"NEW" .357 Mag 158gr Hornady XTP +P
Velocity: 1300 FPS
These will get the job done. Over my chronograph, velocities range from almost 1,200 fps, in a two-inch "snubbie" revolver, to over 1,400 fps from a six-inch barrel. In my R92 Rossi (20" barrel) this round moves-out at 1,950 fps. This ammo offers excellent accuracy and performance, with minimal velocity variation, from shot-to-shot.
Back in "Ye' Olden Days" when I was a police officer, the 125 grain loads in 357 Magnum were the dominant load for duty use. The heavier 158 grainers had for many years filled the sixguns of lawmen, and some departments still carried them (or authorized them like the Border Patrol did) despite the switch to the lighter-faster loads. This load from Georgia Arms would have been given the new 125 grainers a run for their money if we had them.
This bonded load is rated at 1250 fps, and is very consistent in a variety of handguns I have tested it in. Groups at 15 yards consistently fall in the 2 inch range, and if a person does their part you can coax 3 inch groups out to 25 yards. I have fired this load from S&W N frames and Ruger GP100's. The load proved accurate in both platforms, and no reliability issues have ever come up in...oh....7 years or so.
Penetration is excellent. Though I have not performed the famous gelatin test, I can report that I have perforated a standard bowling pin and a decent sized pine sapling with them. So for a hunting load this heavy bonded bullet will deliver the goods on about anything you want to shoot with pistol caliber load. Recovered slugs show good expansion, and I have yet to see a hint of jacket separation.
I rated this load at 4 Stars, and would have given it a 5 Star Rating if it were load just a little bit hotter. If they were to bump this loading up toward the 1350 fps or higher range, very bad things would happen to flesh and bone if this round were utilized. Having said that, this is still one of the top offerings in 357 on the market. I would not hesitate to use it, as it approaches the realm of "Jack of All Trades" loads that would work well in defensive situations or hunting scenarios.