Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

.357 lswc

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Dan Forrester, Jun 29, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dan Forrester

    Dan Forrester Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    FL
    Anyone know where to get some fresh factory .357 LSWC cartridges? As a kid every major manufacturer would produce these. It seems now a days everything is some kind of fancy designer hollow point or jacketed soft point. I guess I’m getting old.

    Thanks, Dan
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    5,170
    Location:
    Wet Oregon
    I'd go to a larger chain gun/sporting goods store. They often have like HSM brand.. often reloads which are fine. Very good quality at a reasonable price. Malwart doesn't carry lead SWC's
     
  3. Dan-O

    Dan-O Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    781
    Location:
    Kansas City
  4. VA27

    VA27 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,857
    Location:
    Slovenly Manor, Dungheap-Upon-The-Hill
    That's what I do. I got an RCBS 158gr GC mold and a 5 gallon bucket of wheel weights, so I'm set until I'm too old to shoot.
     
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    The old 158 LSWC was real .357 Magnum loaded to original specs, before it was gelded. Unfortunately, it was dropped in the mid-70s and is long out of print, along with the gas checked 240 LSWC .44 Magnum ammunition. You may get lucky and find a box or two at a gun show, but expect to pay a premium if the vendor knows his ammo.

    Remington and Winchester were the only producers of the ammunition, under Remington-Peters and Super X, for both calibers.
     
  6. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Gelded. That's a good way to describe what has been done to ammo.
    I look at ammo from the big 3 and it's very anemic.
    .357 and .44 mag have become nothing more than hot specials.
    Loading your own is the best way to go.

    If you don't load, Buffalo Bore ammo is the way to go.
     
  7. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,406
    Jaymo is there anyway you can expand on your last post as I was born after the 70s can you give me some numbers to support your claim please.
     
  8. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,152
    Remington still shows it on thier website...but, I haven't seen it in years. Its the R357M5 load.
    http://www.woodburyoutfitters.com/product_p/12759.htm

    Bitteroot Valley Ammo made a version at about 1050 FPS. I bought half a case of it awhile ago, but, sadly, it looks discontinued now.

    I usually carry the Remington 158 GR HP now.
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Couldn't find it, or any specs for it. If it's rated at 1235 fps like most 158-grain offerings these days...it's not the same stuff.

    The original was advertised at 1550 fps from an 8-inch barrel, and most lots that I chronographed gave up 1450+ from a 6-inch Python and a 6-inch Model 19. A 4-inch Model 13 turned in close to 1400.

    The reasons for the .357's watering down came mostly as a result of the chambering in the K-Frame Smith. It was developed for use in large-framed revolvers, later to become known as N-Frames. The shooters who insisted on using it in the K's learned that ".38s for practice and .357s for business" was sound advice.

    The load can be duplicated for pressures and nearly matched for velocity with a cast 155-160 grain SWC and a charge of 2400 that I hesitate to list here, but I will go as far as saying that 14.5 grains is close enough for gub'mint work...and that one should only be used in a K-Frame on a "need to" basis...and in moderation even in an L-Frame. Any hotter should be approached cautiously.

    The only revolvers that I'd consider firing the full-house load of...well, I won't say it...is an N-Frame or a New Model Blackhawk. The fairly rare .357 Redhawk is also a good candidate if you can find one. Personally, I wouldn't shoot it in one of my Model 13s on a bet.

    You can find it in one of the older Lyman manuals, and that's as far as I'll take ya. If you find it and decide to give it a try, be aware that it's a handful. I'd also advise using small rifle primers.

    The original .44 Magnum 240-grain gas checked LSWC offering was similarly rambunctious. Modern loadings have brought it down quite a bit.
     
  10. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,152
    No, its not the load of old. Last batch of the Remington 158 LSWC I had ran about 1200 through a 3" barrel.

    It was actually a pretty good load for a 3" K Frame and a Ruger SP-101. But, nothing like the original loading.
     
