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Old May 1, 2013, 08:12 PM   #1
KASarich
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Question for the gurus - .357 Magnum 158gr XTP

OK guys, here is my question:

I loaded about 75 cartridges last night, .357 Magnum, 158 grain XTP with 6.3 grains of Autocomp (a little slower than HP-38). I seated the bullets so the cartridge OAL would be 1.580'' with a light cripm. However, since I was using mixed brass, as I measured all of the cartridges, some have an OAL shorter than 1.580''. A few were even as short as 1.570''.

My Lee reloading manual states 1.580'' min. OAL and a starting charge of 6.2 grains of Autocomp (7.0 grains max charge). My Hornady manual does not list Autocomp for this application, but it does state a min. OAL of 1.590''.

What do you guys think? Would you fire the short cartridges or should I set them aside and pull the bullets? I am firing a S&W Model 65-1 (4'' Barrel). I ask becasue I enjoy having hands, and I enjoy my Model 65 almost as much.

Thanks,
Kyle
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Old May 1, 2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but loading 158 gr. XTPs with AutoComp is kinda a waste of a good bullet. Go ahead and shoot them, you want have a problem because even with the OACL being short, Autocomp won't produce enough pressure to make much of a difference. If you were loading cast or plated bullets, I'd say, whatever, but for anything near the intended purpose of the XTP, you need a different powder. If recoil is an issue, try to get some AA#7 where mid-velocity loads can be amazingly accurate and you can still make loads that will come close in velocity to a load charged with a Magnum propellant. Since the .357 Magnum's case is a good bit smaller than the .41 or .44 Magnums, I like to use powders that are a bit faster than those like H110/W296 that are better for the .44 Magnum. AA#9 and Ramshot Enforcer will give the highest velocity with the 158 gr. XTP and a Max. Charge that you must work up to gradually from a Start Charge. Of those 2, I prefer Enforcer.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:09 PM   #3
KASarich
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Yeah, I went out last night looking for some Accurate No. 7 to load .357 and 10mm Auto, but powder is in short supply around here right now. The only pistol powders I have at home are HP38 and AutoComp (I mostly load for .380 ACP, 9x19 and .45 ACP). I wanted to bring the Model 65 to the range this weekend and needed some ammo, so I went with the AutoComp since it is a little slower than the HP38. Not the ideal powder, I know, but it is the best I can do at the moment.

As far as the rounds go, the bullets are seated to the cannelure, so as long as the consensus is that I am not going to generate unsafe pressures with this load, I will run them.

Kyle
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:33 PM   #4
Revolver1
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Load XTP's with 2400. As for seating, seat to the crimp groove on the bullet. Unless you're trimming cases, you're going to have variation in OAL. You're worrying about nothing. Shoot 'em up.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:50 PM   #5
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Two days ago I shot a 38 special round with 158 gr XTP JHP that Quickload thought was 216,952 psi, 2292 fps.
That jammed the gun and ended the work up.

It was not that high a pressure, because the CCI 450 small rifle magnum primer did not pierce.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:55 PM   #6
Misssissippi Dave
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With .357 mag loads using Jacketed bullets, I always crimp at the cannelure. Then I check to see how they fit in the cylinder. I don't want to have a lock up problem. I start at near the minimum and work the load up from there. I have never had a problem with starting loads and a little shorter OAL in .38 special or .357 magnum loads. It isn't like I have to worry about how they are going to feed as in semi-auto pistols. As mentioned, this isn't a powder I would normally want to use. It seems these days you just have to make do with what you are able to get. I'm fortunate to have enough powder to hold me for a while. I'm not to the point yet of having to use powders I would rather not have to use yet. AA7 is my preferred powder to use with 158 grain JHP bullets for range use. My bullets are not designed for expansion. I guess they could expand a bit if I bumped the speed up a little more using AA9 powder or W296.

I would shoot them but I would also expect them to be fairly mild loads. How accurate they will be I have no idea. .010" difference in OAL is not going to make much difference in pressure or speed.
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Old May 1, 2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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If it were 9mm, a .010" reduction would bother me, but a .010" difference in OAL shouldn't hurt anything in the .357.
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Old May 2, 2013, 10:55 PM   #8
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And ditto on the 2400 if you can get it. Always a great powder that may be matched today but not bettered in the Magnum pistols.
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Old May 3, 2013, 05:22 AM   #9
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I answered on the S&W forum

Plenty of wiggle room on that load.

AC seems to be a friendly powder to lead if the data`s rite ,but kinda narrow working band.

ya load should be a tad over 25,700 psi.
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Old May 3, 2013, 05:25 AM   #10
GP100man
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Also what`s happening is the shorter cases are pulling the bullets down in the case as they just start rollin in the cannelure.
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Old May 3, 2013, 05:52 AM   #11
Nathan
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Longshot is another magnum or near magnum powder that seems to be the first back in stock around here.
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Old May 3, 2013, 07:00 AM   #12
TimSr
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Quote:
I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but loading 158 gr. XTPs with AutoComp is kinda a waste of a good bullet.

Agreed. Hollow points, especially XTP types don't open up and expand well when hitting meat at low velocity. You'll notice reloading data books for .38 special has all the hollow point loads listed in the +P section. The best man/game stoppers at low velocity are WC or SWC.
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Old May 4, 2013, 06:51 PM   #13
KASarich
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So, I fired the cartridges today at the range, and they felt like .38 Specials. The accuracy was not bad, though. The defiently went where they should have, but they were definetly not up to .357 Magnum power. I know now that can definetly up the charge a bit now.

Aside from that, the AutoComp seemed to work out OK for now, but I will defiently be trying some Accurarte No. 7 once it comes back in stock.

Thank you all for the words of wisdom.
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Old May 4, 2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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KASarich, if it's a short barreled M65 like say a 3" you might be able to work up to something decent with AutoComp provided you have the data. I understand if it's all you can find and you definitely have better performance potential with it compared to HP38. AA#7 is also a good choice for shorter barrel magnum loads and since it's faster burning than the magnum propellants, it won't lose velocity quite as rapidly in shorter barrels and it will have lower muzzle-blast. But where it shines is in its accuracy potential and good velocities can be obtained from 3" - 6" revolvers and if you need higher velocity for hunting loads or such, there are always the magnum powders if they ever become available again.
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Old May 5, 2013, 10:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Unless you're trimming cases, you're going to have variation in OAL
Case length does not effect the COL but it does effect the crimp. I trim my revolver brass for a consistent crimp.
If the COL variation is a problem try seating and crimping in two steps.
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