1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

357 Mag load for trail gun (180g HP XTP vs. 158g FP XTP)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Macchina, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Macchina

    Macchina Well-Known Member

    I am working on developing loads for a 4" SP101 in 357 Mag. This will be a trail gun possibly used for protection against: cougar, wild dogs, black bear, and other rif raf you may find in the woods. I'm going to load these hot, but probably not maximum with H110 (already use this for my 44 Mag levergun).

    I would love to use a Hornady XTP bullet, but can't decided between 158 grains (comes in either flat point or hollow point) or 180 grains (comes in hollow point).

    Any experience or personal preference would be great. Thanks guys.
  2. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Well-Known Member

    Great timing on this topic, I'm curious to see others' input as well. I am looking for a very similar application but in my 2.25" SP101.

    One thing that ruled out the 180 grain XTP for me is that it needs 1200fps for expansion. (I called Hornady and they said 1200-1700fps required.) It's a shame too, because over 12.0 grains of 2400 it shot to POA accurately at 10 yards and averaged 972 fps with great ES & SD. If you're going the XTP route, definitely go to the 158 grain.

    Next up I'm going to try some 158 SWC-WN and 180 WFN-GC Rim Rock hardcast bullets. These are the bullets that Buffalo Bore uses in their .38+P Outdoorsman and 180 WFNGC loads, respectively.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  3. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    FWIW, the 180gr XTP load's POI will in all likelyhood be quite high.

  4. Macchina

    Macchina Well-Known Member

    I think that's what one of the screws on top is for :neener:
  5. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Well-Known Member

    IME, the 180 shot right to POA, right along with 158s, at 10 yards.
  6. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    I've loaded the 158xtp and a Hornady 158 Semi-Jacketed FP in .357 w/ Full charge of H110. Both shoot great. I prefer the FP, but I don't really have any good reason for that. I would suspect if would do better on larger critters, but again, just my speculation.
  7. DWFan

    DWFan Well-Known Member

    The old Remington 180gr SJHP (scalloped jacket, not semi-jacket) expands better at lower velocity than the XTP because of it having more exposed lead at the nose. Use a round-nose bullet seater to avoid deformation.
    Look at the 173gr SWC (Lyman #358429) loads listed on the www.handloads.com website.
  8. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Originally Posted by USSR
    FWIW, the 180gr XTP load's POI will in all likelyhood be quite high.



    That is with your rear sight bottomed out!

  9. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Well-Known Member

    OK, not to get anything started, but the oldtimers here in Alaska recommend a non HP bullet here for bear loads FWIW. I have not talked to anyone who acctually had to use their bear loads here yet. Also (@ waywatcher)for .357 they reccomend nothing shorter than 4" for velocity reasons. I think for any other critter in the woods an XTP would work well. I personally take their advice as they have lived here with all of the big critters for many many years. Now when I first moved up here I did cary a snubby .357 so not that I haven't done it. Hope this helps.
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I personally wouldn't go with a 180 gr. in a 4" revolver. Recoil would be pretty significant I would think? However, with the 158 gr. XTP, which I load a lot of for a couple snubby's and a 4", would take care of any business you should encounter. I would go with 2400 as a step down from H110. 2400 will get you below full house, while still maintaining effective velocities.
  11. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    I like AA#9 with 158 and 180gr for my 2.75" Ruger Security Six. The POI impact is pretty close between 158 and 180gr, closer than 125 and 158gr bullets.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Was I gonna go bear hunting with a .357, it sure wouldn't be with any hollow-point bullet.

    You have to have deep penetration to get through heavy muscle and bone to stop a bear.

    A JHP may not make it deep enough.

    With that said, the 158 SP, or 180 that won't expand would be better choices.

    Even better yet would be a hard cast Keith SWC at max velocity.

  13. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I load 180gr for rifle only. That means 158gr bullets in my 2.5" Security Six.
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I'm not crazy with your choice of gun because the SP101 is light. You are better off with a Cast Performance 180gr Hard Case GC bullet but that round will be very hard to control in such a small gun. It's a little much for a 4" S&W M686 too.

    If you have access to a S&W L frame revolver or a Ruger GP100 I think that would be a better choice for such a load considering that's the load you probably should be carrying for what you want to do. (IMO of course) But like I said, that's still a stout load better suited for a rifle.
  15. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    I have the s&w version of your gun with an extra inch of bbl.

    A few days ago I was shooting the 158g xtp fp over a 16.0 h110 charge. (My pet rolling block rifle hunting load) while manageable recoil was right up close to the limit of what you'd want in a fast paced situation where following shots may be required.

    I don't think ill shoot too many 180's out of my little 60-18


    Don't listen to the other guys with their weak girly wrists an sp101 in any bbl length is hardly a light revolver (a titanium, scandium or LCR is light) and you don't need a trotline weight of a gun to handle full powered 357 loads just fine.

    posted via tapatalk using android.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  16. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Well-Known Member

  17. Macchina

    Macchina Well-Known Member

    Thank you for this post. That is around the exact load I was considering shooting out of a very similar gun. I have shot a S&W scandium pocket .357 with full power loads and fully realize the futility in attempting any kind of accuracy or repeat shots with that setup.

    Having said that, I've handled the SP101 and it is far heavier than that scandium revolver.
  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    For hunting deer or bear with the .357, I prefer the XTP-FP to the XTP-HP. I use 15.5 gr of H110/W296 under it for both my revolvers and carbines. In my guns, after 15.5 any increase in powder does very little for increased velocity and only decreases accuracy. For two legged and small varmints, and for everyday range use, the HP works very well and shoots nicely with a half grain less of powder.

    I also like Speer 170 gr GDSPs for deer and larger game. They too would work well for your application.
  19. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    If you are including bears, either the 170gr Gold Dot or 180gr WFNGC make more sense than any JHP. Out of a 4" light weight magnum, I'd change over to AA #9 powder and load for recoil and let either of the above bullet designs use their penetrating capabilities on bears or large hogs. Either the GD or WFNGC will do fine above 1000fps from your SP101.
  20. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Well-Known Member

    The bullet that ArchAngelCD linked to above would be a great choice; in fact I might have to try a box. Another option, of which a box is in a USPS box en route to my house right now, is the Rim Rock 180 WFNGC seen here: http://www.rimrockbullets.net/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=75 (Buffalo Bore Ammunition uses Rim Rock Bullets, Grizzly Cartridge uses Cast Performance.)

    I think either one would be a great choice. I am going to load some up over 2400 and try for 1025-1050 fps from the SP101 2.25".

Share This Page