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Old April 12, 2013, 06:04 PM   #1
m&p45acp10+1
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Alternative powders for .357 Mag with cast lead

I finaly scored some .357 Mag brass at the range last weekend. My preferred powder for this would be AA#9 I like to use it in my .41 Mag, and .30 Carbine. I was getting low so I bougt a can H-110 for the .30 Carbine loads. I am low on AA#9 and do not forsee finding any in the near term.

Brass is mixed head stamp between Strar Line, Top Brass, and some PMC.

Bullet is 158 Grain LSWC (home cast with Lee Tumble Lube mold.)

What I have

Blue Dot (nearly a pound)

Hi Skor 800X (Tried in .41 Mag it leaded up my RBH something fierce. I doubt I will try it for this. It works great for jacketed loads on the upper end in some aplications i use it for.)

Red Dot (Works in my .38 Spcl. loads pretty good as long as I hand weigh every charge.)

What I can get at the LGS

Herco (1 Lb can)


VV N105 (From what I read it is quite similar to AA#9 I just can not find any data using it.)

I was hoping to get some feed back from the folks here.

Thanks everyone,

Nate
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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No need to look any further than 2400 powder if it is available. 2400 and the 357 have been a great duo since the 1930's.
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:22 PM   #3
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If I could get 2400 I would use it. I used up a pound for. 41 Mag loads. Then I found AA #9. My choices are limited to what I listed unfortunately.
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:39 PM   #4
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If you using lead SWC's. If you want some good plinking loads.
6gr of Herco does ok for me.
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:49 PM   #5
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I am going to try out the Blue Dot first. If it does not work that well then I may pick up the can of Herco.

BTW how does Herco meter in a vlumetric measure? One of the reasons I am not fond of the shotgun powders in handgun loads is the fact that they do not meter well. Having to weigh, and trickle every one gets old for me quickly. I will do it if I have to. I just do not like having to.
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Old April 12, 2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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I have had real good luck with Blue Dot 158gr lswc 8.0gr, 800x works pretty good with 7.2gr these are in my RBH. Red Dot and Herco never has done well in 357 for me. Charlie
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Old April 12, 2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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I believe you could use AA7. You would be using about 2 grains less of it than AA9. You might not reach the same speed as you could have with AA9. If you are not loading to max levels with AA9 this might be a solution if you can find some.
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Old April 12, 2013, 10:10 PM   #8
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If you have to buy.....Herco. Unique's ugly unwanted freckled redheaded step brother; aka Flaming Dirt's cousin. In my experience it works better with lead than Unique when you are pushing it harder especially with heavier bullets. When there is no current data (like after they decided it's BE, Un. BD or 2400 for handguns) you use Unique data and add a couple tenths of a grain in most cases and you are well in the margins.

The Blue Dot will do but it is known for burning the base of the bullets and leaving a bunch of lead in the barrel.

Red Dot will also do as long as you keep it to HOT 38 levels and don't try to get into the magnum velocities.

Never tried 800X in this application....no comment.
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Old April 12, 2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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I did notice Powder Valley has AA9 in stock tonight. It is only in 8 pound containers. The bad news is it will take about a month to arrive. I would think a couple of these should keep you loading for a while.
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Old April 12, 2013, 11:30 PM   #10
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I have used blue dot with .38 special 158 grn lead rn. I would be interested to see if it does better with the .357 mag as far as leading goes. It produced severe leading for me.
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Old April 13, 2013, 03:12 PM   #11
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What kind of rounds do you wish to load? Is this for light .38 type plinking laods, or are you looking at doing real .357 mag loads? Are you bullets soft lead, or are they cast? Do you know to what hardness?
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Old April 13, 2013, 03:49 PM   #12
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If you can get ahold of HS-6 or Power Pistol either one works well with lead. I have standardized on Power Pistol for all my .357 pistols and am getting excellent accuracy from 7.6 grains with 158 grain lead or plated bullets.
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Old April 13, 2013, 06:11 PM   #13
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My bullets have a BHN of about 12 they will handle full bore velocity I push the same alloy out of my .41 Mag at full magnum velocity.

As far as what I want them to do. I want above .38 SPCl. +P velocity. Magnum level for ungas checked cast lead.

In the OP I stated what I have, and can get for the time being. When AA#9 is available again I will be buying more of it. I tested some With the AA#9 today, they shot great with no leading at all.

Tomorrow I will test some with Blue Dot due to the fact that I have a pound of it, and want to use it up provided it does not lead to excessive leading.

