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Old February 2, 2001, 10:49 PM   #1
Blue Duck357
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I know the the 357 factory ballistics were originally very optimistic back when it was introduced, but I keep hearing rumblings that it was reduced a bit when the K-frame became so popular and even more so now that the the small J frame type revolvers are now being chambered for the round. Anyone know if there is any truth to this?

Thanks, Blue Duck
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Old February 3, 2001, 02:02 AM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
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Back in the days when the 357 Magnum was the most powerful handgun in the world and the S&W was king, maximum loads contained pressures in excess of 42000 CUP. Today, not many loads go beyond 37000 CUP.

Robert
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Old February 3, 2001, 10:25 AM   #3
Quantrill
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357

I know that today's 357mag are not the 357mags of my youth. I have often wondered if we dare to reload to original specs for those N frame 357s and maybe the Ruger Blackhawks. 44mag reloading manuals often have more powerful loads for the Super Blackhawk and the TC. Quantrill
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Old February 3, 2001, 01:55 PM   #4
Robert the41MagFan
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"I have often wondered if we dare to reload to original specs for those N frame 357s". I do!

Robert
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Old February 3, 2001, 02:22 PM   #5
Quantrill
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Robert,
I was just looking back in Elmer Keith's book "Sixguns" written in the early 1950s. He reccomends 15gr of 2400 powder with a cast lead hollow point 160gr bullet of his design. He further says 14.5gr of 2400 behind his lead SWC of 173gr (todays Lyman 358429). I have gone up to 13gr of 2400 behind this bullet. I use this in a "N" frame S&W #28, but not in the Dan Wesson, K-frame S&Ws or even the Python. What say you??? Quantrill
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Old February 3, 2001, 04:50 PM   #6
Robert the41MagFan
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Quantrill

When I'm talking 40000 CUP, these are loads for Rugers and S&W N frames only. On 160 grain bullets, maximum load is 15.2 grains of 2400 powder. Pressure varies from manual to manual, 33000 to 40000 CUP. I've gone up to 15 grain and settled on 14.8 grains for best accuracy. Don't use heavier bullets because I have 10mm and 41 Magnum. But, Lyman has 13.5 grain of 2400 (41100 CUP) for a maximum loading for their Lyman 358429 bullet (they have it at 168 gr.). If you are looking for hotter still, email me and I'll send you some loads from my stash. Bear in mind that today's 2400 Powder is more volatile (hotter!) than in the days of Elmer Keith and loads should be reduced and worked up with the newer powder. This past summer I used 19 grains of H110 under 125 grain Gold Dots (Hodgdon manual has this load max out at 22 grain. I've not been there!). Although the recoil is stout, it was devastating on dogs and diggers. Talking about watching critters evaporate before your eyes.

These loads are very tough on ALL Smith & Wessons, especially those manufactured prior to the 90's. A continual barrage of these loads will most certainly guaranty business for your gun smith every few years. Although the guns materials are strong, the small DA parts are not and must be rebuilt over time. But that is the nature of this beast. And if you want the best action in the business, you have to live with that.

Robert
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Old February 3, 2001, 05:12 PM   #7
Southla1
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"I have often wondered if we dare to reload to original specs for those N frame 357s". ...................... I never stopped . One time after loading 50 real good ones, I test fired and it was even stronger than a "real good one" I went back and checked and somehow I was one grain over a "real good load". I shot em anyway.........but it was in an N frame.

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Old February 3, 2001, 07:45 PM   #8
Quantrill
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357

Well guys,
I guess the vote is that 357s were hotter years ago and that if we got the "N" frame S&W or a Ruger Blackhawk, we can still load that way. Blue, I hope you got an answer. I know that I am considerbly reassured that the oldies are still the goodies, at least as far as the 357 goes. Thanks guys for a really interesting thread. Quantrill
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Old February 3, 2001, 07:56 PM   #9
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Thanks folks, appreciate all the responces. It's apparently as I had feared, but when you have a gun as small and light as then model 60 and as big and strong as the model 27 I guess you can't be going near max from the factory.

Many thanks from the Duck
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Old February 4, 2001, 01:11 AM   #10
alan
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From what I've read pon the subject, no personal experience with the things, original 357 magnum loads were quite hot, to hot for the lead bullets used at the time, leading was terrible.

This led to a reduction in velocity, which helped, though the use of jacketed or at least partially jacketed bullets fixed the leading problem.

