View Full Version : .357 pin load wanted

May 22, 2002, 09:20 AM
Went to my first pin shoot last saturday. Lots of fun! My G22 was fine for the first go rounds but came up lacking once the pins were full of lead. Most of the top finishers were shooting .357 mags. Didn't query anybody as to what type load they were using. What would you pin shooters recommend - load built around a 158 or 180 grn. slug? Expanding slug vs. hard cast? Thanks for any help you guys can offer.


Norm Lee
May 22, 2002, 12:30 PM
Hey dfm:

This is a good question. There really is only one best choice for shooting pins with the .357. The lead Wadcutter from R&R bullets weighs in at 230 grains and is a pin motivator of the first water. Here's an excerpt from correspondence I had with Vihta Vuori after I had asked for a load recommendation. So far as I know there is no "published" data for this pin load:

"OK Finally got enough trips to the range to finish the load development and I did say I'd get back to y'all when it was done just in case anyone was interested. The mission was to work up a load to drive the .357 R&R Pinbuster LWC with Vihta Vuori VVN 350 powder. I started with a very conservative 4.2 grains and worked up from there. In all instances I used Winchester Western .38 Spl brass, Federal no. 100 (small pistol) primers and roll crimped into the groove cast into the bullet. At 4.2 grains, velocity was 726 fps. Pleasant to shoot and very accurate at the test distance which was 10 yards. At 5.0 grains velocity bumped up to 845 fps; 854 at 5.3 grains. The load I settled on was 5.6 grains of powder for 900 fps Power Factor 207. Finished the experiment with 5.8 grains pushing the bullet to 922 fps. At this point, leading was beginning to be a factor and the earliest signs of pressure manifested themselves during extraction of the empties. Data were taken at 7 feet with a Shooting Chrony. The gun was a 6 inch 686 with dual traps by Mag-Na-Port. Extreme spread in velocity was low, standard deviation ran from 5 to 8 fps. Accuracy was excellent but we were not motivated to extend the range for a better assessment as this is strictly a bowling pin round (25 feet). We ran one series with Moly-Kote instead of conventional lube. Velocity was lower but the difference was probably not statistically significant. Accuracy was the same. I'm not sure there's any real advantage except smoke but it is early yet and there is a deal of testing yet to be done. Will be trying some in 9mm and .45ACP as well. A companion load for the pinbuster turns out to be a 158 gr. SWC over 3.4 gr. Of Unique. Same POI at 10 yds and is soft and easy to shoot. Very accurate and has been a dandy on the falling plates. A benefit was that we could use the same OAL and not have to change the seating die. This bullet is also from R&R. Velocity is 680 fps."

Blue dot has also been used with good success but I don't have the numbers with me now.