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.357 magnum rifle / revolver

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by edwin41, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    hi to all
    yet another question about the .357 magnum cartridge.
    now and then i got the chance to fire a marlin lever gun at the range and i buy the ammo at the range. now the thing that puzzles me is that i can also shoot
    my smith revolver with the same ammo as they only have one brand.
    so the difference is my 4"barrel versus the 20"barrel of the marlin.
    ive looked into the reloadingmanual , lyman 49th edition , and found there to
    be 3 different parts, so for rifle , handgun , and tc contender.
    so , am i overstressing the marlin gun when i shoot it with the factory ammo ?
    can i safely shoot the marlin if i was to reload according the handgun table ?
    an example right out the book :
    handgun : 170 gr cast bullet , 4.1 gr bullseye powder 813 ft / sec 4"barrel.
    rifle: exact same bullet , 8.3 gr bleu dot powder 1338 ft / sec 20 "barrel.
    do i have the same choice with factory ammo?
    like to hear from you... greetings from holland !
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Rifle-38special ammo-jacketed bullets should go 750 fps or faster to keep from sticking a bullet in the rifle barrel.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Factory ammo you can buy is loaded to the SAAMI standard pressure of 35,000 PSI or less.

    .357 Handgun ammo is Rifle ammo is T/C Contender ammo.
    It's all the same.

    The reason there are three sections in the reloading book has nothing to do with pressure or strength of the gun. If you look at the powder charges, they are all the same.

    They are only showing you what kind of velocity you can expect to get out of the different barrel lengths.

  4. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    thanks for the quick replys !
    so it would be safe for me and the gun to reload some magnum cases with the
    bullseye powder and the correct bullet as stated in the manual?
    the reason would be that i already have bullseye powder for . 38 spec reloading
    would the primer be of any concern as the 38 uses cci 500 and the magnum
    cci 550 magnum primers , probably for the more intence loads ?
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Mag primers are only needed with full charges of ball powder like H110/W296, etc.

    I would pick a slower powder then Bullseye for use in a rifle.
    If you note in the Lyman manual, Bullseye is not even listed in the "rifle" section.

    But then I would pick a slower powder for any .357 Mag load.

    Unique would be a good medium burn rate powder, but 2400 would be even better for Magnum velocity.

  6. 4895

    4895 Well-Known Member

    H110 is a great powder for .357 magnum loads. Load near max, heavy crimp, and don't forget the magnum primers.
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    4895 has said it exactly as I would have. You just can't get any more full house magnum performance with any other powder.
  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    In both my .357 revolvers and carbines, I use H110/W296 for true magnum loads and Unique for plinkers. As was said earlier, I always try to stay above 1000fps in my carbines with jacketed bullets to avoid a stuck bullet.
  9. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    The sealed chamber and longer barrel of a rifle will get better velocity from slower powders. I have a .357 mag Timberwolf pump rifle and with a fast powder like W231 in .38 spl it adds right around 200 fps to a 158gr LSWC compared to a 4" revolver. With .357 mag loaded with 158gr JSP's and H110 the rifle pushes them an extra 400 fps.
  10. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    thanks for sharing the info , i m a novice in the reloading and learning as i go.
    looked at the reloadingbook again and something caught my attention.
    the more slower powders give good velocities , to bad there is no pressure
    rating in this section so comparing isn t possible.
    i ve ordered a new bulletmould from lyman yesterday , a 170 gr semi wadcutter.
    now something out of the book :
    handgun .38 spec. 2.8 gr bullseye gives 781ft/sec at 13600 c.u.p.
    max 3.2 gr bullseye gives 833ft/sec at 15500 c.u.p.
    handgun .357 mag.4.1 gr bullseye gives 813ft/sec at 16500c.u.p.
    max 6.1 gr bullseye gives 976ft/sec at 39300 c.u.p.
    both data from the lyman cast bullet 170 gr semi wadcutter.
    since i cast my own bullets from a rather soft alloy , wich is great for my .38 spec , i rather like to stay in the lower velocities , just enough to stabelize my bullets is okay by me , i just shoot at a paper target , no hunting or defence.
    so , i think that if i stay at some 5.5 gr bullseye in a .357 casing with the 170 gr bullet i would get some 11oo ft /sec , maby a little more without straining
    the carbine?
  11. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    it may seem i hold on to much on the bullseye powder , the reason for this
    would be that i would have only one powder and one kind of primer.
    it might not work , but i am thinking that it would be very versatile for me.
    im shooting my smith 686 combat magnum , so my thoughts would be that i can reload my much preffered . 38 spec wadcutter , i can shift to .357 magnum
    semi wadcutter , and the same .357 magnum for the carbine.
    all this with the same powder and same cci 500 primer , would be great if it was possible !
    please correct me if im wrong , your input is much appreciated !
    still learning every time , still enjoying the hobby !
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    170 gr Cast lswc

