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.357 magnum rifle / revolver

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by edwin41, Jan 19, 2012.

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  1. edwin41

    edwin41 Member

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    hi to all
    yet another question about the .357 magnum cartridge.
    now and then i got the chance to fire a marlin lever gun at the range and i buy the ammo at the range. now the thing that puzzles me is that i can also shoot
    my smith revolver with the same ammo as they only have one brand.
    so the difference is my 4"barrel versus the 20"barrel of the marlin.
    ive looked into the reloadingmanual , lyman 49th edition , and found there to
    be 3 different parts, so for rifle , handgun , and tc contender.
    so , am i overstressing the marlin gun when i shoot it with the factory ammo ?
    can i safely shoot the marlin if i was to reload according the handgun table ?
    an example right out the book :
    handgun : 170 gr cast bullet , 4.1 gr bullseye powder 813 ft / sec 4"barrel.
    rifle: exact same bullet , 8.3 gr bleu dot powder 1338 ft / sec 20 "barrel.
    do i have the same choice with factory ammo?
    like to hear from you... greetings from holland !
     
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Rifle-38special ammo-jacketed bullets should go 750 fps or faster to keep from sticking a bullet in the rifle barrel.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.
    Factory ammo you can buy is loaded to the SAAMI standard pressure of 35,000 PSI or less.

    .357 Handgun ammo is Rifle ammo is T/C Contender ammo.
    It's all the same.

    The reason there are three sections in the reloading book has nothing to do with pressure or strength of the gun. If you look at the powder charges, they are all the same.

    They are only showing you what kind of velocity you can expect to get out of the different barrel lengths.

    rc
     
  4. edwin41

    edwin41 Member

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    thanks for the quick replys !
    so it would be safe for me and the gun to reload some magnum cases with the
    bullseye powder and the correct bullet as stated in the manual?
    the reason would be that i already have bullseye powder for . 38 spec reloading
    would the primer be of any concern as the 38 uses cci 500 and the magnum
    cci 550 magnum primers , probably for the more intence loads ?
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Mag primers are only needed with full charges of ball powder like H110/W296, etc.

    I would pick a slower powder then Bullseye for use in a rifle.
    If you note in the Lyman manual, Bullseye is not even listed in the "rifle" section.

    But then I would pick a slower powder for any .357 Mag load.

    Unique would be a good medium burn rate powder, but 2400 would be even better for Magnum velocity.

    rc
     
  6. 4895

    4895 Member

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    H110 is a great powder for .357 magnum loads. Load near max, heavy crimp, and don't forget the magnum primers.
     
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    4895 has said it exactly as I would have. You just can't get any more full house magnum performance with any other powder.
     
  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    In both my .357 revolvers and carbines, I use H110/W296 for true magnum loads and Unique for plinkers. As was said earlier, I always try to stay above 1000fps in my carbines with jacketed bullets to avoid a stuck bullet.
     
  9. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    The sealed chamber and longer barrel of a rifle will get better velocity from slower powders. I have a .357 mag Timberwolf pump rifle and with a fast powder like W231 in .38 spl it adds right around 200 fps to a 158gr LSWC compared to a 4" revolver. With .357 mag loaded with 158gr JSP's and H110 the rifle pushes them an extra 400 fps.
     
  10. edwin41

    edwin41 Member

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    thanks for sharing the info , i m a novice in the reloading and learning as i go.
    looked at the reloadingbook again and something caught my attention.
    the more slower powders give good velocities , to bad there is no pressure
    rating in this section so comparing isn t possible.
    i ve ordered a new bulletmould from lyman yesterday , a 170 gr semi wadcutter.
    now something out of the book :
    handgun .38 spec. 2.8 gr bullseye gives 781ft/sec at 13600 c.u.p.
    max 3.2 gr bullseye gives 833ft/sec at 15500 c.u.p.
    handgun .357 mag.4.1 gr bullseye gives 813ft/sec at 16500c.u.p.
    max 6.1 gr bullseye gives 976ft/sec at 39300 c.u.p.
    both data from the lyman cast bullet 170 gr semi wadcutter.
    since i cast my own bullets from a rather soft alloy , wich is great for my .38 spec , i rather like to stay in the lower velocities , just enough to stabelize my bullets is okay by me , i just shoot at a paper target , no hunting or defence.
    so , i think that if i stay at some 5.5 gr bullseye in a .357 casing with the 170 gr bullet i would get some 11oo ft /sec , maby a little more without straining
    the carbine?
     
