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.357 Maximum... or bust.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CoRoMo, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    Californicated Colorado
    My dad has a 10 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk in .357 Maximum.

    Boy... I love that cartridge.

    Back to it... we reload (obviously) using big green throughout.
    Haven't tried to reload the MAX yet, however, and Dad is thinking of buying some Hornady dies for the MAX. All the dies we have are for 38/357 RCBS. We are really hoping to put an elk on the ground this year with that gun.

    Anyway... this thread surely makes me believe that we are pretty much set up to reload the MAX, but I wanted to tap the knowledge of you guys first.

    Have any of you, other than Peter, reloaded the MAX using your .357mag dies??

    Any success?
    Lack of success?

    rcmodel is always welcome to add definition to this topic.
  2. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    It would depend on the die. The only one that might come up short is your resizing die. Throw a case in the press and see if you can resize a max in it. All your other dies can just be seated short and will work.
  3. DEDON45

    DEDON45 Member

    Mar 31, 2008
    Columbia SC
    +1 for what Seafarer said... you might just need to buy a separate .357Max resizing die (no need to replace all 3)...

    BTW, how is that gun holding up.. my Hornady manual talks about problems with flame-cutting on all manner of revolvers with that round... looks like fun though!
  4. Chief 101

    Chief 101 Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    I use a RCBS .357 set for reloading the Max with no problems. The decapper was the only problem but RCBS sent me a new decapper for no charge that works fine. BTW, with sensible reloading techniques and care, flamecutting has not been a problem. Chief aka Maxx Load
  5. KI.W.

    KI.W. Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    I use Lee .357 Magnum dies without hardship. I have T/C G2 .357 Rem maximum and Dan Wesson .357 super mag.
  6. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Houston, TX
    My max dies are the same product number as my 357 magnum dies which are the same product number as my 38 special dies. It is interesting to see the quality differences when separated by about a decade for each.

    I figure for the 40$ (worst case) why bother adjusting them. Just blow the money, get a redding profile crimper and move on. It is not worth the hassle to reset them.

    Here is my short barreled max. That little thing below the barrel is a 357 mag.

    Here is my flame cut currently. This is around 1000 rounds of hot 158's. I am just now shooting up the last of my 158's and will move to 180's next. I shoot only 4227 powder in the gun and have no problems.

    Here are my two big boys. I like those big cylinders on a handgun (1847 Colt Walker by the way)
  7. pbslinger

    pbslinger Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    I started out using Hornady titanium nitride dies in 357 Mag for my 357 Supermag Dan Wessons. As I loaded the brass multiple times I noticed I didn't even have to expand the brass to accept a bullet. Annealing solved the neck tension problems and restored the accuracy also. This cartridge may be even more dependent on bullet pull than other revolver cartridges.

    While I was figuring out the neck tension problem I bought a set of steel RCBS dies specifically for the 357 Maximum/Supermag. I always lube and size with this steel sizer now. I think it gives me superior ammo. My theory is that a full length sizer supports the entire case during sizing, instead of a short ring sizing part of the case while the rest is unsupported.

    I now have 3 die sets specifically for 357 Supermag, steel sizer RCBS, tungsten carbide RCBS, and a steel sizer Redding set. Since I have 38/357 Mag sets from Hornady and Lyman, I have many choices to mix and match dies for loading 357 Supermag.

    My opinion for best die for each step in 357 Max/Supermag.

    Sizing: Steel sizing die from RCBS, Redding one almost as good.

    Expansion: Lyman M die or Redding of same design.

    Seating: RCBS for 357 Max/Supermag. The seater plug fits the 180 Nosler Silhouette and Hornady XTP bullets well. One day I will get a Redding Competition seater for 357 Mag and use it for Max as well. I have one for 44 Mag and it works well for 445 Supermag.

    Crimp: Redding profile crimp for 38/357 Mag. I have dedicated Profile crimp dies for 44 Spec/Mag and one for 445 Supermag. After using both it appears the 44 Mag die is just fine for Supermag length cartridge.
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