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Old February 20, 2012, 09:28 AM   #1
OwenW
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.357/.38 Assistance please

Ok i feel into some awsome luck the other day. In my CCW class i was taking at the time, i began talking to a fellow class mate about what or if he wanted to sell a particular firearm. He said no, but he had a .357 revolver he wanted rid of. I asked him what he had, he said it was stainless steel, a taurus, 6 inch barrel, and .357. Thats all he knew. I asked how much... he said $100.. My brain started working quickly. Turns out i bought a taurus 669 .357 magnum in flawless Stainless steel, 3 speed loaders, a leather speed loader belt pouch, a box of ammo, and he through in the case "for that kinda price" were his exact words. Gun is perfect brand new shape and shoots perfect with suprising accuracy. All of it for $150. Im still woozy from how bliss this man was of what he had and what it was worth.

Anyway. .357 is expensive And im looking to reload it. I cant get real strait answeres to these questions anywhere.

1. Nickle plated brass is ok to reload as long as you inspect the cases carefully due to there hardness. Correct statement or not?

2. I use cci 500 small pistol primers for the 9mm i reload. I also use win 231 powder aswell. My recipe book says 6.4 grains of win 231 with a win std primer for a 147 grain .357 magnum. Why couldn't i use the cci 500 primers? I know they work well with that powder from my 9mm shells. Ive read that the only reason to change primers is if you go to a diffrent powder for magnum loads that the primer my have trouble igniting.

3. When i order bullets, .38 bullets are the same for .357 mganum right? So if i ordered these bullets these should work. Right?

http://www.thebulletworks.net/38-147...%20rn%20pl.htm

Im new to reloading so excuse me if these questions are stupid or i missed interpreted something.
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Old February 20, 2012, 09:43 AM   #2
Adamantium
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Quote:
1. Nickle plated brass is ok to reload as long as you inspect the cases carefully due to there hardness. Correct statement or not?
Nickle plated brass is fine to reload. You should give every piece of brass a quick inspection while reloading it to look for a cracked case mouth, brass or nickle.

Quote:
2. I use cci 500 small pistol primers for the 9mm i reload. I also use win 231 powder as well. My recipe book says 6.4 grains of win 231 with a win std primer for a 147 grain .357 magnum. Why couldn't i use the cci 500 primers? I know they work well with that powder from my 9mm shells. Ive read that the only reason to change primers is if you go to a different powder for magnum loads that the primer my have trouble igniting.
CCI 500 or any other standard small pistol primer will work fine with 231 in 357 Magnum. Just remember there is a reason why companies want you to start with a 90% load and work up to max. We reloaders introduce variables into our loads by using different primers, different OAL, more or less crimp, old lots of powders. Almost all of these things will not put a cartridge over pressure at max load but it is best to be safe anyway.

Quote:
3. When i order bullets, .38 bullets are the same for .357 Magnum right? So if i ordered these bullets these should work. Right?
Yes, .357 bullets are what the 357 Magnum shoots as well as the 38spl. Most lead bullets meant for 357/38 are going to be .358 but it is nothing to get your head wrapped around.
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Old February 20, 2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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In the 357 you can shoot 38 special or 357 rounds. If your cylinder has an internal rim cut for the 357 then you will have to clean the cylinders more often since they will build up fowling and lead. If you can, use only 537 brass.

Yes, you can reload nickel brass. Many reloaders will load mag rounds in nickel and target loads in the brass cases as a way of marking them.

The 357 uses a rolled crimp. The bullet you slected say for tappered crimp only. Therefore no you should not use it.

In this case and with mild loads it is ok to substitute the CCI SP Primer for the Winchester SP Primer. For ball powders or mag charges a lot of people will use a Magnum SP Primer.
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Old February 20, 2012, 10:03 AM   #4
243winxb
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357 Magnum

Nickel brass, being harder, needs "tungsten carbide" dies like RCBS. Titanium nitride is different. Google the difference between the two. The nickel may flake or peel. The primer cup may be thicker on the magnum. The diameter of the bullets are the same. The plated bullet should be loaded to midrange velocity/pressure because of its construction. Use a very light roll crimp or the plating can be damaged.

