Ballistic testing of defensive rounds is a big thing these days. People want to see what their favorite flavor of JHP is supposed to do. Lucky Gunner has compiled probably the most expansive data set available online, and they just branched out into the .38 Special and .357 Magnum world with their most recently published data. Keeping in mind that clear ballistics gel is not a perfect stand in for actual FBI specification ballistics gel (not all ballistic gels are created equal), it is interesting to see how the rounds compared to each other. Most interesting to me is the differencein performance from .38 Special to .357 Magnum. I think just looking at the two data sets in general, it becomes abundantly clear why .357 Magnum was the prefered round back when revolvers ruled the roost in law enforcement. Even the old tech loads like the Remington 158gr SJHP, or the notiously underexpanding XTP loads were good performers in .357 Magnum. Normally, finding a load that expands well and penetrates the minimum distance in gel is harder to find than one that doesn’t. In the case of .357 Magnum, at least with this data, the opposite is true. Only a few of the loads tested didn’t live up to the task, and most worked decently well regardless of barrel length.
You can check out the data at the link below. While there, also check out the other tests in different calibers.