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Old December 8, 2007, 07:27 PM   #1
under_dawg
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Can I duplicate a Factory Load?

I have a ruger 4" GP-100. I have decided to learn how to reload and am interested in producing some ammo that is close to Remington 357 Mag 125 gr semi-jacketed hollow points that I buy @ Wally World for $40 per 100 rd box (L357m1b). They shoot really well in my GP. I have my sights adjusted for these rounds, and they are what I carry in my GP. I would like some ideas on some loads that would get me in the ball park. I can get lasercast bullets for about $45 for 500 at Sportsmans Warehouse locally, but they are 158 gr. I also have a 2 3/4 Ruger Speed-Six (357)with fixed sights that I took my cwp with. I used 158 gr .38 special cheapos and they shot about 6" high @ 25 yards. Does anybody know a good .38 special load that will hold close to point of aim?
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Old December 8, 2007, 09:09 PM   #2
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Sure you can duplicate the velocity of that 125 gr. load. 18.5 gr. of WW 296, magnum primers, and a good stiff crimp should come awful close. That's right out of the WW booklet. For the 140 gr. try 17.5, same specs. The beauty of shooting 38s in a 357 is that you can tailor your loads to the gun and the forcing cone jump that will surpass factory loads that are meant to be shot in all 38s. +P and +P+ loads are easily assembled with a variety of components. Just refer to the mfg. data, and work up accordingly. I always liked 11.0 of 2400 and a swaged or cast 158 LSWC in my 357s. Just don't shoot any in a small frame or valuable OLD gun. Better yet, load them in a 357 case so they don't get mistaken for standard ammo. CB.
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Old December 9, 2007, 10:17 AM   #3
under_dawg
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I am very new to reloading, could you elaborate on what you mean by"tailor your loads to the gun and the forcing cone jump that will surpass factory loads that are meant to be shot in all 38s. +P and +P+ loads are easily assembled with a variety of components" I have seen rings in the chambers of the gun and I know a 38 special is shorter and does not quite reach those rings (as a 357 would). or are you talking about the jump from the chamber int oth barrel? This is very interesting to me.
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Old December 9, 2007, 04:27 PM   #4
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Surely; the jump from the case to the forcing cone can be changed by using different cast bullets with wider front bands such as the Lyman 358429 and 358439. The Lyman 358156 and 357446 can be seated out and crimped in the lower crimp groove adding length to the loaded round. By using the 38 case and seating the 358156 and 357446 out you change the jump (shorter) making the load change it's accuracy because the bullet is closer to the forcing cone and lands. The late gunscribe Skeeter Skelton outlined these loads in SHOOTING TIMES magazine back in the 80's. You will have to cast these, or find some source to get them. By loading these bullets in 38 cases you have essentially a 38 "souper" or +P+ loading so you can save your 357 cases for full power loads. Yes, the 38s will leave a ring in the cylinder, but scrubbing with a bronze or nylon brush will remove them with no damage. I've shot thousands of such loads over the years, and had no problems. You just have to be careful not to shoot them in 38 small frame or lightweight guns. If you need more info feel free to PM me. Enjoy. CB.
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Old December 9, 2007, 06:51 PM   #5
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It should not be too hard to load a better round for your gun than Remington makes in that price range. It will take some learning and experimentation. Be advised that what starts out for some of us as a way to make cheaper ammo turns into an obsession that is anything but cheap.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:06 PM   #6
saands
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I'll add that if you REALLY want to duplicate the round, you will need 2 things:

1. A chrony to measure the velocities of both the standard factory load and your attempts. The load books will get you close, but it you want a duplicate load, it will cost you the $80 to get a chrony ... or find someone that will let you use theirs ... that is always an option.

2. Bullets that are the same weight as the standard load ... I think that it is fair to say that it isn't possible to duplicate a load if you are using different weight bullets. Berry's makes very reasonably priced bullets for the 357 in both 125 and 158 grain weights ... and maybe more. The 357 is an EASY round to load to factory specs.

I would suggest NOT loading hot loads in cases that don't show that load on the headstamp ... 38 loads belong in 38/38+p/357mag cases, 38+p loads in 38+p/357mag cases and 357 loads in 357mag cases ... there just isn't any real reason to do otherwise and you wouldn't want to be responsible for turning some 38spl revolver into a grenade because you lost track of one of your uber-hot 38 rounds at the range and some idiot picked it up and attempted to shoot it ...

Keep in mind that you want to buy "38 Special" dies to load both 38 and 357 ... the 357 dies are for 357mag and 357maximum ... that wasn't too clearly marked on the dies, IIRC. This is the case for Lee dies in any case.

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Old December 10, 2007, 07:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info guys.
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