  11. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,092
    Location:
    North Carolina
    1911,

    I think the Dan Wessons would choke it down too. As well as the Rugers or N frames? Probably not over time. So I don't like it as an everyday diet but I think DW 15-2 and Colt Trooper Mk III (King Cobra) won't complain anything like a S&W 19. I think they would do it as often as the average shooter would feel the load appropriate. Admit it though, that's a LOT of .357. No flies on the 19 for "normal" use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Are the DWs back in production? They'd probably hold up about as well as the Smith K-Frames, I'd think...but I loosened up a 681 a little with about 2500 rounds of the 14.5-grain load. I've since backed off a grain and put the gun in semi-retirement.

    As an interesting side note...in my 681...the 14.5/2400/160 load shoots close enough to POA to call it good while the factory fodder generally prints three inches higher. At a chronographed 1370+ from that gun, it's pretty good in the thump department, too.

    I shot two cylinders full of it in my 4-inch Model 13 with the original Magna™stocks, and it was a singularly unpleasant experience.
     
  13. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    Dont know what gun your using by I attempted to duplicate it over a year ago. I was getting 1370 fps from a MBC Action 158gn over 14.3grn of AA#9 in a 5 inch tube. This is does exceed reloading manuals depending on which version you have. I got close enough to make me happy but wasn't really a accurate load so I dropped it.
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    It was a 4-inch Smith 681. Guns are a rule unto themselves when it comes to chronographed velocities, and chronographing itself is a sort of art form. I'm careful...anal, even...about doing all that I can to fire dead perpendicularly across the screens. Any angle laterally or vertically skews the readings toward lower than actual.
    Even the slight muzzle rise in recoil throws the bullet across the screens at an angle, so there's that unless you shoot from a machine rest that locks the gun down.

    I've seen two outwardly identical guns fired with the same lot of ammunition on the same day produce pretty wide velocity variations. I've even seen a few revolvers with 4-inch barrels match or edge out those with 6-inch barrels. Ruger barrels are noted for "Shooting Fast." I had a 4.62-inch .41 Magnum Blackhawk that beat my 6-inch Model 57 Smith by about 20 fps with the same ammunition.

    Bullet construction also has an effect. A jacketed bullet will typically produce less velocity than a cast bullet of equal weight, even with equal powder charges and case volumes used with the bullets seated. An example is the old Speer 160 grain jacketed SWC vs my cast 160. I got a full 30 fps less with the jacketed bullet.

    All this is why I tell people not to get too bent over what their chronograph readings are on a given day with a given gun with a given lot of ammo. Hobby chronographs are more useful in determining velocity spreads and comparing two guns' performance than measuring true velocities. There are just too many variables that pop up outside of a closely controlled environment.
     
  15. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,290
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    My understanding is that lead bullets of typical weight would be slowed way down from what was intended for a magnum handgun's benchmark performance. I am not surprised that such a thing would be difficult to find in commercial ammo. A reloader can certainly make his own. I just ordered some of those bullets for some experience with lead. From what I have and the loads in the Hornady book, it looks like Clays will be the powder.
     
  16. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,044
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Yep! It's a shame that they didn't just update these loads with a good cast bullet, rather than the swaged bullets they used.


    A common misconception but not true at all.
     
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Another myth is that pressures are lower with lead bullets, all else equal. In truth, pressures will go up with lead bullets compared to jacketed due to earlier obturation and sealing the bore much earlier than a jacketed bullet can, much reducing the blowby gas loss...and the softer the bullet, the earlier the seal occurs.

    Manufacturers wouldn't spend the time casting when they can do it faster and more safely by swaging. Adding antimony to the lead wire results in some pretty hard bullets. I remember reading that the gas checked .44s contained 3% while the .357s had 2.5%...and all the lower calibers used 2% antimonial lead. Gott harden'em up a bit when they're driven that fast so they'll take the rifling instead of skidding across it and stripping.

