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357 vs 44 mag reloading costs...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Harpo, Mar 14, 2008.

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  1. Harpo

    Harpo Member

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    I'm choosing a first gun for cowboy action, and need some input.

    I've decided on a Blackhawk (adjustable sights are ok for my class), but I'm torn between the 357 and the 44, both in 4 5/8". There's really no difference in weight, and I've always wanted a 44 mag...

    Other than the obvious difference in powder charge, is 44 mag more expensive to reload than 38/357?

    TIA,
    Harpo
     
  2. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Trust your gut, I'd go with the .44 as a reloader the extra cost of powder and bullets would not deter me from shooting a more fun round. Price it out and see if it is worth while for you.
     
  3. Asherdan

    Asherdan Member

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    The cast bullets I use in each are within $9 per 500 of each other and I ain't worried about the penny worth of Unique or 2400 between the two of them. Personally, I prefer the 44, but I don't do SASS stuff. Maybe someone who does can pipe in an opinion on the matter.
     
  4. scrat

    scrat Member

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    It all depends on you. The last thing anyone needs you to do is to purchase a gun because of what a bunch of people told you on an internet forum. You need to go out to an indoor range that rents out guns and shoot them. 44mags are awesome and they are a pain in the ass. Truely not made for everyone. Especially the short barreled, the heavy recoil just really gets to be annoying after a while. A lot of people that thought they wanted a 44 mag went out and purchased one. Then later on shot a 357mag, Well there you go now they are more proned to shooting a 357mag. Its not all about how big and how bad a gun is. Its about how accurate you can place that bullet. Its easier to do on a 357mag for most people. Same time shooting cowboy single action, its all about light loads speed and accuracy.
     
  5. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I agree, but for Cowboy Action loads I don't find .44 is all that disagreeable, the .38 will for sure recoil less and this may good for a beginner but soon you may want more.
    The beauty of these magnums .44 mag or .357 mag. is that you can load them down to special pressures in magnum cases.
    This is the reloading forum ?, is it not ?
     
  6. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    I'm on the fence myself, but just for a plinking/hunting platform. Reloading cost is pretty close. I'm accounting for the fact that the bulk of my loads are going to be light for plinking, and leaning towards the 357. Jibjab was right in that revolvers DO afford the opportunity to load down quite a bit. Is there something that the 44 wil do for you that the 357 won't?
     
  7. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Member

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    If I had it to do over again,I'd go .38/357 instead of the .45's I have for SASS shoots.
    Almost everyone wants to get the best times that they can,and the recoil of a dowloaded big bore is still more than a downloaded .357 or .38.
    The larger calibers don't burn small charges efficiently..not nearly as well as the .38s will.
    But hey,if you like that big hole in the barrel,go for it. ! :)
     
  8. gunman42782

    gunman42782 Member

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    Cost wise, the .357 is always gonna be cheaper. Less lead, less powder too. Now, which one you want is totally up to you!
     
  9. joneb

    joneb Member

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    SASS, have tried IMR Trail Boss ?
    Maybe the .22 LR should be allowed :D
     
  10. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Typically the bullet weight is much higher for the .44 than the .38/.357 so the cost of the bullets are greater. Do some comparison shopping on Midways Website
    While you may be able to find less expensive bullets elswhere, the pecentage differences in cost per thousand between .357/and .429 are usually the same.
     
  11. evan price

    evan price Member

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    According to my little book, my cost to reload .357 and .44 are:

    $3.65/50 for .357 mag (158 HCL SWC)
    $4.60/50 for .44 mag (240 HCL SWC)

    This is in free range brass.
    Both of those are loaded to a reasonable velocity given lead projos. Now, if I download to Special in both cartridges I save about 5% off of that price (less powder).

    Basically, as has been said already, buy what you shoot best. The price of ammo is really not so much as to eliminate one or the other.
     
  12. Harpo

    Harpo Member

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    Thanks to all - as always, your responses have brought up many points that are helpful in my decision. That's one of the great things about internet forums! :)

    At this point, I'm leaning heavily toward 357:

    357:
    > already have several
    > less recoil, seems to be best choice for competitive SASS
    > wider range of loads with less worry about charge position
    > already have lots of brass
    > no additional dies, brass, bullets, etc.

    44 mag:
    > big hole in barrel - "Go ahead, punk, make my day!" (thanks, SASS#23149:D)

    Honestly, this is my main reason for wanting a 44. I've tried justifying it by saying it's more historically accurate (by outward appearances, at least - big hole!), but I'm not sure that's true. Were SAA's available in 38/40? If so, it shoots that argument down.

    For what it's worth, this will be a multiple purpose weapon. I'll use it for target and plinking as much as SASS, and even plan to carry it once in awhile. Bullard and Mernickle both have some very nice concealment holsters for SA. It certainly won't replace my 642, but it will be nice to have it available for carry.

    I went down the same road about adjustable sights; they're not historically accurate, but they're fine for 49'ers. And I know I won't be satisfied to just hit the plate - I'm enough of a target shooter to want the smallest possible group! I'd like to see 1" at 25 yards...

    Thank again,
    Harpo
     
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