How many full power .357 mag loads do you shoot in your .357?


July 18, 2003, 03:45 AM
I find that I shoot mostly .38spls and target .357 loads in my .357s and only shoot full house loads once in a while. I shoot so few full power loads that I think I could have a .38spl and be happy. I don't used my .357s for anything "serious". I don't hunt or use them for personal protection so I end up mostly target shooting or plinking with them. I wonder if this is the most common trend.

If you enjoyed reading about "How many full power .357 mag loads do you shoot in your .357?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 18, 2003, 03:53 AM
Lots and lots. I have Rugers so I shoot a lot of full power stuff. Shoot some 38's too, but the full power I find to be more fun. Regularly out to 50 yds and sometimes out to 100 yds.

July 18, 2003, 04:55 AM
I only shoot my 357's out of a 357.:D

I handload 38+p+ in 357 cases for most of 357 shooting. What does that count as?


July 18, 2003, 07:08 AM
I have a 6" Ruger GP100 and shoot my reloads which are loaded to slightly below published "full power" magnum charges. This gives me magnum performance (i.e., satisfying recoil and report) while minimizing wear on the Ruger (the spent cases do not show any pressure signs).

The GP100 is probably strong enough to handle a constant diet of full-power magnum loads, but I like a little safety margin.


July 18, 2003, 07:13 AM
When the 357's go to the range, they get fed 357 magnum ammo. Thats why I bought Rugers.

July 18, 2003, 07:32 AM
"How many full power .357 mag loads do you shoot in your .357? "

I've grown away from the .357mag in the last few years. Too much flash and bang for the size. If I'm going to have the flash and bang, it's going to be in something larger.

July 18, 2003, 09:04 AM
Havent tried any insanely hot loads of the "Deer Stopper" or "Hammerhead" type rounds iny my .357 (Short barrel 'Sheriff's Model' Vaquero) but I do shoot the 158-Gr loads out of it all the time...PMC JSP, Speer Gold-Dot, Fed AmEagle JSP, etc.

July 18, 2003, 09:21 AM
I shoot only standard-pressure factory fresh .357 ammo, nothing else.

(of course, if I owned one of those Ruger SP101's or GP100's, I'd be sorely tempted to get a box of Georgia Arms 158 gr +P "deerstoppers" and try'em out!)

July 18, 2003, 09:42 AM
I'm with you, firestar. For every round of 357 mag I shoot, I probably shoot at least 10 rounds of 38 special. When I reload, it's for 38 special so that I can practice sight alignment and trigger control. I rarely shoot 357s.

July 18, 2003, 09:50 AM
Lots, and lots of .38+P level.. another GP-100 here so I have no problem shooting 100's of crazy screaming 180 gr fun ;-)

July 18, 2003, 09:51 AM
Since I tend to be a bit sensitive to loud noises (kind of strange for a gun nut eh?), I shoot 38's when I'm feeling "sensitive". Otherwise, I shoot "deerstopper" type loads only (as opposed to SD loads).

My two standard handloads for my GP100 include a very light 158gr 38sp and a very hot 180gr 357mag.


July 18, 2003, 10:15 AM
I tend to shoot FAR more .38 than .357 through my .357 guns. This is especially true of my Python, since I have heard that a steady diet of full-house magnum loads can adversely affect its functioning. My SDB, although purchased to load .357 Mag., loads .38 Spl. exclusively (unless you count .45 ACP, but we're talking about revolvers here).

July 18, 2003, 10:34 AM
I shoot 800 - 1000 158 gr. SJSP .357 Magnum Magtech rounds (MV=1233 Ft/sec, ME= 535 Ft.lbs) per month through my F-Comp. Dennis

July 18, 2003, 11:30 AM
Out of which .357? ;)

Out of my 66, I don't think I've ever shot more than a couple cylinders, just to verify that they print around the same place as my .38 practice/IDPA rounds, of which I've shot a few thousand.

Out of my 340PD, I shoot maybe 20 percent .357--but handloaded and very moderate .357, around 6 grs of W231 behind a 158 gr. bullet. That's a defense load (a light one, 'cause the gun is mui light) in a carry gun, and I wanna be sure I can control it, and that takes practice.

