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Discussion Starter #1
As I have stated before I was more of a high powered rifle person than a handgun person...Tomorrow I am gonna sight the gun to my preference.....for carry I use Hornady Critical Defense .38 spcl+P 110 gr FTX and Hornady .38 spcl 125 gr XTP but I also keep Hornady .357 mag 125 gr XTP ammo on me just in case I may need them.....any input on the ammo I chose.....any suggestions .....what would yall use to sight this gun....its the SP-101 with the 4.2" barrel I only bought one box of each for now until I decide what will be the best to carry......will keep up a stock of all three, .38+P, .38spcl and .357 Magnum just have to decide on type
 

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I have one identical to yours. I've tested all bullet weights and found mine definetly prefers 158's. Testing was done at 25 yards. However I reload and I keep the velocity down to a respectable level.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been reading where a lot of people like the 125 grain ammo for self defense.....never had to use a gun to defend myself and pray I never do but if I have to I want to use something with good stopping power without endangering innocent bystanders ....as I stated I am new at carrying so I am wanting to get all the information I can to make an informed decision
 

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In my 2.25" SP101 I've settled on the Winchester PDX1 130gn .357mag. I was impressed with the ballistics vids on YouTube.
I shot this ammo alongside Magtech .38spl 158gn SWC and the PDX1 wasn't that much "snappier".
So the Magtech for quantity and the Winchester for quality is what works for me.
 

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Both choices of your .38 special re ok. Another good choice is a .38 Special 158 grain Lead SWC HP Buffalo Bore makes this load it's a .38 Special+ P load but they are hard to find ! I have seen them online. Where your SP101 is the 4.2 barrel a good .357 load say 125-158 grain jhp would work good also. Even thought your SP101 has a 4.2 inch barrel it's a light weight in so .357 is going to have some snap to it! Now a load I am going to try sometime with my 3 inch SP101 .38 Special is a Remington lead 158 grain SWC HP as well this load to me looks promising Good Luck!!
 

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In my Smith & Wesson model 60 pro series (which makes the SP101 seem very heavy by comparison) I like the inexpensive CCI Blazer aluminum case 158 grain JHPs. They are much lighter recoiling than a full-power 357, but much hotter than almost any 38 special out there (except for the Buffalo Bore stuff, which I won't buy again because of indicators of over pressure with some prior boxes I fired.) I think the Blazer 357s are a good kit gun load for an outdoorsman. They always seem to mushroom pretty reliably in the dirt backstop where I shoot. (Mud: the poor man's ballistic gelatin.)

I don't know that I'd carry them or any .357s in a densely urban environment. For an urban setting I think I'd go for a light/fast defense load in .38 special.
 

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I've got a 2.5" myself, and the full power loads are pretty snappy in that thing. I did find some Speer Gold Dot 357 short barrel loads that use a 135gr load at just over 38+p velocity. It has a low flash powder, and is optimized for less than full length barrels.
 

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I personally do not own a SP101 yet, but my good shooting friend, who keeps pressuring and has convinced me to get one, has a 3" .357 magnum. He uses Remington Golden Saber ammunition in both .357 magnum and .38 special +p as his main defense loads, with the .38s for indoor use, and the .357 magnums outdoors. The .357 magnum Golden Sabre is a "medium velocity" load, but is a well known man stopper.

I have shot this gun with these loads myself, and will state that the .357 magnum Golden Saber has less recoil than the Federal 357B, Hornady Critical Defense, or other .357 magnum defense loads.
 

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Like hornady, great rounds I have used with no issues. I also like blackhills ammo both 125gr in 357 and 38 +p loads are great. Black hills is using the time tested xtp bullet from hornady. Both shoot clean, little flash and use starline brass if you like to reload. It hard to find as most have heard how good blackhills is. I found boxes at cabelas for 36 buck a box of 50.
 
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