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Old April 13, 2013, 11:36 AM   #1
Nathan
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Help with 357 mag load

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond or not covered by currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I'm confused!

My load is WIN SPM primer, Federal Brass, Longshot 8.4gr powder, Berry's 158gr PHP@1.590"COL

This should come out of a 4" barrel at 1394 fps, driven by 43200 CUP.

My chronograph says 1116fps. Where did my 260 fps go? What does that mean for primers. Primers look like pressure is low to moderate.

Group for evaluation was .625 @ 15 yards, which is good for me. That is shooting over sandbags, from a bench.

Should I go hotter? Should I be happy? Aaaaah! My issue is I want to load 500 at this load and probably will. Just wish I could explain the velocity mismatch.

Last edited by Unclenick; April 13, 2013 at 04:47 PM.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:37 PM   #2
SHR970
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Lemme guess...your data came directly from Hodgdons.

According to them:
C.O.L. 1.580"
Case: Winchester
Primer: Winchester SPM
Bullet: Hornady XTP
Powder: Longshot Max Load: 8.4 gr
Gives 1394 fps @ 43,200 CUP

You overlooked that their barrel length is 10" and you don't know if it is vented or not. The 6" of difference can mean 150-300 fps alone.
You are using different brass; that effects the pressure.
You are using a different bullet; that effects pressure and speed.
You are using the MAXIMUM POWDER CHARGE with a plated bullet. I do not need pressure testing equipment to know that you are pushing your luck. Thankfully Berrys is known for utilizing thicker plating than some of their competitors; otherwise you may have been pounding the brass out of your gun or worse.

If you are getting good groups and not getting flattened primers, call it good and leave it alone.
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Old April 13, 2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for your pounding the brass warning! I've been to this dance before.

My 45 ACP Load is similar, using a plated bullet and getting advertised velocities.

Federal vs Winchester brass while significant to someone, probably varies less than shot to shot variation.

Groups are great, primers are less deformed than factory loads, SD is good, this load is not over pressure....Actually, I would guess it about 28000-30000 psi, from what I see.

Now on to something important. My COL is 0.010 longer-pressure down, but ~ 2000 psi?? 10" barrel was shown in your data, but the 2013 Annual shows 4" tube. Hmmm, I'll bet you are right. I'll bet they had a misprint of some sort. Ballistics by the inch shows 340 fps difference fro 10 to 4.
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Old April 13, 2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
10" barrel was shown in your data, but the 2013 Annual shows 4" tube. Hmmm, I'll bet you are right. I'll bet they had a misprint of some sort.
Funny that...On-line doesn't show barrel length. But that particular data hasn't changed in a few years for 357.

Your 2013 annual shows 4"

2011 annual shows 10"

2009 annual also shows 10"

I see your confusion. Had I seen 4" I would assume a +/- 100 fps. range acceptable and 250-300 fps deviation suspect too. Even with the component changes.
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Old April 13, 2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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I'm assuming your PHP 158gr is Plated Hollow point.

They have a speed limit of 1250fps and you should not be exceeding that or you could leave a piece of the plating in your barrel as an obstruction for the next round fired to hit.

Something else, did they use a universal receiver which is a closed breach? If they did and you are using a revolver with has a barrel to cylinder gap, you are loosing a lot of pressure out this gap that they aren't loosing.

If you shoot over a crony with the exact same load from a rifle (closed breach) then from a revolver you would see a decrease from the revolver because of the b/c gap and the length of the barrel.
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Old April 13, 2013, 04:42 PM   #6
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This is why I own 12-15 manuals
So I can do the research
Sometimes a little reading before hand can save a lot of questions later
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Old April 13, 2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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Nathan,

I'm going to have to add the hot load warning to your post, as what you are doing is outside Berry's recommendations. From the FAQ at Berry's:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berry's
…When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual.…Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHR970
Funny that...On-line doesn't show barrel length.
Yes they do. You just need to know where to look. It only shows up when you click on the "Print" button. Then you see barrel length and primer and brass used and a couple of other details. In this instance Hodgdon says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodgdon
Case: Winchester
Barrel Length: 10"
Twist: 1:18.75"
Trim Length: 1.285"
Primer: Winchester SPM
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Old April 13, 2013, 05:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the "hot load warning", but given it's low recoil, low SD, great accuracy and low velocities, I'm gonna shoot it.

