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Old November 4, 2013, 01:59 PM   #1
fishhead1
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What's With these Hornady .357 Mag Cases?

So I was prepping some .357 Mag cases (mostly R-P with a few Hornady, all plated) for reloading. Not suspecting anything was amiss, I set up the Expander die with one of the Hornady cases, and ran a few with no probs. However, when I ran the first R-P case through, it came out WAY over expanded (kind of like when you accidentaly run a .357 Mag case through an Expander die set for .38 Specials, which I've done more than once). Anyway, noting something was definitely amiss, I got my trusty calipers and went to measuring. According to the manuals, the .357 Mag case should be 1.290" max. All the R-P cases I measured were right at this or slightly less. However, the half dozen or so Hornady cases all measured almost exactly 1.250". These cases were probably given to me by someone at the range, so I don't know anything about their history. However, it escapes me as to why they should be so much shorter than the specified length. Don't know why anyone would have trimmed them this short, but I can't see them coming from the factory like this.
So, was wondering if anyone out there that may have some plated Hornady .357 Mag cases on hand could measure a few and see if they measure up to specs. Thanks in advance.
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Old November 4, 2013, 02:21 PM   #2
Roughedge
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Someone may have trimed the so they could use 38 data to use brass they had. Can you tell if they have been trimed? I would just adjust my load so I didnt ruin good brass.
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Old November 4, 2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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My guess is that those cases came from factory loads that were loaded with long, pointy, plastic-tipped bullets.
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Old November 4, 2013, 03:35 PM   #4
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the short Hornady cases were used with factory flex tip loads. I found that out the hard way. I reloaded them once and then pitched them. I don't know if Hornady sells their cases for reloaders or nor what the case length would be on them either.

I should add that all of the Hornady factory ammo loads will have the shorter cases.
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Old November 4, 2013, 04:16 PM   #5
ligonierbill
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Don't know why, but Hornady Custom ammo does have a short case. I got a box of 125s to see how a good commercial defense round would do (1,430 from a 4" GP-100), and found the same thing on reloading. Definitely short by a few hundredths compared to most brass. No strange bullets, just XTPs.
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Old November 4, 2013, 05:06 PM   #6
Real Gun
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Critical Defense uses the FTX bullet, which requires a shorter case. The Hornady 9th Edition specifies the trim length needed for those bullets.

Last edited by Real Gun; November 4, 2013 at 08:06 PM.
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Old November 4, 2013, 06:48 PM   #7
BuckRub
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I never ran into that either thanks guys.
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Old November 4, 2013, 06:52 PM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
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never seen the short cases in 357, but it makes sense if they are trying to get the OAL to spec... I did run into that with 45-70, & I will not buy any of those...
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Old November 4, 2013, 08:37 PM   #9
fishhead1
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That's very interesting. Thanks guys. I have the Hornady 8th Edition, but not the 9th. Guess I'm behind the times. Thanks again.
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Old November 4, 2013, 08:58 PM   #10
Gdawgs
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I've run across some short 44 magnum Hornady brass before. Same thing. Shortened brass for certain bullets.
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Old November 4, 2013, 09:38 PM   #11
SL1
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If it is from factory ammo, then it is from the Hornady Flex Tip bullets that need shorter cases to still meet SAAMI COL limits for revolvers that have minimal cylinder lengths.

On the other hand, before Hornady invented those soft, pointy bullets, there were people cutting down .357 Magnum cases to fit some longer than normal Speer and Hornady 180 grain bullets in those same short revolver cylinders. You can find load data for specific shorter-than-SAAMI case lengths and those bullets in some older manuals.

So,
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Old November 4, 2013, 11:03 PM   #12
ligonierbill
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Nope, Hornady Custom 125 JHP. Short by .04.
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Old November 5, 2013, 02:08 AM   #13
44 AMP
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sorting by headstamp and by length is part of my basic brass prep.
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Old November 7, 2013, 09:32 AM   #14
fishhead1
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I have always sorted brass by headstamp, but generally after sizing and decapping. As such, have never, until now, run into brass of a particular caliber that is substantually different in length than other brass of like caliber (example, .380 ACP, 9 MAK, .38 Spl, .41 Mag, .45 Colt etc) . Guess I'll have to change my practice now.
By the way, just checked the Hornady site to check out their 357 Mag 125 gr FTX Critical Defense ammo; and, according to them, this particular ammo has been TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED. Hmmm
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Old November 7, 2013, 05:05 PM   #15
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I have some of their .45-70 brass that is like that. I keep it separated from the rest of my brass of that caliber. I know when I use them I have to reset my dies to load them, and to return my dies back when I am done to keep from crunching the other cases.
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Old November 7, 2013, 05:09 PM   #16
Magnum Wheel Man
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probably could need to adjust your loads for those cases as well shorter cases generally equal higher pressures...
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Old November 7, 2013, 07:15 PM   #17
BuckRub
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If they're loaded with regular length cases and dies are adjusted then they'll still only seat the bullet to that length. No harm done. Just don't set dies the other way around.
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