    Bullseye is Ok to use in both 38 & 357 mag. when using published loading data. The burning rate is very fast. Pressure can go to high with a small increase in the powder charge. Different Component=Different Pressure. The 170 gr Lead swc should work well with the starting to midrange loads. I would stay away from the maximum loads listed when using Alliants Bullseye.
  13. Centaur 1

    Centaur 1 Well-Known Member

    Bullseye is a very fast powder, at higher velocities a fast powder can raise chamber pressure rather quickly after a certain point. That heavier 170 grain bullet only makes matters worse. You might want to use up your Bullseye on lighter loads and buy some Unique. If you're looking for one all-around powder it's hard to beat it. And don't get hung up on needing magnum primers, just because the word magnum is used in the cartridge name doesn't mean that you need magnum primers.

    I don't know if you can buy Lee molds as cheaply as we can, but the 105 grain swc will conserve a lot of lead and they shoot great.

    If you prefer something a little heavier the 125 grain rf is also a good choice.

    If I'm not mistaken, loads for the contender can use longer spire pointed bullets that would interfere with a rotating cylinder in a revolver, or be too long to cycle in a lever action.
  14. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    i opted for the 170 gr bullet because i also would like to shoot a carbine
    at some 100 yard , so the heavier bullet would retain its initial energie better than the licht ones is my guessing.
    i think the carbines would also shoot great with .38 spec , so my goal would not
    be to make a real magnum cartridge , but a upgraded .38.
    i ve kind of noticed that where the .38 is near its pressure rate , the first
    magnum loads take it a step further , so that would be my goal i guess.
    its just my way of thinking , please comment me if i m overlooking something.
  15. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    and this is what im gonna try next week.
    .357 magnum casing , cci 500 primer , 4.5 gr of bullseye powder
    and the lyman 170 gr swc "keith style " bullet.
    i would think its a pepped up . 38 spec , rather then a tru magnum.
    the .38 spec is for comparising....:D
    its a great looking cartridge to me , hope it functions as well as i expect it to do!
    the left bullet is the casting , the middle sized and lubed , the right a factory
    one that was given to me , for comparising.
  16. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    the fotos didnt work , gonna try again
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I believe I would use a slower powder with a heavy weight bullet in .357. Something in the medium burn speed range like Unique, AA #5, HS-6, N340 etc.

    Good news is when you are loading .38 or .38 +P power in .357 cases, is that you have some leeway with the .357 gun designed to handle much more pressure. No reason to get careless though.
  18. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I like 2400 and standard primers for .357 rounds in a carbine. You can find "rifle .357" data, and that's all fine, but mid-range to stout revolver data works quite well in a Marlin 1894.

    If you want to go big, you can. Whatever recipe is top end for revolvers is safe in a modern .357 lever gun provided as always, that your brass is in good shape. Full-house "Ruger only" loads are probably ok as well.

    Of course, you can also shoot .38SPL, but some folks encounter feeding issues with some .38 rounds. Shooting 750-800 FPS .38 revolver recipes in a carbine is like shooting a .22LR in recoil terms. My Marlin likes 158gr or heavier bullets and a slower powder than I use for revolvers, say W231 or even IMR 4756 instead of Bullseye or Titegroup.
  19. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    what about lil gun?
  20. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    You will want to stay away from spire point bullets in a Marlin (or any tubular-fed arm) unless you load them one at a time. When the impact of a recoil causes a pointed bullet to ignite the primer of the next on in the tubular magazine, things can get progressively more exciting very quickly.

    Centaur is right about the primers. Magnum primers give a longer-lasting and more energetic flame than standard primers. This is so they will ignite powders that are hard to ignite. Powders that perform well at magnum pressures and bullet velocities tend to be hard to ignite. There are other reasons, too, but that is the main one.

    Why slow powders for magnum performance?

    Fast powders work well for low-power loads loads. Slow powders work well for high-power loads. The reason for this is that all brass performs well within a limited pressure range (to expand against the chamber walls and seal the chamber). In light loads, a fast powder gets up to that pressure, seals the chamber and launches the bullet at the desired speed, then the pressure drops quickly. A slow powder gets up to that pressure, seals the chamber, but since it takes longer to reach the higher speed, the powder must burn for a longer period of time to maintain that pressure BUT NO MORE AND NO LESS.

    The way smokeless powder is chemically formulated to burn at the desired rate makes it more difficult to ignite. So, magnum performance, which requires those magnum powders, requires a bit more flame to ignite - magnum primers.

    If you try to get magnum power levels with a faster powder, you will boost pressures above what the brass (and the steel) can survive.

    Many powders (like 2400 and Unique) can deliver performance that reaches deep into the 38 Special range and also high into the .357 Magnum range. Others, like H110 are dangerously erratic if you try to go too low.

    Longer barrels do benefit from slower-burning powders, but for different reasons.

    Lost Sheep

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