Requesting .357 magnum load advice


Matt Dillon
October 5, 2003, 10:11 PM
Folks, I'm planning to load some .357 magnums for hunting in my K frame Smith and Wesson Model 19 (6" model). Hodgdon recommends a load of 16.7 grains of H110, with Hornady 158 grain XTPs.

My question is, is this too hot of a load to use with this gun? I don't plan on shooting very many rounds of this load through this gun, as my favorite target and plinking load is 148 grain hollow based wad cutters in front of 2.7 grains of Bullseye. I am planning on loading up some .357 magnum rounds using 158 grain lead semi wad cutters in front 6.8 grains of Unique, (because I have a whole lot of Unique).

Will I damage my gun if I shoot ~50 rounds of this H110 load per year? Thanks so much in advance for your advice, Richard:confused:

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October 5, 2003, 10:26 PM
Indeed ... the 16.7 is a TOP load .... and I'd not suggest going straight to that in one jump. Better to start at around 16 maybe and work up .... but another thing ... and some may disagree ..... the K frame is not the toughest of framed revo's, tho ... if you don't plan to shoot that many as you say ... then perhaps it matters less.

Damage? ... no I doubt it very much ... but again .. I'd not head straight to that top load ... your seating depth, primers etc .. could make it a tad too hot .... try less first and see.... and check for any signs of over pressure etc.

Matt Dillon
October 5, 2003, 10:36 PM
I forgot to mention that I'm using Winchester magnum primers with the H110 load, if that makes a difference.

October 5, 2003, 10:46 PM
Well, seeing as the 16.7 is quoted as max ... I would definitely not choose that to start with ... and if using mag primers too. Just not worth the risks.

IMO there is little point in always going for max ...... so many people seem driven by top limits of fps and energy etc ... it is not guaranteed even that a top load will, by default .. be best for a particular gun.

The start load for the H110 and XTP is 15 grns .... giving even then a respectable 1600 fps or so .... well useful within the normal handgun ranges ... say 50 yds region.

OK, the top load can clock about 1750 ..... but, really - do suggest you load some upper 15's first to try .. and work up ... you may well find that a load quite bellow max is good. As others have mentioned tho ... H110 is not a powder to download much .... so keep em hot but, don't over do it!

October 5, 2003, 10:50 PM
That M19 will digest many many THOUSANDS of that top load before it starts to loosen up, and even then can be tightened up several times.

Keep the pressures safe and start worrying about hitting the target instead of hurting the gun.

October 6, 2003, 06:00 AM
The model 19 fairs better with 158 grain loads than it does with 110 or 125 grain loads. The lighter bullets are the ones most often associated with forcing cone erosion. I would certainly not start with a top load in any powder. With H-110 and its twin, W296, reduce the load by 5%, then work up from there. Never start load development with the top load. Just because it was safe in the gun that the bullet or powder manufacturer used, does not mean it will be safe in yours. You may find your gun hits maximum pressures at lower charge weights, or it may take a wee bit more than the book maximum to hit the maximum pressure.

Matt Dillon
October 6, 2003, 12:28 PM
I failed to mention that I have tried a slightly less hot load, with good results, of 16.2 grains of H110, but would like to make it a little more powerful, hence the desire to go to 16.7 grains of H110.

October 6, 2003, 03:31 PM
Nuther vote for stayin tween minimum and max with the H110.

If the 16.2 is accurate, I would stay with it.

For goin to the max, I would use a Model 27 or 28.

I love my 19s and have fired some nasties through a few of them in years past but would rather be gentle on em.


October 6, 2003, 03:32 PM
Only way to tell where the safety threshold is for your gun is to build up by .2 or so grains at a time, looking for pressure signs as you go (flattened primers, sticky extraction, cratered firing-pin hole, distressed case head, etc.). If you've done 16.2, AND if there were no signs of excess pressure, bump up a little and try again.

October 6, 2003, 05:33 PM
Keep in mind that this is H110 (only suggested 3% reduction in charge) 16.2 IS the starting load.
Just work up from there, and you'll be fine. In my own use of the H110 and WW296, I've found them to be very sensitive to seating depth and crimp as relative to max charges.

Ala Dan
October 7, 2003, 05:07 PM
Greeting's All-

Matt, IMHO I would not want to torture any Smith
& Wesson model 19 with this hot of a load.:( This load
would be best left to the Smith N-frames; or at least a
Smith L-frame such as a 686 with the endurance package.

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

October 7, 2003, 09:53 PM
Matt, IMHO I would not want to torture any Smith Ala dan ... my thinking, all along I gotta say.

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