Out of my Marlin 1894, just 357--cause .38s hang up occasionally for me--but mostly the same moderate handloads described above. But not shooting .38 is not a problem, or really any added expense.

I do enjoy a few hot loads out of the Marlin--in the Deerstopper/max load category--just cause it's fun, and cause I'm confident it won't hurt anything (that's not on the receiving end ;) ).

Handloading has changed the whole experience of shooting for me; made it less about shopping and wishing for just the right load and more about just making and shooting it.


July 18, 2003, 11:56 AM
I normally never shoot .38 Specials in my .357 guns. I did make an exception not too long ago because I had loaded 1500 .38 Specials and decided to take out my Model 66. I own a fairly large number of .357 revolvers and all but a couple of them have never seen a .38 Special round. Now I don't know exactly what you mean by full power .357 loads. The vast majority of .357 loads I shoot are about middle of the road, but are .357 loads; well over max for .38 Special. As far as max loads, I don't shoot a whole lot of them. Probably a few hundred a year.
I do shoot a lot of .38 Special, but it is in guns chambered for the .38 Special cartridge of which I have several.

July 18, 2003, 12:09 PM
I handload 38+p+ in 357 cases for most of 357 shooting. What does that count as? -only1asterisk

Shoot some 38 specials as I can tend to come up with free brass ;), but mainly as above.

July 18, 2003, 01:36 PM
I only shoot full power .357s in my .357 revolvers.

Guy B. Meredith
July 19, 2003, 02:19 AM
Very few. I use the revolvers mostly for competition and with magnums you spend too much time looking at the sky and too little looking at targets. Nearly zero competitors use magnums so that there is faster recoil recovery and shorter overall stage times.

July 19, 2003, 10:14 AM
I like to shot Fiocchi 142gr moving at an advertised 1420 out of my 4" ruger gp and my marlin 1894. I load it with 38s for my wife, which is about 10% of the time at the range. But the sights are regulated for Remington gs 125's which are pretty mild for magnums at about 1250fps. This guns official duty is downstairs bump-in-the-night gun but it's also a range favorite.

July 19, 2003, 11:52 AM
I don't bother with anything less than 158 grain bullets, and they should be going 1100-1400 FPS.
If I want weak, I'll shoot 9mm.
If I want more, I'll shoot a bigger caliber.
If it's a 10 ounce 5 shot snub, .38 specials are fine.
I just don't happen to have any of those.

July 19, 2003, 06:32 PM
100to 150 per month between my 3 357s
mostly fiocchi 158gr factory loads.I download my reloads slightly and put about 300-400 downrange a month.

July 19, 2003, 06:53 PM
I shoot mostly 38 specials from my 357 magnum.

July 19, 2003, 07:11 PM
Handloading has changed the whole experience of shooting for me; made it less about shopping and wishing for just the right load and more about just making and shooting it.
Truer words about reloading have never been spoken.


July 19, 2003, 07:31 PM
I shoot mostly 95% loads behing a 125 grain sjhp (1550 to 1600ft/sec) and load down to th 80% level (about 1300 ft/sec) for falling plate shoots.

Recently, I have shot some 159 grain sjhp .38spls (about 850 ft/sec) in falling plate matches. These are the only .38specials that I have run through my magnum revolers. Recovery time is good, but so is recovery time using the 80% magnum loads behind a 125 grain sjhp.

Standing Wolf
July 19, 2003, 08:55 PM
My normal .357 magnum load is a very light .38 special load with a hollow-based wadcutter in a .357 magnum cartridge case. I always shoot a few rounds of full house ammunition, but it's hard on what's left of my wrist and hearing.

Ala Dan
July 19, 2003, 09:08 PM

Only mild, .38 Special mid-range ammo comes out
of my 6" Smith & Wesson 686-5.:uhoh: :rolleyes: :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Neal Bloom
July 19, 2003, 09:21 PM
Don't shoot .38's out of my .357's. Like others I do load .38 recipes in .357 cases. Probably 50/50 with light loads and full power loads. Like to remind myself why they call it a .357 magnum.

