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Why 357 ammo is "watered down"

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Palladan44, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    This is why they warn you that lite shotgun loads may run as much pressure as a heavy Load. Load to the same pressure but with a faster powder and you can use less powder. save a tenth of a cent per round times a zillion rounds and it adds up.
     
  2. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    I just know that 50 years ago you wanted your 158 grain bullet to compress the 2400 powder a bit when it was seated. I don't remember the exact weight and my hearing isn't what it was in 1967!
    I have since lowered my loads a little bit.
     
  3. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Winchester white box .44Mag is definitely watered down. I've never chronographed it but it's factory rated at 1180fps. I can beat that with a published 330gr handload out of a 4 5/8" barrel.
     
  4. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Just because it doesn't match the crazy specs of some boutique manufacturer doesn't mean it's "watered-down".

    The original factory load for the .357 Magnum was a 158-gr unjacketed lead bullet going around 1510 fps from an 8-3/8" barrel.

    But nowadays the standard test barrel is 4". Not even half as long. The bullets are jacketed. Obviously it will have an impact on velocity.

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    Buffalo Bore offers a 158 gr that makes a chronographed 1,485 fps from a 4-inch revolver! That's clearly much in excess of the original load.


    They weren't shooting Buffalo Bore and Underwood loads back in the 1930s.
     
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  5. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Also, the older test barrels were unvented, providing even more disparity from current techniques.
     
  6. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    AS I have both a revolver and a lever-action in .357, I started reloading them when I finally acquired some supplies. Both guns are fed the same ammo but it is two different styles of bullets. While both weigh 158 grains, one is a semi-jacketed HP while the other is a semi-jacketed flat/soft point. The MAX load for those bullets is 0.1-0.2 gr. higher than what I load up. I use the factory loads for practice.
     
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  7. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    That is kinda what it means. A lot of folks ass-u-me that all Buffalo Bore or Underwood loads are over-pressure. They are not, unless specified. What you're paying for is the care they take in assembling their ammo, along with the use of blended powders, so they get the most out of a given cartridge. Without the concessions necessary for mass production. Winchester doesn't care that their white box stuff is 200fps slower than it should be. It's cheap bulk ammo and that is its reason for being. Like the old saying, "you can have cheap, fast or good, pick any two".

    The only relevant thing that has changed since 1935 with regards to the .357 is the advent of better powders like H110, Lil Gun and 300MP, which result in MORE velocity at the same pressure.
     
  8. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    When I was researching this, a number of years ago, and from time to time, since then, I noticed that gun writers who were doing their own chronographing were getting good real-world results with several .357 Magnum factory loads, fired from Ruger GP100 revolvers. Not “watered-down.” I actually used a Ruger GP100, in a defensive incident, in 1992, and have tended to continue to favor Ruger .357 revolvers, since then.
     
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