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Old May 25, 2005, 11:26 AM   #1
ar15a292f
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Moderate 357 load.

Hello everyone. I am new here and this is my first time posting here. I have reloaded for 9x19 and 5.56x45. I would now like to start loading for the 357 mag. I am using a Dillon XL650 to reload on. I am looking for a moderate load for the 357, this would be a practice and range load. I would like to use locally purchased hard cast 158 gr SWC bullets. The brass will probabley be Starline 357 cases. I would like the load to run at 1000 feet per second from my 4" Colt King Cobra. I have loaded Accurate #2 and #5 in 9mm in the past, but now have standarized on Alliant Power Pistol for my 9mm load. Does any one have a good load that they can recommend. I would like to continue to use Power Pistol but this is not mandatory. It would just keep the powder supply simple. I am also interested in a reload the will duplicate the medium velocity Remington 357 Golden Sabre load. That load is a 125 gr bullet at 1220 feet per second from a 4" barrel. Ocasionally I can find hard cast 125 gr truncated cone bullets locally and I would like to work up a practice load for the Golden Sabre. Thank you for any suggestions that you may offer.
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Old May 25, 2005, 06:35 PM   #2
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Power Pistol will do what you want. Check for data on the alliant website and the manuals you have already.
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Old May 25, 2005, 06:50 PM   #3
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Hsmith has it right. The burn rate on that powder should get you where you want just fine.

As for exact charges, sorry I'm no help, but that's not a powder I use, so nothing in my load data sheets.
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Old May 25, 2005, 06:52 PM   #4
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Not a powder I use, but what you want should be easily doable with moderately hard bullets sized .358. Very hard bullets are likely to give you trouble, and those TC bullets will certainly give you trouble if they are sized .355-.356 for 9mm.

Since you are buying bullets, start with just a hundred of each if you can. Load up if the sample batch works out. There are some mighty bad commercial bullets cast out there.
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Old May 28, 2005, 12:03 AM   #5
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I am experiementing with Power Pistol in .357 Mag loads right now!

I am still heavy in the experimentation stage, so I highly recommend doing your own research in addition to what I am about to post.

I have started with a 6.9 grain load under a 158 gr JHP bullet, using Magnum Primers. I have not chrono'ed this load yet. It is comfortable to shoot out of both a 6" ported Taurus 669 and a 2 1/4" SP101. I didn't see any signs of over or under pressure.

I choose 6.9 for a couple of reasons. I don't have my loadbooks handy because I'm at work, but I remember the website showing 8 grains being max for .357. So, 10% down is 7.2, and I always bump my loads down a bit more. So I chose 6.9 as a decent starting point for a Mild Magnum load, primarly for my SP101. This should be close to 1K fps, which is also my goal.

Again, I have not chrono'ed this, and I recommend double checking my numbers before using them because I don't have my notes with me.

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Old May 29, 2005, 04:58 PM   #6
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I'm not particularly fond of PP, sorry, it's just an abreviation, not an oppinion! AA#5 would be the better choice. PP is a brilliant flasher and #5 has very low flash. I'm glad you mentioned the Golden Saber Load. It is an excellent choice for smaller .357 magnum defense guns and since it is defense ammo, shoot it at night and compare it to a similar handload using PP, once will be enough so don't construct too many! Since you have #5, by all means!

If you want to be in High Cotton, Try AA#7, it is a gem for this and even with cast bullets. If it is available to you, try Ramshot True Blue and you will get the accuracy few can match, except for maybe #7 and flash will be at the lowest level obtainable. Velocity can be taken to true magnum level and your load density will be much better. Either of these two powders, or VV 3N37 or N-350 will do the same. All of them will easily get you a duplication load of the 125 gr. GS and so will #5. VV is definitly more expensive and True Blue is a very good alternative to it. #7, is a sure bet!

I stated this to another shooter at another forum and he followed the advice and we were both rewarded by the result!
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Old May 30, 2005, 08:52 AM   #7
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flash, the indeterminate quandry (or sumptin')

I have noticed that different guns firing the same ammo in the dark can have varying flash signatures; I have found AA5 to 'flash' more in different guns. Same with HS6, and Power Pistol, and AA9.

But NOT 3N37 or WAP.

Testing in specific launch platform required.

All that said, Power Pistol normally offers a greater flash signature than most other choices. More in 40 S&W, less in 9x19 and 38 Super.
(Still, in the opinion of certain LE-types, usable. Just not preferred.)
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Old June 5, 2005, 04:51 PM   #8
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You would be incorrect Sir. Just curious, what are the different guns you found flash anywhere near as bright with #5 as PP is in 9mm, where PP will give an impressive fireball with full pressure loads. HS-6 is just barely slower than PP, with considerably less flash with high pressure loads. This is and always has been the case when comparing extruded powders to ball powders that are faster than magnum speed. Extensive testing?
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Old June 5, 2005, 07:34 PM   #9
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incorrect about what, specifically?