  11. edwin41

    edwin41 Member

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    it may seem i hold on to much on the bullseye powder , the reason for this
    would be that i would have only one powder and one kind of primer.
    it might not work , but i am thinking that it would be very versatile for me.
    im shooting my smith 686 combat magnum , so my thoughts would be that i can reload my much preffered . 38 spec wadcutter , i can shift to .357 magnum
    semi wadcutter , and the same .357 magnum for the carbine.
    all this with the same powder and same cci 500 primer , would be great if it was possible !
    please correct me if im wrong , your input is much appreciated !
    still learning every time , still enjoying the hobby !
     
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    170 gr Cast lswc

    Bullseye is Ok to use in both 38 & 357 mag. when using published loading data. The burning rate is very fast. Pressure can go to high with a small increase in the powder charge. Different Component=Different Pressure. The 170 gr Lead swc should work well with the starting to midrange loads. I would stay away from the maximum loads listed when using Alliants Bullseye.
     
  13. Centaur 1

    Centaur 1 Member

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    Bullseye is a very fast powder, at higher velocities a fast powder can raise chamber pressure rather quickly after a certain point. That heavier 170 grain bullet only makes matters worse. You might want to use up your Bullseye on lighter loads and buy some Unique. If you're looking for one all-around powder it's hard to beat it. And don't get hung up on needing magnum primers, just because the word magnum is used in the cartridge name doesn't mean that you need magnum primers.

    I don't know if you can buy Lee molds as cheaply as we can, but the 105 grain swc will conserve a lot of lead and they shoot great.
    http://leeprecision.com/mold-dc-358-105-swc.html

    If you prefer something a little heavier the 125 grain rf is also a good choice.
    http://leeprecision.com/mold-dc-358-125-rf.html

    If I'm not mistaken, loads for the contender can use longer spire pointed bullets that would interfere with a rotating cylinder in a revolver, or be too long to cycle in a lever action.
     
  14. edwin41

    edwin41 Member

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    i opted for the 170 gr bullet because i also would like to shoot a carbine
    at some 100 yard , so the heavier bullet would retain its initial energie better than the licht ones is my guessing.
    i think the carbines would also shoot great with .38 spec , so my goal would not
    be to make a real magnum cartridge , but a upgraded .38.
    i ve kind of noticed that where the .38 is near its pressure rate , the first
    magnum loads take it a step further , so that would be my goal i guess.
    its just my way of thinking , please comment me if i m overlooking something.
     
  15. edwin41

    edwin41 Member

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    and this is what im gonna try next week.
    .357 magnum casing , cci 500 primer , 4.5 gr of bullseye powder
    and the lyman 170 gr swc "keith style " bullet.
    i would think its a pepped up . 38 spec , rather then a tru magnum.
    the .38 spec is for comparising....:D
    its a great looking cartridge to me , hope it functions as well as i expect it to do!
    the left bullet is the casting , the middle sized and lubed , the right a factory
    one that was given to me , for comparising.
     
  16. edwin41

    edwin41 Member

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    the fotos didnt work , gonna try again
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I believe I would use a slower powder with a heavy weight bullet in .357. Something in the medium burn speed range like Unique, AA #5, HS-6, N340 etc.

    Good news is when you are loading .38 or .38 +P power in .357 cases, is that you have some leeway with the .357 gun designed to handle much more pressure. No reason to get careless though.
     
  18. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I like 2400 and standard primers for .357 rounds in a carbine. You can find "rifle .357" data, and that's all fine, but mid-range to stout revolver data works quite well in a Marlin 1894.

    If you want to go big, you can. Whatever recipe is top end for revolvers is safe in a modern .357 lever gun provided as always, that your brass is in good shape. Full-house "Ruger only" loads are probably ok as well.

    Of course, you can also shoot .38SPL, but some folks encounter feeding issues with some .38 rounds. Shooting 750-800 FPS .38 revolver recipes in a carbine is like shooting a .22LR in recoil terms. My Marlin likes 158gr or heavier bullets and a slower powder than I use for revolvers, say W231 or even IMR 4756 instead of Bullseye or Titegroup.
     
  19. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    what about lil gun?
     
  20. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    You will want to stay away from spire point bullets in a Marlin (or any tubular-fed arm) unless you load them one at a time. When the impact of a recoil causes a pointed bullet to ignite the primer of the next on in the tubular magazine, things can get progressively more exciting very quickly.

