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.357 Magnum load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by lordgroom, Jan 6, 2008.

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  1. lordgroom

    lordgroom Member

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    What does everyone use for an accurate target load for a .357 Magnum?

    I am firing a COLT Trooper Mark V revolver with a 4 inch barrel. 13Gr. of 2400 in front of a 158 Gr. SWC was very accurate but caused a lot of leading. Since I only get slightly more than 500 rounds per pound of 2400, I experimented with Bullseye. 5.4 Gr of Bullseye was the most accurate at a spread of 1” at 7 yds, it was dirty but very little leading. I am not happy with the accuracy of the Bullseye. The 2400 was better in terms of accuracy, with a 3 touching at 7 yds.

    I am wondering what everyone else uses.

    I plan to experiment with Cream of Wheat as a filler as I read other articles and posts on Castboolits which says that the Cream of Wheat improves an underperforming load and also really helps clean up leading. Here is the post for those of you interested.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?p=266437&posted=1#post266437

    I will probably also try the Cream of Wheat with the 2400 and Bullseye.
     
  2. jhansman

    jhansman Member

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    You might try the recommended 5gr. of Titegroup under that bullet. I find this powder provides me more consistency in .357mag than any other I've yet to try.
     
  3. tblt

    tblt member

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    158 grain
     
  4. tbtrout

    tbtrout Member

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    I like 4.2 gr of Trail Boss for a target load with 158's. Clean and accurate with low recoil. Fills the case, no cream of wheat needed.
     
  5. lordgroom

    lordgroom Member

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    tbtrout, what part of NJ you from? I'm close to Philly but on th Jersey side.
     
  6. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    My best target loads in my 4" Security Six are:

    Lead
    158gr SWC over 7.5gr AA#5

    Jacketed
    158gr XTP over 16.0gr Win 296

    Plated
    158gr Plated Flat Nose Over 7.2gr Hod Universal Clays
     
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    I've tried TightGroup with Lead bullets and got leading, seems to be a hot burning powder though it works good with copper clad and jacketed.

    For 158gr LSWC commercial cast, I lube them lightly (6 to 10 drops/100 bullets) with some Lee Liquid Alox over the hard wax type lube they come with. This eliminates leading and what little there may be cleans off with patches and bore solvent. I've used 13.0grs of 2400 as you have with bullets lubed this way but usually load them with 6.2 to 6.5grs of Unique.

    This 25 yd group was 158gr LSWC with Unique:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. KI.W.

    KI.W. Member

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    .357mag-powder

    The best powder for .357mag 158gr jacket- bullets is glean burning Vihtavuori with 15-16gr loads. Cowboy Action Shooting: N-330 4-5gr and N-340 4,5-6gr.
     
  9. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    Leading has to do with bullet size and composition rather than powder.

    Cast Boolits has many threads on this, but the short story is that for best results, two things are crucial.

    1.) Size your bullets .001 over chamber size. IE. .358 in a .357 bore. The bullet must obdurate and seal off the chamber to prevent hot gasses from melting the sides of the bullet. It's counter intuative, but a larger bullet diameter leads less.

    2.) Hard cast for energetic loads. Soft lead only for low velocity.

    Try a gas check bullet if you like. I shoot them also, but they are my magnum rounds.

    Leading can be caused by a rough bore as well, but over time that will self correct.
     
  10. lordgroom

    lordgroom Member

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    Snapping Dog- I see your point. One thing however, I get minimal leading with the same bullet in a .38 Special Load. A beginner question: can you put a gas check on a store bought hard cast lead SWC? I have Lasercast 158gr SWC.
     
  11. Hook686

    Hook686 Member

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    I am not a bullseye shooter, so I am not concerned about shooting, 'One ragged hole'. If I keep them in a 8" circle at 25 yards, and a 4" circle at 10 yards I am content. I load 158 grain Rainier PFP with 7.0 grains of Unique, and 158 grain MagTech SJHP with 7.8 grains of Unique. These are my 'every day practice loadings'.

    When I used 2400 with 158 grain SJSP, or 158 grain LSWC, I used 13.4 grains. Again with these I got rougly 4" groups at 10 yards and 8" groups at 25 yards. I load for Personal Protection and am content with this accuracy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  12. birddog

    birddog Member

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    +1 on the 7.8 grains of Unique pushing a 158 Magtech SJSP.

