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Blackhawk 357 heavy load thought check please.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GJgo, Jul 21, 2013.

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  1. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    There was plenty of 296 at the last show, if you wanted to pay $200 for an 8lb jug. ;)
     
  2. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    I just checked the Hodgdon website to get their 158 / 296 load, it's up there with the Sierra load. They don't list the barrel length but 1591 is cooking.

    158 GR. HDY XTP Winchester 296 .357" 1.580" 15.0 1418 28,600 CUP 16.7 1591 40,700 CUP
     
  3. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    It was an older Lyman manual that went to 16gr max charge. In this thread at the S&W forum there are some guys with older manuals that list out various max charges over the years. I think it's interesting actually how big of a discrepancy there seems to be from book to book with this load- I wonder why.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Better pressure testing equipment these days.
     
  5. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    Fair enough. At some point in the past didn't SAAMI spec for 357 loads also drop a few thousand PSI?
     
  6. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Nice work. I am about to do the same experiments with my 357 Redhawk's.

    Yes the SAAMI dropped the pressure a while back. If you study the history of the round, I believe that they dropped the pressure due to the K and L framed 357 mags that were getting beat up by full power ammo. Thus we now have 357 Magnum lites as I like to think of them.

    My design goal is simple. 1515 fps with a 158 out of an 8 3/8" pre-27. This is roughly what the original Registered Magnum's did in the late 1930's. I bought a 7.5" and 5" 357 Ruger Redhawk specifically to load up to that level at which time I will switch over to my pre-27's and verify the power level. My lightest frame 357 is a Python and I will keep to "modern" book max loads in it.

    Like you I have played in the 16+ grns of 2400 level to achieve old time power levels. What I am planning to do this time is work up to my velocity goal with different powders and see which combination gives me the best accuracy and the lowest pressure indicators.

    So all in all, it sounds like we are kindred spirits heading on a similar path. Take care and play it safe. I know I will start working at the bench this week loading up my 2400 ladder test to around 18 grns to see what happens. Once I get to 18 grns I will decide if I need to go up more. I don't think so, as I think I will hit my goal right around 16.5.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    But do realize Peter is doing his work up in a tank, ala the Redhawk.
     
  8. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    Thanks Peter, work up safely. :) What are the thoughts on why a Redhawk might be stronger than a Blackhawk? Seems to me that having a crane would be a weak point in comparison.

    P.S. I found this funny picture in an old thread-

    [​IMG]
     
  9. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Could one get much more than 18 gr under a 158? IMLE, 18 gr would already be a compressed load.
     
  10. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Just bought one Wednesday at my LGS for $140. LPP for $34 a thousand also. Stuff is starting to come back.:D
     
  11. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    Out of curiosity I took some measurements of chambers I had around. Peter, perhaps you can add the same measurements from your Redhawk?

    Gun / Between chambers / thickness to outside
    S&W M 10 (K frame 38) .075" .073"
    S&W M 686+ (L frame 357) .056" .085"
    S&W M 610 (N frame 10) .120" .095"
    Ruger NM Blackhawk (357) .165" .130"
     
  12. murf

    murf Member

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    check out the speer #14 manual under "silhouette" loads (page 900). should give you an idea of what velocities to expect from a 45,000 cup load (this is the current saami max pressure for the 357 magnum).

    your new model blackhawk cylinder is long enough for these type bullets, and the gun is strong enough to take full-house 357 mag loads.

    i recommend bludot under a 180 grain bullet. my current blackhawk (mine has a 4.625" barrel) load is: 180gn lead tc bullet, 10.0gn bludot, cci 500 primer. this load runs through the chrony (@ 12 feet) at 1250 fps. very accurate out beyond 100 yards. i don't know what the energy is, but another 50 fps should get you what you want.

    the nice thing about 180 grain bullets in the 357 magnum is the ability to shoot lead bullets without a gas check. lighter bullets at increased velocities lead my barrel and tend to tumble.

    luck,

    murf
     
  13. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    I did not dig them out, but just as a comparison to a big N frame Pre-27.

    redhawk_vs_pre27.jpg

    Not the size of that cylinder compared to a big N frame.

    redhawk_cylinder.jpg

    Here is a good shot of the amount of metal around each one of those rounds. From the edge of the rim to the edge of the cylinder is about the same the primer to the edge of the rim if you wanted to estimate it.

    recessed.jpg

    Here is an N frame 357 Magnum for comparison.

    As you can see we are not in the same ballpark.

    Question about the 18 grns. I agree it is compressed. That is why I am running this experiment. What powder today makes the 357 Magnum roar like it used to.
     
  14. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    To be honest you will probably hit your goal with around 16.5 of 296 granted you still have a fairly tight cylinder gap. You not going to get much more 296/110 in the case with that bullet.

    That said, I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A REDHAWK, that would even out my collection.

    As for the barrel length(s) listed on the Hodgdon site, you have to hit the print button to see what they used. In the case of the loads you looked up it was a 10".

    Good luck with your loads and above all else be safe.
     
  15. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    I actually have a deal arranged to buy another 7.5" one as a spare later this year. I liked it enough I wanted another one.

