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Old May 26, 2007, 03:21 PM   #1
Jaycolo
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357mag

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

well I was reloading my 357 and tryed a few things. A full case of unique is 11.8 grains to the brim. after working up to a good to 11.4 grains under a 125 grain bullet I have come to the conclusion that you can not over charge a 357 with unique using both 550 and 500 primers.


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Old May 26, 2007, 03:56 PM   #2
Don H
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According to Alliant, 9.6 grains of Unique produces 33,800 psi under a 125 gr JSP against a SAAMI maximum of 35,000 psi. How much pressure do you think your 11.4 grain load is producing?
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Old May 26, 2007, 04:01 PM   #3
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http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...15&bulletid=25

Here is a good example why I don't shoot reloads from elsewhere
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Old May 26, 2007, 04:17 PM   #4
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I wonder if some people even look at or own a reloading manual? with this method of load testing I guess not.
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Old May 26, 2007, 04:25 PM   #5
Jaycolo
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I used my load book if you people read I said I worked up to my load. I was just saying a full case holds 11.8 grains.I have a few books and each one say something different. How many other threads are there with people over loading for hunting and things of that nature. I was simply pointing out what I have come to find out. I own a ruger blackhawk and I worked up to 11.4 grains from 8.6 as listed in my speer reloading manual. Dont you people know that over the past 30 years or so the factory load and loads listed in the manual have gone down over the years. So dont be so fast to jump all over my a$$.
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Old May 26, 2007, 04:28 PM   #6
Jaycolo
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I wonder if you people read a post and understand it before you people put your 2 cents in. And by the way pressure for the 357 use to be 40 or 42,000 psi.
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Old May 26, 2007, 04:32 PM   #7
Don H
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So, what is the pressure of your 11.4 gr load?
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Old May 26, 2007, 05:05 PM   #8
Jaycolo
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Im not sure of my pressure isnt impossable to check it yourself I looked at my cases and see no signs of stress. No flattened primers or pierced ones either or any other signs of stress and I had 2 other people look at the fired cases to make sure they didnt see any signs of stress.But if I had to guess on the pressure Id say about 40,138
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Old May 26, 2007, 06:44 PM   #9
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one thing is a fact of life and that is you can't tell what the pressure is by looking at a fired case
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Old May 26, 2007, 06:53 PM   #10
Jaycolo
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I know that but you can see signs of stress. I came up with my number by doing alittle math.We know 9.6 grains makes about 33,800 ok so 33800 divide by the 9.6 is 3520.83 you times that by 11.4 you get 40137.5
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Old May 26, 2007, 07:08 PM   #11
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During my years as a gunsmith, i saw several guns blown up using that same line of reasoning. Pressure curves are not linear, so you can't draw a relation between a lower charge and a higher charge's pressure by saying
Quote:
33800 divide by the 9.6 is 3520.83 you times that by 11.4 you get 40137.5
Your load could easily be generating 70,000 psi. You have no way of knowing.
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Old May 27, 2007, 12:20 AM   #12
stinger
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You are treading on dangerous territory loading like that. I highly recommend that you read your load manuals and follow their recommendations. I can assure you that there is nothing that can be done with the 357 magnum that hasn't already been done. It is not a wildcat, it is an old-school cartridge.

What is the velocity of your load? You can't measure pressure, but you can measure velocity.
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Old May 27, 2007, 01:03 AM   #13
T. O'Heir
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Your 11.4 grains is 1.8 grains OVER maximum for that bullet weight according to the LATEST Alliant data.
Working up a load does NOT mean up until the case is full. It means you try the loads between the starting load given in your manual and work up to the maximum load given in your manual to see which load your firearm shoots best.
Guessing the pressure is just that. A guess.
"...you can see signs of stress..." Maybe. You don't always. Keep shooting over max loads and you will see 'signs of stress'. Likely the bits of the cylinder flying past or into your head. Or worse, into the head of the guy next to you.
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Old May 27, 2007, 01:34 AM   #14
Jaycolo
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I know what working up a load means you jack ass I worked up to it from 8.6 grains. I know what working up to a load is and thats what i did once again get the shut up if you dont know what the hell your talking about. I was simply trying to point out to some people its impossble to over fill using unique from my own experience.And then you people flame me damn you people need to get alife if you got nothing better to do then bash someone one for something that they have worked up to and tryed and it has worked for me. Plus you people act like people dont work up charges that arent in the book so take a xanax and go fight your cusade else where and get off my ass.Belive me I probably shoot more then anyone on the fourms I have a range in my back yard I try to shoot atleast a 250 rounds a day when weather permits.So I have ample chances to walk out back and test loads and I slowly worked my way up to what i have.
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Old May 27, 2007, 01:07 PM   #15
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Well, pin a rose on your nose...

