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Thread: 357 Max as a rifle cartridge ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master watkibe's Avatar
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    357 Max as a rifle cartridge ?

    I have a 357 Mag barrel for my H&R single shot that I will probably ream to the 357 Max. I have visions of using 35 cal rifle bullets in it, since the OAL doesn't have to fit into a revolver cylinder. Hornady has their new FTX in 140 and 200 gr, and there are other J bullets.
    I only have revolver bullet molds for this caliber, so I will be looking for a 35 cal rifle bullet mold.
    Any body tried the Max in a rifle like this ? What sort of loads did you use ?
    "A society that values equality above liberty will have neither. A society that values liberty above equality will have plenty of both " - Milton Friedman

  2. #2
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    Babore has a custom MGM 20 inch Encore carbine. I have a encore custom 15inch MGM "pistol". We both use 180grain BRP boolits with a RNFP configuration. With some loads and some powders I actually get more speed than he does. The 357max case only holds so much powder...you can get real close to 35rem velocities in a strong action, but it will never be a 358 or Whelen.

    It is real tough to beat 180-200 grain boolits over Vhit N-120,but BaBore is having some good luck with Alliant MP300 recently..I have not found any MP300 to try yet. I have had some really great groups with the RCBS 200 seated a bit deep also,but


    My standard plate bangin deer killin load is

    BRP 360-180 (ww/pure 50/50 waterdropped)
    22.5 gr Vhit N-120
    Rem 7.5 spark plug
    MML lithium grease based lube.

    THAT load has been worked for MY encore....proceed cautiously at your own peril.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    Yep, I'm using almost the same exact load as 357Max, but I'm at 23.0 grains. I clocked these last weekend at 1,953.3 fps. Max says he's getting over 2,100 fps with his load and 5 inches less bbl. I very likely still have the new bbl blues and more throat than him. I've only got about 600 rounds downrange since I got it a couple months ago. All cast too. Maybe with some more wear-in it will pick up.

    Using the new Alliant 300-MP, the same 180 gr boolit does around 2,133 fps with an ES of 9.8 fps. This is with 24.0 grain. Another good boolit in my Max is my 363-200 GC. Very accurate with the VV N-120. I'm working up 300-MP loads for it this weekend.

    Accuracy with both powders is 3/4 to 1 inch, 5-shot groups at 100 yards.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I was using Lil-gun but was warned about burning out the throat in my Ruger #1. Velocities were a little over 2400fps with the 358156 boolit and slightly over 2300fps with the 360180fp boolit.
    Also shot the Rem 180hp and the Hornady 180gr SSP bullets at a little over 2300fps with Lil-gun. Haven't found any VV-120, don't know if it is discontinued or not, but will try and find some of the Alliant stuff. Otherwise, will use H4227, or my meager supply of WW680, which shot well with J words.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    There is a SGB for the Ranch Dog 190 gn boolit that will close in late August or September. A member here sent me 35 or so of these and I really like them. I think the mould is an RD 359-190; this is the address.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=73902.

    RCBS also has a 200 gn if you want to go that heavy in a 357 MAX. Here is an excellent article on the 357 MAX in a carbine length barrel if you have a minute.

    http://bellmtcs.com/store/index.php?cid=152

    DH
    Last edited by Duckhunter; 07-23-2010 at 05:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    357 Mag vs Max

    I have the RCBS 35-200 and it weighs closer to 220gr with GC and lube. I've shot them from a Browning Lowall 357 Mag, and it shot very accurately at MAX loads, like the bullet on the powder or nearly on the powder, H110. You won't find that load in any book! Safer and more sane is the Saeco #354 185gr or one of the NOE heavy designs over H110, but still in the 357 Mag chambering. Those NOE molds are beauties!

    As for the 357 Max, its more than I want in my Lowall with its narrow, steel, crescent buttplate. The 336s in 35 Rem are far more comfortable to shoot with such loads.

    I didn't see any mention of AA1680 or AA2200, but both should be good in the Max.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I have been having very good results with my rechambered NEF (357 mag to max) with the BA Bore 215gr. 358 plinker/35PP bullet. Patched with drafting vellum and loaded over a stiff charge of Lil' Gun it is very accurate and hits hard. Haven't chronoed it yet but it rings our hanging steel out to 385M quite well.