Last edited by 243winxb; February 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Titanium nitride is different. Google the difference between the two.
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Old February 20, 2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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+1 on the warning about the bullet not having a Canilure and MUST be taper crimped. MFG website states that. I would suggest you keep looking, but if you are dead set on using that bullet you should call them before ordering to ask for their recommended loads as it is a plated bullet, and entirely different animal from a FMJ if you are just starting out. With a little more research, you may find that you should be using LEAD loading data (or 10% less than FMJ) for the plated bullets, which would be less than your listed charge.
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Old February 20, 2012, 10:55 AM   #6
overkill0084
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Quote:
1. Nickle plated brass is ok to reload as long as you inspect the cases carefully due to there hardness. Correct statement or not?
There is nothing particularly special about nickel plated brass. I have read that it may not last as many reloadings due to it being more brittle that non-plated. I personally don't use enough nickel plated brass to confirm this. Inspect all brass regardless of whether it's plated.
Quote:
2. I use cci 500 small pistol primers for the 9mm i reload. I also use win 231 powder aswell. My recipe book says 6.4 grains of win 231 with a win std primer for a 147 grain .357 magnum. Why couldn't i use the cci 500 primers? I know they work well with that powder from my 9mm shells. Ive read that the only reason to change primers is if you go to a diffrent powder for magnum loads that the primer my have trouble igniting.
Start low work up. Primers do contribute their share of the pressure to varying degrees. If your not near max pressure, I wouldn't dwell on the issue too much. FWIW, I use Federal 100 primers for my revolver loads. They are less prone to light strikes with double action use, i.e. softer metal. I use CCI for everything else. But, there is no reason that CCI 500 will not work for your use. The Federals are just in case I use the loads in an old Colt that has had an action job, so light strikes are a real issue. If your revolver is unmodified, I doubt you will notice any issues. My newer S&W doesn't care.
Quote:
3. When i order bullets, .38 bullets are the same for .357 mganum right? So if i ordered these bullets these should work. Right?
Plated are fine for lighter loads. For hot .357, I would stick with cast or true jacketed bullets. Why? For one, plated bullets tend to start shedding their plating above 1200 to 1300 FPS causing any number of issues. Secondly, with full steam .357 loads, you really need a proper roll crimp to keep the bullets from backing out under recoil. It may or may not be a problem in all cases. Think of a good roll crimp as cheap insurance.
But, for the most part, the .38 special and .357 both use the same bullets. Within certain limits.
FWIW, you may be better served by starting your .38/.357 adventures with Plain old cast and/or jacketed bullets. More versatile and fewer limitations.
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Last edited by overkill0084; February 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM.
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Old February 20, 2012, 02:13 PM   #7
Adamantium
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Quote:
Nickel brass, being harder, needs "tungsten carbide" dies like RCBS.
Any set of modern dies will size nickle brass. RCBS, Lee, Redding, Dillon, whatever. Take your pick.
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Old February 20, 2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
There is nothing particularly special about nickel plated brass. I have read that it may not last as many reloadings due to it being more brittle that non-plated.
I've heard that as well. I've got some nickel-plated .357 Super Vel brass that I've been reloading for over 35 years. I guess they must have forgotten to add the stuff that makes them brittle. I don't have to worry as much about the plating flaking with those cases because most of the nickel has worn off over the years.

OTOH, I had some Remington plated brass that started flaking around the case mouth after one loading - that got pitched.
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Old February 20, 2012, 03:23 PM   #9
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As has been said nickle will work just fine for reloading. It may split at the case mouth before a similar brass case would. Shoot, and reload them till they split. Then scrap them, and start over.

Plated bullets work just fine. I have run plated rounds as hard as jacketed in my .41 Mag Ruger Blackhawk with good results. For .38 spcl I have used the Berry's 148 grain HBWC, and 125 grain flat points. They get a light roll crimp. They shoot just fine. Note I have not run them at high velocity. I run a mid range jacketed load with the 125 grainers. They shoot just fine.
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Old February 20, 2012, 04:24 PM   #10
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Nickle plated brass can be resized & reloaded in standard dies. It's easier with Carbide or the other exotic metal dies, but you can use regular dies just fine. Just be sure to get a good case lubricant & use it generously enough.

There is no real difference between "38 Spl & .357 magnum" bullets as such, but you may find differences of manufacture that give you problems. Example loading lead bullets (designed for .38 Spl @ 8~900 FPS) may load the bore with lead if driven at .357 magnum velocities (over 1,000FPS).