It is funny how real world low pressure results get a hot load warning on the Internet! Now, I will add that this mild load works well in my gun, but may blow your up!

Has anyone else out there ever put Berry's PHP's with Longshot in 357 mag?
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Thanks for the "hot load warning", but given it's low recoil, low SD, great accuracy and low velocities, I'm gonna shoot it.

It is funny how real world low pressure results get a hot load warning on the Internet! Now, I will add that this mild load works well in my gun, but may blow your up!

I think the "hot load warning" is for others that may read this Nathan. Altho it is a published load, you did intend to push the bullets past the velocities recommended by Berrys. What one does knowingly with their own gun is up to them, but others need to know the possible consequences of internet posted load recipes in their firearms.
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
My chronograph says 1116fps.

Hmmm...nuf said.


Actually, I was looking to see 1200 or so average, but can't get there from here. That's fine.

So, can I take the silence on running Longshot with Berry's 158's as I'm the only one doing this?


I like the new OVERLOAD warning up there in bold! I always work up. I always look for the point where accuracy, SD, and pressure signs meet. Seems like I get the best load there.

Last, I take this very seriously. I use good scales, check weights and I confirm my powder measures accuracy.
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:00 AM   #11
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I've not run my Berry's extremely hard in .357 Magnum -- the issue for me isn't so much the speed at which the bullet is expected to travel. For me, it's simply that the BEST harsh magnum loads tend to give me the most speed AND the lowest spreads and deviations when I have a good, solid roll crimp. A hard roll crimp is kryptonite to a plated bullet...they simply aren't made to withstand the cutting that you'll do with a hard roll crimp. You cut that plating with a crimp and it'll come apart before it even gets to any target.

I have certainly run my share of jacketed bullets of 125, 130 and 158 grains in .357 Magnum with Hodgdon Longshot powder. What I've found is that this powder works and is economical for "magnum" loads if you want a lower charge weight than the true fullbore magnum powders. But if you want to RACE, you are going to LOSE. Longshot does great things in .40cal and especially in 10mm, and I make some thumpers in .327 Federal with it. But if you really want to take the .357 Magnum to it's limits with velocity, and you want to keep your gun in one piece, Longshot will never get you there.

You'll beat Unique and Universal with heavy bullets. But the real magnum powders will leave you behind.

2400 will get you awfully close. H100/W296 will go better. Accurate #9 is a player here, and I'll find out how much of a player on my next range trip when the chrono comes out to play. And the new mystery ace-in-the-hole is going to be Alliant Power Pro 300-MP. Any of these, all of these --> will take you where Longshot simply cannot.

Longshot is a good powder. In .357, it works. It is not the best choice for top velocity in .357 Magnum however.

If you are pushing 1,200 FPS with a plated 158 grain slug in .357 Magnum with Longshot?! You are doing VERY well and asking for anything more is asking for too much. In my experience, anyhow.
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Old April 14, 2013, 02:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
I think the "hot load warning" is for others that may read this Nathan.
Very true. I'm quite sure the Mod. that put it there did it for the reason Buck stated. As I said in an earlier post: if it was a lesser plated bullet you would have had issues. Someone less experienced may use this and apply it to a bullet with a thinner plating layer and softer core and have a real issue. All plated bullets aren't the same. Below are the thicknesses for some plated bullets

Speer TMJ: .015"
X-Treme: .010" - .012"
PowerBond: .010" - .011"
Berry's Thick Plated (TP): .012"
Berry's regular: .006" - .008" (thickness varies for caliber)
HSM: .005"
Rainier: .004"

Personally I use Xtreme bullets and have driven them full steam ahead from the days they were West Coast Bullets. I tried Rainier fodder once, found myself pounding brass out with what were start loads for the Xtreme.
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Old April 14, 2013, 09:33 AM   #13
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan:

My chronograph says 1116fps.

Hmmm...nuf said.

I always work up. I always look for the point where accuracy, SD, and pressure signs meet. Seems like I get the best load there.

