best powder for 357 in 158g


March 14, 2008, 10:38 PM
I need some help this weekend. I just got a 357mag in a rifle and would like to reload for hunting. What is the bet power and amount to use. I am wanting to use a 158gr jacked soft point. I am looking at bullseye and bluedot. Please help.

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March 14, 2008, 11:16 PM
I like 2400 and load both pistol and rifle loads in .357 mag with it. For safety's sake you should work up your own load for your particular rifle using a good reloading manual instead of using someone else's data. Start with the minimum and work up in small increments until you find the "right" load. That's half the fun of reloading anyway.

March 14, 2008, 11:40 PM
Check out Alliant's online data ( for 2400, reduce 10% and work up from there to accuracy. You can do the same thing with Blue Dot, which I do not use but others have had success with.

ALSO: What Anotherguy said. Your rifle is an individual, figure out exactly what it likes.

XD-40 Shooter
March 14, 2008, 11:50 PM
16.6 grains of 296, I use this in my 4" revolver and get 1300 fps, should give 1800 out of a rifle.

March 15, 2008, 12:01 AM
2400 or Accurate #9

Personally, I like 2400

Try 14.0 grains of 2400 and see what happens.

Ben Shepherd
March 15, 2008, 12:52 AM
With your two choices, it'd be blue dot. In my rifle the charge would be stiff as far as the reloading manuals go. But blue dot is a little fast burning for this caliber in a rifle. If you could buy a pound of something else:

Winchester 296, Alliant 2400, Vit N110, or AA#9 should work between well and flat out excellent.

March 15, 2008, 01:01 AM
If you have any access to 2400, give that a shot. My 158gr 2400 loads for 357Mag are some of the best I have. I have tried plenty of powders for kicks, but nothing touched 2400 for me, especially for accuracy. I shoot out of a Marlin 1894 as well as a Ruger Blackhawk SA.

Steve C
March 15, 2008, 02:19 AM
Blue Dot is a good powder for 125gr loads and is pretty good with 158gr too. I personally like 2400 with 158gr and heavier bullets, AA#9 is a close second and W296 or H110 are also good but are not as economical.

Blue Dot can be a bit tempermental and its performance varies if you try use ammo loaded with it in cold weather but if you stick with fall hunting in temperatures over 45 degree F you probably will not notice any issues.

March 15, 2008, 06:59 AM
I'll ring in with H110, which is extremely similar to W296. I use it in a Puma chambered for .357, but I do use more 125 grain bullets than 158. I would personally avoid using Blue Dot for reasons already stated regarding cold weather reliability. That being said, I do use Blue Dot in .44 Mag reduced loads (15 grains with 180 grain Hornady XTP). One of my co-workers has a small-framed 10 year old with a Marlin 1894, and he can shoot the reduced loads comfortably.

March 15, 2008, 07:19 AM
I've never experienced any problems shooting blue dot in my .357s in colder temps.? What kind of problems are you having, low pressure? I ask because I have shot with the temps in the teens in hunter silhouette's.

I like blue dot because it burns much cleaner than 2400 or 296 with my load of 11 grains pushing a 158 grain bullet. I've never loaded for a rifle in that caliber so I won't comment on the "best" load.


March 15, 2008, 08:19 AM
Thanks everyone for all the info. Please keep the info comming. I am going to have to make a decission on what powder I am going to use today. I am out on town new to a Bass Pro that has the powders.

March 15, 2008, 10:20 AM
If you believe published reloading data, then LIL'GUN edges out H110/W296.

Some amateurs have tested with strain gauges and found that it is a wash.

And H110 smells better when fired.

What does it all mean?
Someday I may switch back from LIL'GUN to H110/W296.

March 15, 2008, 10:40 AM
I'll ring in with H110, which is extremely similar to W296.

That is because they are the same powder. Myself, I use H110 in my .357 AND I use Longshot in it too. Both work very well.

March 15, 2008, 12:42 PM
14.0 - 14.5 grains 2400.
Standard primers.

That's all you need to try for a carbine load with 158 grain JHP.

Blue-Dot is slightly too fast for a carbine.
2400 will give 100 FPS better velocity.

Bullseye is way too fast for any .357 use at all, except target handgun loads.


March 15, 2008, 12:58 PM
+1 for 2400. I've used it for years. 15.5 gr. is my max load. Don't start with it.

I use magnum CCI primers with my 2400 loads.

March 15, 2008, 01:33 PM

This has some good information. He likes lil gun. I know a lot of people that like 2400 for 357's. I have yet to experiment with my rifle.

Has anyone ever tried 2015 or re7 in a 357 rifle. I know you can use either one in 45-70's and I hear 2015 is good in 32-20 too.

Rollis R. Karvellis
March 16, 2008, 09:25 AM
:confused::confused:Hey wait a minute are you people saying there are other powders then just 2400?:):)

March 16, 2008, 01:25 PM
the best and claenest burning powder in the whole world is VihtaVuori N-110. It takes usually 1g or 15,432gr for the best result. ;)

March 16, 2008, 09:27 PM
My Marlin rifle loves 13.0 grains of AA#9 with Hornady's 158gr FP/XTP bullet. The FP/XTP is designed for higher velocities from a rifle. I use RP brass and CCI 500 (not magnum) primers. The overall length of the loaded round is
1.580" This load comes from Accurate Arms data but it is not a starting charge. Start lower and work up to it. For your rifle I'd stay with Win 296, H110, AA#9, 2400, or Lil Gun powder. Don't even try Bullseye. When you consult loading manuals you'll get conflicting maximum charges. For instance Hornady says 11.5 grains of AA#9 is maximum using WSP Magnum primers while Accurate Arms manual #1 says 13 grains is max with CCI 500 primers, and Accurate Arms data available at their on-line site says the maximum with AA#9 using CCI 500 primers is more than 13 grains. Follow published data using the components specified. All I know is 13 grains of AA#9 shoots well in my rifle without any pressure signs.

