Define full house load?


April 16, 2009, 10:59 AM
Howdy, I keep reading about full house loads mostly in reference to .357.

What does this refer to? Bullet weight?



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April 16, 2009, 11:10 AM
Full house load is a load that used the maximum powder charge for a bullet used. If a 44 mag is loaded with a 240gr bullet and 2400 powder is used, the max powder charge recommended is a full house load.

April 16, 2009, 05:25 PM
The original loading of .357 magnum was a 158 grain bullet running right around 1550 from a 8 3/8" N frame.

The N frame soaks up the recoil great, but smaller guns started coming out chambered in .357 and in these smaller guns, recoil was excessive for a good portion of people.

Due to this, the .357 is often downloaded to a level of recoil that is acceptable to most people when firing a medium frame revolver.

Something called "full house" or "full power" will typically be a 125 or 158 grain bullet listed at around 1500 fps from a 4-6" barrel.

April 16, 2009, 06:42 PM
"Full-house" 158gr .357 Magnum (factory jacketed soft point) loads will clock around 1200-1250 fps from a 4" barrel. My reloading manuals suggest I might be able to push that to 1300 with the right powder. A 125gr bullet might get to 1400-1450 from the same 4" tube.

"Full-house" 240gr .44 Magnum is something like 1300-1400 fps from a 6" barrel. If memory serves, WWB .44 Mag 240gr JSP was about 1300 from my 6" 629. I reload that bullet weight to "only" 1200-1250, and consider it my "full-power" load.

These are the loads the cartridges were designed with, as far as I know.

April 16, 2009, 07:35 PM
BTW it usually applies to handloads.

When you load your own, you can decide what powder charge you want. You can give up 150 fps to reduce recoil, wear and tear on your gun, etc. There are also specific target loads that differ greatly in both the bullet design and powder charge, from a standard cartridge in the caliber.

A "full-house" load generally is a standard, not light, bullet weight (e.g. 158 for .357 or 240 for .44), and the maximum velocity with a magnum powder (H110, IMR4227, 296, N110, 2400, Lil Gun, etc.).

April 16, 2009, 07:40 PM
It just means it's a load pushing the upper end of the cartridge's capabilities.

April 16, 2009, 08:17 PM
From reading these posts I get the impression that the term is subjective.

I always considered "full house" to mean maximum safe load. I consider factory 357 magnum to be "full house" loads, since their ballistics are going to be pretty much maximum in any of my reloading manuals.

Or if we're talking reloads, "full house" are those loads that fall under the "maximum" heading in my reloading manuals.

Either way, "full house" is a term used in contrast to "minimum" or "mid range" (which is where I load my revolver ammo) loads.

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