Found a great .357mag plinking round.


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something vague
July 19, 2009, 10:25 AM
I have been playing around recently with loading some of the extra .357mag cases I have laying around to .38 spl pressures. I just so happpened to hit the jackpot with the most accurate round I have ever fired through my GP100. I did it with Hornady's 148gr. LHBWC and out of all powders- TrailBoss. I love the density of this stuff, velocities stay pretty consistant with a small load of this stuff. And accuracy is incredible, from 25yds on a rest I was shooting consistant 5 shot groups no bigger than 1.5". I was amazed. Just thought I would share my successful experience and maybe inspire others to play around with TrailBoss. I've always stayed clear of it as I was pretty happy with W231 but am officially a convert.

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Marlin 45 carbine
July 19, 2009, 11:10 AM
bbl length of your GP?
I have a 4". I got good results with 158 gr Lee mold swc over Red Dot for 1000 fps but not near that good

something vague
July 19, 2009, 02:54 PM
Mine is the 6" version blued. I believe the Ruger model would be a GP161?

Kernel
July 19, 2009, 06:36 PM
Were you using a published load? Min, max, or in the middle? Trail Boss is gotta be one of best new powders in decades.

something vague
July 19, 2009, 08:58 PM
I actually could not find any published data with this combination. But the Hodgdon manual showed data for the 38spl. with this bullet and powder combo. After cross referencing all the data for every listed charge of TrailBoss in the .357mag between the .38spl I found a pattern for the starting load differences. So I just kind off put together my own data for this 148gr HBWC in the .357 case and worked up slightly until I found the shooter. I don't feel too comfortable listing what I ended up with but I will say that I started with 2.3gr. and then worked up slightly. It seems as though there may be a reason that they didn't list this bullet and case combo with TrailBoss so use this information with extreme caution.

ArchAngelCD
July 19, 2009, 11:40 PM
What kind of velocities are you getting? Is this a .357 Magnum load or just a .38 Special load in a Magnum case? (sounds like that from what you wrote)

something vague
July 20, 2009, 05:55 PM
I'm only in the high 700's consistantly 785 to at the most 800. One of them I chronoed hit 797, so yes this is basically a .38spl load in a .357 mag case. It is a bit hotter than what I would load in the 38spl case if that was what I was after but it's not. I wanted to use my .357 cases I have a bunch of and also to not have to deal with the 38 carbon ring in the cylinder.

I will also say that I am really surprised at the fact that I have just about zero leading with this load. This is a first for me with lead bullets. With how soft these bullets are I expected them to leave a bunch of lead in the bore but to my surprise the opposite is true...thank god.

Saint Dennis
July 20, 2009, 08:48 PM
I load 148 gr DBBWC and Trail Boss in .357 brass for my wife to use in her Smith Highway Patrolman. I agree. Nice, accurate, sedate target load. She's burned thousands of them. Brass last a long time.....

.38 Special
July 20, 2009, 08:50 PM
I have had great success with Hornady's HBWC. IMO it's hard to find a powder that won't work well with it. It's all I use for .38/.357 target loads now.

JimmyN
July 20, 2009, 09:10 PM
I use Trail Boss for .357 and .45, and really like it too. I'm over half way through a 5# jug now, plus the 9oz bottle I purchased initially.

What is interesting about the Hodgdon/IMR load data for Trail Boss is that they show exactly the same max loads for both .38sp and .357.

For 125gr they show 3.0~5.3gr for .38, and 3.5~5.3 for .357
With 158gr they show 2.7~4.2 for .38, and 3.2~4.2 for .357

The only difference is they used a magnum primer for the .357 which shows an increase in pressure of 4,500 for the 125gr and 6,700 for the 158gr, with the same .38/.357 max load, even though the .357 is a larger case.

But max pressure is still only 20,400 CUP for the .357 with max load, magnum primer, and a 158gr bullet. Max load in the .38sp, with 158gr is only 13,700 CUP

Trail Boss seems to get really good velocity, at lower pressures than other powders. If you get too low it starts to produce a lot of soot on the cases and inside the cylinders, since there isn't enough pressure to seal the case wall. Other than that if burns pretty clean.

ArchAngelCD
July 21, 2009, 02:08 AM
I will also say that I am really surprised at the fact that I have just about zero leading with this load. This is a first for me with lead bullets. With how soft these bullets are I expected them to leave a bunch of lead in the bore but to my surprise the opposite is true...thank god.
Believe it or not the fact they are soft bullets is the reason you are getting no leading at those velocities. Many reloaders are under the false impression the harder the bullet is the better. If you were shooting very hard cast bullets at 700 fps I would bet you would be getting a fair amount of leading in your barrel. You're not getting leading because the bullets you are using can seal the barrel at lower velocities.

something vague
July 21, 2009, 06:59 PM
Believe it or not the fact they are soft bullets is the reason you are getting no leading at those velocities. Many reloaders are under the false impression the harder the bullet is the better. If you were shooting very hard cast bullets at 700 fps I would bet you would be getting a fair amount of leading in your barrel. You're not getting leading because the bullets you are using can seal the barrel at lower velocities.

After using these loads this is kind of what I figured was the reason for the low to no leading I'm getting. I shoot these rounds every night when I get home from work, and still have yet to see any significant leading at all. I'm still on a high from finding this load in my gun as this is the first lead bullet that has shown any promise with no leading. Good stuff.

BTW, I only use normal small pistol primers for these loads not magnums.

floydster
July 21, 2009, 07:56 PM
TB in my 45ACP 3.9 grs. pushing a 230 gr. cast is the most accuarte load I have ever used, leading is a non issue using Missouri bullets.
In my 38 Spl. a great squrriel load is 3.3 grs. TB pushing a 158 gr. SWC.

PO2Hammer
July 21, 2009, 09:48 PM
It's hard to go wrong with those Hornady lead bullets for plinker loads.

PO2Hammer
July 21, 2009, 09:57 PM
Come to think of it, I have the HBWC's, the Trail Boss, and a nice 4 inch .357. I might introduce the wife to centerfire handgun with that load.

I'm a Titegroup fan, but I'll give it a go with Trail Boss.

ArchAngelCD
July 23, 2009, 04:04 AM
BTW, I only use normal small pistol primers for these loads not magnums.
Why would you use a Magnum primer with Trail Boss? You only need a Magnum primer with hard to ignite powders like H110 & W296. (which are really the same powder)

something vague
July 23, 2009, 02:52 PM
Why would you use a Magnum primer with Trail Boss? You only need a Magnum primer with hard to ignite powders like H110 & W296. (which are really the same powder)

I would agree that they're unnecessary with TB and most other powders. I only use mags with my W296. The reason I said that is in response to what JimmyN said about the different load data in Hodgdon manual stating that they used magnum primers. I actually never noticed that detail but was not looking for it as I never planned on using it with TB in the .357 case.

Come to think of it, I have the HBWC's, the Trail Boss, and a nice 4 inch .357. I might introduce the wife to centerfire handgun with that load.

I'm a Titegroup fan, but I'll give it a go with Trail Boss.

I would highly recommend trying out the TrailBoss PO2Hammer. With such a small amount of powder the TB does wonders as far as keeping velocities fairly consistant. The bulk density is perfect, therefore is no where near as position sensitive as powders like Tightgroup.

ArchAngelCD
July 24, 2009, 04:18 AM
The reason I said that is in response to what JimmyN said about the different load data in Hodgdon manual stating that they used magnum primers.
Ahhhh, sorry, I missed that...

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