357 Load reccomendations


January 23, 2013, 04:22 AM
I'm looking for a recommendation on which powder to use and a starting load.

I Picked up a Ruger Blackhawk 6.5" in great shape, and happened to grab a set of dies on sale. Also happen to have a few thousand pieces of brass.

I plan on shooting mostly 158 grain jacketed bullets and plan on loading warm. What powders do you guys like?

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January 23, 2013, 06:53 AM
H110/W296 and use the loads that Hodgdon has on their website.

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January 23, 2013, 07:18 AM
2400 has been the classic powder for the .357 Magnum since it's inception.


January 23, 2013, 07:25 AM
I have recently gotten on the 2400 in .357 bandwagon myself. The two I have been using in .44 Mag with great results are N-110 and AA #9, but neither floated my boat when I finally tried some full load .357 stuff. Until then I had only been shooting mid level plus .357 with Unique. (And light target type stuff.)

It's good stuff. No wonder folks like it. :)

January 23, 2013, 08:06 AM
If you want to load 357 Magnum to the full "warm" potential of the cartridge, I would echo the advice above that said to use H110/W296.

Use the load info. that Hodgdon has on their website and you will like it.

January 23, 2013, 08:39 AM
I use Hodgdon Titegroup....

January 23, 2013, 09:31 AM
plan on loading warm

If you want full power, H110 is the ticket, but it's all or nothing. If you're just looking for warm/hot, maybe use a different powder.

Either way, you owe it to yourself to get a can of H110 one of these days to load some 158gr xtp's or semi-jacketed flat points. It's a 'blast'.

Mike 27
January 23, 2013, 09:47 AM
I used H110 on a few and the only thing I didn't like about it was the muzzle flash. It was huge. The wife said it looked like a camera flash on the next lane at the indoor range. I tried some AA7 and it was much better and very accurate. I was firing 125gr though. I have some 158's waiting to be stuffed but haven't tried them yet with 110. I am thinking I will stick to the AA7 though.

January 23, 2013, 09:55 AM
H110/W296 is perfect for .357 Magnum

I've also used Lil'Gun with success but there are lots of stories out there about flame cutting with it.

January 23, 2013, 09:58 AM
2400 for jacketed bullets, Herco or AA#7 for cast bullets. Power Pistol should be a good one with both, but I haven't tried it.

January 23, 2013, 10:10 AM
After many years of tinkering and experimenting I have settled on two loads:

158 gr JSP or JHP 11.4 gr Accurate #7 standard primer
158 gr LSWC 13.5 gr 2400 standard primer

Both loads measure an honest 1200 fps avg out of my 4" and 6" S&W's. But more importantly they are both extremely accurate.

If you have never loaded for 357 mag before you are in for a treat. I have experimented with most powders including H110/296, Blue Dot, VV N340 and N350 and several others. I have experimented with standard primers vs magnum primers of all brands. I have chronoed loads in different weather conditions, altitudes, etc. I was fairly obsessed (in a good way) with finding what worked. These are the two loads I use all the time.

I use two loads because I shoot indoors in the winter. The lube on the LSWC bullets tends to smoke some so I shoot those outdoors in the nice weather. The jacketed rounds are used indoors.

For plinking I use the same bullets in .38 spl cases with 4.5 gr of HP38/W231, also with standard primers.

I load for several calibers but the 357 is my favorite by far.

Good luck.

January 23, 2013, 10:24 AM
With 150gr and heavier jacketed bullets... Hod. Lil'Gun
Actually, flame cutting is much worse with H110/296 and 125gr bullets.... Also, don't go above the 18.0gr recommended max. Velocities are actually lower and results in the "flame cutting" as the powder dosen't burn well. I actually use 17.8gr and you MUST use a MAGNUM PRIMER. #2400 actually requires the use of NON MAGNUM primers... Use them if you must, but back down 1.0gr on the powder...
With your Ruger, you'll be much happier with the lead bullets (easier on your wallet, for sure) and either #2400 or Unique (old stand-by favorites).

For accuracy loads with 155-160gr lead bullet, try 6-7.5gr of Unique. 6.0gr will give you around 1,000fps and max of 7.5 will give around 1,200fps.

With #2400, start at 12.5 with a non-gascheck bullet, up to 14.5gr I've got a LFN that gives best accuracy from a 4" Sec.6 with 12.5. A 160gr SWC-GC prefers 14.5gr. Gives near 1,300fps from my 4" bbl.

I've used both H110/296 and Hod. LilGun with the lead bullets but wasn't that impressed. I prefer #2400 for the .357mag.... At the listed loads, it is clean burning. Drop below the 12.5gr and you'll get yellow un-burned powder granules that get "EVERY WHERE", especially under the extractor on double-action guns causing them to "tie-up"...
Back in 1972, my older brother got a DanWesson Mod15. He started reloading for it with a 148wc and tried ~4.8gr of #2400.... What a mess.....
And my best friend recounts watching my brother reloading with a Lee "Handloader". When seating the primers..... tap, tap, whap, BANG "SxxT!!!" repeated several times....! It's hilarious to hear him tell it.....
Next week he bought a Lee "hand-primer" tool..... and thus began my lifelong exploration of reloading as my #1 hobby... followed closely with shooting up said ammunition....

