357 Magnum Load


January 12, 2003, 05:24 PM
I would like to use the Hornady 158 grain XTP bullet. Does anyone use this partiular bullet and if so what powder and primer combination do you use for you 357 magnum?


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January 12, 2003, 05:44 PM
For heavy loads I use blue dot, for moderate loads I use Universal.

January 12, 2003, 06:00 PM
What gun(s) do you intend to use?
What equipment will you make it with?
What do you want the bullet to do?
Are you willing to buy gunpowder?

I got questions; I got answers......................:D

January 12, 2003, 08:33 PM

I should have given more information. The gun is a GP100 3" bl. I'll be using it for shooting at the range and its also going to be my carry gun.....I know about reloads for carry purposes is somewhat of a no..no due to the legal BS.

I currently use the rockchucker press with RCBS dies. I don't mind buying powder as long as its a good accurate load. I have a feeling what your going to recommend for powder but go ahead anyway.


January 13, 2003, 09:14 AM
For about 15 years, my favorite powder for full-power magnum loads has been Win 296. I most often use CCI magnum primers, but have also used Federal and Winchester magnum primers with no problems. Hodgdon H110 is essentially the same powder, though I have never used it.

Johnny Guest
January 13, 2003, 10:40 AM
I worked up a load with Alliant 2400 powder several years ago with it for a borrowed S&W M66 4" I was taking on a river trip. My specific wants included flat trajectory for possible long range shots, but a little more controlability than the full house Remington 158 factory loads. I got the desired results with a bit over 14 gr. and Win Mag primers. Not max, but I didn't want to contend with sticky cases in this medium frame revolver.

I question, however, if this would be efficient with the shorter barrel GP 100, 2400 being a somewhat slower powder. If you try this, be sure to brush under the extractor star, to prevent unburned powder buildup, even if you don't do a detail cleaning after shooting. (I'm guilty of NOT doing a through cleaning, sometimes, when I fire only a few jacketed loads.)

I've also had great results with a hard-cast SWC bullet and 7.0 gr. Unique. Again, not max, but far more than .38 Spl +P, and highly controlable. This is a clean shooting combo, too - - unlike some cast bullet loads.

Best of luck to you

January 13, 2003, 10:43 AM
I'm presuming from your response that by "carry" you meant that you wish to simulate full power factory .357 ammunition. In my 4" GP100, for full power I use Winchester 296, Remington cases, Winchester SPM primers for all loads. I haven't loaded the XTP in 158gr yet, but since you didn't ask about seating depth or crimp I feel comfortable in recommending WW296, H-110, Hodgdon's "Lilgun", AA#9 and Alliant 2400 and Blue Dot. I use 296 right now because I still have 3 pounds of it.

Tony Z
January 13, 2003, 11:03 AM
My load with the XTP is 14.8gr 2400 WLP OAL 1.570 Redding profile crimp 1265 FPS.

This is a good accurate load.


January 13, 2003, 11:59 AM
I used to use H110/W296 because it was the highest velocity.

Now I use LIL'GUN, because it is higher veloicty.

The velocities listed by Hodgdon are close for H110 and LIL'GUN, but the listed pressure for LIL'GUN is so low, one can imagine working up a higher powder charge. And that is what I have done. I am shooting 26 gr of LIL'GUN with 158 gr LSWC and getting performance possible with no other powder I am aware of.

January 14, 2003, 09:17 AM
I use H110 in all my 44 mag loads and really like that powder. I thought about trying H110 with the 158 grain Hornady XTP bullet.


Bottom Gun
January 14, 2003, 09:47 AM
I use Unique with Winchester primers.
It isn't the cleanest powder around but the muzzle flash is low and it gives me good accuracy.

January 14, 2003, 10:30 AM
If I decide to use H110 powder, what CCI primer would I use?


January 14, 2003, 01:12 PM
The best CCI primer to use in 357 with W-296 or H-110 would be the CCI 550 small pistol magnum primer. This primer is needed only for the slowest burning powders.

January 15, 2003, 07:18 PM
As with most everyone else, for years my favorite was the old hotsy totsy, burn your face off and start a forest fire, Winchester loading manual max load of 16.6 of WW296 with winchester small pistol magnum primers and 158 grain JHP.

You will "Need" a GP100 if you shoot this load a lot

That was then. Now days I use Power Pistol and load it down to a "comfortable" level.

January 15, 2003, 10:21 PM
The 158 XTP is one of my most used 357 bullets. I have also had good results with the bulk Winchester 158 JHP. I usually use 296 mostly with Winchester or CCI Mag primers.

My 686 wore a scope when I shot the 6 and 12 shot groups in the pic with the Hornady and Winchester 158 bullets. I use the same loads in my 357 Contender with even greater accuracy.

Bill Adair
January 16, 2003, 01:41 AM
Those are terrific groups Yoda!

I've just started playing with 158gr XTP's, and H110.

My first loads produced curious vertical stringing, and pretty wild velocity spreads. Charge was 14.5gr, using WSPM primers, and new Starline brass.

Just made a batch with the same powder charge, using small rifle primers. If that doesn't reduce the velocity spreads and stringing, I'll start bumping the powder charge up a bit.


January 16, 2003, 05:43 AM
Reding Profile Crimp die.

