Conflicting data for magnum handgun loads


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gamestalker
December 1, 2010, 02:13 AM
I'm loading for the .357 magnum and am encountering conflicting recomendations from a bullet manuafacturer, Speer. I load with either W296 or H110 for this cartridge most commonly for my .357 mag and have for a long time. This is where the issue begins due to stringent powder manufacturer recomendations stating absolute minimum powder charges must not be further reduced to avoid dangerous rises in pressures. Speer is the only data that has disregarded the wide spread listed data in most manuals. Their position on this topic is that high velocity loads, regardless of the powder utilized, will cause bullet deformation with the Gold Dot. However, I've followed both their data, and that of other known trusted sources such as Winchester, and Hodgdon, and have discovered Speer's recomendation to be unfounded. Additionally, when loading according to Speer's data I'm seeing clear signs of higher pressures that indicate a problem. The Gold Dot doesn't have any deformation issues and performs excellent when charged according to non Speer data. This issue is not just specific to the .357 mag. but applies to other high velocity Gold Dot applications.
Please be aware that the above observation is only based on my personal opinion and should not considered to be fact, or considered as expert advice. It is only an observation devised by a personal opinion. As always when hand loading, referr to a trusted hand loading guide provided by powder and bullet manufacturer's, or other expert sources.

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ArchAngelCD
December 1, 2010, 02:24 AM
It sounds like you already answered your own question. Don't use the Speer data if you don't trust it. I for one will NOT download W296/H110 because I know it's a problem.

kelbro
December 1, 2010, 06:47 AM
I always thought that the recommendation to not down load H110/W296 had to be based on some rather serious data. It may not cause problems with some particular bullets or in some calibers but it must have been really bad in something. Manufacturers want to sell product. They do not disclaim something (which will reduce sales) for nothing.

JimKirk
December 1, 2010, 06:50 AM
Why not use a powder better suited to the bullet speed recommenced for the bullet? There are other powders out there that do not have the download symptoms that H110/W296 is known to have. H110/W296 is a very good 357 mag powder, but again, I would not use it under any downloaded data that I deemed unsafe.

Jimmy K

USSR
December 1, 2010, 07:27 AM
When the manufacturer of the powder tells you not to download the powder, I tend to listen. There are any number of suitable powders to use with the .357 Magnum, that CAN be downloaded to meet your velocity requirements.

Don

sourdough44
December 1, 2010, 07:29 AM
H-110/win-296 is a fine powder when max loads are called for. It certainly isn't the most common powder I'd use for 357 mag reloading. There are many fine, faster burn, & more forgiving choices available.

GP100man
December 1, 2010, 09:39 AM
Me & a friend tried down loading H110/WW296 in a Redhawk chambered in 357 .

It gets very erattic when down loaded as / chronograph readings.

We never experienced a squib but some funny sounding muzzle reports !

We also found too much H-110 will actually slow the bullet down !!

Wish I`d taken notes , any notes !!

CraigC
December 1, 2010, 10:41 AM
The only warning I see is that Speer recommends against using the 110gr Gold Dot Short Barrel bullet. That is because it is designed to expand at short barrelled .38Spl velocities and may deform at .357 pressures where it may be pushed at double the velocity. The OP is very incomplete, ambiguous and a tad misleading. The answers are in the manual and your concerns appear to be unfounded.


I'm seeing clear signs of higher pressures that indicate a problem.
Pressure signs in straight walled pistol cartridges are too unreliable. You are likely to see zero pressure signs right up until it blows up. Rely on your data, not pressure signs.

buck460XVR
December 1, 2010, 06:34 PM
The recipes Speer gives for their 158gr GDs in .357mag, fall within the parameters of all other reloading manuals I have for all other kinds of 158gr jacketed bullets. If it's in a published manual, and you're using identical components, and shooting it in a modern firearm, it's a safe load......

ArchAngelCD
December 2, 2010, 01:17 AM
Speaking of suitable powders for downloaded .357 Magnum ammo, I like to use HS-6 for those loads.

evan price
December 2, 2010, 03:55 AM
Speer's 158-gr Gold Dot is different than the other Gold Dot bullets. The cavity is really not much of a cavity, it's more of a chamfered hole than a deep cavity. This is why this bullet is intended to be shot at magnum velocities to get it to open properly. When fired in a 38 spl or at reduced loads it may not perform properly. It is intended for Magnums only, even though it will work in 38 spl mechanically, it won't perform correctly at the target.

