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Best powder for med. to hot loads, .357 revolver and carbine?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Speedo66, Dec 4, 2017.

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  1. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I prefer Unique for moderate loads and 2400 for hotter loads. While I have 296/110 as well, I hate switching out primers.
     
  2. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    I like AA#9 and A2400 for medium hot to hot 357 magnum loads. I just shoot 38 specials if I don't want the magnum experience, then its W231.
     
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  3. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    My pick by a wide margin is Accurate Arms #9 powder with 158 grain bullets. Clean, top velocity. Use Accurate Arms data available on-line.
     
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  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    At this point I only have Trail-Boss and some very old, 30+ years, Bullseye. I started reloading after a great hiatus to feed an original '73 Winchester in ;38-40. Bought the two .357's and shooting them more than I thought I would, so started reloading for them too.

    Been using light loads of Trail-Boss in the .357's, but don't think it's spreading the bullet bases enough. I'm getting poor accuracy compared to factory loads.

    There's a show this coming weekend, I'll see what's available.

    Thanks to all for sharing their knowledge!
     
  5. cp1969

    cp1969 Member

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    I've found these powders work well in the .357. Bullseye and Red Dot for light loads; Unique, Universal and WW231 for middle loads; and 2400, AA9 and H110 for the big boomers. The most accurate .357 load I've developed uses Unique and a 125 gr Remington JHP.

    These loads were developed before some of the newer powders became available and I don't see any reason to tinker with them now.

    However, if I was starting from scratch, I'd take a look at Power Pistol for the mid-range loads. In fact, I'm going to get a pound of it to try in a 9mm. Blue Dot would be another I'd look at.

    Cleanliness takes a distant back seat to accuracy in my book.
     
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  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I use WST or Competition for very light .357 Mag loads using lead or plated. I like the X-Treme 158 gr SWC for this using a light taper crimp. Bullseye will work for this though.

    I don't load much midrange .357 anymore, but recently tried BE-86 with great success. I used the same X-Treme 158 Gr SWC running about 1100 FPS using a light taper crimp. I have tried aton of powders in midrange .357 over the years and if I load more it will be with BE-86.

    I like 2400 for full power .357 Mag using a coated 158 Gr SWC.
     
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  7. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    I like unique for mid-range loads. For the hotter loads I prefer Alliant 2400 and AA#9.
     
  8. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I don't load any light or moderate 357 loads. My 357 loads are all just under max and my light loads are 38 special. I like 2400 best for 158 jacketed and H110 for 125 jacketed. My favorite loads are 14.8 gr of 2400 for a 158 Sierra with an S&B primer, and 21.5 grains of H110 under a 125 xtp with a federal magnum primer. Both are very accurate and powerful with low extreme spreads. I get about 1250 from the 158 and 1500 from the 125 in a 4" ruger.
     
  9. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    BE86 seems to make decent Med to Hot (but not Full powder) .357 loads.
    Meters much better than Unique, not flashy like Power Pistol.
    For light to medium stuff HP38 or Universal.
    For the Full power stuff I like H110/W296
     
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  10. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

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    You usually need to go to powders with a slower burn rate to get the most velocity out of a given round. These also require more powder to get to those velocities. So "Hot" and "Least powder" don't necessarily go together. With your long barrel, you should see the most gains going to a slower powder. Those mentioned previously should work well for you.

    I like N-110 for .357 Mag. As for "clean" powders, the Vhitavouri powders seem to have that one figured out better than most. My only gripe is N-110 isn't all that consistent through my powder measure, so I have to weigh and trickle each load. Not bad if I'm loading up a handful. Kind of a pain if I'm loading up a bunch.

    I've been loading a bunch of warmer .357s lately to run through the Desert Eagle. That gun needs a hot load with a lot of gas volume to cycle the action. I had been using H110 for quite a while. It flows great through the powder measure, and makes a huge fire ball. Loads of fun! But more recently, I've been using a lot of AA#9. Less fireball, measures just as well, and overall seems to give me a little better consistency.

    Also an honorable mention for Blue Dot if you like fireballs!

    One last comment, H-110 really doesn't like to be backed off. You need a full case of the stuff to get a consistent burn. So for "medium to hot" loads, it might not be the best choice. For "Hot stuff all day", it's hard to beat.
     
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  11. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Thanks again to all for their help!

    When I went to the show last weekend there was very little powder, and none of the possible choices I was looking for.

    Today I was over at a Bass Pro Shop and they had what I had decided on, Universal, but at what I thought was a pretty high price, $33.

