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Thread: Your go-to 357 Mag mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Your go-to 357 Mag mold

    Supposedly Skeeter Skelton's choice was a 358156, either solid or HP. What is your favorite mold for a 357?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Favorite? I'm still trying to figure that out. Something a bit heavier. I liked the Lyman 358429 but it was too long in magnum brass.

    However I had good luck with the 358156 out of a blackhawk and a marlin 1894c with 15 grains of 2400. Sheared the forearm band screw off the rifle however from sandbags. Whoops. 13.5 grains was more of an everyday working load that was soft enough to be comfortable and strong enough to get most jobs done.

    I shot a couple handfuls of the lee 358-158-RF, mostly at 38 special levels with no complaints. However, I didn't like the bevel base. It didn't cause trouble, I just don't like them.

    I've been wanting to get my hands on either a quantity of RCBS 38-150-SWCs or the mould itself to try.

    Right now my only mould for 38/357 is the lee 358-140-SWC. I just happened into it, I didn't choose it. It does okay though. The wife retains ownership over our only 357 chambered firearm. A smith and wesson 686. The lee does pretty decent with either 4.0 and 5.0 grains of HP-38 in special brass. I'm working on developing a magnum load or two, we'll see how it goes.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I like the TL358-158SWC by Lee. Nice holes in paper, PC's well, loads well, works well in the .38 and the 350LGD if loaded singly.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have a couple... depending upon the platform. I do really like the 358156 and similar designs for a revolver platform. Also the 358429 should not be overlooked when you want to throw a little more weight. Also, the NOE 358-160-WFN is an excellent performer. On a rifle platform I primarily use the RCBS 357-180-SIL, it is stellar in a Marlin lever with microgroove rifling. The 358429 is also very viable in a carbine. If you want more weight and your rifle will feed it the Lyman 358627 is a beast at 215 grains.

  5. #5
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    The 358156 is a favorite in one 92 the 160 NOE WFN in another. The 358429 does good work in a Blackhawk but mine is a 2 cavity so I shoot the 180 fn more often in 357. For general plinking I tend to shoot the 358477 in 38 cases a lot. I have tried to cut down some in the 35 caliber molds but still have over a dozen.
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  6. #6
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    Right now my favorite is a MP Hammer GC mold with the large HP pin. The bullets have shot fantastic in the 4 357's they've been fired from (PC only). I also have an Accurate Molds 36-176D that shoots almost as good (PC for it too).

    2 of the revolvers are Freedom Arms 83's and those bullets have been pushed hard. I've yet to run out of accuracy even at the top, but the Hammer is plenty accurate at 1500 fps so I'll typically leave them there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Favorite? I'm still trying to figure that out. Something a bit heavier. I liked the Lyman 358429 but it was too long in magnum brass.

    However I had good luck with the 358156 out of a blackhawk and a marlin 1894c with 15 grains of 2400. Sheared the forearm band screw off the rifle however from sandbags. Whoops. 13.5 grains was more of an everyday working load that was soft enough to be comfortable and strong enough to get most jobs done.

    I shot a couple handfuls of the lee 358-158-RF, mostly at 38 special levels with no complaints. However, I didn't like the bevel base. It didn't cause trouble, I just don't like them.

    I've been wanting to get my hands on either a quantity of RCBS 38-150-SWCs or the mould itself to try.

    Right now my only mould for 38/357 is the lee 358-140-SWC. I just happened into it, I didn't choose it. It does okay though. The wife retains ownership over our only 357 chambered firearm. A smith and wesson 686. The lee does pretty decent with either 4.0 and 5.0 grains of HP-38 in special brass. I'm working on developing a magnum load or two, we'll see how it goes.
    I recently picked up an RCBS 38-150 and poured a few. I really like the looks of the bullet, drops a bit smaller than I would like. I plan to get these powder coated and then I will see how they shoot. With my lead, combination of COWW and range lead, they weigh around 155 either way.

  8. #8
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    My Brain would explode if I was forced to choose between the Lyman three;

    #358156GC over Max 2400
    #358477 over Heavy Unique in M27
    #358429/#358439HP over Heavy Unique in Blackhawk/Security-Six

    #358429 in .38Spl cases over Unique, .38/44 Level loads for the M27 & Colt Official Police.

