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H110 and 357 mag

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JO JO, May 23, 2011.

  1. JO JO

    JO JO Well-Known Member

    anyone use H110 for 357 mag, was going to get 2400 but store had H110 in stock so I will try
    is there a big risk with h110 and 158gr 357mag say at 1100-1400 fps and flame cutting?
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    I have used W296, which is the same as H110, for decades in the 357 Magnum. I prefer it to 2400 as I always experienced some unburned powder with 2400.

    Other than that, I liked 2400.

    Follow all of the cautions for using H110. It does not play nice with light loads. Follow the information in your loading manuals and the Hodgdon we site.

    Also, W296 is my powder of choice for .410 2-1/2" shot shells.
  3. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I've been using H110 and 296 exclusively for all my .357 magnum loads for nearly 3 decades. My oldest .357, a S&W 66-2 that has had thousands of these full house magnums put through it, is still as nice and tight as when I bought it. I won't lie about the kind of load it produces, it is eye opening. And regarding the pressure cutting to the upper strap, it is visable, but as I stated my wheel guns are all still doing just fine with a regular diet of these loads. I've kind of backed away from the 125's, but only due to the severe recoil they produce which is much worse than with the 158's. I think this is because the velocity is much higher with the 125's, above 1600 fps from my snubby's and a little higher with the 6".
    Actually, the 158's are not that bad in comparrison to the lighter bullets such as the 125's. I'm currently shooting the 158 gr. Gold Dot with a maximum charge of 296 and it's producing just under 1300 fps from a 2 1/2" S&W 66-5. Obviously you must have some data to work from so just be sure you stay within the starting and maximum data. DO NOT decrease the charge to below minimum listed data, and use a magnum primer. Some will argue about the magnum primer, but in my experience to not use it can produce unpredictable pressure spikes caused by an inefficient powder burn, simular to decreasing the powder charge. Slow buring powder's such as H110 produce unpredictably high pressure when the charge is reduced below minimum. I tried standard primer's back when we were experiencing problems with availability of reloading components and will never try that again because of some rather high pressures.
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    H110 and W296 are volume sensitive powders that meed high bullet pull (tight crimp) and magnum primers to ensure proper ignition. You will get squibs if you use a load below the manuals starting load or do not crimp tightly and use a non magnum primer. General recommendation is to not go lower than -3% from the maximum.

    You use more powder per round than you would with 2400 or AA#9 so they're not as economical. These powders are best when used with jacketed heavier bullets because of the velocities generated. I only use H110 and W296 with heavier bullets 140grs and heavier in the .357 mag. You will also get a big muzzle flash along with flame cutting and loud report specially if shooting light 125gr bullets with the amount off powder required. You will also get flame cutting with heavier bullets but flame cutting eventually ceases but not before cutting the top strap a bit.
  5. JO JO

    JO JO Well-Known Member

    will I get flame cutting with all the powders or just h110/296 ?
    I new to loading magnum loads,
  6. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Well-Known Member

    That is a really hot load for a snubbie! With a Sierra 158gr, I load 16.6gr 296 (16.7 is max) and only get 1261 fps out of a 6" GP100. I hate how Hodgdon's data is out of a 10" barrel, pretty meaningless. Various factory 158's ran 1226-1304fps @ 42 degrees out of the 6" barrel.
  7. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Well-Known Member

    I don't think you need to worry about flame cutting using the 158 gr bullets. That is mainly an issue when you start playing around with the little 125 gr bullets. I shoot a lot of 158 gr bullets using 15.9 gr of H-110 out of my Blackhawk. It's about like shooting factory loads from what I can tell.
  8. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Flame cutting comes from the amount of hot gas produced in a load. The slower the powder the more you use which equals more volume of hot expanding gas that will be produced.

    Any of the slow powders be it 2400 or AA9 will flame cut and since you use more H110/W296 in a load than most other type powder, it flame cuts faster.
  9. JO JO

    JO JO Well-Known Member

    I was thinking of trying 13 to 14 grs of h110 and 158gr linotype/hardcast swc and jacketed hp like xtp and speer ? since i am new to this powder would like to start at
    min loads does this sound about right will use cci 550 primers,
  10. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Well-Known Member

    The minimum load for 158 gr jacketed bulllets is 15.0. I would not advise against going lower than that with this powder. It will only operate in a very narrow range of weights.