Since you've brought it up, exactly where are you testing in the dark?

Just because it's said doesn't make it true..........

And more fun cometh. I quote from the July 1999 HANDGUNS magazine (tested 9x19, 40, and 45 ACP):"The flash from the No. 5 was small and had a dull glow, but sparks were noted in both the 9mm and 40 S&W cartridges." "This is a rough , subjective test." "Power Pistol....gave the most flash in all cartridges. ..... Hodgdon's HS6 gave bright flashes judged as bright and/or intense in the 45, but was smaller but still intense in the 9mm and 40."...." Results can vary with different primers and, perhaps, with different bullets. Differing barrel lengths may also affect the results. ...."

"Power Pistol = bright
HS6 = bright in 45
AA5 = third smallest flash
SP2 = second smallest flash
3N37 = smallest flash"

IMNSLE WAP and 3N37 are veryvery close when it comes to flash, and cleanliness, and metering, and accuracy, and pressure, and velocity, but I think 3N37 smells better when fired.

So I've tested in the dark, at the S&W Academy, at home on the range, using three personal 357's, two personal 9x19's (but three barrels), and two personal 45's. Only one 40, sold the 10mm, and hardly any flash testing in 38 Super (now sold), 41 AE, 9x21, 44 Magnum (expected that one to flash alla time), 45 Colt, 41 Magnum, and only once using my 400 CorBon-barrelled 1911.
Never tested any of my 38 Special in the dark (was tempted earlier tonight, but it IS 3N37).
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Last edited by WESHOOT2; June 5, 2005 at 07:35 PM. Reason: didn't include cop comments about my ammo 'cause that's bragging
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Old June 5, 2005, 08:30 PM   #10
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I agree with WESHOOT2. I have seen flash vary from gun to gun with the exact same ammo too. Most of my experience with this has been in 45 acp, 357 magnum and 9mm, and I'm sure on a very limited scale compared to WESHOOT2 but it was readily apparent. I've also not done much testing in true darkness, but rather in 'low light' conditions.

I've been able to draw only one conclusion I have any confidence in, and that is in regards to 357 magnum. A gun with a tight throat, B/C gap, and tight bore will flash less out the end of the barrel than a gun with a looser measurement of ANY of the three items above. If it is looser in two or all three measurements it might breathe fire where a tight gun is pretty low flash shooting the exact same ammo. My conclusion is that efficiency of burn is the real key, in one gun the bullet is held more tightly and pressure builds faster, possibly higher as well but I don't have pressure testing equipment, with this pressure coming on faster the powder is burned more efficiently and more completely. Another observation that seems to bolster my theory is differing amounts of unburnt powder or powder ash left in the barrel after the gun is shot. The lower flash guns have less unburnt powder and less or finer particles of ash.
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Old June 6, 2005, 02:24 AM   #11
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Well, I'm glad you asked. My shooting partner and I get access to our range at night and while I too saw the article in Handguns, I usually prefer to rely on my own experience since it seems I was already loading with this in mind before Handguns decided that it was even a worthy topic. Seems they don't even bother much with reloading at all lately ( I wouldn't know since I haven't bothered reading it for several years) and with some of the past reloading editors they've had, that may be just as well. When I test loads for flash, it is confined to defense pistols because I don't hunt at night and the only reason I shoot at targets at this point is to gauge flash and my ability to ventilate man size silhouettes in very low light and nightime conditions. You know, like the kind of conditions where a high flash powder might totally screw up your night vision? I have tested powders appropriate (those that will develop the highest velocities) for the use and some not so appropriate like PP and Blue Dot that will get you velocity, but at the expense of very high flash. Powders I have tried for this along with the two previous mentioned ones would be AA#5 (9mm, 38 Sp. +P, .357 Mag and short mag. .40 S&W and .45 ACP), #7 (.38 Sp. +P, 9mm +P and .357 SM, Magnum and .45ACP), #9 (.357 SM, Magnum, .40 with 165 gr. Golden Sabers) HS-6 in all of the calibers, 3N37 in all of the calibers and ditto for SP-2 except that I haven't used it in .45 ACP. Which is the least tested of the group and the phenomenon you guys are referring to is pretty much a .45 ACP event with HS-6. In 9mm +P it is a very low flasher and may actually perform best at high pressure. Last time I tested with loads of similar +P velocity in 9mm, Hs-6 was actually slightly less than 3N37. Since AA#5 is an excellent .45 ACP +P powder, that is what I use along with #7 for +P occasionally. #5 has very low flash as does #7, but #7 runs out of room quicker and won't achieve velocities in the .45 ACP that #5 will. I haven't tried Silhouette for this yet, because it is based on the same chemistry as HS-6, but with flash inhibitors added that will probably make it an even lower flash powder. Maybe a good choice for the .45, or factory equivelent .40, but it will not reach the velocities obtainable with HS-6, 3N37, AA#7 or SP-2, in the 9mm +P, or the .357 Magnum, or my short version. None of these powders require flash inhibitors and WAP/Silhouette has a faster pressure peak that limits it's potential for the 9mm, .357 Magnum and Short Magnum.

