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Thread: .357 Mag. with Kieth 170 gr. Boolit

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Johnw...ski's Avatar
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    .357 Mag. with Kieth 170 gr. Boolit

    I am trying to work up a load for some 170 gr. .358 dia. Kieth style flat base boolits. Just got back from the range after trying 12.5 gr. 2400 with CCI 550 primers. The accuracy at 50 yards was terrible. No sign of leading and very clean burning as far as powder residue. The gun was an 8-3/8" model 27. This is a new gun for me but used, around 1980 vintage, so I have no past performance to go back to. I did try some 158 gr. .358 dia. SWC gas check boolits with 14.0 gr. 2400 and CCI 550 primers. The accuracy with te 158 gr. at 50 yds. was ok but not great.

    Anyone got any good loads they can share for the 170 gr boolits.

    Thanks,

    John
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    Anything is possible if you donít know what your talking about.

  2. #2
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    You must be loading the 170gr boolits in .38 spl cases? Try 12gr of 2400 or AA9 and a 500 primer..... crimp heavily but don't buckle the case. Boolit must be fairly hard, like water dropped WW. This load has worked well for me and a friend in our M28s. Size to fit the throats, probably .357-8" if your gun is like ours. .359" was worse for accuracy.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I use 13.5gr of 2400 in .357 brass with this bullet. I suggest you do not use magnum primers with 2400 powder. It is not necessary and most people do not use them with 2400.

    Don

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    I had a S&W that loved the hot loads, couldnt get it where I wanted it without max+ loads. Now I'm not opposed to shooting a hot round, but I traded that one because it gave me no other options.
    grit yer teeth an pull the trigger

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Ole's Avatar
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    15 grains of H110 works well under Lyman 358429 in my T/C with .357 Mag cases.

    You have to put a heavy crimp on this bullet to get it to light consistently with the slow powders.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Try your A2400 loads with a CCI 500 primer, your accuracy should improve greatly. Elmer said you dont need mag primers with 2400 powder, worked for me just like he said.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The one problem you're likely to encounter is that with normal length .357 brass and the #358429 bullet is that with the N frame revolvers is that the cylinder isn't long enough to accomodate the round with the bullet seated in the crimp groove. You have to crimp the bullet over the forward driving band or trim the brass back. I just use .38 Special +P brass and load it like a hot .38-44 load. Then when I am done I take a black marker and mark the primer so the round doesn't end up in the wrong .38 revolver. (I only use .38 +P brass for these loads anyway.) I always had goof luck with 7.0 grains of Unique with that bullet, in my 5-inch 27-2 had it would cut one little hole at 25 yards.

  8. #8
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    Can you try .359 boolits? Any sign of your seater sizing the boolit? The 429 has been great for me in my Smiths with similar loads.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Try IMR4227.

  10. #10
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    I've had great results with H110, IIRC about 16.3 gr, but PLEASE verify that load, I do not
    have my notes available right now and that is from memory. My load is hot but short of
    max by a half a grain or more, again, by memory.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  11. #11
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    I refuse to use mag primers in the .44 and .45 Colt with 296. I bet the boolits are being driven from the brass before ignition just from primer pressure.
    Elmer was right!
    I had a 27 with an 8-3/8" ribbed barrel long ago and was able to hit 1" targets at 100 yards from prone. I used 2400 and the original 358156 HP with a standard primer. Sorry I can't remember the load.
    That gun was a real shooter.
    I did have a Bushnell scope on it. I think it was the first ever pistol scope and had to be around 1953 to 1955, too old to remember!
    That is a story in itself. I bought the gun with a 6" barrel and it was nickle plated. Someone gave me a bunch of old .38 loads and I was just loading from my pocket with my .357 loads and the .38's. Bang, pop depending on what was in the chamber. I stopped hitting anything and found one of the old loads never got out of the barrel and the next split the barrel under the muzzle. I sent it to S&W through the mail and had the 8-3/8" ribbed barrel put on, the nickel stripped and S&W bright blue put on.
    It cost me $35!
    What a wonderful gun it was.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    15 grains of H110 works well under Lyman 358429 in my T/C with .357 Mag cases.

    You have to put a heavy crimp on this bullet to get it to light consistently with the slow powders.
    +1 on 15/296,H110. Very accurate out of a 6" GP100 and 3 lever guns. I lightly taper crimp on the front drive band to give an OAL of 1.638 which gives me the length I need to fit the GP and that length feeds in all my levers also.
    "The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
    Herbert Spencer (1891)

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Johnw...ski's Avatar
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    Due to load devolpment with my 45-70 BFR revolver I have a large supply of
    SR 4759 powder and noticed it listed in my Lyman manual. Does anyone have any experience with that in a .357 Mag.?

    John
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master Johnw...ski's Avatar
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    Tight Throats

    I was looking at another thread which got me to measure the cylinder throats on my model 27 and they are .3570 -.3575 which may or may not be causing my accuracy problem. This gun has never been particularly accurate but better with .38 Special loads than with .357 Magnum loads. I have ordered a reamer to open them up.

    The funny thing is my model 14 shoots .38 Special cast boolit loads beautifully with the same throat sizes.