    And, that brings us to one of the other reasons for the demise of the true magnums. When JHPs came on the scene, it pretty much killed the market for high performance ammo loaded with lead bullets. They did away with lead fouling completely, and they were touted as the Hammer of Thor.

    This came about the same time that Smith was ready to introduce the L-Frames...which came as a result of people beating the K-Frames to death with the old ammo...and they turned the fire down because there were still a lotta K-Frame .357s in the pipes.

    They dropped the old .44 Magnum loading for much the same reasons. Model 29s were suffering with that gawdawful stuff just like Model the Models 19/13 were. (Ask me how I know.) The Model 19 and Model 29 were fine revolvers, but they weren't exceptionally strong revolvers. There's only so much beefing up that can be done to a gun that dates to the turn of the 20th century.

    So now...we who remember the real magnums are forced to handload...and that really ain't such a bad thing.

    For those who want to visit that neighborhood, I recommend doing it with cast bullets. Driving jacketed bullets that hard presents its own problems.
     
  18. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,044
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    I ain't complainin'! ;)
     
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Nor I, sir.

    A little story is in order.

    I have a little of the old .44 Magnum stuff...SuperX. A friend has a Model 29, and he remembered me talking about it...so on one of his visits, he brought it along and weaseled me out of 6 rounds. When he dropped the hammer on the first one, he said...and I quote..."DAYUMMMM!!" *grin*

    He shot it one more time and gave me four rounds back. Said he could hear his gun beggin' for mercy.
     
  20. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,044
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    I bought several boxes of the old stuff probably about 12-14yrs ago just because I thought the boxes were cool and it was cheap. I shot up quite a bit of it and just saved the boxes. "Rambunctious" is certainly the term I would use to describe it.

    Wasn't the Winchester stuff copper washed?
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    I think that was the Winchester Western "Lubaloy" ™ loading. My SuperX is gray lead. The .357s had the Lubaloy bullets. Never saw it on the .44s.

    Another bit of trivia on the .44 LSWC is that it was triple crimped. Once in the usual place...in the middle...and at the base.

    If memory serves me...and it often fails to...Remington dropped both loadings first. Winchester held out a while longer, but not by much.

    I can also closely duplicate the .44 with a cast bullet and 2400, but no way will I post the data. 21 grains will give a taste of the real deal, and that's as far as I'll go. Any hotter than that, y'all are on your own. I will say that unless you've got a Super Redhawk to shoot it in...don't waste your time going further than that. Without the triple crimp, the 5th and 6th bullets in the cylinder will jump the crimp to the point of tying it up in a Model 29 or anything of similar weight/mass.
     
  22. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,044
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    I get a little frisky every now and then but mostly run in the 1100-1200fps range with commercial 240gr SWC's. Sometimes I like to play and experiment but I don't really "need" any more than that. Although I do have one sixgun and one rifle zeroed for Keith's favorite charge of 2400 under a 240gr Gold Dot.
     
  23. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    The .44 Magnum cartridge that Keith got was a different animal that the one that he wanted. He wanted a 250-grain bullet in the 1250-1300 fps range. He got a 240 at around 1450-1500.

    But, yeah...if you can't do it with a 240-250 grain bullet at 1200, you can't likely do it with another 300 fps.
     
  24. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,290
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Depends what you think of as "benchmark". I think of it as something that must have changed except in the minds of reloaders and gun history buffs. The whole point is that you can't buy this stuff...not any more.

    I would also question some of the comments about going above 1100 fps with lead. Why would one do that?

    BTW, I 'm due to pick up my .44 Mag in about an hour (S&W 629 Classic 5"). No ammo yet, but that will be later today or tomorrow from UPS.
     
  25. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,044
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Agreed!


    Flatter trajectory. 1200-1300fps is considered the sweet spot for cast bullets in handguns. Penetration seems to peak at this range and running them faster only serves to flatten trajectory and beat the shooter up unnecessarily. You can also run these speeds without a gas check.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page