View Full Version : Favorite Load for 357 & 44 Mag
05-05-2008, 05:40 AM
Hi Guys, I need some help. I'm new @ casting & would like some info for mild loads for my 357 & 44 mag. I already load & cast for 45acp, 38 spec & 9mm. I use Unique for just about everything so it would be great if I were able to use it with the other loads. There isn't much info out there for this powder & cast bullets. I use a Lee TL 356-124-2R for the 9mm & 38spec, it works fine. I would use the same bullet for the 357. Don't have the mold yet but would probably go with the Lee TL 240 semi wadcutter for the 44 mag. I've had real good luck with these, no sizing required, just tumble lube & load. If you have any sugestions I would appreciate them, the guns I will use are a 4" S&W model 19 & a 6 1/2" S&W model 29. Would a gas check be needed for mild 44s? Thanks for any info. NRA PATRON LIFE MENBER
05-05-2008, 06:56 AM
In the .44 Mag, around 7.5-8 grains of Unique is a good moderate load with just about any cast boolit you'd care to shoot.
And if you want to just transfer standard top .38 Special loads to your .357 cases, there's your mild load.
I have one of those TL356-124-TC moulds coming and figure I'll end up shooting them in the .38 Special as well as 9mm, too. Expect they'll work well with .38 125 gr. +P data.
05-05-2008, 08:44 AM
I used 5.5 gr. Unique in .357 maggie cases, standard primers, cast 150gr and 158gr. SWCs, both cast and swaged for years as my IPSC load. Probably near a .38 spl. +P load.
Chronoed 860 fps. from a 4" barrel. Well below published maximum charges, so different weight bullets can be substituted with no adjustment. Your results may vary.
Nice load, mild recoil, acccurate. Try it, you'll like it!:smile: Of course, in the True Spirit of Never Leaving Well Enough Alone, (handloading style), I am going to try ~6gr. of Unique...just to see, you understand!
This scientific inquiry stuff can be a real chore!:p
05-05-2008, 09:28 AM
I've shot Unique from 5.2 - 6.9 grains in 357 brass under Lee's 158 grain RF (using CCI 500 primers). I've also tinkered with AA#9 for developing full power loads. I just recently purchased a chrony but haven't put any lead over it's sensors so I have no "real" data to report. My experience is that 5.8 - 6.2 grains make accurate and mild loads which make nice round holes in paper. Fire-breathing full house loads are available with the AA#9 under the 158RF, but I'm saving the #9 for load development with my 215 grain truncated cone. I've started at 8 grains and am working up toward 10 in small increments (using CCI 550 primers, the 500's left a lot of unburned powder about).
Enjoy your investigations!
05-05-2008, 06:17 PM
Thanks Guys for the loading info, this is why I enjoy this forum, lots of helping hands. The longer I do this casting the more I enjoy it, I wish I would have started years ago. NRA PATRON LIFE MEMBER
05-06-2008, 07:10 AM
If you go with the 240 TL mold ..... get the six banger!
GREAT CHEAP and FAST plinker medicine!
My fav .44 mag load:
The RCBS 250K pushed by 11.8 gr. of HS-6 lit by a Federal mag pistol primer.
It's an upper mid-range load that's goods for anything that "ail's ya" this side of a mad bear!
05-10-2008, 03:50 PM
don't own a .44 mag yet. But I can help ya out on the .357mag load
I like lees .358-158rf lubed with lars red over 9.4 of bluedot with whatever standard small pistol primer is available
That load shoots better than I do out of the 2 .357mag wheelies that I own!
still playing with the .38spec loads but one that shows promise is the lee .358-125rf over 4.3 of Bulls Eye cci sp primer
05-11-2008, 05:08 PM
For the .44 Mag, what Ricochet said; also 8.5 to 10.0 gr. HERCO. Since I load .38 Special I just use them in the .357 for mild loads. I like a full wadcutter with 4.0 gr of Red Dot or 4.5 gr. WW231. No visible difference between Lee, Hensley & Gibbs, or Lyman 148 gr. full wadcutter results.
Would love to hear about your experiments with the 215 gr boolit. I'm about to start with the same, gas checked, in mag and maximum.
Unrelated, but have used 13 gr. 5744, gas check, 185 rfn boolit, speed green lube, & CCI mag primer to good effect and no signs of pressure problems.
06-03-2008, 05:18 PM
7 gr green dot is a great load over a 240 gr boolit, [Thanks Shuz], that has been winning at the NCBS for a long time. Gianni
06-16-2008, 01:38 PM
4.5 Grs Of 700x Under A 180gr. In The 357 Is Ok For A Blackhawk
11-13grs Of 2400 Topped W/ A 180gr Is More Interesting, Be Carefull, Hot!!
Also In A Blackhawk.
44-250gr Boolet, 22-23grs 2400 Oh Yeah!
44-250gr " , 8grs Of 700x Is Ok.
06-16-2008, 03:57 PM
If you're going to stick with mainly Unique, try the following loads for mild/mid-range loads.
.357: 5.5 to 6.0 Grains of Unique
.44 Mag: Start around 7.5 and work up around 9.0 Grains. You should find something in this range that fits your needs for a light/medium load.
