The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 2, 2013, 10:28 AM   #1
SSA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Posts: 373
Accurate #7 in 357

I've seen a few references recently to Accurate #7 in the 357 magnum with 158 gr jacketed bullets. Data for this combination varies a lot from one source to the next.
What charge weights are you guys using? Magnum or standard primers? Chronograph results?
SSA is offline  
Old June 2, 2013, 11:18 AM   #2
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I probably won't get around to checking the speed of this round for a couple of weeks. I load 10.2 grains of AA7 with a Montana Gold 158 grain JHP bullet. It is pretty accurate and clean burning. I do use a magnum primer. The magnum primer really isn't needed with this powder but it is what I was using at the time I worked up the load. Since I was happy with the results why change?

What works for my gun may not work for yours. It is always recommended you work up a load to work best in your gun. You may find 10.0 grains of powder or maybe even 10.5 grains of powder works better for you. It could be some place in between. Using a standard primer will effect things as well. I'm shooting with a 4" barrel and it probably will be different in say a 2" barrel or an 8" barrel.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 2, 2013, 11:51 AM   #3
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 858
I have a lot of AA7 left over from my competition days so I tried it in my 357. It works "OK" but it's not up to the accuracy level I get with WW296. I've used several other powders that performed better also. If you're using it because it's all you have then it's better than nothing. If you're trying to find the right load for your gun, there's probably better powders to try first.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old June 2, 2013, 07:15 PM   #4
57K
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Location: Heart of Texas
Posts: 788
Hearing about AA#7 not giving good accuracy in .357 Magnum is a bit unusual. Comparing it to W296 that only allows a 3% variance in powder charge is probably not a fair one until you've dialed in on an accuracy load with AA#7. With the 158 gr. XTP, Lyman loaded a full grain heavier than the Accurate data and they both use a magnum primer. You might want to get the Lyman 49th or the P&R III if you don't have them.
57K is offline  
Old June 2, 2013, 08:31 PM   #5
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
You will find the data varies from source to source. Accurate lists a Nosler 158 grain bullet with a magnum primer as 9.5 to 10.5. Speer lists a 158 grain jacketed bullet with standard primer as 10.5 to 11.7 grains. One good thing about loading this rounds is you can load .38 Special equivalents and everything up to full powder magnum loads with this case. With that in mind I suggest starting out at the minimum published load and working up from there. A chronograph will allow you to determine what speed you are getting from your gun.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 4, 2013, 02:55 PM   #6
joneb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,731
I have had good luck with Accurate #7 in a short barrel .357 mag. Remington 158gr JHP was very accurate with a CCI 500 at 10.2gr of #7.
Nosler 158gr JHP also shot well with Federal GM 200 at 10.7gr of #7.
The Remington bullet seats farther down in the case than the Nosler.
#7 has less flash than Accurate #9 or 2400 if that is of concern.
joneb is offline  
Old June 4, 2013, 06:30 PM   #7
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 926
Quote:
I have had good luck with Accurate #7 in a short barrel .357 mag. Remington 158gr JHP was very accurate with a CCI 500 at 10.2gr of #7.
Why no magnum primers? #7 is rated quite slow among handgun powders. That's supposedly what makes it a good choice for .357 Magnum. My only experience with #7 is in .45 ACP when I first started reloading. The store said "try this". It was pretty dirty but went bang and made holes.
Real Gun is offline  
Old June 4, 2013, 07:34 PM   #8
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 858
Quote:
Hearing about AA#7 not giving good accuracy in .357 Magnum is a bit unusual. Comparing it to W296 that only allows a 3% variance in powder charge is probably not a fair one until you've dialed in on an accuracy load with AA#7. With the 158 gr. XTP, Lyman loaded a full grain heavier than the Accurate data and they both use a magnum primer. You might want to get the Lyman 49th or the P&R III if you don't have them.
It's not even a little bit unusual. Not every powder gives an accurate load in every caliber gun. "Dialing in" isn't something that can be made to happen at will. AA7 just never performed for me and I've spent a LOT of time at the bench working up different loads for quite a few factory stock and custom built revolvers. Even had a custom built Coonan a few years ago. It's just never been the optimum powder in any gun I've owned. My experience has been that 296/110 has worked the best and 2400 is a pretty close second choice for accuracy. I had two Davis built revolvers that would shoot sub 1" at 50yds with a Hornady 158 XTP, and those were five shot groups, not three shot. I have every current and past loading manual available so getting data hasn't been my problem. Thanks for the suggestion though. I'm sure the intent was good.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old June 4, 2013, 10:24 PM   #9
joneb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,731
Quote:
Why no magnum primers?
Because this was the most accurate load I tested with this bullet.
Older Accurate Arms data listed CCI 500 primers.
joneb is offline  
Old June 4, 2013, 10:39 PM   #10
57K
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Location: Heart of Texas
Posts: 788
Different sources recommend different primers. I don't think a magnum primer is mandatory with AA#7 and you can load to a higher charge with a standard primer. The best data that I've found from Accurate was in their 2001 load guide and they used a standard CCI-500.

