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Old January 22, 2012, 08:18 PM   #1
brollin
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.357 mag loading

Ok just got my press up and running. I picked up 100 158 grain lead swc and 100 158 grain plated swc. I only loaded 3 of each i didn't find much info on the plated bullets. but I loaded a safe load between plated and lead loads. I am using xtream brand bullets cci 500 primers and hp-38 powder and some once shot blazer brass. So I loaded the lead at 3.4 grains right to the book but i did see later that i pressed the oal a little short looking at the wrong length in the book. Well here is my problem two out of 3 were really weak and the third didn't make it out of my snub nose. I loaded up 3 more with 4 grain hoping for better results. I did not even have a chance to shoot the plated would love to hear some feed back on the lead and any other info on the plated rounds.


Thank You
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Old January 22, 2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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What book?
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Old January 22, 2012, 08:40 PM   #3
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the books

the lee maual and the hogen maual
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Old January 22, 2012, 09:15 PM   #4
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Wow. I just looked up the data and Hodgdon.com and you're right, they say 3.4 grains is a starting load. I have no idea why they would start so low (12600 CUP) because that's not even a respectable .38 Special load. Then Lee just copied Hodgdon's data.

I have a 1997 Winchester load data book. It says a max load of 231 in .357 magnum with a 158 grain lead bullet is 6.7 grains (42500 CUP) Don't take my word for it though, try to find another reference.

I use Herco powder in .357 Magnum with cast bullets.
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Old January 22, 2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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3.2 gr. of HP38 / W231 is the minimum starting load for 148 swaged (soft lead)wadcutters in the Hornady manual for a 38 special. As you found with 3.4 gr., that is questionable in hard cast lead and will definitietly be a problem with plated. Xtreme brand uses a thick plating and harder lead cores thus they are more like jacketed bullets then lead.

WARNING, the following is based on my personal experience... USE at your own risk. Neither I nor TFL assumes any responsibility for the results.

With a 38 Special (I know you stated 357) you should do the hard cast at about 4.0 grains starting and 4.5 - 4.6 will be a 38 +P load. The fact that you went shorter than book and still squibed should be an indication that your pressure is substandard.

With the 158 gr. SWC. you can make a nice light / mid range 357 load with 5.4 grains of HP 38 / W231. This will certainly be more than a 38 +P. You can push this farther about 1 grain more with swaged lead and 1.5 gr. with a jacketed bullet and stay within published data. With the Xtreme plated bullet, I would be looking at 6.5 grains to be around max. for a novice.
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Old January 22, 2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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I had a head scratcher today at the range too using Hodgdon, and Lee's recomended loads for .38 spcl using 148 grain HBWC and Trail Boss. I am a huge advocate of Trail Boss.

Well I ran from start to max load. Two at the starting load I could watch leave the barrel only do drop literaly 10 feet away. The next one squibbed. The max loaded ones made it a measured 12 feet from the barrell. All of the max loaded ones were to 99% case fill with those bullets. I hand weighed each charge too.

Luckily I loaded some with a stand by load of Bull's Eye that worked, and worked well.
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Old January 23, 2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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I love the irony here (sorry that it's at your expense.) You did everything right and got screwed for it: Consulted the powder manufacturer's load data, compared it to a written manual from another source, and loaded a few rounds at the recommended starting load.

How were you to know that Hodgdon's data was wrong and Lee just plagiarized it without testing?
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Old January 23, 2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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wait and see

Well I loaded up some other sets of three with diffrent loads for both the lead and plated bullets it will be sauturday untill I have a chance to try them out. So when I get results I will let you know what I find.
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Old January 24, 2012, 08:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
How were you to know that Hodgdon's data was wrong and Lee just plagiarized it without testing?

I believe most if not all of Lee’s data is plagiarized that is why I don’t trust it. Lyman does the hard work of testing and merits our patronage.
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Old January 24, 2012, 03:29 PM   #10
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brollin, I will urge you to put the plated bullets aside until you are ready to ramp up those loads a bit. And pull down the loads you made with the plated bullets if you already stuck an LSWC in your snubby with that load.

Plated bullets are not at all kind to removing from a bore when stuck, and they will stick a LOT easier than a lead bullet will.

