125 gr. BD is a real boomer and has some raw power
to it.

With an Advertised velocity of 1,600 fps and a whopping 710 ft.lbs of energy!

Seemingly Perfect- if you want to make that initial 125 gr. "King of the Streets"
first impression, even though I'd like it out of a Speed Six/GP sized
.357 even better.

(Although, in all honesty, I did have some sticky cases with the 110s
and 125s, but it could be more inclined to a semi- dirty gun on my part).

(3) .357 NOSLER.
In looking at the DT 158 grain NOLSER JHP.

You can see that it's a tradtional hollow-point bullet with a lead core and copper jacket.

Same design as the ammunition I carried as a young Deputy Sherrif in the late 80s.

The big 158s worked very well on cars since it had great penetration, and somewhat well on most suspects.

That was the only JHP or SP (soft point) ammo around back then, unless you went to the
Super-Vel that most depts would never buy do to cost and little street/highway data.

Also, there really wasn't any other loads to compare them with for stopping power, until
the advent of the 125 grain .357 Magnum came upon the scene.

Even then, a lot of cops still carried 6 inch revolvers that really took advantage of all that
powder, so it was a lot different back in those days.

This NOSLER load would probably be ideal for small deer/game as well.
Expecting somewhat Deep penetration with moderate expansion once it got there, with recoil (probably) being identical
to the Double Tap 158 grain Gold Dots from a few years ago.
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/czrami/DOUBLE TAP/dt357.jpg

With Advertised numbers like this:

Velocity: 1400fps / 4" Ruger GP-100
1245fps / 1 7/8" S&W
1540fps / 6"bbl S&W 686 Muzzle Energy: 688 ft. lbs.

I'd also expect it to be a bit stronger than the generic Remington 158 gr. JSP as well.
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/czrami/Rugers/Ruger Speed Six 357 Magnum/sppedsixopen.jpg

(3.).357 125 gr. Jacketed HP

DT's 125 gr. semi jacketed hollow-point is as fast as the 125 gr. BD/GOLD DOT
but is loaded with what looks like the Remington or even Winchester 125 gr. JHP.

This is a exposed lead bullet that is infamous for fragmentation that sends off
secondary particles into the human body.

While most Cops carried the Federal version that looked much like the 158 Nosler in profile.
Troopers were most often armed with the Remington version.

This fragmenting design is what some people prefer in both .357 Magnum and .357 SIG
as well.

Both DOUBLE TAP and COR-BON offer a fragmenting load in the .357 SIG 125, with DT using the
proven SIERRA JHP, and some say CB now using their own design.

While the Remington is one very wicked looking 125 gr. 357 Magnum load indeed!
These bullets have a very old school look to them.


Like those produced by Winchester,
Federal and even CCI some years ago.

The traditional 125 grain .357 Magnum loads
were fire breathing dragons to shoot from a 4 inch barrel or shorter.

Newer flash suppressing powders have tamed this to a large degree in todays'
versions but the 125s are still very much authoritive.
Likewise, according to the Double Tap website info and what's printed on the box.

It's loaded indentically as Hot as the Bonded Defense (by 5 fps) , and a quite bit
faster than the Noslers.

So, if you are looking for enhanced velocity in your .357 Magnum or other guns,
the loads above might be well suited to your liking!


I do know that there are mid-range or low recoil .357 Magnum loads on the market
like the 990 fps Speer 135 gr. Gold Dot load that some guys adore in their Snubbies.

I'd like to see Double Tap or others offer a 125-135 grain JHP @1,000 fps.
It would be similar to the DT 125 gr. 38+P Bonded Defense, but in a Magnum


I should have a TALO Wiley Clapp limited edition GP-100 arriving
here in Clarkston, next week!

It will look like this beauty..


and be strong enough to shoot most any .38 Special or .357
Magnum load on the market. Those nice grips should tame
most any recoil as well!

For more information:
DoubleTap Ammunition

DoubleTap Ammunition
DoubleTap Ammunition

DoubleTap Ammunition

DoubleTap Ammunition

DoubleTap Ammunition

DoubleTap Ammunition


RUGER WILEY CLAPP GP100 357 MAGNUM | 38 SPECIAL - RUKGP-33-NVK - TALO EXCLUSIVE - 1752 - UPC:736676017522 - Lipseys.com




Mar 8, 2010
Lot's of info there. I'll stick with 38 +p as the top end out of my lighter guns. I have limited use for max 357 loads, even with heavier handguns.


Dec 4, 2012
Thanks for the great info. My GP100 should be arriving early next week.


Jan 12, 2009
Thanks for the info. I'm still working through a couple of cases of Federal 158 grain HydraShok I picked up a few years ago. My only smallish revolver is a S&W 64 38 Spl, so it has Hornady Critical Defense in it, but I rarely ever carry it. Its pretty accurate with my handloads (170 grain Keiths) though.

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