As for needing gas checks, you shouldn't depending on the hardness of your alloy. Too hard of a boolit and obturation may not take place (the base filling out when it hits the rifling to fit the bore diameter).
Welcome the casting and if you have anymore questions about loads for cast boolits, you have came to THE RIGHT PLACE for all your needs.
06-16-2008, 04:34 PM
My 13 year old son shoots approximately 300 rounds a week out of a Ruger Superblackhawk and a marlin 1894, both in 44 magnum. His pet load is 10 grains of UNIQUE under a Kieth type 250 bullet that casts at 255gr. NON gas checked, out of straight wheel weights....no tin added. He is smallish for his age and has no trouble with the recoil from this load.
I plink with him sometimes and its definitely more pleasant that shooting a full charge of win 296.
Edited to add: You have definitely come to the right place. I cast my first bullet maybe a month and a half ago. Folks here are eager to help.
06-16-2008, 05:42 PM
I load 6.5gr of Unique under a 158gr for my wife and daughters with no complaints, they keep me busy building spinners.
My plinking load for my 44 is 20ish gr. of 2400.[smilie=1:
We (son & I) load magnums to magnum levels, and load Specials to Special levels. That said, 15 grs of 2400 and a 158 gr SWC is about standard for the .357, and 22 grs of 2400 under a 240 gr SWC for the .44 Mag. Stout loads - that is why we have Magnums. I don't have any loads for Unique...
06-17-2008, 07:19 AM
Good reason to also use Magnum cases for the milder loads is to avoid problems with fouling and/or erosion in the part of the chamber exposed by the shorter Special cases. Now as a rule I save the Specials for Special-chambered guns. But they'll shoot in the Magnums in a pinch.
06-17-2008, 08:04 AM
+1 to Ricochet's caveat about short cases in Magnum chambers. I haven't seen erosion in my guns, but there can be a pretty resistant build-up of non-specific crud at the case mouth end of a chamber so used. I've gotten away from Specials in Mangnum chambers for this reason.
ETA--I can ID my warmer loads via the boolits used in a given lot, and by load data included with that lot. Moderate to medium-heavy loads get Keith plain-bases, Magnum-For-Real loads get Thompson SWC/GC. I have some 2400/357 loads with #358156 that get red Sharpie inscriptions on their boxes (FOR RUGER ONLY) that run in the BisHawk x 7.5". Rated "R", with strong language and violence. 180 grain WFN/GC will follow, same rating scale.
06-17-2008, 08:44 PM
In 357 mag I like the Keith 168 grain swc and 6.5 grains of Unique or 10.0 grains of Blue Dot.
For 44 mag, I like the Keith style 240 grain swc over 12.0 grains of Unique or 16.0 grains of Blue Dot.
All loads with standard primers.
06-30-2008, 02:43 PM
This is a hot load in the 357 but shoots well in both my Ruger blackhawk, and S&W mod.28 work up to this load carefuly 15.0grs.2400 behind a lyman 358156GC lubed with 50/50 beeswax alox, also 6.0grs. unique shoots excelent in my blackhawk, but opens up some in the smith. in my S&W 29 I shoot 20.0grs.2400 behind a Lyman 429215GC this load is hot but in my gun will stack one bullet on the other at 25yds if I'm up to it on the day. That loads even taken a couple of hogs one shot one kill dont get any better than that
11-14-2008, 10:07 PM
This may be a good time to say that one gun may like a load, and another may hate the same load. This has been the case with my Ruger GP100 as opposed to my Colt King Cobra. Where one will drive tacks with one load, the other sprays the same load like a shotgun and vice versa. I've had to really experiment with each gun to find their sweet spot. Just got the Colt so figured I'd try my old load of 6 gr. Unique that my old Tropper liked so well. The accuracy was horrible in both guns. But the Colt loves 13.5 gr. 2400 out of .38 spl. cases. My GP100 will drive tacks at 200 yards with 16 gr. 'Lil gun and a 180 gr. LBT WFN hard cast load. But, they will not interchange in my guns worth a hoot.
11-14-2008, 11:40 PM
I've got +P special loads and magnum loads for each cartridge using magnum cases and two powders - W231 & W296.
Lyman #358156 GC from straight WW. I don't use the GC for the +P special.
Special: 5g W231, no gas check and a WSP. I figure @ 900 fps.
Magnum: 15g W296, gas check and a WSP. This would be @ 1200 fps.
Now, for the .44
Lyman #429421 for the special, straight WW.
Special: 7g W231 and a WLP. @ 900 fps.
Lyman #429244 GC for the magnum. Casts to 265g from straight WW.
Magnum: 22g W296, WLP. @ 1200 fps.
Been shooting these combos since 1983 and I am very pleased with them.
11-15-2008, 01:53 AM
Pictured is my S&W model 13 3 inch .357 magnum and my all purpose round for it. :coffee:
Ideal 358432 160 gr WC ( Lyman # is the same ) that drops at 163 gr with 40-1 mix. I use 6 grains Unique. Lube is a 50/50 mix of beeswax and bearing grease.
As this is a S&W with a fixed sight I tailored the load for dead on at 20 yards. This is one of my carry guns and always ride in the Samuri with us. Mild recoil.. heavy thumper... mushrooms easily. :)
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.