If you stuck a lead one, don't even consider trying to send a plated bullet anywhere near the same charge. You will regret it.
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Old January 24, 2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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I agree with sevens on the plated bullets being a real heck of a chore to get out. It was not an easy task to the get the squib out of my 4 inch Mod. 67, and it was not all that far in the barrel either. It took a while, and 2 wooden dowels to get it out. The dowels that will normaly push a lead bullet through slugging a well oiled bore will flatten out, splinter, and break trying to hammer out a plated round. I know I had to do it twice this weekend.
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Old January 24, 2012, 03:36 PM   #12
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I don't shoot lead or plated in .357Magnum.

I shoot a lot of plated .38 Special through my .357, though..... cases are cheaper and hard to double charge.

For applications that need .357 power, I use 158gr XTP's atop 14.3 gr of 2400 with a standard small pistol primer.
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Old January 24, 2012, 03:39 PM   #13
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The dowels that will normaly push a lead bullet through slugging a well oiled bore will flatten out, splinter, and break trying to hammer out a plated round. I know I had to do it twice this weekend.
So was the savings woth the headache?
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Old January 24, 2012, 03:56 PM   #14
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Jimbob it was still cheaper than ruining my cleaning rod. Yes I have broken a cleaning rod clearing out a squib from a factory FMJ round.(Part of why I started reloading.)

I was using a published load, with hand weighed charges, confirmed by 2 different scales. Also it was Trail Boss, the loads were pretty much spot on with the measurements of the case capacity of the brass I was using. I was test shooting some full wadcutters, and the only ones I could get were plated Berry's (they shoot just fine with a load of Bull's Eye). I will be getting a mold for casting my own now.
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Old January 24, 2012, 04:58 PM   #15
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Try using a 5/16" steel bolt. Slip a straw over the end so it doesn't scratch the barrel.
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Old January 24, 2012, 08:19 PM   #16
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I use gas checks on all .357 magnum lead bullet loads,
otherwise they will lead the heck out of your barrel at magnum
velocities.
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Old January 24, 2012, 08:35 PM   #17
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The plated bullets are good only for abt. the same velocities as the cast bullets. They will not come close to the velocities you can get with jacketed bullets without a ton of leading.
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Old January 24, 2012, 08:40 PM   #18
brollin
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plated rounds

I did load the plated rounds heavier. I am open to suggestions on better publications I am really disappointed with what I am hearing about this lee manual.
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Old January 25, 2012, 01:16 AM   #19
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I load plated bullets to jacketed data after sticking two of them in the bore using lead data. Just stay below 1,300 fps and/or 10% below max charges

The plated DEWC was easy to get out of my .357 revolver with a good hardwood dowel, the 9mm FMJ was a bit trickier. I put strands of copper (checked to make sure) chore boy into the bore and rammed them down and around the bullet nose until they built up to a safe depth above the bullet nose so that a flat nosed dowel will not hit the bullet nose and split. Then I tapped the whole mess out with my wood dowel.

The chore boy strands formed a perfect 'nest' over the nose of the bullet and it was no problem to drive out the plated FMJ by the nose with a wood dowel. It worked so well it would be do-able in the field.

Last edited by Hammerhead; January 25, 2012 at 01:34 AM.
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Old January 29, 2012, 01:46 PM   #20
brollin
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Boom

Well I went out saturday and shot my test rounds and all went well now squibs. And now I have a load that I like for both bullets. Today I went to my local hunting and gun shop to pick up some more little odds and ends but I glanced at the laymans reloading book and it seems to be a my next book to get. But it dose not list the powders that I have so I wait for a bit to get this one. At least I am making progress in a positive direction
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:19 PM   #21
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Most plated bullet makers that I've used say to start with the upper end of the lead loads. Berry's goes on to say use low to mid FMJ ranges. None of them recommend low lead loads.
I don't think you can blame Lee's manual, as they don't test and just copy published load data. That load more than likely would work with soft lead 38 spl rounds. Hornady's min load is 3.2 grs with their 158 gr swaged bullets.
Sounds like you were look at 38 spl loading, I know you said 357, the 3.4 listed by Hodgdon just seems flat out wrong for .357 with any bullet.
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:40 PM   #22
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One thing I noticed that you touched on and no-one mentioned was OAL. With a wheel gun and bullet with a canelure, the crimp groove will more or less determine the OAL. Just check to be sure they aren't sticking out of the cylinder.
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