I am a firm believer in harder lead will lead to more leading, than a softer alloy that fits. Fit is first, all else after that is distant second. If they do not fit no matter how hard the alloy is they will lead.
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Old April 13, 2013, 06:25 PM   #14
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Blue Dot was my go to powder for 41 Mag jacketed and 357 Mag with 125 gr. jacketed bullets for years. With the BD warning, these loads are no longer suggested. While I haven't used Blue Dot with lead bullets, you will find that Blue Dot performs best with upper end loads. Lower pressure loadings result in lots of unburned powder and carbon. Unique tends to be the powder I load most with 357 Mag lead loads. But it is another powder that favors the higher pressure loadings.
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Old April 13, 2013, 07:08 PM   #15
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I shoot 140-grain TCFP's from Missouri Bullet with Herco almost exclusively. SHR970's advice is good IMO with respect to starting loads.

Yes, it is definitely NOT clean-burning but I have found no better powder for .357 cast projectiles, Herco is quite accurate IMO for this cartridge.
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Old April 13, 2013, 07:42 PM   #16
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For cast bullet loads in both the .357 and .41 magnums, I think you could do very well with AA#7. I've used AA#9 quite a bit in both calibers with excellent accuracy. Due to reports of AA#9 being maufactured from different sources in the past and more recently after Westen Powder Co. acquired Accurate, I've switched to Ramshot Enforcer with very good results and I believe its slightly faster burn rate, although a tad slower than AA#9, is better suited to the smaller cases than H110/W296. If I were loading .44 Magnum, I'd probably use H110/W296, but with varying case capacity I believe it's best to use the powder that's best suited to the burn rate/capacity characteristics of the cartridge. Have you checked the Lapua/Vihta Vouri website for N105 data?
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:13 PM   #17
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I have seen one load for N105 listed in the data they list. It is for a 158 grain JHP load. No other listings for it. I looked in the one for all book at Cabella's today as well. No one else list a load for it. I will throw out a guess it is not a good choice for this caliber with lead, or someone somewhere would have listed it.
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:35 PM   #18
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Yeah, that's unfortunate. I just looked and it's for the 158 gr. XTP. N105 is close to Blue Dot and 800-X in burn rate and slightly faster than AA#9, there's no reason it couldn't be used for cast 158 gr. SWCs except for the lack of Data.

Thought I might have a load guide from the past where N105 was used much more, but the only one I have handy is the #2 that goes back to the early 90s and N105 wasn't available then. Part of the problem is the number of powders Vihta Vouri makes that have application in the .357 Magnum. I personally wouldn't use anything faster than 3N37, but then you still have in order of burn rate, 3N37, N350, 3N38 then N105 and N110. I don't think N105 really caught on in the US even though it can be loaded in cartridges like .38 Super, .357 SIG, 10mm and even the .40 S&W.

I have used AA#7 with very good results and there's plenty of data. In fact, I'll be using it again as soon as I can run some down.
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:07 AM   #19
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Well I have to clean the house today. When I get done I am going to load up some test loads with Blue Dot, and take them to the range. When I tested it for .38 Spcl loads it did not casue leading. Though it was quite erratic even with hand weighed charges. Hopefuly it will do better on the upper end.

I am going to skip the HiSkor for now. I remember how bad my RBH leaded up with it, and cast lead. Seems like it would work well with gas checks, just too hot for unchecked bullets.
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Old April 14, 2013, 11:04 AM   #20
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Ken Waters listed 10 grains of Herco as a max with 158 grain lead bullets. He didn't like it as well as Blue Dot, which he liked and listed loads for several jacketed bullets...back when Blue Dot was still kinda new (1978!).
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Old April 14, 2013, 02:37 PM   #21
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5gr Red Dot with that boolit is a great 'light' .357 round...

http://glarp.atk.com/2004/2004Catalo...ntPowderSM.pdf

Pg 42
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Old April 14, 2013, 02:45 PM   #22
Salmoneye
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Quote:
Ken Waters listed 10 grains of Herco as a max with 158 grain lead bullets.
Alliant in 2004 suggested no more than 7.9gr Herco with a 158gr lead...

See my previous post for reference...

I have also seen an Alliant reference in a different year @8.2gr Herco as max, though I can not find it at the moment...
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Old April 14, 2013, 02:54 PM   #23
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1991 Hercules says for Herco

7.9 gr. max for 158 gr lead

8.2 gr. max. for 158 gr. jacketed.

I believe that 8.2 number you were seeing was the jacketed line.
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Old April 14, 2013, 04:00 PM   #24
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My goto load for .357 is 5.0g of Red Dot under 158g SWC . Around 1000fps and Accurate.
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Old April 14, 2013, 05:48 PM   #25
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H110 will work best for full heavy magnum loads, (17gr on mine)super accuracy no leading with my 18 BHN bullets, but I don't know it will work with yours. I'm shooting a 6" Ruger GP100.

Blue Dot works great for heavy .38 loads and I'm using the same bullets as for my .357s. It likes a near full case to be consistent. (Doesn't do well in light loads.) I've only used it a couple of times in .357 loads (I think it was 10 or 11gr) but it might work better with your BRH 12 bullets.

Red Dot is great for softer bullets and light target loads, but it won't get you into magnum territory. Its a .38 load in .357 case.
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