March 16, 2008, 10:38 PM
H110 does smell somewhat sweet when fired. Can't be good, but I do love it.

tasco 74
March 17, 2008, 10:18 PM
if i was loading that round for a rifle i'd go with 2400 too .... 15-16 grs should be a great load in a rifle length barrel........

March 18, 2008, 04:11 AM
Unique 7.4gr on Win 158gr JHP. Very accurate in my S&W 686 at 25yd.

Ben Shepherd
March 18, 2008, 07:45 AM
A couple quick thoughts-

1. If I was stuck with only one powder for use in 357, 41 and 44 mags as well as my 45 colt loads, it'd be 2400. No question.

2. The exact powder charge of 2400 under a 158 grain slug in 357? I use 14.8 grains under a 158 jacketed slug, speer GDHP to be exact. Or 15.2 under a 158 HCSWC, usually a laser-cast slug. Be advised however, that any charge above 14 grains is above most current published maximums. So go slow and careful. And use a chronograph.

March 18, 2008, 08:08 AM
I've come to like AA#5 for my .357 Magnum loads out of my GP161 - can't speak for rifle loads. Lee manual shows 8.1 grains under a 158 cast lead bullet. My Lee disk seemed to throw a slightly heavier charge - about an 8.3 consistantly. It shoots very well.


March 18, 2008, 10:54 PM
I'm new to loading .357 myself, but 2400 so far seems to be working well through my GP100. I'm up to 13 grains for 158 hornady XTP's and 11 grains for 180's.

March 18, 2008, 11:09 PM
I use Unique or 2400 with my .357 Marlin 1894 C & S&W 627PC.

With Unique I use 158 grain JSP, 7.8 grains powder, 1.590" OAL and magnum primers.

With 2400, I either load 158 grain Rainier PFP using 12.6 grains, 1.595" OAL and standard primers; or, 13.3 grains of 2400 with 158 grain JSP, 1.600" OAL, magnum primers.

These work fine for me. As others suggested, I too suggest going to the Alliant web page and looking up the load data there. Starting 10% below the maximum list is recommended, as I recall

March 19, 2008, 01:58 AM
For my Carbine I've used 2400, H110/W296 and Lil'Gun with a 158gr JSP bullet. All will work but I've found W296 yields the highest velocities and it's very accurate too. If you decide to use a 170/180gr bullet for hunting instead of a 158gr bullet Lil'Gun will give you the highest velocities with lower pressures than with 2400 or W296/H110. It is also a clean and accurate powder for the .357 Magnum.

With a 158gr JSP bullet I charge 16.2gr W296. (I used to charge 15.7gr W296 but found 16.2gr to be more accurate in my guns) A Magnum primer is a must with W296/H110.

With a 180gr Hornady XTP bullet I charge 15.0gr Lil'Gun for a very accurate round that's very clean too. I use a Magnum primer in this powder/bullet combination too.

March 19, 2008, 01:54 PM
I like 2400 over blue dot etc because it is slower, Takes advantage of that long barrel. I am curious if anyone has ever tride a fast rifle powder like 2015 in a 357 rifle load. I have read about using it in 32-20.

Brian Williams
March 19, 2008, 09:10 PM
2400, 110/296 and Lil' Gun all make for a great load.

March 20, 2008, 10:50 PM
I like 2400 over blue dot etc because it is slower, Takes advantage of that long barrel. I am curious if anyone has ever tride a fast rifle powder like 2015 in a 357 rifle load. I have read about using it in 32-20.
I haven't tried 2015 but I did try 4227. I was lucky enough to get enough to load up 10 rounds and when I shot then in my Carbine I didn't feel it was any better than W296/H110. Unfortunately it was before I bought my Chrono so I can't provide velocity numbers. I shot them at a plate 100 yards out and I didn't see anything that would make me buy another powder.

March 20, 2008, 11:08 PM
Well I am getting some 2015 for my 45/70 so I might have to do some experimenting. I have also thought about reloader7. According to alliant re7 is 19% vs 2400's 27%, blue dot is 37% for comparison on burn rate. If they don't work it won't be a big deal since I have another use for the powder and you never know I might get a 32-20 one of thses days. I found a good load for the 32-20 using 2015 and it was 22k cup but gave 1700 fps out of a rifle and 1400 out of a pistol with a 110 grain pill.

March 22, 2008, 12:36 AM
+1 for H110. Measures pretty easy in my Lee Auto Disk.

H110 is for max or near max loads with 100% or compressed load.

2400 and Steel show a little faster on burn rate chart than H110/W296.
Lil'gun is right in between the 2400 and H110/W296.

Of the ones I see listed here, IMR4227 and H4227 are the slowest.

Lee book has MAX load of 16.7gr of H110 with 158gr XTP bullet going 1757fps at 40700CUP. Their start load at 15gr of H110 at 1597fps.

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