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35 cal (.358) bullets in .357 mag?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by eworekim, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. eworekim

    eworekim New Member

    I'm trying to develp a .357 mag. load for a new Taurus Thunderbolt (pump) with a 26" barrel. I need guidance about powder and since this rifle is a tube magazine like a lever gun, I'm wondering if I can use the new Hornady flexible polymer tip bullets?
  2. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum, mike.

    Isn't that Hornady bullet 200 grain? Can you find load data for 357Mag with a 200 grain bullet? That would be your first task before you buy consider buying the bullet. You might also want to slug your barrel to see how tight it is. 357Mag generally uses .357" jacketed bullets, and the Hornady is .358". Generally that's not a big deal in a rifle load, unless your bore is less than .357" for some reason.

    Is the bullet even available yet? I haven't seen it.

    Of course, someone here will reply, "You can use it as long as your magazine doesn't blow up. If your tubular magazine blows up, you should stop using it.":p
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Interesting question.

    The 200 grain FTX .358" bullet is for the .35 Remington.

    They have a 140 grain .357 bullet they are loading for the .357 Magnum, but so far, they have not seen fit to release it for sale.

    As for loading the .35 Remington bullet in a .357, I see three or four potential problems.

    First, there is no published load data for it that I know of.

    Second, the oversize diameter, and very long bearing surface would make substituting existing 200 grain .357" data risky business at best.

    Third, the Taurus Thunderbolt action is designed around standard length loads.
    Loading a 200 grain bullet long to reduce pressure (make more space available in the case) is not going to work, because they would not feed.

    Forth, I don't know diddly-squat about the strength of the Taurus Thunderbolt's action.
    But it would probably not be my first choice for experimenting with .35 Remington bullets in .357 Mag cases!

  4. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    Got to agree with the others here. There is no published data for a 200 gr. bullet and the larger size could cause pressure problems if you have a tight bore.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well, there actually is published data for 200 grain bullets in the .357 Mag. Quite a bit actually.

    Just not 200 grain .358" .35 Remington bullets.

    I imagine it was being done by the silhouette shooters to some extent, but I don't know what loads they were using.

  6. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    Oh cool, my manual only went up to 180.
  7. eworekim

    eworekim New Member

    Probably will use .357 bullets

    Your input is appreciated and your points are duly noted.

    The most likely candidate (bullet) is 158 gr. JHP or JSP.

    Now that we have resolved the bullet diameter factor, what powder will be best used to take advantage of the (or be appropriate for) 26" barrel?

    I know some of the powders listed for 158gr bullets produce a real flame thrower when fired because the powder is still buring after the bullet leaves a 4" barrel.
  8. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    I have the Thunderbolt rifle, but I've only shot it on 3 occasions, since it's a pain to load. They adhered to the original design from Colt, which is from the late 1800's, so it's not a real strong system.

    Mine has fed everything I've put in it, including .38 Special SWC, on up to 180 grain RNFP .357 Magnum. As rc noted, there is ample data for 200 grain bullets in the .357 Magnum.

    My suggestion would be to limit use of .358" diameter bullets to cast bullets, which is the preferred diameter anyway for shooting cast in the .357 Magnum.

    I don't know if you bought the blue rifle or the stainless, but on my stainless, the screws on the blast shield work loose after just 10 rounds. I put some LocTite on them, and I'll see if they stay in place the next time I take it to the range.

    Like I mentioned, this is a very old action, and Taurus pretty much stayed with the original design, which is why you can slam fire it if you're not careful. Don't hold the trigger back while working the pump, or it will go off each time the action is cycled..........

    Hope this helps.

  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    If using jacketed bullets, I would suggest either Hodgdon H-110, Lil'Gun or Winchester 296. All three are slow burning pistol powders and will be at their best in the longer barrel. You'll get higher velocities with these powders, which appears to be your goal. You'll also get lower pressures, especially with Lil'Gun, but it's not appropriate for bullets under 158 gr. in this caliber.

    Hope this helps.

  10. eworekim

    eworekim New Member

    Yes, the loads in my 14 year old Speer#12 manual list loads for 180gr and 200gr .357 diameter bullets, but the overall length exceeds the maximum length.

    I assume these loads are used in Thompson Center guns with chambers properly throated to accept the longer load.

    As to the strength of the Taurus action, I would feel comfortable with loads 5-10% below maximum in a respected manual. Taurus has one of the finest forging operations in the firearms industry... a whole separate building. They do forging operations for other manufacturers.
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You can't go wrong with 2400. I think it is somewhat more forgiving then H110/WW296, or other of the slow magnum handgun powders.
    Especially if you back off the throttle a little.

    Which according to Fred's description of the Colt Lightening like action, might not be a bad idea!


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