Wadcutters in 357 Mag Brass

Bill_in_TR

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The Hodgdon load tables show several loads for 148 grain wadcutters so I guess it is being done. I don't like to use 38 special brass in my 357 because I don't want to deal with the carbon ring buildup. I also prefer not to deal with two sizes of brass. Does anyone here load wadcutters in 357 brass? What have you found to be good light practice loads? Were there any issues with case volume and light powder loads?
 
No problems. They shoot great. I loaded some Hornady and home-cast HBWC in 357 cases with the Hodgden minimum charges of CFE-Pistol and W231 and they shot about the same. I used the minimum charges for 357 Magnum listing. I couldn't get the HBWC to shoot out of 38 Special cases. I mean, they shot, but they were all over the place.
 
I just use the book minimum for .357 and work up until the guns all agree on a good average load. At one time I had noted which revolver preferred which loading but it became a moot point as the outliers were sold. I only have a dozen .357 revolvers left and they all shoot the same loads better than I can see.
 
I just use the book minimum for .357 and work up until the guns all agree on a good average load. At one time I had noted which revolver preferred which loading but it became a moot point as the outliers were sold. I only have a dozen .357 revolvers left and they all shoot the same loads better than I can see.

Have either of you ever noticed ignition problems with the light powder loads?
 
The Hodgdon load tables show several loads for 148 grain wadcutters so I guess it is being done. I don't like to use 38 special brass in my 357 because I don't want to deal with the carbon ring buildup. I also prefer not to deal with two sizes of brass. Does anyone here load wadcutters in 357 brass? What have you found to be good light practice loads? Were there any issues with case volume and light powder loads?
You avoid the carbon ring by cleaning your revolver on a regular basis. Using 357 brass you only move the ring closer to the face of the cylinder.
 
Hodgdon data is not much help, they load all .357 Magnums with Magnum primers which gives odd results with fast powders, vs Specials with standard primers.

If Magnum Brass Inc. wanted to sponsor Team Mediocre to shoot PPC where wadcutters are standard fare, I would chronograph the .38 wadcutter load I have used for years and adjust the load in Magnum brass to matching velocity.
 
If you want to duplicate the Winchester load in 357 brass: 3.3 grains of W231 will get you there! (3.1 grains of W231 in the 38 Spl cases!) :)
 
My most accurate wadcutter load in a 357 Magnum case is lighter than the most accurate load in a 38 Special case. They're both going so slow you can almost watch them.
 
BTDT many times. No problems. Some were same 38 Special loads with Bullseye or W231. Have gone up to mid level 357 Magnum loading, no problems. I've used mostly CCI SPP and Winchester SPP.

Have you any experience with the "dreaded carbon ring"? I clean my guns after each range session which have been upwards of 200+ rounds of 38 Specials in my 2, 357 Mag revolvers. No big deal. I guess if a gun went 500+ rounds of 38 Specials in a 357 Mag. cylinder loaded with lighter loads of Unique there may be a problem chambering 357 brass. But I have never gone that long without cleaning my guns.
 
I use WST for loading 38spl target loads on 357mag brass. To find what you like, start with mid range 38spl load and work down. If you have a crony, I like to stay above 600fps, so I don't have to worry about sticking a bullet. But shooting a 158gr LSWC at 700 fps is like shooting a 22 LR in a big heavy revolver.
 
I use WST for loading 38spl target loads on 357mag brass. To find what you like, start with mid range 38spl load and work down. If you have a crony, I like to stay above 600fps, so I don't have to worry about sticking a bullet. But shooting a 158gr LSWC at 700 fps is like shooting a 22 LR in a big heavy revolver.
Isn't that the truth. I don't even think my Blackhawk is that heavy compared to a full lug double action, but it helps tame the recoil. Wadcutter loads are about the most pleasant centerfire round I've tried in a pistol, and the most accurate by a good margin.
 
I avoided using 38 cases for a long time because I couldn't get the accuracy, I wanted with any load I tried in the shorter cases. Now I have exactly one load that shoots like I want, but the vast majority of my revolver ammo is both target and magnum loads in 357 Magnum cases.
 
You avoid the carbon ring by cleaning your revolver on a regular basis. Using 357 brass you only move the ring closer to the face of the cylinder.

I clean my guns after every shooting session. But if you have a lengthy shooting session trying different loads the carbon ring will build up enough so that 357 brass won't seat after shooting some 38. AMHIKT. And even if I get lazy and don't clean after a session or two then as long as I moved that carbon ring forward I can still seat 357 rounds.
 
I clean my guns after every shooting session. But if you have a lengthy shooting session trying different loads the carbon ring will build up enough so that 357 brass won't seat after shooting some 38. AMHIKT. And even if I get lazy and don't clean after a session or two then as long as I moved that carbon ring forward I can still seat 357 rounds.
Okay, I have fired hundreds of 38s in a 357 and never had an issue with a carbon ring interfering with the seating of a 357. How many rounds do you fire a session? Thousands? Maybe I use cleaner bullets and powder. JMO.
 
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Okay, I have fired hundreds of 38s in a 357 and never had an issue with a carbon ring interfering with the seating of a 357. How many rounds do you fire a session? Thousands? Maybe I use cleaner bullets and powder. JMO.

Maybe it is a powder issue, I don't know. My normal shooting sessions are 2 or 3 hundred rounds. But I have had testing sessions where I shot 5 or 6 hundred at times. Maybe it is the gun, couldn't say. I often shoot a mix of lead and jacketed. I'm not saying it was a major problem but aggravating enough to make me decide to just deal with the one size of brass.
 
I use 180gr SWC in both my S&W Model 65 and Henry carbine for just plinking and use Titegroup. Works great for this purpose and you will get a lot of loads out of just 1 lb of it.
 
That reminded me, I tried Titegroup too. It shot just as well as the other two pushing a HBWC from a 357 Magnum case, but it was a little bit over the minimum charge, maybe 0.2 grains when the groups really tightened up.
 
Thanks for the info and the suggestions. I actually have on hand W231, TiteGroup, CFE Pistol, and BE-86 so powder choice won't be an issue. What I have the most of is W231 so I will try that first.
 
The only difference between 38 special and 357 magnum brass is a 1/10 inch, so load them up and have fun.

W231 is a great powder used 7 pounds last year.

I shoot about 300 to 500 mouse fart rounds in 357 brass every week. :)
 
The only difference between 38 special and 357 magnum brass is a 1/10 inch, so load them up and have fun.

W231 is a great powder used 7 pounds last year.

I shoot about 300 to 500 mouse fart rounds in 357 brass every week. :)
This is mostly true, although thickness varies.

At any rate, I do like the others, I have/do shoot .38 Spl loads, or even lighter, including WCs in the past, from .357 Mag brass.
38 vs 357 case wall test @ 75%.jpg
 
It was the auto thread title fixing software........................well.......not really.

I'm not good and awake yet though, can't remember if I did this one (Yea, it's a regular thing), or maybe @9mmepiphany did. :)
 
I’m interested in what you find out. I have mostly .38 cases, so that’s what I load. The faster powders all work well. Titegroup does produce tight groups for my 686.
 
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