    For sure use small magnum primers.
  11. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I'm not familar with lead, but I have not seen any data for H110/296 with a lead bullet. And regarding the powder charge being reduced below listed minimum, I wouldn't personally consider doing that. A slow burning powder like H110 or 296 can't be manipulated in the same manner as the faster burning powder's. It's just not a powder one can safely work with outside of listed guidlines in both charge weights, and using it in an unintended application such as with lead. The velocity alone is going to cause you some leading problems with non jacketed bullets. And according to what I've read, loading lead to such high velocities with a high working pressure powder like H110/296 is not going to be healthy for your forcing cone once the lead begins to build up, which is likely going to happen very quickly, maybe with the first few rounds. before you try something outside of the box, so too speak, do some research, contact one or more of the following, Speer, Hornady, Hogdon, Winchester, Sierra, and ask them about what your considering doing. Those people are really helpful and certainly know more about how their bullets and powder's function than I do.
    If you stick to the recomended data and don't try to build a frankenstien load with H110 or 296 you'll be OK. But trying to use it for an unintended application is just plain and simple asking for problems, maybe even catrostrophic failure.
  12. Paladin38-40

    Paladin38-40 Well-Known Member


    H-110 likes heavy bullets and the higher end of the pressure range for consistancy according to my own chronographing.
    Notice how fast the pressure climbs with small increases in charge weight:

    The 1974 Hogdon manual lists a starting charge of 14.0 gr, @ 25800 cup and a max charge of 14.5 gr. @ 35400 cup for a 160 gr jacketed bullet.

    The 1999 Midway LoadMap lists a starting load of 14.0 gr @27700 psi and a max charge of 16.5 @35000 psi for a max load with a 158 gr jacketed bullet.

    According to the 1969 NRA Handloader's Guide the .357 magnum was intended for the S&W N-frame and pressures up to 45000 psi . It has since been watered down probably due to it being chambered in medium size and even pocket guns.
  13. 45EER

    45EER Member

    Win 296 cleanest.

    The first load I ever made was 158gr hp with max charge of Win 296.
    I was lucky to have a friend who taught me that when you get a big
    fire ball add more powder. That goes for Win 296 & that dirty 110
    not 2400 or unique powders. If in dought all powder & bullet companys
    have 1-800 #s call them they are great guys & want you to enjoy your
    hobby. I have been at it since 1972 & have bought so few factory loads
    I really enjoy myself working up a new load.
    Once you learn the signs of over pressure you will begin to beat factory
    ammo for accuracy. Your gun has a load that may not like my gun but
    with a little work we both can find the best load for our guns.

    Long live rolling your own ;)
  14. Paladin38-40

    Paladin38-40 Well-Known Member

    .357 magnum lead load 4 U

  15. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    I once overheard a fellow shooter complain that his loads where not working and sticking the bullets in the barrel of his .357 mag. I asked him what he was loading and he said 13 grains of H110 with 158gr bullets so I know you can get squibs at 13.0grs even though some manuals go with even less powder. If you go this light make sure you use a magnum primer, preferably Winchester which is about the hottest you can find, and put on a heavy crimp.

    Old Hodgdon data lists 14.5grs as maximum with a 158gr bullet. A 3% reduction for start load would be 14.0grs. My bottle of H110 lists 14.5grs with 158gr bullet for the .357 mag. I've used this load with jacketed bullets and it works fine pushing a 158gr Remington JSP at 1,232 fps average from a 4-5/8" Ruger BH. Using a lead bullet would push the velocity up 50 to 100 fps or more.
  16. JO JO

    JO JO Well-Known Member

    well I decieded to return H110 sounds to tricky for me they now have 2400 in stock got that instead sounds like a safer bet at my level of experence thanks for all advise given
    any input on 2400 sounds like it can be good with lswc and has a safer load range.
  17. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    H110/W296 is not finicky or tricky if you follow published data. Something you should be doing anyway with any powder.

    But H110/W296 are less forgiving than other powders if you forge off into uncharted territory. Also, the Hodgdon web site has some general info on reducing loads with H110/W296 in their opening page of loading data.

    If you feel more comfortable using 2400, then that is correct decision. 2400 will perform well for you.
  18. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    I won't use H110/W296, due to the inability to use reduced loads with it. I like flexibility in my powders. 2400 and IMR4227 work just fine for me.

  19. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Well-Known Member

    2400 gives equally impressive power. I was a long time user of 296 and 125gr JHP but have started trying more lead loads to reduce cost. Picked up some MBC 357 action LSWC bullets and worked up some loads from 13-14.0gr of 2400. My Gp100 likes them, but I do get leading. Velocity was 1290-1390fps out of 6" barrel. Standard primers.
    Work up your own loads carefully, these were 1.3gr under Max in my manual and were very accurate, but it seems most everything is out of my GP100. :) 296 has some company for full power magnum loads.
  20. Seedtick

    Seedtick Well-Known Member


    That's what I don't like about H110/W296. I like to tinker around with my loads and there just ain't enough tinker around room with H110/W296.

    Although I will admit that if all you're after is big boy magnum loads then those will fit the bill nicely. But for my part I'll take 2400 every day.



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