Mr. High and Mighty, your load is over max. If that works for you, fine and dandy. But someone new might come along without your extensive knowledge, and think they can do the same. Dangerous territory.

You are at least two grains over maximum in an already high pressure cartridge. You can't measure pressure, velocity, or anything else. You might get away with this a few more times, maybe a thousand, or it might never catch up to you, but you never know. Everytime you are shooting these loads, you have a potential grenade in your hand.
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Old May 27, 2007, 01:36 PM   #16
Redneck with a 40
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I'll stick to the listed load for the 125 grain 357, 8.6-9.6 grains of Unique. I'm currently loading at 9 grains. I have no interest in blowing up my revolver, or putting it under undue stress. I'm certainly not going to trust someone who comes onto a gun forum and says "11.4 grains of Unique is an awesome load". Sounds like a great way to get a "kaboom". Besides, this gross overcharge on the powder might give you an additional 150 fps, is that really worth it, the wear on the gun and the risk of a "kaboom"? I have more common sense than this. Call me names if you wish, but this is how I see it.
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Old May 27, 2007, 01:39 PM   #17
Don H
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Jaycolo,

If you want people to agree with you 100% and not express their own opinions on the subject, you probably should not post on public forums.

My opinion: It is extremely irresponsible to post on a public forum, without a safety disclaimer that the load far exceeds published maximums:

1-A load that undoubtedly exceeds SAAMI maximums

2-A load that, if reduced by the recommended 10% for a safe starting point, STILL exceeds published maximums

3-A beyond-maximum load without complete component details, OAL and the firearm it was developed with
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Old May 27, 2007, 04:10 PM   #18
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The 357 Mag was the result of Elmer Keith, Phillip Sharpe, and D Wesson of Smith and Wesson fame working in concert to replace the then weak LEO round of the 38 Special. The calendar was 1934. They worked with a round called the 38 High Velocity or the 38/44. The design perameters was a pressure limit of 47,000 lbs. They soon found out that the metalurgy of the times couldn't reliably and continually stand the pressures and revolvers were failing, sometimes catastrophicly. The pressures were lowered to 40,000lbs. Since SAAMI considers the firearms in circulation, the pressures have been lowered to 35,000lbs. I have data for loads to 47,000lbs. None is as high as the one you have listed using Unique powder including the slower but dirtier Unique of old. I don't know the pressure of the loads that you are using and while you are not seeing any pressure issues, the pressure is there. If you expect to see flat primers, bulging heads, etc., it is not going to happen with these loads. The flame front and pressure curve is exponential, not linear as previously stated. While your shooter may not have come apart in your hand or the brass run out like water, your shooter is not going survive a steady diet of these loads. Microscopic fractors may already be happening and you aren't going to know this until it goes boom- and that's too late. While I can agree with you that the manuals are for reference only and are not absolute in values, they do mark where most reloaders need to quit for their own safety. Not all loading environments are the same and not all components are identical from lot to lot. These manuals take all of these variables in consideration and consider the worst case scenario for everybodies safety. I would suggest taking your experience as a learning curve and not shoot any more these rounds.
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Old May 27, 2007, 04:46 PM   #19
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Jaycolo,

Sorry if you're feeling set upon. A site full of handloaders is bound to err on the side of caution so one of the non-participating lurkers doesn't try to copy something potentially dangerous. I’ll try to give you a factual explanation of the expected pressure change.

With a higher charge, more powder starts burning at ignition and evolving gas. This raises the start pressure higher, just as you would expect. However, since chemical reactions (like burning) speed up when pressure and temperature increase, you are now not only burning more powder, but burning it faster. Thus, the portion of the powder that finishes burning by the time peak pressure is reached is greater.