    They then played a recording over the loudspeaker about a veteran's discount of 10%, so I said what the hay, and went for it.

    I really don't need super hot loads. Reminded myself I use Buffalo Bore, which I probably couldn't match anyway, for hunting, so Universal should meet my needs.
     
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  12. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    :eek: $33/lb
    At that price you would only need to order about 3lbs to come out ahead after hazmat.
    Toss in some primers and it would be a win, then you can generally (expect during the last shortage) find whatever powder you want.
    Most powders can be found online for $20-$25 a lb. (except VV powders which run higher)

    Universal should work well for medium loads, I have heard it is spikey at the top of it's range but don't know as I have never pushed it.
    Meters well, and fairly clean, hope it works well for you.
     
  13. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    At some point, try lil gun for a carbine load on the upper end. Out of the longer barrel you can get 2000 fps with a 158 grain jacketed bullet, and I found it to be very accurate in my Rossi with a 24 inch barrel.
     
  14. Stumper

    Stumper Member

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    For one powder for med to hot 2400 works. 800x will do it at lower charge weights.....Personally I prefer to use more than one powder.....and the previous posts list a lot of good choices for either "med" or "hot".
     
  15. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    Not sure where you are residing but buying reloading components from Bass Pro /Cabela's is expensive. If you go mail order from Midsouth Shooters Supply or Pat's Reloading a pound at a time will cost you about as much as Bass Pro due to hazmat charges. If you order several lbs and primers then the hazmat is distributed out . There are a lot of local larger gun shops that stock powder, primers, projos, wads etc. at greatly reduced prices.The going price at most places for a lb of Universal is about 24$. I know some great stores with fairly low prices in central PA and western MI
     
  16. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    CFE pistol gave me squibs at starting loads. Be careful using it.
     
  17. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Always a good idea to be careful when using any powder:)
    Curious, more info on the squibs, bullet/charge/gun.
    Stuck bullet in barrel?
    All loads at start charge were squibs?

    I have loaded CFE=P at start charges in 9mm with no problems. It is happier from the middle to the top of it's load range.
    All guns are different though.

    Meters well.
     
  18. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Stuck 2 out of 3 rounds I fired. Model 65 S&W . I think I was loading 38s at the time. I jumped 3/4of the way up and it worked well. I know 357 data starts at higher pressure so it may be a non-issue, but it's something to watch for. I still use it because it's accurate and halfway between titegroup and h110.
     
  19. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Aa7. I have some loads that I cooked up that are beyond stout, but for any of the higher end loads I love it.
     
  20. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Hmm would be a small charge to start in .38. CFE-P is fairly dense VMD around .075, makes me wonder if it was a due to powder forward in the case.
    Walkalong did tests on different powders, (don't think he did CFE-P) but some powders behave quite differently powder forward, powder middle, and powder back when you have a small charge in a large case.
    (9mm case would hold about 13gr of CFE-P so 4 gr 1/3 full 9mm case, so lots of empty space with a charge that size in a .38 case with a 4gr or so charge of CFE-P)
    Might or might not explain the issue.
     
  21. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    I just started using BE 86 for all my mid range .38 and .357 loads, it shows promise.
     
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  22. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

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    2400 over W296/H110, less finicky.
     
  23. Vlad3572

    Vlad3572 Member

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    I'm old fashioned. I've loaded boatloads of .357 over the years and I prefer Unique for moderate loads and 2400 for hot loads, for both revolvers and carbines. Occasionally I get a wild hair and load up some Blue Dot loads just for something different.
     
  24. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I have no idea about "best", but I recently shot some loads of IMR 4227 and A2400 in alternating chambers. Both were under a 158gr SWC. The 4227 was 15gr, the 2400 was 14gr. The 4227 had less recoil and blast, but was evidentially enough of a charge to not leave behind any noticable unburnt kernels, which had been a problem at lower charges.

    15gr of IMR 4227 was not at the upper limit of the data, so I'm going to be working with it some more. I originally bought it because I couldn't find A2400, and then decided the unburnt kernels were too annoying to deal with. But as I seem to have reached a threshold where that is no longer an issue (I hope), I'm more interested in using it again.
     
  25. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Sounds like you should test load some of the 4227 load with magnum primers for a longer burn. I haven't used it in 357 but like it a lot in 41 and 44 Magnum and heavy 45 Colt, using whichever primer the data calls for. Lately I have been using Winchester WLP, which doubles as magnum, so it doesn't seem to be critical.
     
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