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Thread: Pet loads requested for .357 Magnum

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Pet loads requested for .357 Magnum

    I am curious what the sweet spots are for light, medium, and heavy .357 magnum loads are with 158 gr lswc bullets? I am interested in Bullseye, Unique, and 2400, in magnum cases.

    I am searching for prior threads here and elsewhere, but since people's 44 mag advice was so good I thought it would be good to start the thread here.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    ShrinkMD - My favorites are 3.5gr of BE, 7gr of Unique, and 13gr of 2400. All are on the light side but they give me good accuracy. In my Ruger BH 3.5gr of BE gives me around 900fps, which is faster than the books say I should be getting and it is a fun load to shoot.

    Carl

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    For targets and a light working load I like 4.6 gr of Bullseye. It is a little hotter than a 38+P but still very pleasant to shoot. The MV from my Taurus revolver is 950 fps with 150 gr RN boolits.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I second the 7 grains unique

    with a plain 158 SWC cast from water dropped wheel weights. 1100 plus FPS out of my 6 in. Python and little leading that is easy to clean after 100 rounds. A light .357 that is comfortable to shoot all day(even out of medium frame 4 in. guns such as troopers), doesn't make fellow shooters on the line flinch but is more than any 38 plus P for when one wants more.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    In the 357 mag case my alltime favorite light load for the past 30 years is 4.0 grs of bullseye @800 fps , since then ive found that 4.5 grs of tightgroup @ 870 fps . is also very accurate . with any cast bullet that i have tried from 158 , 180 & 200 grs
    These loads have been super accurate from every 357 ive ever shot them from , probley around 10 different pistols , you should have no problem getting around 1 inch groups at 25 yards ! I have shot 1 inch groups at 50 yards with a scope. with all bullet weights

  6. #6
    Boolit Master odis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthenailer View Post
    In the 357 mag case my alltime favorite light load for the past 30 years is 4.0 grs of bullseye @800 fps , since then ive found that 4.5 grs of tightgroup @ 870 fps . is also very accurate . with any cast bullet that i have tried from 158 , 180 & 200 grs
    These loads have been super accurate from every 357 ive ever shot them from , probley around 10 different pistols , you should have no problem getting around 1 inch groups at 25 yards ! I have shot 1 inch groups at 50 yards with a scope. with all bullet weights
    I'm guessing that there is not much difference in old and new BE. The reason I ask is because I had not been doing much reloading and shooting for many years but started again a couple of years ago and am just about done with my hercules powders and was wondering what I'll be up against when I pop the tops on my jugs of alliant.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    I have been able to duplicate the accuracy that ive gotten with Bullseye with Tightgroup ! in most cases with the same powder charge or just twekeed a 0.5 gr.
    Tightgroup is cleaner burning than BE ! the interior & exterior of the handgun stays alot cleaner.

  8. #8
    For a 158 SWC, 3.5 grains of HP38 or 3.5 grains of 700X are booth very accurate. For heavy loads I prefer a heavier bullet.

    A 158 over 5.3 grains of Unique shot well in my lever action, but I didn't try it in the revolver. It might work.

    The Lee TL-358-158 SWC is my favorite, FYI.

    Other 357 pet loads, looking for max accuracy, are at: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spre...CKzluvMC#gid=0

    I expect that 13.5 grains of H110 for a 180 grain Keith bullet will get added to the favorite loads once it's fully tested. It's extremely accurate in the lever rifle, already. It is a NOE 168 grain Keith, lapped to get a full .360 diameter with soft alloy.

    More info is in the blog in my signature.
    Last edited by 357shooter; 06-25-2011 at 06:16 PM.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    8.0 Unique w/ 150 gr swc or 158(161-162 actual)RNFP LEE's gives me 1040 or 980 from my 6"Sec 6 and 1410 for the RNFP from my 1894 Marlin. The Marlin is easy find a load the pistol likes shoot lil groups 400ft faster.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Man GH1's Avatar
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    I use a 158 gr RNFP on top of 13.5 gr AA#9, small pistol primer. I don't generally use light loads but when I do it 6.0 gr of Bullseye.
    GH1

  11. #11
    Try Clays instead of Bullseye..... hardly any smoke with Clays.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    My pet 158 gr LSWC load:

    Lee TL 158 gr SWC from WW's lubed with LLA, over 6.0 gr Unique.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I was looking at my Lyman manual (the newest Cast Bullet handbook) and all of the 357 loads listed are for Linotype bullets. Aren't they a bit harder than 16bhn? I use the Dardas cast ones, and his are 16, which is close to Lyman #2 alloy (bhn 15). According to a quick web check, the linotype might be closer to 22.

    How do I need to modify any of these loads to be safe? I am looking for medium to below max loads, no max for me. That is what the 44 is for!