    You can shoot these all day -- tremendously accurate in my guns, too.
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The reason you are getting a lot of leading is a 13gr charge of 2400 under a 158gr lead bullet must push that bullet close to 1300 fps. Almost any lead bullet will leave lead in your barrel at that speed. If you check the Alliant load data site they won't even provide you load data for 2400 and a lead bullet for the .357 Magnum. IMO Unique, Bullseye, W231, Clays and Titegroup will all be better powders for .357 Magnum rounds using a lead bullet than 2400. If you use a charge that will keep a Hard Case bullet under 1200 fps you will probably have very little to no leading.
     
  14. hawkeye1

    hawkeye1 Member

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    You asked about gas checks on store bought bullets-NO. Not if they are not made for gas checks. What type of bullet are you shooting? Lube? Only reason I ask is that I shoot bullets cast from wheel weights with W231 and get no leading. Granted different pistols are different pistols. Might try backing off on the velocity, this may cut down on your leading. Also, check your bullet diameter as compared to your cylender chamber diameter. Ideally the bullet should be about .001 over your chambers. Let us know what you find out as you experiment.

    good shooting
     
  15. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I have a copy of Alliant's reloading guide here, and it lists 15.3 grains as a maximum charge of 2400 for 158 grain LSWC bullets @ 1620 fps from a 5.6 inch barrel.

    I like 7.5 grains of Herco with 158 grain SWC's. I get some leading in my Taurus but not in the Ruger. (The Taurus is new and it leads badly with anything I shoot, but it's getting better. I should probably hand lap the barrel.)
     
  16. Mac45

    Mac45 Member

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    If you shoot cast, you should take a look at the Los Angeles Silhouette Club and Dr. Glen Fryxell
    http://www.lasc.us/FryxellSkeetersBullets.htm

    This one is about the .357, but there's quite a few pages of his stuff there
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Amen. But don't get too enthusiastic over "hard cast" bullets. Much leading is caused by gas cutting -- a too-hard bullet fails to obturate and gas gets by, resulting in more leading.

    One thing I would try in the .357 is a gas check. You can make gas checks by cutting disks of the proper size from a milk carton, if you don't want to buy them.
     
  18. lordgroom

    lordgroom Member

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    I am using Laser Cast 158 gr. LSWC. I plan to start casting my own but I'm not there yet.

    When I cut the milk carton do I put it on top of the powder charge? I assume this will raise pressures. Should I re-work up the load or back off on powder a litte and work back up?
     
  19. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    Mac45
    I went to the page and read the article. I remember reading Skeeters work in I believe shooting times. He also touted a load with the .358156GC in .38 special cases with the bullet crimped in the first grease below the criming grove.

    However I can't remember the charge of 2400. Anyone have that written down somewhere?
     
  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Yes and yes. Load a few and see how it affects leading. The discs should be close to a perfect fit in the case.
     
  21. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Colt King Cobra 4" barrel .357 revolver.
    I am using a hard-cast 158-gr lead SWC sized .358.
    4.7 or 5.1 grains of Titegroup.
    4.7 is the same setup I use for .45acp or 9mm +P so I tried that first. Felt light.
    The accuracy improved with 5.1 gr over 4.7 but it was still great practice ammo. Leading was not enough for me to worry about.

    I also tried 12.5 grains of Accurate #9 under the 158-cast SWC but the extra cost of the larger powder charge required got me nothing better in terms of accuracy or performance so I abandonded it.

    I have used 7.2 grains of titegroup under a 125-gr FMJ/JHP to great success also.
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Generally, low velocities and low pressures don't sit well with hardcast bullets. One way to cut leading and improve accuracy is to increase the chage until you get enough pressure to cause the bullet to "slug up" and fill the bore more completely.
     
  23. lordgroom

    lordgroom Member

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  24. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I use 5.7 grains of Bullseye under a 148 grain DEWC, in .357 brass. It gets people's attention when they think you have .38 Special target loads. :)

    When I run out of wadcutters, I'll work up a load for 158 grain RNFP bullets cuz I just bought a 6-cavity mold for 'em.
     
  25. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    My Ruger GP100 loved 9gr of HS6 & 158gr jacketed soft points:)
     
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