You can also load .357 magnum brass to .38 Spl velocities & get the milder use of the .38 without all the hassles of the shorter case. Note I said velocities, not load information.
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Old February 20, 2012, 04:48 PM   #11
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Don't rule out cast bullets in .357 Magnum. 158 grain cast SWC's shoot really nice with 8 grains (or just a little less) of Herco.
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Old February 21, 2012, 12:09 PM   #12
OwenW
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Thanks for the help. I decided to go with different bullets, I had no idea what a cannelure was. Turns out its kinda important.

Thanks Again.
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Old February 21, 2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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For a new reloader, I'd suggest starting with a published load with powder, bullet, and primer as listed. If you have some Unique I would recommend that over W231 for a .357 Mag. Jacketed or lead bullets with a cannalure or crimp groove will suit you best (your dies prolly have a roll crimp die), and plated bullets need a taper crimp and need to be held to below 1200 fps. I have some nickel plated brass that have been reloaded so much the nickel is worn off and the brass shows through; I treat them the same as nonplated.

I'd say, for now, (and you can use different components when you get used to reloading the .357), get some jacketed 158 gr. bullets (any style), some Unique, and standard small pistol primers and use "tried and true" published loads and techniques...
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:23 PM   #14
m&p45acp10+1
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You do not have to have a canulure in a bullet to seat it, or even to crimp it. I hard crimp plated .41 Mag rounds that I push at jacketed velocity. Not a single one has a canulure on it. I have had great results with them also. They shoot nice and flat, and mimic my hunting load well.
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Old February 21, 2012, 11:05 PM   #15
Lost Sheep
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Why not, PA-Joe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA-Joe
The 357 uses a rolled crimp. The bullet you slected say for tappered crimp only. Therefore no you should not use it.
Quote:
OwenW Thanks for the help. I decided to go with different bullets, I had no idea what a cannelure was. Turns out its kinda important.
More useful than important i most circumstances. It is not a requirement by any means, though.

A cannelure is more descriptively called a "crimping groove". Is lets the mouth of a cartridge case roll into the sides of the bullet and hang onto it more forcefully. Important for heavy-recoiling rounds, but not so much for lighter loads. It also helps with "bullet pull". Some powders like to get their burn on before the bullet leaves the shell. A heavy crimp into a crimping groove helps there, too.

You CAN use a plain-sided bullet and taper crimp in a revolver cartridge. Rolled crimp helps keep the bullets in place against the inertial forces applied during recoil, but if you don't go too big on power, they should work fine.

The danger is that if you roll crimp into a plated bullet, you cut through the thin copper plating. If cutting the plating allows separation of the copper from the lead core, you wind up with a barrel obstruction which is a VERY bad thing to have when you fire the next round. Very bad.

Roll crimping dies can apply what amounts to a taper crimp. You just have to adjust the die to that it JUST removes the flare (or bell) of the case mouth, but doesn't turn the case mouth into the side of the bullet. Easy does it.

Running taper crimped rounds through a revolver is no problem as long as you don't get "bullet creep" from the recoil forces. When that happens, the nose of a bullet may stick out the end of your cylinder and jam your revolver. It happened to me a couple of times at the range. I just pushed the offending bullet back into the case with my finger. It happened to Craig Medred (Anchorage Daily News Outdoors Writer) once while he was in the middle of shooting a Grizzly Bear. Not a good time to find out about crimp strength.

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Old February 24, 2012, 06:01 PM   #16
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After reading your post, it sounds to me like the bullet you mentioned was designed for the 9mm. I don't know of any "standard" bullets for the 357/38 that are 147gr. I could certainly be wrong, but I have never seen them. It also would fit that it wouldn't have a cannelure for crimping, if it was for the 9mm, since those rounds should be taper crimped.

If all you want is mild to medium warm loads, I agree with the cast bullet idea. They are usually quite a bit cheaper (WAY cheaper if you cast them yourself) and they are easy to get to shoot well.
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Old February 26, 2012, 05:30 PM   #17
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If you want to go the plated bullet route, you might try something like West Coast Bullets and get something with a cannalure. The price is comparable, and roll crimping is preferable on a revolver round to prevent any setback under recoil.
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