  8. #8
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    excess650, I have two of the Browning lowwalls in 357 mag and I have been shooting the RCBS 200 grain bullet with AA#9 and it is great. A person I know had one and he liked LilGun with the heavy bullets.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy

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    I shoot the rcbs 35-200 in my 357 max contender, and it shoots very well. 17 Grains of 296. I also shoot the noe 360-180 with 20 grains of 296 and it shoots very well too.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    357 max rifle

    I have had my 357 max Contender with a 21" barrel for about ten years and have enjoyed it. I use it as my light black bear rifle. I started using cast boolits a few months back and the rifle has liked my Lee 158 gr SWC boolits with gas checks. With the peep sights I get 2" groups at 100m so far. I am loading it with 2400 powder for an MV of about 1900 fps.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Good morning
    Next time up I am going to transform a Marlin 336 into a Supermag rifle to go along with my DW Supermag revolver. But it is a bit larger than the .357 Max.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master TCLouis's Avatar
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    Here is a site of that crusty old Gunsmith in Orygone that has links to yet other good discussions on the Max.

    It seems some people trying to make the 357 Swift out of a great cartridge cut it's history short before it was fully developed and like the 45-70 is being reborn as folks find out about the cartridge's true performance capabilities.

    http://www.bellmtcs.com/store/index.php?cid=121
    When one must, one can

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Max questions

    I just got a 21 in 357 max barrel for my TC contender. I currently have plenty of brass, primers and both Lil Gun and IMR 4198 powder.

    Any suggestions for these and boolets on the heavier end (158 - 200 grains, cast and jacketed)?

    Thanks

    D

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I dunno about Lil Gun, but I doubt you can get enough 4198 in the cases. 1680 seems to be the slowest powder listed in Speer #13.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master watkibe's Avatar
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    Since I started this thread, I have reamed out my H&R barrel to the Maxi. My first effort used 140 gr FTX Jwords over Hodgdon's starting load of H110. I got 2416 fps average velocity for 1788 fpe. They went into 2" at 50 yds, more work is indicated. I use a lot of Lee TL-358-158 in handguns for the magnum cartridge, of which I have also shot a few out of the rifle before reaming, for 1600 fps and better accuracy.
    I was not aware that Lee made a GC bullet in 358. I usually only use a GC on rifle bullets. I don't think I can use the bullets from the mold I have at 2400 fps; so I either need to find a slower load or equip myself with mold, checks, and sizing die in 358.
    I have heard the same recommendation from many folks over on the GBO H&R board: 1680 and Hornady's 180 gr Single Shot Pistol J bullet, for what ever that bit of boolit heresy is worth, lol.
    I also like Lee's 2R-358-158; no GC, but a nice round nose. A SWC just doesn't seem right in a rifle, haha.
    So far, I love the Maxi !
    Thanks for all the helpful info in this thread. The Maxi aficiados really came out of the woodwork on this one. It will take a while to digest it all !
    "A society that values equality above liberty will have neither. A society that values liberty above equality will have plenty of both " - Milton Friedman

  16. #16
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    357 max in H & R Topper

    I also have a .357 Max in an old H & R Topper rifle. The 180 grain XTP bullet and H110 make a really nice combo of velocity and performance. Tried the Hornady 200 grain round nose, but was not satisfied. Probably need to change to another powder but have not tried others yet.

    Discovered the most fun was to set this gun up for plain old .38 Special wadcutters with 2.7 grs Bullseye. Lots of fun to shoot and a pretty nice small game load out to about 30 yards. Squirrels, rabbits, etc. don't go far with a .38 caliber hole chopped straight through them.

    Steve

  17. #17
    Cast Boolits Founder/B.O.B.

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    thats my little 357 max, rolling block. loves 200gr rcbs boolits.
    Boolits= as God laid it into the soil,,grand old Galena,the Silver Stream graciously hand poured into molds for our consumption.

    Bullets= Machine made utilizing Full Length Gas Checks as to provide projectiles for the masses.

    http://www.cafepress.com/castboolits

    castboolits@gmail.com

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    45nut, how much does that weigh? Also who's barrel and twist and how does it shoot?

  19. #19
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    I have a Ruger #1 in 357 max. that I have been wringing out. 2400 works very well with the 190RD and the RCBS 35-200 hovering around 2,300fps. Weights above that, it seems WC-680 (old winchester 680, not AA1680) will do the job the best, with 235gr boolits at 2100fps and 265gr boolits at 1900fps. Best groups hover less than an inch, then I get excited and put one out about an inch away. Always the last shot!!

    Best groups are with 200gr and up, but the 358156 is no slouch, at maybe 2" and 2500fps. 38-180sil RCBS is in between the two.

  20. #20
    Cast Boolits Founder/B.O.B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Highwall View Post
    45nut, how much does that weigh? Also who's barrel and twist and how does it shoot?
    She weighs in at 8lbs 15oz no idea what make or twist but she shoots quite well.
    Boolits= as God laid it into the soil,,grand old Galena,the Silver Stream graciously hand poured into molds for our consumption.

    Bullets= Machine made utilizing Full Length Gas Checks as to provide projectiles for the masses.

    http://www.cafepress.com/castboolits

    castboolits@gmail.com

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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