February 2, 2003, 03:57 PM

Went out today with my GP100 3" bbl and the Hornday 158 gr XTP's using 14.5 to 15.5 grains of H110 powder, CCI small pistol magnum primers and saw vertical strings also using the lower load. The vertical strings cleaned up at 15.5 grains of H110, however the recoil was a bit more. I think that maybe my roll crimp was too much because two of my test rounds chambered tight. According to the #13 Speer reloading manual 15.5 H110 powder is tops, but according to Hodgdon 16.7 is tops according to what I read on their web page for a Hornady 158 grain XTP.


Bill Adair
February 2, 2003, 07:01 PM

Thanks for the info. :)

The velocity spreads I was getting with light H110 loads, explains the vertical stringing that you also observed. That may be typical of light loads with slow powder, or poor ignition. I doubt your crimping had much to do with it.

Haven't been back to the range to check the same loads with hotter primers, but will do that soon. After trying the small rifle primers with that load, I may go to small rifle magnum primers, to compare the effects on extreme spreads. My loads are far enough below max, that there should be no problems with the hotter primers.

Will keep you posted.


February 2, 2003, 07:51 PM

I'm not sure if the vertical strings were from to light of a load, but I can tell you that while using my 44 mag and H110 powder a heavier powder charge is much more accurate for me in my Super Redhawk.


February 2, 2003, 08:52 PM
The 158g XTP-HP is NOT a defense bullet; don't learn the hard way.

Better choice is the R-P 125g JHP.

But if loading the 158g recommend: 2400, H110, or W296, Federal 200 SPM primers, plenty of crimp.
Use any manual.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND considering the 125g bullets. :banghead:

February 2, 2003, 08:58 PM
I was wondering what kind of velocitys your getting with your Lil Gun load. Hodgdon lists 18 gr 1577 fps as max.

Shucks I only load 31 grains in my 454.

February 3, 2003, 03:36 AM
Has anyone noticed this?

On Hodgdons Web page the listed load for 158 Gr. HDY XTP using H110 is 16.7 Gr. - 1591 fps. This is listed as the MAX load.

On my jug of Hodgdon H110 the listed load for 158 Gr. does not list HDY XTPs. It lists 158 Gr. JSP - 14.5 Gr. - 1456 fps. This is listed as the MAX load.

I've had this powder for awhile and I have been shooting 158 Gr. HDY XTPs with 16.6 Gr. This load is a handful. I also noticed my jug of H110 says not to reduce loads by more than 3%. In the past I have stuck bullets using listed loads with slower powders(not in 357). If my math is right and you use the load listed on Hodgdons Web page 16.7 Gr. MAX load. Then you should not load below 16.2 Gr. Maybe this has something to do with stringing and velocity spreads when loading below 16.2 Gr.

Why is the loading data different ?

Bill Adair
February 3, 2003, 05:29 AM
Yes, and I've heard that H110/W296 loads do not perform well below charges listed in the manuals, but many manuals don't agree on what that charge might be, as you have noted. :rolleyes:

I suspect the caution about not reducing loads more than 3 percent, was started when many reloaders insisted on using non magnum primers with these powders, in spite of the manufacturers warnings.

The inconsistent performance at lighter loads that I'm seeing is an indication of poor ignition, and it's not too far fetched to imagine squib loads with regular primers at very cold temperatures, or when powder position in shifted to the front of the case. :what:

Because I know these loads are on the edge, I listen very carefully for any unusual report, and stay alert for any change in felt recoil, before firing the next round. :D

Load data varies all over the place, because lab standards were apparently never established for load testing, or were too expensive to implement.

One company will use test barrels, while another will use off the shelf firearms, to develop loads for the same bullet. Add to that the different methods of measuring pressure, temperature and altitude variations, different barrel lengths, different bore sizes, and it's a wonder we get anything right. :D


February 3, 2003, 05:49 AM
Load data is a guide.

Your equipment and test conditions will be different.
Trust your stuff, using the data manuals as a GUIDE.

We're not talking laboratory-grade experiments, because most handloaders aren't scientists.

Usually your load manual(s) will mention something like this in the reading section...............

February 3, 2003, 08:12 AM

I don't understand why the 158 grain XTP wouldn't be considered a defense bullet. Is there some scientific reason why the 125 grain bullet is better suited for defense than the 158 grain bullet?


February 3, 2003, 02:58 PM
Just a guess on my part, a lighter bullet (in the same caliber of course) will penetrate (over-penetrate?) less even at faster speeds?

I've got some pretty nice hot 180gr XTP loads, can't help but think they'd be good for SD ;-)

February 5, 2003, 02:30 AM
I have been delighted with Lil'Gun in the .44 mag, and the .22 Hornet. I will try it in the M27, when my dies arrive.

A powder that looked interesting in the 10mm was Ramshot Enforcer, but I found it too slow for 135's in the Centimeter. It might be good in the .357, though - I will try it.

And when I'm done, no I won't publish the loads:evil:

February 5, 2003, 05:37 AM
Yes, for some reason 'field' experience suggests the 140g's-n-up provide too much penetration, not (as) effectively nullifying adverse behavior.

However, the same experience suggests that the high-speed 125g's act much more effectively than imperical ballistic data would imply.

Your results may vary, but I doubt it. Lotsa 'field' experience with 357 Mag.

(Modern? Think "357 SIG".)

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