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Loading 357 for Snub Nose Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by foxfyre841, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. foxfyre841

    foxfyre841 New Member

    Dec 3, 2009
    Hi All,

    I've got a 2 1/4" sp101 in 357. I want to load for it with a clean powder and pair it with a 158gr JSP. I've heard good things about AA#7. I've also heard that magnum primers will work better with snubs.

    Let me know what you guys got.

  2. joneb

    joneb Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    I have a Ruger Security Six with a 2.75" barrel, I've tried Blue Dot and AA#7 with 158gr jacketed bullets along with magnum and standard primers. AA#9 has been my best performer for this bullet above the middle of the load data with standard primers and a heavy crimp.
  3. JJE

    JJE Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    SW Washington State!
    Whether you should use a standard or magnum primer depends on the powder, not the barrel length. Most "fast powders" use standard primers. Even 2400 which is a very popular magnum powder (and not fast-burning) usually calls for a standard primer. The kind of slow-burning powders that usually use magnum primers aren't a popular choice in snubbies because a lot of the powder burns outside the barrel, resulting in lots of flash and blast, but not necessarily much more velocity.

    If you are experienced enough to develop your own loads, you can try different primers to see how they work. If you are following published load data, you should use whatever is indicated.

    I think that snubbie 357 loads tend to use lighter jacketed bullets than 158 gr. If you look at factory ammo that is intended for snubbies, you typically see 125 or 135 gr, rather than 158 gr. If you are loading target loads or medium loads where you want to avoid a lot of flash and blast, you definitely would go with lighter jacketed bullets. I don't know much about using cast lead bullets in 357 magnum snubbies.

    Speer manuals recommend a heavy crimp for any 357 load because the large amount of empty volume in the case may cause inconsistent ignition (and terminal performance) with a lighter crimp.

    Good luck!
  4. soloban

    soloban Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    Madison, AL
    I just shot 125 GR XTP over IMR 700X with a CCI 550 primer this afternoon. I believe the load was 6.4 grs but verify for yourself. I set the bullet to the crimp groove. The loads shot very accurately and fairly clean.
  5. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Active Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    I have found that in a snubby you need a fairly fast powder as you don't have much time for the powder to burn before the bullet leaves the barrel. I have gotten good results with W231. I can't remember who, but someone makes a load designed for snubbies.
  6. Martyk

    Martyk Member

    Dec 9, 2008
    I like Bullseye. As for the Magnum primer, I wouldn't mess with it. You don't need it. You will be increasing your pressure and you would need to reduce your powder charge to compensate for it, or run the risk of creating overpressure and damaging your gun or worse yet yourself. Stick with what's proven in the loading manuals.
  7. jfh

    jfh Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    The latest Speer Manual--No. 14, IIRC--has 357 loads for their Short Barrel 135-gr. JHP. Their recipe generally calls for a 357 load that runs about 970-1000 fps with that bullet.

    An earlier PDF file for short Barrel 357 reloading was published by Speer. E-mail me if you want a copy.

    Jim H.

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