Roy, I purchased some in both .38 and .357 for a couple of revolvers I have. I did some checking before I placed my orders and only read positive feedback from a variety of sources.
Sorry I can't be more scientific, but the short barrel ammo was given good reviews. Does it really offer a level of performance that is noticeably better than what you are currently are using? Probably debatable.
You might want to visit each company's website and compare the ballistics and decide for yourself.
stock #23917 357 Magnum 135 grain GDHP-SB
Muzzle velocity 990
Energy 294 fpe
Speers standard 125 grain 357 load rates:
muzzle velocity 1450
energy 584 fpe
The latter does not give from what barrel length------------however
Remington's .357 Magnum 125-grain SJHP (Full-house load) from a 2.5 inch barrel is moving out at 1243. In my 2 1/8" barreled 640-1 it's moving along at 1210 fps
The standard 357 loadings are going to give you more energy even out of the subs by at least 200 fps and foot pounds of energy on the order of 410-420.
That's an increase of 39% in energy delivered to threat over the Speer short barrel ammo. When I carry the 640-1 357, it's because I want the added horsepower over anything produced in 38 spl loadings.
Your Hornady 140 grain 357 load rates:
Muzzle Energy: 566 ft lbs
Muzzle Velocity: 1350 fps
Which should be delivering in the neighborhood of 420-440 foot pounds of energy in the snub. About the along the same lines as the load I carry and perhaps a little more horsepower. You'll be dropping the foot pounds of energy level by 40+% going to the short barrel ammo over what you are presently using. I'd stick with what you are using or drop down to a 125 grain like I'm using. By dropping bullet weight a little, you'll be reducing felt recoil at the same time.
I carry standard 125 gr JHP's in my snub 357 S+W 640-1. If I'm going to reduce the energy levels to under 300 I might as well carry a 38 snub which I don't believe gives as much performance over the 357 in the same package size/weight. The added recoil is not as bad as some would think unless you are very recoil sensitive. IMO, the short barreled ammo in 357 is a waste of potential horsepower available in other standard 357 loadings.
I'd have to agree with Brownie on this...historically, the 125 gr. SJHP from pretty much any of the other major manufacturers (Federal, Remington, etc.) has been the best performing .357 magnum load, regardless of barrel length.
Having said that, I'm not a huge fan of full power loads in snubbies (not because they don't work; I just can't shoot them worth a darn :doh). I'd be more inclined to carry a good +P or +P+ .38 special load. YMMV.
Low Recoil ammo is the latest craze on the market. Women and those even sensitive to moderate recoil due to injuries of the hand or wrist will buy it as any reduction in recoil is a benefit to them.
If you aren't too sensitive to recoil or have an injury that precludes less recoil to help control the gun, it's not something that should be used as the energy levels are reduced enough to almost be anemic.
I think that the advent of low-recoil buckshot actually is an improvement over conventional loads for close-range SD/HD work. It has been documented (both in the gun press and by my own observations) that it patterns tighter at any distance within its effective range and it is definitely easier on the shoulder. I doubt that it gives up any significant amount of lethality to achieve this.
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