July 19, 2003, 10:14 PM
I've put 2 or 3 thousand rounds through my Ruger GP100.

Of that, maybe 2 boxes were 38s--the rest were full power .357 Magnum loads.

The guns still looks and shoots as if it were new.

July 20, 2003, 12:55 PM
Let me start by saying that I reload probably 90% of all the ammo I shoot. I only use 357 Magnum cases in revolvers chambered in 357. I load lead target loads and lead medium velocity loads. I also load jacketed medium and high velocity loads. Now for the specific revolvers.

S&W 640: About half are medium velocity and half of all loads are high velocity.

S&W 19-3: Started shooting all high velocity until I noticed the forcing cone was erroding. Now it gets mostly light and medium velocity loads with the occasional high velocity load.

Ruger GP-100: Works well with medium velocity ammo, but seems to prefer the hot stuff, so it gets high velocity loads about 75-80% of the time.

Colt Pythons: Have not shot either of mine yet, but I don't think I will abuse these with high velocity ammo.

July 20, 2003, 07:04 PM
I give away all my 38 special brass.

Seriously, when gotmy first 357, I bought some 38 and 38+p to try out. I also had some 125 gr 357 handloads, some 158 gr semiwadcutters loaded hot, and some 158 sjhp's loaded hot.

The Magnum carry likes the hot wadcutters best. 38 accuracy was awful, I only shot a half a box of the stuff.

Since then I load the little Colt heavy.

July 20, 2003, 07:20 PM
Pretty much none. The noise and blast are just too painful on an indoor range, even with plugs and muffs. If I shot outdoors I'm sure I'd shoot a few now and then, but even with less noise they're still not much fun.

July 21, 2003, 01:02 PM
25,000 and counting since 1987 in my Ruger GP-100, and that is just the .357's.

July 21, 2003, 10:22 PM
My only .357 is a 6.5" S&W 686.

It gets fed a mixed diet of roughly 1/3 .357 and 2/3 .38.

July 21, 2003, 11:21 PM
25,000 and counting since 1987 in my Ruger GP-100, and that is just the .357's.

Very impressive! Have you ever had any problems with the revolver? Any parts replaced?

July 22, 2003, 12:12 AM
Always. The SP101 gets 125 grainers, the Desert Eagle gets 158s.
On the same note, my .44s always get 240 grain Magnum loads.

July 22, 2003, 10:44 PM
My 4" 686 gets probably 20% .357's and 80% .38 Special. Haven't got set up reloading yet, so most of the target shooting is with the cheaper .38's!

July 31, 2003, 09:28 PM
No problems or parts gone bad. Just a very smooth action now!

August 1, 2003, 12:58 PM
90% 38 special, very light target loads. 10% full house 158 gr "thumpers". A shooting buddy calls them "demonstration" loads.:D

August 2, 2003, 01:06 AM
I shoot only .357 out of my S&W Mod. 27. A delightful experience. If I want to shoot .38s I shoot it out of a .38 usually my little J-frame.

Zeke Menuar
August 2, 2003, 03:27 AM
This is a rough guesstimate. For every one full power 357 Magnum load, I shoot about five .38 Special loads. This can change depending on what reloading components I happen to have on hand.


September 24, 2006, 11:17 PM
I shoot about a 1 to 4 ratio of full-house .357 magnums to lighter ammo through my .357 magnum handgun. Here's the breakdown:


50 rounds per month of full power 158 grain jacketed magnum handloads

50 rounds per month of slightly milder 158 grain lead magnum handloads

100 rounds per month of very light 158 grain lead .38 special handloads

My snubnose .38 gets about a 50/50 mix of light loads and +P loads. (Sometimes I wish I had bought a .357 snubbie.)


50 rounds per month of very light 158 grain lead .38 special handloads

50 rounds per month of jacketed 135 grain .38 special +P handloads

September 24, 2006, 11:50 PM
Usually about half and half, one box of .38's and one box of .357's.

September 25, 2006, 12:05 AM
Any more, probably no more than 10% of what goes through my old carry Ruger Security Six. Back when we qualified with them we fired 72 rounds of 125 gr factory .357s minimum and usually more on poppers. As an instructor I fired more and washed out forcing cones on two of my own guns--later rebuilt by the factory. I now put just enough through them to feel proficient with the big load.

