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.38 special loads in .357 mag cases?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HuskerTanker, Aug 2, 2007.

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  1. HuskerTanker

    HuskerTanker Member

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    Newbie here with a noob question.

    What do you think about reloading .357 mag cases with .38 special load data for cheap plinking ammo? Any safety concerns?

    From Speer and Hornady manuals, there's generally 1 grain or less difference in starting loads, but niether manual lists a 148 grain wadcutter load for .357 mag.

    While I'm new here, I must say this forum is more polite and helpful than some other sites. I've learned quite a bit browsing here.

    Thanks
     
  2. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Member

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    Any loads that work in 38spl can be used in 357. Case capacities are very similar. The longer 357 case is thicker, which makes up the difference.
     
  3. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Only if you have .357 mags, and NO .38s:D Wouldn't want to mix things up. My Lee manual, If correct, claims the 38 case has .15 cc more volume, than the 357 case:confused:
     
  4. lil ski

    lil ski Member

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    Loading 357mag cases with 38spl load is fine but don't try to go real light. Its never good to have a case that does not have much powder in it. Try to keep the case as full as possible.
     
  5. LotI

    LotI Member

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    The Hornady reloading manual suggests using 38Spl data when loading .357Mag to target velocities with lead bullets.

    My go-to load is a 148gr. LWC over 2.8gr. Bullseye in either the .38 or the .357. I just use a standard primer in the .357 target loads.
     
  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Huh?

    How are you going to chamber those .357 cases in your .38?
     
  7. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Ya got me on that one:D My coffee hadn't kicked in yet:)
     
  8. HuskerTanker

    HuskerTanker Member

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    Thanks for the feedback
     
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    There are no issues. Been doing it for eons. Eliminates the lube crud build up in the cylinders from shooting .38 cases in a .357 revolver too. 2.5 to 2.8 grains of Bullseye with a 148 grain WC. No fuss. No bother.
    "...don't try to go real light..." Nonsense. The above load has been the standard .38 Special target load for years and years. It works just fine in a .357 case.
    "...38 case has .15 cc more..." Not possible. The .38 case is shorter.
     
  10. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    It is possible. The .38-Special was originally a black powder cartridge and the case capacity is huge when using smokeless propellants. Also, the case on a .357Magnum® was designed after the invention of smokeless powder and has much thicker walls and web, which actually diminishes some of the available space for powder.

    I'm not absolutely sure, but I think he's correct.
     
  11. KaiserBen

    KaiserBen Member

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    My Lee manual has .38 capacity as 1.18cc and .357 as 1.15cc.
     
  12. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Moderate .38 Spl loads in .357 brass also means your brass
    will last for many more reloads.

    Actually, .38 Spl loads in .357 brass is much smarter than the
    opposite.
     
  13. byf43

    byf43 Member

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    For a REAL mild load in the .357 cases, try 7.2 grains of Unique and a Hornady 158 gr. JHP and a standard small pistol primer.
    A HARDCAST LSWC shoots just as well, too!

    It is really mild and the accuracy is phenomenal!!!!!!

    Use little to no crimp. The load is so mild, you won't experience any bullet 'jump' from the other rounds in the adjacent chambers.

    From experience, shooting LWC or LSWC in .38 Spl cases is a real 'bear' to clean, after a shooting session.
     
  14. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    This has to be wrong, a 357 is longer than a 38 spec.

    I use 38 loads in 357 for plinking.
     
  15. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    When I dump 1.0cc of BP in .38 spl, that barely leaves
    room for a 158gr SWC to be seated touching the charge.
    When I load BP in .357, it takes 1.3cc in a .357 case to
    leave room for a 158gr SWC to be seated touching the
    charge.

    I am using the Lee volumetric dippers, dipped then carded
    off even with an indexcard.
     
  16. gandog56

    gandog56 Member

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    Hoo boy, who's right. I just read this:

     
  17. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Well I just had to see for myself I topped off a .38spl. case with AA#9(a fine ball powder) and dumped it into a .357 mag. case :eek: The powder came to about .120" from the top, this settles it for me. The .357 mag case is longer to prevent chambering in a .38spl and it carries more powder.
     
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