    Centaur is right about the primers. Magnum primers give a longer-lasting and more energetic flame than standard primers. This is so they will ignite powders that are hard to ignite. Powders that perform well at magnum pressures and bullet velocities tend to be hard to ignite. There are other reasons, too, but that is the main one.

    Why slow powders for magnum performance?

    Fast powders work well for low-power loads loads. Slow powders work well for high-power loads. The reason for this is that all brass performs well within a limited pressure range (to expand against the chamber walls and seal the chamber). In light loads, a fast powder gets up to that pressure, seals the chamber and launches the bullet at the desired speed, then the pressure drops quickly. A slow powder gets up to that pressure, seals the chamber, but since it takes longer to reach the higher speed, the powder must burn for a longer period of time to maintain that pressure BUT NO MORE AND NO LESS.

    The way smokeless powder is chemically formulated to burn at the desired rate makes it more difficult to ignite. So, magnum performance, which requires those magnum powders, requires a bit more flame to ignite - magnum primers.

    If you try to get magnum power levels with a faster powder, you will boost pressures above what the brass (and the steel) can survive.

    Many powders (like 2400 and Unique) can deliver performance that reaches deep into the 38 Special range and also high into the .357 Magnum range. Others, like H110 are dangerously erratic if you try to go too low.

    Longer barrels do benefit from slower-burning powders, but for different reasons.

    Lost Sheep
     
  21. 4895

    4895 Member

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    I notice you list BLUE DOT powder for .357 magnum. DO NOT USE BLUE DOT in .357 magnum. Google it if you want to be sure, but blue dot is said to cause pressure spikes in the large .357 mag case.
     
  22. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I understand that is only with 125 grain weight bullets and in .41 Magnum, all bullet weights. Which is enough to scare me off when there are other powders, equally capable, without the caution. This is from a July 25, 2008 letter from ATK Commercial Products. See the source at ATK.com which links down to this site/page

    http://www.speer-bullets.com/getstarted/safety/product_safety_notices.aspx


    Thanks for bringing it up, 4895.

    Lost Sheep
     
  23. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    You are safe using pistol ammo in your rifle or a Thompson Center Contender. they have separate load table for rifles and the T/C that optimize performance in those longer barrel lengths and to allow for the usually beefier construction of the T/C chamber. Not unlike loads for Cowboy action vs a Ruger magnum.

    I do not know if the heavier T/C loads 'could' stress a .357 revolver?
     
  24. Ralph G. Briscoe

    Ralph G. Briscoe Member

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    I have a couple of dual-purpose loads I'm happy with.

    4.7 gr Unique/ 158gr Speer SWCHP gives me 815fps out of a 2" snubby....1120fps in my Marlin carbine--using .38 special cases.

    13gr H110/ 180gr cast gas check bullet gives me 1120 fps from my 6" Colt Trooper III, 1487 fps from the Marlin...357 mag cases.

    A third load, not yet chronographed, is 16.5 gr H110/158 Hornady XTP. It shoots well in both the Colt and Marlin--pretty hot load.
     
  25. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    There are no published "Ruger only" loads in .357Mag. That is a distinctly .45 Colt thing. Rifle loads and revolver loads and T/C single shot loads are all the same. The only difference is the velocity that the load produces in with the applicable barrel length and action type. The pressure limit is the same and the peak pressure is the limiting factor.

    If you think about this logically, it makes perfect sense. The fast powders only allow for a small charge without exceeding pressure limits. If you only have a very small case capacity or a very low pressure to work with and a light bullet, the fast powder makes perfect sense. It gets the pressure to the limit quickly. The drawback is that it is a small charge of powder. It will see increases in a longer barrel, but since the powder charge is small, the amount of gas created is small as well. A small amount of gas can only expand so much before pressure really begins to drop off and the added velocity begins to drop off as well.

    With a round that works well with a slower powder, due to higher working pressure, heavier bullet, lower expansion ratio, what have you, gains in velocity from a longer barrel are more pronounced. This is due to the larger amount of gas produced by the larger powder charge. What you will also find is that the same load that produces the best velocity in the short barrel will do so in the long barrel as well. Peak pressure as well as the rise and fall rate of the pressure is what determines velocity. Essentially you're looking to maximize the area under the pressure curve for max velocity. The steep sided, narrow pressure curve of a fast burning powder isn't usually the recipe for a good velocity round unless you have a small capacity case with a larger expansion ratio. In every other situation, you want the slowest powder that can reach peak pressure for the round within the constraint of case capacity.
     
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