I have a very nice, smooth GP-100 which is pretty heavy to pack around, but I have no qualms whatsoever about running the same loads through it should I feel like it.

The 125 JHP is a helluva load but rough on shooters, guns, and probably horses and women as well.

September 25, 2006, 12:24 AM
I shoot more .38 then .357 Magnum rounds. It's whatever I feel like that day. My favorite .38 load is 158gr. LSWC and my favorite .357 load is 158gr JSP loaded to almost max pressure. Those are FUN!!

September 25, 2006, 12:27 AM
About 1/3 of the round through my 620 have been full-house .357. I think that, total, i've shot.....300 rounds through mine, mixed .38 and .357 (hey, i've only had it about a month).

September 25, 2006, 12:46 AM
I enjoy shooting really hot factory loads out of my Encore with its custom 9" .357 barrel (MGM).
Winchester's Winclean 125 grain JSP load is HOT! When it hits something, you know it! Probably up near 2,000 fps out of the one piece barrel.
For my revolver though, I have a nice pet load with a Hornady 158 grain SWC at about 800 fps using a fiber wad and Trail Boss.

September 25, 2006, 08:47 AM
I bought my 6" 66 and 5" h-l 686+ new; they've NEVER seen a 'real' .357M except when tested at the factory. I traded recently for a LNIB Miculek PC 627 V-Comp that had shot only 200gr bowling pin loads from .38 cases. It also gets .38's here. What's a real .357 Magnum for, anyway?

Seriously, I found a box of Blazers in .357 Magnum in the garbage at the range one day - missing six of it's fifty rounds. I fired them in the BHG SS 4.6" Vaquero I had just ordered new and just received. I could tell a difference between them and my .38-ish .357M loads - they made a lot more noise! The heavy Vaq ate up the recoil. I load some .357M's - at slightly above +P .38 level. More .38's - the brass is just easier to find. So, no, I don't shoot 'hot' .357M's. Call me wimpy...


September 25, 2006, 08:52 AM
Model 60 = None

Model 13 = None

GP-100 = A few for practice and when hunting.

Ben Shepherd
September 25, 2006, 10:00 AM
LOTS!! Between all the 357's I have no idea how many.

But I know they've digested less that 1,000 rounds of 38 special stuff.

September 25, 2006, 12:00 PM
Heavy .357 magnum hunting loads is all that comes out of my Blackhawk. I shoot some .38 out of it, but not many. My Taurus M66 gets mostly wadcutter .38s. I don't have that big a round count out of that one yet, but it's holding up with a few heavy magnum loads and mostly .38s. It's easy to fire heavy loads in, not hard on the hand or anything, I just like shooting light stuff with a DA and it's so bloomin' accurate with those wadcutters.

Peter M. Eick
September 25, 2006, 03:54 PM
For every 1 round of 38 special I put down the 357 Mags, I put a box of 50 mags down them.

If I wanted to shoot 38 special, I have several 38/44 Outdoorsman's to shoot or a herd of 38/44 Heavy Duties.

Why would I waste a perfectly good primer, bullet and 357 casing on a 38 load unless it was for a test.

Some of my 357 Mags have never been shot with a 38 special. Sorry, I just don't see the point of it.

Jeff F
September 25, 2006, 10:27 PM
My 4in gp100 has never fired a .38 other then the fired case that came in the little brown envelope when I bought it. It has had around 20 K of all types of factory and hot handloaded .357 thru it. Trigger has smoothed up real nice and is very accurate. My favorite factory load by far is B-B 180gr hard cast gas check, big boom and always dose its part if I do mine.

September 25, 2006, 11:50 PM
Well, I fired one round of 357 in my 360PD.:cuss: :banghead:

As you can see, I've replaced the stock grips, that caught my clothes, and were too small for my hands, with Hogue's plastic grips. I'm going to give the 357's another try, but, with the new grips.

