.38 special loads in .357 mag cases?


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HuskerTanker
August 2, 2007, 02:05 AM
Newbie here with a noob question.

What do you think about reloading .357 mag cases with .38 special load data for cheap plinking ammo? Any safety concerns?

From Speer and Hornady manuals, there's generally 1 grain or less difference in starting loads, but niether manual lists a 148 grain wadcutter load for .357 mag.

While I'm new here, I must say this forum is more polite and helpful than some other sites. I've learned quite a bit browsing here.

Thanks

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pinkymingeo
August 2, 2007, 04:23 AM
Any loads that work in 38spl can be used in 357. Case capacities are very similar. The longer 357 case is thicker, which makes up the difference.

JDGray
August 2, 2007, 05:38 AM
Only if you have .357 mags, and NO .38s:D Wouldn't want to mix things up. My Lee manual, If correct, claims the 38 case has .15 cc more volume, than the 357 case:confused:

lil ski
August 2, 2007, 05:53 AM
Loading 357mag cases with 38spl load is fine but don't try to go real light. Its never good to have a case that does not have much powder in it. Try to keep the case as full as possible.

LotI
August 2, 2007, 05:22 PM
The Hornady reloading manual suggests using 38Spl data when loading .357Mag to target velocities with lead bullets.

My go-to load is a 148gr. LWC over 2.8gr. Bullseye in either the .38 or the .357. I just use a standard primer in the .357 target loads.

Sistema1927
August 2, 2007, 06:03 PM
Only if you have .357 mags, and NO .38s Wouldn't want to mix things up.

Huh?

How are you going to chamber those .357 cases in your .38?

JDGray
August 2, 2007, 07:11 PM
Huh?

How are you going to chamber those .357 cases in your .38?
__________________
Lew Wallace was an optimist.



Ya got me on that one:D My coffee hadn't kicked in yet:)

HuskerTanker
August 2, 2007, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the feedback

Sunray
August 3, 2007, 01:31 AM
There are no issues. Been doing it for eons. Eliminates the lube crud build up in the cylinders from shooting .38 cases in a .357 revolver too. 2.5 to 2.8 grains of Bullseye with a 148 grain WC. No fuss. No bother.
"...don't try to go real light..." Nonsense. The above load has been the standard .38 Special target load for years and years. It works just fine in a .357 case.
"...38 case has .15 cc more..." Not possible. The .38 case is shorter.

nitesite
August 3, 2007, 10:55 AM
It is possible. The .38-Special was originally a black powder cartridge and the case capacity is huge when using smokeless propellants. Also, the case on a .357MagnumŽ was designed after the invention of smokeless powder and has much thicker walls and web, which actually diminishes some of the available space for powder.

I'm not absolutely sure, but I think he's correct.

KaiserBen
August 3, 2007, 11:45 AM
My Lee manual has .38 capacity as 1.18cc and .357 as 1.15cc.

Carl N. Brown
August 8, 2007, 06:39 PM
Moderate .38 Spl loads in .357 brass also means your brass
will last for many more reloads.

Actually, .38 Spl loads in .357 brass is much smarter than the
opposite.

byf43
August 8, 2007, 06:58 PM
For a REAL mild load in the .357 cases, try 7.2 grains of Unique and a Hornady 158 gr. JHP and a standard small pistol primer.
A HARDCAST LSWC shoots just as well, too!

It is really mild and the accuracy is phenomenal!!!!!!

Use little to no crimp. The load is so mild, you won't experience any bullet 'jump' from the other rounds in the adjacent chambers.

From experience, shooting LWC or LSWC in .38 Spl cases is a real 'bear' to clean, after a shooting session.

Brian Williams
August 8, 2007, 09:40 PM
My Lee manual has .38 capacity as 1.18cc and .357 as 1.15cc

This has to be wrong, a 357 is longer than a 38 spec.

I use 38 loads in 357 for plinking.

Carl N. Brown
August 9, 2007, 10:41 AM
When I dump 1.0cc of BP in .38 spl, that barely leaves
room for a 158gr SWC to be seated touching the charge.
When I load BP in .357, it takes 1.3cc in a .357 case to
leave room for a 158gr SWC to be seated touching the
charge.

I am using the Lee volumetric dippers, dipped then carded
off even with an indexcard.

gandog56
August 9, 2007, 03:13 PM
Hoo boy, who's right. I just read this:

The brass of the .38 Special measures 1.155 inches in length, while the .357 Magnum is 1.290 inches long. This accounts for the .357 being a little more than 1/8 inch longer, which adds about 12 per cent more case capacity. While on the surface this may not seem like a significant increase, it amounts to a noteworthy increase in performance. Factory loaded .38 Specials possessing 158-grain bullets often travel out of the muzzle at about 900fps, while .357 Magnums exit more than 300fps faster. This level of increase is certainly noteworthy, but even faster velocities can sometimes be produced by those shooters who reload their own ammunition.

joneb
August 9, 2007, 10:38 PM
Well I just had to see for myself I topped off a .38spl. case with AA#9(a fine ball powder) and dumped it into a .357 mag. case :eek: The powder came to about .120" from the top, this settles it for me. The .357 mag case is longer to prevent chambering in a .38spl and it carries more powder.

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