NoSecondBest, the intent was definitely good. I just have never seen anyone not get good accuracy with #7. It won't achieve the velocity 296 is capable of and maybe the faster loads are just more accurate. For .357 Full Magnum loads I am using Ramshot Enforcer with good results but when I load for short barrel revolvers, I like to go a little faster in burn rate for less blast with still good performance. I like AA#7 for that and some loads where I trim .357 cases to .38 Special length. 3N37 and N350 are also pretty good and I used Vectan SP-2 when it was available. I'm gonna try some loads in full length cases loaded with True Blue for my 2 3/4" Speed-Six on Thursday. It is very pressure stable and Ramshot claims it's not as position sensitive as some other powders. We will see.
57K is offline  
Old June 4, 2013, 11:06 PM   #11
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I guess AA7 isn't great for accuracy from what I'm reading. I did watch someone try my loads with my revolver (4" barrel) a couple a weeks ago at the range. He shot a nice approximate 3" group at 50 yards standing. He is also a much better shot than I am. Since it was the only time he has shot my gun maybe he would have been able to do better with more than one cylinder to get adjusted to it. For me it provides enough accuracy to make me happy. I do not compete so if my ammo is as accurate or better than the cheap factory stuff it is good enough for my needs. AA7 does that for me. It also has less flash than some other loads I have tried.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 6, 2013, 10:23 AM   #12
SSA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Posts: 373
Accurate says max charge is 10.5 grains.
In my manuals, Sierra shows 12 gr, Speer 11.7, Nosler 11.2. Accurate, Nosler and Sierra used magnum primers. IMO, that's a lot of variation.

I loaded some up with 10.4 gr #7 (US made) 158 Sierra, WSPM primers. Excellent accuracy. Low pressure, low recoil, 960 fps. That's less than I get with 7 gr Unique.
This is from a 3" barrel that gets 1150 - 1200 with factory 158 gr ammo.
SSA is offline  
Old June 8, 2013, 02:13 PM   #13
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I was able to test the speed on my rounds today.

158 grain JHP Montana Gold
AA7 10.2 grains
Federal Magnum Small Pistol primer.
New Starline Brass

Average speed 1143 fps

Dan Wesson 4" barrel.

I guess I could increase the powder a little and see if they are still accurate.

The spread from minimum to maximum was 10 fps.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 10, 2013, 06:51 AM   #14
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
whatcha doin'?

Those 'variations' are present because each data-offerer uses different components.

Like bullet.
And case.
And primer.
And tooling.
And test equipment.
And test environment.
Ay?
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 10, 2013, 08:03 AM   #15
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
With a revolver you can also get a slight variance from one cylinder to the next as well. I figure my loads are fairly consistant to only have a 10 fps difference between max and min after 18 rounds fired. The barrel temp also was not the same for every shot since I didn't wait an hour between them.

I think this load does fall into the catagory of a reasonable magnum load with these components. They are also something most people should be able to find when components are available again. The flash is low and recoil is not bad either with rubber grips. Putting on the wood grip lets you feel the recoil a lot more.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 10, 2013, 01:00 PM   #16
57K
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Location: Heart of Texas
Posts: 788
M. Dave, an Extreme Spread of 10 FPS for 18 rounds? "Fairly consistent" goes way beyond modesty, that's down-right outstanding! Standard Deviation should easily be less than 1. It doesn't get any better than that and if accuracy is nearly as good as the stats., it's a keeper.

When I chrono for velocity and statistics, I go twice around the cylinder and call it good. 10 rounds with auto-loaders and I consider an SD below 10 to be very good and at around 5, excellent. I hope I'm understanding you correctly in that your low velocity was only 10 FPS from the Hi velocity with the 16 other rounds in-between the 2. Without the actual velocities to calculate SD, dividing 10 by 18 would equal .56 and your actual SD could be even less. That really speaks well for AA#7 as well as your load!
57K is offline  
Old June 10, 2013, 08:09 PM   #17
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
Most clocked in between 1140 and 1143 the rest were a little more off. I pressed the button to see the spread and it said 10. I thought they did well. I fired one round into the berm prior to each cylinder to warm the barrel up and spaced them a couple of minutes apart. The gun does have the extra heavy barrel shroud, so the heat should be fairly constant. They do shoot pretty well too. Some people have tried my pistol, with better vision than I have, say it does quite well. I think it does well too. It was fairly warm outside. Probably over 80 and closer to 90. Humidity was about 90%. I know temperature can also be a factor.

I'm thinking about building a box for my Chronograph. That should reduce the problems with lighting. It should also make things more consistent to get better readings. I only had about 40 minutes total time when things were working well. Cloud cover kept changing and messing things up and the angle of the sun keeps changing to make it more of a challenge.

I have read about using a box and battery powdered lighting to reduce these problems. It is something to look into.

