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Old April 21, 2011, 03:50 PM   #1
wogpotter
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125 Gr .357 S&W mag. which powder?

Basic choices are between N110, 2400, or H110, so preferences & pitfalls please for 125Gr JHP's at 1350 FPS in a 6" bbl revolver. My research seems to be indicating 15.0 Gr N110, 16.0 Gr 2400, or 18.5 Gr H110 & I'll be using CCI 550 magnum primers.

Which is your favorite & why, or which is the dog & why?
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Old April 21, 2011, 04:31 PM   #2
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357 mag. 125 gr. @ 1350 FPS

You should have no problem reaching 1350 FPS with any of the above loads.
I have experience with 2400 and with the mag. primers 16.0 gr. should get you there. To make the loads work well you will have to have a heavy crimp.

It's been a while since I've loaded them, but as I remember everything went just fine. I was working with a 4" barrel, so you should be in good shape with a 6" barrel.

I have used Vitavuori powder in the 30:06 ( N-160 ) and am very impressed. It would likely be a good choice with your project.

I have used Blue Dot and Unique, but theyr'e not the best for top velocity. So after all of my babel, yes 16.0 gr. of 2400 is a good safe load.

Maybe others will chime in and give you more information.
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Old April 21, 2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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I used 2400 when moving magnum loads to max velocity and it always served me quite well. One school of thought is that you no longer need to use magnum primers, but to each his own. It's an excellent powder.

Quote:
I have used Blue Dot and Unique, but theyr'e not the best for top velocity
They're relatively fast burning (compared to 2400) and peak quickly. You want a slower burning powder for the velocity you're after. Just make sure you put a heavy crimp on the bullet so the powder has time to build up.
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Old April 21, 2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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I use Unique.
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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1350 is not all that fast from a 6", you will have trouble keeping that slow. So I would use a faster powder to get 100% burn before the bullet leaves the barrel. Herco or Unique will do it, or even 231.
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Old April 21, 2011, 08:16 PM   #6
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Actually Unique was the first choice, but when I get a real 1350 FPS I get the ol' 2X4 ejection issue., 8.5Gr of Unique gave me 1370 FPS @ 10 feet but I only get one cylinder than I have to beat on the ejector rod so I'm looking for something a little lower in pressure for the same velocity.
If I get a little extra then I'm not going to complain as long as I'm not beating up the crane.
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Old April 21, 2011, 09:03 PM   #7
RWNielsen
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Unique

9.5g with a 125 HPXTP got me 1342 avg on 6 shots through a 6" GP-100

*sorry, missed your last post*

20.8 0F H-110 got me 1500 fps
16.0 of 2400 ran about 1260 avg
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Old April 22, 2011, 07:24 AM   #8
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N110 is the 'cleanest'; H110 and 2400 have history.
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Old April 22, 2011, 08:07 AM   #9
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I show the start load of H-110 to be 21gr for 1880fps (10" barrel). H-110 isn't a powder I'd try to reduce for lower velocities.

I don't have any expeirience with the other two powders you mention, but HP-38 (W231) or Universal will each put you in the velocity range you seek.
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Old April 22, 2011, 08:50 AM   #10
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Same here, I'd try Unique first. H110 is tricky stuff and not recommended for reduced loads. Titegroup is another good possibility for moderate velocities, check out the Hodgdon web site reloading data center.
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Old April 22, 2011, 08:55 AM   #11
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Use full loads of Unique and standard caps with that light bullet, ignore the light ash it leaves, it's harmless. H-110 and 2400 will do better with heavier bullets.
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Old April 22, 2011, 09:51 AM   #12
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Blue dot with 125gr bullets

The power manufacturer says 125gr with blue dot is a big no no! There was a sticky at the top of the page. Very erratic pressures and vel.
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Old April 22, 2011, 10:26 AM   #13
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I use HP-38 for my "mid-range" loads in my GP-100, 6". It's a good bit cleaner than H110 as well. 8gr over a 125gr Zero JHP. That's going to be right at 1350.
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Old April 22, 2011, 10:54 AM   #14
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To all those who recommended Unique, please note: I tried this & it gave me ejection problems as stated earlier. What I’m looking for is a load that will give me 1350FPS (or better, that’s fine, lets call 1350 my suggested minimum/optimum) using one of the three powders mentioned, namely “N110, 2400, or H110 “. I’m not adverse to a different powder being suggested simply have no intention to use Unique as it proved unsuitable for the purpose.
“8.5Gr of Unique gave me 1370 FPS @ 10 feet but I only get one cylinder than I have to beat on the ejector rod so I'm looking for something a little lower in pressure for the same velocity.”

