I need help with everything


June 10, 2011, 04:16 PM
Hello, I'm new to The High Road, this post stuff and Reloading in general, so please forgive me if I'm asking a question thats been anwsered a 1,000 times.
As I said I'm just getting started with reloading and was wondering whats the best powder for my 686 ( 4in barrel ) 357 Home protection loads. I'm using RP brass, Hornady Xtp 158 grain bullets, Federal Primers. Again Thanks for all advice and Please forgive my Ignorance.

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June 10, 2011, 04:26 PM
Do you have a reloading manual?

Pick a powder that is kind of in the middle of the road performance wise and you can't go too far wrong.

For a new reloader I'd suggest either 7.5 grains Unique for "good" performance, or 14.0 grains 2400 for full blown magnum loads.

I might lean more towards Unique for your home protection needs, as muzzle blast & flash indoors would not be quite as bad as 2400.


June 10, 2011, 04:44 PM
Yes, I have the newest Hornady reloading manual, A friend gave me some bullseye powder and some H4895 for the rifles, But the way I work I'm only able to talk to him about every couple weeks or so. I've just been doing alot of researching and nobody seem to like the bullseye for the 357 with 158 grain. Also, I feel like I am crimping to hard, The lee manual says to turn 1 full turn after just touching the bullet for a harder crimp 1/2 turn for a lighter, I've done both but even with my lighter crimp I still notice more crimp im my loads than factory ones. Is this my ignorance again or something I'm doing wrong. Again thanks for the help

June 10, 2011, 05:08 PM
6.5 grains Bullseye will work, but a slightly slower burning powder would be much preferred.
It is far too easy to get in trouble with high pressure Bullseye loads.

I assume you are crimping with a Lee FCD die?
If so, forget "turns".

Screw the die down until it contacts the shell holder.
Then screw the center stem out until it doesn't do anything when you run a seated bullet up in the die.

Now start adjusting the center stem down a little at a time until you get the crimp you want.

If you are crimping with the seating die?
Back out the die and seat a bullet to the crimp cannulure.
Now back out the seating stem and screw the die in until you feel it contact the case mouth.
Then screw it in a little at a time until the crimp is right.
Now, run the seating stem back down until it contacts the bullet again.
After that, fine tune as necessary while actually seating and crimped a bullet.


June 10, 2011, 05:14 PM
Yes, I am using the crimping die, I was using 5.7 graing of bullseye but It shot more like a .38. Since I couldn't find anything about the bullseye I started out really light. I will give use your advice with the 6.5 and the crimping style.

June 10, 2011, 05:23 PM
Are you trying to duplicate your HD loads or are you actually working up a load for HD?

I use 2400 for 357mag some like it others don't but I have been for 30+yrs.

I suggest you actually buy what you want for HD. Then try to match it as close as possible. Mfg use a low flash powder that is not available to re-loaders.

June 10, 2011, 05:23 PM
Consider 6.5 grains Bullseye a MAX load.

Reduce 10% and work up in your gun as always!!

Stop if you notice any sign of sticky case extraction.

Like I said:
It is far too easy to get in trouble with high pressure Bullseye loads.


June 10, 2011, 05:35 PM
Yes of course, I'm going from 5.8 to 6.0. Then working my up from there. I know bullseye burns hot and there is and easy chance for a double load, that is why i was asking about the crimp.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 10, 2011, 06:49 PM
I used Unique as my .357 powder with 158g bullets when I started reloading around 1980.

Unique is, well, UNIQUE~!

June 10, 2011, 07:10 PM
For plinking loads I go Bullseye.
For serious workloads in the .357 I go with 2400.

June 10, 2011, 11:09 PM
You'll need to adjust the crimp to what looks right and doesn't allow the bullet to be pushed back in when pressing it against a solid surface such as your loading bench. There is no specific number of turns that is the standard. Also due to different brass lengths, if your not trimming all of it to the same exact lengths, is going to cause some to have more or less crimp than others.
As for powder choice, it depends on what level of performance you desire. 2400 is near the top for magnum performance, with H110 and 296 being at the top for full house magnum loads. My own personal opinion, being that your brand new to this process, would be to use a powder that will not easily let a double charge slip by. 2400 is good in that respect as it does fill the case up enough that a double charge would be difficult to miss. H110 and 296 will absolutely not allow a double charge without making a spilled powder mess. As for me, I load exclusively with H110 or 296 simply because I desire my 357 mag. to shoot a magnum load all the time. I've heard some complain that full house magnums loads will cause your revolver to get loose, but in almost 3 decades of loading for my .357's and other magnum revolvers I've yet to experience such a problem.
I've worked in the retail end of guns and reloading for some time now and have seen a lot of firearms destroyed by accidental double charges and squibs resulting from the lack of attention to the important details, and to blame as well, is the use of powders that allow such mistakes to easily slip by an untrained eye. So to sum it all up, reloading is something that requires all of your attention and fail safe steps to prevent human error from winning. Even now, after all these years, I still inspect each case before seating the bullet.
Another tid bit of safe reloading is to always use a scale, even if your using a powder measure it is necessary to calibrate it with a scale. Powder measures don't ever, at least in my experience, throw the charge indicated they should becuase of density variances from one lot to the next. And even within the same lot powders can change in density from exposure to the elements.
Good luck and I hope everything works as planned for you!

June 11, 2011, 01:45 PM
Thanks Gamestalker, You are absolutely correct. I don't really pay much attention to the powder measure, I just get it in the general area then start weighing the powder to make sure it's right. When I get the weight right I measure it 3 more time to make sure. As far as the double charge I don't believe it will be a problem at this time because once I get to the powder part I am doing everything one step and one bullet at a time, ( Powder, seat, crimp). I am going to get one of the powders you suggested today. I probably use the bullseye for SWC or something like that.

June 11, 2011, 07:27 PM
FWIW, I read once that it will be harder for your lawyer to defend you in court for shooting someone with handloads than factory ammo. Something about, if you handload you can be portrayed as a gun nut, and "what's the matter, factory ammo doesn't do enough damage for you, you sick f@#$??? You have to make your own??"

For that reason, I've always stuck with Federal Hydrashoks as my nightstand ammo.

June 11, 2011, 07:50 PM
They are a little more lenient in my neck of the woods for that kind of stuff. If someone breaks in and you drop 'em they are gonna lean more towards the owner than the "guest". I would think my collection of Rock Rivers and AKs would put me in the "gun nut" catagory whether I reloaded or not. Plus it's more of a SHTF load than a home protection load.

June 11, 2011, 08:34 PM
Plus it's more of a SHTF load than a home protection load.

Gotcha. In that case, my favorite is 14 gr 2400 under a MBC 158 LSWC. Very accurate out of a 4" SW 686, very manageable recoil, not much fireball.
I've got several hundred of these in stock.

June 11, 2011, 09:47 PM
Welcome Railrunner85, Where are you in WV. I'm in Wood Co.

June 12, 2011, 12:46 AM
thanks Oto I'm definitely going with the 2400, I've heard nothing but good things on it. I'm going to my local GS to pick it up in a couple days, along with another drum mag for my ak and hogue grips for my 686. Its the old 6 shot Destinguished Combat Magnum, which I believe means absolutely nothing. And I live in Lincoln, but I work the coal fields and sometimes out of the big yard in Russell, KY.
I would put pics if I knew how.

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