Last, I take this very seriously. I use good scales, check weights and I confirm my powder measures accuracy.
Then you certainly can understand the concern of the mods when a post is made concerning a load that may be in excess in someone else's firearm. While you, I and many others here are diligent, not everyone else is. As a intelligent experienced reloader you know this. While the load only produced 1116fps in your firearm, you are well aware that it has the potential to reach published velocities in someone else's. This velocity could result in poor performance and possible damage to a firearm and a shooter should jacket separation occur. Again, I suspect the mods were not directing their warning at you, but at others.
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:13 AM   #14
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The warning is there for all those that read the post. It is a cover for a liability issue. I agree with it compleetely.

As far as pushing plated bullets hard. I have run the .41 Plated FP at full bore magnum velocity of jacketed in MY GUN with no issues. Again I stated I did this in "MY GUN". I do not use them any more due to the fact that I cast my own now. For jacketed bullets I use hunting bullets that I load for woods carry in hog country.
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Old April 14, 2013, 11:06 PM   #15
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facts

-You have no idea what the actual pressure your load is developing in your gun.
-Your bullet choice is significantly different than the XTP shown in the data.
-Increased pressure does not always result in higher velocity, heavier recoil, or primer deformity.
-What happens in one gun does not equate to every gun.


Might I suggest backing off that load to 8.0g?
Might I suggest using a Sierra, Remington, Nosler, or Hornady jacketed bullet for maximum velocities?
Might I suggest a powder farther down the burn rate chart(s), like 2400 / N110 / AA9 / W296 / H110 for maximum performance with bullets weighing more than 155g?
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Last edited by WESHOOT2; April 14, 2013 at 11:07 PM. Reason: busy counting my fingers
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Old April 15, 2013, 04:31 AM   #16
Nathan
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Hey, thanks for the info. I was maybe a little sharp in some of my replies. Looks like we figured it out together.

I'm fine with the load warning. It is what it is.

What is blowing me away is how good this shoots! I tried 8.1, I think and accuracy was not as good. 8.1 was too mid range which IME will have a flier oprning up the group to ~1.25" at 15 yds.

Those slower powders like H110 are fine, but not right for 357 plinking. Same with the higher end JHP's.
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Old April 15, 2013, 05:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
What is blowing me away is how good this shoots!
I know what your saying, I was loading a 357mag load a .3 over max with power pistol and it shot fantastic also. I did back it off though and did find that when I hit 7.8gr it was even more accurate.
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Old April 15, 2013, 06:37 AM   #18
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long ago, not too far away

John Lawson and I were in discussion about handgun accuracy, and we both discovered independently that proofing loads (NOT to be confused with proof loads) normally displayed the best accuracy.

Something about the brutal recoil returning everything to the same postition for the next shot....


I have never been overly concerned with my dangerous handloads, because I have more guns.
I mean, in case I blow one up by disregarding common sense and published data.

Self-sarcasm off: My USPSA load for my 9x19s uses a medium-burn-rate powder, except my charge exceeds published data. In my hands it's a mild easy-recoiling accurate load. Just like our OP noted with his load.
But yesterday....at our USPSA match, a newcomer mentioned how "powerful, really all there" my to-me easy-shooting ammo seemed. He based his comments (I asked) on the report, the slide velocity, and the authority of the bullet knocking down steel.

This thread is REALLY about "....in MY gun...." and "....but NOT always...."

Ay?
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:22 AM   #19
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Nathan,

I'm guessing you haven't read the sticky at the top of the forum on hot load posting. It's one of the items all posting members should read. It is here. While the title refers to hot loads, about two lines down is the "However", which says to use the warning for anything outside published load recommendations, meaning, regardless of your own experience to the contrary.

For the board, it is absolutely about law suit defense cost avoidance. For yourself or others reading about the load, I'll throw in a caution: Elmer Keith developed the .44 Magnum just using 16:1 lead:tin, which is softer than the Berry's you are shooting, so the expectation is that you should have no issues. However, a manufacturer receives feedback from many customers, and it sometimes happens that they learn of unexpected and unexplained anomalous behaviors and adjust their load recommendations to avoid the conditions that produced them. Without Berry's data, you won't know whether that's the reason for their recommendation or not. If there's been a dangerous event, for liability reasons their attorneys will not want them to speak of it.

