Hornady LSWC HP General Purpose Load?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by winfreeokra, Feb 20, 2022.

  1. winfreeokra

    winfreeokra Member

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    So I’ve accumulated a fair number of these bullets. Since they’re softer than cast and HP they have some expansion potential even though not guarantied or substantial. (this is my “internetting understanding” at this point). Feel free to educate me here.

    What I’d like to do is make a general purpose round out of them in .357 brass somewhere around 38+p speed/pressure. A bit up or down from there is fine. My questions are:

    1. Will I get leading at +p velocities with these bullets?

    2. Is a faster or slower powder going to be better for this application

    I have in the faster category Titegroup, HP38, Ram Comp, WST, N320, Mid range AA#5, and on the slower end 2400, Lil Gun, or Longshot. Powders seem more available lately so if there is something ideal here I can wait until I hunt it down.

    Standard and magnum primers available for use.

    Or should I just be using hard cast for this and forgo any expansion wishes and move along with book data?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
     
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  2. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I have limited experience with these, so all I’ll offer is as to the leading. They are softer and may lead if they are undersized for your barrel and/or you try to push them too hard. If they are large enough you can get the velocity you are looking for most likely with no issues. Have you slugged your barrel and if so what did you come up with? How about your cylinder throats?
     
  3. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    My goto .357 load for the Hornady Frontier swaged 158gr LSWC-HP is 6.0gr of Unique. The closest one on your list is Accurate No.5 and the best load I’ve found for it is 8.5gr. Both are with standard primers, seated to just below the wadcutter, so a thumbnail line of the driving band is showing, and with a light roll crimp - lighter than typical with a .357. Hornady uses a wax lube embedded in the stippling around the driving band. What I noticed was too much crimp would strip off the wax in spots before the case mouth opened fully under pressure. You could probably get away with a taper crimp if you have a die for it.
     
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  4. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    Leading should not be a problem.
    Unique, L'il Gun, 4227, AA#9, Herco and 2400 are good powders
     
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  5. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Generally speaking (no pun intended) slow powders are for heavier bullet, fast for lighter bullets. That is a gradient, not a fixed schedule.
    Faster powders are also used for lighter loads, not full power. However those are only basic guidelines and not Divine writ.

    Generally speaking, lead bullets do generate leading the barrel; requires cleaning. To be totally free of leading, one must use jacketed bullets. Which are of course more expensive and can allow copper fouling in a bore.

    158 grain is the 'normal' bullet weight in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges. Unless you are striving for the greatest possible velocity, moderate charges of 'faster' powders are as reasonable as any. Special alloy or coatings may help a lead bullet to not lead, but those again are usually more costly.

    I've loaded a lot of both calibers with lead bullet such the Hornady type with fairly light loads of Bullseye, W-231 and other powders of the 'fast' end without any problems or complaints. The suggestions above sound reasonable and useful to me.
     
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  6. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    If they're soft lead, I would expect some leading if driven into +P territory. I also shoot a cast 158 gr lead HP that is custom made from a Lee mold but it wears a gas check and I can moderate the allow as needed. Load some up and give 'em a run, you never know.
     
  7. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    IME those knurled Hornady bullets lead very easily. I’ve shot a ton of them, the SWC, and the 140 flat point, they all leaded for me. I usually gave them coating of liquid alox. It holds well in the knurling and eliminates leading.
    Give them a try, maybe your gun won’t lead. They are very accurate bullets.
     
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  8. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I stopped having leading issues with them bullets when I backed off the roll crimp. Same loads, different crimp, no leading.
     
  9. tominboise

    tominboise Member

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    This matches my experience in shooting them in 38 special and 44 special loads. They lead my barrels is pushed too hard. I stick to "target" velocities and have no issues with leading.
     
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  10. BJung

    BJung Member

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    A lesson I asked from a knowledgeable bullet cast named Dardas was, "what is the bore of your barrel?" If the bullets don't fit, you'll get a higher chance of lead fouling and lost accuracy. I'll guess that your hollow point bullets are wax lubed so you can't PC them. I personally discovered that AA5 works well for 38 Special loads using Speer Gold Dots. If you plan to try and shoot these as high a pressure as possible, I'd suggest adding a gas check, reducing the chance of hot gases cutting around the bullet. There is a gas check vendor that sells gas checks for flat based bullets. While NOE I think sells a tool to taper the base, the tool looks like your case mouth tapering tool. I'd consider trying that first and add your gas check to try out. If you are successful, I'd like to see a photo of one of your bullets shot into 3 jugs of water.
     
  11. winfreeokra

    winfreeokra Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies. Lots of good insight and suggestions as I was hoping. I’ve got to start somewhere so I think I’ll move forward with the AA#5. Between some Western and Hornady data I’m just going to start working some of these up starting in the mid to upper 6 grain range with a taper crimp and see where it takes me.

