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Unique and 170 gr. SWC in .357

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Cactus, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Cactus

    Cactus Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have any favorite loads using Unique in the .357 Mag. with a cast 170 gr. Keith bullet? I have been unable to find any loads with this combination.

    I'm not looking for a full out load, something in the range of 1000 fps to 1100 fps.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Well, Let's See - - -

    In my old 45th Lyman Reloading Handbook, from about 1971, they show .357 mag loads for the 168 gr. cast bullet #358429, with Unique: 4.0 gr for 739 fps, to 7.0 gr for 1157.

    Only other convenient reference for this weight bulle in .357 Mag is Steve Riccadelli's web site - - He gives almost exact same inf for this bullet. Very good information but a little involved to navigate.


    Best of luck - -
  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Interesting Johnny, your Lyman's is on the Unique cusp. My 47th doesn't have Unique data for that 168 bullet.

    2400, H110, 296 etc seem to be preferred for the heavy bullets. Hmmm.

  4. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Intrustin, huh?

    Agree, Sm - - I had to go all the way back to that old Lyman manual to locate anything for Unique in this bullet weight range. I thought to find some for the 180 jacketed silhouette bullets, but nothing for Unique there.

    I don't a copy of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, but am looking for an old copy at the gun shows.;)

  5. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    When I was a tad younger, I preferred AL-5 over 2400 for narsty loads.

    Used Unique n Bull for target loads.

  6. sebago

    sebago Well-Known Member

    Hope this helps. The first edition of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook ('59) lists only one .357 load using Unique with 358429, 5.9 grs., vel. 1165 fps. The second edition ('73) starts with 5.5 grs., 1080 fps and a max load of 7.5 grs., 1340 fps (8 & 3/8" bbl. BTW). The third edition ('80) doesn't list Unique. I know I must have tried that combination once but it was so long ago I don't remember.
    Sam, I used AL-8 in mine alongside 2400, if fact I still have a can of AL-8 I bought in '75 for $1.98!
  7. JohnK

    JohnK Well-Known Member

    5.5 gr of Unique works well in my 357's, only about 950 fps though, a bit below what you're looking for. When I want more velocity I switch powders rather than jack the pressure up with Unique.

    Alliant lists 6.8gr of Unique as the max load for a 170 gr FMJ with an OAL of 1.585" and 1,175 fps.
  8. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Y'know, JohnK - - -

    When you think about it, with a 180 bullet, that's a fairly stout load, itsownself.

  9. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    I shot in a mod 27 S&W and Rugerblack hawk old model: 7 grains Unique behind the 173grain Keith bullet for years. I haven't loaded such loads since 80's but I remember it did 1050fps out of 3.5" barrell and 1100 out of 4 5/8 barrell. Unique load was kinda smoky but OK. I think they changed the burning rate of Unique in 90's so WORK UP. BTW I still shoot the 173 Keith bullet in .38spl and .357 but I use 2400 powder -in BOTH!
  10. LAH

    LAH Well-Known Member

    Question for Gordon

    I've also used 2400 with the L-358429 in 38 Special guns. I use 10 to 11 grains depending on sixgun. What's your load?

    I used this bullet a lot with 7 grs. of the OLD Unique.
  11. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Creeker: are you the guy from THL I was supposed to send a .35 rem barrel or something to? I lost the adress ect. I use 2400 in heavy frame .38's I won't tell how much because somebodies gonna use it in some aluminum old POS. I did use 14.5grains of 2400 under that bullet in .357 though.:)
  12. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    I've liked that load - -

    - - for the past few years, Gordon.

    I have at least two manuals which allow for hotter loads than that one, but I just found them unpleasant to shoot in K-frame magnums. Cut back to 14.5 and it does all I need. Sissy, I guess.:rolleyes:

  13. LAH

    LAH Well-Known Member

    Gordon......I spoke with someone about a .35 Remington barrel. Don't remember who or where. This isn't important now. I had a guy test the .358 bullet for us. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.
  14. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Uhhhh - - - I gotta ask, LAH - -

    You wrote, concerning the L-358429,
    Please tell us you're referring to such use in .357 mag loads. 'Cause this would be 'WAY too staunch in .38 Spl cases. :p

    Best, Johnny
  15. LAH

    LAH Well-Known Member

    Mr. Guest

    Ole Great One I hang my head. You Sir are correct. The 7 grs. of Unique with the L-358429 was loaded in .357 Mag. cases and fired it a like chambered revolver. Sorry.........Sorry
  16. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam


    Our "standard cast" bullet from all our .357s =s the Lyman Keith 168 cast with stardard primers, any .357 mag brass & That Bullet w/9.5 grs Bluedot, standard sized w/Lyman's Orange Magic lube & fairly heavy roll crimp.

    4" tube gives around 1100-1150fps - give or take. A decent enough round (punch) from a handgun, clean burning & accurate.

    Seems to be the best combination that works in several - although a tweaking for a specifi handgun likely would be in order.

    Nice all 'round though.

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