Liberty Ammunition .357 Magnum Loads

Liberty Ammunition 357 Magnum

Liberty Ammunition is now selling a .357 Magnum load in the company’s Civil Defense line. The load uses a 50 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2,100 fps.

I’ve had a chance to run a lot of Liberty ammo over a chronograph. While short barrel pistols bleed velocity in any load, I’ve found the stated velocities in the Civil Defense line to be fairly accurate. For example, in the company’s 9mm load, every one of the guns I used that had a 4″ barrel (or longer) exceeded the company’s published data.

Liberty uses a nickel-plated copper bullet in the Civil Defense line. The nickel plating gives the bullet better lubricity (less barrel fouling, increased velocity) than exposed copper.

I’m of the opinion that most of the premium self defense ammunition on the market is going to adequately perform in the majority of situations. However, I also like to see companies experiment on the edges. Not only have I seen the 9mm version of this ammo make an impressive mess of store-bought beef, but it will also punch through windshield glass and steel car doors.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Zachary marrs


    Just no.

  • sianmink

    50 grain, 2100 feeps, that’s getting into .223 SBR territory. Can someone please chrony one of these out of a lever-action carbine? XD
    Grain of salt, the one thing that impressed me with Liberty (other than some massive muzzle blast) was how it punched perfect, hole-punch entry holes in paper, rubber, and gelatin with that deep hollow. I’m not sure I can imagine how nasty a bleeder that would make. I await some real world shooting reports from this stuff.

    • dan citizen

      I want to know it’s carbine velocity as well, this could be a handy round.

    • Tassiebush

      Even if the bullet failed to expand it’d be outdoing a 50grain .224 projectile going at same velocity.

    • Cymond

      I had the same thought about their 9mm +P load, which they claim achieves 2000 fps in a 4″ barrel. It makes me wonder what it will do in a longer barrel, like a 6″ G17L or a 16″ carbine barrel.

  • greasyjohn

    Light bullets going super fast can kill forcing cones. This was a recurring issue on S&W’s Model 19.

  • markgreenman

    I’m actually surprised its going only 2100 fps. Underwood ammo puts a 125grain .357 Mag out at 1700fps, and the Liberty 9mm does around 2000fps with a 50 grain. Meanwhile the RBCD .357 Sig does 2400 fps with a 60 grain loading.

    A 50 grain .357 Magnum should be capable of doing 2400-2600 fps based on those other loads.

  • Dr. Daniel Jackson

    Bet it doesn’t pass the FBI 12 inch penetrating test.

  • Zebra Dun

    Yup, I agree, denim clothed ballistic gel or say when.

  • Blake

    This could be a spiffy way to turn a .357 levergun into a pretty good varmint rifle.

    However, I’d wager it’s too expensive for varminting…

  • gunsandrockets

    The muzzle blast must be … interesting with this load!

  • Tassiebush

    I think that the idea of light and fast for caliber might be better used with even bigger calibers. Lieut James Forsythe in the 1860s India swore by a hard 12gauge spherical ball at around 2000fps with slow rifling for tigers and other hunting. Had fantastic penetration and flat trajectory out to 150yards at that velocity. Far superior to heavier smaller calibre conical bullets used for hunting at the time apparently within practical ranges. Oh and then there is his endorsement of shell rifles… But that’s all a bit off topic from a 50grain .357mag.

  • Jerry Austin

    What most armchair ballisticians fail to take into equation is the initial disruption at speed that a bullet makes. It slows dramatically before that channel stops, ergo, the higher the initial velocity, the deeper the concussion channel goes. Just sayin…

  • billyoblivion

    I’d like to see FPS out of a 16 or 18 inch barrel.

  • Ensse

    This is only 490 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. That’s weak for a .357 Magnum.

  • Ensse

    You’d think that, but the problem is that it’s actually weaker. The bullet, in this case, is TOO light. The muzzle energy from that load, as advertised, is less than 500 ft-lbs. That makes it pretty weak for a .357 Magnum. Sure, it might have high velocity, and thus will have a rather flat-trajectory, but that’s basically its only benefit.