When I measure the powder drop I weigh 4 drops and put them on the scale. The drops are the same and equal 40.8 all together. I figure that tells me I have the powder drop adjusted right. The Dillon powder measure likes AA7 powder.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; June 10, 2013 at 08:19 PM.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 11, 2013, 03:17 PM   #18
57K
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Location: Heart of Texas
Posts: 788
Quote:
The Dillon powder measure likes AA7 powder.
I bet it does. It meters like hour-glass sand in my Uniflow. Combined with being a spherical propellant, AA#7 is one of the densest handgun powders available. My only problem is that I'm out and can't find any. I do believe that charge consistency contributes to ballistic uniformity. I'm currently loading with True Blue that is also a very dense and fine grained ball powder that meters exceptionally. So far, so good, but I'm just getting started with it. It's just slightly faster burning in the .357 Magnum than AA#7.

Sounds like you have worked up to a very fine handload with AA#7. The Standard Deviation for your loads is exceptional to say the least. Combined with very good accuracy, I could definitely live with that load.

I like your chrono box idea also. On our last shoot, we had intermittent sun and cloudiness so the diffusers were on and off accordingly.
57K is offline  
Old June 11, 2013, 04:00 PM   #19
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I'm still thinking about how to make the box light to be very portable. I want it to be easy to set up alone if needed. Having someone down range moving the chrono around to get it in the proper position is a lot easier to do than tying to do it alone but there are times when it just has to be done that way.

I'm down to my last 12 pounds of AA7. I normally buy it in 8 pound juggs. I just hope it is enough to last until the crunch is over. I have a couple of other powders I could use but I only have a pound of each of those. I think AA5 is too fast a powder to work well in .357 Magnum loads with 158 grain bullets.

I looked on the box of primers I used and they are Federal GM200M. I guess I should mention I did weight out 50 bullets to get them all within .1 grain for my test batch. I won't be doing that once I'm just loading up a bunch. I was surprised that most of those bullets I did weigh were within 1 grain of each other. I probably weighed 3 to 400 of them to get the test bullets I used. The majority were within .5 grains of each other. I just put them in piles according to weight and when I had 50 of one weight I was good. This is also over kill in my opinion for handgun ammo. I will also be testing random bullets from the same case I used this time and Federal Champion magnum primers along with Tula magnum primers to see if there is much of a difference. Using cheaper primers and getting good results would be nice too.

I do have one question about the SD recorded. What is considered a reasonable SD? I know accuracy is the first thing to look for but this SD thing I don't know much about.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 11, 2013, 05:13 PM   #20
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I tried AA7 in 9 mm also. As stated it was OK but not great. I prefer AA5 or WST for 9 mm. WST with 115 FMJ bullet is a compressed load.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 11, 2013, 09:40 PM   #21
57K
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Location: Heart of Texas
Posts: 788
The best performance in 9mm with AA#7 will come with 147 gr. jacketed bullets loaded long enough that that the OACLs have to be confirmed in YOUR particular pistol. One of the first things I did after buying an SR9 directly from Ruger.

M. Dave, anything under an SD of 10 is considered very consistent. At an SD of around 5, you're getting into rare air. With an SD under 1, it's like the Star Trek Flick, the Undiscovered Country! I'd plow ahead with what you have because it just don't get any better than that!

And if you want high velocity loads with 124 gr. JHPs in 9mm, and mine are equal to +P, try Silhouette. I have a load with the Rem. conventional 124 gr. JHP that chronos exactly the same as SPEER's 124 gr. +P Gold Dot load. But with an SD of 6 vs. the 17 I got from 10 rounds fired over my chrono for the SPEER +P 124 gr. load. It will penetrate as deep as a standard pressure 230 gr. JHP load in .45 ACP while expanding to .605" in Dia.

Last edited by 57K; June 11, 2013 at 09:49 PM.
57K is offline  
Old June 11, 2013, 10:00 PM   #22
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I used 115 and 124 grain bullets with AA7. The 115 were fair and the 124 were a little better. I never tried 147 grain bullets. The heavier weight may just be the ticket. I guess I will have to wait to find out. I have not seen any FMJ ones for sale lately.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old June 12, 2013, 05:45 AM   #23
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
chrono vs target

Small deviations are 'nice' but what about accuracy on target?

'Goal'; is the ammo for target work? What distance?
Is the bullet intended to do more work than make holes in paper?
Velocity consistency matters if the bullet must do work at impact (since most bullets have an intended velocity range in which they 'work' best).


I recall a test for accuracy at 50 yds, using a barrel fixture and 45 ACP.
The load with the highest velocity deviation (over 100fps) was also the most accurate at that distance.......
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 12, 2013, 07:35 AM   #24
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 2,093
Been using it here for many years. Originally a Israeli surplus powder imported here to the USA. Primarily used for the 9mm submachine gun w/ 147 gr FMJ. It's a very versatile powder. Standard primer ignition. Very clean burning. I've used it in a 357 w/ 125-158 gr. bullets. One noticeable thing. It does indeed show lots of muzzle flash. Quite similar to Blue Dot's behavior. Other than its flash. Its a good choice for the 9mm-357 & 44 mag. As far as load development and chronograph speeds. Can't help you with chronograph speeds as I don't own one. Charge rates: Its best you discover that item on your own with experimentation & range time. As I have no idea what your shooting or its overall condition.

S/S
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12389 seconds with 9 queries