357 Magnum Load Recommendation


September 26, 2007, 07:33 PM
I'm going to load 357 Magnum for my new S&W 686Plus 6" using Win321, Titegroup, and Clays on 158gr. LSWC for 25yard target shooting. Not looking for hot load, so what are some of your favorite loads?
Also, why does the Hornady 7th. ed. book list Titegroup 2.9gr.-4.1gr. and the Lee 2nd. ed. book list it at 4.5gr.-5.0gr. for the 158gr. LSWC. I'm going to use the Hornady data and work my load up.

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September 26, 2007, 08:30 PM
Last night I shot a box of 5.0 Titegroup and 158SWC in .38 SPL brass (I loaded these a while back before I accumulated any .357 brass) and it was a nice easy to shoot load, much more than a .38 +P and less than a normal .357


September 26, 2007, 10:21 PM
I love Titegroup for light and medium loads in .357 magnums. The best "Lite" load for 25-yard shooting that I handload is 4.5-gr Titegroup with a 158-gr swaged LSWC flat based bullet and Federal 100 primers and I use a Lee FCD.

Accuracy is very good (please overlook the flyer)...


... and the velocity is just barely under 900-fps from a 4" gun, allowing me to shoot a LOT with practically zero leading. Also it burns very cleanly. Look at the pretty tight ES and SD numbers...


It's also my wifes home defense load for the 4" 686 we keep ready for her. Stronger than a .38 Special 158-gr +P but very accurate and manageable. It'll put a pretty good thumpin' on anything you shoot.

Steve C
September 26, 2007, 11:42 PM
6 rounds of 158gr commercial cast LSWC on top of 6.3 grs of Unique WSP primer in Remington cases at 25 yds from 6" Colt Trooper Mk3.

September 27, 2007, 01:50 AM
I don't usually load Lead for my .357 Magnum because the higher velocities can cause leading. I usually shoot .38 Special loads in my Magnum instead. I use W231 for my .38 Special loads and recommend it for light .357 Magnum rounds if you really want to load Lead for the Magnum. DO NOT try to load a full power .357 Magnum round with a Lead bullet. You WILL leave a lot of Lead in your barrel and it's a real pain to get out. I would suggest starting with 4.5 gr W231 and see if they are accurate in your revolver. That load is already in the .38 Special +P range. That load will yield ~ 1,000fps and probably not leave any Lead in your barrel at all. Even if you go to the Max of 5.0 gr you probably won't leave any Lead behind.

The Bushmaster
September 27, 2007, 10:41 AM
I would recommend Alliant 2400 for your .357 magnum. It can be down loaded for mild loads or loaded up for those "hot" loads. I have found that W-231 does not work that well in the longer barrels (at least for me), but it does work well for the shorter (3" or shorter) .357 magnum barrels. W-231 is an excellent choice for 9mmX19, .38 Special and .45 ACP...

September 27, 2007, 10:51 AM
I load all my light stuff in .38 special cases. I can then shoot 'em in my .38s and, as well, keeps me from mistaking 'em for something more potent.

I would NOT recommend 2400 or any other slow powder for light loads. They'll be very dirty and inconsistent at lower pressures, trust me. My first thought for the bigge volume of the .357 would be to use trailboss, will fill the case better, yet is quick burning and efficient at the lower pressures.

And, to stop leading in hot .357 loads, use a gas checked bullet design mold. It's a little more pain having to add the gas check before size/lubing, but it keeps the lead out and 1000 gas checks are cheaper than most 100 round boxes of JHP. My lead is free, so I prefer using my own bullets.

September 27, 2007, 12:17 PM
Another vote for Titegroup. IME 4-5 grains of Titegroup makes for a nice accurate target load with lead 158 grainers.

September 27, 2007, 12:28 PM
AA #5, or N340, for midrange .357 loads in .357 brass.

September 27, 2007, 12:33 PM
I've shot a few homecast 158 gr Lee RF's lubed with 50/50 sized to .358, over a charge of 5.9 W231. Nice mild load. No leading. Never Chrono'ed them, but I'd guess about 1000-1100 fps.

Steve C
September 27, 2007, 01:25 PM
Leading is a whole topic. I've found that if hard cast bullets are loaded at .38 spl velocities I will get leading at the forcing cone end of the barrel indicating gas blow by. Bump the pressure and velocity up to mag levels (1,250 fps with a 158gr LSWC) and the leading disappears. The added pressure obdurates the bullet base enough to seal in the bore.

For .38 spl loads I use swagged bullet from Speer or Hornady as they're softer than most commercial cast. For the magnum I use cast bullets like Oregon Trail and others and push them over 1,100 fps. I also find that additional lube using Lee Liquid Alox on commercial cast will eliminate most all leading and any there is cleans up with a pass or two of the bore brush with solvent.

September 27, 2007, 01:38 PM
there are 6 chamber, why only 5 holes in pictures? Like usually, one chamber bad thing? When I keep testing revolvers, shooting 12 times.:rolleyes:

September 27, 2007, 06:28 PM
Look carefully and I think he had 4 hit in the 10 ring. :eek:

Snapping Twig
September 27, 2007, 06:50 PM
I shoot hard cast bullets in all my revolvers. One leads, the others do not and even the one that does is slowing down and I expect it to be minimal over time.

Sizing is one of the keys, .358 bullets in a .357 should do the trick. Go .001 oversize and leading should dissappear.

I use magnum cases and 5g W231 under a hard cast 150g WC for a nice plinking/target load in the .357.

Magnums are H110/W296 or Hercules 2400. For a 160 or 170g hard cast bullet, I use 15.5g H110/W296. Very pleasant and definately powerful - no leading.

September 27, 2007, 10:03 PM
~5.0 grn ww231 works well for me..

XD-40 Shooter
September 27, 2007, 10:48 PM
9 grains of Unique = accurate, clean load, chrono's 1350 fps
13.5 grains of Blue Dot = accurate, clean load, chrono's 1460 fps, matches factory ballistics in 125 grain, although mine are more accurate.

14.3 grains of Blue Dot with a 125 grain SJHP gave me 1600 fps from my 4" Tracker.:eek::D:evil:

September 28, 2007, 12:18 AM
Titegroup is a great down loading powder becouse is not position sensative.

October 1, 2007, 03:43 PM
Titegroup is a great down loading powder becouse is not position sensative
That is what they say, but my Chrono does not agree.

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