“I show the start load of H-110 to be 21gr for 1880fps (10" barrel). H-110 isn't a powder I'd try to reduce for lower velocities.”
That is a lot different from the data I found from several sources, I'm also using a 6" Bbl, not a 10" so some velocity loss is highly likely, Guessing 50 fps/inch I'm guessing close to 1650, that would be fine. Im certainly not going to reduce below a suggested minimum, that would be an unsafe practice & not one I'll try. I will take a little extra velocity instead if that helps clarify.

Hornady says 18.4Gr for 1350, with a min/max load of 13.3/16.1 for N-110, 13.9/16.9 for 2400, & 17.4/19.9 for H 110.

Nosler says 18.6 for the same with a min/max of 16.0/17.0 for 2400, 18.6/19.6 for H 110 (they don’t list V-110.

Sierra says 18.4 for 1350, 13.1/16.4 for V-110, 16.2/19.0 for 2400 & 17.6/19.8 for N-110.

Speer says 16.8/17.8 for N-110, 16.5/17.5 for 2400, & 18.0/20.0 for H 110, they don’t give stepped velocities. Min max are 1335/1443 though.

Hodgdon says 21.0 for a minimum of 1881, min/max are 21.0/22.0

Now let me be clear I do NOT want any unsafe load, but I am having some concerns about some of the loads her being suggested as they seem to be out in the weeds one way & another. Or maybe I just missed something?
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Old April 22, 2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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H110 can do lower velocities. The problem is that it becomes REALLY dirty.
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Old April 22, 2011, 11:53 AM   #16
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Mostly I shoot 158 grain lead bullets in .357 (that would be 8.0 grains of either Herco or WSF for an economical "magnum" load)

I've used 9.5 grains of WSF with Remington 125 grain JHP's. I didn't chronograph them. It was a step down from factory 125 JHP's in recoil, but not a big step down. I still have half a box of 'em somewhere, might need to dust off the chronograph and see if it still works...

WSF is a slower powder than Unique, but faster than HS-6. It's outstanding in 9mm.
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Old April 23, 2011, 01:59 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the input. I found some H-110 locally today, and as it's the only powder listed that I found locally I went for it & bought a pound to try out.
Averaging the data from several listed manuals I tried a starting load of 18.5 Gr with the 550 mag primer & 125 Gr XTP.

I'm going to keep the Unique for plated lead 158 Gr plinking loads with 7.0 Gr as that has worked in the past & fine tune the jacketed loads with H-110 for best results.

Off to the range to-morrow with the test batch & we'll see how it goes.
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Old April 23, 2011, 06:33 PM   #18
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13.9 Grains of 2400 behind a 158 gr. hornady hollow point bullet has worked great for me. I have put a hundred or more rounds through my ruger 357 and they pattern very nicely with tight groupings.
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Old April 23, 2011, 09:26 PM   #19
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Please Let us know how the H-110 load works. I've got the same bullet on the way and some H-110 to try.
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Old April 23, 2011, 10:14 PM   #20
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I have a GP-100 with a 4" barrel. So far 2400 with a Hornady 125 gr XTP and AA-9 with the Montana Gold 125 gr JHP have been the best performers. I tried 296 and got sprayed on the arms and face with burning powder. From what people say it works fine in longer barrels.
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Old April 24, 2011, 01:11 PM   #21
wogpotter
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Quote:
Please Let us know how the H-110 load works. I've got the same bullet on the way and some H-110 to try.
Quick 'n dirty (literally)range report on the 18.6 Gr H-110 load with the 550 primers & 125 Gr XTP bullets.