    I will be safe. Just because I am going above book max for say a K-framed 357 Magnum, it does not mean I am taking any real significant risks. I don't own any small framed mags. My Python is the lightest I have so I just have to keep the redhawk loads in the redhawks.
     
  16. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    Yesterday I went back to the range with some more AA9 & W296 loads to run over the chrony. I ran the #9 first for backup to my earlier tests and the results were very consistent. In all cases I put 6 shots over the chrony & took the averages.

    14gr- 1375. Not a legal hunting load.
    15gr- 1442 fps. This is a legal load. It's also plenty accurate so I think I'll go forward with this.
    16gr- 1512 fps. I feel this is still a safe load in my gun but it's more than I need so why beat it up if I don't have to.
    >16? I didn't go there. There's still room in the case for more powder but I met my goal.

    Then, since everyone says 296 will get me even more I gave it a shot.

    16gr- 1245 fps.
    16.5gr- 1323 fps.
    17gr- 1363 fps.
    17.5gr- 1408 fps. At this load the nose of the bullet started to deform when seated, so this is all I can fit. Also the SD put a number of rounds below 1400 so I wouldn't consider this a legal hunting load for me.

    As a comparison, I put a few Buffalo Bore 180gr WFNGC over the chrony & they ran 1360 FPS.

    So, at this time I think I'm right about #9 being the best for what I'm looking to do. In this load 296 cannot in fact match those speeds.
     
  17. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    As a heavy AA9 user in 357 Sig, I would comment that it can have a fair amount of "lot to lot" variations. If you are going to stay at the high end like that you may want to re-chrono after every lot change or different bottle of powder.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    So can AA #5.

    It always pays to recheck things when switching lot numbers of any powder, but definitely some more than others.
     
  19. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Member

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    I just wanted to add one thing to this discussion. The concept of a path and destination are nicely sophisticated ways to look at the process of load development. But there is one thing that gets overlooked frequently. The destination should really be based on the functional service life you desire. If you only need to handle one round, then you can really build a burner load. If you want a 100 round service life, then the pressures have to come down some, and if you are looking for a 5000 round service life, then the pressure must come down some more. The problem with looking for a given service life, is that you have to know what kind of failure mode you are willing to accept. And then there is the non-trivial issue with determining that you are there.

    That is one reason for working within the manual listed loads. Going over them and it takes a lot of shooting to find out where you are.

    To the member that was working up Redhawk-only loads: Many years back JD Jones published some loads that one of the Handgun Hunter International crowd had worked up for his Redhawk. They were right on the heels of the .357 Maximum. I will see if I can find them if you are interested.
     
  20. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Nathan,

    I would be interested in your information on loads for the Redhawk. I load for the 357 Max already so it is right up my alley.

    If you can email them just PM me or hit my email address.

    Your point is very true about the gun life vs. wear and tear. I have one 38 special revolver I am coming up on 50,000 rounds fired out of it. My next closest is like 10,000 and most of my revolvers are less than 1000. As I have gotten older, bought more guns, I found that the same amount of shooting is spread out over so many guns that wear is not an issue to me.

    So my goal is simple, a 158 @ 1515fps out of my 7.5" Redhawk with the smallest amount of casing head expansion and the best accuracy compromise. This will then be checked my my 8 3/8" pre-27's and compared back to the 1930's S&W performance data I have.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Y'all be careful now, ya hear? :)
     
  22. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    We are being careful and having a lot of fun.

    Yesterday I was loading up test rounds that are straight out of Phil Sharp's 1937 Handloading book. I also loaded some up from his 2nd update (late 40's if I remember right). I won't even begin to post them on the site because we are well past even Speer 8 ("the little green book of spells" as one pundit called it).

    I figure I am splitting the difference between 353 Casull power levels and the 357 magnum (of days gone by). Maybe soon I can get them out over a chrono and see where my guesses land in terms of power.

    The fun of pushing toward a goal is the experiment. I bought the Redhawk knowing there is a possibility I will blow it up. I will be careful but its not like I am pushing a nice collectible Pre-27. Besides, I have a line on another 7.5" one to buy this fall so I can have a nice spare to save.
     
  23. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    Peter, regarding your goal- You probably saw that my 16gr load of #9 ran the 158gr at an average of 1512 fps. Good accuracy, no primer flattening and the cases extracted smoothly. My NMBH has a 4.6" barrel. Anecdotal for you but there it is.

    I think next I may try some 180gr XTPs, see if they shoot straight. Looks like to be a legal hunting load I'll have to be consistently at 1275 fps or faster, I think that should be no problem. Anyone run 357 180s in their revolvers?

    Side note, the plinking load I'm going to work up next for this gun is using the 9mm cylinder with 110gr .357" XTPs and a light charge of powder for plinking & small game. That'll be the majority of the shooting with this gun, so I'm not always beating it up with heavy 357 loads.
     
  24. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Won't do any good with straight walled pistol cartridges. They don't show pressure signs nearly as fast as bottleneck stuff. By the time revolver brass starts showing pressure signs, you're WAY past where you should have stopped.

    And as for "Ruger only" loads, they apply to the .45 Colt round, where normal loads are anemic for use in the older guns that weren't made to handle today's pressures. You shouldn't automatically just amp things up over max loads just because you have a Ruger. And this is coming from a big Ruger fan.
     
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