918v
December 2, 2010, 12:17 PM
The only warning I see is that Speer recommends against using the 110gr Gold Dot Short Barrel bullet. That is because it is designed to expand at short barrelled .38Spl velocities and may deform at .357 pressures where it may be pushed at double the velocity. The OP is very incomplete, ambiguous and a tad misleading. The answers are in the manual and your concerns appear to be unfounded.



People need to understand there's more to bullets than just lead and jackets. The difference between Speer's short barrel Gold Dot and the rest is lead alloy hardness. The standard Gold Dot is very hard. The SB Gold Dot is dead soft. It will wear out the forcing cone when driven to 1700 FPS because the bullet will obturate the forcing cone at that velocity and pressure. The same applies to shooting most jacketed bullets through a 454 Casull at max pressure. Bullets intended for 35000 PSI deform when driven at 60000 PSI and will wear out even exotic steels.

With that said, I would trust Speer's data over anything else. They have been around for half a century and test their loads in OTC production firearms. Their data is more valid than some powder manufacturer's data using an unknown bullet in an unknown test barrel. I'd bet that most people reloading 357's shoot revolvers, not single shot pistols.

ArchAngelCD
December 2, 2010, 01:07 PM
I was just on the Speer site and they are no longer offering the Gold Dot bullet for the 38/357 in the heavier weights. Only the 110gr and 125gr .357" bullets are being offered in Gold Dot. The heavier bullets are being replaced with the newer design, the DeepCurl bullet. BTW, as we all probably guessed, they are cheaper to make than the Gold Dots...

918v
December 2, 2010, 01:29 PM
Sounds like they only renamed them.

rcmodel
December 2, 2010, 01:41 PM
That's kinda what I was thinking.
It's still a plated bullet with a hole poked in the end.

Can't be much difference in manufacturing costs.

rc

buck460XVR
December 2, 2010, 01:48 PM
Sounds like they only renamed them.


yep...........product # is still the same. Same goes for their 300 gr .45 GD I use in the .460. Same bullet, same product #, just a new fancy smancy name. Maybe to differentiate from the GD SD bullets.

CraigC
December 2, 2010, 05:11 PM
That was my impression as well. Perhaps the "Gold Dot" will be their self defense line and the Deep Curl will be hunting bullets???

ArchAngelCD
December 3, 2010, 02:26 AM
The part numbers are the same because one is replacing the other but they are not the same bullets. I saw them being on a show a few months back and they are made differently. Like I said, the DeepCurl bullets are easier and cheaper to make than the Gold Dot bullets.

Skip_a_roo
December 3, 2010, 06:08 AM
This is where the issue begins due to stringent powder manufacturer recommendations stating absolute minimum powder charges must not be further reduced to avoid dangerous rises in pressures.

H110/W296 is a great powder for full bore 357Mag loads. The problem with downloading H110/W296 is not an increase with pressure, in fact, it is exactly the opposite, too little pressure. Pressure assists in the ability for all powders to burn properly. H110/W296 is just more susceptible to it, or rather has a smaller range for it to work.

Using too light of bullet reduces pressure, bad with H110/W296. You may just stick a bullet, then follow it with another and THAT is the problem with downloading the powder. Also, you can have a problem if you choose to use standard primers, it doesn't like them either. Cold weather + too light of a charge + standard primer and you are going to stick a bullet for sure.

Hodgdon doesn't ascribe to the "detonation" theory and neither do I. The problem is stuck bullets.

Call Hodgdon or email them. They are great folks to talk to and will be more than happy to give you some recommendations. Make sure you ask about this "detonation" thing too.

evan price
December 3, 2010, 09:55 AM
Regarding Deep Curl: My 357 158gr Gold Dots have a cavity that's not much more than an 82 degree chamfer. Not really a cavity like all my other GD's. Is that the new Deep Curl design? My post above assumed that it just was the Magnum GD design.

918v
December 3, 2010, 11:04 AM
The part numbers are the same because one is replacing the other but they are not the same bullets. I saw them being on a show a few months back and they are made differently. Like I said, the DeepCurl bullets are easier and cheaper to make than the Gold Dot bullets.


How are they made differently?

ArchAngelCD
December 3, 2010, 10:40 PM
I'm sorry but for the life of me I can't remember what the differences are in the 2 bullets and how they are made, sorry... I just know Speer said they are made differently. (and that they were cheaper to manufacture too)

I just wrote Speer and asked them, I'll post back their answer when I get it.

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