    Thanks

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ShrinkMD View Post
    I was looking at my Lyman manual (the newest Cast Bullet handbook) and all of the 357 loads listed are for Linotype bullets. Aren't they a bit harder than 16bhn? I use the Dardas cast ones, and his are 16, which is close to Lyman #2 alloy (bhn 15). According to a quick web check, the linotype might be closer to 22.

    How do I need to modify any of these loads to be safe? I am looking for medium to below max loads, no max for me. That is what the 44 is for!

    Thanks
    Not sure I got your question fully. I think you are concerned that using softer alloy than what Lyman used will make the recipes unsafe, at maximum loads.

    You can use the Lyman recipes with softer alloy. The safety comes in when you slowly work up to the max loads, looking for pressure signs. That's true if you Lyman #2, or WW or a softer alloy. Always work up to the maximum.

    I shoot BHN 7-8 all the time in 357 magnum, including full house rounds. In my guns, I shoot max loads of H110 with no pressure signs. Often the most accurate load isn't exactly at the max, with the slow powders is often close to the max. With fast powders there can be a few sweet spots, sometimes down to very light loads.

    Hope that helped.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I used 158 grain bullets & heavier in my Ruger Blackhawk & Model 27. As WWs became far more difficullt to get, I started using ligher bullets and found that they do quite well for most of my shooting situations ie plinking. My favorites are all Lee bulets--102 RN, 105 SWC, 125 RNF, & the 140 SWC---using 4.5 to 6.0 grains of Red Dot.to keep the MV at or just below 1,150 FPS. Economical & accurate in both pistols.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    I have been playing wiht the lee 125 rnfp and 5.0 pf 231/ It is showing promise in a Marlin and a BH.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master frnkeore's Avatar
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    For a heavy load, try 14.0 gr Lil' gun and a 200 gr cast bullet. I use the 35875 mold (a rifle mold) it casts 208 gr, loaded long and cripped over the first band. It give a OAL of 1.68 so, it won't go in short cylinders.

    Frank

  18. #18
    Boolit Master para45lda's Avatar
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    Last time I loaded hot lead boolits for my 357 it was a 158 SWC GC over a stupid amount of 2400. Well over 13 grains.

    Course, I was younger and dumber then too!
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    .357Mag

    Shrink -

    Howdy !

    Gotta be 14.5gr WW296 ( H110 by another name ) over a SP Magnum primer; and any Lyman .357" cal SWC of 158-172gr.

    #2 is: Same bullets over 7gr I4756 and regular SP primer.

    Regards,
    357Mag

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    ...Like most other handgunners, I have loaded more .38 Specials than any other caliber. Unlike most others, I have eschewed the popular full wadcutter bullet and the ultra-light loads with which it is usually associated. The two .38 molds that do most of my work are the Lyman 357446 and their 356156 which is almost identical except that it wears a gas check. Both bullets are cast 1 to 15 tin-in-lead and sized .357”.



    As accurate as the wadcutters at close range, these bullets cut just as clean a hole in the target and maintain accuracy and killing power at much longer distances.



    For heavy duty .38 Special and .357 Magnum loading the 358156 gas check shoots much cleaner than any plain base bullet. It is possibly the most accurate cast bullet I have used, and is an excellent game getter. The HP version offers spectacular expansion, and the solid gives the utmost in combined penetration and shock in its category, being particularly satisfactory for taking small table game without unwanted meat damage.



    The 358156 has two crimping grooves. The upper is used when loading .357 cases and standard velocity .38 Special loads. When seated out to the lower crimp groove in .38 Special cases, more powder space is gained, and a very powerful load of 13.5 gr. of 2400 may be used in these cases, giving around 1150 fps. I emphasize that these heavy .38 Special cartridges should only be fired from .357 Magnum revolvers or from .45 frame .38 Special sixguns such as the Colt SA, Colt New Service, or S&W .38-44. While I have fired this round from K-frame Smith & Wessons and Colt Officers’ Models on occasion with no visible ill effects, these lighter revolvers were not designed for such heavy loads, and I definitely do not recommend the practice. Since I commonly carry this round for everyday use in my .357 guns, I have taken more game with it than any other individual handload, up to and including antelope, turkey, and javelina.



    Some loading manuals list the 358156 HP bullet with as much as 16 gr. of 2400 in .357 cases, a top load which gives about 1600 fps velocity. Although well below the acceptable factory pressure level, this load is a bit hot, and I prefer 15 gr. of 2400 for better accuracy, less recoil, and longer case life...
    Skeeter Skelton wrote that and I remember reading it in Shooting Times. I got the 358156 mold and found that what he wrote was true. With 13.5 grains of 2400 in a 38 Special casing, it was a very accurate load in my S&W M27-2 and my S&W 28-2 (when it was chambered for the 357 Magnum round.) I never loaded that bullet in 357 cases as I had many thousands of the Special cases available. I no longer use a 357 but may load some up (in the 38 Special case) and see how they fly from a S&W M686.
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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