For example, let's say that out of a 9.6 grain charge, 75% is burned by the time peak pressure occurs, so you now have propellant gas from 7.2 grains creating the pressure. With 11.4 grains in the case, the powder now burns faster. Perhaps 85% has burned at peak pressure, meaning 9.7 grains worth of propellant gas is making the pressure. Furthermore, the 11.4 grain charge reaches peak pressure when the bullet has not traveled quite as far down the tube, so the larger load’s peak pressure gas is crammed into a smaller volume. About, say, 95% of the volume available when the smaller charge peaks. So, peak pressure will be proportional to 9.7/7.2/0.95 times the lower charge pressure, or about a 40% increase.

The relationship works out to be close to being proportional to the square of the increase in powder charge in the .357. In other cases it is different (in many bottleneck cases it is closer to the cube of the increase in charge). But in your case, if Alliant correctly measured the 9.6 grain load as producing about 33,000 PSI, your load will produce about 33,000 x (11.4/9.6)², or about 46,500 PSI. Your Blackhawk is extremely strong and may well tolerate that pressure, but people with lighter .357 carry guns could get into trouble with it. At the very least they could significantly shorten the working lives of their guns. Your own forcing cone will erode much more quickly than normal with it.

It is a common problem with pistol cases that they do not show all the same pressure signs you see in rifle cases. Often, the only indication you have that you are loading a revolver hot is when the cases begin to resist ejection. This is because the thinnest part of the steel that contains the pressure is the outside of the cylinder wall, and when the pressure gets so great it starts to stretch that wall, the wall snaps back over the less elastic brass case that has stretched out together with it, thus tending to grab the case.

If you not only see no rifle-type pressure signs but also still have completely easy and free ejection of the cases without any more drag than you got with known safe loads, that load is likely OK for your particular gun from a safety standpoint. Just be aware it will wear the gun out sooner and should not be fired in any other without backing it off and working it up again.

P.S. An aditinoal caution is that you weigh every charge of Unique, if you haven't been. Unique is notoriously difficult to meter acurately from a powder measure. It bridges really easily, which tends to short charges. If you developed the load using only a measure, you may not have tested quite as heavy a charge as you think? If you did weigh it, but are switching to a measure, try weighing at least 31 (I got that from my company's statistician) charges from the measure before believing it. Your early tests could be lighter than some later charges will be. 32 gives you a pretty high confidence that they won't. The military would want 82 samples, IIRC, before trusting unweighed charges from a measure, but I don't think you need to go that far.

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Last edited by Unclenick; May 27, 2007 at 05:02 PM. Reason: P.S. added
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Old May 27, 2007, 11:09 PM   #20
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My dad had a Ruger Black Hawk 70's vintage as I recall, it was chambered in .44 mag. and had a non fluted cylinder, the barrel length was 6-7". He ran a steady diet of max loads through this gun, I think the powders he used were 2400 and 4227 with bullet weights ranging from 180 to 240gr, with these powders there is little room for a gross over charge. My dad and brother and I were out shooting, my brother was shooting the Black Hawk when it came apart, I was standing to the left of the shooter about five feet back and I heard whizzing sounds, I looked at my brother and he was holding a haft of Ruger, 1/3 of the cylinder and the back strap blew off. No one was hurt, we all give GOD thanks things could have been different.
Jaycolo, what you do is your business, until your gun comes apart injuring someone next to you, or if you sell this stressed out time bomb to some unsuspecting poor soul, the blood may be on your hands
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Old May 28, 2007, 01:44 PM   #21
Hammerhead
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Quote:
I have come to the conclusion that you can not over charge a 357 with unique using both 550 and 500 primers.
WOW!

And you get upset when people even question your methods?

You are an accident waiting to happen.
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Old May 28, 2007, 03:26 PM   #22
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I do believe this thread has gone on long enough. Let's hope that the cooler heads have instilled some knowledge into the less cooler one in the final few postings here, most notably those from yesterday evening.

I have added the required warning message to the original post which should have been there from the beginning.

Closed.
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