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Lead load for a 357mag with N320, 158gr LSWCHP

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gonoles_1980, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Well-Known Member

    I'm looking to find a load to use for shooting lead. I've found a decent load for copper plated 158gr for N320, using 6.5gr. Though I may drop a grain.

    Based on previous comments, internet searches I'm going to try the following ladder:

    N320 158gr Speer LSWCHP 357 mag (1.8" barrel).
    4.6, 4.8, 5.0, 5.2, 5.4

    Vihatouri doesn't have a load for lead for a 158gr bullet using N320, they have a load for 145gr load bullet starting at 6.3.
  2. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Well-Known Member

    I would drop 10% below the starting load for the 145gr LSWC. That should put you at about 5.7gr of N320 to start. I would start from there and work up. 4.6 is probably a little too light, unless you are looking for .38spl velocities.

    Although, with a snubby you are probably better served with a load in the +p 38spl range than with a full bore .357mag loading.
  3. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Well-Known Member

    When I was using HP-38, I was using 4.5 for my LSWCHP for the 158gr bullet and 6.0 for my copper plated bullets. I probably am a little light on the load, I ended up doing 1gr increments from 4.6-5.0gr. I don't think I'll get a squib with a snub nose at those levels. I usually like to save the hotter loads for the copper plated bullets.

    Should I pull the bullets and go with a heavier load? I'm just trying to find a good plunking load.
  4. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Well-Known Member

    I don't think you'll get any squibs. I think you'll just have 38spl loads in .357mag cases, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. They should make good plinking loads.
  5. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, and I'll have to remember that 10% thing.
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    N320 is a little bit position sensitive in the .357 case where the charge will not fill the case. To test this point the barrel down, bring it up slowly to level and fire, vs barrel up first. That is how you need to test any light load to be sure it will always push the bullet out of the barrel.

    4.6 Grs is pretty low to start IMO. Be careful and make sure the bullets get out of the barrel.
  7. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Well-Known Member

    Walkalong it's easy enough to pull the bullets. I could start at 4.8 or 5.0. It is a 1.8" barrel, so I think the 4.6 will work. I use 4.5 with Hp38 for my light loads. I do have a brass rod just in case.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I don't think you need to pull them, but I would be sure the powder was back, and if I were the curious sort, I would try at least one powder forward, knowing I had my brass rod as a back up. I have had to use it a few times testing light loads powder forward.

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