Recalling the article I believe they stated that the difference between #5, 3N37 was minimal and I don't remember SP-2 being used at all, but I'll take your word for it. I found SP-2 in 9mm +P and .40 to be the very lowest flasher and #5 and 3N37 pretty close to each other in 9mm +P and .40. I don't use #5 for the .357 Magnum or Short version and again SP-2 has a very slight edge over 3N37, but 3N37 is a good choice in all of these cartridges as is #7 with the exception of .40 S&W and it's compression before max velocity potential is reached in .45 ACP. With 3N37, flash is so low that it should be the yardstick, since Vectan SP-2 is unavailable until Nobelsport sets up their own distribution. Funny, but I don't remember you extolling the virtues of 3N37 for this purpose when I started reading your threads. I am happy that you find it satisfactory, just the same. So, why would you even recommend PP to someone that may not have the ability to test at night and there weren't any disclaimers about flash when you made the recommendation. HS-6, #5, #7, 3N37 and of course SP-2 if you can find it, are all much better choices.

HSmith, I would expect you to agree with WS2 since you also made a recommendation for PP.

Just because it's said doesn't make it true.... That is correct and sometimes I feel that this is the case with everyone's oppinions but your own, some of which I find so full of holes that they appear to be Swiss Cheese! Let me list some of my particular favorites. My apologies in advance for not quoting you absolutely verbatim.
1. Pressure Peaks in the cylinder of a revolver. You remember that one I know and I wonder if you still believe that to be the case.
2. Stating that a magnum defense load was sold to a customer for use in a 4" revolver, loaded with H-110. Let's hope he doesn't find out how bad a choice that was, The Hard Way. Since obviously, he doesn't know any better, you should by now with the vast amount of experience you propose to have.
3. Recommending PP, for high pressure defense cartridges, that now you are crawfishin' on, and stating it does flash, but flash is overemphasized. What is really overemphasized is the number of posts one guy can put up and still find the time to do extensive testing. If you have posted over 6000 times on who knows how many forums ( I know of 2 at least and suspect that there are several others). I think it is possible that this is actually the source of your database since you have surely read more threads than you have posted on. I know I have and my time is pretty much confined to TFL.
4. I remember on one occasion that you tried to contradict my statement that Silhouette was formerly WAP sold by Winchester, even though I mentioned that Ramshot uses WAP data that had already been developed by Winchester. What you didn't know while you were disputing, was that I had gotten the information directly from Ramshot. This from a guy that has used so much WAP that the cases were used to make furniture. Remember that one.

And by all means, continue. And if you see me make a comment that doesn't hold water, Call me out on it. I will most certainly do the same when peoples lives are at risk. Of course, I will try to pry an intelligent reason for a contradiction if it was done for any reason other than insecurity about someone encroaching your supposed bailiwick and I have seen you do this enough times that I would suggest you seek counseling.
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Old June 6, 2005, 04:34 AM   #12
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gone too far

1) I suggested that pressure might peak in the cylinder; I offered no absolute, because I'm (still) not sure.

2) That "customer" is far more sophisticated a shooter than many, and was working with me to develop a 41 Magnum defense load; the shipped load was tested for flash.

3) IMO flash is over-emphasized, whether you agree or not. I have tested numerous loads through numerous guns in dark scenarios, or simply on my range (see, I have 24-hr access 'cause I live here).
How many posts I've made or where I've made them has little bearing on how much ammo I've made, how much I actually know, how much I think I know, and how much I'm still learning.

4) Silhouette got added flash inhibiting and different temperature-lowering changes.

You've implied I'm a liar, and that flat don't cut it.
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Old June 6, 2005, 04:36 AM   #13
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to the original poster

So sorry this thread went so far astray.........
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Old June 6, 2005, 07:29 AM   #14
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Sturm, if you read the original post the question was in regards to RANGE and PRACTICE ammo, he already has Power Pistol in his inventory and uses GS 125's for defensive use. He wanted to know if PP would do what he wanted, and several of us said YES. Our answer was accurate and applicable. He didn't ask for a diatribe on muzzle flash.