The "K" frame guns chambered for the 357 will not stand up to continuous use of full power factory loads, or handloaded equivalent. They weren't designed for that sort of service, as I understood the thing.
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Old February 4, 2001, 07:45 AM   #11
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Not mine.....
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Old February 6, 2001, 02:13 AM   #12
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I have often read about these old origional loads. The problem is that everytime I see any actual loads, they are for real heavy cast loads. What about the 158s ? I have a few guns that I think might handle them. GP-100, Blackhawk, Model 28. Anybody with some blockbusters, let me know.
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Old February 6, 2001, 11:52 AM   #13
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I'm about ready to test some loads of WW296.
A. 158gr. FMJ over 17gr. of 296, WSPM primers, 1/2 turn of crimp (heavy) &
B. 125gr JHP over 21 grains of 296, WSPM primers, 1/2 turn of crimp.
Brass on both of these is hansen, speer, Remington and Federal, seperated by headstamp.
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Old February 6, 2001, 03:51 PM   #14
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Just remember that the Remington Golden Sabers and the Federal Personal Defense loads are both loaded down to be more suitable for "social" uses. Less blast, flash and recoil, especially for the J-frames.

I tried a 640 and loved it! Even with 20.5 of 296 under a 125-gr JHP. Beega, Beega BOOOOMMMM!!!

(then echo, echo, echo down the indoor range's overhead baffles) BFG!
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Old February 8, 2001, 02:17 AM   #15
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Well the original .357 Mag. was loaded from 1520 to 1550 FPS, depending on whose literature you read. Leading was a problem. Current .357's are loaded to about 1250 to 1300FPS.
At (www.sixgunner.com/guests/paco.htm) is an interesting article on the original .357 loads. The author, Paco Kelly duplicated the original loads using hecules #2400. However, Alliant's version seems to be faster burning. I had to reduce my .357 loads by 1.5 gr. with 160 gr.bullets. I had to drop my loads in the .44 mag. by 2.0 gr.with the 240/250 gr. bullets as well.
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Old February 10, 2001, 02:28 PM   #16
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Something else to keep in mind with those old loads (besides the fact that the powders have changed a lot). With N frame S&W or Ruger Blackhawks it isn't that much of a problem, but a steady diet of those loads does, to a lesser extent have the problem that killed the .357 Maximum loads, barrel throat erosion is pretty bad. In a K or L frame sized gun it becomes a major problem quickly. I played around with some pretty hot .357 Mag loads in a 27-2, loading six of each charge and examining the case after the first shot for any pressure signs. I never got any signs of a problem from the gun or the brass, but my hand, and the other shooters at the range, started objecting for the last three sets!
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Old February 15, 2001, 11:01 AM   #17
solo
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I've noticed that my factory 44 magnum loads are a little on the weak side when compared to some of my loads with W296. I even load on the low end of the powder scale at 22.8 grains. The recoil is almost 30-40% more than factory loads.
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Old February 15, 2001, 06:02 PM   #18
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Powder charge affects recoil

Besides your bullet weight, there is the weight of the powder charge to consider when thinking about recoil.

Unless the factory loads use a comparable mass of powder, they will recoil less even if sending the bullet out at the same speed. Because recoil energy of bullet X at speed Y is a LINEAR function of the weight of total stuff sent out the muzzle,** you can easily calculate the recoil differences between loads...if they are of similar velocity.

**I seem to remember a certain element of gas-vent "rocket exhaust" effects from the powder gases contributing to recoil, but this is a small component, IIRC.
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Old February 16, 2001, 09:59 AM   #19
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Recommend Magnum primers, Redding Profile Crimp die, W296 for best velocity/accuracy combination.

Also might try Vihtavuori N110, Hodgdon H110, and Accurate #9.

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Old February 16, 2001, 01:09 PM   #20
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Ditto on the AA#9. I had some startlingly good accuracy with some 13.5 grain loads of AA#9 under a 158gr JFN. At first I thought this might not fill the case enough to make an accurate load, but testing in a 4" GP100 and 4" Smith586 showed great accuracy, even with the non-max load.
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Old February 16, 2001, 05:55 PM   #21
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Poodleshooter- In paging through my notes, I noticed your B load above is 1690fps out of my 6 1/2" Blackhawk, and 1220fps out of my 3" SP101.
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