    Only the #358156 crimped over the front driving band will feed reliably in My Marlin 1894's. Of course that was before the 1894CS was reworked for Cowboy Shooting.
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  9. #9
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    Lyman 358477 for me.
    I have a 4 cavity mold for production...dale

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    My go to is a 150 grain Keith Type SWC. Next up is the same Keith Type SWC weighing 170 grains. Most mold manufactures make either of these. My 150 is an RCBS and the 170 is an original H&G.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    My favorite .357 Mag. bullet is the 190-grain Hunters Supply flatnose, which is approximated most closely by the Accurate 36-185E. I have an older Walt Melander NEI version of the same slug, but after Walt died NEI quality went into the toilet and they are no longer in business. Use 4 grains of Bullseye in .38 Special and 4.5 grains in .357 Magnum for subsonic, very accurate general-purpose load. Use 11 grs. of Alliant #2400 in .357 for full-charge load. Tom Ellis's favorite bullet for his 1894 Marlin .357 Magnum. Also great seated out into the top lube groove for my 1950 S&W .38-44 Heavy Duty .38 Special with 9 grs. of Alliant #2400.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Murphy's Avatar
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    Skeeter Skelton is very reason I got into casting to begin with. I could live with (if pressed) the Thompson #358156. However, I would be concerned about a constant supply of gas checks also. Behind that, would be the Lyman #358477. A well designed and good shooting bullet in my guns. I do not have near the experience with the #358477 as I do the #358156. Elmer Keith's #358429 is a dandy as well. My experience with it has been as limited as with the #358477. I do know the #358429 will pack a solid punch when it lands.

    I believe I would have to go with Skeeter's choice, the Thompson #358156 and just be mindful of gathering a good amount of gas checks for it.

    Murphy
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Mine is a LBT 185LFN bullet with gas check It's accurate in anything tried . Also , in .38 ammo you don't even need the gas check .

    Jack
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I like both the Lee 158RF and the RCBS 150 grain SWC.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    rcbs 180sil gc mold most accurate past 50 yards

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    H&G #51, 160 gr. SWC. I think this was the original .357 Magnum bullet, but also works well in .38 Special. #358156 may be as accurate or even better than the #51, but I've never done a side-by-side comparison and seldom cast the #358156 anymore.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAC43 View Post
    Supposedly Skeeter Skelton's choice was a 358156, either solid or HP. What is your favorite mold for a 357?
    Yes ...for the longest time the 358156 was my choice , 155 gr. SWC with a gas check was the primo choice for 357 magnum for me .... But I've discovered another choice that rivals #1...
    It's Noe - 358 - 124 - TC - GC ! It drops from the mould .358 and is a 124 grain truncated cone design with a gas check. Easily lubed and sized through a .358 lube/sizer die . Lots of load data for 124-125 grain boolits , the gas check allows speeds of 1000 + fps and it saves a little lead with the 124 gr. weight .
    Now here's the kicker...for some reason this design is very accurate in 357 magnum revolver and
    rifle . I use a 9mm Luger taper crimp die when loading in 38 spcl and 357 magnum .
    This boolit works like a charm in 357 mag.
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    358156GC for sure, but also the RCBS 163 grain SWC GC. I bought the Ideal 358156 years ago before I had anything in 38 cal-- I was looking for a set of Lyman small mold handles and this guy was selling the 358156 with the handles for $40-- so I bought it without knowing how good that bullet is. Now I know.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  19. #19
    It was the 358156 till I got my hands on a MP 359640 which drops at about 170 grains with my alloy.
    RNFP feeds great in my 1873. Wider meplat than the 358156 and a little heavier. Still has 2 crimp grooves that are bigger to boot. Bigger grease groove. Non gas check which I like. All that and it’s a 6 cavity!

    I always felt that a 170 was a better weight in a 357 carbine. Just a little more weight and you don’t lose much velocity.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master



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    For a 35 hand gun mold I’d have to say the Ranch Dog 180/190g

    For a 357 Mag Lyman 358429 or LEE 358/158

    My maxi loves a old LEE group BUY 190 WFN. Close profile to the RD but W/ conventional grease grooves. That bullet won’t work in short Throats or most revolvers ;( But the RD lee DOES!

    Recent add is a 358429HP I like it allot. Simply seat to near top of the driving band and works in every mag I have.

    For powders depends upon caliber. But Blue Dot serves me very well in the mag.
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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