You don't like Power Pistol because of the flash, fine, the flash is the only thing I don't like about it myself. It still stands that it is a reasonable choice for the intended purpose of the original poster.
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Old June 6, 2005, 08:08 AM   #15
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Enough.

Y'all calm down down, now.

This is all about opinion, and opinions DO differ. Express yours freely. Point out how you disagree with the other fellow's opinion if you wish. Let's don't take such a difference as justification for attacking the credibility of another member.


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Old June 6, 2005, 06:47 PM   #16
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HSMITH and all concerned.

I'm sure it is a reasonable choice for this and I have tried it. There are several reasonable choices. HS-6, with a similar burn rate, is a better one! I happen to feel that this forum is a tool to help us make better choices and there are better choices for this type of load than PP. Also, ar15 mentioned keeping powder inventory down and using PP in the 9mm also. Again, there are several choices that are better and I believe ar15 can accomplish his goal, if I am understanding the intent of all implications here. Specifically, with the .357, there are other considerations than flash; Load density and Velocity Uniformity or Standard Deviation, are also worth considering and PP doesn't exactly shine in any of these categories. The same performance could be achieved, better in my oppinion with Blue Dot. Because it is also a flasher and since we are considering defense load potential, at least to some degree, I wouldn't recommend it in this case. Ball powders with low flash signatures are far superior for the purpose than extruded flake. There are many newer ball powders like 3N37 and Ramshot True Blue (which is also one of the least expensive) that would better cover the needs of the original poster as compared to PP. For Target loads up to factory .357 Magnum velocity, there are few powders better than AA#7 and since it was developed for high velocity/pressure 9mm, well you can see the implication.

Saturday night, I loaded 200 rounds of 9mm with Alliant Blue Dot. I know they will flash and they were loaded strictly for the range. They will never see a defense application. When I started reloading, it was considered almost absurd to use Blue Dot in 9mm. No one even spoke of flash being detrimental to defense loading. The accepted practices came mainly from the W-231/Unique crowd. I have developed some of the most accurate loads in 9mm, using Blue Dot that I wouldn't have ever loaded if I had listened to advice that was nothing more than a carry over from the Bullseye/231/Unique mentality. After a period of time, I have seen the same mentality applied on reloading forums and it is nothing more than a continuance of conventional wisdom and the old grapevine. Yeah, it will get you acceptable or reasonable ammo, but if you want exceptional ammo, sometimes you have to step out of the box and explore possibilities instead of cliches'. What I find troubling is when someone reverts back to the mentality for the sole purpose of disagreeing with an idea that wasn't their own. Anyone that has been at this for any reasonable length of time should be looking at more than one area of performance when choosing a powder. PP will get you high velocity, but will it do it with low standard deviation? With Low Flash? with good load density?

I might be wrong, but I think that ar15 was looking for something better than a suggestion to go ahead and keep using PP, so that he would in turn show gratification to boost someones ego. Not that he shouldn't use his existing inventory. But, Maybe he now has a clearer idea of the implications and possibly a more suitable powder he might want to look at in the future. I have found many good powders in the past, but I never decided to marry any of 'em. Chemistry is like any other technology. Engineers don't quit developing ideas because they believe thay developed a perfect powder, yet for the first half of my reloading life, most handgunners were using Bullseye/W-231 or Unique for the vast majority of their handloads with the occasional use of 2400, H-110, or W-296 for pure magnum loads without much consideration for all the powders in-between. Convenience is a lazy mans perspective and not a reason for selecting gun powder. If someone tells me of a new powder with some knowledge of it's characteristics, I can guarantee you, I will be paying close attention. If they are continuing on with cliches, I will tune them out. When they recommend them to people that have not had the time they have had, to learn all of the parameters and do it on this forum, I will wade in.

Let me leave you with information that hasn't been covered to this point. I will also point out that it has been unmentioned by those that are recommending Power Pistol. PP is larger cut flake variation of Bullseye. It gets it's slower burning rate from the larger diameter flake. Don't take my word for it, call Alliant and after you get past their sales propoganda about why PP is such a great powder, they will admit the same. The sales literature boasts millions of rounds loaded for the 9mm NATO to our military. But, is it the same cannister powder you are buying? Might want to ask them that, while your at it! Or call Cor-Bon. Alliant technicians once told me that C-B used it for the 115 gr. +P JHP load that is very popular. They didn't tell me that it was a different PP than you or I can buy. When I investigated, I found that C-B had switched to a better performing AA#7!