First time I loaded this gun, I had just got done shooting the 475 FA Model 83 above it, with 400 grain HPS, at 1350 fps. That's 37 ft-lbs of recoil, at 27 fps, or, twice the average 44 magnum. I LOVE shooting that gun, and that load. Seems like easy to me, and, it's VERY accurate.

Next up, the snubbie, with the stock grips, and Corbons 125 grain, at 1450 fps.
I took ONE shot, put the gun back on the bench, unloaded and went back to 38 special. Recoil is 23 ftlbs, a bit more then most 44 magnums, but, it rips back at 44fps, and, after I bandaged my cut trigger finger, I did NOT want to do that again. The gun is manageable with Plus P loads. With the longer grip, my big hands maybe able to get a better grip. We'll see.


September 26, 2006, 12:27 AM
I shoot a lot of "full power 357's". Full power as in 1935 full power, 158s at 1500 full power, not the 38-44 High Speeds that the factories turn out nowdays. I only own big SAs and N Frame Smiths so all is OK. If I was a K frame shooter I'd shoot them shorts too.:D at least 200 per month.


September 26, 2006, 12:45 PM
I shoot factory and reloaded .357s in my .357s. .38s im my .38s. I hate having to clean out .38 residue from the .357 cylinders :mad: so I can extract the .357 casings after I shoot .357s. :)

September 26, 2006, 07:04 PM
100% .357's ... maybe 200 per range trip (weekly).

September 26, 2006, 09:29 PM
Why would I waste a perfectly good primer, bullet and 357 casing on a 38 load unless it was for a test.

Don't know why YOU would, but I can tell you why I do. It's fun, it's accurate, and it's a great small game getter with .38s. I carry the gun for shooting animals, not humans, and .38 power levels are effective for small game. Stuff a .357 in it and it's a good medium game handgun. And, 2.6 grains of bullseye goes a heck of a lot farther than 14.5 grains of H2400, they're economical to reload and don't need no stinkin' gas check.

Besides, I'm impressed more by accuracy than fireball. My .357 loads are not inaccurate, under 2" at 25 yards from both guns and 140 grains Speers run a little over an inch, but out of that Taurus will put five .38 wadcutters into a little ragged 1" cluster every time from the sandbags. Amazing. I love shooting that thing with wadcutters.

I run a wire brush with hoppes through my cylinders after every range trip. I've never had a problem with .38 residue. Clean your gun occasionally and you won't either...:rolleyes:

Peter M. Eick
October 1, 2006, 07:32 AM
But you miss my point. If I wanted to shoot a 38 special load I have 38 special guns. I could get out a 38/44 heavy duty or a 38/44 outdoorsman. I could even drag out the Diamondback or the Detective Special.

But, if I were going to shoot a 357 Mag round, then I would get out a 357 magnum. I could start with my Registered Magnum and work all the way down to the Highway Patrolman.

Again, I say why waste a 38 in a 357 magnum. Put the 38's in the 38/44's and put Mags in the 357 Magnums.

Maybe this would help:

These are just my smiths and even this picture is out of date. Only one of those is not a pre-numbered N frame 38/44 or 357 Magnum (pre-25 in the 6 o'clock position). This does not include the colts or non-N frames.

Thus my statement now paraphrased, why waste a 38 in a 357 magnum, put it in a 38 where it belongs.

October 1, 2006, 10:06 AM
I only shoot .357 out of my .357's. I shoot heavy loads (14.5gr A2400, 158gr SWC) out of my Ruger Gp100 6" at 25 yards and out. I sort of baby my Smith Mod 28 with medium loads at distances of 25 yards and under. My Ruger shoots more accurately than the Smith in my hands, and If I blow one up I'd rather buy another sensibly priced Ruger.

October 1, 2006, 11:23 AM
One of the great attributes of the 357 is the versatility of being able to shoot two different cartridges and loads with a wide range of power levels.

At the indoor range I would much rather shoot 38 Specials. Outdoors, I almost always shoot 357 mags. One of my newer 357s has never had a 38 Special round fired through it yet!

October 1, 2006, 04:27 PM
About 75% of 100 rounds per week. I have Rugers in GP-100 and SP-101 and they all eat the full house loads.

If you enjoyed reading about "How many full power .357 mag loads do you shoot in your .357?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!