Best powders for 357 magnum?


May 26, 2009, 09:34 PM
I have loaded 9mm and 45 acp using 231. I was wanting to start reloading 357 magnum and was wondering which are the best powders to use.

I was going to primarily use 158gr bullets - how many grains with what powder work best.

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May 26, 2009, 09:44 PM
Alliant 2400 works well. For the powder charge, start low and work up. Data at the Alliant website.

The Bushmaster
May 26, 2009, 10:23 PM
If you are after "magnum performance". Alliant 2400, Hodgdon H110 or Winchester W-296 are all good performers and difficult to beat...

Ala Dan
May 26, 2009, 10:31 PM
Universal Clays, Unique (dirty), and 2400 are my choices.

PA Freedom
May 26, 2009, 10:36 PM
For full power loads- Alliant 2400 and Winchester 296/H110 (same thing, diffrent brand names) Please note that "magnum" primers are not necessary for 2400, but highy recommended for Win296/H110. Also Win296/H110 cannot be reduced much.

May 26, 2009, 10:51 PM
Alliant 2400 and Unique for me.

May 26, 2009, 11:04 PM
Tite Group does pretty good for me. IMR SR7625 does extremely well in my RedHawk357. Trying to find my sweet spot with Universal. All powders meter fairly well and aren't too bad to clean up after.

May 27, 2009, 03:05 AM
The powders that are considered "Magnum Powders" are: AA#9, Alliant 2400, W296/H110, both IMR & H4227, Ramshot Enforcer and VV N350. You can add Hodgdon Lil'Gun for heavier bullet in the .357 Magnum. (158gr and heavier)

All will do a very good job so pick the one that's made by the company you like best, look up the proper charges and load up some ammo. Note, those are all the powders that are used for full power Magnum rounds. You can use slightly faster powders for less velocity and downloaded rounds too. (like HS-6, Longshot, Unique, True Blue, AA#5 and others in that burn rate range)

Steve C
May 27, 2009, 04:37 AM
My preference has been Unique, Blue Dot, and 2400 though I have AA#9, W296 and a little H110 around. Unique and occasionally 2400 or AA#9 is used for cast bullets.

I really like W231 for the .38 spl and it works ok for lead bullets in the .357 mag too. 6.0gr for hard cast and you can go to 6.7grs according to the previous Winchester data. Current Hodgdon data only lists Cowboy level light loads at 5.0grs max with pressures just barely over the +P .38 spl for lead bullets.

The previous Winchester data and Hodgdon both say 6.9 is maximum for jacketed bullets so 6.2grs would be the start load.

May 27, 2009, 07:35 AM
For mass quantity plinking loads I use Titegroup, it works great for lighter loaded rounds and burns great in mostly empty cases. My younger family members love to go with me, but do not enjoy the recoil of a full power 357 loads, so I load bunches at light 38 special level for them. I shoot my own cast medium hardness lead (11-14 BH) at 158gr.

May 27, 2009, 07:51 AM
Universal Clays, AA #5, Unique, N340 for midrange loads, AA #9, H110/W-296, 2400 for upper end loads.

May 27, 2009, 07:53 AM
My Speer manual says that Magnum Primers need to be used with w296 and h110 has anyone loaded these powders with standard primers and if so was there any difference?

May 27, 2009, 07:31 PM
My Speer manual says that Magnum Primers need to be used with w296 and h110 has anyone loaded these powders with standard primers and if so was there any difference?

H110/W296 is a great magnum powder, but has a coupla quirks. In .357 it does require the use of magnum primers to properly ignite. The use of standard primers may result in a squib load and a bullet stuck in your barrel. Also........... you should also never download them below recommended starting loads and always use a heavy crimp.

Jim Watson
May 27, 2009, 07:41 PM
Vihtavuori N110 (not to be confused with H110) is a very good magnum powder, if you don't mind paying for it.

May 27, 2009, 07:55 PM
Blue Dot for me, around 10,2GR for a 158GR JSP

May 27, 2009, 09:05 PM
+1 on Unique or 2400. Titegroup or Power pistol are good too. It depends on what bullet weight you are using.

May 27, 2009, 09:53 PM
Personally, Unique for cast/reduced loads (or 231 occasionally). 2400 for full-house loads.

I prefer 110 over 2400 in the 44mag I shoot, but have a stockpile of 2400 from before I "discovered" 110 so I use it up in the 357 where I'm usually plinking. Someday it'll be gone and I'll probably be a pure 110/unique guy.

May 27, 2009, 09:57 PM
I use H110 in all my magnum caliber revolvers. I like it.


Redneck with a 40
May 27, 2009, 11:24 PM
H-110, 296, lil-gun, 2400, and for general purpose plinking loads, Unique or Universal.

May 28, 2009, 12:05 AM
2400 for full-power loads. Unique and Herco for mid-range.

May 28, 2009, 11:42 AM
I use a Lee Pro 1000 to load and have asked this question in other threads. The Lee disk measure does not play well with stick type powders so I am looking for a good ball type powder and from the response from above H110 & W296 require Magnum Primers (which I don't and have) so can anyone recommend a powder that fits my need?

May 28, 2009, 11:52 AM
If it won't throw 2400 you need to get a better powder measure.

2400 is not stick type powder. It is small disks.
No need for Mag primers with it.


Smokey Joe
May 28, 2009, 12:09 PM
Throwingdown--For target-level loads (that is, very light) with lead wadcutters, either double-ended or hollow-based, I have been using W 231 for years with excellent results.

My revolver shoots 'em better than I can hold it.

May 28, 2009, 01:35 PM
I always use 2400 for full house 357 loads. If you shoot them at an indoor range, nobody will shoot while you are pulling your trigger. :evil:

May 28, 2009, 01:38 PM
I like Herco with heavy cast bullets. Lately I've been using a lot of AA#7 -- it gives exactly the same performance as Blue Dot but it measures better and doesn't seem as moody.

Marlin 45 carbine
May 28, 2009, 04:34 PM
good info here, I've just begun loading for the .357 Mag and interested in 'full house' loads for my Ruger and 1 nephew's S&W m28 and another's Colt and his wife's Taurus.
I've loaded cast 158 gr Lee mold slugs from wheel wieghts over Red Dot at 1000 fps w/good groups and clean shooting in .357 brass. out of the Smiths which has been little shot.
did load a box of 50 useing Alliant's data for RD at max for bear hunting carry (black bear) which is approx 1290 fps from a 6" bbl.

May 28, 2009, 08:30 PM
For plinking loads 231 is great! For performance loads.....Power Pistol, 2400, 4227, but my favorite is H110 or W296.

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