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Old April 21, 2007, 09:38 AM   #1
Stargazer
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A good .357 practice load...?

I have been trying to work up a good .357 practice load for my 686 and Marlin rifle. I have looked at lot's of loading data both on the web and in loading books. I am not very good at math at all but it seems to me that there is a wide choice to be made when reloading .357's. Powder is sold and used by weight. I can get 1200-1400 FPS with a 158 JHP using 14-18 grains of fast rifle type powder or I can get 1100-1200 FPS by using some powder like Unique and only using 7-8 grains of powder. Yes Bullseye could be used with even less powder charge but it maxs out pretty fast. Just seems to me and my figuring that the Unique charge which gives twice as many reloads from a pound as the other type of load, it is just a better choice for volume reloading. It gives a good velocity at the lower end of the "magnum" range and should make a good round for practice.

How many use Unique for .357 out there and what load do you use/results?
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Old April 21, 2007, 04:31 PM   #2
1tomcat
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unique for 357 loads

I use 9.6 unique behind a 125 grain jacketed hornady hp bullet for an advertised 1343 fps,
also use 2400 which gives about 100 fps more velocity however the 1343 seems fast enough to me
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Old April 21, 2007, 08:18 PM   #3
Hook686
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I've been using 7.8 grains of Unique, Winchester Small Pistol primers, 1.590" O.A.L. with both 158 grain SJSP (Magtech), for a number of years. I get about 1200 fps out of my S&W 627, 5" barrel and 1150 fps out of my S&W 686, 4" barrel. My Marlin 1894C yields about 1400 fps with this load. This seems to be the low end for the carbine and approaching the upper end for the revolver. The alliant web page
http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...15&bulletid=29

uses magnum primers, which I have just tried. I get 50-60 fps more with the S&W 627. I have yet to try these in the Marlin, but expect similar speed increase.

This is about the lowest limit I have tried. The carbine seems to like a slower burning powder. I would not even try the Bullseye. I was even very cautious in trying the Unique in the carbine. I like this load simply because it gives me good results in the S&W 627:

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Old April 21, 2007, 08:56 PM   #4
williamd
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Hook686 ... I too use 7.8 g Unique adnb 158g bullets. I have tried the 125g bullets but, heck, if I am going to shoot a maggie why not go for the load with which I use to hunt or HD?

PS: My targetrs don't look like yours. Guess mine jump around. Dang earthquakes!
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Old April 21, 2007, 11:20 PM   #5
Stargazer
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Thanks for the input guys, I loaded (112) of them today with 7.8 grains and a 158 JHP bullet, Winchester standard primers. I will speed check both the Marlin and the 686 tomorrow with them. Thanks for the speed readings with the 4 and 5" barrels, that gives me a good reference to go by. I think my 4" will do about the same as yours, around 1150. Last time out the Chrony was acting up but I did get a few readings and that is very close to what I got.

Getting almost (1000) rounds from a pound of Unique sure makes a lot of sense as it does fill the case nicely too so a double charge would be spilling out. I'll see what my Marlin 16" "C" model gets tomorrow.

Will be checking the speed of my .308 AP loads too. I figure they are going around 2450-2500, we shall see. FAL used here, STG58C from Enterprise. Will check the Glock 36 too for it's speed just for the hell of it. I know it'll be 7-800 something being a 45 but it is nice to know the reloads you do work well and to see their speed.
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Old April 22, 2007, 07:21 PM   #6
Stargazer
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The Chrony was acting up this AM real bad. I go real early and the sun is not in a good position to do the sensors properly. Next time I will tilt the entire unit that way and try that out.

I did get a couple of readings though with the 7.8 grain loads. One was 1086 and the other was 1050 FPS. Don't know whether to believe it or not the way it was doing high velocity readings and errors all morning long. I did not even fire the Marlin over it as it was just too flaky acting today. Ya know, some white LED's on top of those diffusers might just give the sensors what they want, a reliable steady light source that will allow the Chrony to work anywhere at any time including the dark maybe. Why would you want to shoot over a Chrony at night...scrap that night thing. But it might just help those bad lighting conditions I keep getting myself into with it.
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