I tried an 18.6 Gr. load with H-110 which was an average from 4 reloading manuals to give me an estimated 1350, my goal is 1350 or better for a good defensive 125 Gr HP load. This is actually a very light load for H110, under Hodgdon's minimum of 21,0 BTW. Ran like a charm, no ejection issues but dirty burning, black soot everywhere (probably because of the very light load) but extraction was a breeze & Mrs WP says it was less loud than the 8.6 Gr Unique load but with about the same fireworks every time I fired. I'm going to work up a ladder load for this at 19 & 20 Gr. (The Max listed for some manuals is 19.9, less than Hodgdon's minimum). 21.0 Gr & see where it goes. Once I have them clocked & checked I'll just pick the best of the bunch & stick with it.

Apart from the dirty burn, probably from the low load density, everything ran just fine, based on that I'm assuming the issue with Hogdon's load data was dirt rather than anything dangerous. I guess this is kind of supported by all the other sources running round about 18.5 for a minimum?
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Old April 25, 2011, 10:57 PM   #22
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Hello

I thought you guys might find this interesting.

I’ve been doing some of my own research with some .38 and .357 factory load duplication, and am finding out what effect ambient temperature has on all this stuff.. I’ve been posting this over at the S&W forum.


While I’m waiting on warmer weather for the rest of the .38 Special trial, I’d thought I would pick on some .357 Mag 125gr factory load duplication and see what happens. It’s still on the cool side here, 40s and 50s, so I was wondering what I would have to do to duplicate the factory velocity and, if I would run into the same temperature sensitivity as I did with the .38’s.

I started out wanting to duplicate the Rem-UMC 125gr JSP load, so I chose the Sierra 125gr JSP for load testing.


Included in the trial is some Speer 125gr Gold Dots.
The Gold Dots actually shoot very well out of my 4” 686, but the Rem’s are faster.

First thing is to see what is inside these loads.

The Remington UMC 125gr JSP;



Powder charge is 19.5grs of a ball powder;



The Speer GD load;



has a charge of ball powder weighing 20.8grs.



Both Speer and Rem bullets weighed 125grs. No surprise there..

Well, here’s what I came up with..
Handloads 5 rds @
25 yards
5½" black targets
average velocity underlined
followed by extreme spread
then standard deviation
Oehler mod 33 chronograph



Target 1 and 2 are the factory loads. As you can see, the GD load groups nicely, but the RemUMC load, not so well..
However both velocities are well into the 1300’s even on a cool day.

20.8 grs of something = 1339 fps and
19.5 grs of something = 1383 fps

Also you can see the velocities of these loads, many of which are right out of the books as max, lag a little behind the factory loads.
None of the loads shot today showed any kind of pressure signs. The cases fell out of the chambers and all the primers looked normal.

The only technical problem I ran into was when my luck ran out and the rain started, the skyscreens must have gotten wet as I got some erroneous readings on the chrono. This occurred when I was shooting the last group loaded with 2400, target 19. The only readings that made sense were two around 1260 fps.

Last week I shot a group with a Magtech 125gr JHP ahead of 16.6 grs 2400 in a little cooler temp, which shot very nicely;



So again, it will be interesting to re-shoot this in warmer weather.

Last edited by RDub; April 26, 2011 at 07:36 PM.
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Old April 25, 2011, 11:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Remington UMC 125gr JSP
I have a half a box of those! I shoot a few every once in a while so I don't fool myself with my .357 reloads. (my reloads are usually in the same ballpark recoil-wise, but a noticeable step down)
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Old April 26, 2011, 01:43 PM   #24
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RDub, that's interesting stuff--thanks for posting it. I'm wondering if both the factory loads use a non-canister grade of H110/W296. Charge weight would seem about right, and it sure looks similar.

I've tried 296 with 125 grain bullets in my 4" S&W model 28, and I didn't like it. It was very impressive with lots of flash and blast, but I do just as well in the velocity and accuracy departments using 2400. I did have better success with 296 using heavier bullets.
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Old April 26, 2011, 07:54 PM   #25
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It's my belief that the factories are definitely using blends that are on a whole 'nother level than the 'canister' stuff we buy at the gun store.. The more of these trials I do with .38 Special and .357 Mag, the more I'm convinced of it.

Recently, I have come to have a whole new appreciation of 2400 as a result of the trials I've been conducting. I've always relegated it for cast bullets, but it's been doing quite well with jacketed bullets as well, in both velocity and accuracy. H-110/296 have always been my go-to powder for the revolver magnums with jacketed bullets, but 2400 is proving to be right in there with jacketed bullets as well.
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