We’re in the middle of testing about a half dozen different calibers of Winchester’s Elite PDX1 Defender Ammunition – one of which is the .357 Magnum 125 grain load. A classic self defense and law enforcement load in terms of bullet weight and velocity.
The PDX1 Defender line uses bonded jacket technology, meaning that the bullet jacket is welded (as described by Winchester) to the lead core. This is designed to prevent separation of the heavier bullet core from the jacket material. In our testing, we found the .357 Magnum PDX1 loads to retain virtually all of their weight, even when torn up by tough barrier material.
Winchester advertises velocity of 1,325 feet per second velocity measured at the muzzle. While we were unable to verify, we’re assuming that this measurement is from a somewhat standard 4 inch barrel. Out of the Ruger LCR .357 Magnum, with it’s 1.875 inch barrel, we measured average velocity of 1,214 feet per second with our Shooting Chrony Beta Master placed 15 feet downrange. not bad considering the LCR barrel is shorter than the average car key.
Expansion performance was excellent. We shot through 4 layers of light canvas into wetpack and achieved maximum expansion of .665 inches in diameter, or nearly 1.9x expansion. That was well above Winchester’s claim of of 1.5x expansion for this round.
We’re having equally good success with other loads in the Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender ammunition family and will cover those separately in the next several articles.