    I do need to slug my barreI. Alox if needed short term though and I do like the gas check idea just to see what it might take to get expansion on these.

    Thanks again
     
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  12. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Above 850 fps for reliable expansion, anything above 1050 might be too much expansion. They are soft.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2022
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  13. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    The base is concave. Kinda like a semi-hollow base. I don’t have problems with them grabbing the rifling.
     
  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I've run them at 357 carbine velocity in a slow twist barrel without leading. Make sure they fit your barrel and you will be fine.
    I like them at 38 plus p velocity with titegroup.
     
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  15. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Leading probably. Fast or slow powder, what barrel length? 2", fast. 6", slower.
    I love soft bullets and have developed my own methods of loading them.
    I can get really big expansion from a Lyman 429421 hollow point at 650-700 fps. Out to 20 yards. 3" Charter or 4" 624.
    Lots of variables.
    I don't see leading as a problem for hunting or self defense. You're not shooting groups.
     
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  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I use that very bullet for building replica FBI Loads. I never get leading and I'm using HS-6 but since you don't list that powder I would use AA#5 from the powders you list. If you use the max charge weight listed for the .38 Special +P in the .357 Magnum brass you should be happy with the results.
     
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  17. winfreeokra

    winfreeokra Member

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    I agree and I can always load some lighter for plinking if leading is an issue. Still hoping to avoid it though having a final product that can offer some fun at the range when in the mood for a little more bang and be a reasonable HD/SD, Woods round.
     
  18. winfreeokra

    winfreeokra Member

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    Based on the Hornady, Western, and Speer data I’ve been looking at I’m guessing I end up somewhere right around that.
     
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  19. winfreeokra

    winfreeokra Member

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    So after about 200 rounds, 4 outings with 10 rounds of 5 different charges each time, I believe I’ve settled at 7g AA #5 behind the Hornady LSWC HP in .357 brass. I really need a chrono now to know if I’m getting enough FPS to get any expansion. The books are all over the place on their data here

    I worked loads from 6 to 7.4g, First time out was 6 to 6.8 in .2g bumps. 6.6 seemed to be the winner from an accuracy standpoint from both my Colt KC 4” and the Kimber Dasa 3”. Everything was 10yds off bags. I then worked more up from 6.4 to 7.2 just to have some overlap and see what the higher charges would do. Got mixed results with nothing conclusive. Wasn’t a great day shooting for me. I was rushing it and didn’t have contacts in so looking through the top of my glasses from my position wasn’t really helping.

    Went at it again with the same loads again and while 6.6 was nice I shot my best 5 shot group ever with 7g out of the Colt. It’s at this point that I realized that I’m just not shooting the Kimber good enough yet and it was confusing matters.

    So last night I worked up another 50 but just took the Colt this morning. 6.6 to 7.4g and shot 10 shot groups. Once again 7.0 shined except the “wind” caught one of them sending it off target. So for right now, for this gun, this will be the general purpose round. It’s still plenty easy to shoot and should have enough ooomph to deal with most anything I’m going to need for walks in the woods etc.

     

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  20. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    There is always that 1 that does not like to play with the others.:(
     
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  21. mec

    mec Member

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    A good many years ago (c 2003), I experimented with these bullets in .357 cases. The results were valid and repeatable at the time. Results may vary from different revolvers and loading methodology
    . I loaded these bullets over 6 grains of Unique for mid to high 1,000 fps averages from both GP100’s. I was getting fifty five caliber expansion on beef brisket at 25 yards. There was no visible leading from the 6” and little with the 4” but the 1.9” - 3.5” groups wouldn’t do. It appeared that the soft bullets were skidding in the rifling without depositing lead. When I dropped the charge to 5.5 Unique in .357 cases the rugers delivered 957 fps from the 6” and 927 from the 4” GP. Three 25-yard groups from the longer barrel went 1.6. 1.8” and 1.1”. Which I considered totally useful. Expansion was as good as with the 6 grain charges with no visible leading.
    id est:
    jackrabbit.jpg
     
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  22. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    1 yes. At least that was my experience with a Taurus 6" M66 and +P loads with HP38 and HS-6. 2 HP38 or WST.

    Extra credit. You will get significant expansion at 7-800fps. Don't expect a mushroom like a .357 SJHP, but you will get a lot of nose deformation, tumble and yaw. They tend to flatten on the sideways plain while doing so also. Never shot a critter with them, but significant increase in soft target damage vs. hard cast or FMJ at similar speeds. I put them through waterlogged rotten wood, vegetables, water jugs both liquid and frozen and recovered many from a snowbank after spring thaw. The snow preserves bullets in near pristine post-impact condition, even high velocity expanding types, so the samples I found are pretty representative of deformation from impact with my targets.
     
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  23. mec

    mec Member

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    "...recovered many from a snowbanks....
    Elmer Keith used to do that with the same results!
     
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