Fodder for a Ruger GP100 .357
I thought I lived in a safe community, but twice now someone has tried to break into my house by kicking down my front door. It used to be that thieves sneaked in when you were out, now they wait until you're home and make enough noise to wake the dead. Even after I turned on the porch light and yelled I was ready for him, the guy kept trying to kick the door in. He scrammed when the police rounded the corner.
I bought the first gun I could find, a Ruger GP100 .357 with a 3" barrel. I have no qualms about using it. The next guy who puts a foot to my door in the middle of the night is not going to find me cowering in my own house praying he'll go away. We have an outdoor range in the adjoining town, I'll practice there. I don't know anyone who knows beans about guns, and unhappily I've taken a dislike to the local gun-shop owner who wanted $40 just to receive any gun I bought by mail.
Frankly, I feel I'll get better advice here, and it'll be more unbiased. Ammunition seems to be an exhaustive topic, I can't distinguish bad information from good. I will be primarily interested in the least expensive way of doing things. What ammo do I need for door kickers, and what ammo do I practice with. I intend to devote myself to a lot of target shooting, will it be worth my while to reload my spent cartridges? If so, what kind of tool should I be looking at?
Howdy from NY.
I have had my home broken into twice. Once, everyone was at work and the guy took his time picking out what he wanted and even fixed himself lunch. The other time was while we were sleeping. He took my briefcase and my wife's purse and we never heard a thing.
Anything is better than nothing in terms of ammo. My opinion is that if it will put a hole in a bad guy, its good enough for me. I think any other discussion about expansion, penitration and the like is beyond what I have to concern myself about.
If you're new to guns and shooting, you might want to take a safety class. You don't want to cause harm to your self or your loved ones when your intent is to help. Also, get lots of practice at the range. A paper target is hard enough to hit at the range, and its not attacking or trying to kill you.
I reload and use a Lee Pro1000. Using locally purchased consumables (not in bulk) it cuts the cost to about 1/3 the cost of factory ammo. I usually go through 200-300 rounds of 9mm a week, so for me it makes sense financially to reload.
I hope this helps.
You made a good choice in the GP100. Of course I am predjudiced as I have a 4" GP100 in blue.
Although there is a wide selection of ammo normaly available you may have to take whatever is on the shelf when you enter the store for awhile.
The GP100 will handle mild .38Spl to wild .357Mag loads. For practice purchase what is available at low cost.
I am currently using Winchester .38Spl. +P 125Gr. JHP's as my HD/PD carry load. They are more than adequate for close range defensive purposes and the last I purchased were $30 for 50. Higher priced stuff is available but there is no need to waste money that could go towards practice.
I reload my practice ammo to yield similar velocity and point of impact as the HD/PD load in use.
The 3" GP does not have adjustable sights so you will have to settle for some minor POA vs. POI error. It will vary to some extent based on the bullet weight and velocity you are using but should remain within a 3" or so circle at defensive ranges.
Bullet weight seems to affect revolvers point of impact more than semi auto's in my experience so don't be surprised.
FWIW accuracy potential for the GP100 is under 1" groups at 15 yards. Mine has produced many 5/8" groups(over sandbags).
Good luck and stay safe.
Last edited by TOF; 04-17-2009 at 06:41 PM.
Reason: word selection change
For target shooting, just use full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets in .38 special, as they are the cheapest way to feed. I would not worry about the brand - just don't use gunshow reloads.
For defense use, use a good hollowpoint, which can be found by many manufacturers. Look at Hornady, Winchester, Remington, Cor-bon, Buffalo Bore, Gold Dot, and a few more that I can't immediately think of. I would not sweat the decision as to which one in particular - just use a good one and put it where it needs to be. Also, remember that a full-house .357 will shoot and handle differently than practice loads, so make sure you practice with the carry loads as well.
As for reloading - it's not just one tool - it is many different tools, and one would not be able to tell you how to reload on this kind of forum. If this is something that interests you, then you should get a book on this and learn what kind of tools it takes to reload. Once you have some knowledge under your hat, you can then ask about presses, de-primers, case polishers, dies, powder measures, case lubes, primers, bullets, progressives, etc.....
Full power .357mag will kill your hearing forever, literally, if you shoot one indoors w/o protection. And- there's the worry of over penetration if you miss, which is highly probable during a dynamic/critcal incident.
As suggested, one of the many commerically available Home Defense loads in 38spl will serve you very well that are low flash etc. Handloads can get you in trouble. Keep 5 of the rounds you use for home defence in the box as proof rounds.
For practice, shoot whatever you like, that gun can take it.
Range reloads are usually a good affordable round if they have same.
Also- obtain a speed-loader or two and get familiar with same as well when you practice at the range. Also practice with a small lamp- like a Surefire. You can see them, they can't see you. Big advantage when you blind them.
Make sure the shoot is righteous, don't hit them in the back (looks bad in court) and happy hunting.
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