Lil' Gun in .357


January 29, 2008, 05:21 PM
Anybody try Lil' Gun in a .357? I was wondering how accurate it is in them. I am using Hodgdon H110 now, but I like to try other powders too.

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January 29, 2008, 05:30 PM
I Have and I like how the pressure vs. velocity comes into play. It seems that Lil'Gun likes to be loaded to near Max or Max loads to really shine. I dont find it superior to H-110's(My Fav.) FPS or it's consistency in a Powder Measure. I like it overall but I just havent had enough time to develop my "load" for it.


January 29, 2008, 05:53 PM
Yeah, I liked the idea that it is low pressure yet has pretty good velocity to it. My big thing is accuracy. I have a Taurus 608 and it hates .38 specials (factory or reloads, doesn't matter). I only shoot .357s in it because of the issues with .38s. (low accuracy and they make my cylinder bind. .357s never give a problem at all.) The low pressure interests me in it for that reason.

January 29, 2008, 08:31 PM
I am using Lil' Gun in my 8 3/8 inch S&W 686. The bullet I am using is the Nosler Partition HG 180gr.

The load is 14.5gr. of Lil' Gun in a Winchester case, Winchester small pistol magnum primers, and the Nosler bullet.

2 inch groups at 75 yards from a sandbag rest.

BTW, the S&W is scoped.

January 29, 2008, 08:40 PM
Sounds really good to me. Have you compared it to say H110 as far as accuracy is concerned? Still, 2 inches sounds good to me. Thanks!

January 29, 2008, 09:20 PM
I love Lil' Gun in .357--particularly in a Marlin 1894. Out of an 18.5" barrel, I've repeatedly clocked it at 2,000 fps using a 158 gr Hornady XTP flat point over a max load out of Hornady's guide--18 grs, I think it was. That load and gun would put 5 rounds in an inch and a half at a hundred yards, no kidding.

It's not QUITE as fast as H110 or Win 296 out of handgun-length barrels; the burn rate is a bit too slow for a shorter barrel to get the full benefit. But it does have less blast (and flash, if that matters) and is more pleasant to shoot; and it's still plenty fast and very accurate for my purposes.

January 29, 2008, 09:42 PM
The barrel on this revolver is 8 3/8's inches, so it should do very well. I know I will loose some velocity, but I think that would be a great trade off for the low pressures. Thanks everybody!

January 29, 2008, 11:46 PM
I use both Lil'Gun and W296/H110 for my .357 Magnum rounds. I've found H110 to work very will with bullets 158gr and lighter whereas Lil'Gun shines with 170gr and 180gr bullets. Lil'Gun produces higher velocities and less pressures than H110 in those rounds. I am shooting a 180gr Hornady XTP bullet with a charge of 15.0gr Lil'Gun and those rounds are VERY accurate from my Marlin 1894C. I've shot them in my 4" M686 and found them to be accurate there too.

January 30, 2008, 12:03 AM
I'm using Lil'Gun in my Marlin Carbines with a 185 grain cast gas checked bullet. It's very accurate and no leading in either the Micro-Groove barrel or Ballard cut barrel. For heavy cast bullets in the carbine, it's my new favorite powder.

Hope this helps.


January 30, 2008, 06:29 AM
I have never tried H110 so I do not have a comparison point for your question. I just know that I liked the velocity/pressure curve listed in the loading tables and gave Lil' Gun a try.

January 30, 2008, 10:10 AM
I use Lil'Gun with 158gr XTPs and am happy with it. I've never used H110 or 296. They both scare me! ;)

January 30, 2008, 10:33 AM
I tested loads for a 170gn Keith LSWC and 158gn HDY XTP with Lil'gun, 2400 and W296. I was looking for a load to use for deer hunting that would satisfy the MD requirement of 700 ft-lbs.
Overall, I liked 2400 the best. Here is some of the data:

sorry for the crappy quality, if you squint you can barely read it.

345 DeSoto
January 30, 2008, 10:42 AM
Has anyone loaded it up in .45 ACP? I'm looking to work up an unpunishing/accurate load for a 18 12" barrel (Marlin 45 Camp Gun)

January 30, 2008, 11:24 AM
Very nice posts. and I liked the charts IDriveB5, very nice. I think I will pick up a lb to try out. I like the H110, but I am looking for something with a little lower pressure because of my gun not liking .38 specials. Thanks for the info everyone!

January 30, 2008, 11:37 AM
what do you mean by your gun doesnt like .38 Specials?

As I remember, Lil Gun was the loudest with the most felt recoil. All this testing was done using a pistol rest, so none of it felt that great. I would pick up a pound of 2400 while you are at it.

January 30, 2008, 12:47 PM
They will bind the cylinder badly. I went shooting one day and ran 200 .357 mags through it using 158 gr. bullets and 16.5 gr. of H110 and 50 PMC 158 gr. with no problems. As soon as I loaded a cylinder full of PMC .38 specials, they cylinder binded up. I had to clean it then it was free again. I figured it was getting dirty from firing so much. After cleaning I took it out again with some .38 handloads, and after 3 shots the cylinder was binding again.

As long as I shoot .357s I never have a problem but as soon as I shoot between 2-4 .38 specials, the cylinder binds up.

January 30, 2008, 01:17 PM
what to you mean by binds? hard to eject? will not rotate? dont think ive heard of this before, other than increased powder residue in the cylinder due to the shorter case. ive shot tons of .38spl handloads and factory through my 686+

January 30, 2008, 01:56 PM
It won't turn. I can eject it out fine, but it gets very difficult to rotate the cylinder. After the cylinder is cleaned, it's back to normal. My BEST guess (in other words, who knows) is that the faster powders are getting deposited on the face of the cylinder and that area causing binding, but the slower powders are not putting as much powder residue there.

It's a brand new firearm and might work with .38's after getting broke in a bit, but that is a guess also.

January 30, 2008, 04:04 PM
A couple of things to look for are residue under the ejector "star", and primers backing out from light loads.

You said you were shooting PMC factory loads, which should shoot fine in your handgun, but sometimes, even with factory loads, they will bind. When the firing pin detonates the primer, the primer backs out of the primer pocket. When the primer ignites the powder, the expanding gases then produce pressure, which pushes the bullet down the barrel, and at the same time, drives the case back onto the primer. If there isn't enough pressure, the primer is backed out and will bind a cylinder.

In the case of the extractor star, if there is any residue under it, that will reduce the clearance between the cylinder and the backplate. If this were the case, I would think the same condition would exist with both types of loads, but sometimes they do differ, so it's something to check.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Hope this helps.


January 30, 2008, 05:48 PM
I know it isn't the primers backing out because after I remove the bullets and shut the revolver it will still bind and not rotate until cleaned. The problem seems very strange, but I am ok with shooting full powered loads.

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