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How heavy a bullet can you load in a .357 Magnum?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Deer Hunter, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    I've got a crazy idea running around.

    Is there any way I could push a 220 - 240 grain-ish bullet in a .357 mag? Not loading it hot, mind you. It would most likely be under 1000 FPS.

    Anyone done anything like this?
  2. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Well-Known Member

    My Speer #12 manual lists a 200 gr bullet for .357 (Speer part # 4229). However this load was tested in a T/C Contender. Depending on your revolver, you might run into a problem with O.A.L. I don't have any personal experience with this bullet in .357 Mag.

    MMCSRET Well-Known Member

    Lyman mold # 358430 drops at approx 195/200 gr. It works well in 357 and there are others. Jacketed presents a problem due to their profile; makes them too long, and if you seat them deep it cuts into powder capacity.
  4. jjohnson

    jjohnson Well-Known Member

    It depends.

    Yeah, it's always that way:scrutiny:, isn't it?

    It does depend. If you're shooting with a revolver, you have to respect OAL restrictions. If you're using a single shot, whether it's a Contender or a Handi-Rifle, that's an entirely different animal if you want to load just for that. Either of those will take 180-200 grain spitzers.... which, once again, if you're loading for a lever action carbine, don't use spitzers. :uhoh:

    You can only get quality answers if you give quality questions.:banghead:
  5. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    .38 Caliber 230 Grain THUNDERHEAD
    Bowling Pin Design
    Standard Sizing - .357
    Optional - .3575

    250 500 1000
    $25.00 $48.00 $90.00

    About Our Prices ...

    This bullet was designed specifically for bowling pin shoots. In these types of competitive events in which the objective is to clear a table of bowling pins; weight is more effective than velocity. This bullet is soft cast and is rated for 900 fps. The Thunderhead maximum meplat profile with the softer alloy promotes a better engagement with the hardwood pins (usually maple). The design features dual crimp grooves so that it can be loaded in .38 or .357 cases depending upon your application. Because the body of the bullet is so long it must be sized to .357 or .3575 maximum to insure it does not excessively bulge the brass and thus prevent its chambering. In .357 cases, 9.0 grains of Accurate Arms will get the job done. If using .38 cases try about 7.0 grains to start. DO NOT use +P .38 cases as these are usually thicker and can cause excessive bulging .... This type of shooting sport was pioneered by Richard Davis of Second Chance body armor. This event became a Who's Who of the shooting world and was a very elite event. Bowling pin shoots are not as popular as they once were but still show up from time to time.

    I have shot 200gr lead in a Colt Trooper with good results, but it has a 1:14 twist barrel, what are you shooting ?
  6. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    The gun in question is an S&W 686P. But I would like to get a single-shot rifle in .357 so I can play around more with reloading.

    I have an unhealthy obsession with .355 inch heavy bullets.
  7. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    I regularly shoot 175-185 grain bullets in my .357 Marlin Carbine that I've set up for that bullet. With Hodgdon's Lil'Gun, the energy is right up there with the 150 grain .30-30 from the same length barrel.

    I cast these bullets from my Saeco #354 mold, and vary the weight by varying the alloy. The harder the alloy, the lighter the bullet.

    Saeco offers .38/.357 molds up to 245 grains.

    Hope this helps.

  8. ga41

    ga41 Member

    I have used the Rem 180gr bullet in my 686 with excellent results on hogs
  9. 33rowdy

    33rowdy Well-Known Member

    I wish I could deer hunt with Dad's 357 lever action here in Ohio. Oh well...Its Ohio for me.
  10. 4sooth

    4sooth Well-Known Member

    Heavy .357 Bullets

    Hensley and Gibbs used to offer a mold which cast a 230 grain full wadcutter projectile.You may be able to find one of these at a gun show or on E-Bay.

    They are usually in four or six cavity.
  11. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Well-Known Member

    Those soft 230gr. wadcutters sound heinous. Wham! Good woodchuck medicine.
  12. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Well-Known Member

    The heaviest I go is 180 but I have a friend that shoots a 215 swc. He seems to like them for knocking over steel plates at long ranges. I wouldnt fool with them for hunting your energy starts dropping off on the real heavies.
  13. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all the information guys.

    I've got a fetish for .35/9mm heavy bullets in rifles, mostly because of the 9x39mm round. I figured I can mess around with the .357 magnum in a single shot rifle with a relatively high twist rate. I'd have to cast my own bullets probably, but I guess I ca do that one of these days.

    Eventually I'd probably suppress the single shot rifle.
  14. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

  15. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    Is post #5 only visible to me ?????????????????????????????????????
  16. jjohnson

    jjohnson Well-Known Member

    JibJab #5

    No, I can see it. Sometimes people don't hear/read/see something that's contrary to what you wanted to communicate. :banghead:

    For my part, I do appreciate it when one of you proprietors of a business that's directly connected to fulfilling my interests weighs in. It makes for a better understanding for me and for you. Everybody wins.

    Don't be discouraged - I'm sure some of us got the message. I've wandered through your website and been impressed. I'll be shopping for bullets on your website when I start reloading my handgun ammo yet this winter.
  17. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify, jibjab doesn't have any connection to Penn Bullets. He's in Oregon and Penn is in Pennsylvania. He's just pointing out that they offer a heavy bullet in .38 Caliber.

    He just copied and pasted what was listed on Penn's website for the information it contained.

    Hope this helps.

  18. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member


    Thanks Fred :)
  19. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    i cast a 358429 & it does all i need & more from my GPs
    cast, sized & lubed finishes rite at 171 grs.


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