Outside of it already being in a reloaders inventory can anyone provide a "Reasonable" purpose for recommending it. Especially after they have concluded in this and other threads, that there are better choices?
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Old June 6, 2005, 08:22 PM   #17
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ar15a292f

Since the precedent for double posting has been established, let me correct a mistake I made. I did not notice that this was your first thread, or post on the forum or the reloading section. Without regard to anything else, let me correct it by saying... Welcome!
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Old June 6, 2005, 09:59 PM   #18
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Sturm, now that is a post that we can work with. Well done.

I agree with you on some points, and disagree on some others. I agree with your approach to selecting loads and powders, but disagree on some of the choices as my same approach has indicated different choices. It is after all just opinions.

I hope to provide the readers here with the best information I can, and I think you will do the same. When we provide the background information and testing then the readers can find which thought process best matches what they want to do and then they can do the testing on their own and make more educated decisions. Lord knows some of the input on this forum and others have saved me money, time and frustration.
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Old June 7, 2005, 01:49 AM   #19
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Hsmith

As the English say; Hear, Hear!
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Old June 7, 2005, 09:38 AM   #20
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While I'm still tremendously fond of WW 231 for most applications, including ligth to moderate .357 Mag. practice ammo with lead bullets, I'm finding more and more to like about AA 5 and 7.

I use AA 7 for .41 Mag. and 10mm, and it's about as perfect a powder for those applications as I've found.

The only drawback I've found to the AA powders is that they're extremely fine, and will leak in some powder measures.

For balls to the wall .357 loads? I seriously doubt if anything will ever replace WW 296 on my bench.
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Old June 7, 2005, 04:47 PM   #21
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It looks like you already have knowledgeable answers AR15, so I'll just say welcome to TFL.
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Old June 7, 2005, 06:16 PM   #22
ar15a292f
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Thanks for the information guys. When my supply of Power Pistol is expended I may re-examine Accurate #5. I will also look at HS6 and maybe the Ramshot powders. I would like to try 3N37 but it cost more and the availibility is sometimes spotty around here.
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Old June 7, 2005, 08:56 PM   #23
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ar15, that is one of the reasons I extoll the virtues of Ramshot True Blue. 3N37 is an outstanding powder and it is considerably more expensive ($5 or more per pound). The characteristics are very similar and competition shooters have caught on. True Blue is seeing a lot of use from guys that were formerly using 3N37 and there is cast load data as well with some impressive Standard Deviations in all of the popular calibers from 9mm to .454 Casull. Well, except for my favorite, the .41 Magnum. www.ramshot.com

HS-6 is also a great powder as is AA#5, but they are a little faster burning that will limit case fill and velocity potential. #5 was not particularly clean in the medium level .357 Magnum loads I used it for, but it is a low flash powder. #7 is cleaner with better case fill and velocity potential. Accuracy can be truly exceptional in the .357. Any of these will work in the loads you want to develop along with the 9 X 19mm, and they will perform great there as well.
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Old June 8, 2005, 04:32 PM   #24
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i like power pistol alot. So much so, that I buy it in the Big Jugs. I use it in .40 and .45, and have recently started using it in .357.

Out of my CZ97, not alot of flash. My beretta 96fs though, on an indoor range especially, yeah, it's got some flash. Nothing compared to H110, but it's noticable. Is it worse than other powders, like aa#7? Less, I think.

I like it cause it meters well, is consistant, and I can use it in several calibers. I don't shoot in low light conditions, so that's a moot point for me, and CCW/HD...well, I'll worry about that when if it comes. Kinda like worrying about your hearing in a SD shooting. If I survive the encounter, I'll consider swapping powders if I felt it impeded my vision any. And if I don't survive, well, I know who won't want my jugs of PP!!
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Old June 9, 2005, 04:47 AM   #25
Sturm
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Kamicosmos

That is the last thing I would want to hear, that a fellow shooter had gone down trying to defend himself or a loved one and I don't care what load or powder he used. Even if it were one of my favorites, I doubt that I could ever use it, so it would sit on my bench as a memorial in any case. Maybe that is what drives my zealot nature about defensive pistol powders to begin with.

I am curious though. What caliber did you get brighter flash from #7 than PP, and were they loaded to an equivelant pressure level/velocity? #7 is an outstanding powder for mid range .357 up to full magnum loads. I especially like it and 3N37 with revolvers with shorter tubes and in 9mm. I will admit that I will be reworking a lot of loads in the future with Ramshot True Blue.

I also shoot a CZ BTW, the P-01 and it is my favorite pistol which before that had been the SIG P-226!
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