January 23, 2013, 10:37 AM
AA#9 all day everday. Low flash and can be loaded up to h110 levels and maybe above in a Ruger-

January 23, 2013, 11:58 AM
I use Hodgdon Titegroup....

That's what I"ll try next... I hear 5.00gr is a great load.

AA#9 all day everday.

I am very happy with 12.3gr of #9 but it gets pretty expensive ;) Wish they would make their powder a few $$ cheaper.

January 23, 2013, 04:07 PM
If you, like me, prefer them at full tilt magnum performance levels, deffinitely go with H110 or 296. There is really no better powder for that task, in my opinion.

Some important thing s to know is make sure you use the data as published, use only magnum primers, and make sure they have a good stout roll crimp to prevent them from jumping out of the case mouths. Other than that, just hold on tight to the firearm and enjoy.


January 23, 2013, 04:22 PM
I prefer Accurate Arms #9 with Hornady 158 XTP's in a pistol and carbine rifle. I shoot 13 grains which isn't quite maximum according to AA data available on-line. I haven't found that a magnum primer is necessary and in their 1st manual they used regular primers but later data uses SP Mag primers. Either AA#9, 2400, Win 296/H110 for top loads. Use a heavy roll crimp on all your loads for .357 Magnum.

January 23, 2013, 04:25 PM
12.5 g 2400 under a jacketed 158g slug! you gotta love 2400!

January 23, 2013, 05:12 PM
I would like to use as many components as possible to load warm 357s and plinking 38s. 2400 with normal primers sounds like a winner. Blue dot with the same bullet and primers in 38 cases sounds like the combination I'm looking for. Thanks for all the recommendations!

January 23, 2013, 06:29 PM
I have the same revolver and use H110 and 140gr JHC sierra bullets.

January 23, 2013, 07:15 PM
I like H110 and 158gr XTPs @ near max.

January 23, 2013, 10:13 PM
I have been using H-110 behind a 125 gr. JHP for years, it is a hot load and it will throw a fireball, but it is right at 1500 fps in my 4" MDL 66. Devastating on jackrabbits and skunks of all sizes.

January 23, 2013, 10:44 PM
W296 with jacketed bullet to 158gr. Lil'Gun with bullets up to 180gr for a carbine. Less than full power and with lead, I use HS-6.

January 23, 2013, 10:49 PM
Witchhunter, I've been doing what you said, using 125 grainers and H110 ( 1500 fps) on jack rabbits too, and it does do a number on them! I've been running that combination through both of my snub M-66's for as long as I can recall, and also in the big boy Taurus 608.

As for all the hype about 125 gr. H110 loads and forcing cone fractures, I've yet to see any supporting evidense with either of my M-66's, and I've put many K's of that combination through them.

One of my Son's has taken mule deer with the 608 using 158 gr. Gold Dots and H110 with devestating success.


Hondo 60
January 24, 2013, 12:24 AM
2400 has been the classic powder for the .357 Magnum since it's inception.

Even dumdums like me know that ;)
No offense intended.
H110/W296 is anudder good un

January 24, 2013, 02:13 AM
if you want "hot" loads, go with h110. for "warm" loads, i would use bludot. for "room temp" loads i would go with w231, or bullseye.


January 24, 2013, 07:08 AM
2400 has been the classic powder for the .357 Magnum since it's inception.

Even dumdums like me know that
No offense intended.

Yeah, but remember, we've got a few young guys here who have probably never heard of EK.


January 24, 2013, 07:23 AM
Yep, and we must pass things on if we want the shooting sports to continue to thrive.

January 24, 2013, 10:14 AM
I also like W296 for 357 Magnum top loads. Last time I used 2400 was 30 years ago and it was a Hercules powder. It left a fair amount of unburned kernels in the chambers. Orherwise, it shot great in my guns.

I just got some Alliant 2400 to try in my 300 BLK so I may try some in the 357 Magnum again.

Down side to W296 is it cannot be loaded down very much.

Loc n Load
January 24, 2013, 10:25 AM
Have loaded and shot the 357 since the 70's......have loaded and shot thousands of 158 grainers over 2400, it can be loaded to full power, although mu loads were usually 1.5 grains less...I have shot housands of cast 160 gr SWC over this powder, and thousands of JHP's as well. Have harvested several deer with a 6" M-28 using a JHP over 2400 load.

January 24, 2013, 10:34 AM
Last time I used 2400 was 30 years ago and it was a Hercules powder. It left a fair amount of unburned kernels in the chambers. Orherwise, it shot great in my guns.

Yeah, but in the end, it's all about the accuracy. 4227 is even worse than 2400 when it comes to unburned kernels, but the accuracy is almost always better than the so-called "clean" powders.


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