    John
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    Anything is possible if you donít know what your talking about.

  15. #15
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    Chances are the 14's barrel differs from the 27's and that's why it shoots better even with similar sized throats.

  16. #16
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    First, how are you measuring your cylinder mouths? If you are sticking a caliper in the hole
    and measuring you have a high probablity of getting it wrong for two reasons. First, the
    accy of a caliper is inadequate for this measuring job, it is +/- .001. If you measureed .357
    it could be .356 or .358 and the tool would be within it's rated tolerance. You need a micrometer
    that is rated to .0001" for this measurement, plus you need to drive a slug through the
    dismounted cylinder or use gage pins.

    I wouldn't open them up unless your groove diameter is large. If you have the relatively
    normal .357 groove diameter, you are good to go.

    Enco has Fowler brand .0001 mics for around $35 or less, decent brand for a low price.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    A quick way to cheat a little on the chamber mouths is to take a bullet in the diameters of .357 and .358 and to try and drop them through the holes in the cylinder. If they drop through clean with no resistance than the mouths are too small. You're looking for just a little resistance.
    I would also recommend trying your load again in .38 Special +P brass. I cannot imagine with your cylinder being long enough to hold that load without it sticking all the way through, and that could be causing a problem. Elmer Keith designed that bullet to be used in a .38-44 revolver. It has never fit in any of my 27-2 revolvers with recessed cylinders without being too long.
    Here is my .38-44 Outdoorsman with the 170 grain cast bullet #358429 with 12.5 grains of 2400 at 25 yards, also note that this group was fired one handed from a bench (left arm banged up too much right now to use both).



  18. #18
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    Assuming this is being loaded in 357 Magnum brass, I would up your charge weight incrementally to at least 13.5 grs of 2400 and switch to CCI 500 primers. Magnum primers are not needed or even recommended with 2400 powder. 357's can be fussy on boolit hardness. In mine at least, it seems to prefer a 15 to 20 bhn boolit when driven hard and fast.

  19. #19
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    As seems to be the consensus above:

    Use .38SPL cases (+P are better if you can get them, or Starline brand). You don't mention if you are using .357 cases, but if they fit in the gun you would be either trimming the cases to a shorter length (fine) or crimping over the driving band(BAD for accuracy).
    Load about 12-12.5gr of 2400 like you are already doing - but use a standard strength, non-magnum primer. I have not had any great success personally with magnum primers and cast boolits.
    Make sure boolit is somewhat hard, like water dropped wheel weights.
    Make sure boolit won't fall through the end of the cylinder, but isn't way oversize where you are forcing them to chamber.

    If that doesn't work reasonably well, it's time to look at the gun, brass and boolits more closely.

    What lube is on the boolits?
    Are they store bought or did you cast them?
    Is your brass worn out and not giving enough case neck tension?
    Areyour sizing die and expanding die giving you proper neck tension?
    Is your brass trimmed to a somewhat consistent length to create consistent crimps?
    Is the gun mechanically sound? Smooth bore, nice crown, decent forcing cone, reasonably tight lockup with bore and cylinders in alignment? Good mainspring strength? (tighten that screw in the front strap about 1 turn and see if it helps)

    Just some ideas. Good luck.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Johnw...ski's Avatar
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    Success, Sort Of

    I started this thread because I wanted to try some 170 gr. boolits in my .357 Mag.
    Thinking that the weight of the 170 gr. boolits would limit velocity gas checks would not be neccessary I got some Rim Rock 170 gr. SWC boolits. These are flat base Kieth style boolits. The few that I measured hardness on came in at 22 BHN.

    Like many of you know if you have been following this thread I have had no success. I even went ahead and reamed out the cylinder throats to .358 so the bullits would slip through. Yesterday I tried a different powder, 12.5 gr. of SR4759
    and the accuracy was terrible. From a rest at 50 yds. they would barely stay on the target which is 22" x 24". I also found signs of leading at the forcing cone and just ahead when I cleaned the gun. I am guessing from load data that the velocities I have been shooting are in the 1150 FPS range. I would have thought that flat base boolits at 22 BHN could handle that but I guess not.

    I loaded up some gas checked boolits last night, load #1 was 158 gr. SWC GC from a Lee C358 mold the alloy is unknown but they measured 12.5 BHN, were sized to .358, and were lubed with 50/50 beeswax and alox. A powder charge of
    12.9 gr. of 2400 with a CCI 550 primer should be right around 1200 FPS.
    Load #2 was another very nice looking Rim Rock boolit, a 170 gr. RNFP GC over
    12.7 gr. 2400 and a CCI 550 primer for a velocity that should be around 1150 FPS.

    Just for kicks I added my 6" Ruger Blackhawk to the mix when I went to the range today. Well the results were very interesting, the S & W Model 27, 8-3/8", shot either load from a rest at 50 yds. into 3" to 3-1/2" groups. The Ruger did the same. I wouldn't call this exceptional accuracy but it is certainly adequate.

    As for the 170 gr. flat base boolits I am sure they will shoot if they are loaded slow enough but the whole point was to have a magnum load.

    John
    -Remember-
    Anything is possible if you donít know what your talking about.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check