Reloading 357 magnum

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bornfree
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Reloading 357 magnum

Post by bornfree » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:23 am

I have sighted in my 357 rifle with factory ammo. Now I can't make my reloads match it or shoot as consistent. The bullet weight is the same but different design fmj hp vs hard lead swc in my reloads. I' m thinking it has more to do with the powder. I am using hp38 as I have plenty of it on hand.
My question is can I get the needed results from my powder or do I need to buy another type?
Thanks in advance.
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Ken45
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Ken45 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:38 am

You didn't say at what distance you are shooting. A SWC is aerodynamically a "square block" and won't travel as far or consistently as a more streamline fmj so I would not expect as good of long distance consistency.

The other issue may be variation of the powder inside the case. Being an old blackpowder design cartridge, there is typically a lot of empty space in the loaded round, especially with most powders. You might fire one round with the powder back against the primer, and the next round it might be laying in the middle and the following round it may be forward against the bullet. That will likely cause variations in ignition and burning.


HP38/ww231 are fast burning powder with charges that do not take up much room at all.

First thing that I would do is to see if performance improves if you ensure that the powder is in the same place for each shot. Tilt the rifle vertically (up or down) before each shot and see if consistency improves.

You might look for a powder that does a better job of filling the case, or loading in some filler to hold the powder against the primer. Do your own research on that. It's been many years since I heard this so I could be wrong but I think I've heard of kapok being used as filler.

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bornfree
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by bornfree » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:01 am

Thanks Ken I'm targeting for about 75 yards. The rifle is a pump and I usually point it up in the air to make the cases land where I can find them. You are right about the powder though it does not fill the cases very much.
I have loaded some 125 grain fmj. They do group better but of course hit high. My 38's don't do bad but shoot low.
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Engineer Bill
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Engineer Bill » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:52 am

Using 357 mag in a rifle you will get much better accuracy in using slower burning powders. The powders you listed are too fast for a rifle.
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by bornfree » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:02 am

What powder would you use?
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Buckeye Dan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:31 pm

You are probably looking for H110 or H4227. Those powders fill out the cartridge a little better.

Some recipes can be found here:
http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Ken45 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:50 pm

Buckeye Dan wrote:You are probably looking for H110 or H4227. Those powders fill out the cartridge a little better.

Some recipes can be found here:
http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
I've never looked at rifle specific loads before. Wow! a third faster velocity using the slower powders, almost 2400 fps. And at significantly less pressure.

I may have to get one of those powders to try out.

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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by willbird » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:01 pm

Also check the barrel for leading, many of the cast bullets out there on the market stink for lack of a better term.

For the some of the highest velocities at the lowest pressure have a look at "lilgun" on Hogdons webpage. it is only listed under "pistol" for some reason.

Also with Hodgdon you will find more lead bullet data under the "cowboy" heading

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... eHBMgd-KMg


And the number one authority on 357 and especially in lever guns and other rifles IMHO is Paco Kelley.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/ ... rature.htm
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bornfree
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by bornfree » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:17 pm

Thanks for all the info. I'll check it out and see what powder is available at our local store.
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Ken45 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:23 pm

Bill,

Very interesting article by Kelley, thanks for the reference. I guess I'm going to have to order some more .357 bullets, I'm getting low.

It's interesting how the .357 round has been decreased in pressure and velocity over the years. Was it over done initially, or is everything wimp loaded today?

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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Buckeye Dan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:16 pm

I am just guessing here but since the handguns have become smaller and lighter the loads have become consistent with that. Some of the beefy loads wouldn't be much fun to shoot from service revolvers and snubs. Some may be overpowered for that causing unnecessary wear on the guns or worse.

The powder chemistry and gun metallurgy has changed some but the .357 from a rifle where hunting is concerned hasn't changed much at all.

I should also point out that H4227 has been discontinued. The IMR 4227 replaced it. Just found that out.

LiL gun is coming in at 61 on this comparison scale.
H110 is 62.
IMR4227 is 64.
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

The HP-38 that you are using is listed as 28th. The lower the rank the faster burning the powder is.
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Buckeye Dan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:30 pm

I had the LEVERevolution info up there but discovered it is more suited for a .30-.30 and is not specific to the cartridges of the same name from Hornady.
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by bornfree » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:15 pm

Those are some great sites that I hadn't found yet. I have a lot to learn so I go at it slow.
Thanks again.
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Viking » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:18 pm

Great thread guys.

Right now, I am reloading .357 Mag with 158 LSWC and using 2400 powder. I am betting that all though this is optimum out of my 6" revolver, it will be a sub-par load out of a carbine. My Lyman reloading manual has a separate section for .357 out of rifle-length barrels. When I get a .357 carbine I will have to work up a new load.

Has anyone found a load that works moderately well out of both .357 Mag revolvers & carbines? Is such a load possible without too much performance trade-off?
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Re: Reloading 357 magnum

Post by Buckeye Dan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:39 pm

Viking wrote:Great thread guys.

Right now, I am reloading .357 Mag with 158 LSWC and using 2400 powder. I am betting that all though this is optimum out of my 6" revolver, it will be a sub-par load out of a carbine. My Lyman reloading manual has a separate section for .357 out of rifle-length barrels. When I get a .357 carbine I will have to work up a new load.

Has anyone found a load that works moderately well out of both .357 Mag revolvers & carbines? Is such a load possible without too much performance trade-off?
Viking any of the 14-16ish grain loads with 4227 or H110 would likely be good for that. Maybe not with that bullet. There are some promising looking loads for the Hornady XTPs in both. I think it's going to depend on the exact guns.

It seems to me that whatever is going to be peak performance in a rifle will be a waste of powder in a handgun. Whatever will be peak performance in a handgun won't be that spectacular in a rifle. The beauty of a .357 however is you can substitute .38 specials. I think I would want all my versatility in .38 special and keep my .357s specialized at the edge of the performance envelope for whatever application. Hopefully for deer hunting in the state of Ohio some day.
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