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Thread: Moderate loads for .357 magnum?

  1. #41
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Southern Indiana
    This is a good thread. I have a S&W 60-18 (5-shot J-Frame 357 with 5" barrel). I want to find a moderate load that is not also just a 38 Special +P load.

    The problem is good data is hard to find.

    Much of the data out there seems to use the 40,000 PSI SAMMI guideline form pre-'95. Vitavouri seems to use CIP which is something like 43,000 PSI (by another method). Still, above where I want to be. Lyman seems to go by a ~40,000 CUP max, which isl well over 35,000 PSI.

    I want to be something like 32-35000 PSI with a slow-to-mid range powder that will actually burn up in 5."

    But what everyone seems to offer are either cat-sneeze Bullsye/Unique/Universal/Tightgroup 38 loads or they want to give you basically a starting load with the slow magnum powders, almost all of which are inefficient. 2400/296/AA#9 all need to be pretty close to that 40K mark in order to burn well it seems. I've tried magnum primers. It helps, and AA#9 is the best of this group, but I think they are not very efficient, even with 158-168 grain bullets.

    Blue Dot seems promising. But I dislike blue dot with those big flakes. It also doesn't approach case fill. The limited testing I have done clocked ~1100 FPS. Hardly any more than 38+P

    Two powders that seem to make sense to me are AA#7, Vit 3n37, and Shooters World Heavy Pistol maybe? At least Alliant and Shootersworld have data with 357 Magnum at the 35,000 MAX. Unfortunately, vitavouri doesn't seem to publish starting load pressures, which could possibly be a good.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I have been shooting the following load in my .357Mag revolvers for decades.
    I use 158gr commercial cast LSWC over 9.8 great of Blue Dot.
    No chronograph but my reloading manual says approximately 1200-1250fps.
    I settled on this load because it is accurate in all six of my .357Mag revolvers.

  3. #43
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    I understand you want "moderate" loads in your 357. But you have to understand that "moderate" and 357 magnum, originally had nearly opposite least for the first 3 or 4 decades of it's existence. I believe for a long time 7 grains of unique under a 158 gr. swc was a fairly common moderate load. But I am pretty sure the "moderate" only applies to velocity.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    barry s wales uk
    158 gr pb boolit over 7 gr true blue nice accurate light load in 357 case.

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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