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Old June 11, 2012, 07:55 PM   #1
marklyftogt
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Best/Worst 357 magnum cases to reload

I have been reloading 38 spl for a while and like Federal cases best and PMC cases seem to be a problem.

What are your experiences with 357 mag cases? Some to avoid?
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Old June 11, 2012, 08:40 PM   #2
dsb1829
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I wouldn't recommend the winchester 100ct bagged brass. I have had good luck with their auto brass. The 357 just had a lot of wall thickness variation, which lead to loading issues wrt col and smashing jhp due to crimp setting before fully in canalure.

Bttt for more...
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Old June 11, 2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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I use Starline and Winchester. Both are quite good. I'd give the nod to the Winchester because they secure better in moon clips.

FWIW, I rather like PMC in .45 acp, 9 mm & .40 S&W. I have some PMC .38 special that I've collected, just haven't need them yet.
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Old June 11, 2012, 10:42 PM   #4
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I have been happy reloading Federal, Winchester, CCI and Remington for .357 magnum. The Win. and CCI brass have tighter primer pockets which works well with Federal primers, for brass with looser primer pockets CCI primers work well for me.
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Old June 11, 2012, 11:17 PM   #5
mrawesome22
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IMO Starline for good revolver brass.

Good brass at better prices than the corporations.

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Old June 12, 2012, 08:06 AM   #6
WESHOOT2
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every kind?

I started loading 357 Magnum in the mid-70's, and I acquired both new AND used cases.
I believe I've used almost every headstamp available.
All good.


When developing extreme-performance ammo I used new Remington brass cases.
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Old June 12, 2012, 08:10 AM   #7
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Ditto. They are all good.
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Old June 12, 2012, 03:06 PM   #8
BigJimP
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Most of the cases I've used ....and I have reloaded some of them ...many, many times ( 15 or more easily ).....are Remington and Winchester ....but I've used Federal, CCI, Starline, PMC, etc ...and never had an issue with any of them...even some brass I sweep up at the range...like S&B - if its clearly once fired has been fine....

Now when I sweep up range brass....once in a while I find some once fired .357 mag brass....but I also find someone else's old reloads once in a while ..that are nasty looking / and reloaded who knows how many times...so I trash them. Once fired brass .. ( my range rents a lot of guns ) ...so there is some of it around ...and right now for their rental guns ...they require you buy their ammo ..and its Federal or S&B in most calibers.
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Old June 12, 2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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I use once fired Federal Nickel case a lot as I used to get them free.
I like them because they are very consistant.
I load them once to full throttle load and then get multiple uses for "plinker" loads. I start to find split walls after loading them as plinker load 5 or 6 times.
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Old June 12, 2012, 10:37 PM   #10
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Definitely Starline Brass, with-out a doubt, absolutely bestest available... (This has nothing to do with the fact that Starline is made in Missouri and the more they sell, the more they pay in taxes, and the more they pay in taxes, the less the governor will want from me. )

The only brass I have had any trouble with is some very old nickle plated brass. I am in the process of reloading some .357 Mag now and just a quick peek of a few pieces show Winchester, R-P, W-W Super, Starline, Federal and PMG.

All of this batch of brass is only on the eighth reloading and I expect to get at least eight more out of them before I start seeing problems with the occasional cracked pieces.
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Old June 13, 2012, 12:18 AM   #11
marklyftogt
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Well I had some mixed brass and the only one that didn't work well and that was the Hornady. It was visibly shorter and the FCD wouldnt reach. Only 6 of those and I am tossing them after I shoot these.

The others did all about the same and seem fine. Blazer, R&P, PMC, Starline and Winchester. The Winchester seemed to be really tight going into the shell holder on the press but seemed fine otherwise.

Thanks for all the info.
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Old June 13, 2012, 01:49 AM   #12
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I trim all of 38spl brass to 1.145-1.147" once, I get a consistent crimp every time by doing so.
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Old June 13, 2012, 12:27 PM   #13
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.357 Magnum is a very "kind to brass" round and tends to give a long service life.

With that said, there are three headstamps out there that are clearly below the rest.

The first is "A-Merc" which is the single worst actually reloadbale brass on the face of the Earth. Nothing compares. Run a search for the gory details, A-Merc is BY FAR the worst.

Of the major brands, two that I will assuredly set below all the others are recent manufacture PMC and R-P. Both are thinner than all the rest and PMC seems to have an odd surface make-up that makes them much less likely to clean up and look as good as all the other brass. I'm sure someone with a sonic cleaner can make them gleam, but standard tumbling has a difficult time making them look as good as...well, everything else on the market.

Even so, I still reload these two, but neither would be my choice if I were choosing.
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Old June 13, 2012, 03:03 PM   #14
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I am glad someone started a thread about this. I just bought my first new .357 brass and wasnt sure what I should be expecting for consistency. Maybe someone here will know.

I normally get all my brass from my own purchased factory ammo or range pickups, but of course never find any .357 at the range (plenty of .38 though) and the cheapest .357 factory ammo at Cabellas was a ridiculous $25+/box of 50 so I bought a bag of 100 Winchester .357mag cases for $21 to try out instead.

I was surprised to find that the new Winchester .357 case lengths run from 1.276-1.284". Is this much variation common among all new .357 cases, regardless of brand? And why are the cases so short? Shouldnt they be 1.29"?

The winchester range brass I use for .380/9mm/.38 is always excellent.
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Old June 13, 2012, 04:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
.357 Magnum is a very "kind to brass" round and tends to give a long service life.
Depends upon the load ..... I had a 158gr H110 load that bulged cases pretty badly.....

Quote:
The first is "A-Merc" which is the single worst actually reloadbale brass on the face of the Earth. Nothing compares. Run a search for the gory details, A-Merc is BY FAR the worst.
Agreed.

IME, any brand of Nickel plated does not last as long as plain brass ....mouths split sooner.
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Old June 13, 2012, 05:45 PM   #16
marklyftogt
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I had problems with nickel seeming brittle and cracking faster in 9mm.

I just toss them all now.
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Old June 13, 2012, 09:58 PM   #17
joneb
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Quote:
I was surprised to find that the new Winchester .357 case lengths run from 1.276-1.284". Is this much variation common among all new .357 cases, regardless of brand? And why are the cases so short? Shouldnt they be 1.29"?
I trim all of my .357 mag brass to 1.278" this allows for a consistent crimp every time, and the problem is solved.
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Old June 14, 2012, 01:45 AM   #18
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Ditto on Seven.
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Old June 14, 2012, 09:02 PM   #19
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When I first started reloading almost three years ago I submitted four different orders here and there, just to get my hands on some .357 brass. After waiting for about two or three weeks, all four of them were filled within a week IIRC- Winchester, R-P, Starline and some PMC.

In my opinion Starline takes the cake: best price and excellent quality. The Winchester's were the most expensive and I do not think the extra cost was worth it, though they do shine up real nicely. The R-P's aren't too bad, the PMC... meh.

I lost count but I think I have about 5,000 pieces of .357, with about 60% of that in circulation. Maybe I should order some more
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