Ammo Review: Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender .357 Magnum 125 Grain Ammunition

Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender 357 Magnum Ammunition

Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender 357 Magnum Ammunition

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.

Since we focus more on personal defense solutions, we elected to test the .357 Magnum Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender load in a snubbie revolver. A Ruger LCR .357 Magnum revolver to be specific.

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.

Expansion performance of the Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender load was excellent

Expansion performance of the Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender load was excellent

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.


  1. says

    Great review. Have you guys seen the video review on Youtube by tnoutdoors? He shot two of these rounds and neither expanded AT ALL. In fact, one bounced off the target and onto the ground. I was going to buy this round until I saw the video, but I’ve read good things about it so I don’t know what to make of it.

    Any opinions?

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