The example that springs to mind is Alliant's warning not to use Blue Dot with 125 grain bullets in .357 Magnum, but all other bullet weights are OK in that cartridge. They also don't want Blue Dot used in any .41 Magnum loads at all, but all the other chamberings are OK. It's a very peculiar warning. Rocky Raab said he had a nice conversation with Alliant at the SHOT show right up until he asked about this warning. At that point the friendliness turned off and faces went dark and he got nothing more out of them. They clearly just weren't allowed to talk about it, implying something bad happened to some persons. So they had adjusted their load recommendations to avoid recurrences. If you ignore their advice, is there a high probability the bad thing is going to happen to you, in particular? No. Lots of people have shot Blue Dot in the proscribed manner. Is it likely to happen to someone? Yes, since it's obviously happened before. Is there zero chance you will be that someone if you ignore their recommendation? No. That's just how the dice roll.

So, for the individual loader, the caution is simply to alert them that by ignoring the manufacturer's published limits they may be rolling dice even if they follow proper load workup practice. We can't really know without the manufacturer being able to speak candidly.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
I'm guessing you haven't read the sticky at the top of the forum on hot load posting. It's one of the items all posting members should read. It is here. While the title refers to hot loads, about two lines down is the "However", which says to use the warning for anything outside published load recommendations, meaning, regardless of your own experience to the contrary.
My point was it is within Hodgdon's data. Also, it was within Berry's velocity limits.

At this point, I don't care about the warning so much.
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Old April 15, 2013, 03:46 PM   #21
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Like WESHOOT2 stated, not every gun is the same. Published loads or non-published loads it's up to you to make sure your gun can handle it. Personally I've read and found to be generally true that primers are a **** poor measure of pressure. They vary far and wide between brands, lot's and years. I've found extraction issues to be the best measure of pressure issues.

On the flip side I find no reason to find out what my guns can handle. Using most powders I don't see anything even close to pressure issues using max loads (Doesn't mean it can't happen and I have had issues with one powder). But I find little if any reason to go beyond max or even above midrange in many cases. That's why they make bigger, badder guns and cartridges.

I shoot a lot of Berry's plated 158's. They've never been what I call accurate and I have had issues with the plating fallin off though. Not a bullet intended to be pushed to max. Why try?
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Old April 15, 2013, 04:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Why try?
I would not call 1116fps pushing a 158 gr 357 4" to the max. BTW, extraction was a non-issue.

I simply was trying to determine a possible caus for this anomaly. I think we found that a few posts ago. Before I make 500 of these super shooters, I wanted to make sure I don't have the Barnes Bullet situation which is low velocity at high pressure. Although pressure signs were moderate. This is a 70's 19 and I want good accuracy at moderate velocities and pressures. I guess I'm there!
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Old April 16, 2013, 08:03 AM   #23
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you are there

Sounds to me like you've developed a great load for your gun.
Success!
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Old April 16, 2013, 02:51 PM   #24
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Nathan,

Glad you got a load that's working well for you.

Sorry to belabor this point on pressure and load information, since you seem to have demonstrated your load is just fine in your gun, but I don't want a non-participating reader to get the wrong idea, so consider that this is really for them:

Quote:
My point was it is within Hodgdon's data. . .
But it's not. Hodgdon doesn't have load data for your type of bullet with Longshot. That's the thing I don't want a thread lurker misunderstanding. Once you change bullet construction, the data charge range is no longer valid except by happy accident. It seems to me there was a recent article in Handloader about the effects of interchanging components on pressure, and it can be quite substantial. Bullet weight by itself is not enough of a constraint to control pressure.

Also, it's worth noting a change in components can do unexpected things. Typically, softer bullets produce lower pressures with a given powder charge because of the lower start pressure required to engrave them with the rifling. However, both Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, as I recall, commented on lead bullets actually creating higher pressures than jacketed ones did in magnum loads in their revolvers. It's an odd phenomenon in that I've never heard of it happening with anything but revolvers, and suspect that what is happening is that at high enough pressures the softer bullet's bases tend to upset out into the revolver's forcing cone, essentially becoming a wider bullet, and causing a delay in burning space expansion while they funnel down. At low pressures, the softer bullets definitely produce lower pressures than jacketed bullets do.

Quote:
Also, it was within Berry's velocity limits.
Usually velocity limits for softer bullets have to do either with avoiding their propensity to leave metal fouling behind or else are limits for hollow point expansion without the bullet coming apart, but have no direct bearing on what pressures are safe.
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